2022 In The Rear View Mirror

The end of 2022 is only 7 hours away as I write this. I figured I’d spend a few minutes looking back on the year. With a few personal exceptions, this is a year I am glad is coming to an end. Lat’s take a look at the insanity.


It has been a year that has seen the delusional and mentally ill, particularly those who are in power in Washington DC, tear this nation down and trying to sell us on the idea that the destruction they are wreaking is “good for us”.

We’ve seen the ‘woke’ – delusional narcissists all – try their darnedest to twist reality and society into something unrecognizable as they try to show they are “more virtuous than thou” while burning down the house that is our society they say they are trying to redeem.


Vladimir Putin, ex-chekist, decided invading Ukraine in order to ‘reintegrate’ it into Russia was a good idea, using the excuse of Ukraine being a neo-Nazi state. His ‘special military operation’ was supposed to be able to take over the government of Ukraine in three days and the country in about a month.

Eleven months later Russia has lost much of their gains as Ukraine, with materiel aid from the West, has pushed the Russians back, retaking Ukrainian territory from the Russians. They have also been striking targets in Russia itself, primarily military bases, supply depots, other military infrastructure, bridges and roads. Russia had to call up reserves – the so-called ‘mobiks’ – poorly trained or untrained Russian civilians to fill the depleted ranks of the Russian military in Ukraine.

Russia never achieved air superiority and they lost a lot of planes and helicopters to the MANPADS Ukrainian troops used. They also lost a lot tanks and infantry fighting vehicles to shoulder-launched anti-tank missiles, forcing the Russians to pull early Cold War era armor – T62’s and BMP1’s – from storage to replace the T72, T80, and T90 tanks and BMP3 IFVs destroyed by Ukrainian troops. Ukraine also managed to damage or destroy a lot of Russian artillery and anti-aircraft systems, much of which Russia cannot easily replace.


Finding out that the mRNA vaccines used to ‘save’ people had major health side effects including myocarditis, blood clots, and strokes in children and young adults certainly caused me to question the ‘science’ so often touted by Dr. Fauci, President Biden, Twitter, the NYT, WaPo, and a host of other DNC propaganda operations.

Also, findings that as a percentage more people vaccinated against Covid got Covid as compared to the percentage of unvaccinated people who got Covid also had me questioning the science.

On advice from a friend of mine who is an epidemiologist I haven’t received any more boosters. (He also suggested this based upon my increasingly severe reactions to the vaccine. Call it a twofer.)


That the Twitter files released by Elon Mush have shown that Twitter was censoring content or suspending users, following guidelines and ‘orders’ from the FBI and DOJ, which made Twitter an organ of the US Government and not a corporation not answerable to the public or bound by the US Constitution.

The wokerati were upset when Musk started firing Twitter employees he found had no purpose being there other than collecting a paycheck. There were far too many Chiefs and barely enough Indians. Many of those let go had no real responsibilities. That Twitter was also losing money didn’t help, so Musk did what any CEO would do – trimmed costs. Getting rid of deadwood is what any responsible CEO would do, not just Musk. But he was castigated for doing what needed to be done.


We keep hearing that the annual inflation rate is somewhere around 8.7%, but seeing what I’ve been paying for food, gas, propane, heating oil, electricity, tools, parts, tires, clothing, and various other goods and services as compared to the previous year, it looks to me like inflation has been closer to 20%.

It doesn’t help that the White House and Congress seem to be doing whatever they can to make things worse by dumping trillions of dollars of money we don’t have into the economy and actively working to make sure energy prices will go higher by choking off natural gas, oil, gasoline, and diesel supplies, pushing EVs even though our electrical grid can’t supply the power needed to support them. That they are also considering mandates similar to those in parts of Europe that will cripple our agriculture which will further restrict supplies and drive up prices even more.


I am finding the sheer ignorance of our GenZ population is scaring me. Considering it has been happening on purpose means they have absolutely no frame of reference, no history to use as comparison for the things they are being sold as “The Truth” which means they will be incapable of discerning purposeful lies designed to bring about a totalitarian state as they surrender one right after another to The State, or in this case, the Deep State.

To cite Heinlein’s Commentary on Santayana’s aphorism, “Those who have no history have no past...and no future.”


And so much for now. I think if I keep listing the things I have noticed over the past 12 months I shall become even more cynical than I already am.


Just When I Thought They Couldn't Get Any Dumber - Part 1,349,667

The thing is there are people who believe such a thing exists...and they are our future.

We are friggin’ doomed.


Thoughts On A Sunday - The Day After Christmas Edition

Here it is, the final Thoughts On A Sunday of 2022...and I’m writing and posting it on a Monday.

As explained in yesterday’s ‘post’, I was away from my keyboard as I spent the day down at the older WP Sister’s place to celebrate Christmas. One thing I can say that was a pleasant surprise was the traffic on the way down and back, being a lot lighter than I expected. It was smooth sailing in both directions. The other thing that was a pleasant surprise was that there were only a couple of drivers I saw pulling bonehead moves on the highway. I’ll usually see dozens on the way down and back from my sister’s. I guess they must have either traveled the day before or stayed home this year.

It was a long day, a tiring day, but a great day.


Who says there’s no such thing as karma?

It looks like the Europeans are finding out the government mandate for EVs is backfiring on them as it is now cheaper to fill a gas tank than to recharge an EV.

I can see a similar thing happening here considering the price of electricity is going up, a lot of this driven by choking off the the supplies of natural gas which many utilities use to generate electricity, the dismal failure of renewables to meet the promises made by our ‘betters’, and the increasing fragility of our electrical grid. There’s also the rapidly rising costs of the batteries needed, a not unexpected thing considering the increasing demand for EV batteries, even if some of that demand has been artificially driven by the aforementioned government mandates, both here and abroad.

Yeah, this is gonna work. Yeah...any time now.

Yeah. Right.


Is this a sign the ApocalypseTM is nigh?

McDonald’s has announced the opening of their first fully automated restaurant. It is located in the Forth Worth, Texas area.

Let’s be honest here: McDonald’s customer service was never anything to write home about. It’s no great loss for patrons that they won’t be greeted with the barely intelligible grunts of minimum-wage McDonald’s employees who are probably high and who hate their jobs.

The noteworthiness is that this development is a bellwether of current trends and things to come. Other fast food giants like White Castle are flirting similarly with fully replacing outdated human resources with tech.

To quote an observation made elsewhere in the post, “You asked for $25 minimum wage. You get: First fully automated McDonald’s in Texas.”

When technology for some jobs becomes cheaper than paying a human being wages (and benefits, in some cases), you can expect technology will eventually replace the human being(s).

As I have mentioned once or twice before in earlier posts, our local McDonald’s had gone under renovations early this year. The changes were profound. One of the biggest changes was ordering kiosks replacing three of the order registers at the counter, leaving only one. The remaining register is not manned constantly. The amount of indoor seating has also been reduced while the number of drive-thru lanes has been doubled. Customers can also order and pay for their food ahead of time using the McDonald’s app on their phone. Then all they have to do is go in to the restaurant and pick up their food. They don’t have to interact with any of the employees to get their food.

Welcome to the 21st Century!


Some people shouldn’t serve in Congress because they or just to dumb, too willfully ignorant, or have malice for their nation and their constituents, or some combination of the three.

The latest example of this is Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) who claims the electoral college is “a threat to democracy”.

First, Rep, Raskin should be reminded that we are not a democracy. We are a Constitutional Republic.

Second, the Founders understood the perils of a Tyranny of the Majority, so they set up Congress and the Electoral College to help prevent just such a thing. Having the more populous states ‘lording it over the smaller states’ was seen as a dangerous thing, making them vassal states to the large states, hence the existence of the Senate. The same is true of the Electoral College because the large states would be electing the President and the small states would be ignored. That is what the Founders wanted to prevent.

Some, like Raskin, will make the argument that such a tyranny will not come to be, but there is a lot of evidence here in the US to prove that argument is false. All we have to do is look at the states since the two disastrous SCOTUS decisions - Reynolds v Sims and Baker v Carr - which created exactly those kinds of tyrannies in states like California, Illinois, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, where the more populous portions of those states have marginalized the more thinly populated parts, making them vassals – providers of tax revenues without receiving much in the way of state revenues – feeding the voracious tax appetite of the cities, and getting little or nothing in return. One look at the parts of New York outside the Metro New York City area and the I-87 corridor illustrates that. So does Illinois for any area outside of the Metro Chicago area as does California anywhere away from the coastal area.

Rep. Raskin is a much bigger danger to our ‘democracy’ than the Electoral College would ever be.


And that’s the slightly abbreviated news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where it’s still cold, the lake is slowly starting to freeze over, and where I don’t care that it’s Monday because I am off for the holiday!


