10/14/2021

The Weekend Pundit's Guide To Country Living - A Post Covid Update - Part IV

Here we are, the fourth in a series of knowledge and a little advice for those contemplating a move away from suburbia or “The Big City” and out into the country as a means of distancing oneself from the Covid madness. I've covered a few subjects including such things as amenities, critters, and winter survival skills. Now it’s time to delve into some hints about small town politics, and more importantly, how not to act.

********


Once you've made the move to your new town, don't feel bashful about introducing yourselves to your neighbors, assuming they haven't already introduced themselves while they helped you unload the moving van. (This may or may not happen only because if your new place is ‘far off the beaten path’ your neighbors may not know you’ve moved in. Then again, in a small town everyone knows what’s going on.)

********


Make the acquaintance of the Town Clerk, Tax Collector (many times it's the same person), the Police Chief, the Fire Chief, and at least one of the Selectman (or Town Councilor, depending upon the form of town government). This helps grease the skids and let's them know you're not too snooty to mingle with the locals.

********


Go to the dump. Many small towns have no garbage pickup and it's up to you to haul you're own trash to the dump/transfer station/etc. Don't hire someone else to do it for you because people will think two things – you're too damn lazy or snobbish to do it yourself; and you really aren't interested in town politics/social activities/etc. The one thing you have to realize is that in many small towns 90% of all town business is conducted at the dump, not the weekly Selectman's or Budget Committee meeting. If you want to find out what's going on in town, the dump is the place to go.

********


Read the weekly local paper. This is another place to find out when and where some of the social activities will be taking place. Also take close note of the Want Ads. You'll be amazed at some of the stuff you'll find there and can save yourself a bundle of cash when you're looking for that extra refrigerator or freezer or lawn mower or whatever.

********


Go to Town Meeting. This is very important. It only happens once a year so there's no excuse for not attending. Town meeting allows you to socialize as well as help decide what the town will spend in the coming year. Your first one or two years you should just listen and observe how things are done. If you can, latch on to somebody who can explain the whole thing to you. This will drastically shorten the learning curve.

Also, read the Town Report, usually, but not always, mailed out to everyone in town well before town meeting. If not mailed out, it will be available at Town Hall and a number of other locations around town as well as prior to Town Meeting. This gives you an idea of what the townspeople voted for and against the previous year as well as a list of what folks will be voting on this year.

And one last thing when it comes to town meeting: Never ever preface a statement with the phrase “Back where I/we come from....” This is the kiss of death for a newcomer. People in your new town don't care about where you came from, at least not during a debate over some warrant article. You're here now. If you insist on this kind of social suicide, be prepared to be immediately branded a “Flatlander” and never taken seriously again. (Note: There is only one exception to this rule – The phrase might be safely used if what you're going to say is going to be used as an example of why the town shouldn't vote for something. “Back where I come from, they tried this and it was an utter disaster. It cost the town a ton of money to fix and raised taxes. Do you really want to do the same thing?”)

********


Find out which place serves the best breakfasts, then go there. Lots of people will dine out on Saturday or Sunday mornings. Ask them what place they'd recommend. You can make good contacts while schmoozing with the waitresses, cooks, or other patrons.

********


Use local contractors. Never mind that fancy construction firm, plumber, or electrician you've done business with in the past. Ask around and find somebody local. You'll find that they're just as good as the ones 'back home' and they'll probably cost less, too. They'll also be willing to come right out in an emergency. Sometimes the best places to ask is at that diner where you now have breakfast on Saturday mornings, at town hall, the dump (or these days, the transfer station), the town DPW, or at the fire station. They'll know who's good and who to avoid.

********


If you're sending your kids to the local school, make sure you get involved with the school activities, and particularly the PTA or PTO. Get to know your kid's teachers. See them more often than just during parent-teacher conferences. Go to school board meetings and the annual school district meeting. Ask questions, particularly about issues that don’t make sense or seem ‘too good to be true’. All of this has an effect on the quality of your kids’ education as well as your wallet.

********


Get rid of the Lexus/BMW/Mercedes/Jaguar/Porsche and get a more practical vehicle. Or if you're going to keep it, use it only when traveling long distance or on special occasions. SUVs are OK to a point (no Cadillac Escalade or Lincoln Navigator and the like), but pickup trucks are better. (It also makes it easier to haul your trash to the dump). A 4X4 pickup is even better, particularly during the winter as well as mud season. Make sure your ‘new’ SUV or pickup has the appropriate trailer hitch.

********


Food (particularly baked goods) is always appreciated at the local firehouse, police station, town highway department, and town hall.

********


Bean suppers and pancake breakfasts are a mainstay of country living, whether they're put on by church groups, volunteer fire departments, or organizations like the Elks, the Masons, Odd Fellows, the Knights of Columbus, or others. They are good places to meet other townspeople, get a decent meal, and support community charities or civic associations. It's what's called 'networking', only you're doing it on a much more personal level.

********


Patronize the farm stands and farmer’s markets. They have fresh produce and other products available from local sources covering everything from freshly picked fruits and vegetables, baked goods, honey, maple syrup, cider, dairy products (I like the ice cream and smoked cheeses I pick up from one of my favorite farm stands), eggs, meat, preserves, sauces, spices, and more. This supports local farms and producers and you get foods you won’t find on your local supermarket or convenience store shelves.

********


The following is something that is usually seen in northern New England, but variations exist all throughout the countryside.

Be sure to attend Old Home Day. Here in New Hampshire most towns hold what is called Old Home Day, a celebration of the town by residents, past and present. Each one is different, with some being small and others more like a full-blown carnival, and the rest being somewhere in between.

The one in my home town falls in between the two extremes, starting with a parade during late morning. Our village field is the center of activities, with food vendors – commercial food trucks and volunteer organizations - offering all kinds of food, games and amusements for kids and adults, craft booths, music, and all other kinds of offerings. The town’s historical society is usually open, giving tours of the various historical buildings in the village. The local community church holds their fundraising ‘fair’ at the same time, with more food offerings and a so-called ‘White Elephant’ sale of items donated to the church, such items running the gamut of used books, DVDs, CDs, yard implements, serviceable furniture, cookware, plates and bowls and cups and water glasses, flatware, lamps, and all the way up to jewelry.

You will meet all kinds of people, get a chance to schmooze with your fellow townsfolk, enjoy some great food, pick up some great crafts and used items, and get to know your new home town and the people living there just that much better. You will also get a chance to watch some awesome fireworks that evening, at least at the end of our town’s Old Home Day.

