Thoughts On A Sunday

We experienced a return to winter-like temperatures yesterday, with highs in the low 30's and high winds. However, today more than made up for it, with slightly warmer temps but no wind.

There's been a lot of snow melting, with some of the taller piles and snowbanks showing the most erosion. Our only wish is for a slow and steady melting of the snowpack, considering we've had the second highest snowfall on record. Too much melting too soon may cause some flooding and will raise the level of the lakes too much, which could delay the start of the boating season. (High water will cause the state Marine Patrol to declare a lakewide No Wake Zone, meaning all boats will have to go slow, leaving no wake from their passage. That makes getting anywhere on the lake take a long time.)

In any case, the warmer temps and melting snow are welcome.


While it is possible to get a bargain on a house at a foreclosure auction, it isn't as common as it once was.

I remember seeing pages and pages of foreclosure auctions during the last housing bust in the early 1990's, and saw house after house going for far less than it's actual value. The housing market didn't recover until all the foreclosed properties were sold.

Seeing how the housing market is today and the climbing number of foreclosures, I expect the same thing will be true this time around, though the bargains will be found in the more rural and smaller suburban areas.


One plus side to the weak housing market and weaker US dollars has been European bargain hunters coming to the US to buy homes.

With the U.S. dollar at its weakest level in decades, international buyers are chasing housing bargains here, eager to take advantage of their purchasing power and the declining prices in some of the best-known U.S. cities.

Against that backdrop, the Washington area is luring more than the usual crowd of diplomats. Now that the dollar is cheap, the region's appeal has broadened, enticing international business types and sophisticated investors who find comfort in the area's global reputation as a recession-proof market.

It wouldn't surprise me to find the same is true in many of America's vacations spots as well.


It looks like the Verizon-FairPoint deal has hit a snag. Loans that were supposed to have a rate of 8% turned out to have a rate of 13.125%, adding millions more to costs of FairPoint's acquisition of Verizon's landline assets in northern New England.

I've believed this deal was a bad deal for the consumers in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. This 'snag' has only strengthened that belief.


Dutch Elm disease all but wiped out elm trees in America by the early 1970's. They are slowly making a comeback in the form of the American Liberty Elm, a specially bred disease resistant species.

The elm is not the only tree species that was nearly wiped out by a foreign blight, the chestnut tree nearly suffering the same fate. Like the elm, the chestnut is being bred to improve its disease resistance.

Let's hope that one again we will be able to see a “spreading chestnut tree.”


One of the sure signs that winter is in retreat is the removal of bob houses from the ice out on the lakes. Here in New Hampshire all bob houses must be off the ice by April 1st. As of today I saw two bob houses left on Lake Winnisquam and two on Lake Winnipesaukee down at Alton Bay were still there on Saturday. If they didn't get them off the ice today I doubt they'll be able to remove them Monday.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the snow is slowly melting away, the temperatures are slowly rising, and boating season is slowly approaching.

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