1/14/2018

Thoughts On A Sunday

New England weather can be fickle, particularly during winter. In less than 24 hours we went from temperatures in the upper 50's to mid-teens in less than 24 hours. It brought the January thaw to a halt.

A good portion of the snow cover has melted away, between the warm temperatures and heavy rain. Mostly it's the snow banks that we still see. At least the thaw didn't greatly affect the ice on top of the lake, meaning it's highly likely the annual Ice Fishing Derby will take place as scheduled.

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I did watch the AFC Divisional game between the Tennessee Titans and the New England Patriots. Listening to some of the commentators the Patriots were outgunned by a much stronger Titans defense and offense.

The Patriots won 35-14.

The first quarter pretty much belonged to the Titans as they managed to score one touchdown and prevented the Patriots from reaching the end zone. But the next 3 quarters belonged to the Patriots as they scored 35 unanswered points before the Titans managed to score their second touchdown towards the end of the fourth quarter.

Now we wait the outcome of today's game between Jacksonville and Pittsburgh to see who the Patriots play next week.

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By way of Wirecutter comes this story from Michigan where an active duty Marine has been charged with multiple felonies after protecting his family and home from and armed intruder. Ironic considering the miscreant was wounded by the Marine after he had fired into the house after trying to kick in the door, and then released after posting a $500 bond on an illegal weapons charge. The Marine, one Joey Nelson, has been charged with 5 felonies and is being held on a $150,000 cash bond.

WTF?

But wait, it gets worse!

They denied him access to his lawyer, chose to ignore a judge's writ of habeas corpus to release him, and acted as if the law didn't apply to them.

Apparently the police department in Westland, Michigan, where this all took place, has a history of abuse and incompetence. These are the types of guys that give the rest of our nation's police officers a bad name.

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Want to see how some towns and their school work their budgeting? Then take a look at one brief view of our schools budget from the viewpoint of the budget committee, a group of our townsfolk elected to review, modify, and recommend/not recommend certain budget items.

The attendance at our three schools has been declining for years, dropping ~13% over a period of 8 years, but the school budget keeps climbing.

The school board and the superintendent's office have told us that the proposed school budget is just under 1% smaller than the budget approved for the current school year, but they're wrong. It's actually up almost 1% from the budget approved by the town's voters. It's only 1% down from what they've actually spent, meaning they've spent more than the amount approved by the voters last year. That's not the same thing.

While I understand that not all spending is under their control, an example of that being special education expenditures, a lot of the rest is. Special education is funded by the federal and state governments, not directly by the taxpayers in this town. That still doesn't explain the expected expenditures until the end of the present school year being 2% above what was approved by the voters.

I always find it interesting how a budget increase can be portrayed as a budget decrease even though it really isn't.

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I find it interesting that the only person who says President Trump labeled a number of countries as s**tholes is Senator Dick Durbin (D), someone not exactly known for his veracity. That it appears that no one else in the meeting where Trump allegedly uttered that term actually heard him say that means that either they are all lying and Durbin is telling the truth, or that everyone else is telling the truth and Durbin is lying.

Of the two, I am more inclined to believe that it is the latter and not the former.

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Antifa better be careful what they wish for, because if they get it I can guarantee that not long after that they'll wish that the very same folks they want to incinerate were there to protect them.

They really believe that somehow they'll be the ones in control if they get their wish. Instead they'll be the second round of victims once the rest of us decide that “they just plain need killin'”, to use a Southern aphorism.

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The latest thing on the list of things that are racist?

Not wanting to repeat the mistakes of the past.

Really? Hmm, if that goes forth then I guess I am a racist and that will give me power the non-racists won't have, that being knowing what works and what doesn't.

To think that folks actually believe this drek. If nothing else it shows just how mentally deranged and dangerous these idiots have become. It's time to put them into mental institutions to make sure they don't hurt themselves or others due to their mental state.

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Yup, it must have been Donald Trump that forced that employee at Hawaii's Emergency Management Agency to push the wrong button which sent out the false missile attack warning.

Is there nothing the president can't do?

