Pete's random thoughts

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Gun deaths vs vehicle deaths

Here is a neat little widget that I found online. It is a counter that compares how many gun-related deaths there have been since the beginning of the year to how many vehicle deaths, falls, swimming pool accidents and other ways of being killed. The data is based on CDC statistics. In comparison, guns are generally pretty safe.

The interesting thing is the large number at the bottom which shows how many guns were used in DEFENSE of life.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Fort at No. Four is rising from oblivion!

I wouldn't allow myself to believe it until I saw it with my own eyes, but there is actually a rescue of the Fort at No. Four going on!

There is a new director who loves history, has a small business background, and understands the value of volunteers. The Fort was open last weekend for a work-party day on Saturday, and a general open house on Sunday. A nice crowd turned out.

This year the Fort will open up a few more times in preparation for reopening for real in 2011.

Read their schedule here.

If you know us, then I don't need to tell you how important #4 is to us. Wendy and I were married there in 1999. We held my Mom's funeral there in 2000. I first joined as a member of the Fort at No. Four in 1991, just shy of 20 years ago.

Another Bike Week is history

This past weekend wound up the 2010 Laconia Bike Week. Every year a couple of hundred thousand biker show up in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire for a day, a weekend or the whole week.

This year, I managed to spend three days in motorcycle-related activities. First, I rode up for the day last Tuesday with my friend Bob. He started riding last year and had never gone to bike week before. We went to see the manufacturer's demos at Funspot to check out the new Royal Enfields, went wandering around looking at bikes, vendors and people at the Laconia Roadhouse located at the Weirs Beach Drive-in (the epicenter of activities), had some food at the Broken Spoke Saloon, and stopped by the Rt 104 Diner on the way back out of town to see the mobile Indian Motorcycle Museum that a guy sets up there every year and as luck would have it, there was also a classic car cruise night going on at the same time. Got myself a pretty good sunburn that day.

On Friday, Wendy, Caleigh and I went bike shopping at a couple of the bigger dealers in the Concord/Manchester area and found a bike for Wendy. She has short little legs and can't reach the ground from a tall old Jap bike like mine. What we found for her was a scaled down cruiser style bike called a Hyosung Aqulia. It is a 250 V-twin that sits really low and only weighs 366 pounds (by comparison, my vintage Suzuki GS weighs in at over 600 pounds and is at least 10" to 12" higher in the seat. After leaving a deposit on it, we headed up Rt 93 to Laconia to get dinner and see what we could see on Friday night.

Saturday came, and we were back out on the road to go pick up her bike. We went in her Jeep, and on the way home she followed Caleigh and I home. She hasn't ridden since before Caleigh was born, so it probably wouldn't have been a good idea for her to get on it in Manchester and ride it the 100 miles home through bike week weekend traffic.

I think I got more riding time in during the last week than I did in all of last year. Now that Wendy has a bike, maybe we'll be more inclined to take the bikes to go places as opposed to going in the Jeep.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Chicks are getting bigger, time to order more

On the last day of April, roughly 5 weeks ago, our first batch of meat chicks arrived in the mail.

Now most of them are just about the size of "Cornish game hens". People don't generally know this, but what is called a 'game hen" in the supermarket is neither a game bird nor a hen. They are usually Cornish Cross roosters that are a month old. If left to grow longer, they become the standard chickens that you'd buy at the meat counter, and left even longer they become those giant Purdue Oven Stuffer roasters.

I'll probably let these grow out another 5 weeks or so and put them in the freezer for winter. In the mean time, it is time to order the next batch of chicks. I get 50 at a time. A certain amount of them are lost to piling or whatever, but around 75-80% of them live to be Sunday dinners.

The plan is to order some every month, as soon as the previous batch vacates the brooder or the growing-out pen. That way, we make the best use of the weather when we don't need to worry about water fonts freezing.