April 14, 2014
Early Brush Fire
Have been hearing sirens go by several times in the last 10 minutes. Went on FB and found there is a brush fire on 149 in Deering. If I were a betting person I would say t the very least Hillsboro and Antrim are there too from the sound of the sirens.
Very windy today so my gues is somebody threw a butt out the window and it caught the still brown grass at the side of the road on fire. We had rain yesterday, and are due for some tomorrow so the grownd isn't dry - but the vegetation isn't green yet so will burn quickly anyway.
Yesterday I went adventuring with a friend. I left the house at 5:30 AM as we were to walk Wildcat Falls in Merrimack and take photos shortly after sunrise. Even though it was cloudy and cool, and the sun didn't make an appearance as it was supposed to (per the weather-guessers), the hike was worth it.
Then we went and saw Captain America at a place where you sit at a table in comfortable chairs and they serve you lunch (or dinner if you are there later). They had very good burger (no bun for me) and their fries were awesome. I haven't had fries for a long time but these were obviously fresh made and not overly salted.
Then we headed out to walk the old canals in Nashua to MIne Falls. I never would haave thunk there is such an extensive walking trail system in the heart of Nahsua - NH's second largest city. By that time the sun had come out and it was starting to warm up. It ended up being a beautiful day to discover Mine Falls.
At that point I had to get back home to let Prince out, but it was a wonderful day full of fresh air, new sights, great hiking and never ending discussions. Oh, and I scored a planter box (sans the bottom) from the early morning walks - someone had left it in the middle of the trail so I carried it out (you know, leave the trails better than you found them). And, my friend had an extra weed wacker that he didn't use because it hurt his back, so I brought that home too.
Couldn't have asked for a better day!
March 16, 2014
Town Meeting 2014
I attended my first Hillsboro town meeting on Tuesday, after voting. I am used to attending Deering's meetings on Saturday, and that usually lasts anywhere from 4 to 6 hours. I knew I was in for a short night of sleep, being on a week night, but there was nothing to do bu buck up and deal with it.
First surprise: They didn't announce that they were following Robert's Rule of Order. Not neccessarily a bad thing, but it meant I didn't know the language the would use (I never heard the words "move the article", "move to vote", 'point of order" etc.
Second surprise, they commonly create articles that are "nonlapsing until xxx date" meaning that we would be obligated for a matching sum neach year until the date was reached (usually until December of 2015 for this year's articles).
Third Surprise: it was madatory that you walk up to the front and talk into a microphone, and address the board. That meant you didnt' get to face your fellow voters, and you were definitely in the spotlight when speaking. I have never had an issue being heard at town meeting, and I found the requirement that we strictly face the selectboard to be a bit disconcerting.
Fourth Surprise: Whenever the board was asked a question for information, rarely did they have a clue who would/could answer the question. Often there was a couple of minutes of silence before any type of response was given. The board did not seem as knowledgeable as I am used to, nor did they seem to recognize when it would be best or easier to call on a town employee to respond.
Fifth Surprise: the town is just now getting around to establishing capital reserve funds for such things as municipal building repairs.
Sixth Surprise: They hand out voter cards, but don't use them for hand votes. Any outcomes that couldn't be deterimined by voice vote, they asked the voters to stand at when "Yeah" or "Nay" was called. I am used to holding up the voter card and remaining sitting. However, it was niced to get off my butt for a minute.
Surprise 7: Even though the voters seemed to be determined to spend lots of money and pass every article, they did not approve purchasing a 5 acre tract of land for conservation purposes. If the selectboard had done a test on the land, to ensure there were no contaminant, this probably would have passed. But it seems that they figured since it was upstream from a former mill site, it couldn't possibly be contaminated. This site also happens to be downstream from the papermill in another town. I gather from the discussion that the town has purchased several parcels of contaminated land - which they found out after the fact so had to spend lots of money to clean up. You would think the selectboard would wake up after that happened a couple of time!
Biggest Surprise: The first 3 main articles worth over 7 MILLION dollars, comprising of the town budget as well as the water and sewer department budgets, all passed without a single comment from the voters. NOT ONE! To wit, they didn't even go thru the town budget line by line to give the voters an opportunity to discus and/or ammend that line item. A big change from Deering!
No Surprise: one of the articles worth the least amount of money took up the most time. $11,000 wasw argued over for 20 minutes or more. (the article was actually for 17k, but 6k was coming from a grant).
And the last point: if anyone ever says that they can't make a difference by attending town meeting, Hillsboro passed one article by 1 vote. Yes, 1 vote (58 to 57). This standing vote was actually taken twice since it was so close. One more person could have defeated the measure (or forced a secret ballot). And by the way, a whole bunch of people in attendance didn't vote as I estimate there were around 150 people in attendance.