Thoughts On A Sunday

Because today is Christmas Day, I will be with other members of the WP Clan. I will not be posting the usual TOAS today. Instead, there will be a Thoughts On A Sunday - The Day After Christmas post on Monday. So go spend time with your family and have a very Merry Christmas!


The Bomb Cyclone Aftermath

The so-called ‘Bomb Cyclone’ that made its way across the country made its presence known here in New Hampshire yesterday. While we didn’t get the snow and blizzard conditions seen elsewhere, we did get a lot of rain and high winds. The one thing we also had a lot of?

Power outages.

We here in the hollow where the Gulch is located was more fortunate than most folks in town since we didn’t lose power...until 6pm last night. Most other parts of our town had been out since sometime yesterday morning.

The outage was no problem since we had the Official Weekend Pundit Generator all set to go – the extra 40lb propane tank was full and I had a ginned-up cover for the generator to keep the rain away from its electrical panel. By 6:30pm it was hooked up and powering The Gulch. We had lights, heat, TV, computers, refrigerator, and most important, the microwave oven.

The other thing I did was call the power company to inform them of the outage. This is something I do even if I know it is highly likely that other people have already called them as this serves two purposes: It lets the power company know of the outage just in case no one else called it in and gets us on the ‘call back’ list so we get updates on the progress of the power restoration efforts.

One thing I did last night before going to bed was swap the propane tank – the one we used during the previous two outages and hadn’t yet refilled – with the full tank. This meant I wouldn’t have to get up in the middle of the night to change tanks when the ‘old’ one was empty. The idea of having to go out at 2am when it was 12ºF with a wind chill of -10ºF to change the propane tanks didn’t fill me with excitement, so it made sense to change them early. This would allow the generator to run for another 16+ hours before I swapped in the old tank. That should hold us until the power is restored, assuming the power company’s estimate – received during one of their call back messages – is anywhere near accurate. (I always add at least an hour to their restoration time as that seems to be the standard ‘fudge factor’ for their estimates.)

One other thing I did before turning in was to grab one of the gas caddies we usually use to fuel the Official Weekend Pundit Lake Winnipesaukee Runabout and head to to fill it. I don’t often do this but this was more of a just-in-case precaution as at times there can be problems with the regulator on the propane fuel line freezing up which caused the generator to shut down. Since the generator is a duel-fuel unit, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to fill it. (If we don’t use it for the generator I can use it to fuel the trusty RAM 1500 since I don’t like storing gasoline for more than a couple of weeks, if at all.)

It was an eerie trip.

There were no lights in the rest of the neighborhood. No lights along the road. It was an ocean of darkness as far as the eye could see with the occasional island of light – places with emergency power - and it was like that until I crossed into the next town over. It was like a switch had been flipped since it appeared they hadn’t suffered anywhere near the number of outages we had. This was good because it meant that at least one gas station would be open.

I filled the gas caddy, hauled it back into the bed of the trusty RAM 1500, strapped it down...and then couldn’t get the tailgate to latch. I could see it was because some of the ice that formed when the temperatures plummeted 40ºF in a short period of time had jammed the latches, so the tailgate remained down. Then it was that disquieting trip back to The Gulch with the only lights seen being those same islands of light I saw on the way to the gas station. There were no streetlights, no traffic lights, no house lights, no light of any kind. It wasn’t until I was close to The Gulch that I saw lights, but in this case they were on the opposite shore of Lake Winnipesaukee a good eight or nine miles away. The next lights I saw were those at The Gulch as I pulled into the driveway.

So ended my day.

And how was your day, all things considered?


Update: Our power was restored at 2:36pm this afternoon.

According to the power company there were 3800 customers in our little town without power until this afternoon. That means that most of our town was without power due to the storm.


Thoughts On A Sunday

Today dawned bright and sunny, a great way to offset the snow (and power outages) we experienced yesterday. The driveways were clear and in most cases, dry. The parts of the roof I cleared with the roof rake yesterday were fully clear which would make the possibility of ice dams very low. All in all, it was a good ‘aftermath’ of our first real snowstorm. We couldn’t ask for better.

We’ve been cleaning up The Gulch in preparation of the youngest WP Sister visiting for a few days. There is a bunch of baking in the offing while she’s here as she and I will be making pulla, a Swedish cardamom bread we all grew up with. My grandmother made it all the time and it was something we all grew up loving.

Something I told my sister is that we had to make at least one extra loaf as I’ve worked out a trade with a friend who is of Swedish descent: one loaf of pulla for one loaf of her limpa. Seems like a fair trade to me.


Talk about entitled and self-important.

It seems a number of students at a private art school in New York have occupied one of the campus buildings and demanding instructors bestow A grades for the semester before they will leave the building.

According to the Instagram account New School Occupied, the students occupied the TNS University Center on Dec. 8 in support of faculty on strike for higher wages and better healthcare. While the strike ended on December 10, the occupants published a new set of demands that day that included A’s for all students, the resignation of school leadership, and the dissolution of the Board of Trustees.

“We demand that every student receives a final course grade of A as well as the removal of I/Z grades for the Fall 2022 semester,” the demand letter read. “Attendance shall have no bearing on course grade.”

So A’s will be given even if students didn’t attend classes? Then what incentive is there to attend class or do the coursework?

Just flunk them...then expel them. What makes them think they’re running things?


We have remember this little statistic: Democrats tend to get us into big wars and Republicans generally don’t.

If one looks at the three Obama terms, the administration has sucked up to our enemies, denigrated, insulted, and then ignored our allies, doing incalculable damage to our foreign relations and proving to the world that we’re being governed by idiots and slackers.

It looks like WRBA is working harder to undo much of the work the Trump Administration accomplished, between awful deals with our adversaries, and destabilizing relations between states like Israel and Jordan.

Yeah, that’s going to make things better.


It’s amazing what happens when the Left finds out that the rules apply to them, too.

Shock...and claims of victimhood.

Aaron Rupar was among several left-wing journalists whose Twitter accounts got suspended Thursday for promoting the “doxxing” of Elon Musk’s private jet. Having been permanently suspended myself — for nothing — all I can say is, “Gosh, it’s terrible what’s happening to you.”

Because the “Trust & Safety” crew at Twitter was apparently 100% left-wing, it was always conservatives who had to fear banishment for Thought Crimes, and now that Elon Musk has started cleaning house, the Left is claiming victimhood because not only have they lost the power to silence their enemies, they themselves are now at risk of being silenced for engaging in abusive behavior that they’ve become accustomed to dishing out, but never taking.

There old “We can get away with doing reprehensible things on Twitter but you can’t” frame of mind has been replaced with “What do you mean it’s against the rules to doxx, denigrate, and lie about people we hate – you – and that we can no longer do that?” claim of victimhood.


And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where we’re still cleaning up from the snowstorm, making preparations for Christmas, and trying to avoid as much of Monday as we can.


Our First Real Snow Storm - Generator Stuff

It was our first snowstorm of the season, at least something that counts as a snowstorm. We received 10 inches of snow here at The Gulch while the other areas in our town received up to 20 inches. The differences in snowfall can be attributed to the three hills surrounding The Gulch. Unless the storm is a Nor’easter we are shielded by those surrounding hills which tends to lower the snowfall totals we see here. However, if the storm is a Nor’easter, we see much higher snow totals.

One of the other side effects of the snowfall was widespread power outages due to the dense, heavy snow bringing down tree limbs which took down power lines. The power at The Gulch went out around 7:30 this morning and the Official Weekend Pundit Generator was pulled out of the garage, connected to the external power connector, and fired it up. This turned out to be the first ‘long term’ test of the Official Weekend Pundit Generator as power wasn’t restored for over 8 hours. The previous use of the generator lasted 3 hours, so now I have 11+ hours on it and have a better idea of the fuel usage. With average winter power usage, under 2000 watts of power draw, I figured a full 40lb propane bottle – about 11 gallons of propane - will last better than 16 hours. This implies a standard 20lb propane bottle will last at least 8 hours. That means if all my propane bottles are full there’s enough to run the generator for at least 48 hours continuously.

As you may have noticed I haven’t mentioned anything about gasoline.

It’s not that the Official Weekend Pundit Generator can’t use it. It is a dual-fuel unit.

It isn’t that I won’t use gasoline. I will. But it does have one downside, that being it doesn’t store well for lengthy periods of time. It can go bad over time. Propane, on the other hand, doesn’t go bad. It can be stored for years and be just as good as the day it was pumped into the bottle. If there will be a lengthy power outage then gasoline makes perfect sense, particularly since one fuel or the other could be in short supply for one reason or another. Being able to use both gives some flexibility.

One of the things that throws so many people is trying to decide what size generator they should buy. By ‘size’ I mean the generator’s power capacity. The one I bought for The Gulch has 5500 watts/5000 watts of continuous generating capacity. The reason for the two ratings is the difference in the energy density of the fuel being used. The first is for gasoline and the second for propane.

