Notes - November 2019

Fri, Nov 1

I roasted coffee beans early this morning.

Late in the morning, we turned our furnace on for the first time this fall. Our first floor house temp this morning was in the mid-50s. The living room thermostat showed 54 degrees. A handheld digital thermometer showed 56 degrees.

A thermostat set at 60 to 62 degrees is what I prefer. 66 degrees is too warm.

Sat, Nov 2

Kim, Brent, Deb, and I went to the movies at Franklin Park Mall to watch Motherless Brooklyn. Afterwards, we enjoyed dinner and drinks at nearby Twin Peaks.

Sun, Nov 3

From the late morning to about mid-afternoon, I watched Gabbie and Dominic while Brad completed yard work.

Mon, Nov 4

CP had a terrible migraine headache. I picked Gabbie up from pre-school at 11:30 a.m. After G and I played at a park for 80 minutes, we went to G's house, and I watched Dominic and Gabbie in the afternoon while CP rested. I left after 6:30 p.m.

Tue, Nov 5

Approx 2.5 hours of car service on our 2012 Honda Accord. Basic maintenance. $400 bill.

Steve and Jackson stopped by our house at mid-afternoon for about two hours. We chatted. Jackson made a college visit at the University of Toledo.

Wed, Nov 6

Yardwork. I picked some small green tomatoes. I took down the tomato plants that grew in containers on our back driveway. I raked the driveway, the backyard, and the front yard.

More leaves have fallen by Nov 6 than normal, I think. It's nice that the leaves seem to be falling earlier than normal. Hopefully, that means that I won't be raking in early December.

This morning, the city of Toledo came through our street and gathered up leaves. That was the city's first pass. I raked in the late afternoon and early evening. I missed the first pass, but looking at the trees, it seems that more than 50 percent of the leaves have yet to fall. The second pass should occur in late November or early December.

Sat, Nov 9

Deb and I attended the 13th annual Ohio Young Birders Conference, held this year at the Toledo Zoo's Great Hall, located inside the Museum of Natural History. Great building and location. The conference was sold out.

First in the morning, we visited the Toledo Farmers Market to pick up one of our late fall hauls that we purchased extra from our Shared Legacy Farms CSA. It was a nice haul of mostly root veggies, along with the scrub brush-style kale that I like. We purchased a few other items while at the market, including apples from Wit Orchards and lemon loaf bread/cake from Amy's Chocolates.

We arrived at the zoo at 9:15 a.m. The volunteers/organizers did a great job with the setup and the signage. Inside the hall, the student displays were informative. Other displays existed too, such as the Ohio Bluebird Society. Several items were offered for the raffle drawing.

Before the conference began, we chatted for a while with Kim Kaufman, Kenn Kaufman, and Brian Zwiebel. I have known Brian since around 2001 when I met him while birdwatching at the Magee Marsh boardwalk. He's now a well-known photographer and a tour guide with Sabrewing Nature Tours. Brian lives in the Toledo area.

I also chatted briefly with Darlene Sillick who has done magnificent work for nature conservation in central Ohio as well as nurturing students with the Central Ohio OYBC chapter. When I was OYBC coordinator from May 2008 to mid-November 2012, I coordinated trips and events with Darlene. The Columbus area had a vibrant local chapter back in 2010-2012, and they continue to have a wonderfully supported chapter today.

The student presentations were impressive as usual. The entire day was fantastic. The food was great, buffet style where assembled our own tacos. I choose the vegan style setup.

It was the kind of day and event where we hated to see it end. The opening remarks began at 10:10 a.m., and the conference closed at approx 4:40 p.m.

Deb and I went home, unloaded our produce, hung out at home for a while, and then we went out with dinner with Brent around 6:30 p.m. We went to Twin Peaks. They produce excellent old fashioneds. As usual, I ordered the Beyond Meat's vegan burger setup along with fries.

Sun, Nov 10

Deb and I participated in more OYBC conference-related events, held in the morning at Oak Openings Metropark. We arrived at the park's Buehner Center at approx 8:15 a.m. BSBO bander Ryan and volunteers banded birds outside the building. Their net was setup by the feeders. They one or more of the following species: White-breasted Nuthatch, Downy Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, Eastern Tufted Titmouse, and Blacked-capped Chickadee. It's fun to watch the feisty chickadee when it's held by a bander.

Ryan let young people hold and release the birds. Ryan gave informative info about the woodpeckers.

UT student and Toledo area birder Nate led the field trip walk around Mallard Lake. A handful of members of the Ohio State Ornithology Club were present and helped lead the walk too. Over 20 people participated in the walk. Over 30 people were present. A few Metroparks employees were present too. It was a well-attended morning. Several of the young birders participated.

