Thoughts On A Sunday

Despite the calendar telling me it's Spring, the weather is behaving more like it's winter. While we haven't had any heavy snow over the past couple of weeks, the winds and wind chills have been more like the dead of winter rather than the beginning of spring. There have been a few days here and there that were springlike, but they were quickly supplanted by a return to winter weather.

At this point I think I can safely say just about everyone is tired of winter, particularly the folks up in Stewartstown, New Hampshire, where over 19 feet of snow have fallen so far. That's 228 inches of snow. So far.

And I thought we'd gotten a lot of snow.


How many of you out there have access to Verizon's FiOS fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) service or the equivalent? Other then some communities in the southern part and seacoast area of New Hampshire, none of us in the rest of the state are ever likely to have such access.

With the sale of Verizon's wireline business to FairPoint Communications, any chance of FTTH service throughout the rest of New Hampshire disappeared. FairPoint has already said they will not be deploying FTTH. Instead they will deploy DSL, a copper technology that won't have the bandwidth or upgrade capability of fiber.

While the cable companies are offering high-speed Internet connectivity, it has nowhere the bandwidth of fiber, and coverage isn't universal because they aren't required to connect everyone within their service area.

What to do? Maybe it's something we should do ourselves.


This bit of good news couldn't have happened to a nicer bunch of folks:

The inhabitants of the Falkland Islands are preparing for a South Atlantic oil rush which they hope will make them among the richest people in the world.

Let's hope the Argentinians don't get any ideas about 'reclaiming' the Malvinas, as they call the Falklands. Their first attempt to do so in 1982 ended in disaster. I have no reason to doubt another attempt would end the same way, particularly since the British Armed Forces have considerable combat experience (Afghanistan and Iraq).

(H/T Right Thinking)


I've been using Linux on my old Dell laptop for six months now and the experience has been good for the most part. About the only thing the laptop needs is some more RAM to speed things up when I've got more than a few apps running. Other than that I've got no complaints.

The 900MHz Athlon tower is still running well though I made a change in the version of Linux running on the machine. Originally I was running Ubuntu, but made the change to Kubuntu to experience a different desktop environment. Ubuntu uses the Gnome desktop environment, while Kubuntu uses the KDE desktop. Gnome is very plain and simple. KDE has more functionality. Other than the desktop environment the two versions of Linux are identical.

For the laptop Ubuntu/Gnome is just fine. All it's used for is word processing and web browsing. Kubuntu is great for extended functionality, particularly when I've used WINE to run some Windows programs under Linux.

All in all I have to say it's been worth it.


I have been a proponent of more efficient lighting, particularly when it comes to street lighting. While high pressure sodium lamps have been the technology of choice for years, they aren't nearly as efficient as the newer technologies such as LEDs. But now there's an even more energy efficient lighting technology out there that blows high brightness LEDs away: plasma light bulbs.

The plasma bulbs are small, about the size of a quarter, and put out about 150 lumens per watt of electricity. At present LEDs put out about 75 to 100 lumens per watt, though work is ongoing to increase their efficiency. The plasma bulbs emit full spectrum light, just like the sun. LEDs tend to be a cooler white, though that may or may not be an issue. I can see where these technologies, while competing, may compliment each other. The main thing is that they throw a lot more light per watt than existing technologies.


One question making the rounds among the boating community here in the Lake Winnipesaukee area:

Will high gas prices, expected to be $4.50 per gallon or higher at the lake marinas, cause less boat traffic out on the lake this summer?

Seeing how much boat traffic was down last summer when marina gas prices were hovering around $3.50 per gallon, I'd have to guess it will be even quieter out on the lake this summer.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the weather still vacillates between winter and spring, gas prices are rising, and where we still have two months worth of firewood left.

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