While the color hasn't reached peak here in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire, it's pretty close. I saw a blaze of colors here and there as I was running errands over the past couple of days.
************As I mentioned above, traffic has been very heavy. Both Deb and I experienced this first hand on Friday as we both had occasion to travel south of the lake for appointments, she in Manchester and me in Concord. The trips home for both of us were crazy. Deb told me that her trip home took much longer due to the back up of traffic heading into the tolls. It took her almost 45 minutes to reach the tolls once she reached the traffic backup a mile or so south of the tolls.
On my trip home I had to deal with three separate traffic jam ups at two different Interstate junctions and at a set of traffic lights on one of the state highways.
At least we aren't likely to see traffic like this again until Memorial Day or Fourth of July.
************I have to say the 'Romney debated an empty chair' meme has grown legs, making the rounds even in nominally liberal publications. Even the New Yorker got into the act with a cover even I never thought I would see. I've seen variations on that cover art, too.
After reviewing the debate again (Thank goodness for our DVR!), I have to say that Obama voted “present” at the debate. But then that's how he's operated during most of the time he spent in various elective offices.
************Further signs of California's internal rot: Another city on the verge of bankruptcy.
That which cannot go on, won't. This is a lesson municipalities all over the Golden State are learning the hard way. Now if only the state assembly and public employees unions in California were capable of learning the lesson before everything falls apart.
************Gee, it's nice to see that David Starr agrees with me on this topic: get rid of farm subsidies.
Despite claims to the contrary, subsidies do not help small family farms. The receive few, if any of them. It is the big agri-businesses receiving almost all of them. Subsidies have far outlived their usefulness and do nothing but short-circuit market feedbacks and drive prices up. I can't think of a single farm product that actually requires subsidies in order to be produced. If some agricultural product can't survive without them then perhaps they shouldn't survive. They aren't economically viable and it isn't up to the taxpayers to support then through corporate welfare.
It's time for the agri-businesses to get off the government gravy-train and to stand on their own.
************I have to admit I've been enjoying the Obama spin machine trying desperately trying to explain away Obama's dismal performance against Mitt Romney at their first debate, putting forth claims that the altitude affected him; he was distracted because of his anniversary; he had to deal the situation in the Libya/Egypt/Afghanistan; lack of sleep; lack of preparation time; (excuse du jour here).
One has to wonder whether it was because he really isn't what the MSM has been pumping him up to be and that the real Obama was on display sans teleprompter. The adoring crowds and entourage of sycophants could not shield him from the harsh light of reality shining down upon him to show him for what so many of us have been claiming for over four years: an empty suit.
Or to put it terms of the meme making the rounds these days, “The clothes have no emperor.”
************A piece in the NYT covers a topic near and dear to my heart: fraudulent science papers.
While the Times piece covers retracted papers in the biomedical and life sciences disciplines, I have no doubt it isn't limited to just those two areas of study. (AGW, anyone?)
Some papers are retracted due to errors discovered after they've been submitted or published, a not uncommon occurrence. But it turns out in a study of 2,047 retracted papers, over three-quarters of them had been retracted due to 'misconduct'.
The article doesn't go on to say what percent of all papers published can be considered fraudulent, so at the moment we have no means to measure how widespread the problem might be.
I'd like to think it's a small problem. I really would. Yup. A small problem. But then I start thinking about Climategate versions 1.0 and 2.0 and how much corruption was involved in vetting seriously flawed papers and articles for inclusion in various publications.
Draw your own conclusions.
************Bogie would really like to share our previous 10 days of dark and wet weather with the folks out in the West still having problems with wildfires.
So would I.
A lot of end-of-summer/beginning-of-fall chores were left undone because of the wet weather conditions. (Yes, we had a few warm and sunny days in there, but not enough to dry things out sufficiently for me to complete the 'dry weather' chores.)
************Tom Bowler points us to and comments upon a WSJ piece covering the real cost of ObamaCare.
While the conclusions are not surprising to those of us who have been paying attention (and particularly those of us who actually spent the time reading this abortion of a bill), it certainly has surprised the hell out of those who are just now finding out what it's really going to cost.
************The sun peaked out late this afternoon, inducing me to fire up the Official Weekend Pundit Gas Grill and grill some burgers. It had been kind of gloomy all day so the brief period of sunshine was welcome.
While some folks will soon be putting their grills under cover until some time late next spring, we will be using ours all throughout the winter. It will require us to move it to one of the other decks because we seal off the slider leading to the main deck for the winter. (I have never come across a slider that seals all that well so we get out the heat shrink and cover it once we get into the colder weather.)
Not that we can actually use it all winter. On those days when it's below zero it can't put out enough heat to cook anything, but it can be used all the rest of the time.