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And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the January thaw has ended, things are freezing up again, and where the level in the propane tank is dangerously low.

1/07/2018

Thoughts On A Sunday

Here it is, the end of the first week of 2018 and I am glad of it.

Between the heavy snows and sub-zero temperatures (that's not counting windchill), the coming respite over this week will be gladly accepted. It will give me time to finish clearing out the snow from around The Manse, particularly from the decks and the front entry way. With rain forecast for Friday I have to make sure the snow has been removed in order to keep the weight of the rain-laden snow from causing damage to the decks. Fortunately I should be able to finish that task tomorrow after work.

I believe this coming week can be classified as the January Thaw, a period of a few days to a week where the temperatures rise well above freezing. This allows ice and snow to melt off of the roads and people to wearing much lighter outdoor attire.

We'll take what we can get before we plunge back into the deep freeze...which we will.

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This merely proves the lunatics are running the asylum.

A Yale psychiatrist wants to have the Democrats to restrain and force President Trump to have a medical exam. How absolutely Soviet of them!

Considering most of her colleagues thinks she's a disgrace and willfully ignoring the Goldwater rule, I think we can dismiss her as nothing more than yet another delusional Progressive suffering from TDS. Tie this in with Michael Wolff's book where all he offers is accusations about Trumps mental health while not a sign of any alleged afflictions have been seen in public, and it's all beginning to sound like a smear campaign writ larger than we've ever seen before. I wonder how much Soros money has been funneled to the DNC for this effort?

The louder the Democrats and their Progressive masters screech, the more they are showing us it is they who need to look at their own mental health.

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Now that BeezleBub has adopted a dog from one of our local animal shelters, I think he needs to consider showing him how to do this.

Considering BeezleBub works at the local ski resort grooming trails having his dog know how to snowboard might be a good thing. But I wonder if he'll have to buy him a lift ticket?

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As Skip Murphy asks, “Could my favorite movie of all time be made today?”

Unfortunately for everyone, the answer is 'no'.

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First, Trump fixes global warming, then he does something for African Americans that The Won wasn't able to do in 8 years.

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Another thing I have to say about President Trump is that he's managed to shift the attentions of liberals away from the things that matter and towards himself. That certainly gives him and Congress a chance to get the things done that need to be done all while the Democrats are focusing on his non-legislative efforts.

It could be called political prestidigitation where he gets the Democrats and the rest of the Progressives to focus on the shiny thing in one hand while he takes care of the business of getting America back on track with the other.

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I am trying Mozilla's latest version of the Firefox browser, Quantum (version 57 of Firefox).

One thing I can say for sure about it is that it is many times faster than many of the previous versions I've used. The one thing that almost had me abandoning Firefox altogether was its slowing response/rendering and increasingly higher resource loading, at times using up to 75% of the CPU for certain video or graphics intense websites. Quantum isn't the resource hog previous version of Firefox had been.

I wonder if this reboot of Firefox is an attempt to regain market share lost when the founder/creator of Mozilla/Firefox was booted from the organization because of a perceived politically incorrect faux pas.

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Cap'n Teach points us to the increasing chasm between California and the rest of America.

It appears California's state government has come to believe it can ignore federal law when it suits it, even in areas where the Constitution says the federal government has supremacy. One example is immigration. Only the federal government has control of immigration, but California has decided it can safely ignore federal law in that regard. Of course the feds retaliated by making sure that numerous 'sanctuary cities' have seen their federal law enforcement dollars dry up as a result. And now that the state has declared itself a sanctuary state, I expect the feds will be seeing about withholding even more federal funds from the rogue state. I also expect the state government and its congressional delegation will be screeching about that and how 'unfair' the feds are being.

Too bad. So sad.

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Oh, yeah! Show Me The Money!

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And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the grip of arctic temperatures is giving way, melting of snow and ice on road surfaces will commence, and where we're still digging out from the Nor'easter that pummeled the East Coast.

1/06/2018

New England's Energy Shortsightedness - Who Will Pay The Price?