Some folks think they need to have a generator capable of supplying 100% of the power required to run their home with everything turned on. My question for those folks is “When do you ever have everything turned on? Why does your generator need to be able to carry that much load?”

Other folks think they only need a enough for a couple of lights, maybe a laptop or other computer, and the fridge. That’s great if a generator will only be needed for a couple of hours in a temperate climate. But it isn’t appropriate for a lengthy outage, particularly during a summer heatwave or a winter blizzard or ice storm.

The generator for The Gulch is big enough to handle all of the lighting (mostly LED lighting so the power draw isn’t huge), the refrigerator, the furnace (for heat and hot water) or one of the A/C units (depending on the season), the microwave, the computers (two desktops and two laptops), a TV and DVD/BluRay player, and if cable is still operating a cable box, cable modem, and wireless router. Worst case power draw was under 4000 watts, with the average power draw running under 2000 watts. The generator is sized to handle just about anything in The Gulch with two exceptions, those being the electric stove/range and the clothes drier.

About the only other decision that needs to be made is whether to buy a ‘traditional’ generator with a standard alternator or one of them newfangled inverter types which generates a clean 60Hz sine wave regardless of the engine speed. The engine speeds up/slows down as the current draw changes. They also tend to be quieter...and more expensive.

Of course none of this would be necessary if we all had our own Mr. Fusion home fusion units.


Thoughts On A Sunday

The first real signs of winter have shown themselves, in this case a skim of ice on one of ponds in our town. I spotted the ice as I was passing by the pond on my way to our town dump yesterday morning. It didn’t cover the pond entirely, with a few small areas of open water remaining. By this morning those bits of open water were gone and the pond was frozen over shore to shore. Of course it helped that it was in the teens overnight.

And so it begins.


Anyone paying attention over the past 40 years knows the deinstitutionalization of the mentally ill was a bad idea, particularly since we know many of those deinstitutionalized patients ended up on the streets, homeless, receiving no treatment. Today many mentally ill are also a good portion of the homeless, even the violent ones.
involuntary treatment of the homeless mentally ill. One has to ask if it is the realization that allowing the untreated mentally ill to wander the streets is a bad idea.

For years, American cities and towns have struggled with how to address those living on their streets who suffer from mental illness but refuse treatment. New York City Mayor Eric Adams' controversial new plan to make it easier to involuntarily hospitalize the most seriously ill has set off a robust national debate about what role, if any, local governments should play in mental health care decisions.

Psychiatrist Katherine Koh '09, M.D. '14, works at Boston Health Care for the Homeless and Mass. General Hospital, and knows firsthand the many challenges of getting treatment to this population. She spoke to the Gazette about why New York City's plan is neither as cruel nor outrageous as it may initially sound and details what it takes to keep people off the streets and living with improved mental health.

This also begs the question whether or not there is a more nefarious motivation behind such a move.

Could it be that the New York Powers That Be will be using it as a ‘dry run’ to justify treating anyone they consider mentally ill? Amongst those deemed mentally ill will be anyone having the audacity to hold an opposing point of view. (That would be taking a page from the bad old days of the Soviet Union where opponents of Soviet-style socialism were ‘treated’ for mental illness, such treatments turning them into shuffling Thorazine zombies barely cognizant of their surroundings.)

If they are working to actually help the homeless mentally ill then I would suggest they also focus some attention on the rabidly fanatic ‘woke’ since it has become quite evident with time that they are delusional with some narcissistic personality disorder thrown for good measure. What else explains our entry into what Robert Heinlein described as The Crazy Years.


I am finding it increasingly difficult to believe the election problems in Maricopa County in Arizona are merely happenstance. Too much has gone wrong in more than one election in the same place. It isn’t chance these problems are taking place. These problems were caused on purpose.

If Twittergate tells is anything, it’s the Democrat party breaks every law, violates our every freedom and inalienable right, in order to get in power and stay in power – all in collusion with our most powerful intel and LE agencies. Election fraud is but one leg of the beast.

They destroyed our election system in 2020. Now they own it.

Voting irregularities abounded during the primaries and resurfaced during the national elections. How is it it has taken weeks to tally votes in Maricopa County while other areas of equal population did so before the end of Election Day? I have a very hard time believing election officials are so incompetent that they cannot perform their duties in a timely fashion...unless the fix is in.

Is it any wonder Kari Lake has filed an election challenge in an Arizona court, alleging election fraud?

“We have put forward evidence that unquestionably shows that this election was stolen with illegal votes and likely fraudulent votes.” Attorney Kurt Olsen.


The former conservative media personality warned throughout her gubernatorial bid that the state’s election system was mired in voter fraud.

Arizona Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake on Friday announced that she had filed an election challenge, alleging that the total number of illegal votes was greater than her opponent’s margin of victory.

Has Maricopa County been taking lessons from the folks in Chicago, famous for having the dead voting during elections, some for decades after they passed away?

There are too many unanswered questions to believe there haven’t been election shenanigans in Maricopa County.


No matter how you cut it, this shows just how stupid and overbearing government bureaucracy has become. In this example we how Child Protective Services in Virginia have crossed the line from absurd to ridiculous.

It is apparent that CPS in Thomas Jefferson’s home state has become an inflexible bureaucracy that doesn’t truly understand how to raise children or what children need. As Glenn Reynolds stated, “There are few people less qualified to opine on parenting practices than social services bureaucrats.”

Emily Fields' three kids—a boy, age four, and two girls, ages 6 and 8—were playing outside. The Fields live in the quiet town of Pearisburg in rural western Virginia. It was there, on a May afternoon in 2021, that Fields' 4-year-old kicked a soccer ball across the road toward the neighbor's cat, which he avoided hitting.

The neighbors yelled at him and took his ball. But it didn't end there.


"They began to scream and yell," says Fields. "They said that everyone in the neighborhood thought I was a horrible mother, and that my children abused animals, and they were going to call [child protective services] every day until my children were taken away."

The neighbors did indeed call child protective services (CPS). The agency dispatched two caseworkers to investigate the soccer ball incident the very next day.

CPS had also been called to the Fields home three years earlier, when someone reported the kids, then ages 2, 5, and 6, for playing outside while unsupervised.

I don’t know about you, but when my siblings and I were kids we played outside unsupervised all the time, usually with the admonition to be home in time for lunch or dinner. The same was true of the neighborhood kids. CPS was never seen. We weren’t kidnapped. We didn’t burn and pillage the neighborhood nor abuse animals.

The neighbors in the story above should be ashamed of themselves and the CPS bureaucrats fired.


And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where it’s feeling more like winter, the parking lots at the shopping centers are full, and where preparations for some Christmas baking here at The Gulch are being made.


Not The Grinch

Just what we need – Yet another ‘story’ about Elon Musk, this time about ‘firing’ janitors at Twitter. What’s worse is the narrative that he did so just before Christmas.

The problem with the story?

It’s not true.

Musk did decide to cancel the contract with the janitorial service after a number of janitors went on strike after being informed of upcoming job cuts. I can see the need for fewer janitors considering there aren’t nearly as many people employed at Twitter after Musk cut the ‘fat’. My employer cut back on janitorial services when we reduced staff at our location, with cleanings cut back from two times a week over the whole building to once a week in just the portion of the building we were occupying. That required a lot less personnel to get the job done...just like at Twitter.

No one is guaranteed a job, even union jobs. I speak from experience, having been a union member in my youth. Just because you’re a union member doesn’t mean you’re immune from layoffs. It usually means the most junior employees are laid off first.

Depending upon the terms of the contract, and specifically a termination clause, Musk may have had every right to so without advanced notice. Because the contract was canceled, those working under the contract would have lost their jobs at Twitter, but not necessarily at the janitorial service. In this case it depends upon the terms of union contract with the janitorial service.

Is Elon Musk the Grinch who stole Christmas, or did the union janitors bite off more than they could chew and Musk called their bluff?


Something Has Gone Terribly Wrong

It wasn’t until a saw the following that I realized just how effed up things have become and that it’s been done on purpose.

Tell me I’m wrong.


Thoughts On A Sunday

We’ve made it through our first week-and-a-half with our new cable provider and so far so good. While Internet speeds aren’t quite as advertised = are they ever? - they are still a lot faster than our previous provider. They allow me to wait just that much faster than the old speeds!

It’s taking a while for the WP Mom to get used to the different TV channel numbers, for the most part she doesn’t have too much trouble as she uses the voice remote to navigate.

One thing that’s no different is the bombardment of Christmas movies on Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, WE, and a number of other channels the WP Mom frequents. (I am more of a streamer.) I don’t need to indulge in any sweets when those are on because they’re already too sugary and sweet. If I truly paid attention to them I would probably go into a diabetic coma from the sugary sweetness.

