Saturday, April 13, 2013

Two Rod, Three Rod, Four Rod roads

I was wondering about the origin of the "Two Rod", "Three Rod" and "Four Rod" road names, and found a partial answer in a book reproduced online, "The History of the Germans in Buffalo and Erie County, N.Y. - Part I", pages 221 - 222.

First, understand that a rod in this context is a unit of measure equal to 5-1/2 yards, 16-1/2 feet.

In 1826 a strip of land three and one-half miles long north-to-south and one mile wide east-to-west was purchased from the Indians in the Buffalo Creek Reservation.
Soon after the land sale of 1826 two roads were surveyed. One ran from Portersville to the Village of Marilla, and from there to Alden, and touched the territory still occupied by the Indians. It had been expected that the latter would voluntarily surrender half of the land to be used for road purposes, or that it would be bought, and for that reason the town officials had surveyed only two rods wide. From that fact it got the name of "Two Rod Road", which it still bears, although it has been widened long ago. The other road ran parallel to the first one, and was called the "Four Rod Road."
In other words, they surveyed a road two rods wide - thirty-three feet - along the boundary of the newly purchased land, figuring that the other half of the road would be acquired from the Indians. That did not happen immediately, so the road was only two rods wide for a time.

The other road mentioned was surveyed at its full width of four rods, sixty-six feet.

There is no mention of it in the book, but presumably Three Rod Road was, well, three rods wide.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Why the Seneca Nation may have a case

The Seneca Nation Gaming Corporation has been withholding hundreds of millions of dollars in gambling revenue from New York State. It pains me to say it, but they may have a case.

It should have been obvious years ago to anyone who was willing to read the Gaming Compact between the Seneca Nation of Indians and the State of New York:
12(a)(1) Subject to [the next paragraph] the Nation shall have total exclusivity with respect to the installation and operation of ... Gaming Devices, including slot machines, within the geographic area defined by: (i) to the east, State Route 14 from Sodus Point to the Pennsylvania border with New York; (ii) to the north, the border between New York and Canada; (iii) to the south, the Pennsylvania border with New York; and (iv) to the west, the border between New York and Canada and the border between Pennsylvania and New York.
With "Video Lottery Terminals" (VLTs) installed at the Erie County Fairgrounds and elsewhere, it was only a matter of time before the Senecas decided to play this card and cut New York State out of the deal entirely. What's the difference between a VLT and a modern slot machine? Not much, it seems.

Carl Paladino and Gaming the Senecas

Here's my take on Carl Paladino. It has to do with Casino Gaming, the Senecas, and Mr. Paladino's recent promises to shut down Turning Stone and renegotiate the "Nation-State Gaming Compact between the Seneca Nation of Indians and the State of New York" (its full title).

I'm all for shutting down Turning Stone. I think it has in fact been ruled illegal. It is of course doubtful that the Seneca Nation would agree to re-open the Compact, notwithstanding Mr. Paladino's charm and persuasiveness. It's pretty generous to them. (Their withholding payment to the State may have some justification, based on all of the "Video Lottery Terminals" located in their area of exclusivity, but that's a topic for another post).

But Mr. Paladino was for casinos before he was against them. In 2002, he was advocating for the Seneca casino in downtown Buffalo. I think he thought he had some kind of profitable deal with them. When the Senecas decided they wanted to put it in Cheektowaga, he started turning against them. By the time they wanted to buy a street from the city to consolidate their property, he was fully turned against them.

I see Mr. Paladino as an opportunist. He was perfectly willing to sell the Senecas land for their gambling hall, but after whatever secret deals he thought he had with them fell through, he decided to go for payback.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Four things I learned in the Rochester Bicycling Club

Our family was in the RBC around 1970-72. We went to GEAR in Canandaigua in 1971 together, and we rode many organized rides and time trials in all sorts of weather. The first ride of the season was always Stamp's Stomp, led by a Mr. Stamp, in March. I have a picture of Mom wearing her fuzzy hat the year it snowed! I got my picture in the paper on one ride, maybe because I was wearing what I called an Australian bush hat.

Here are a few things I learned way back when:

1. Always wear a helmet. A good helmet. ($10 helmets are for $10 heads.) My first "helmet" was a weird leather thing that would likely not have helped in a fall. My second was a hockey helmet that I spray painted in a geometric fluorescent green pattern. Eventually I got a Bell, now I wear a Giro.

2. It's ok to stand on the pedals to get more power up a hill.

3. Don't rest at the top of the hill.

4. A helmet won't always save you. Always be aware of everything around you, and ride defensively. (R.I.P. Bill Sheets, c. 1972)

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Biking report

I am sore after 42 miles on the bike this morning. I'll be paying for it for a couple of days.

