************It's also NASCAR Weekend with New Hampshire's second Sprint Cup race of the season taking place down at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. About 110,000 fans will fill the stands for the Sylvania 300.
The fans started showing up this past Monday and the traffic within 20 miles of the track has been heavy (and crazy) since Thursday. But it's only twice a year so I have no problems dealing with it. Call it the “last gasp of summer”.
************Speaking of traffic, I had to make a quick trip to Deb's place of employment to drop off her purse. In her haste she'd left it behind when she left for work.
Normally this wouldn't be an issue but one of the surrounding towns runs a sobriety check point on Saturday nights and being without any form of ID when going through it causes all kinds of problems and delays. So off I went late yesterday afternoon with her purse.
The traffic was awful.
I could go on and on about the various bits of traffic stupidity and cluelessness I witnessed on my way there and back, but I won't bore you with them...except for one.
Passing through the town where Deb works, one of the main roads passes over the main north-south Interstate highway, meaning traffic can be quite heavy just on either side of it. One fellow seemed to think the heavy traffic gave him leave to cease paying attention to driving and more attention to his cell phone. As we stopped at each set of traffic lights (there's quite a few of them on that stretch of road), he paid less attention to the traffic lights and more to his phone.
At the first set of lights just past the Interstate, he didn't finish texting (I assume that's what he was doing) until just before the lights turned yellow. He, the truck right behind him, and I made it through before the lights turned red. At the next set of lights he again didn't move when the lights turned green and actually raised his index finger on his right hand as if to say “Wait a sec!” as the horns of the vehicles behind (including mine) him blared. Not a single vehicle in his lane made it through the lights before they again were red. At the next green light cycle he (and the rest of us) moved. At the very next set of lights he was once again fooling with his phone, the lights changed to green, and he didn't move.
At this point the guy in the pickup truck directly behind him apparently had enough, got out of his pickup, walked to the car, grabbed the guy's phone out of his hands and tossed it into the back seat. Over the sound of the still blaring horns I heard the pickup's driver yell something along the lines of “Put down your effin' phone and effin' drive, s**thead!” By the time he got back to his truck Texting Guy had taken off and we didn't see him again.
Some folks just don't get it.
************While the summer tourist season has ended we are gearing up for the foliage season. Fall colors have already started appearing north of the notches. A few of the swamp maples here in the Lakes Region are already showing crimson (they tend to lead the rest of the trees by three or four weeks), as are the sumacs. Some of the beeches are already showing some yellow here and there, but I don't expect to see much in the way of color for at least another two weeks.
I have no idea how brilliant the colors will be this year, but since it was a nice summer it's quite possible that they'll be awesome. Only time will tell.
The leaf peepers will be up in droves over the next few weeks, with folks coming from all over the world to take in the sights. I expect to see lots of tour buses and cars, minivans, and SUVs with out-of-state license plates showing up.
************I find it illuminating that the Obama campaign has been slamming Romney's 2011 tax returns, showing he paid “only” 14.1% taxes on his $13 million income, all of which was from capital gains. (In case you aren't aware, capital gains tax is a nominal 15%. What may also not be aware of is that income taxes were already paid on the money invested to generate those capital gains.)
What they fail to mention is that of the Romney's $13 million of income last year, he gave away $4 million to charity. $4 million. That's almost 31% of his income, and he didn't even write it off. Joe Biden, on the other hand, donated about 0.15% of his income to charity. It wouldn't surprise me that Obama donated a like amount. They're rather tight-fisted with their money. But neither of those two seem to have any problem with donating large amounts of your money to 'charity', in this case government charity.
At least Romney's money will be used to do real charity work (and probably more effectively than any government program), and he'll have some say about where it will be spent. That's not so of taxpayer funded government 'charity'.
************When Romney claimed that 47% of the American people receive benefits from the federal government, he was wrong.
It's closer to 49%.
************This is not a surprise to me: Sunspots Do Impact Climate.
I've known that since reading some of Dr. Henrik Svensmark's papers on the subject. One thing Svensmark's work has over that of Mann, Jones, Hansen, and the whole list of the usual suspects? His work is reproducible.
************I've read a lot of opinions about the reasons for the anti-American protests/riots across parts of the Middle East. I think David Starr has one of the better ones.
It all comes down to one thing: “Could the real reason be, that they just plain hate our guts?”
************The New England Patriots play the Baltimore Ravens tonight down in Baltimore.
************News You Can Use: German troops riot in Italy over Disney film mocking Der Fuhrer!
************This makes sense. Well, no, not really.
If you have so-called “Victim studies” in academia, you always end up with an ever expanding world of victims.
************You know the Obama administration lacks integrity when it briefs the New York Times before it briefs senate Republicans, a major breach in protocol.
But then Obama has never stood by protocol. In fact he's never even stood by the law, doing end runs around Congress and violating long-standing bankruptcy laws to 'reward' his cronies.
The sooner we get rid of this Hugo Chavez wannabe, the better.