I figure I can put up with it for the few more weeks. Once we get past New Years I expect the Valentine’s Day movies to start. I can hear my pancreas screaming just at the thought.


It doesn’t surprise me in the least that when our institutions of higher ‘learning’ talk about diversity, they are only talking about diversity of race and/or culture, not diversity of thought or ideology. That kind of diversity is strictly verboten. That kind of diversity will be punished.

Colleges and universities are obsessed with racial diversity. But a new analysis provides even more proof that our higher education system has a different and arguably more important diversity problem: a woeful dearth of intellectual diversity.

The College Fix analyzed a sample of 65 academic departments across seven universities and found that more than half of the departments had zero Republican professors. All told, 92% of the professors at these departments identified as Democrats, meaning there was an 11-1 ratio of Democratic to Republican professors.

This analysis can’t necessarily stand in for all colleges, but it’s quite similar to the figures other analyses have come up with. The general takeaway is clear: Higher education is overwhelmingly dominated by ideological liberals, with a real shortage of differing perspectives on most campuses.

“These results should be another wake-up call that higher education is severely biased and broken,” concluded College Fix editor-in-chief Jennifer Kabbany. “Higher education is one of the most important battlegrounds for the heart, soul and mind of this nation.”

Colleges and universities should be encouraging diversity of thought and ideology, not suppressing it. At that point they are no longer institutions of higher learning but centers of indoctrination and any thinking outside that allowed by such indoctrination will not be allowed.

(H/T Instapundit)


By way of PJ Media comes the continuing saga of Twitter’s subservience to government, more specifically to the Democrats/Deep State in the US government, delving a deeper into Twitter acting as an agent of the government.

Friday night, journalist Matt Taibbi provided the first installment of internal Twitter communications. The first dump focused on the suppression of information during the 2020 Election, specifically the censorship of Hunter Biden’s laptop. According to Twitter CEO Elon Musk, there is more to come about shadow banning and other forms of censorship as thousands more pages are released. Still, taking what we have already learned at face value, some former Twitter executives have quite a bit to answer for.


Let’s begin with the premise that suppressing the content of Hunter Biden’s laptop affected the outcome of the 2020 Election. The Media Research Center (MRC) conducted one of the only polls about how the information on the computer would have affected the way people voted. MRC’s analysis found that full awareness of the Hunter Biden scandal would have led 9.4% of Biden voters to abandon the Democratic candidate. This would have flipped all six of the swing states Biden won to Trump, giving the former President 311 electoral votes.

The linked post includes other incidents where Twitter’s suppression of free speech had major consequences, not just for the US but other places in the world.

This illustrates the Law of Unintended Consequences coming into play yet again, creating distrust, havoc, and at its worst, death and destruction.


My thoughts when I heard there might be a walkout by personnel in the New York Times newsroom over a pay dispute?

Would anyone notice...or care?

Probably not.


As an engineer one of my biggest pet peeves when it comes to test equipment, computers, smart phones, tablets, and other equipment is the user interface.

Some are great, are easy to use, and don’t require looking in the user manual to figure out how to turn on the power. Others are awful, make little sense, have circular work flows that mean you can get from one screen to another eleventy-eleven different ways, but never the same way twice in a row.

Our engineering department has a UI/UX (User Interface/User Experience) engineer, someone who designs, develops, and tests the user interfaces for functionality and ease of use. In her I have a kindred spirit because she dislikes poor user interfaces as much as I do and we have, one more than one occasion, evaluated user interfaces on competitors’ equipment and rated them. Some have been very good, in some cases intuitive and easy to use. Others have been awful. Yet others have been somewhere in-between those two extremes. When we have disagreed about one element or another, it’s usually been a matter of degree, not magnitude.

This is an interesting treatise on user interfaces which delves into the good, the bad, the ugly, and the deceptive, and not just in the interfaces on equipment, but in places like retail shops and ads.

It doesn’t get too technical, looking more into the psychological aspects of UI design, but it does give a good look into why UI’s work or don’t work.


And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee where preparations for Christmas continue, decorations abound, and where Christmas will arrive all too soon.


Was Twitter An Instrument Of The Government?

One of the elements of fascism is that industry is subservient to the State. We saw that in both Germany and Italy prior to and during World War II. While industries were still privately owned, meaning they weren’t property of the state, they knew they existed only at the pleasure of the State. (In the Soviet Union all industry was owned by the state.) Both fascism and communism are instruments of the Left. Fascism and communism still exist. What’s frightening is that we see some of that here in the US.

A recent example of this presence:

The revelation that Twitter suppressed free speech under the orders of the government.

As Elon Musk tweeted:

Twitter acting by itself to suppress free speech is not a 1st Amendment violation, but acting under orders of the government is.

That blows the “Twitter can block misinformation/disinformation and not violate free speech because they are a private corporation” claim out of the water. It wasn’t misinformation they were blocking, but free speech and they were doing so as an agent of the government. What did the government want to keep the from public?

As such, the folks who were running Twitter and suppressing free speech should be prosecuted for Civil Rights violations as should those in government ordering them to do so. They willingly violated the First Amendment, knew they were doing so, and did it anyways. They deserve time in a Federal Take-It-Up-Butt Prison...or maybe worse for them, in a SuperMax prison where they are locked in their cell for 23-1/2 hours a day and the only people they see are the guards delivering their meals or escorting them to and from an isolated exercise ‘yard’.

Such consequences would be a warning to others who think things like the Bill of Rights apply only to our supposed ‘betters’ and can be ignored without consequence.


This Can Never Be Stated Enough

By way of Nitzakhon over at GraniteGrok comes this reminder about the Second Amendment and what it actually says and means:

I have to constantly remind our Progressive brethren that the Bill of Rights does not grant rights, but enumerates inherent rights the citizens already have and that government does not.


Thoughts On A Sunday

It’s the wind-down from Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Small Business Saturday. Cyber Monday is on its way.

I have survived a week off from work. I haven’t been idle by any means, putting the finishing touches winterizing The Gulch – thermal drapes being put up, installing heat shrink on two windows whose seals have ruptured (they’ll be replaced next summer), pulling out the humidifier (used to keep the air inside The Gulch at a comfortable humidity level once winter arrives), cleaning the lint out of the clothes drier vent, and swapping out the summer stuff for winter stuff.

The trusty RAM 1500 has new tires, the proper type this time - Passenger, not Light Truck tires like last time...which were the only ones available at the time – which ride better and restore the fuel economy lost with the Light Truck tires. It is scheduled to have its undercoating touched up and an oil change/lube later this week. Then it will be ready for the upcoming winter.

About the only thing left to do is perform an oil change on the Official Weekend Pundit Portable Generator, something that will be performed next weekend.


By way of Instapundit comes this prognostication about the upcoming winter:

Snow extent in the Northern Hemisphere at the end of November represents an important parameter for the early winter forecast. This year snow extent is running much higher than average and according to existing global estimates, it is now beyond the highest ever observed so far. Winter forecast, especially in its early phase and in Europe, might be strongly influenced by such a large snow extent, although many other factors need attention.

Northern Hemisphere snow extent is currently indeed very high, now at about 41 million square kilometers, according to the NOAA/Rutgers Global Snow Lab.

While we have very spotty snow coverage here at The Big Lake, there’s plenty up north. I don’t know if it’s a normal amount or not. I do know the ski areas have been liking it.


Somewhere, Skynet smiles.

It seems the Kalifornia Totalitarians have no problems with authorizing the San Francisco Police Department robots to kill.

San Francisco authorities proposed a new “dystopian” policy heading for approval next week that would license department robots to kill suspects who threaten the lives of citizens and police officers in the crime-ridden city.

This would be just the first step, knowing how the Progressives in Kalifornia think. I hate to think this, but I have to wonder if they would eventually give those robots autonomy about the decision to kill or not. We know The Powers That Be don’t really like the police and if they can replace them with robots they can make sure they aren’t “rayciss” or transphobic or misogynist or homophobic or whateverist.


You know what’s even scarier than killer robots?

Fidel Trudeau’s discussion with his cabinet about using tanks to “crush the Freedom Convoy” protests.

I find it disturbing that our Canadian neighbors have leaders that are thinking more like the leaders of the old Soviet Union every day.

Despite the fact that the Convoy “at no time” posed a threat to Canadians, Trudeau and his cronies were so hostile to it that his cabinet went so far as to discuss “crushing Freedom Convoy with tanks.” This should scare all Canadians, since it leads to the inevitable question: what does Trudeau have in store next for those who oppose him?

Canadians are at serious risk of losing their freedoms under the Liberal government of Justin Trudeau.

First we see the Aussies surrendering more of their rights to an increasing totalitarian and hostile government. Then another nation of the Anglosphere is going totalitarian, in this case Canada.