2:40 ride time, with two stops to stretch (and snack), one to re-water, one to wait for the railroad swing bridge over the Black Rock Canal to open for pleasure craft, then one more to wait for the Ferry Street lift bridge for the same boats.

Average speed for the ride (bike time only) was 15.7 mph, max 24.5.

I was overtaken in Ellicott Creek Park by another rider who said, "You're keeping up a pretty good pace. It took me a long time to catch you." Then I kept up with him for the next couple of miles.

I think I must look slower than I am. How fast can a bike with a 54" whip antenna and a canvas handlebar bag be, anyway? Not to mention the aging rider.

The antenna is for my portable ham radio, scanning the local repeaters and Coast Guard channels. It keeps things interesting.


Saturday, February 27, 2010

Stimulus benefits

Chances are you got a tax cut in last year's stimulus package. If you oppose the stimulus, are you going to give it back?

Chances are you drive on roads or bridges that have been repaired with stimulus money. Are you going to detour around them?

Chances are firefighters or cops in your community still have jobs because of stimulus money. Would you forsake their protection?

The stimulus worked. Believe it.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Electronic baggage

Here's a list of the electronics related stuff I took on vacation. Marked + for stuff I used, - for not used.

+ Digital camera - took lots of pictures of the Krewe du Vieux parade, other French Quarter and NOLA sights.
+ Battery charger for camera
+ Download cable for camera
+ HT (handheld ham radio) - listened to local repeaters, airport radio traffic, Mississippi river traffic, connected to Buffalo repeater through IRLP
+ HT charger
+ HT programming cable - programmed airport frequencies
+ HT earpiece - to listen in the airports
+ Netbook - used it every day - internet access was good in the hotel, I downloaded pictures from camera, programmed radio, watched video on the airplane
+ Netbook AC adapter
+ Netbook travel-mouse
+ Earbuds to listen on the airplane
+ Headset with mic - contacted Buffalo radio repeater through Echolink
+ Cell phone
+ Cell phone charger
- Cell phone bluetooth earpiece
- Earpiece charger
- Delorme Earthmate bluetooth GPS - I thought we might rent a car for a day
- GPS car adapter
- GPS AC adapter
- GPS USB adapter
- Homebrew GPS - the Delorme wasn't working very well before we left, so I wanted a backup
- Homebrew GPS USB adapter
- Homebrew GPS USB power adapter
- GPS antenna
- Micro-SD adapter - I was able to link to the phone with bluetooth from the netbook

The extra stuff weighs less than a pound, and it all went in checked luggage, so I don't feel bad about it.

The rest of the stuff helped make the vacation just a little more interesting.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Back in campaign form

In a little bit of political judo in the Massachusetts special election for Senator, President Obama deftly wielded a symbol of Martha Coakley's opponent, Scott Brown, against him.

Obama said "anyone can buy a truck", and Brown has "parked his truck on Wall Street". He warned Bay Staters, "don't get in the truck" with Martha's opponent.


The President did not, however, explicitly warn against accepting candy.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Al Franken on The Truth

About 16 years ago, there was a book kicking around (so to speak) the green room at the theatre about the Reagan years. I refused to read it, having lived through those years and having no desire to be reminded of anything to do with the man.

However, I just read Al Franken's "The Truth (with jokes)", published in 2005. There were moments of painful memories, but I wanted to extract this one extended quote. Here he is referring to Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, and the rest of the gang of miscreants that made up the Bush (mis)administration:
   Let's face it. You can't count on them to give you straight information. You can't count on them to tell us straight why we're going to war. You can't count on them to tell us what's happening over there.
   You can't count on them to do their homework. To keep track of our money. You can't count on them to punish war profiteers. You can't count on them to protect our troops.
   You can't rely on them for much of anything. Armor. Veterans' benefits. You can't count on them for the true story of how Jessica Lynch was captured, or how Pat Tillman died. Even for how the "Mission Accomplished" sign went up on the USS Abraham Lincoln. They actually lied about that.
   You can't count on them to count terrorist attacks. You can't count on them to count civilian victims. You can't count on them to listen to military commanders and send in enough troops, or to listen to Colin Powell and not torture people, or to not lie about whether the torture policies started at the tip.
   You can't trust them to care. About Iraqis. About Americans.
   You can't trust them to do the work of actually signing killed-in-action letters. You can't trust them no to lie about not signing killed-in-action letters.
   You can't count on them to acknowledge any mistakes whatsoever. You can't trust them not to lie when confronted with those mistakes.
   You can't trust them no to believe their own propaganda.
   You can't trust them. Period.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Bike Ride

Took a bike ride today. I've been able to get out once a week for a few weeks now. It's not much, but it's much more than last year or for many years!

There are parts of this when viewed on satellite image appear to be cross-country, but it's all pretty much paved bike path now. There's a nice little park by the lake where there were fields of black-eyed susans.

I was out just under two hours, travelling at a leisurely pace.