We are also likely to see our first official heat wave (three consecutive days of temperatures 90ºF or above) which started today and is supposed to last through Tuesday. The hot and humid weather is likely to generate thunderstorms each day, a not atypical effect of this type of weather. It will mean keeping an eye on the sky, particularly while being out on the lake. Being caught out on the lake in a thunderstorm is no fun. (I can speak from experience about this.)
I am still surprised to see how many boats are still in storage at some of the local boatyards/marinas and how many slips are still not occupied despite there being a shortage of available slips. The pier where I berth the Official Weekend Pundit Lake Winnipesaukee Runabout – aka The Boat – would normally have all of the boats tied up at their usual berths. But as of today mine is the only boat there, one of the last things I expected to see at this point. Usually all the berths are occupied before Memorial Day.
It is a paradox – a very high demand for boat slips, a lot of boats still in storage, and a lot of boat slips are still empty. The boat yards and marinas are very busy trying to get the boats still in storage ready to launch. They had a bit of a head start since the winter weather was pretty much done by mid/late March. (That’s when I called the boat yard that stores and services The Boat and made arrangements to have it pulled out of storage and readied to launch by the second weekend of May. They weren’t able to get it ready until the third weekend!)
I have a feeling we’ll be seeing a lot of paradoxes this summer.
The housing crunch continues, both here in northern New England and elsewhere in the rural and semi-rural areas, so-called ‘Flyover Country’.
People are fleeing the cities...blue cities… and blue states for red states and cities and Flyover Country to escape the effects of Covid, the overbearing taxes, the high cost of living, the rising crime, the spreading mental illness of the ‘woke’, increasing populations of homeless, and a whole list of other self-inflicted blue state/city ills. By doing so, the demand for housing in the non-blue areas has skyrocketed.
We’ve certainly seen that issue here in New Hampshire, with folks from Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York buying homes here and driving up the prices since they seem to be willing to offer well above asking price to get a home they want. Of the three groups, it surprises me that a majority of those folks ‘from away’ are from Connecticut and that most of those are not from the cities. Please be aware this is anecdotal data, some from people whom I asked directly, other info from the real estate transaction data, and yet other data from a few realtors I know – though not from my realtor – so take my claim with a grain of salt. The balance come from Massachusetts and then New York and the few I know of personally from New York came from Upstate New York, not the Metro New York Area.
I have seen selling prices going through the roof, whether that’s because the folks ‘from away’ didn’t grasp that property prices here were a lot lower than where they came from or they want to make sure they get the house they’ve set their sights on. Perhaps it’s a mixture of both. All I know is that home prices have gone way up, locking a lot of locals out of the market. There’s also the the huge increase in the cost of building materials which is making things even worse.
I’ve postponed starting construction on The New Manse because lumber costs have gone up over 300%, and plywood prices are up over 400%, making it financially untenable for me to even consider building anytime soon. That’s true for a lot of other families wanting a new home. Developers aren’t necessarily going to dive in at this time either for the same reason. They know the demand and prices will fall, just like they always do, and they don’t want to be left with overpriced homes they can’t sell.
It’s not that new homes aren’t being built. They are. However, they tend not to be ‘spec’ houses but higher end homes that a lot of middle class families can’t possibly afford. Therein lies the problem.
The other problem is that corporations are also buying houses in ‘resort’ areas, turning them into short-term rentals listed via AirBnB and VRBO, just to name two online rental sites. That means homes that would normally house a family, be it year round or seasonally, is no longer being used as a normal residence. This has also driven up housing prices as these LLCs are willing to outbid other buyers as they see the home as a source of revenue. (We recently saw an ~1700 sqft chalet with a gravel driveway, no garage, and no view that would normally sell for ~$240k went for $700k to an out-of-state LLC who plans to use it solely for short-term rentals. In that general neighborhood there are just shy of 100 homes that are now short-term rental only. That’s 100 less houses available as residences for families.)
Over the years I’ve had more than a few people ask me if I believe in UFOs. I have asked them in turn if they meant ‘Unidentified Flying Objects’ or ‘Little Green Men’.
If they reply with the first, I say “Yup. I’ve seen more than a few in my time.” If they reply with the second, I say “I’ve seen something, but I can’t say if it’s Little Green Men or not.”
Are they secret government craft? Are they of alien origin? Is it the “Russkies”, the Chinese, or someone else? (I’m thinking it’s Elon Musk and his SpaceX guys pulling it off.)
All we do know is that US Government is saying “We don’t know.”
The report concluded that the vast majority of the incidents did not originate with the American military or other advanced U.S. government technology. That some of them might have is an intriguing possibility. Just what is it that the U.S. military is flying around up there?Are they telling the truth? “We don’t know.”
It should be noted that the intelligence agencies mostly examined incidents involving Navy pilots. Most of the incidents occurred at sea while a few of the occurrences were recorded by Navy vessels in the open ocean. A few other incidents studied came from foreign militaries.
So, basically they’re saying the same thing they did back in 50’s and 60’s with Project Blue Book: “We don’t know...and we wouldn’t tell you even if we did.”
Maggie’s Farm asks “How far can social insanity go?”
I don’t think we’re anywhere near peak social insanity yet, but we’re getting there. When we do, it’s going to be ugly, and, unfortunately, likely to be deadly.
Twitter is getting slapped around, being hoisted upon their own petard after the government of Nigeria banned it in their country because of the platform’s partisan censorship.
Twitter’s ‘policy police’ fired back with an unwittingly ironic response, stating “We are deeply concerned by the blocking of Twitter in Nigeria. Access to the free and #OpenInternet is an essential human right in modern society.” The fact-deficient response to Nigeria’s action unleashed a well deserved flood of “Isn’t that the pot calling the kettle black” responses.
Lauren Chen’s tweet slapped Twitter’s ‘thought police’ right upside their collective heads:
And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where summer has actually arrived despite what the calendar says, where I’ll be spending time out on the lake, and Monday is once again interfering with spending even more time out on the lake.