September 29, 2014


Volume 9, Issue 13 – September 29, 2014


A Short One This Week

Between the Jewish High Holidays, unpacking, and my wife and son trying to come up to Canton, it’s been an incredibly busy week. As a result, this week’s BLAB is going to be relatively short.

As mentioned in last week’s BLAB, the moving van carrying the first batch of my belongings arrived on Monday. Much of Tuesday and Wednesday was spent unpacking. I decided to start with the Jazz CDs, and I had three large bookshelves, each of which hold some 1000 discs, ready to move the discs into. The shifting is made somewhat complicated by the fact that I put the discs in the boxes alphabetically, but the earlier discs are therefore at the bottom of the box and the later ones therefore have to be taken out first. Also, the main group of discs are in one set of boxes, but the ones I had upstairs (because I had run out of room downstairs) were in a separate set of boxes, and I wanted to merge them together. Many boxes later, I had totally filled two of the bookshelves and half the third, and only gotten up to the letter “I” in the alphabet. I’m not sure how far I’ll actually be able to get before having to go into another room—I don’t think all the Jazz will fit in one place!

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, started Wednesday night. It’s the beginning of a month of holidays of various levels of importance, including two of the most important, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur (the day of atonement—a day on which you do a total fast). My parents and I went to the synagogue in Potsdam for services, which were led by a visiting rabbi from San Francisco and a Cantor who was a graduate of the Crane School of Music at Potsdam, but now lives in New Hampshire. The evening services were very nice, with a larger turnout than normally comes to the synagogue, including several students from SUNY Potsdam. Services continued on Thursday morning. Morning services are much longer than those in the evening—they started at 9:45 AM and didn’t finish until about 1:00 PM. We were going to go back for the Tashlich (forgiveness) services at 4:00, but instead, I got a pleasant surprise.

Jill (my wife) and Mark (my son) were supposed to come up on Sunday, September 21. Mark wouldn’t get on the plane, so they had to go back home. I called the airline and they were kind enough to reschedule them onto a flight on Thursday afternoon. This time, Mark wouldn’t even go to the airport. I resigned myself to having to drive down to get them over Thanksgiving, but to my surprise, Jill called at 2:00 and said Mark had decided to go after all, and could I try to rebook them later that night? Amazingly, I got right through when I called Delta and they were able to rebook them onto the 8:50PM flight to Syracuse.

I held off driving to Syracuse until Jill called around 7:00 PM and said that they had gone through security and all was fine. I got in the car at 8:00 and drove down to the airport, getting there at 10:30. The flight came in on time at 11:10 and we picked up the baggage and drove back to Canton, getting in at 2:30 AM. Needless to say, we zonked out completely at this point, and didn’t wake up until 10:00 AM.

After eating breakfast, I showed Jill and Mark the Alumni House, and then drove out to our new house. My father had a good time showing the place off to them, and fortunately, Jill really liked it—she had only seen it in pictures to this point. Friday evening it was back to the synagogue for Sabbath services, followed by morning services on Saturday. Everyone was happy to meet Jill and Mark, and they enjoyed meeting the other members of the congregation. Saturday’s services were followed by a lunch, after which we made a stop at the Wal-Mart (Mark needed to buy some DVDs after all) and then went to the Remington Arts Festival in the park.

The Festival was great—within one minute of arriving, we ran into three people we had seen at the synagogue, and multiple others from SUNY Canton. Lenore VanderZee and Camilla Ammirati were playing and singing (see last week’s BLAB for a short review of a concert they were part of last week), the weather was as gorgeous as is possible, and there were lots of stands of attractive local crafts for sale. We looked through the displays and then walked over to the ice cream stand. The line was mighty long, since most folks figured that we wouldn’t be getting weather this nice anytime soon, so they should take advantage of it and get some ice cream. Since it was so late in the season, the stand was down to just four flavors of hard ice cream and only vanilla soft serve. Since any kind of ice cream is good, we still indulged. We walked back through the Festival, visited a bit more, listened to Lenore and Camilla sing a request from me (a song Camilla had written that I really like called “Catbird”), and went back to the Alumni House. Later, we went to Ogdensburg to see the waterfront and have dinner at the Little Italy to close out the day.

photo 8

We took Sunday easy, but at 5:00, Jill, Mark and I went to the welcome reception for the new faculty for all four associated colleges here in the North Country. The reception was held at the St. Lawrence Brewery here in Canton, and there was a huge turnout. I guess the old expression is true—“If you brew it, they will come.” The beer was excellent, as were the various munchies, and it was a pleasure to meet the new faculty from the other colleges (several of whom I had already met in other ways), as well as to see our own new faculty again.




Last Week’s Trivia Contest

Last week’s contest had questions all had to do with the word holiday. Our winner was Renee Campbell who was the first to get them all right. Others with all five correct included Rajiv Narula and Virginia Bennett.  Here are the correct answers:


  1. Annual football game played at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California. Holiday Bowl.
  2. Classic movie starring Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire, also a chain of motels. Holiday Inn.
  3. Song sung by Lindsey Buckingham, it was featured in the movie “National Lampoon Vacation” and is now the Chicago Blackhawks victory song. Holiday Road.
  4. Audrey Hepburn movie set in Italy, it’s one of the best romantic comedy films ever. Roman Holiday.
  5. Largest touring company of professional skaters. Holiday on Ice.


This Week’s Trivia Challenge

This week’s trivia contest has answers all associated with the words “college” or in one case, “campus” As usual, the first with the most takes the prize.  No looking up the answers now!  SEND ALL ENTRIES BY EMAIL TO since if you put them as a response on the BLOG, everyone will be able to see them!

  1. Games are played in the fall, usually on Saturday.
  2. What BMOC stands for.
  3. Giving it a strong attempt.
  4. Movie starring John Belushi, set at fictional Faber College.
  5. “Boola Boola”, and “The Rambling Wreck from Georgia Tech”.


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