We already know WRBA here in the US would like to bring the US into the Progressive totalitarian fold. Goodness knows we’ve already seen efforts to choke off one right after another – Freedom of Speech; Freedom of Association; Freedom of Religion; The Right to Keep and Bear Arms; The Right to be Be Secure in Their Persons, Houses, Papers, and Effects, just to name a few.


This is something all of us bacon lovers have known for forever.


And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where we’re still recovering from Thanksgiving, the weather is trying to make up its mind between fall and winter, and where actual Monday has returned all too soon.


A Return To Politics

I have no doubt my couple of dozen readers have noticed I haven’t been blogging about things political quite as much as I usually do. It hasn’t been because I’m no longer interested in doing so. Rather it’s been a bit of post-election burnout, between the various campaigns and prepping for and manning the polls on election day which included manual vote counts due to a voting machine malfunction that did not separate ballots with write-in votes. I needed to take a little bit of a break before delving back into politics, and particularly political nonsense being peddled as “The One True Way To Paradise (For The Progressive Elite, You Peasant!)”.

My discussions with the WP Niece on Thanksgiving Day cinched our conclusion that political dialog needs to be done face-to-face, at least in our case, because we find a lot more common ground when we do so than when we debate via texting or e-mail. We miss too many of the subtle nuances when doing so. We find that some of our political differences are not, in the end, profound. It’s easier to explain our viewpoints (and why I am right).

There is no doubt the next two years leading up to the New Hampshire Primary and the Presidential election will be far more contentious than the year leading up to the mid-terms. We’ve already seen some possible 2024 Presidential contenders visiting New Hampshire...yet the Primary is still about 14 months away. I figure the campaigns will start up some time right after the first of the year and we will be increasingly inundated with TV, radio, and print ads the closer we get t over the nexthe Primary in January (or February) 2024.

If nothing else I and the rest of the political bloggers will have an abundance of fodder to report, analyze, and tear apart over a period of 22 months. It will be a target rich environment.


It Is Done

As I brought up last Saturday, we made the switch from our old cable TV company to a new one, a competitor that entered our town over the past year or so. They’ve spent that time building out their network and finally come into our neighborhood here at The Gulch.

The changeover was painless, taking less than an hour to achieve. Setting up the new e-mail addresses took longer, something I hade to deal with, but it was just time consuming as there were a number of verifications required to activate our new e-mail addresses. That was the easy part.

Do you have any idea just how hard it is to close an existing cable TV account? I’m finding out.

The list of requirements for closing an account is long and daunting. About the only thing they don’t require is a DNA swab and a retinal scan. Opening an account it easy...and it’s designed to be that way.

The folks in the ‘Loyalty Department’ (Yes, that’s what they call it) asked me why we were making the switch and I gave them my litany of reasons why I no longer wanted to do business with them which included:

- Lack of tech support. I’ve been dealing with a Internet service problem for two years and in that entire time I haven’t been able to speak to a human being in Tech support to fix it, something that had to be taken care of on their side of the cable modem.

- Service outages. Quite often we would lose Internet service, usually requiring restarting the cable modem. It was an almost daily occurrence. This was a particularly bothersome and inconvenient on those days I was working from home.

- Loss of TV channels. There would be outages of a number of different TV channels, most lasting for only a few minutes, but there have been times when we’ve lost them for hours.

As I mentioned in my previous post on this matter, it’s like they’re trying hard to lose as many customers as they can. If that is their aim, they’re succeeding. I know of at least six of my neighbors who have also made the change and a few more contemplating doing so.

And so it goes.


Thoughts On A Sunday

Thanksgiving is quickly approaching, something I am trying to wrap my head around. Wasn’t the Fourth of July just a couple of weeks ago?

As I have stated more than once over the years, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, even more than Christmas. While I have always liked Christmas, I have found it to be trying, capable of generating anxiety that I don’t experience with Thanksgiving. While both holidays often require travel, it isn’t the travel that is troublesome. Rather, it is the different expectations that go with those holidays. (I don’t need to go into them, do I?)

As is rare for me, I am on vacation this week. It isn’t often that I take more than a day off here and there, usually extending a holiday weekend by a day or two. In this case I am extending the Thanksgiving holiday by three days! As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I will not be idle during my time off. Other than Thanksgiving Day, I will be busy here at The Gulch finishing some winterization and repairs as well as getting the trusty RAM 1500 squared away for the upcoming winter.


Is Joe Biden actually going to run again in 2024? While he says he is running again, one has to ask if will he be in any (mental) condition to do so?

My guess is ‘no’.

On every subject, confusion abounds, and it’s only getting worse.

On the campaign trail, he forgot the name of the governor of New Mexico. (She does have three names). He lauded Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden, then seconds later couldn’t recall his name and instead described Wyden as “that other guy that I just talked about.”

He talked about his visit to Florida in the aftermath of “Hurricane Ivan.”

He wished a speedy recovery to Nancy Pelosi’s husband “Bobby.” (His name is Paul.)

The list of his mental lapses is getting longer and being added to at an increasing pace. This is not someone we want in the White House, even as a figurehead. But WRBA also doesn’t want Kamala taking office as President. So it makes me wonder if she’ll be induced to resign, replaced by someone more palatable, and then we’ll see SloJo removed from office under the 25th Amendment.


It seems we’re seeing yet another in a series of attempts to “get” Trump. We’ve seen the politicized Department of Justice fail again and again to “get” him. We’ve seen the DNC fail again and again. It seems to run something like this:

2016 – “We’ve got him now! He’s goin’ down!” Results: Nada.
2017 - “We’ve got him now! He’s goin’ down!” Results: Nuthin’.
2018 - “We’ve got him now! He’s goin’ down!” Results: Not a damn thing.
2019 - “We’ve got him now! He’s goin’ down!” Results: Nil.
2020 - “We’ve got him now! He’s goin’ down!” Results: Zip.
2021 - “We’ve got him now! He’s goin’ down!” Results: Zilch.
2022 - “We’ve got him now! He’s goin’ down!” Results: Zero.
2023 - “We’ve got him now! He’s goin’ down!” Results: To Be Determined...but likely as productive as the previous 7 years.

If the DOJ had been as diligent digging into Hunter Biden’s activities as they have Donald Trump’s, Hunter would be in federal prison...and his dad might be in the cell next to his.


I’ve noticed this, too.

There are a lot of wild turkeys here in New England. Fifty years ago there weren’t. So why are there so many here now?

In suburban New England, gobbling gangs roam the streets. Wild Turkeys, each weighing in at 10 or 20 pounds, loiter in driveways, trapping residents inside their homes. They lounge on decks, damage gardens, and jump on the car hoods. Flocks of 20 or 30 birds roost in backyards, while particularly plucky turkeys chase down mailmen and the occasional police cruiser.

Even when I relocated here to New Hampshire 42 years ago there weren’t all that many wild turkeys around. I spent a lot of time hiking around New Hampshire during the 80’s and I saw very few wild turkeys back then. Today, I see them everywhere. We would see them all the time at The Manse. I see them quite often here at The Gulch. I see them crossing the roads I use going to and from work, to town hall, to the local Walmart plaza, and going to the dump.


By way of Power Line comes this warning from the Halls of Science:


And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the cold has been more than making up for the unseasonably warm weather we had earlier in the month, the snow from Buffalo has not made its way here, and where I don’t care if it’s Monday tomorrow because I’m on vacation!


Random Stuff On A Saturday

While we haven’t seen the extremes experienced by the folks in Buffalo, the difference a week makes in weather here is amazing.

We had temps in the 60’s with some evening temps in the upper 50’s a week ago.

This past week we were in the upper 30’s with evening temps below freezing. We also got snow mid-week, though only about an inch of a slushy mix here at The Gulch. It will be in mid-teens over the next couple of nights. This has driven me to take care of the last few ‘winterization’ chores here, specifically heavy winter drapes over the slider leading out to the porch and heat shrink over a couple of windows on the north side of the house.

The trusty RAM 1500 will have its ‘winterization’ completed this coming week, between new tires and updated undercoating. (I might have been able to squeeze out another winter with the existing tires, but the tread is a bit thin. The last time the trusty RAM got new tires I had to settle for Light Truck tires because the tires I needed weren’t available. The LT tires have a much harder ride which also caused a loss of almost 4 miles per gallon in fuel economy. The new tires are the correct ones for the truck so I expect I’ll gain back the better ride and fuel economy.)


One of the other changes taking place here at The Gulch over this upcoming week is a change to a new cable provider.

Our town now has two cable TV companies, with the newer one having just finished installing their cable infrastructure in our part of town. (Call me a cynic, but as I have stated more than once, “Now we have two cable companies to hate!”) The new cable company - who shall remain nameless...but owns NBC - offered a great two-year deal for less than half of what we have been paying our existing provider, with slightly higher Internet speeds.