********


I hope this gives you a better idea of how to fit in should you make the decision to leave the Big City and move out to the country. I must remind you that what I have listed applies primarily to northern New England, but much of may also apply elsewhere. A caveat I am going to repeat as it will apply no matter where you move out in the country: Forget “back where we came from”. It doesn’t matter worth a damn. You are here now, so start acting like it.

10/13/2021

The Weekend Pundit's Guide To Country Living - A Post Covid Update - Part III

I find I must continue to impart my extensive knowledge to those considering a move to “the country.” While the advice below is aimed more towards those considering a move to rural New England (particularly northern New England), some of it pertains to almost any rural area that experiences harsh winters.

********


It gets cold around here. That means you will need to dress appropriately for the conditions. There are a number of things to keep in mind when thinking about winter apparel, one of them being this simple rule – layers. Buy your winter clothing with dressing in layers in mind. This is a far better method of staying comfortable over the cold and dark winter months. Wearing a number of lighter layers is far more efficient and comfortable than wearing one or two heavy layers of clothing. It also also allows you to add or shed clothing in order to stay comfortable as either indoor or outdoor temperatures change throughout the day.

********


Footwear should be warm and dry. Ditch the fashionable high heel knee boots with faux fur trim or your Rockport shoes and go for something that will keep your feet warm and dry. Winter fashion dictates utility and not looks. Always figure that you're going to be standing outside for quite some time even if all you're doing is making a run to local Dunkin' Donuts to pick up a dozen donuts and some coffee. You can never tell when you'll be forced to wait outside in less than great weather. If you aren't sure where to look for such things, check out L.L. Bean, Timberland, or Wolverine for some possibilities. Make sure to check out one of the local shoe stores as they will also have a proper selection to choose from.

********


Think polar fleece. Also called Polartec, polar fleece is one of the warmest materials out there. You can find everything from sweatshirts, sweaters, hats and gloves, to longjohns and jacket linings made from polar fleece. It's warm, light, and inexpensive. Some Polartec clothing even looks fashionable.

********


Wear a hat. It keeps your head warm and your body doesn't have to work quite as hard to keep it warm, which means that your hands and feet will stay warmer. Why? Because the body will send more blood to the head to maintain the proper temperature and in order to do so will decrease blood circulation to the extremities. Keep the head warm and the feet and hands stay warm.

********


Use mittens rather than gloves when you're going to be outside for any great length of time. If it's bitterly cold outside, mittens will keep your hands warmer. If you're going to be exerting yourself, then gloves will probably do just fine.

********


Flannel sheets. One of the easiest and more comfortable ways to stay warm in bed. You immediately feel comfortable and don't have to wait for them to warm up. Far better than an electric blanket and they work even without electricity.

********


Seal windows and doors to keep the cold air out and the warm air in. Newer homes usually have decent windows and doors that seal properly when closed, but older homes (like the old lakeside house where I once resided) have old wooden double-hung windows that don't seal very well and require sealing with things like Mortite or heat-shrink plastic sheeting. The outer doors also didn’t seal well and allowed air in around the jamb, and in one case, through the keyhole below the doorknob. Using edge seals took care of the air leaking around the edges. It can make the difference between staying toasty warm on even the coldest winter nights or being chilled and using a prodigious amount of fuel trying to keep the indoor temperature above freezing.

********


Use a humidifier in your house. Believe it or not, this inexpensive device can actually make you feel warmer. During the winter the air inside can get quite dry. This can make it feel colder than it actually is. By increasing the humidity inside, a given temperature feels warmer, meaning the thermostat can be left at a lower setting, saving fuel and money. If you have forced hot air heating or a wood stove, then a humidifier is an absolute must. Without it the air can get so dry you might actually suffer nose bleeds because the sinuses dry out so much.

You don't need to buy a fancy (read expensive) humidifier to do the job. I have used something as simple as a $16 Vick's warm mist vaporizer to do the job. They're readily available from places like Walmart, which means you can easily afford more than one to keep the humidity high enough in your house. Even if they only last one winter they are worth the price.

********


Keep an emergency kit in your car/truck/SUV. You never can tell when you might get stranded during a snow or ice storm. It's usually a good idea to stow a few essentials in your vehicle just in case. A good basic kit includes a shovel (collapsible is OK), food (something that doesn't require cooking and is individually wrapped), a flashlight with extra batteries, an empty container of some sort (can be used to melt snow for drinking water), a blanket or sleeping bag, and, above all, jumper cables. You might also want to consider adding a towing strap, just in case you or someone else needs a tow. I also keep a change of clothing in the truck (mostly underwear and socks, and sometimes a Polartec pullover and pair of pants).

********


Keep the gas tank full. It's usually a good idea to not let the fuel in a vehicle to go below half a tank during the winter. This serves two purposes – it prevents condensation in the gas tank if your car/truck/SUV is prone to such a thing (which can lead to a frozen fuel line), and it gives you a comfortable reserve should you get stuck out on the road in bad weather. You'll be able to run the engine from time to time to keep the interior of your vehicle warm. If you do get stuck, make sure to keep your exhaust pipe clear to prevent carbon monoxide build-up inside your vehicle (that's one use for your collapsible shovel).

********


Home heating oil, propane, and firewood. These will all become far more important to you than they have in the past, particularly in the winter months. You will also learn the true worth of these heating fuels. Deliveries of these staples can be few and far between if you don't plan ahead. And if you don't plan well enough, you'll come to know your plumber all too well (frozen and/or burst water pipes).

If you plan to use firewood to heat your home you’ll need to get to know those selling it as it isn’t quite like ordering heating oil or propane. You’ll want to get at least seasoned wood (which is not the same as dry firewood) as green wood doesn’t burn very well, with the exception of ash (which burns well whether green or dry). Some firewood takes two years to properly dry, assuming it is under cover. Others (like me) cheat and get kiln-dried firewood which burns well and clean, generating more heat and little creosote. It does cost more per cord, but is worth it if you can find it.

Something else you’ll need to know if you’re going to burn wood to heat your home is the name and number of a good chimney sweep. Your chimney needs to be serviced every year to make sure it’s clean and in good repair. Otherwise you are endangering yourself, your family, and your home.

********


Listen to the weather forecasts. If forecasters say a major snowstorm is headed your way, believe them. In New England, Nor'easters are the worst kind of snowstorm, not just because of the winds but because of the amount of snow they can drop. The blizzards of 1978, 1993, and 2003 were all Nor'easters and they dropped feet of snow in a single storm. Major snowstorms can kill, so pay attention and plan accordingly if one is forecast.

