Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Lock 24, Storm Damage and civil service exam review.

Yesterday I started out the day with several chores to attend to. I had to get to the post office, and as you can imagine it was quite crowded coming off the long weekend. I had noticed on my way to the Post Office how many trees had fallen down from the storms the last few days. I got a few pictures of some that fell right around the corner from my house, where we often walk the dogs. WOW, I didn't think we were hit that hard.

These trees are on public property or town or something like that. At any rate, it's not privately owned. I wonder who is responsible in that case?

 I made my way to the Liverpool Library where I went seeking out some review books on the civil service exams. I am scheduled to take the Mental Heath Aide exam on Saturday and thought I should get as much prep as I can.

 The librarian assistant was as helpful as she could be. When I explained what I was looking for and looked at some of the questions, she could tell it was not what I expected. I informed her that it shouldn't be that hard explaining that most people who qualify have at min, a GED or High School Diploma and informed her I had my Masters Degree. She disclosed her own employment woes indicating under her breath that she should not be saying this; how low her own librarian pay is despite her degree in Education. "It's everywhere, in every profession" I tell her, then proceed to check out the text.  I take a moment in the Library lobby to review the book and begin to think, OMG! This seems hard. I thought I would breeze this, but I am not sure anymore. Super FREAKED about it, I pledged to read through each chapter and quickly re-learn everything I was taught about the rules of grammar, spelling, decimals, my times table, sentence structure and those stupid "bat is to hit as mitt is to ____________." The test resembled more like the SAT's then an exam that a GED person could easily score 95% or better. Once I  arrived home, I quizzed myself on the grammar/spelling/those comparison questions and comprehension. I sadly obtained 15 wrong out of 60 questions. I must be doing something wrong. The email from HR at Mark's work made it sound like obtaining 100% is easy. (later as I waited for Nick at his PT appointment, I found that NOT all civil service exams include the above mentioned. Additionally I found a section on judgment that was much more appropriate, which when quizzing myself on I got all correct. I'm not going to get myself worked up anymore about it.
I had to retrieve my daughter from work at 3pm, and I was feeling stir crazy from the studying, so I decided to leave a bit early and check out the museum I had and have been passing every time I take her in to work.
I arrived and wouldn't you know it, it is closed M, T, S, S. Open only on W-F. Just one day early. Some time I might stop. With 50 or so minutes before pick up time, I questioned what to do next.
Baldwinsville really does not have a whole lot of things to do, well at least I don't know what things there are to do. I did see a Visitor Center sign...hum, maybe they have some information on what to see and do.

I drove to the area marked visitor center and found myself right on the site of the Erie Canal lock 24. Apparently it is still in active use.

The visitor center was a ways down the path, so I decided to take the short hike as well as walk down the canal walkway. Notice how overcast the sky was that day. I took the risk that rain would not pour down on my head.
I made it to the visitor looked deserted, but I took my chances. Hours of operation M-F 9-4 So far so good, I try the door. LOCKED! I notice the smaller print below the hours in parenthesis (only if volunteer staff is available). Well, I guess there is no staff available. I continue on down the path, and notice it splits to the main road, the grave yard or a dead end. It is a pretty walk, but where am I to walk to?
I decided to walk back the way I came and cross at the bridge to the other side of the canal. Check out the lock. Isn't it pretty neat?
This is one of the gate locks, it opens to allow boats to come through.
Here is a picture of the back side of the gates.  (or is it called a lock?)
Here is a view from the bridge and where the 2nd gate/lock is located. I am not totally sure how the system worked and I probably should have asked the lock guard (is that what he is called, I should have asked that too). He was very friendly and told me all about how the canal looked yesterday after all that rain, but I didn't get a chance to asked anything about how the canal system worked. (Maybe I should have been paying more attention at the Fair when the boys were getting their lesson.)

Check out the little booth. It was empty when I walked passed, and wandered over to the man made falls, (not part of the canal system). Once again I am not sure what these falls do for the water flow, I just have noticed as I drive by, some times the water is flowing, and sometimes it is not.

After viewing these falls I walked out to Paper Mill Island, where during the summer months there are several concerts. Years prior, there were several very popular bands that would play there, but the rowdy, drunk attendee's caused to many problems and they stopped only doing local bands and small concerts.
Once on the Island I found some creatures to keep me company, as there was NO one else out on the Island.

There was also some other birds....plenty of sea gulls.

and there one goes, and look at that sky...YIKES
Deciding I had better start back, I could see my car across the canal far on the other side, if it started to rain...I would surly get soaked.
Walking back I noticed that some action was happening at the canal lock. LOOK they are closing the gate, a boat must have gone through and they had opened it while I was on the Island.

But where is the boat? I actually didn't see it till I was on the other side, it was a small boat, and from this angle it was located just out of view inside the canal walls. WOW it's bigger then it seems. There was a little girl watching too. It was pretty cool to see.
I continued my walk heading back across the bridge on on my way to my car and off to get my daughter. I noticed that all though there were very few people out and about on my little walk around the canal lock, every single person I walked by was friendly and said hello, or smiled or offered a nice day. I wish I had taken a picture and asked the lock guard about the system. He had such an interesting face. He reminded me of a sailor with his white beard and weathered skin. I am sure if I asked he would have given me a full canal history, and best that he didn't because it started to sprinkle as I made my last few steps back to the car.

What a nice pleasant experience and so unexpected. The first picture posted the Live and Let Live was painted on a barn along the path. I thought it was appropriate for my mood that day.
Work today and Mom's back to school luncheon! year!