Our existing provider went from being a pretty darned good cable company to being totally unresponsive to customer needs. This change took place during Covid as they closed local offices and moved their customer/tech support out of state. I know I have been trying to resolve an issue with my Internet service for almost two years now, an issue I know how to fix but takes the actions of the tech support guys on the “other side” of the cable modem to resolve. Do you think I can reach them?


There are only two paths for tech support: going to their web page and reading the various FAQs, or invoking the chat function and waiting for 4, 5, 6 hours or more to deal with an actual human being. Their phone number points to the web page and doesn’t connect to an actual human being. My problem cannot be resolved via the FAQs, and I have more important things to do than hang around online for hours on end only to be disconnected and leaving my problem unresolved.

There have been other issues as well, with one of the most annoying being losing the video in the middle of a show for no apparent reason (and finding related channels have also disappeared). It’s been happening with increasing frequency which has certainly peeved the WP Mom to no end.

It’s as if the C-level execs are doing what they can to shed themselves of their holdings up here, pushing towns to dump them as a provider. (If they don’t want to provide services up here any more I would think they would sell their assets to another provider and be done with it rather than letting them just wither away.

All cable companies have franchise agreements with the towns they serve which generally run for 10 years and which are reviewed and then renewed at the end of existing agreement. If a cable company doesn’t meet the terms of the agreement – a contract – the town may decide not to renew the agreement and the cable company has to leave. (This doesn’t happen overnight. Usually the decision not to renew is made a year or two before the agreement expires which allows the town to find a new cable provider.)


We’ll be off to the youngest WP Sister’s for Thanksgiving, the largest gathering of the WP Clan on Thanksgiving for some time. I’m looking forward to it after the Covid-driven hiatus kept us apart for three years.


Thoughts On A Sunday

It was a bittersweet day today at church for the WP clan, it being a remembrance of the passing of three members of the family, all of whom passed away on the same day – November 14th – though years apart. One of the WP Uncles passed away back in the late 1960’s, the WP Dad eight years ago, and one of the WP nephews four years ago.

The oldest WP sister and her S.O. came up to join us (and to help with some work around The Gulch). It was a nice seeing them as we don’t get together nearly as often as we’d like.


More than a few folks have mentioned more than once that the ‘woke’ Disney is going to pay the price for going woke, yours truly included, and now it looks like that is just about to happen in the form of mass layoffs.

Woke Disney isn’t cutting it these days. While they continue to groom and sexualize children with their woke agenda, people are starting to boycott Disney. They missed their earning by nearly a billion dollars and are expected to announce mass layoffs before either Thanksgiving or Christmas.

Disney has fallen under the sway of “Go woke, go broke” trap and is paying the price as have so many other corporations. If they don’t reverse course I expect they will also suffer the same fate so many other ‘gone woke’ businesses have.


Michael Shellenberger delves into how ‘woke’ is being used to generate profit from victimhood.

We tend to think of the people, and businesses, supporting Black Lives Matter, LGBT rights, and climate change advocacy as altruistic. They aren’t doing it for fame or fortune. They’re just doing it because they care about victims of violence, prejudice, and environmental degradation.

And yet over the last year, all three movements have been caught profiting from creating victims. BLM’s founder bought a $6 million home using donations intended to protect black lives from police violence. A British medical clinic is being sued by parents who allege that their gender dysphoric children were rushed into puberty blockers that can harm health. And climate activists funded by the heirs to the Getty and Rockefeller fortunes have staged protests on roadways that have caused several deadly traffic accidents.

Such behaviors shouldn’t surprise us, argues psychologist Sam Vaknin, who I interviewed at length on Monday. “Victim movements go awry when they are appropriated by the elites and become integrated into existing power structures, including profit-motivated power structures,” he argues. “Suffering becomes a commodity. The minute you monetize suffering, you have a vested interest. Victimhood becomes a permanent fixture because that's your product line. You're going to produce victims and suffering.”

This isn’t the first we’ve seen the like happen. How many times did we see leaders and organizations from the Civil Rights era corrupted by the money and power inherent in such movements? It is not different today.


It seems even more rural cities in the Northeast aren’t immune from the effects of the “Defund the Police” movement, the city in question being ultra-blue Burlington, Vermont.

Burlington is starting to resemble places like Portland and San Francisco with homeless and drug-addled derelicts increasing in number as the number of its patrol officers has declined by 70% from 50 to 15 officers. That supervisors and detectives have had to step in to fill those open patrol slots is not a good thing.

Defund police departments and crime goes up. Does that surprise anyone? No. But the real problem isn’t the lack of police but of the tolerance of drug addled transients. They know full well if they get arrested they’ll just be out the next day. They’ll never pay a fine and never do more time. There are no consequences whatsoever. That’s the real problem.

As one commenter wrote in the linked Instapundit post, “As per usual they ignore human nature and are then surprised when human nature slaps them in the face...so they try to ignore it even harder and get slapped harder in return.”

As Glenn Reynolds warned us back in 2020, “When “defund the police” fever was in full bloom in latte towns across America, “the breakdown of law and order won’t go as [leftists] hope. Ultimately, the police are there to protect criminals from the populace, not the other way around. Get rid of the police, and armed vigilantism is what you’ll get. And what you’ll deserve.”

We’ll see the return of so-called vigilance committees since neither the police or justice system are capable of doing their jobs. Like vigilantes of old, punishment is likely to be harsh with many crimes being punishable by death. There will be no appeals, no extenuating circumstances, no “He’s just a poor boy from a poor family” excuses. There will probably be no rehab offered, particularly to the drug-addled miscreants defecating and urinating in the streets or the doorways of homes and businesses and accosting residents minding their own business.

That won’t bode well for those on the wrong side of the law, at least in the eyes of the vigilance committees.


Then there’s this point to ponder, courtesy of Nitzakhon over at GraniteGrok.


And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee where the warm weather has fled, colder weather is replacing it, and snow might be showing itself later this coming week.


A Family Day

It's been a busy day here at The Gulch with family up visiting for the weekend. It has left me little time to do my usual Saturday scribbling. We are headed out to dine at one of our favorite eateries shortly.

In its place I offer this image shamelessly stolen from PowerLine. I present to you the Addams Family...of Pennsylvania.


Thoughts On A Sunday

It’s felt more like summer the past few days, with temps in the 70’s and an elevated humidity. It’s usually in the 50’s this time of year, but I am not complaining. It’s meant we haven’t had to turn up the thermostat as even over the past few nights the temperature has been in the upper 50’s/lower 60’s.

The great thing about the warm temps is that it has allowed me to do some work on the trusty RAM 1500, in this case dealing with some small rusty patches in the bed of the truck. I don’t want the trusty RAM 1500 to become the rusty RAM 1500. I saw that happen with the trusty Ford F-150, the predecessor to the RAM. I also touched up the bed of the truck with some Rustoleum to cover the surface scratches, again as a means of keeping the truck rust free. It will be undercoated again during the week of Thanksgiving. It’s also getting some new tires before winter as I doubt the existing tires have enough tread left for another winter. I need to do what I can to extend the life of the trusty RAM 1500 as long as I can because I don’t want to pay $40K to $50K to replace it (which is what I figured a good used pickup will cost if I have to replace the trusty RAM anytime in the next 5 years).


With the warm weather we’ve been experiencing I have regretted pulling the Official Weekend Pundit Lake Winnipesaukee Runabout out of the water last weekend. It’s been perfect boating weather. Then again, the weather is warmer than average we see this time of year. It could have just as easily been below freezing with snow and freezing rain.

Who knows, if I had delayed pulling the boat from the water it’s likely that’s what we would be experiencing right now...and it would have been all my fault!!


It appears I hadn’t done my research before I wrote yesterday’s screed against changing back to Standard Time.

The US Senate passed bipartisan legislation that would make Daylight Savings Time permanent, with a few exceptions. However, the bill stalled in the House.

Some have made the argument that year round DST would be harmful and suggested year round Standard Time. I can counter that with the same argument I made during yesterday’s post, New Hampshire (and Maine and Massachusetts) being at the extreme eastern side of the Eastern Time Zone, where Standard Time means the sun setting well before 4PM. That isn’t healthy either, the report from CNN to the contrary.


I made the mistake of watching some of the political reporting on TV yesterday, and to hear it, some of the media is claiming the Democrats will retain control of the House, gain full control of the Senate by winning two more seats, as well as take the governorships in a number of states.

But RCP is saying that isn’t so.

RCP adjusted some of their numbers based upon previous errors in underestimating GOP numbers, which has shifted their results. But even I have my doubts about RCP’s prediction. However, there is one ‘poll’ in which I have more confidence, that being the “Betting Poll”, something that John Stossel delves into.

It seems Las Vegas has a better record of predicting the winners than the polling organizations. Maybe it’s time to look at the betting line for the Midterms than the pollsters.


PJ Media asks the question “Are Lithium-Ion batteries safe in the home?”