********


If you must travel during a winter storm, let someone know. Check in with them when you leave and again when you arrive at your destination. Think of it like a pilot filing a flight plan. If nothing else if you find yourself stranded you won't have to wait so long for someone to start looking for you.

********


Get a two-way radio. Whether it is a CB radio or you go the route of getting your amateur radio license and installing a ham radio, you 'll find that quite often it will let you call for assistance when your cell phone has no signal. (In more rural areas the lack of a cell signal is a given.)

********


Snow tires, your winter friend. Despite having your car/truck/SUV shod with all-season radials, you'll find that a good set of snow tires is worth the investment if you live in a part of the country where annual snowfall is measured in feet rather than inches. All-season radials are a compromise at best. Snow tires just plain work better in the snow. They can mean the difference between making it home safely or ending up in a ditch waiting for someone to (hopefully) pull you out before you become a corpsicle. If you are driving a pickup, consider a good set of all-terrain (AT) tires. They serve well for off-roading, i.e. dirt roads as well as driving through heavy snow. You can also leave them on year round if you so desire. Just be aware there is likely a gas mileage penalty for having your truck shod with them. Also, consider investing in a good set of tire chains if you regularly receive heavy snowfall or are prone to ice storms. (No, they aren't cheap, but even if you only have to use them once you'll believe they were worth the cost.)

********


The following I covered in a previous post, but it bears repeating:

During a heavy snow storm there is no such thing as a short trip to the store. If you know a storm is coming, get everything you need well beforehand. A trip that normally takes 10 or 15 minutes can take up to 2 hours if the roads are covered with a foot or more of snow. Of course that assumes you don't get stuck somewhere along the way to or from the store. If you do get stuck you might be lucky and they'll find your frozen corpse before the spring thaw.

****


I think that's enough when it comes to surviving with winters in “the country.” While some of the above may seem overblown, I and my family and friends have all experienced one or more of the scenarios outlined above at one point or another.

10/12/2021

The Weekend Pundit's Guide To Country Living - A Post Covid Update - Part II

OK, I covered some of the initial factors one should consider before moving from The Big City to the less thickly settled suburban, semi-rural, and rural areas in my first post. If you are still thinking of making the move, there are some more things you need to be aware of that will help make the transition from ‘cityfolk’ or someone ‘from away’ a bit easier and may help prevent making mistakes that will make your new neighbors question your motivations for moving to their town.

As such, I figured I'd add some advice about surviving the severe weather we can see around here. This is for those folks “from away” thinking about moving to the country and living in a little town. And just to make things clear, by “from away” I mean not just people living in the big cities, but those also living in the more heavily settled suburbs surrounding the big cities.

Not that folks living in cities or more heavily populated suburban areas don’t experience severe weather. The differences are how folks out in the “countryside” prepare and react as compared to those in the cities. Some of that deals with what is available and in what quantities when weather tries to kill us.

As before, much of this comes from previous posts I’ve made about this topic. I have added/changed some things that are germane during the ongoing, never-ending Covid ‘crisis’.

********


During severe weather it is quite common to lose electricity and sometimes telephone, cable, Internet, and cell service. The farther away you live from 'civilization', the more likely you are to lose power. Heavy thunderstorms, ice storms, snow storms, or heavy winds can knock tree limbs down, taking power lines with them. It's a common occurrence out here. Eventually you'll learn to live with it and be prepared for it. Or you won't.

Be aware that many homes out in the country have wells rather than municipal water. Wells use pumps and pumps require electricity. Remember this phrase: “Generators and gas caddies are your best friends.”

********


During a heavy snow storm there is no such thing as a short trip to the store. If you know a storm is coming, get everything you need well beforehand. A trip that normally takes 10 or 15 minutes can take up to 2 hours if the roads are covered with a foot or more of snow. Of course that assumes you don't get stuck somewhere along the way to or from the store. (That also assumes the store is open.) If you do get stuck you might be lucky and they'll find your frozen corpse before the spring thaw.

********


Regardless of the season, four wheel drive doesn't mean you'll still be able to get where you're going. Too many folks have found out the hard way that all four wheel drive means is getting stuck deeper in the woods. Just because four wheel drive vehicles have more traction for getting moving, particularly in the snow, they don't stop any better than two wheel drive cars or trucks because all vehicles have four wheel braking. Inertia is a bitch.

********


A flooded road, isn't. If you can't see the surface of the road ahead of you because a river or stream has overrun its banks and washed over the road, there's no guarantee that the road is still there. If you like the role of a crash test dummy, go right ahead and give it a try. But don't be surprised if the road disappears from beneath your wheels and you find that you're now a boat, and a quickly sinking one at that.

********


This is dated since the number of homes with actual landlines has plummeted since the original posting some years ago, but this advice still applies:

Cordless phones are nothing but an ornament if the electricity goes out. Have at least one wired phone somewhere in your house. If you live in a town fortunate enough to still have cell service, don't count on it being available if regular phone lines are knocked out by bad weather. Everyone will be trying to use their cellphones the same time you are and the cell site will be overloaded. That's assuming, of course, that the cell site is still functioning and hasn't been knocked out by the bad weather. Some additional (updated) advice: Unless it is absolutely necessary, text rather than call someone you're trying to reach. Texting takes a lot less bandwidth than a voice call and places less of a burden on the local cell site. Your message is more likely to get through.

********


Don't be bashful about asking a neighbor for help. The corollary to that is don't be bashful about offering a neighbor help. Sometimes they have knowledge, skills, or tools that you don't have and vice versa. You're all in this together.

********


Chainsaws are your friend. They have multiple uses and come in handy of you have to clear a fallen tree from across your driveway, car, or roof of your house. Just make sure you know how to use them and wear the proper protective gear – safety glasses, earplugs or muffs, leather gloves, shin guards, and a hard hat. They also come in handy when you're cutting up your soon-to-be firewood. In a pinch they can also be used to help dispose of evidence....

********


There are also tools you'll need for winter. One is a snow shovel. There are many types, so you'll have to shop around to find the one that works best for you.

Another tool, nice to have, but not always necessary, is a snowblower. If you have a long driveway or large parking area in front of your garage, the last thing you'll want to do is shovel it all by hand. A snowblower does the trick and is far cheaper than a snow plow. Of course you could always hire someone else to plow your driveway, but it's not as much fun as using your toy..uh..snowblower and you're entirely dependent on someone else's schedule.

