Unlike the last storm, the snow wasn't the light, fluffy snow but rather the heavier kind that ended up with the consistency of mashed potatoes. It made shoveling a real workout with each shovel full feel like it weighed 50 pounds. That in itself was bad enough.
The Official Weekend Pundit Snowblower decided that it was time to break down.
While BeezleBub manged to clear enough of the driveway leading to The Manse, there wasn't quite enough room to maneuver. That meant that we had to break out the shovels and the push plow. We cleared just enough snow to lay down some snowmelt, which allowed us to get into and out of the driveway. That left us enough time to dig into and repair the snowblower.
Fortunately the snowblower only required two new drive belts (we already had them on hand, knowing that a broken belt was always a possibility) and a realignment of the auger pulleys due to a loosened attachment bolt. A little less than an hour later and the snowblower was back in action.
I was amazed at how easily the snowblower threw that heavy, doughy snow. But it did the job and a little over an hour later we were done and the sun melted off the leavings, taking the driveway down to dry pavement.
Thank goodness for small favors.
Glenn Reynolds linked to a New York Times article about ethanol and US/Brazil cooperation. Unfortunately I think the US is headed in the wrong direction, backing corn-based ethanol production rather than sugar cane and switch grass based ethanol.
Corn based ethanol is a losing proposition because it takes just as much or more fossil fuel to produce it as it replaces. Corn is a high maintenance crop. Sugar cane and switch grass are not. Neither requires fertilizer or pesticides while corn requires both.
Senator Barack Obama says that legislation that will “make it easier to for workers to start unions” will pass in the Senate.
Fortunately President Bush has already said he will veto the legislation if it reaches his desk.
At least the President understands that this bill is measure that will give the unions a pass to use intimidation tactics and other means that would get anybody else prosecuted under RICO. It is a bill designed to fix a problem that is of organized labor's own making.
Wizbang also has more on the story, with plenty of commentary.
As I wrote in last week's Thoughts On A Sunday, the selling of fear is a big business. John Stossel covered it on the February 23 edition of 20/20 and expounds upon what he calls the Fear-Industrial Complex in his Town Hall column this week.
Consider vaccines. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. says the mercury in them has "poisoned an entire generation! It's causing IQ loss, mental retardation, speech delay, language delay, ADD, hyperactivity!"
The news media love this kind of story. They repeatedly invite Barbara Loe Fisher, who heads the Vaccine "Information" Center, to tell parents about vaccine risks. She warns of "seizures, brain inflammation, collapse shock, and of course the most serious effect is death."
Causing autism is the biggest accusation. "Before kids received so many vaccines," says Fisher, "you didn't see autistic children. ... We can't build the special-education classrooms fast enough now to accommodate all these sick and disabled children."
The problem is that all of these accusations are untrue, as proven by years of clinical research. But that doesn't stop the fear mongers or the media that loves them. To hear some of them talk you'd think that we're living in the worst times since the Black Plague swept through Europe.
And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where politics is one of our favorite sports, politicians squirm at the thought of facing us, and where the 2008 Presidential campaign has been going on since November 2004.