February 23, 2014
New Hampshire has seen plenty of snow the last couple of weeks. The berms have gotten so tall that if meltage hadn't occurred Friday and Saturday (and should continue today), the next snow would meen hand shoveling as the snow blower was at it's limit as to the height it could throw. As it was, it was a good thing the 13" of snow I got during the week was dry and fluffy, otherwise the shovel would have gotten a workout then.
Sorry the pictures are so dark, but I lightened them as much as I dared - they were taken thursday night when I got home from work.
With all the snow meltage over the last couple of days, I was gratefull to find that the sump pump is actually in working order. The garage floor has been very wet with seepage from the overhead door and it would be going into the basement if not for the pump. As it is, I have to squeegee the low spots so the water goes to the sump hole, but that is no big deal.
And the lights that Harry installed a couple of weekends ago do a great job. Once the vapor barrier and drywall are in, they will have LED, recessed lights, but for now I just have regular incadescents in there. There are 3 lights in all, which provides plenty of illumination.
If you made it all the way to the end of this post, with its stunning photos of sump pumps and light bulbs, then you really need to find better hobbies than reading my posts - LOL.
January 21, 2014
Interesting interactive map. NH looks good except that category where we come in 37th. Somehow that doesn't seem right to me, but what the heck do I know?
Hat tip to SayUncle
January 11, 2014
New Year 2014 Tidbits
For the New Year, we had cold temperatures, -18 at 4 AM
By 7 AM, it had risen to -10 but I'm not sure the temp got above 0 all day.
Since it had snowed while I was gone for the holidays, and more snow was expected, I went out and got myself a roof rake. I assembled it so it would be ready when the time was right.
January 2 I went to work, to be sent home around 1:30 because my boss was worried about my drive home in what was supposed to be nasty weather. My trip home was uneventful and there were few cars on the road, so I made decent time for the conditions. Work closed at 3:30 and stayed closed on Friday so I didn't have to make the commute with still nasty roads. I did have to work from home, but was able to use my lunch hour to snow blow - how convenient!
Saturday I finished cleaning up the snow, even using my new roof rake to clear off the edges of my roof. WS came over and installed an outlet for a pellet stove that is being installed at the end of next week. He also installed my gun safe and drove a bird feeder pole into the frozen ground. I got a bird feeder put on it, but haven't had any visitors yet.
Nothing overly exciting in this list, but since this blog has been silent for a couple of weeks, thought I would let you know that I haven't just been vegging out on the couch!
December 22, 2013
And this would be why I was frantically insulating the floors - picture was taken at 3:30 AM (thanks to the formewner that left the thermometer outside the kitchen window).
By the time I left for work, it was -12 and SIL informed me it was -14 when she left for work (a couple of hours after I leave).
August 26, 2013
Farmers' Almanac Predicts 'Piercing Cold' Winter
As long as there is lots of snow so I can make use of the snowmobile, I'm okay with this. Of course, if there is little snow, I can snuggle by the woodstove and read, which is fine by me also.
August 19, 2013
I remember this well - Heavy rain meant WS was out in a yellow slicker digging a trench behind the house to get the water to divert to the side of the property. Huge winds, but the neighbor across the street wasn't there yet, so the trees broke the wind from hitting the house. That was way before we had done any landscaping, so at least we didn't have to worry about that.
July 07, 2013
New England Dragway has held drag races in Epping, NH for many years (as long as we have been here). We went to them once long ago, but these were the up and comers racing - not the big names. Nothing wrong with that, but we have always wanted to see the big names that we see on TV. You know, John Force, Robert Hight, Cruz Pedregon, Antron Brown etc.
This year, the Dragway had been upgraded to accommodate NHRA top legue racing, and of course we had to go! This track upgraded from holding a couple of thousand people, to selling 20,000 tickets to this event (plus over 10,000 for the qualifying runs on Friday and Saturday).
We were impressed once we got in the gates. All tickets got you access to the pits - which were right behind the grandstands. A lot of tracks have the pits seperate and you have to have pit passes (much like Sprint Car racing). Since we got there an hour before the final qualifying started, we took advantage to see some of our favorite drivers' rides and crews.
Naturally John Force and his whole slew of drivers were highlighted at the front. We got to see John Force, Courtney Force and Robert Height funny cars on display (I assume these are former cars, or back up cars).
Then the races started and that is when the fun begins. The started with eliminations for dragsters. The stands shake as the cars flash from the start line (we were about 2/3 of the way down the track) and the deep rumble can be felt thru your body as the cars get closer. Then as they go by, there is a rush of air as the cars puch their way down to the finish line.
The pre race burn outs creat quite the show themselves with the roil of smoke that comes up from the tires.
And the culmination of the day was that for the first time, John Force and his daughter Courtney Force, faced each other in the finals for funny cars. It was about the best outcome that anyone there could think of and they gave us quite the show as neck and neck they came barreling down the speedway in about 4 seconds. You can hear Jimmy yelling at the end of the race:
A great day of racing in New Hampshire - can't wait to go again next year!