Last, but not least, the one tool you'll need to buy, beg, borrow, or steal is a roof rake. It's not something you use to remove leaves from the roof, but for raking snow.

“Now why would anyone want to rake snow?” you might ask. The last thing anyone wants is snow piling up on the roof. It's heavy and can get heavier if there is any rain or freezing rain after a snowfall. You don't want to find out how strong your roof really is by testing it to destruction. And then, there's something called ice dams.

Ice dams form as the snow on your roof melts. As the water from the melted snow reaches the edge of the roof it can refreeze, forming a ridge of ice, just like a dam across a river. As more snow melts and starts to back up behind the ice dam, the melt water can work its way under roof shingles and start leaking inside your house. It's can be expensive to fix and is damned inconvenient (no pun intended....well actually, yes it was). Roof rakes can remove the snow from your roof and help prevent roof collapse or ice dams. Roof rakes are far safer than going up to shovel the snow off your roof . Trust me, I know from first hand experience. I've got the two plates and twelve screws in my ankle and lower leg to prove it.

********


And so ends another episode of The Weekend Pundit's Guide To Country Living, Post Covid edition.

10/11/2021

The Weekend Pundit's Guide To Country Living - A Post-Covid Update - Part I

A Note: While this series of posts aren’t as timely as they should have been, they still have information for those looking to move out from the cities as well as those who already made the move but still haven’t quite figured out how things work out here.

*****


Seeing the changes that have occurred over the past two years due to Covid-19 and how it has influenced people to move away from the cities and out to the less settled suburban, semi-rural, and rural areas, i.e. “The Countryside”, I figured I should go through some of my previous posts about country living and write an update to shift the focus to those issues people thinking about a move to the country should seriously consider before doing so.

Considering how many people have already abandoned the cities and larger suburbs as a means of getting away from Covid, and particularly in light of so many of those same folks being able to work remotely, I thought I should update my previous efforts to let them know what they’ll really be getting themselves into before they decide to make the move. The last thing those of us living out here want is folks moving here with the wrong idea of what it’s like living in a small town, and then have them trying to turn our towns into clones of the very places they spent their time and money to get away from, something that will not endear them to their neighbors. It has always been an issue when folks from away move into town and the first thing they do is try to make it more like “Back where we come from”. As many of us have asked those folks in the past, “If ‘Back where you come from’ was all so friggin’ great, then why did you come here?”

While a lot of what I’ll be covering pertains to New Hampshire, much of it also applies to Maine, Vermont, western Massachusetts, and Upstate New York (‘Upstate’ defines as any part of New York that isn’t part of the Metro New York Area and Albany corridor). You're on your own when it comes to other rural states, particularly those down south. Each area of the country has its own rules when it comes to country living, but there are also some universal rules that apply no matter which state we’re talking about.

There are a lot of topics about 'country living' I can cover, many of which I've written about before. Since the focus of this post is a bit different – helping someone decide whether or not they will move out of the city and to the country rather than helping those who have already made the move – some of the subjects I’ll be covering will have a different take than seen in my original posts. These are not in an specific order, but I am presenting them in a (hopefully) more useful order to those contemplating a move.

Let’s get started, shall we?

********


Get used to the idea of dirt roads. Most small towns have 'em and many have more than a few. Don't expect the town to pave them just for your convenience. Most times it's cheaper to leave dirt roads as dirt roads. The town will grade them a couple of times a year to keep them from becoming too bumpy or rutted. Two towns in which I resided in the past had their share of dirt roads, with one having about a 80/20 mix of paved and dirt roads and the other about a 50/50 mix. In both cases my home was on a dirt road and that was fine with me.

********


Get used to the idea of dark. You won't necessarily find streetlights along roads in many small towns except near the town center and at some of the intersections. It can get dark, and I mean really dark at night. When you look up you'll be amazed at the number of stars you can see. We try to keep it that way. The last thing your neighbors need or want is you lighting up your property like Fenway Park or Yankee Stadium. It will just annoy them and spoil the view of the night sky.

The folks who own one of the houses just behind The Gulch are from away and tend to leave their outside lights on all night, even when they are back home in Massachusetts. (The lights are on a timer. They also have a burglar alarm system.) They say it's because it will help keep burglars away, but I have to explain to them that most of those kinds of miscreants don't break into someone's home at night. They'll do it in broad daylight when nobody is home because it's easier to see and choose what stuff they're going to steal. Breaking in at night is likely to get a burglar shot by the homeowner.

As a side note, I checked with our police department to find out how many residential burglaries take place in our town and found that last year there were 7. The argument can be made that Covid affected the level of property crimes since the year before (2019), there were 16 burglaries. Still, when only one home in a neighborhood has its lights on all night, it signals to anyone paying attention that no one is home. (If you walk through our neighborhood after 11PM on any night, you will see that the outside lights on just about every home are off. There is one exception, and it is an acceptable exception as the homeowner works 2nd shift and rolls in from work around midnight. Once they’re home their outdoor light goes off.

********


There are farms in small towns and they sometimes produce interesting smells and sounds, sometimes around the clock. They also operate sunrise to sunset, and sometimes longer. Get used to them. They've been here a lot longer than you and this is their livelihood. They won't take kindly to a newcomer trying to tell them what they should and should not be doing. If you can’t handle that then don’t get a home anywhere near a farm.

********


Sometimes there are logging operations going on in some towns out in the country. If so you'll see very big trucks loaded down with lots of logs. Get out of their way. With a full load they aren't going to stop very quickly and unless you're also driving a logging truck any argument over who has the right of way will end with them winning and you losing, big time.

Forestry out in the country isn’t any different than farming. Trees are crops and are harvested now and again. If that’s something you can’t handle, or worse, something you are against, reconsider any thoughts about moving out to the country because you aren’t going to be happy and you’re going to piss off a lot of your neighbors.

********


Hunting is a fact of life. If you're a bunny-hugger and think hunting is wrong, keep it to yourself. If you can’t, then maybe living out in the country isn’t such a good idea. If you think you’ll be able to change people’s minds about it, you’re wrong.

