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Archive for October, 2008

Attached to the back of the house, near the center, is a double flood light fixture. The fixture hangs about 12′ above the ground, roughly equivalent to the area between the first and second floors. One of the bulbs burned out over 30 years ago. The other bulb lasted over 30 years. It finally burned out last week.

I can no longer lean the old extension ladder against the side of the house for fear of denting the new vinyl siding. And my 6′ step ladder isn’t quite long enough to reach the bulb without risking my life. So it’s off to Home Depot to buy an 8′ step ladder, which works perfectly. I remove both dead bulbs, note the wattage (which at 75 watts each seemed a bit much, and the probable cause for the initial failure). Back to Home Depot forĀ  2 new bulbs – lesser wattage (don’s ask me how, but today 15 watts = 65!), more efficient, long-lasting, and about $10 each. Only one problem – the new techie bulbs have a thicker base, and will not fit into the fixture, which I don’t realize until I bring them home and try them. So, back to Home Depot for the third time. Found 2 bulbs that will fit, each one 55 watts but costing $30 each. BUT, guaranteed to last 4 years. Sounds fair until you consider that the one die-hard bulb that burned out last week had been there for OVER THIRTY years.

Our back yard is now properly illuminated, just in time for daylight savings time to end. And at the cost of only $90 for the new ladder, and $60 for the bulbs and about $20 in gas. Hopefully at least one of the bulbs will last for at least 4 years, at which time I may be able to retire and move to Alaska.

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Early this year, Yahoo applied forĀ  the largest set of tax breaks the state of Nebraska would allow in order to set up operations in the town of La Vista. It will invest over 100 million dollars in this operation, create approx. 50 jobs for the state with an average salary of almost $70,000.

How the hell can they do that? They just announced plans to lay off 1500 employees from their California site, trim $400 million in expenses, and CLOSE several sites around the US.

The only rationale for this is the TAX BREAK! If Nebraska gives a larger break than say Ohio, well let’s move there. Something is very wrong with this philosophy. I can’t afford to sell my home and move to a town or state which has lower taxes. It’s not even cost-effective for me to trade my gas-guzzling SUV for something more economical.

Sorry, but I think that’s just plain wrong. I’d like to see a country chock full of SMALL businesses – people working for THEMSELVES, not the government. I’d LOVE to start a small business of my own. But I’d need at least $250 million in capitol to start it.

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We spent a beautiful day Saturday exploring yet another part of NJ we’re not familiar with – Hunterdon County. After an hour or so of browsing the outlet stores in Flemington, we headed north on 31 then west on 78 to the very edge (literally!) of NJ. At one point we were driving along a cliff 300 feet above the Delaware on a dirt road with no guard rail. I know my photographer friends are NOT happy that we forgot the camera. The view was spectacular! No need to travel to New England to see foliage this year. Western NJ and eastern PA were peaking today in the vibrant colors of fall.

There are over 30 wineries in New Jersey that are part of the Garden State Winegrowers Assoc. (http://www.newjerseywines.com/). I keep a printout of the addresses in the car whenever we’re travelling thru NJ. We found 2 in Hunterton County which are noteworthy. The village of Fineville in the town of Milford is located about as far west as you can go before crossing the river into PA. Within a mile or so of each other Alba Vineyard and Villa Milagro Vineyards offer both beautiful scenery and good wines. I found a 2006 Chamborcin an Villa Milagro that was just what I was looking for. So I came home with 4 bottles. Unfortunately Alba’s wines, all organically grown, seemed a bit off. However since they didn’t charge for the tasting, I felt obligated to buy a bottle of a merlot/cab blend. The saving grace of this vineyard was the drive. After a 3/4 of a mile drive from hiway 627, on a winding unpaved road, past corn fields and grapes, we came to the top of the hill where there is located a farm house, barn, silos, and tractors. It was this road which at times ran to the edge of the cliff, below which was a 300′ drop into the Delaware River. From here one can see Bucks County just on the other side of the river. The peace and quiet and solitude of the very relaxing. We’d have loved to have stayed there forever.

All in all, it was a great day to enjoy one of the many jewels of NJ, only an hour away from the aggrevatingly overpopulated metro area we reluctantly call home. When people ask where Metuchen is, I like to tell them Metuchen is not at the end of the world, but you can see it from there.

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