My first response is “It depends.”

I deal with lithium-ion batteries as part of my job and I can say there are some manufacturers I trust and some I don’t. There have one or two trusted manufacturers who had batteries that were manufactured incorrectly that caused problems, one being Panasonic who, many years ago, had a production run of cells that had a propensity to ignite under normal use due to a contamination issue.

We’ve also seen issues with lithium-polymer batteries in smart phones, specifically one of Samsung’s new phone lines that had issues with the batteries igniting. (The reason for that problem was never released though the speculation was it was caused by an overly aggressive charging profile since the problem occurred with batteries from two different manufacturers.)

If the lithium-ion batteries are made by manufacturer with a good track record, the proper safety/control circuitry, and a proper charging profile, they can be safe. Otherwise all bets are off.

Here at The Gulch we have a number of devices with Li-Ion batteries: two laptops, two cell phones, two tablets, and a pair of hearing aids. All are from reputable manufacturers as are their batteries, so I don’t have too much concern...but I will not fully trust them.


And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the air is warm, the leaves are almost gone, and Election Day is two days away.


Here We Go Again

We are approaching yet another change from Daylight Savings Time to Standard Time, something I always hate. The downsides to the time changes in mid-fall and late winter far outweigh the upsides. One of the biggest downsides is the increased number of traffic accidents and medical emergencies that take place for the week or so after the change.

I have always disliked going back to Standard Time, seeing the sun setting here around 3:30PM by the time Christmas rolls around. I would rather have that extra hour in the afternoon.

Some have made the argument that having more light in the morning is better than having it in the afternoon, but for me that is a specious argument in light of the fact that I still have to get up in the dark, and in some cases, drive into work in the dark regardless of whether it is Standard Time or Daylight Savings Time. At least on DST I don’t also have to drive home in the dark.

Considering I live on the eastern edge of the Eastern Time Zone, the time zone being far wider than the others in the US, remaining on DST makes more sense. And if we can’t do that, then it would be to our advantage to change to the Atlantic Time Zone and remain in Atlantic Standard Time year round (which is the equivalent of Eastern Daylight Time).

I don’t know of anybody who likes changing the clock twice a year. Anecdotally, most people I have talked to would prefer to remain in DST year round, at least here in New Hampshire.

Update: Here’s some information that explains another benefit of remaining on Daylight Savings Time: It can save wildlife as well as human lives.


A Different Path

If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time you know of my healthy skepticism about electric vehicles. From an engineering point of view they really don’t make sense, particularly since we do not have the electrical grid needed to support EVs and aren’t likely to have one any time soon. This is particularly true if the Renewable Energy acolytes figure we can meet all of our ever increasing electrical demand with wind and solar.

We can’t. The numbers don’t add up. It also doesn’t help that even though the Renewable Energy acolytes like the idea of wind and solar they are quite often against the powerlines needed to get the electrical power where it’s needed.

Surprisingly, while a number of major automakers have hopped on board the present EV bandwagon, two major automakers have said “No thanks”, those two being Toyota and Honda. I covered Toyota’s decision not to go down the EV path, where Toyota’s CEO explained their decision. Honda is also following that same path.

Some folks have seen the decision as one that will lead to the end of those two automakers, but when one finds out why, their decisions make sense.

The US and Europe are going down the battery EV route which requires connecting the EV to charging stations in order to refuel. The downside to this is the amount of time it takes to charge the batteries and the amount of electricity required if we change over to this model.

So what are Toyota and Honda going to do to not be left behind in the EV game?


Both are going all in on fuel cell vehicles. They are both still EVs, but rather than requiring being plugged into the grid to ‘refuel’, they are connected to a hydrogen pump to fill an actual fuel tank, taking a little more time to refuel than traditional gas or diesel-fueled vehicles. The only exhaust from these vehicles is water vapor.

The argument can be made that it isn’t easy or necessarily ‘green’ to generate hydrogen, and that’s true if one uses traditional means of generating hydrogen. But the Japanese have an ace up their sleeve, one that can generate as much hydrogen as needed in the quantities needed.

It’s called Red Hydrogen and it can replace most fossil fuels.

The great thing about using hydrogen and fuel cells is that it doesn’t require such a major shift in how we use our cars and trucks. Just the fuel being used will change from being liquid to a gas and the technology will switch from traditional internal combustion engines to fuel cells and electric motors. (Hydrogen can be used to fuel traditional internal combustion engines, just like compressed natural gas and propane have been used. Hydrogen can also be used as fuel in gas turbines.)

Are fuel cell EVs the correct path to take rather than the battery EVs? I believe they are. So do Toyota and Honda. Apparently so does Japan as they are going heavy into hydrogen production. I think it’s time we consider doing the same.


Thoughts On A Sunday

Friday was the final day of the boating season as BeezleBub and I pulled the Official Weekend Pundit Lake Winnipesaukee Runabout from the water. After BeezleBub finished work we got the boat trailer over to the town docks, retrieved the boat from its slip – with a little side trip out to one of the islands – before heading to the docks.

It was well past sundown by the time we were loading the boat onto the trailer and dark by the time it was parked temporarily at BeezleBub’s place. Yesterday was spent removing all the gear and cleaning the cockpit, then stowing the removed gear here at The Gulch. Finally we moved the boat to the boat yard for winterization and storage.

My boating season was officially over.


Despite the TV ads we see hyping it, 5G cell service isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. While the article linked in the Instapundit post is specific to the UK, the problems seen there are the same ones seen here in the US. The comments are telling as they highlight the problems seen here, including the video which delves into the reasons why 5G service stinks.

Considering 4G-LTE does pretty well, is there a real need to switch to 5G? Not as best I can tell. I certainly haven’t noticed a lack, particularly when my phone connects to WiFi. (At home I don’t have a strong cell signal, so more than half of my phone calls are made via the WiFi connection.)


Apparently it isn’t just New England that has to worry about possible blackouts this coming winter. Jolly Olde England is in the same predicament.

National Grid warns Britons of blackouts on ‘really cold’ evenings

FT conference hears of various ‘unlikely’ scenarios in which UK might not have sufficient energy

Nathalie Thomas, Energy Correspondent OCTOBER 18 2022

National Grid’s chief executive has warned British households to prepare for blackouts between 4pm and 7pm on “really, really cold” weekdays in January and February in the event of reduced gas imports from Europe.

John Pettigrew said the company would have to impose rolling power cuts on “those deepest darkest evenings in January and February” if generators failed to secure enough gas from the continent to meet demand, particularly if the country suffers a cold snap.

Of course, “really, really cold” in the UK is different than “really, really cold” in New England, with “really, really cold” in the UK being just regular winter “cold” here. “Really, really cold” here means single digits above zero (Fahrenheit) to double digits below zero. Add in wind chills and it gets kinda frosty around here.


Hearing that Elon Musk is firing Twitter employees, many of which I believe richly deserve to be fired because of their totalitarian view on freedom of speech – “You can speak freely as long as you agree with us” – I have to ask this question: Will Elon fire enough of them? Or will he fire just enough to get the message across that “Freedom of Speech” also means speech they disagree with, that they are not the arbiters of what is and is not allowed?

Only time will tell.


Speaking of Twitter and Elon Musk, it seems CBS lost it’s mind when Musk finally closed the deal for Twitter, claiming “our democracy is in peril”. That’s ironic considering CBS and the rest of the DNC-MSM have been a bigger threat to our republic than a Musk-owned Twitter ever will.

Musk finalized his lengthy acquisition of Twitter yesterday, tweeting triumphantly: “[T]he bird is freed.” Just hours later, the anti-American liberal press flocked to attack Musk’s deal because it could have “big implications for our democracy” and worsen “misinformation” on the Oct. 28 edition of CBS Mornings. Chief among CBS’s worries: A return of former President Donald Trump to the platform.

CBS, of course, framed the news of the Musk deal around “hate speech,” not free speech, right from the get-go. “How will Musk balance out freedom of speech while at the same time discouraging and reining in misinformation?” CBS correspondent Jonathan Vigliotti asked. “The stakes are incredibly high for millions of Americans.”

“The stakes are incredibly high for millions of Americans”? Indeed. Millions of Americans will no longer be banned for “hate speech” that was nothing of the sort. It was free speech, something we know Progressives hate.


AVI addresses the growing acceptance of polygamy in the US.

Being married to one person is tough enough. Being married to more than one person has got to be even tougher.

Polygamy has been normal in a number of cultures in the past, with some of it being driven by a lack of a sufficient number of one gender.

Today, it is driven by something else, maybe hypergamy, where a number of women have set their sights on a small group of males who meet their standards, often referred to as ‘Sixes’ – six feet tall, six-pack abs, and six figure income – and it’s to the point that they’re willing to share as long as they can get their ‘perfect’ guy. (This is something that has been making the rounds on social media lately, and there have been a number of videos covering this perception on YouTube and TikTok.)