Hunting is necessary to keep deer, moose, bear, turkeys, and other wildlife populations in check. Without hunting many species would starve to death since their natural predators are no longer in the area in any number to keep the populations in check. One could make the case for restoring the natural predators, but then you have to worry about the wolves, mountain lions, and coyotes coming after you, your kids, and your pets, and the bears breaking into your home looking for food

********


Cell phone service- In your dreams. While cell service is better than it was when I first covered this topic years ago, it can still be spotty in some areas, and totally non-existent in others. It's something I warn folks about when they go out boating on Lake Winnipesaukee because there are a lot of areas on the lake where there is still no cell service. The same is true for folks who are hiking the trails in New Hampshire.

If you’re expecting 5G service, you’ll be even more disappointed. While most of the countryside will get it eventually, coverage won’t be any better than the present 4G service. It also won’t be the very high-speed service you get in the cities or large suburbs. None of that will be deployed out in the semi-rural and rural areas because the cell companies won’t see a return on their investment.

So if you need to be connected via your smart phone 24/7 you may want to reconsider a move to the countryside.

********


Internet service. Service availability and data speeds will vary greatly. In some cases service may not be available from ‘wired’ terrestrial providers at any price, so your only option will be either fixed wireless or satellite.

As with 5G service, fixed wireless will be an option only here and there. Satellite ISPs are another option, but be aware they have their own issues including lower data rates, higher costs, higher latency, and some also have data caps. (Starlink, a system owned by SpaceX, is coming up to speed and will be much faster and more reliable than existing satellite-based services. It is not yet fully deployed, but it’s getting there.)

In some of the less thickly settled areas wired service is likely to be DSL. This is particularly true if there is no cable service in that area. Yes, there are upgrades taking place in a lot of the rural and semi-rural areas, funded by Washington as part of the response to Covid-19. This money is being used to fund the extension of CATV systems and Fiber To The Home by telephone companies, cable companies, and some electrical utilities. But those build-outs are not happening quickly and not everywhere. (My town has received some of those funds, some of which will be used to fund replacement of old copper DSL lines which serve some of the islands and shoreline neighborhoods on the Big Lake and other homes which are presently unserved/underserved because of franchise contract limitations.)

If you need reliable high-speed Internet service then you will need to determine if the town or towns you are thinking of moving to have the level of service you need. If you can’t be sure it will be available, then perhaps you should reconsider your move away from The Big City.

********


Food delivery, in this case pizza, Chinese, Thai, Mexican food deliveries – Don't count on it. In some cases the nearest ethnic food restaurants may be a few towns away. Sometimes the local general/village store makes pizza for pickup, but don’t count on delivery.

If you can’t live without Uber Eats, Grub Hub, Door Dash or some of the other food delivery services, then living out here in the sticks isn’t going to be for you.

********


Guns. In a lot of states, guns are common in the countryside. Here in New Hampshire (as well as Maine and Vermont) a lot of people own guns. A good percentage of those also carry them regularly. If the thought of average citizens carrying guns in public makes you nervous, then it would be best for you to consider staying put.

********


Wells and septic systems are all you'll find in most country towns. Many don't have a municipal water supply or sewage treatment plant. Your well is your water supply and the septic system takes care of your waste water. You will also need to become familiar the following terms: leach field, distribution box, Rid-X, submersible pump, well head, water softener, dry well, and pressure tank.

If any of this bothers you or if you feel municipal water and sewer are the only way to go, then you’ll definitely want to reconsider relocating from the city.

Where I live there are some private water systems for some neighborhoods, though no sewers. There is a sewer system that surrounds the Big Lake because septic systems for homes on the shore were polluting the lake. Federal funds by way of the Clean Water Act paid for sewer system and treatment plant. Once you get away from the shoreline it’s all septic systems.

********


Critters are not the ‘cute and fuzzy’ animals you see on TV. While you will see some in the city environs, there are animals out in the countryside you may have not encountered before. Some are annoying. Some are destructive. Some are outright dangerous and can injure or kill people.

If the idea of animals like skunks, raccoons, snakes, weasels, fisher cats, coyotes, coy-wolves, mountain lions, wolves, and bears make you nervous, then you might want to rethink your move from the city. Not that they’re everywhere, wandering just outside your door waiting to pounce, but they are out there.

Of those I’ve listed, I have seen all of them except mountain lions and wolves here in my town. But I have seen trail cam photos showing there are mountain lion here. And since we also have coy-wolves – a coyote/wolf hybrid – it means there are also wolves around here somewhere, too.

Don’t expect the Fish and Game Department to do anything about them just so you feel safe. They’re here to protect the animals, not you.

If this is a problem for you, then you will definitely want to reconsider moving out to the countryside.

********


If you still want to make the move from the Big/Medium/Smallish City, at least you’ll be doing so without blinders, understanding at least some of what you’re getting yourself into. However, there are still things you need know in order to make a go of it. These ‘things’ are something I will cover in follow-on posts.

10/10/2021

Thoughts On A Sunday

The foliage is just starting to change here at the lake, with maybe 10% of the leaves having changed here on the southern shore of Lake Winnipesaukee. Up north of the White Mountains the fall foliage is at peak and the leaf peepers are evident. Cars, SUVs, and trucks with out-of-state plates from states we don’t usually see are here in large numbers. The restaurants are busy again, kind of a last shot at tourist dollars before some of them close for the season, and others will hit the pre-winter lull before winter tourism starts.

The Official Weekend Pundit Lake Winnipesaukee Runabout is still in the water and a brief trip out on to the lake showed how much of the foliage has changed. The difference in the color change between the north and south side of the lake is quite noticeable, with the south shore being quite a bit behind the north.

While Saturday started sunny, the clouds moved in an, believe it or not, sometimes a cloudy day shows off the brilliant fall colors better than a sunny day. That was certainly evident yesterday!

==+==


It seems the Left Coast is now feeling the effects of vaccine mandates, with more workers refusing to be vaccinated and either leaving their jobs, being suspended, or being fired, leading to more businesses being negatively affected, with some having to cut back on services.

Let’s start in Washington state, where, notwithstanding the Left’s police defunding efforts, Seattle’s crazy citizens still depend on cops to try to save them from the hot-and-cold-running fentanyl-addled bums lining the sidewalks.

Fully one-third of the officers, nearly 300 cops, haven’t given their radical overlords their medical records proving their fealty. Come October 18 you’ll be lucky to get a cop to investigate one of the record number murders in the Emerald City.

--snip--

Those beloved Washington state ferries traverse a watery highway known as the Puget Sound, but they’ve hit choppier-than-usual waters.

Due to “crew shortages,” more than 30 ferry trips from the San Juan Islands were canceled on Thursday alone. Repairs have sidelined three large ferries already, but, suddenly, Coast Guard-approved crew have disappeared in advance of the October 18 deadline for getting a shot or losing a job.

