Thoughts On A Sunday

We had very warm weather last week, enough to make my eye The Boat and wonder when we'd be able to pull the storage cover off of her and get her ready to go back into the water. The end of the week brought a Nor'easter and a quick return to winter.

BeezleBub and I were out mid-morning yesterday after the snow/sleet mix had stopped falling, using the Official Weekend Pundit Snow Blower to remove the 8 inches of snow the storm had dumped on us. Hopefully this will be the last time we'll have to fire it up this year. (Yeah. Right.)

I don't expect that the snow will last all that long considering we were already seeing a lot of melting as we ran errands yesterday afternoon. And I'm still hoping to pull the storage cover off sometime next weekend.....


Raven, a fellow New Hampshire resident, is also a fellow manual transmission enthusiast.

I have never really liked automatic transmissions, and of all of the vehicles I have owned over the past 35 years, only one was an automatic. There were others owned by my parents that I drove when I was a teenager that were automatics, but even then there was only one of those that I drove on a semi-regular basis. Otherwise I drove the old 1968 Dodge ¾-ton pickup we had back then.

I'll be doing my darnedest to make sure that the next vehicle we buy will have a manual transmission.


Jay Solo brings back memories of the early days of personal computing. Do any of you out there remember the Commodore PET/VIC-20/64/128/Amiga, the Radio Shack TRS-80, TRS-80 Model 100, or the Color Computer (the Co-Co)?


Blogmeister Pam and her husband joined the Gathering of Eagles on the Mall in Washington DC yesterday as a counter to the anti-war protesters holding their rally. Pam heard that the Gathering of Eagles drew more people than the anti-American ANSWER rally. Somehow I am not surprised.

Here in New Hampshire, the anti-war rally scheduled to be held in front of the State House in Concord drew one lonely and confused 'peace' activist while our own little Gathering of Eagles, which included the Blue Star and Gold Star Mothers, drew a much larger group about 40 times that size to counter-protest. I guess the lack of attendance by the anti-war group either showed their inability to deal with New Hampshire weather or their preference for green beer to help celebrate Saint Patrick's Day. Or maybe there aren't enough anti-war protesters in this state to go around.

Michelle Malkin was there as well (no surprise) and she has photos, commentary, and plenty of links, too.


Is Europe doomed?

(H/T Instapundit)


It's no surprise to me that foreclosures on homes with sub-prime mortgages have climbed precipitously now that the introductory interest rates expired and were reset to some figure well above the prime, in many cases raising the monthly payments beyond the ability of many of these mortgage holders to pay. Many of those in trouble can't sell their homes because the real estate market is soft and very few are buying. Some borrowers are upside down on their mortgages, owing more than their homes are worth.

This is very much like a repeat of the real estate bust of the late 1980's/early 1990's, the only difference being that there's no recession to fuel an even deeper real estate market crash. Back then lenders gave mortgages to unqualified borrowers and, even worse, gave mortgages with terms that were so odious that they left the mortgage holders as deep in debt at the end of the mortgage as at the beginning. Such financial shenanigans caused a number of banks and other lending institutions into receivership. A lot of bank officials ended up in prison for predatory or fraudulent lending practices.

The fallout from the present day sub-prime lending isn't nearly as severe as it was back then, but a few of the larger financial organizations are in trouble, ordered to cease writing loans. Some are on the edge of bankruptcy. Mutual funds tied to these sub-prime lenders will also feel the pain.

One would think that the banks and mortgage companies would have learned the lessons of the real estate market bust of the late 80's, but it has become quite obvious that far too many of them didn't and repeated the mistakes from back then.

I guess George Santayana was right.


Bogie tells us that many of the residents in her section of the small rural New Hampshire town where she resides don't seem to hang around for very long. Personally I think many of those moving in to her town “from away” don't understand what country living is really all about. After a year or two they've had enough and end up leaving and moving closer to what they consider 'civilization'.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where winter has tried to stick around just a little longer, “Frost Heave” signs have made their appearance, and where we are one day closer to Ice Out.

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