Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Kinnelon Library is in Your House! Yes, it is.

The Kinnelon Public Library is in Your House!

You don't believe me?

Well, I'm right and ... you're wrong.

It's in your COMPUTER!

OK, some of you may know this already, but the truth is, in many ways it's a lot easier and more productive to access the library at than it is to go there.

And the truth is that 95% of the work involved in getting the books you want is best done from your own house, online.

Because there is a virtual library out there that is bigger than the physical bricks-and-mortar library.

Of course, eventually you do have to go to the library ... but:

1) You can reserve any book in the Morris County Public Library system whether it's "OUT" or not, and even, by using NJCAT [also accessible from the Kinnelon Library website], reserve books from the entire State of New Jersey. That is cool.

2) You can see all the books in the system (not just at your library) by an author, or on a subject listed for you and ready to put on hold.

3) You can access best seller lists, NY Times, LA Times, etc., and reserve from the lists.

4) You can see what books you have borrowed from the library, when they are due, if you have any fines outstanding, what books you have on reserve which are not in yet, and those which are waiting for you to pick up.

We do all of these things! And more.

However, the library's search capabilities are exactly literal -- you get what you type in, but no more. If you miss the author's name or book title by one letter, you are out of luck.

So if you type in Michael Crighton instead of Michael Crichton, you get zip, nada, zilch, nothing.

But you can use AMAZON in tandem with the Library Catalog. Amazon will give you results if you just get close.

Plus Amazon will tell you a lot more about the books, and Amazon will tell you about books not yet published but about to be. So you can get your favorite author reserved. For some period of time before the book is actually available at the Kinnelon Library, you will see a message "Being Acquired by the Library," at which point you CAN reserve the book. Be the first to read it!

OK, now I will admit that there is a lot more to the library, and to our library than just looking up the books we want. As far as the Kinnelon Public Library goes, it's the closest we have to a Public Meeting Space -- we vote there -- there are programs and concerts and all sorts of things taking place there -- programs for kids, poetry contests ... and who knows what all. [See Kinnelon Library Holds Chagall Art Workshop, Kinnelon Student Art Exhibit - December 2008, Kinnelon Winter Festival 2009, The Lenape Lifeways: Kinnelon's Native American History and Kinnelon's Winter Festival -- so far!]

Also sometimes you just want to go and look at physical books -- touch them, read the jackets -- and sometimes you want to talk to a librarian.

I'm not going to take that away from you!

Think how nice it will be, though, to know that you have reserved all of those books you really wanted, couldn't find, but finally did find, and that you can see them listed in your account display from the comfort of your own home, and then, well, go get them.

When I'm exploring new authors, I keep one window open (or 2 or 3) in Amazon, and another for the Kinnelon Library; that way I can cut and paste titles and authors names, and look up books in different categories at the same time.

You can, too. At the library. Or at home. Especially at home.

Let me know how it works for you.

~ Ted

Technorati Tags: Tags:

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Kakeout Reservoir Hike Next Sunday 4/26/09

The Kakeout Reservoir Hike is coming right up! Next Sunday 4/26/09 to be exact. Will you be there?

Here are the details as announced in Save The Date: Kakeout Reservoir Hike....

If you remember, in that post I mentioned that Lisa, Arnel and I - and the kids - took this hike in late November. It really is a magical hike with 4 distinct sections:

1. A hike along the banks of the Kakeout reservoir with wooden footbridges.

2. The reservoir.

3. Hiking through the woods and up the hill [where we encountered other trails]

4. The road back.

I've just uploaded the photos of this Kakeout hike to Flickr.

I'm very interested to observe how different things look in early Spring as opposed to during deep, cold, winter.

Will we see you then? I hope so!

Technorati Tags: Tags:

Saturday, April 18, 2009

How Walkable is Kinnelon?

I came across this article in PSFK titled How Walkable is Your Neighborhood? from March 27, 2009 that had me thinking about Kinnelon, NJ, and our 'walkability.'

Now, on one hand, I fully accept that there aren't too many of us who can live around here without a car. Hills, craggy outcrops, wetlands, wells and septic systems mean that we aren't as densely settled as areas closer in to NYC. At the same time,though, given how we've been exploring and enjoying the many hikes around Smoke Rise and Kinnelon, I consider us tremendously walkable.