It gets worse.

Teachers and substitute teachers are in short supply in Oregon due to their mandates. An anesthesiologist at the UCLA Med Center was literally escorted to the curb by bouncers...er...security guards because he refused to be vaccinated.

In at least one case, the draconian mandate has killed an otherwise healthy mother as her lack of vaccination was locking her out of more activities with her children. She got the shot and her reaction to it killed her.

I doubt the Progressive Powers That Be even know her name.

So let’s go to the Leftist tote board: We’re losing cops, teachers, classroom helpers, mothers, and those “frontline hero” doctors over Covid shot mandates. They have either had the disease, don’t need the shot because of their low risk, can’t have it for medical reasons, or refuse it for religious reasons.

Those used to be good reasons.

The Great Reset, The Grand Purge, Hammer Time has begun in earnest.

If they want to drive even more people from the Left Coast, this is one way to do it.

==+==


As Lincoln Brown tells us, the Left views everything and everyone as a commodity.

It also means they see everything and everyone as disposable, expendable...including you.

==+==


One thing the Left Coast Progressives have succeeded in doing is driving Elon Musk out of California.
First, SpaceX moved to Texas. Now, he’s packing up Tesla’s HQ and moving it to Texas as well.

The announcement that Tesla is moving its headquarters to Texas may not be a surprise, but it confirms trends that California’s progressive gentry simply refuse to acknowledge. Tesla, among the diminishing number of large manufacturers based in the state, joins a growing exodus that includes such tech giants as Oracle and Hewlett Packard, financial firms like Charles Schwab, and a host of high-end engineering and business service companies.

While I don’t think we’ll see Facebook, Apple, and a host of the other ‘woke’ corporations pack up and leave, I have no doubt some of the defense/aerospace and electronics companies will eventually depart as well, knowing the Progressives will target them eventually, be it by heavy taxation, heavy regulation, or outright seizure of assets.

==+==


That bastion of Progressive power and group-think - Portland, Oregon – is on track to have its most violent year in modern history. To anyone paying attention, this outcome was not unexpected.

The comparison to last year is especially worrisome because the number of murders had already spiked 83% last year according to FBI data. Another conspicuous aspect of the murder rate is that it is disproportionally impacting black residents. Portland is one of the whitest cities in the US (nearly 75%). The black population only makes up about 6% of the city.

So in a city where Black Lives Matter protests were a constant last year, the city now has a murder rate for black residents that is 8 times the murder rate for white residents.

Portland was also one of the cities that jumped in to defund the police last year. In particular, the city got rid of the Gun Violence Reduction Team which activists had argued was racist. That team was specifically focused on reducing gang violence by interceding before it could get started. And as the murder rate continued to rise, the Mayor had second thoughts and announced he was reforming a nearly identical team under a different name.

Make it easy for criminals to commit criminal acts and crime will go up. Stop prosecuting criminal acts and crime will go up. It’s a no-brainer. Yet it seems the Progressive Powers That Be cannot make the connection. It must be remembered that Portland isn’t the only place seeing this problem, it’s merely farther ahead of places like Seattle, San Francisco, Minneapolis, and...well, the list is getting longer every day.

==+==


And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the fall colors are emerging, the leaf peepers are appearing, and Monday is coming again...but it’s a holiday.

10/09/2021

Points To Ponder - How Would An American Divorce Of Red From Blue Work?

The following was inspired by this post on GraniteGrok.

Hearing about two states filing legislation to secede from the Union – Texas and New Hampshire – and polls showing a large percentage of Trump and Biden voters thinking the US should be broken into two nations because of the ideological schism fomented by those who don’t believe in America or its ideals, has gotten me to pondering just how such a ‘divorce’ might take place. (Disclaimer – I am not for such a split at this time. I think it would cause far more problems than it would solve. This is more of a thought experiment to ponder how it might take place and the aftermath of such a split.)

While some picture the nation splitting along state lines, I have seen suggestions and made some myself about one possible scenario that would preserve most of the United States without a scenario like the one envisioned by Kurt Schlicter in his People’s Republic series: let the Blue nation(s) split to become city-states.

First, we need to look at this, a map of the 2020 electoral results by county:


There are those blue areas surround by the sea of red, but there are only two states show blue from border to border - Massachusetts and Hawaii. Even true-blue Vermont didn’t go 100% blue during the 2020 elections. Now compare it to the map of 2020 electoral results by state:


The difference is startling. The blue country would be much larger, trapping many in the red counties in hostile territory and likely subject to persecution, privation, ‘re-education’ i.e. slavery , imprisonment, and/or execution.

Of the two, the first map seems fairer for division of the nation rather than the second. Or if they go by state, there would need to be a referendum in each state as to which nation to be part of. But there would still be those in opposing counties who would be trapped in a nation inimical to their political/ideological beliefs, so what would be done to accommodate them?

Would they be left under the power of a government with which they disagree and is hostile to them?

Would they be allowed to relocate to the nation that matches their beliefs?

Would there a be a ‘swap’ of properties?

How would an imbalance of the population swapping between the two nations be handled, assuming it was an issue? An example: If 5 million wanted to head to the Progressive City-States of America and 30 million wanted to head to the United States, how would the exchange be made? Would there be some kind of financial exchange to balance things out? After all, some folks might have to abandon property – homes, businesses, other real property, possessions – since it’s likely there would be no one to buy much of it, and if they did they’d offer cents on the dollar. Those cents would need to be converted to a new currency once they reach their destination. On the other side there might be people vying to purchase homes, businesses, other real property, and some personal possessions.

What about corporations? Would they be allowed to relocate or would they have to remain where they are? If they have divisions in multiple states, some in each nation, how would they be run? Would the corporations be required to divest operations in the other nation, or would such corporations be required to split into two separate corporations? Or would the new Progressive City-States of America simply seize the corporations as “Property of the State” and the possessions of those corporations outside the PCSA would become separate entities in the USA? Or would the PCSA demand all assets from those divisions located in the USA be surrendered to the PCSA? (This is likely...and they would refuse to relinquish the assets of corporations based in the USA. This is how socialists think.)

What about military assets? How would those be divided?

What about defense contractors? Would we want the PCSA selling military technology to our adversaries?

What about military alliances? Would agreements be made between the two nations to avoid certain alliances? After all I doubt the USA would want military forces from nations like China or Russia anywhere in North America. Somehow I doubt the PCSA would be inclined to sign any such agreement as they are ideological ‘brethren’ of the Chinese and Russians.

