Thoughts On A Sunday

We’ve finally made it into May, surviving yet another month in Covid America.

I finally received my Covid shot, seeing as they opened my demographic – Misanthropic Surly Curmudgeons 50 Years of Age or Older – for vaccination. I got the my first shot this past Monday...and it kicked my ass.

An hour after receiving it I had a pounding headache and was feeling feverish. The next day the headache was just a minor annoyance, but the fever was still there and I was feeling achy. By Thursday the headache was gone, but the fever and achy bits were still there. Those were finally gone Saturday morning, but I still felt a bit ‘off’.

Hopefully I won’t have to deal with this after my second injection. (I had wanted to get the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, but it wasn’t available at the time, so I got what they had on hand.)

It seems most folks having a reaction to the vaccine either have it after one or the other injections, but not both. Hopefully this means my second injection later this month will not have the side effects I experienced from the first.


One of the questions being asked at gun shops across the nation is “Where are all the guns?”

If you walk into any gun store these days, you are likely to hear this question uttered across the counter. With more than five million law-abiding citizens making their first purchase, it is no wonder that we are seeing a shortage of just about every type of firearm on the market. The follow-up questions, of course, are “Why's it taking so long to recover?” and “What is being done to replenish the market?”

The article goes on to question a number of manufacturer’s to find out their plans for meeting the skyrocketing demand, and for the most part those they quizzed had all cranked up production to meet the unprecedented demand, adding production staff, adding overtime, and going to seven-day-per-week production schedules.

The ammo shortage seems to be easing with more common ammo (.22LR, .223, 5.56mm, and 9mm) becoming readily available with other calibers following, though not everywhere at the same time. Once more firearms make their way back into shops there will be ammo available for them.


Roger Simon induces me to ask a very important question: What would Richard Pryor have thought about Critical Race Theory?

I think I can answer that, knowing how he skewered everybody with his comedy. He would have told the purveyors of CRT “You ofay motherf**kers are out of your minds!”


Considering my son, BeezleBub, is a farmer, this doesn’t surprise me at all.

Farmers Believe In Climate Change But Don’t Think Humans Are The Cause, New Poll Shows.

A new poll shows farmers overwhelmingly believe climate change is real and will create significant weather problems but do not think it’s caused by human actions.

The latest annual Farm and Rural Life Poll, conducted by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and the Iowa State Center for Survey Statistics and Methodology, indicates 80% of farmers believe climate change is occurring, and more than half are concerned with its impact on their operations.

The study also indicates only 18% believe human activities are causing climate change. That comes as there is an increasing focus from the Biden administration on agriculture’s role in mitigating the problem.

As BeezleBub’s boss Farmer Andy once asked, “How do these climate idiots explain away the Dust Bowl in the 1930’s? According to them it should have returned 20 years ago because of people.”

His biggest concern seems to be colder temperatures he thinks may be on their way with the extended solar minimum we are experiencing. If higher CO2 levels help offset them, and helps his crops grow while using less water, he’s all for it.


I don’t know how much of a problem this is elsewhere, but it seems restaurants here in New Hampshire are having ongoing problems hiring staff, not just for the summer, but in general. I asked one of our seasonal neighbors here in The Gulch who lives down near Cape Cod if this was a problem down their way and they answered that it was, but they didn’t know to what extent.

Restaurants across New Hampshire are having difficulty finding waitstaff and kitchen staff as temperatures outside climb.


Somers said people may not be joining the food service workforce because they are collecting unemployment or have found different jobs.

Great N.H. Restaurants CEO Tom Boucher said the phenomenon is causing headaches for those looking to hire.

"This labor crisis — and yes, I'm calling it a crisis — could be worse than the pandemic for restaurants," Boucher said.

Some restaurants are offering incentives to potential new hires and to their existing employees as a means of retaining them.

This isn’t a new problem as I remember one local restaurant decided to close the doors at one of its two locations two summers ago because they couldn’t hire enough staff to operate properly. (Some of this had to be laid at the feet of the tighter restrictions on temporary worker visas that had a disproportionate effect on the hospitality industry in light of the extremely low unemployment rate in the US and particularly here in New Hampshire.)


It isn’t just restaurant workers that are in short supply for the up coming summer season.

Lumber and building materials are also in short supply, driving up prices and affecting construction this summer. (Have you bought any 2x4’s or plywood recently? If you have, then you know what I’m talking about.)

In New Hampshire, new boats and boat slips are in short supply, with demand even higher than last summer, and last summer’s demand was higher than anyone has ever seen. Some boats ordered last summer are just being delivered now. I’ve had lots of people asking me if I knew of any available boat slips anywhere along the big lake and I’ve had to tell them ‘no’. Even dry rack facilities are maxed out. (Dry rack means the boats are stored out of the water and only put in when the owner wants to use it. It’s also called ‘valet boating’, and while better than having to trailer a boat every time, there are disadvantages including restricted times of access.)

Housing is in short supply, with prices in my town up over 20% and the number of homes available for sale in the single digits. When they do go on the market there is a ‘feeding frenzy’ of showings over a couple of days, and by the third day someone makes an offer the sellers can’t refuse, in most cases in cash. (What makes it worse is that a more than small percentage of the buyers have no interest in living in the homes they buy, but renting them out through websites like AirBnB or VRBO, something that further decreases the supply of homes and drives up the prices.)

Another thing in short supply? Chicken. Apparently the supply of chicken is down for a number of reasons including high demand via takeout orders (lots of comfort Buffalo Wings?) and transport issues.

One thing in short supply that I wouldn’t have expected – pool chlorine.

First it was toilet paper. Next, it was disinfectants, followed by face masks and other personal protective equipment. Then, it was a whole array of different items, ranging from yeast to condoms to kettlebells to jigsaw puzzles to aluminum cans, not that all of these items are necessarily used together at the same time. Now the latest shortage that the U.S. is facing is, let’s pool our guesses together: chlorine.


The latest shortage is chlorine, which can come in the form of tablets, powders, and liquids. Chlorination may sound like something you do when you put a crown or tiara on someone’s head. But instead it is the process of putting the right amounts of chlorine in a swimming pool, a hot tub, a jacuzzi, or basically any similar container of water where your hot bod may go. Chlorine is important because swimming pools and similar receptacles can otherwise be filled with algae and dangerous microbes like cryptosporidium, legionella, and brain-eating amoeba. In general, it’s a good idea to stay from anything that has the words “brain-eating” such as brain-eating politician, brain-eating cat, or brain-eating pizza.

The shortage appears to be the result of two issues. One is that the pandemic has seemed to boost demand for chlorine.

The other issue is supply. As reported by Liz Hampton and Jessica Resnick-Aultright for Reuters last August, the Biolab Lake Charles facility in Louisiana erupted into flames after Hurricane Laura hit. This led to the shutdown of one of the major chlorine suppliers until the spring 2022, leaving only two current manufacturers of chlorine tablets in the U.S.: Occidental Petroleum and Clearon Corporation.

All of this cycles back to Covid-19. It cures all kinds of diseases like cancer, heart disease, liver disease, kidney disease, COPD and a whole list of other terminal diseases. It has created shortages of personnel, building materials, boats, boat slips, and housing. And now we can add shortages of chlorine to that list.


And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where food workers/boats/lumber/chicken/chlorine is in short supply, where the rains have been easing what’s left of our drought, and where I am one day closer to launching my boat for the summer.