Thursday Feb 28, 2008

Bring on SPRING !

Ah....   Spring.

Even just the word itself sounds wonderful, but too much like a whispered promise that will never be kept.

This winter in New Hampshire started with record breaking snowfalls in December.

January brought some needed thaws and, of course, more snow.

And February brought more snow.   11 inches of it in this week alone.

Local schools have had SEVERAL "snow days".   Local businesses, too.   Of course, working from home, Georg and I have only missed a few hours of work (not days) due to snowstorms....

So far this season, we have had 18 "plowing events".   That's a snow storm that results in everyone getting out their plows.   And following some of those events, a few extra "tidy up" plowing hours were also required.

The snow banks have continued to grow.   Impressively tall snow piles have accumulated.   Thanks to the warm spells followed by hard freezes, many of these have frozen solid and are now like cement!

Snow sliding off the bigger roofs have created several snow removal challenges.   And the thaws & freezes have created icy roads and driveways over and over again.   Salt & sand have had to be applied each time.

We have put in many hours maneuving our plow up and down the driveways and around the barns.   And, like many in town, we've also paid various professionals & friends with bigger tractors, front loaders, and plows who have also put in several hours plowing, sanding, moving snow piles around our property, and helping improve accessibility.

Lovely as it is, and believe me it is Absolutely Stunningly Beautiful ! this winter has been down right expensive!   And, that's just in terms of driveway maintenance!

Across New Hampshire, this winter is considered a record breaker.   Season snowfall accumulation statistics are expected to exceed the 100 inch mark.   Very impressive!

However, with that, the costs of this winter are also likely to be record breaking for the people of New Hampshire!   A lot of resources ---- Time & $$$$ ---- go into "coping" with the record snowfalls...

And, I understand another snow storm is coming Saturday....   Oh joy.

Time to hook up the plow again and bring in more firewood!

Tuesday Jan 08, 2008

Voting for the First Time, NH Primary

Amazing!   I'm now a registered voter in the USA.

With temperatures in the 50's & 60's today, we enjoyed a taste of Spring while the NH Primaries were underway.   It looked to me like lots of folks in town went to the Warner NH Town Hall to cast their votes, and yup, I was one of them.

The process could not have been easier!   It involved a circular trip around the small auditorium, stopping at each table for each process step.

At the first table, I filled out the voter registration form, showing my NH Driver's License.   At the next table, since I had not registered as a Democrat nor a Republican, I had to choose between the pink sheet or a blue sheet...   voting ballots color-coded by party.   Interesting.

I noted that there were A LOT of names on the ballot that I did not recognise, as well as an empty line.   This struck me as odd.   I asked what that was for and was told I could add another name to the list if I so desired.   I asked if this meant I could vote for "Ted Young", one of our town's well known residents, and they said I could.

Okay, that's cool.   :-)

Moving on, I took my ballot sheet behind a little curtain and quickly ticked off my candidate of choice.   I won't say who I voted for, but suffice to say I think she's a good "two for the price of one" kind of candidate.

At the next table, my name was added to the list of registered voters and marked off as having voted.   Next table, I handed in my marked ballot.   Next table, I got to return to my "undeclared / undecided / independent" party status, confirming my desire to not be aligned with either the Democratic nor Republican parties.

And finally, I was back at the starting point, where I was congratulated on voting for the first time.

On the local news, they're talking about long lines and over 500,000 New Hampshire residents voting today.   Is it the weather bringing people out or a strong desire amongst citizens to try to make something new & positive happen?   I don't know.   But for this first time voter, I can only say that my first NH Primaries experience was actually rather fun.




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