So let’s say the split takes place along the lines of what I described occurs. What happens in the aftermath?

Will there be free travel between the two much as we see between the US and Canada, or will entry be highly restricted in both directions like what existed between East and West Germany back in the bad old days of the Cold War? Will visas be required and will the number allowed to cross between the USA and PCSA be limited? How many will be allowed to cross the border on any particular day?

Security will certainly be a concern.

Since the PCSA will be made up of people who see everyone from the USA as unwoke deplorable KKK racist Jesus freaks, it is highly likely anyone visiting the PCSA from the USA will be under constant surveillance by their version of the KGB. Anyone visiting the USA from the PCSA would also likely be under surveillance as they could act as intelligence agents working to undermine the USA. It would be just like the bad old days of the Cold War, but with people who are delusional and not particularly rational. (At least the Soviets weren’t delusional, just paranoid.)

Since the PCSA will be based more on the city-state, they won’t have the a fraction of the land area of the USA. One has to wonder just what they’ll have in the way of natural resources and farmland.

Knowing the PCSA’s love of renewables and hatred of fossil fuels, how much of their electricity will have to be imported from the USA to meet their energy demands? Will they care where that ‘foreign’ electricity comes from, meaning hydro, nuclear, or natural gas? Or will they demand all such electricity come from green sources which will limit the electricity available for import? (This assumes they won’t consider nuclear as green energy.) Will they be hypocritical just like they are now and be more than happy to import ‘dirty’ energy, at least for their elite enclaves?

The same kind of questions will have to be asked about raw materials for manufacturing, about food, about fuel, about a whole host of goods that they may not be able to produce in enough quantities for themselves. California has been a agricultural powerhouse in the past, but they have been working hard to reduce the amount of land under cultivation, in most cases by reducing or eliminating the water supply to otherwise fertile farm land. Will that trend continue, with more water going to the cities?

What about the society? Will it continue to stratify as we’ve been seeing in metro California, portions of coastal Oregon, and northwestern Washington, with the middle class being destroyed, leaving only the wealthy and the poor? Will it devolve as foreseen by Kurt Schlicter? Will social credit ratings rule with all kinds of credits for ethnicity, gender, and a whole host of other social parameters which could mean white heterosexual Christian males would have the lowest social credit ratings...unless they are woke, wealthy, and connected? Would meritocracy be dead?

Then we have to ask the questions about USA and how it would fare after the divorce.

I would like to think many of the laws and regulations that have strangled the rights of people, municipalities, states, and businesses alike would be repealed. Government agencies that should never have come to be, like the Department of Education to name but one of many, should be abolished as they serve no useful purpose.

Since it is highly likely Washington DC would become a repurposed Blue city-state surrounded by many blue counties in Virginia, the USA would need a new capitol. I would like to think the USA would do something Donald Trump had started with his making the Bureau of Land Management move out of The Swamp and closer to the lands it managed – dispersing the national government across the nation. The reasons for the federal government to be clustered in one location no longer exists, particularly in light of modern telecommunications. It also has a side effect that it would severely weaken or even eliminate the so-called “Old Boy Network”, something that has been a thorn in the side of the people for a long time.

I can foresee some changes to the US Constitution, one of them being the repeal of the 17th Amendment with one change that would undo the reason the amendment came to be, that change being that state legislatures must elect their US Senators. There would be no wiggle room. As it is Senators today are beholden to those who helped them get elected and not to their home states. The change would remind them who it is they are supposed to represent.

Another change? An amendment that would overturn Reynolds vs. Sims and Baker vs. Carr, two SCOTUS decisions that allowed a tyranny of the majority to develop at state level. A perfect example of this tyranny is New York, where the Metro New York City area dominates the entire rest of the state, making those outside that area nothing but barely tolerated serfs. The two decisions have certainly contributed to the creation of schism in this nation. Many of the nominal Blue states would not have become Blue states if it hadn’t been for those two Supreme Court decisions.

Then there’s Congress. Today serving in Congress can be a career. Instead, it should be an honor, and a temporary one at that. I think term limits are a good idea. We already have them for the President. They exist for other elective offices at the state and local level, so why not at Congressional level?

What other changes should the USA make?

I’m thinking energy – gas, oil, hydro, and nuclear. Particularly nuclear.

I would like to think we would abandon the ‘renewables are the only acceptable means of generating electricity’ nonsense and focus on Generation III and IV nuclear power production without having to deal with emotion-driven anti-nuclear sentiments. I would also want the nation to build a hardened electrical grid, EMP and CME resistant and hack-proof. The same with a telecommunications network.

Drilling and fracking should continue, particularly for natural gas production. Oil will still be produced even if not for fuel…though I don’t see any viable alternatives for gas, diesel, jet fuel, etc. coming about any time soon. (Oil is used to create all kinds of non-fuel products that are not easily produced using other feed-stocks.)

What about transportation systems? Would we do the socialist thing and push mass transit of the type we know doesn’t work? Of course not. I would like to think we’d have learned the lessons of that past and not push people to live in big cities that would require mass transit of the types seen in our larger metropolitan areas.

Then there’s money. I believe the USA would not go down the path of doing away with cash, would not have our financial institutions tracking every transaction we make as Biden has been pushing and, I have no doubt, would be the case in the PCSA. Gold, silver, platinum, and copper coins would be legal tender as would bills.

Social Security would be different, with taxpayer payments going into actual retirement accounts. Whether it went into annuities, stocks, gold, silver, mutual funds, or some combination would be entirely up to the taxpayer. I don’t know if it would be mandatory, voluntary, or some combination where some small percentage would go to pay disability – SSDI – and the rest invested where the taxpayer wanted, be it just to Social Security or splitting it between there and private retirement/investment accounts. Or if they didn’t want to use Social Security as their retirement fund, they would still pay the SSDI portion and invest their money on their own. Today’s revenues would no longer be used to pay next year’s payouts as has been done for decades, a system that is dependent upon an ever increasing number of taxpayers paying into the system to support those collecting benefits, one that will collapse once that pool of taxpayers stops growing, or grows slower than the number of recipients.

One thing the USA would need to do is ensure the sanctity of the election process, require proper voter registration - no same-day registration, no motor-voter registration – and no ‘drive by’ registrations by campaign workers or out-of-state college students, meaning one must establish residency before they can register to vote. Oh, and voter ID would be required, the same ID required to cash checks, pick up prescriptions, open a bank account, or collect benefits.