Will it come to be here in the US? Call me old fashioned, but I hope not. I think it would be a negative influence and lead to more social problems. It is a solution to a problem that does not exist.


And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the boats have been disappearing from their slips and being stored away, my boating season has ended, and where Halloween is been celebrated tomorrow night!


Toyota Decides EV's Aren't Worth It

The world’s largest automaker – Toyota – will not be jumping on the electric vehicle bandwagon like so many of the automakers. Apparently the higher-ups in Toyota have listened to their technical experts who expressed their doubts about the wisdom of going all in on electric vehicles, and their reasons why.

That’s why Toyota’s CEO announced it will not be making the switch over electric vehicles, focusing more hybrids and standard ICE powered vehicles.

The push to EVs is premature. The infrastructure, particularly in the US and Europe, isn’t up the task. Both the grids and the generation capacity need major upgrades and neither is going to occur any time soon. The folks pushing for EVs are quite often the same folks doing their best to prevent the needed upgrades to make their EV ‘paradise’ come true. I don’t know if it is hypocrisy, ignorance, or both causing this disconnect between fantasy and reality.


It Was On Purpose

Hearing the doomsday news regarding energy in the US, specifically the supply and cost of gasoline, diesel, heating oil, natural gas, and downstream effects on electricity rates in places like New England, my first thought is usually “Why have the Democrats done this to us?”

Considering the damage the Democrats in Washington and the states have done to our energy supplies, destroying our energy independence all in the name of combating climate change, while giving our commercial and ideological rival, China, a pass regarding their skyrocketing CO2 emissions even as ours have fallen about 45%, one has to wonder if it is sheer ignorance that has caused the Democrats to wreak havoc on our energy supplies or if it was done on purpose. I try to keep in mind the adage “Do not attribute to malice that which may be better explained by stupidity.”

It’s one thing if the actions that have hurt us so occurred only every so often I might think it was done due to stupidity or willful ignorance, but the actions the Democrats have taken again and again show malicious intent. They keep telling us its “for our own good” but what it’s really about control...and the people are sick of it.

Had Democrats spent the last 3.5 years liberating US oil/gas investment, production, and transport instead of strangling them, energy would be far cheaper.

But Democrats have sabotaged oil investment by 1) supporting various “ESG” policies that call for reduced oil investment and 2) threatening oil producers’ existence.

Since Barack Obama ran for President declaring “the age of oil must end in our time” and continuing through Joe Biden’s “guarantee” that “we’re going to end fossil fuel,” US Democrats have threatened the future of oil production—a major deterrent for investment.

Leading Democrats like Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders constantly threaten US oil production and make good on those threats by trying to prevent crucial oil infrastructure projects, such as pipelines. Having these kinds of politicians in power drives investment away from oil.

In addition to sabotaging US oil’s enormous potential by going after oil investment, Democratic politicians have done everything they can to sabotage oil production: threatening to ban fracking, banning federal leases, and calling for new, costly taxes and regulations.

US industry’s incredible ability to ramp up gas production has been desperately needed in recent years as gas has become more central to our economy and more needed by allies—especially those dependent on Russia. But industry has been strangled by Democratic opposition to pipelines.

Our bountiful natural gas is only useful if it can be transported by pipeline—to where it is needed in the US and to export terminals for shipment abroad. But in recent years we have seen a Democrat-led movement to block pipeline after pipeline. (One such pipeline would have brought much needed natural gas into New England, but well funded groups working with Democrats in New York and Massachusetts killed the project, leaving New England dependent upon expensive foreign natural gas that had to be transported into Boston by LNG tankers from Trinidad and Tabago. - ed.)

Considering a lot of the electricity in New England is generated by combined cycle natural gas power plants, electricity rates have more than doubled because of the skyrocketing natural gas prices.

Both diesel and heating oil are in short supply in New England, those shortages caused by the aforementioned actions of the Democrats, those actions taken with malice and forethought and without any consideration for the consequences of their actions.

As bad as it is now, it is only going to get worse if the Democrats continue their systemic destruction of our energy supplies.


Thoughts On A Sunday

It was the Last Cruise Of The Season for the Official Weekend Pundit Lake Winnipesaukee Runabout yesterday. I had my friends – refugees from San Francisco who made their escape to New Hampshire two years ago – accompanying me for a day out on the lake, cruising about and enjoying the fall foliage. We also anchored at one of my favorite spots (which shall not be named for obvious reasons) and enjoyed a late lunch before continuing our cruise.

It was a perfect day for that last cruise of the boating season – sunny and warm (65ºF) – with very little in the way of boat traffic to deal with. The lack of summerfolk boat traffic is one reason I like boating after Labor Day. One can actually spend time out on the lake on weekends without worrying about the Cap’n Boneheads.

The Official Weekend Pundit Lake Winnipesaukee Runabout will be coming out of the water later this coming week, be taken over to BeezleBub’s place so we can remove all of the gear and clean the cockpit before it makes its trip the boatyard which will winterize and store it for the winter.


I made the mistake of watching Good Morning America this morning.

To hear their reports and comments about the upcoming mid-terms it seems they are expecting Democrats to keep their House majority and gain three Senate seats. They are basing their viewpoints upon their own ABC/Ipsos poll and focusing on what Democrat voters see as important issues. However, they reported that abortion rights are one of the top three election issues.

The problem is that there are a lot of other polls, including WaPo and NYT polls, that show abortion isn’t anywhere near the most important issues for voters. Almost every poll shows it is inflation/energy costs and the illegal immigration crisis at the border that are above abortion rights, in some polls more than a few places above abortion rights.

It goes back to something I’ve written elsewhere earlier about the DNC hammering away at abortion, trying to make it the #1 election issue...and failing. They are also pushing January 6th for all they can and aren’t gaining any traction there either.

Almost all of the Democrat campaign ads I’ve been seeing here in New Hampshire covering the two Congressional Districts, the US Senate, and the Gubernatorial race are aimed at abortion rights, and lately, Social Security and Medicare.

The new DNC ads are claiming GOP candidates Don Bolduc - US Senate - and Karoline Leavitt – CD1 - want to ‘destroy’ Social Security and Medicare, using some creative editing in the ads to make it seem they want to do away with both. They aren’t proposing anything both Republicans and Democrats haven’t proposed over the past 40 years or so.


OK, what’s going on in China?

It seems former Chinese leader Hu Jintao was forced to leave a meeting of the Chinese Communist Party congress under duress.

Why does this sound familiar?
>br> Wait, could it be the former Chinese leader is being subjected to the Chinese version or Trump Derangement Syndrome where the former leader - Hu - is being sidelined/minimized/criminalized by the present leader – Xi – to ‘keep him in his place’?


It looks like our neighbor to the north has decided to go stupid, banning handguns.

I expect Canada is going to learn the same lesson as the UK: Only criminals will have guns...and will continue to use them against a now unarmed populace. They will also see and increase in knife violence, just as they’ve seen in the UK. That also implies Canada will impose knife control at some point, too.

Canadians will also learn a lesson already learned in Australia after they banned guns: The government will become increasingly intrusive and tyrannical because they know their now disarmed citizens can no longer tell the government to “F*ck off!”, or at worse, be unable to depose the tyrants.

It’s time for our Canadian brethren to kick out Fidel Trudeau and restore the rights that have already been stripped from Canadians. The same goes for the Australians.


EVs are supposed to be cheaper to ‘fuel’ than ICE vehicles, at least according to the EV purists. But it turns out that isn’t true, at least in the UK.

The price of charging an electric car using a public rapid charger is now more expensive than filling up with diesel according to data gathered by Parkers. The soaring price of wholesale gas and electricity has forced up the cost of charging a typical electric car, with £10 of charge taking you less far than the same amount of diesel.

This rise in EV charging begins to bite just as petrol and diesel prices are finally beginning to fall. Despite the spiralling costs of using public electric car chargers, the long-term consideration of an electric car is still very much on many drivers’ minds.

However, we’re seeing much the same thing here, particularly as electricity rates keep climbing. Here in New Hampshire electricity rates have doubled for some ratepayers, and more than doubled for others. It is expected the rates will go up again some time around February. The same is true in other states, one of them being California. As bad as the electricity rates are here in New England, they’re worse in California.


We keep hearing claims that Republicans are working hard to prevent people from voting in elections, putting up all kinds of roadblocks to keep the poor, minorities, and others from participating in elections in violation of the US Constitution. Below is an illustration of just how we evil Republicans are doing so:

(Image courtesy of Patriot Post)

Our nefarious plan is coming to fruition! Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!!!


And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where boats are disappearing from their slips to be stored away for the winter, the fall foliage is now past peak and the leaves are falling, and where the Mid-Terms are a little over two weeks away (Thank Goodness!).