Thoughts On A Sunday

We were fortunate to receive our delivery of firewood early, with two cords being dropped off in front of the garage at The Manse early Friday afternoon. Delivery was originally scheduled for this coming Tuesday, but a couple of cancellations moved it up a few days and that was a good thing for two reasons.

The first – we had all of one or two days worth of firewood left from last year's stack so the early delivery meant we wouldn't have to use the propane furnace to heat The Manse.

The second – we've got snow coming starting some time late today and more forecast for Tuesday. That would have meant having to bring snow-covered firewood into the garage which in turn can lead to problems with pieces of firewood being frozen together in the stack.

I spent a good portion of the day on Saturday moving the firewood inside the garage and getting a good start on getting it stacked against the back wall. (I could have stacked it as I brought it in but that would have slowed things down considerably. My main reason for getting it moved inside was to get it under cover before the snow arrived. Once inside I could take my time stacking it properly.)


Speaking of firewood, this year we didn't get ours from Farmer Andy due to his lack of supply.

His focus in regards to firewood was feeding the wood-fired furnace he uses to heat his greenhouses. As such he didn't have enough to supply firewood to his usual customers. But he's already taken steps to ensure a good supply next winter.

This year we bought a couple of cords from a local supplier that kiln-dries their firewood, meaning that as long as they have a supply of green wood they can provide dried firewood all during the heating season. It costs more - about $35 to $50 more per cord – but you know it's dry and will burn well. There's only one downside to kiln-dried firewood that I had forgotten: it splinters easily.

I noticed the splintering while moving the wood into the garage. A tossed piece of firewood would hit the interior pile or the floor and it would split off pieces in a manner you normally don't see with naturally dried wood. It could be the forced drying causes the wood to fracture inside due to the interior moisture creating pressure that forces the wood fibers apart. Once the wood experiences a sharp blow that fracture opens up, splitting off smaller pieces. I have a lot more kindling-sized wood than I did when I started moving it.


National Review makes the case for eliminating tax deductions for state/local taxes.

As I have stated before, should Congress eliminate this deduction the howling heard from the high-tax states (blue states all) will be deafening. After all they'll no longer receive tax relief 'subsidies' paid for by the residents of more frugal states (and mostly by those with lower income).


Glenn Reynolds opines that gun-free zones provide a false sense of security. Instead they provide a free-fire zone for madmen bent on killing as many people as they can because they know no one there will be able to stop them. Call it yet another example of the Law of Unintended Consequences.


Ann Althouse follows up in regards to the Newtown shootings with a link to a book by Clayton Cramer that shows that before deinstitutionlization the mentally ill were less likely to be arrested for committing crimes. In the past it was far easier to have someone involuntarily committed to a mental institution if they could be shown to be a danger to themselves or others. Since deinstitutionization this has become more difficult. Too often the mentally ill are now committed only after they have committed a crime.


Talk about a double standard!

No surprise there, really.

(H/T GraniteGrok)


The New England Patriots are playing the San Francisco 49'ers in Foxborough in a few minutes, a game that some commentators have said might be a preview to the Super Bowl.

I don't know about that. I just want the Patriots to win this one and keep the momentum going.


The Allstate blog asks whether 200,000 miles on a car is the new 100,000 miles? Having owned a number of cars and trucks since the mid-1970's I have to say that's a pretty fair assessment.

It used to be that once a car hit 100,000 miles on the odometer it was pretty much ready for the boneyard. These days a car with 100,000 miles on it is barely broken in. Some manufacturers even offer 100,000 mile, 10 year warranties.

I've owned a couple of cars that went more than 200,000 miles, one of them being a 1998 Dodge Daytona Shelby Z. Its 2.2-liter turbocharged 4 cylinder engine ate the #3 piston at 256,000 miles. I ended up selling the car to a friend and the two of us rebuilt the motor. He gave the car to his daughter and she drove it another 100,000 miles before it was totaled in a traffic accident. (She wasn't driving. The car was parked on the street and it was hit by a drunk driver.)

Cars are better designed, better built, and better maintained than the used to be, so 200,000 miles has become the new 'standard', and even then I think we'll see them last a lot longer than that.

(H/T Maggie's Farm)


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the snow has been falling since early this afternoon, it's feeling more like Christmas, and where almost all of the firewood here has been stacked.