*****


These are just a few thoughts on how things might play out. They are by no means comprehensive, complete, or fully thought out as these were just off the top of my head conjectures. It’s merely a place to start, to think what might be if such a divorce were to take place.

10/03/2021

Thoughts On A Sunday

I picked up the trusty RAM 1500 4x4 pickup from the body shop this past Thursday, it having gone in to deal with some spots of rust (caused by chipped paint) and deep scratches in the paint job. I didn’t want the pickup to rust out from under me like my old F150. Mechanically it had been in excellent shape, but the rust finally killed it, as the cost of fixing the rust was more than the F150 was worth. So it made sense to ‘keep ahead’ of any rust on the body work and to have the under-body and frame coated just prior to every winter on the trusty RAM 1500 4x4. Hence its recent trip to the body shop.

I did ask about the scratches and rust spots in the pickup bed, but the body shop owner said it wouldn’t be worth the price of his shop doing something I could handle with some rust converter and Rustoleum® for a fraction of the cost, particularly since my pickup is a working truck and not just a ‘purdy’ gentlemen’s toy. I could get it lined, but it is cheaper to use the Rustoleum® once a year or so and let’s me keep an eye on any developing rust. It means I will also be more likely to be able to keep this pickup for at least another 10 years, particularly since I average putting on about 8,000 miles per year on it. (Last year I only put on about 4,700 miles due to Covid since most of the places I would normally go were either closed or had severely restricted access, and I was working from home most of the time, so my commuting time and mileage was a fraction of normal.)

Considering the prices of both new and used vehicles due to a chip shortage (which was caused by Covid shutdowns and other supply chain disruptions), keeping my existing vehicle makes sense. When used vehicles can go for prices approaching that of new vehicles, you know the market is screwy. I’ve had a few dealers approach me about selling the trusty RAM 1500 4x4, but why would I want to sell something that is paid for, is in great shape, and meets my needs more than adequately?

==+==


Seen over at Chris Muir’s DayByDay cartoon in the comments:

Bottom Line: If a politician doesn’t completely and unequivocally trust you and your right to keep and bear arms, you can never trust them.

Similar to the character Jacob Marley in A Christmas Carol: Every time someone votes for a democrat, they forge a link in the chains of American slavery.

I think the first point doesn’t go far enough. If a politician doesn’t completely and unequivocally trust you and your rights as enumerated by the Constitution, you can never trust them. So many of them have come to believe we only exist to elect them and then to do whatever they tell us to do, forgetting that they work for us and not the other way around. If we have to constantly remind them of this, then they shouldn’t be representing us in the first place.

I understand that being a politician, being an elected official means one has to be able to perform a balancing act in the circus that is local, county, state, or federal politics. It isn’t easy to do that, or worse, one forgets where they should be focusing their efforts and who it is they’re supposed to be working for.

It seems to me that the higher the office one occupies, the harder it is to remember the people they represent and the easier it is to be seduced by the lure of power. Power corrupts. It always has.

==+==


This morning’s weekly shopping trip to Walmart showed me more empty shelves. While the cat and dog food aisles were now fully stocked, there was no distilled or spring water to be had at all. The frozen food aisles were even more sparsely stocked this week as compared to last week.

The items that are in short supply tends to be different from store to store. Our local supermarket, just a couple of hundred feet down the road from our Walmart, has plenty of distilled and spring water. But they don’t have nearly the selection of yogurt or cream cheese gracing Walmart’s shelves. It’s hit or miss.

And so things continue in post-Covid America.

==+==


This is known by anyone with a modicum of intelligence: Go soft on crime and you get more crime.

However, too many Democrats across the nation seem to have forgotten this, or worse, chosen to ignore this truth. This has led to a crime wave which seems to baffle the very people responsible for the increase in crime.

The numbers are in, and the debate is over. Our nation is in the midst of one of the worst crime waves in American history.

New nationwide data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation reveals that last year the number of murders rose by 29 percent, drug overdose deaths increased 30 percent, and the number of gang-related killings skyrocketed more than 55 percent. To put this carnage into context, a 29 percent increase in murder isn’t simply bad, it’s the worst single-year increase in American history. (Emphasis added – ed.) Similarly, the drugs flooding into our communities aren’t only deadly, they are the deadliest drugs ever sold. For the first time ever, over 100,000 Americans lost their lives to drugs and homicide in 2020.

The number of assaults rose by 12 percent last year and criminal assailants committed nearly 75,000 more violent crimes than they committed in 2019. Although the total number of property crimes fell, the total cost of those crimes rose by nearly $2 billion. Recorded cases of arson also rose by nearly 35 percent, a trend that is likely associated with last summer’s BLM riots, which were the most destructive in American history.

In Democrat-dominated cities, violent crime rose far more than the national average. Last year, murder rose 50 percent in Chicago, 44 percent in New York, and 38 percent in Los Angeles. The murder rate in Baltimore was higher than El Salvador’s or Guatemala’s — nations from which citizens can claim asylum purely based on gang violence and murder.

This cannot be repeated enough: If you go soft on crime you will get more crime.

It’s too bad that so many of the Democrats leading our cities can’t seem (or don’t want) to grasp this simple concept.

(H/T Instapundit)

==+==


Sharryl Attkisson asks the right question: Why the mask?

President Biden is wearing a mask outside. He walks up to press corps, takes down the mask, and talks to them.

Please explain the purpose of the mask.

The answers she gets are certainly illuminating. Read The Whole Thing...including the comments.

==+==


Related to the above, one of the side effects of the Covid con game has been training a new generation of snitches which has had the effect of “destroying due process and normal social relations”. An example:

Earlier this month, a student at one of the country’s most eminent law schools received an email announcing that a fellow classmate had anonymously lodged a complaint against him. The allegation: that he had violated University policy by engaging in prohibited behaviors, such as momentarily lowering his face mask to take a drink of water during a 90-minute lecture.

“Anonymously lodged a complaint” sounds like just another version of the sexual assault accusations made on college campuses against male college students. We are entering the age of the ‘stukachi’, something the Progressives have been working on as part of their efforts to create the New Soviet Union. No totalitarian regime can survive without its snitches.

That the anonymous denouncement of a student for taking a drink of water at lecture at a prestigious law school has occurred tells me Progressives have succeeded on that level.

==+==


And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the weather has not been cooperating, meaning time out on the lake had to be postponed, and where Monday is already intruding upon my thoughts.