So, I was curious to obtain our score from

Smoke Rise received a pathetic 6 out of 100 whereas Kinnelon, NJ received a 15.

Butler, NJ received a score of 78. In other words, very walkable! [I'm not sure that WalkScore has fully factored in steep hills, though.]

I see some quirks in the system. You'll note that the Kinnelon Library doesn't show up as an option. Furthermore, the listing of resources includes inconsistencies [e.g., Pathmark appears on the map, but not in the listing of groceries, and LongFellows has to be closer than 2.6 miles if Stop&Shop is 1.9 miles].

However, the overall concept is intriguing and gets you thinking about how we might function in a more energy efficient or cooperative way...

What if there were jitney or carpool stops around the borough to get to/from Pathmark or the movie theater without having to get into an individual car? What if there were times of day or week when say Kiel Avenue were shut off to car traffic to encourage bicycling?

You get the picture. It might not be fully practical, but when you start experiencing the magic of the hikes and trails available in our neighborhood, it gets you thinking about 'what if' scenarios...

How 'bout you? What kind of scenarios come to mind when you consider 'what if?'

PS: Check out The WalkScore Blog which is a fun and practical read.

Technorati Tags: Tags:

Friday, April 17, 2009

Zeytinia and The Market Basket -- Revisited

I enjoyed revisiting The Market Basket, previously reviewed here [see Market Basket -- Local NJ High End Specialty Food], after not having been for a while, and I was pleasantly surprised to discover some nice changes – at least my impression is that they are changes.

Prices seem to be much moderated over my last visit. Produce which is always very beautiful and nicely presented, was quite reasonable. Prepared foods were extensive and scrumptious looking.

Sausages from their own smokehouse, including Chorizo, Andouille, and French Garlic, were all fairly cheap and looked great – I’ve had them before, and they are – great, that is.

Bakery goods are still quite expensive. Bought the Apple Sauce Pound Cake anyway. $8.50. Worth it.

Seafood was gorgeous as always. Meat was, too. All seemed reasonably priced.

Also purchased one of their Quiches, which I have always liked, and a New England Clam Chowder … yum.

You do have to admire their presentation of food, from the meat case to the seafood to the produce. It all looks great and makes you WANT TO BUY.

And there was not a hostile Franklin Lakes Matron to be seen. See previous post. Very pleasant experience.

Makes me wish it were a little closer.

From there I headed a couple of miles down the road into Oakland NJ and stopped at Zeytinia, which also has beautiful prepared food, quite extensive, good too, from what I've tried.

My visit confirmed my previous opinion [see Zeytinia -- NY Specialty Foods in NJ], that for produce, Zeytinia is up there with Corrado’s pricewise, although without the great range of stock.

Well-priced cheeses, fabulous deli, and a very good meat section remain the same as per the last visit. I love the place.

Sadly, the Dry-Aged Prime Beef seems to have disappeared, making King’s in Boonton at $30 plus per lb and Corrado’s in Wayne, at $16 or so per lb (what a great deal), the only places locally to offer it.

If you are a carnivore and are interested in steak, you owe it to yourself to try making your own grilled NY Strip or Ribeye from Dry-Aged Prime Beef sometime. We like to ask the butcher for 2” thick cuts of NY Strip, coat them in a dry rub of salt, pepper, and paprika, and then let them sit uncovered overnight in the fridge to dry the surface, so we get that great grilled crust. We pop them onto a 600 degree grill for 9 to 11 minutes each, turning once. Internal temp 120 to 125 degrees for rare to medium rare. Let them sit for 7 or 8 minutes before you dig in. Yes.

The upshot is that I like The Market Basket even more than I used to, and Zeytinia just as much, which is a lot.

Of course the 800 lb gorilla or white elephant, or something, in the room that we have not talked about yet, is the new Fairway out on Route 17 in Paramus. But that will be for another time.

~ Ted

Technorati Tags: Tags:

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Frozen Lake Kinnelon - January 2009

Yes, it's a bit strange to be looking back on photos from January and of frozen Lake Kinnelon when it's early April and the forsythia are seconds away [depending on the level of sunshine we can expect tomorrow] from bursting. However, it does put things into perspective - don't you think?

These photos come from two outings on Lake Kinnelon. One took place on January 11, 2009 when I had just gotten back from a trip to Dallas and both daughter and husband urged me to take a quick walk to experience the unimaginable: a frozen lake!

