Thoughts On A Sunday

The warmer temperatures have arrived with us seeing the low to mid 70’s today, tomorrow, and later in the week. That means it will make it a little easier to attend to the continuing spring cleanup chores, something that is taking a lot more time this spring as there have been some cleanups I haven’t performed over the past couple of years. (Not that it has been blatantly evident I didn’t get to them as they were internal to The Gulch, in this case in one of the two attics.)

I have two weeks left before the Official Weekend Pundit Lake Winnipesaukee is due to be launched which means I will have about two days before launch to clean it up, yet another part of the annual spring cleanup. Fortunately I have some of the boating gear here at the Gulch which will make it easier to clean before being returned to the boat.


I recently came to the conclusion that it was time to update some of the computers here at The Gulch, seeing as the youngest machine here is the laptop upon which I am writing this, and it’s 10 years old. The WP Mom’s computer is at least 12 years old and my HP Pavilion tower is even older. The laptop works well (though it needs a new battery, already on order from CDW), and has been using Linux since I acquired it a few years ago from my place of work when it was ‘surplussed’. It does what I need it to do though it isn’t all that fast.

Both the WP Mom’s and my office HP Pavilion are reaching end of life, at least as far as Windows is concerned as next year Microsoft will stop supporting Windows 10. Neither of our computers are likely to be able to use Windows 11, nor do I like the intrusiveness, bloatware, or the ‘millions’ of tweaks that comes along with Win 11, those tweaks needed to make it work nearly as well as Windows 10 has right out of the box.

Since I wasn’t going to use Windows 11 and the machines we have are getting long in the tooth, I felt it was time to look at new computers. I checked the pricing of computers that were similar to what we already had and I was surprised to see just how costly they are. Even taking into account inflation, they are a lot more expensive than I thought they would be. However, if it was necessary I would spend what was needed. But then I thought about Micro PCs, something we have been using at our lab for some time for some of the more routine activities rather than workstations or other desktops/laptops.

Two things that surprised me: the cost, a fraction that of a tower/desktop or laptops, and just how powerful they are. Between the CPUs and heavy duty graphics processors (GPUs) they employ, as well as the RAM and hard drives they contain I am amazed at just how good they are. Checking listings at various sellers, reviews (many of them on YouTube by content providers I trust), and checking the specifications and benchmarks, I found I could replace both of our computers for less than $500 total with machines that were many times faster and more capable than what we have been using. They are also a fraction of the size of our present computers – about the size of a paperback Tom Clancy novel.

It is true that they generally don’t come with built-in DVD/Blu-Ray drives, but external drives are cheap if you need them. The thing is I know more data/music/video and so on is handled via USB thumb drives if for no other reason than they have much higher capacity than any DVD or BluRay disk.

The new Micro PCs that will be replacing our old hardware will do what we need them to do. Since the WP Mom uses hers primarily for e-mail, web surfing, playing a few games like Solitaire and Mah-Jong, and the occasional video call. Not much computer horsepower is required for her needs. I do a lot of writing, some photo and video editing, and web surfing, of course. So I needed more horsepower and ordered one that is better suited to that use.

And which OS will be used on these new computers if not Windows 11?

Linux Mint.

And the old computers? They will be restaged for other uses, with my old HP Pavilion becoming an experimental machine using Arch Linux (after replacing the hard drive) and the WP Mom’s old Dell being upgraded with some more memory and a new hard drive, then loaded with Linux Mint as it is very Windows-like in appearance and usability as well as being having wide adjustability and configurability.


This isn’t a surprise to anyone paying attention, particularly up this way.

Annual Massachusetts Outmigration Hits 39,000, Up 1,100% Over The Last Decade.

That people are leaving Massachusetts isn’t surprising. That it’s a very small percentage of the total population isn’t either, but the article is making it seem it’s a large part of the population when in fact it’s about one-half of one percent, and that’s over a period of 10 years. If that was happening every year, then we’d be talking about heavy outmigration.

Part of the problem is that some of them end up here in New Hampshire, and of that group, some are bringing their voting patterns and Progressive viewpoints with them. This is much the same problem many red states have been dealing with. Others within the group are moderates or conservatives who had enough of dealing with the People’s Republic of Taxachusetts and decided to leave.


Some of the weapons systems we and our allies sent to Ukraine to help in their war against Russia have performed quite well, some might say almost miraculously.

Javelin and NLAW anti-tank missiles from the UK decimated Russian armor until Ukraine was able to bring its FPV drone into play as an additional anti-armor force. HIMARS gave Ukraine extended artillery range that could reach targets well within Russian occupied territory and do so with precision. ATACMS has since joined HIMARS which gives Ukraine even more range – up to 190 miles – to hit targets in occupied areas as well as Russia. Storm Shadow cruise missiles from the UK and France extended strike capability into Russian held territory as well as into Russia itself. The M2 Bradley IFV has made a big difference on the battlefield, performing far better than the Russian-built BMPs and showing it is more than capable of taking out Russian BMPs, BTRs, and tanks with it’s 25mm auto-cannon even while taking enemy fire and protecting the crew and troops inside.

But not all of the weapons we’ve provided to Ukraine have performed as well as the ones listed above, one of those under-performing weapons being the M1A1 Abrams tank.

Last year, the United States sent 31 of our nearly top-of-the-line Abrams M1A1 tanks to Ukraine. (I say "nearly" because we are already producing the upgraded M1A2 model.) Zelensky had been begging for them, insisting that they were the key to breaking through the Russian lines when Ukraine launched its summer counteroffensive. Well, we all saw how that worked out. The counteroffensive stalled and now the Russians are advancing and driving back Ukraine's forces on the eastern front. But what of our tanks? This week, Ukraine pulled the remaining tanks from the front lines. The tanks had reportedly become sitting ducks for Russian drone and missile strikes. More than a quarter billion dollars worth of military hardware has now apparently been sidelined or destroyed.

I’m not all that surprised even though the Abrams has much better survivability than the Russian T-64, T-72, T-80, and T-90 tanks. The Abrams is tougher, but it isn’t invulnerable. The newer M1A2, and specifically M1A2 Sep v3, has had upgraded systems and armor, including better reactive armor and powerplants. But the upgraded Abrams aren’t available to anyone except the US Army and US allies and aren’t likely to make their way to Ukraine unless the Russians escalate and go after NATO.


The L.A. Times declares a climate emergency in California because “the last few months have been more than 2 degrees hotter than average”. The problem?

NOAA’s temperature data doesn’t back up the claim. It doesn’t even come close.

NOAA’s data shows the mean February maximum temperature over its base period interval of 1901 – 2000 is 55.6 degrees F compared to California’s February 2024 maximum value of 56.0 degrees F (0.4 degrees F above the mean) as indicated in NOAA’s data table below versus the Times distorted and false claim of “2 degrees hotter than average”.

More importantly, the February 2024 maximum temperature of 56 degrees F in California is only the 62nd highest out of 130 total February recorded highest values with the 2024 temperature clearly not representing “a horrifying streak of record-breaking heat” as falsely hyped by the L A Times editorial.

Why let actual data affect the narrative? If the data doesn’t fit the narrative then it must be ignored, or better yet, discredited if not ‘disappeared’ entirely. That’s how the climate change cultists work.


And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the weather is getting better, more boats are appearing at docks and being seen on trailers on the road, and where even Monday isn’t going to bother me...I hope.