Thursday, February 12, 2009

2 More Blessings To Count!

Despite the fact that I live way out in the sticks, high-speed internet is now available thanks to one of my roommates calling up and schmoozing the local cable-company folks. (Have I stated how envious I am of people who have the ability to politely finagle things out of others in such a way that all parties are satisfied with the arrangement!?) This was the same cable company who gave me a pretty firm "no" several times (due to the fact that my house is so far from the main tap). After Matt spoke to them, they came and strung almost a thousand feet of RJ11 cable from the trunk line out on the main road and regardless of the distance, there is excellent signal strength. I don't know how he convinced them, but I am extremely grateful for it.

So that huge ice storm we had back in early January caused ice to build up on the electrical lines and rip them right out of the house. The linemen came by and fixed them but the electric company sent a letter a couple weeks later telling me that they fixed it this time so that I would not be inconvenienced, but they would not fix it again because the lines were unsafe and I needed to update the entrance. This is due to the fact that it is the extremely outdated separate-lead arrangement: 2 separate wires, bare in some spots, no ground wire, strung over numerous poles and weaving through 400 feet of large white pines (another random disconnect waiting to happen once of of those trees decides to fall or drop a large branch, as large white pines are known to do frequently). In the process of having the cable strung, my roommate also looked into getting the electrical lines re-strung to my house and as it turns out, the electric company has been wanting to do this for years and will be covering the cost of the entire arrangement all the way from the road to the meter base! I thought I was going to have to pay over a thousand bucks to buy a pole and have it set in my yard! Now I don't have to kiss my tax return goodbye!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Quotey quote quote...

I remember this quote vaguely from a junior high literature class, today I spotted it on a coffee mug of all places.

"Greatness is not in where we stand,
but in what direction we are moving.
We must set sail sometimes with the wind
and sometimes against it-but set sail we must,
and not drift, nor lie at anchor."

-Oliver Wendell Holmes

Incidentally (and totally coincidentally), I've had pets named Oliver and Wendell... it appears I have a name in place for the next one.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Leisure Time

After Meeting today the 'Marmadoofus' and I took a long, exploratory cross-country ski trip on the ridgeline above my house. I really wish my camera was in working order right now because the scenery was incredible and I would like to have shared it. It was the first day of leisure that I have taken for a long time.

It was my guess that the main trail would at least be packed down by snowmobile traffic, but no. It was unbroken since the last eighteen inches of snow had fallen, except for a lone set of snowshoe tracks zigzagging around and disappearing into the woods. The snow was packed down enough under the tracks to let the skis slide easily but one had to stay alert enough to keep the skis in their place because the packed trail was so narrow (try doing back country skiing some time in deep, ungroomed powder and you will know exactly why it is better to have a packed trail). It looked like the person who made my trip easier and more interesting knew the woods well and had a preference for the older-style snowshoes, which were a little over three feet long and made of stretched rawhide on a wood frame. They also apparently used ski poles and stopped frequently to admire the scenery. It is amazing what you can learn about someone when you observe their footprints.

I am glad I decided to follow the snowshoe prints because they led me onto some beautiful woodland side trails which I never knew existed before due to their entrances being obscured by trees. This will come in handy when I am hiking in warm weather again!

The wood stove kept the shack cozy & warm and it nicely warmed the bowl of soup I left on it for my arrival back home. After heating up my insides we visited the roomies over in the trailer, watched a bit of the Super Bowl (only to discover that I still have no taste for competitive sports viewing), I only stayed for the first minute of the halftime show because Bruce Springstein seemed to be drunk or on something and I don't really like his music anyway. After soaking in the tub for an hour I find myself sleepily writing this post out of a slight pang of guilt because I don't write much any more and some of my friends in distant places only keep up with my doings on this blog. This slice of New England winter was for you guys. Jen and Jeanette, you are evil for moving to Hawaii and I am insanely jealous :-P.

I gotta go grab a few armloads of wood from the shed and then catch up on some sleep debt. I love the skiing but here's hoping March and mud season will be here soon.