We took off from the Crossway boat ramp and followed the tracks below to an ice fishing campout complete with TV, dogs, and kids.

We didn't go very far. This was but an initiation.

The following weekend, on January 24, 2009, I got talked into a much more ambitious lake walk... From the starting point below, at the Crossway boat ramp, all the way to St. Hubert's Chapel and back.

The idea of walking to St. Hubert's held great appeal. After all, per my early post titled St. Hubert's Chapel Visit, and

"Rough stones were gathered from the slopes surrounding the lake, and during the winter, massive horse drawn sleds were used to transport them across the frozen lake to the remote island. "

... the chapel had to have been built during the cold harsh winters when the lake was frozen.

Here, then, was an opportunity to experience the chapel and the lake as Francis Kinney and his contemporaries did.

Now, I will be honest. Very honest. I found walking across the lake extremely unnerving. I did it, but I don't think you have ever seen anyone walking more gingerly than I did. My husband and daughter marched confidently ahead of me, laughing at my discomfiture. I kept going, but the booming of the ice and general 'talking' of the surface underfoot tensed my neck muscles and had me thinking that each step would be my last. Some sections were hard and solid feeling. Others were wet and overly crunchy and irrational looking.

Nonetheless, I made it. Phew!

And the experience was unlike any other.

Later on, we learned from Bjorn Walberg that the booming sounds are 'good' sounds [as this post about frozen lake ice cracks supports]. When the ice is too thin you don't hear them. However, Bjorn also shared the fact that he fell into a lake in Norway, with skis on after assuring his wife that the ice was safe.... and he was laughing while he told the story, apparently the height of Norwegian humor!

Check out this post titled A Blog Of Ice with Tibetan and Norwegian inspired ice music... Bjorn, this one goes out to you.

I've posted the photos to Flickr: Frozen Lake Kinnelon NJ.

Technorati Tags: Tags:

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Kinnelon's First Local Business Fair

Kudos to Frank Davis and Finishing Touch Landscape Construction for sponsoring the first ever Kinnelon Business Fair/Open House on March 22, 2009. It took place at the Kinnelon NJ Library and twenty-three businesses participated in addition to Finishing Touch.

I first learned about the event when I spied a sign on the front desk of the new NYSC [in the former Butler Bowl]. I was intrigued. I wasn't sure what to expect, but I was determined to go.

On Business Fair day, I arrived at about 12:30pm. First sign that something unusual was afoot: the parking lot. It was packed! And, not with your usual cars and vans. Oh, no. I saw serious business trucks and official vehicles emblazoned with signs and logos.

I reached upstairs and a buzz of conversation greeted me. The first person I met was Frank Davis, President of Finishing Touch Landscape Construction, whose idea it was to gather together the businesses of the community for a fair to interact with their Kinnelon customers. He and his office sent out letters inviting businesses to participate and then to Kinnelon residents inviting them to stop by.

Wow! What a really friendly and neighborly opportunity for interaction. Although I realize that Kinnelon is home to many businesses, given that we don't have a 'main street' I had never stopped to think of our local resources and my neighbors.

The benefit for the businesses participating was in showcasing to Kinnelon residents what they offered and also thank them for their loyalty and support. For residents, it represented an opportunity to meet our local business owners, learn about what they do, sample food and even receive coupons and discounts....
[Frank Davis to the left looking at the camera.]
The Business Fair took place in two rooms with one reserved for the 'Food Court' from which mouth-watering smells emanated. Participating with food samples were:
In the main space were also Joe LaFergola with Garden State Espresso LLC and Jeff from Ice Box.

Relating to home/construction/care were:

Relating to medical/dental/fitness:

Relating to animals:
And then, Route 23 Car Wash, The Music Den, PNC Bank, and The Promotional Zone.

According to Sheila at Finishing Touch, more than 200 Kinnelon families participated in the Business Fair [based on how many took part in the Samsung 50" Plasma Flat Screen TV raffle]. Not bad for a first time event, I'd say!

Did you go? As business participant or visiting resident? What did you think? Should there be a second Kinnelon Business Fair/Open House? Would you suggest any changes? Let me know.

My photos of the event appear under the title "Kinnelon Business Fair" in Flickr.

Here's an article on the event from the Daily Record, titled "Davis means business in Kinnelon. Merchants, residents mingle during borough's first-ever business fair /open house."

Technorati Tags: Tags:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...