I sit here in my office at The Manse, which is situated near the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee in central New Hampshire, looking at the outside temperature and being glad that I am indoors. It's a balmy -4ºF (-20ºC) at 1PM, with windchills at -25ºF (-32ºC) or worse. My trips outside have been limited by these conditions. I am reluctant to go out unless I have a darned good reason, with clearing the driveway of the snowdrifts in a little bit being one of them. That's something I'll be attending to shortly in order to make sure Deb can make it up the driveway in order to get to work.

While temperatures this low this early in the winter is unusual, it isn't unheard of. Tying them together with the big honking Nor'easter we experienced has merely made those well below average temperatures even more daunting because it's very difficult to spend time clearing away the snow. And that brings us to another problem – energy.

The one thing that has had anyone in the know here in New England to worry has been energy, specifically natural gas and electricity. At one point New England had many nuclear power plants which provided a large percentage of its electricity. A number of those have now closed. The same is true of a number of coal and oil-fired power plants. What has replaced some of that now off-line capacity has been natural gas-fired dual cycle power plants. They burn cleaner than either coal or oil plants and they can throttle up and down easily, something that nuclear plants can't do. But they do have one problem: they require natural gas in order to operate. That's the crux of New England's energy problem.

New England doesn't have the pipeline capacity to provide enough natural gas to feed both power plants and provide heat to residences and businesses. Due to bitterly cold winters like this one has been so far, ISO New England has stated that there may be issues with being able to meet the electrical demand because there may not be enough natural gas to go around. With a number of nuclear plants now in the process of being decommissioned and coal and oil plants also being dismantled, switching to anything other than natural gas is problematic. The natural gas supply situation is such that quite often natural has to be imported from Yemen on huge LNG tankers at a huge cost. That's ironic considering the US is now the largest producer of natural gas on the planet.

What would be the answer to solving this particular problem? That's simple: build more gas pipelines into New England. It solves a number of problems, drops the cost of both electricity and heating, and ensures the lights and heat will remain on during extremely cold weather like we've been experiencing since Christmas. Makes sense, right?

Too bad that virtue-signaling pseudo-greens and renewable energy con-men have decided we don't need no stinkin' pipelines. In fact they've fought tooth and nail to keep two major natural gas pipelines from being built, all in the name of 'saving' the Earth. That it helps the virtue-signalers feel good about themselves for preventing something they have no desire to understand while at the same time helping the renewable energy confidence men reap a huge payoff because they can prevent their competition from solving their supply problems has absolutely nothing to do with it.

Yeah. Right.

New England was warned that it's pipeline constraints could cause problems and now it's happening.

“During extremely cold weather, natural gas pipeline constraints limit the availability of fuel for natural-gas-fired power plants,” the grid operator [ISO New England] noted.

That’s exactly what is happening right now.

Unrelenting cold since late December has caused energy demand to spike, pushing up prices and straining supplies. New England power companies are struggling to keep up with demand.

New England’s current energy woes are the result of years of state and federal policies aimed at closing coal and oil-fired power plants, largely as part of the region’s effort to fight global warming.

In 2000, New England got about 18 percent of its electricity from coal plants. Now, the region gets around 3 percent — though it’s jumped to 6 percent in the recent cold snap.

Most of the shuttered capacity has been replaced by natural gas, but pipeline capacity has not kept up with demands from power plants.

--snip--

Gas supply constraints have made New England the the world’s most expensive power market. Some power plants have taken to burning oil to generate power, but supplies are running low. Federal air quality regulations are also keeping power plants from burning more fuel.

Who will be the first to complain should a power shortage cause ISO New England to resort to rolling blackouts? The very same people who did everything in their power to make sure natural gas supplies were strangled. The very same people who have worked so hard to kill nuclear power. The very same people who are working hard to make sure that transmission lines that would bring inexpensive and renewable hydropower from Canada will never be built.

Perhaps they should be the ones to bear the brunt of their closeminded shortsightedness by being the first to get their power cut and last to get it restored should rolling blackouts come to be. Let them bear the burden of what they've wrought.