It was an enjoyable walk. We viewed local birds along with a few Yellow-rumped Warblers and a Pileated Woodpecker.

The events at the Buehner Center ended around 10:40 a.m. Then the Metroparks employeeds led a caravan of vehicles to the Beach Ridge area of the park, which is a relatively new area that hosts mountain bike trails and the treehouse colony that is still under construction. At least five cottage-like elevated homes exist, along with two platforms for tents and a platform for a hammock. The houses vary in size, and they will offer different themes. The bird themed house has a nest area inside the house, which is a loft that contains branch-like railing.

The "treehouses" were fantastic. Most of the remaining work is inside work. The park expects to rent the houses starting in May 2020, hopefully. We toured all of the houses, despite the ongoing construction.

Maybe four houses exist and one common area house exists that can hold up to 49 people and it can be used for meetings or events, such as a small wedding.

That relatively new area of the park is fabulous. Several people were present with their mountain bikes, riding the dirt trails through the woods. The area also contains an wooden elevate bike trail. Interesting.

Deb saw bikers who wore Maumee Valley Wheelman jerseys. I road with the Wheelman on Saturday mornings, and I owned a sharp-looking, yellow and purple Wheelman jersey back in 1994.

We left Oak Openings Metropark for home at 12:00 p.m. Fun morning. It was another well-organized series of events.

At home, I watched the Bills at Browns football game. Wait. No didn't watch the game because IT WAS NOT AIRED LOCALLY.

For some moronic reason, the NFL flexed the Lions-Bears 1:00 p.m. game to CBS, which meant that the Bills-Browns 1:00 p.m. CBS game could not be aired locally, since Toledo resides in the Detroit TV market.

It's asinine that in 2019 we do not have easy, pay-per view options to watch NFL games. I do not want to pay a monthly or yearly subscription to anything. Why can't I press a few menu options within our Roku-based TV to pay $10 or so to watch ONE NFL GAME, the game that I want to see, Bills at Browns.

Our local CBS station WTOL aired Bears-Lions while our local Fox station aired Falcons-Saints. WTF??? Yeah, I'm sure that the Toledo area hosts a ton of Falcon and Saints fans. Browns and Lions fans DO exist in the Toledo area.

I turned off the TV, and I listened to the Browns announcers on the radio. The Browns won an ugly game, but it was a victory.

After the game, I went outside at approx 4:15 p.m., and I raked leaves in the front yard until 6:00 p.m. I raked last Wednesday afternoon and evening, but on Friday, a "ton" of oak leaves rained down, probably due to temps being in the 20s. It seems that sub-freezing temps snap leaves that have turned color.

The two sugar maples in our front yard and the sugar maple in our backyard still contain mostly green leaves. Hopefully, they turn and fall soon. We still have at least 30 to 40 percent of the oak leaves to fall.

Mon, Nov 11

Early this morning, I walked Barney for the first time since Friday, and I went up on our roof and swept the roof of leaves. A lot of leaves piled in the usual areas of the house. The fallen leaves are dry and fluffy and easy to move. I'll need to go up on the roof again at the end of this month or in early December.

Snow started falling before Noon, but it began sticking on the lawns in the early afternoon. The snow ended around mid-evening. More snow accumulated on the tops of our vehicles, which showed 3.5 to 4.0 inches of accumulation. 2 to 3 inches accumulated on the ground.

Tue, Nov 12

Watched Gabbie and Dominic from around Noon time to mid afternoon while CP went to an appointment and did other things. It was the first time that I helped Gabbie go potty. She went three times. Dominic remained chill as ever, hanging out with Gabbie and me in his little vertical stroller thingy that he can scoot around in when it's on the wood floor.

Wed, Nov 13

Deb and I left home shortly after 1:00 p.m. to visit Deb's parents.

Thu, Nov 14

Arrived home at 6:30 p.m.

I met Dan, George, and Bruce, former NFOers, at Tony Packo's in Sylvania for dinner at 7:15 p.m.

Watched the Browns defeat the Steelers on Thursday Night Football.

Fri, Nov 15

In the mid afternoon, Deb and I visited Breaking Beans Coffee, located along Jackman Rd in Temperance, MI. It was our first visit. http://bbkoffee.com

Then we visit CP, Dominic, and Gabbie for a few hours.

Sat, Nov 16

CP, Gabbie, Dominic, Deb, and I visited Handmade Toledo's Makers Mart event, located along Adams Street in the Uptown area of downtown. We arrived around 1:00 p.m. Busy, busy, busy as usual. We didn't stay long. It's a little tricky to navigate that event with a seven month-year-old and a three-year-old.

After the Makers Mart, we went to CP's and hung out until around 5:45 p.m.

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