Monday, March 30, 2009

March madness at the Albany County Hockey Facility

Three random people in the stands last night at the Albany County Hockey Facility were treated to the highest concentration of March Madness yet this season. The weekly intra-squad showdown of the Night Owl's Hockey Club was one for the ages, and since it was a tie, everybody went home a winner. (<-- Wow, that was incredibly corny.)

After one period of play, Black (the side I happen to be on) was ahead 2-1. We expanded our lead to 3-1 early in the 2nd period. The White team marched right back to tie it at 3-3 before we answered right back with two quick goals to take a 5-3 lead into the 3rd period. Normally, a two-goal advantage heading into the final period is insurmountable, even in amateur hockey. Not to worry, though, the Black team collapsed defensively and allowed the White team to storm back, AND take a late lead with 3 minutes remaining in the game.

Right after we fell behind, I jumped out for my final shift of the night. With about 2 minutes left, we pulled our goalie for an extra skater. We weathered some close calls in our own zone sans a goaltender but finally one of our top skaters made his way out of our zone and carried the puck into our offensive zone with 37 seconds left. I was playing left wing (because I enjoy being to the left of most people) and hovered around unnoticed by edge of the faceoff circle.

When one of our forwards sent the puck towards the front of the net, I skated up looking for a rebound, and there it came, a giant pie-sized puck right in front of me with nothing but an empty net to look at. I corralled it and slung it in. WHISTLE...GOAL!!! ...
...and with a mere 19 seconds left in the game. The bench erupted, I three my hands up, teammates converged. It was glorious.

This is actually only the second most amazing goal I have ever scored, if you can believe that. But, it is far better than the previous second best goal I have scored. So there...

I realize that there have been no witnesses for either of my top two most amazing goals, but baruch atta adonai eloheynu meleh ha olam they actually happened as I have retold them.

If ever I am lucky enough that a woman wants to have children with me, I will ask said children to read about these goals on this very blog.

Monday, March 23, 2009

ESB time lapse and musings on geography

It's a good thing that the landmark in NYC that reminds me of my favorite person on Jay St also happens to be the tallest building in the City - that way, it's hard to miss it.

As part of my duties as an employee of the government, I have had to travel to New York, the greatest city in the world, and had the pleasure of visiting each borough. On my way back to Penn, I walked by said landmark, and life was good again.Granted, they are not the best quality shots in the world since they were taken on my cell phone. But, they got the job done.

By the way, the one time I was unable to snap a picture of the ESB it was because I had to drive to Staten Island and the opportunity to take this important picture never materialized. Now that I have brought it up, I am going to go on record and say that I don't think that Staten Island should be called an "island."

Look at it...
It's separated from mainland by a creek! As far as I am concerned, if a section of land is separated from the mainland by a distance lesser than I could pee across, than it should not be considered an island. It should just be...more land.

In tough economic times, everybody's got to downsize

And for that reason, I have decided, rather expeditiously and without much thought - a process not unlike one employed by an upper chamber of a Legislature - to consolidate my two blogs into one.

As of today, Life of Nicolas will no longer exist...I mean, I will exist, I hope, but the blog by that title will not. This is a bargain for my reader (<-- that was not a typo) since now all my pointless drivel will be in one easy to find location.

Concurrent with my hasty and un-thought-out decision, I have imported all my posts from Life of Nicolas to this site. That being said, you have a better chance of finding Waldo than you do of finding the Life of Nicolas posts now on this blog.

If there is a grain of thought in my radical decision, it would have something to do with the fact that I was tired of finding material for two blogs. And, also, my life is pretty uninteresting, so there you go.

As a consequence of today's announcement, I want to be clear that although you will still receive premium airplane and airplane accessory news and commentary here, you may also have to contend with thoughts unrelated to aviation. To those who object to that, I say, "My house, my rules."

If I sound snarky, it may be because I was at work until 3:30 a.m. last night - that's Sunday night for those of you keeping track at home - and I am still at work right now, at 10:30 p.m. I have worked 65 hours since Thursday. Just in case you were wondering.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

I'm getting quite the reputation

At work the other day, I was in the middle of some pretty intense budget discussion when all of a sudden the conversation was interrupted so that I could be introduced to somebody walking by the office where I was at. "So-and-so, this is Nicolas. He has a blog about airplanes."

It was said with some authority, so it was flattering, I must say. Maybe my peers see me as the go-to-person on airplane knowledge. It's my niche.

By the way, I feel guilt for not being able to post as much recently. If this blog were a child, it would already have been taken away by Child Protective Services for neglect. But, in the crazy world I operate in, this time of year is simply not condusive to anything but work and sleep.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The farm is gone

Today I effectively gave up my share of the family farm in Argentina- the farm I didn't even know I owned a part of until a few days ago. This is the deal - my grandfather, a long time ago, bought a farm with a friend of his. When my grandfather passed away, according to Argentinean rules of inheritance, half of the farm went to my grandmother, and the other half was split among my grandfather's three sons.

Then, when my father passed away, my sister and I assumed his share, splitting it down the middle. So, if my math is right, which is doubtful, I own 1/12th of the farm. Here's how I figure it - my grandmother has one - half, each son has a third. Therefore, you have to split my sister and my third in half, yielding 1/6. But, then, remember that we are only operating with half a farm to begin with, so split that 1/6 one more time and you arrive at 1/12.

Maybe I would have been a good farmer. Probably not.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

I love living by a decent airport

In Fort Collins, you could go days without seeing a decent airplane flying overhead because the airport was crap. There was only one commercial flight of significance flying out of the airport, and usually it was not routed near the city on takeoff or landing.

But, alas, that is much different now. Granted, Albany is nowhere near your O'Hares, Atlantas, or JFKs, but at least the active runways usually ensure a few good views of flights coming in or heading out.

I thought of this last weekend as I was out chasing waterfalls and I got a good look of this little guy heading into ALB. I could not get the best look in the world, but it looked like a US Airways Dash 8.
Yeah, yeah, it's not the most exciting thing in the world, but it's much better than anything you could hope to get around Fort Collins.

Chasing Waterfalls: Installment #1

I grew up as an avid birdwatcher. I still have my trusty bird book with all the species I have seen checked off with the date and the location spotted. I am not much of a birdwatcher anymore, which is odd because given that I live in a part of the country that I have not birdwatched, I could be checking off all sorts of new species.

The one issue I had with birdwatching was that every now and then, I would see a bird but not be able to identify it before it flew away. Although one can be fairly certain of what they had seen, you cannot check it off your list if even a grain of doubt exists. So, instead of seeing a bobolink, you had seen what you thought was a bobolink. And thus what you had actually seen was really an LBB - code among birdwatchers for Little Brown Bird.

For Christmas, I was given a waterfall guide to the Hudson and Mohawk Valleys, and I thought, "What a great way to get back into looking for things highlighted in a book and checking them off once I've seen them." And it's so much easier because waterfalls cannot fly away.

So, last weekend, I embarked on installment #1 of this mission. The goal is to see as many of the waterfalls in the region by the end of this year. I started off with two easy ones around the Capital Region: Cohoes Falls and the falls near Lock 7. To be fair, I had seen both of them already, but I had not seen them since I had been given the book. Thus, the previous visits were not sufficient to "check them off."

This rule of mine was questioned heavily by Diane, but eventually she caved, marking the first time in the history of mankind that I won a debate.

Here's a photo history of our afternoon:
We started off at Cohoes Falls, which incidentally, is the second highest waterfall in New York State.
Then, we headed towards Lock 7, conveniently located close to this great place on Denison to get a good meal with good company.