Thoughts On A Sunday

Even with yesterday's snow fall it feels as if winter is losing its grip. More dirty snow is being exposed as the sun and warmer temperatures are starting to have an effect.

That suits me just fine.

Frankly, I'm tired of winter. BeezleBub and I have moved more snow than we care to think about, have gone through three times the amount of gas for the snowblower than we have over the previous two winters combined, and shoveled off the roof of the garage – something we've never had to do in the past. The biggest problem this winter was finding space to put the snow we removing. Hopefully we won't have to do much more of that before the spring weather finally takes hold.


Part of yesterday was spent making arrangements for The Boat's new home port. With the money we'll save by making the move we'll be able to buy gasoline to actually go out on the lake this summer.

I have no doubts we'll see a repeat of last summer here at Lake Winnipesaukee, with little traffic out on the lake during July but a normal amount during August. There might even be less traffic this coming summer considering most folks around here expect gas to cost $4.50/gallon or more at the marinas. Goodness knows high gas prices kept traffic down on the lake for most of the summer.


It was the second round of town meetings here in New Hampshire this past week, with many towns voting on their expenditures for the coming fiscal year.

A lot of towns held the line on spending, some cut spending, and the voters in at least one town spent like drunken sailors.

Some towns held traditional town meetings, where town residents gather at town hall or the local school to discuss and vote on warrant articles that cover everything from the town budget to zoning changes to the addition or deletion or changes of town services. There is also a second town meeting, usually called the school district meeting, where the school budget and education related warrant articles are debated and voted upon.

Other towns run a modified version of town meeting where the discussion and debate portion of the meeting is held in February and the voting portion of the meeting is held in March. Many larger towns have switched to this type of town meeting, referred to as SB2, or Senate Bill 2, the legislation that authorized this type of town meeting.

Regardless of the type of town meeting each town uses, there's one thing in common to both of them that holds true: “If you don't attend or vote at town meeting then you have no right to complain about your taxes.”


One other season tends to coincide with town meeting is sugaring season, aka making maple syrup. The cold nights and warm days get the sap flowing in the sugar maples, so the sugarers tap the maples, setting buckets or plastic tubing to collect sap. From there the sap goes to evaporator to boil away the excess water, which concentrates the natural sugars in the sap. It takes 40 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of maple syrup, so there's a lot of boiling to reduce the sap to the proper consistency.

The WP Dad-in-Law sugars every year, though his operation isn't big like many of the others in New England. He produces enough maple syrup for the family and maybe just a little bit more to give away as gifts.


One downside to increasing oil prices many people overlook is the effect they have on food prices. As the cost of growing food (fuel for tractors and base chemicals for fertilizer), harvesting food (again, fuel for tractors and harvesters), and transporting the food (fuel for trucks, freight trains, etc), is it any surprise the cost of food has gone up?


The story of how Immigration and Customs Enforcement let a detainee die from a treatable cancer may be a good illustration of what awaits us if we ever end up with a national health care system like that of Canada or the UK.

Just like the detainee in ICE custody, the national health officials will deny you treatment because there have been no tests. And there will be no tests because until tests have been performed you aren't ill. It's a perfect Catch-22, something we call all look forward to if the government takes over health care.


All of the networks have been advertising the return of new series episodes now that the writers are back to work. Some series won't be returning (their ratings weren't good enough). Some shouldn't return despite their ratings because they're plain god-awful. Others won't be returning that should.

But how often do the networks listen to the viewers when it comes to TV shows? Once in a blue moon? CBS tends to be the worst, canceling shows that have better ratings than some shows they keep on the air, Joan of Arcadia being one such example. After receiving Emmy nominations over two seasons, CBS canceled the series. They've also been quick to pull the plug on new series before giving it any kind of chance. When CBS debuted The Brotherhood of Poland, New Hampshire, they gave it four weeks to get a large following. They killed it before they aired the fifth episode. The series might have had a shot if it hadn't been up against perennial hit Law & Order.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where winter is slowly losing it's grip, thoughts of boating have shoved aside thoughts of skiing or sledding, and where there's still too damn much snow on the ground.

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