Spring… in New Hampshire

Woke up this morning to news that the Pacific Northwest was hammered by an honest-to-God snowstorm in mid-April — the latest snowstorm on record in the Portland, Oregon area. Lucky bastards. Here in New Hampshire, it peaked above 60 degrees and there’s finally some sign of new life on trees (spring really does start a month or so after the Willamette Valley, most years). Went for a nice walk, enjoyed the birdsong, and didn’t have on a warm coat. Well, maybe a light flannel. 🙂 Even though I’ll miss winter, I do look forward to summer. All seasons have their upsides!

Wet, NH Spring Day

The New Hampshire Seacoast

Sunny, but a bit chilly, day at the ocean. Josh and Eve’s first time on the Atlantic beaches.

Spoiled by warmer PNW weather
Old geological survey marker pounded into granite
Weathered and beaten
Lobster for the win!

Spring? What is Spring?

Woke up to this this morning, and 14F (just under zero with wind chill). Won’t last but a few days. Last gasp of winter thrown at New Hampshire?

Books, Books, and More Books

Today, Danica and I finally put together the first bookcase we’ve purchased since moving to New Hampshire. In Oregon, we had a library with a lot of bookcases, all filled to the brink. Really, too many, and we didn’t do a great job of paring down before moving. Consequently, we have tons of boxes full of books in the cellar (they don’t call ’em basements out here). The house is a bit smaller, with no library, so we’re going to be… more selective with what goes up on shelves. And we’ll probably have to do some donating eventually, too, but that’s a job for a much later date.

The question is this: what qualifies a keeper? And secondly, what makes you want to put it on a shelf and not in a box? Three things, for me. First, is it something I’m going to read, either for the first time or again? Second, does it have some nostalgic value to you? And third, does it provide some reference utility? If it doesn’t match one of those three, then it’s certainly not going on a shelf, and yeah, should probably be ejected from my orbit of “stuff”.

Marie Kondo (“The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up”) said books are the hardest one, and I completely agree. Books have more physic heft than most objects, each one usually representing some part of your life, some mode of thinking, some learning, or even epiphanies you might have had. Letting go of those physical manifestations of the past is a bit like a historical lobotomy.

But… stuff is just stuff. You’re almost always better letting go.

Waiting For Spring

Foggy afternoon after an icy morning

Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner

Ribeye Caesar salad. Danica knocked this out of the park.

Nicotine and Obesity

Tim Urban from Wait But Why had a great Twitter post this morning: https://twitter.com/waitbutwhy/status/1506254528663875585?s=20&t=jiNlYq9q5MZIDvWz0Cn2OQ. It’s a chart showing the huge drop of smokers in the US over the past 40 years, along with the huge increase of obesity rates over the same period. His question is it correlation or causation? He follows up with one of his trademark graphics to give some options for people to choose from. Unfortunately, my take is it’s not that simple. As with any chaotic system… it’s complicated.

Are they connected? Absolutely. Nicotine is a well-known appetite suppressant. People that consume nicotine, regardless of form, find it easier to eat less. This isn’t controversial, and knocks down the option that they aren’t related. On the other side of the artificial fence, you have people that claim that this is the cause of America’s obesity issue, which I think is just as unsupportable. The variables that might impact this during this time period — a 40 year time span! — are myriad. Increasing carbohydrate consumption, less ruminant sourced meat consumption, increase of certain environmental contaminants, less vitamin D generated from the sun, more screen time, and yes, drastically less nicotine consumption. And I’m sure I’m missing a lot of variables that might be moving the needle.

My take on nicotine: it’s an under-appreciated drug that has some fantastic uses, but with obvious pitfalls that everyone should have the information to judge for themselves if it’s right for them. It’s hard getting solid information out there, as agendas drive seemingly everything. Yeah, it’s addictive and not free, and those are real issues. But the nootropic effects (clarity of mind, increased focus, better memory generation) and the appetite suppressant effects can’t be discarded. In 2022 you don’t need to burn dried vegetable leaves to ingest it, either, with some pretty safe ways of getting it into your bloodstream. Balance those and make your own decision!

Setting Moon, Rising Sun

Starbucks, Rarely

On the way south for a Costco shopping trip (it’s a long drive, so we only go monthly), we stopped at Starbucks in Manchester. We had expiring reward stars, so had to use them. A lot of them. We realized it was our first time at a Starbucks since Christmastime when we were in the Seattle area. How times change.

And their eggs bites still beat anything at Dunkin’. 😎

They need a Starbucks in New London!