Tag Archives: New Hampshire

Manchester Concert Series: Air Supply! ’80s crooners… still rocking.. kinda sorta.

Air Supply
Air Supply Today

This weekend I was off to a completely spur of the moment concert. The king of 1980’s adult contemporary rock, Air Supply! was playing at the Palace Theater in Manchester. Per usual I have a few comments to report out to my readers.

Palace Theater Manchester NH
The Historic Palace Theater in Manchester, New Hampshire

We were able to get tickets “last minute” and there were a few seats left, so obviously the show wasn’t sold out, but it was pretty full. I didn’t think there were this many Air Supply fans in the whole country let alone New Hampshire! The audience was an eclectic bunch, ranging from well into their 80’s down to teenagers. As is the norm in NH, at least a couple folks showed up in their best “concert overalls” and John Deere hats.

Air Supply Audience
Air Supply fans fully energized!
Paul Warnick Opening Act
Opening Act: Paul Warnick
Nose Bleed Seats at Air Supply Concert in Manchester
Air Supply on Stage (sorry for the blurriness)

The opening act,  New Hampshire’s own Paul Warnick, was pretty good. He belted out some competent guitar tunes reminiscent of Springsteen or Bob Seger. Air Supply itself, it was surprisingly good! Despite the fact that both Graham Russell and Russell Hitchcock are both in their 60’s, their voices and music skills were still in great shape. This is probably because they haven’t spent the last 40 years hopped up on  drugs like most of the other bands from the era. I must say, they really seemed to enjoy performing instead of just giving a half-assed show to make a quick a buck like so many other bands. Also, THANK GOD, they basically stuck to playing their old crowd pleasing hits from the 70’s and 80’s and totally avoided any of their new crap. This is the part I never understood about bands past their prime. The reason why you are past your prime, is because NOBODY LIKES YOUR NEW MUSIC. Why they continue to try to peddle their latest album’s tunes at the expense of what people want to hear is beyond me. It seems Air Supply realizes this and just stuck to what works. Thank you. Also, these guys have done a pretty good job of aging gracefully. Air Supply's Debut AlbumI do have to admit, I was half hoping that Russell Hitchcock would show up with his trademark afro from his earlier years… .but I guess he had the good sense to ditch this along with Graham Russell’s white polyester pants.

Air Supply Merchandise
When was the last time you saw 300 Air Supply T-shirts in one place? When was the last time you saw one Air Supply T-shirt?

For the diehard fan, the availability of Air Supply merchandise was pretty spotty. You had your choice of one type of T-shirt and their latest CD and DVD. I have to admit I bought a T-shirt and might work up the courage to wear it around NH. All-in-all.. not a bad show.

2013 Chicks Have Arrived!

Golden Sussex and other chicks

This spring it was time to replenish the flock a bit with 20 new chicks. I decided to try a few new breeds so I went with 10 “Golden Sussex” 6 “Delaware New Hampshire Cross” and 4 “Light Brahma.” I have never tried to raise any of these particular breeds before. All of these should be able to survive the tough New Hampshire winters, are reported to be capable foragers and will be laying a good amount of brown eggs.

They were all growing fine and within about a month I was able to move them to my “juvenile” pen to start to acclimate them to the outdoors and introduce them to the existing flock in a controlled manner (to help avoid any “hen pecking”).

Juvenile Pullets
“Juvenile” pullets about one month old… they are now venturing outside and getting used to seeing the other birds in the flock.

SnowCoaching up Mount Washington

This past week we took a trip up Mount Washington in lovely Coos County, New Hampshire. There is an  auto road all the way to the top of this 6,288 foot mountain (the highest in the Northeastern U.S.)  However, this is open to “civilian” traffic only in the summer months (due to snow at the higher elevations). If you want to take a trip up to the top in the winter, you have to take a SnowCoach.

Mount Washington Winter 2012

What is a SnowCoach? That was our first question… Well basically it is a GMC van, on a Ford 4 Wheel driver power train equipped with aftermarket rubber treads (brand name: Mattracks) instead of tires.

Mt. Washington SnowCoach

These tracks look pretty cool, but before you decide to bolt these onto your rig… please note that a set of these tracks might cost more than your truck ($30,000), plus they are a nightmare to install (they weigh about 500 pounds) and can’t really be used on dry roads (at least not over 45 mph and/or in summer temperatures).  However, the Mattracks do give the vehicle a reasonable ability to drive along on  the non-plowed auto road up Mt. Washington… However, it is far from unstoppable. There were at least a couple spots where we “kinda sorta” got stuck… having to take a couple tries to get up a few areas with a high grade. This is somewhat nerve wracking as there are no guard rails going up, and you can peer out the window at some pretty preciptious drops down the mountain… just a few feet away from the edge of the road.

Eventually at 4,000 feet, we could go no farther. The snow was too deep and the road too treacherous. A few Snowcats came lumbering down from the weather station at the top after dropping off a few guests. We also had an opportunity to get out and take a look at the scenery. At this elevation, the trees were stunted and windblown, it was freezing cold and strong winds whipped through the area. Within just a few minutes, most of the passengers were through with site-seeing.

Snowcats lumbering down the Mt. Washington auto road.
Sightseeing at 4,000 feet
Wind whipped trees at 4,000 feet on Mt. Washington

So, if you are looking to kill two hours in the middle of winter, you don’t mind shelling out 40 bucks a pop for seats, you can handle the slim chance of death from sliding off a mountain, and you aren’t too interested in actually interacting outdoors in the winter (it’s just too damn cold)… the SnowCoach might be for you!

Hampstead’s Biggest and Best Anti-Obama Sign!

Hampstead’s largest Anti-Obama Sign (4 X 8). Doing our part to liberate New Hampshire!

This morning we were proud to unveil Hampstead’s largest and best “Anti-Obama” sign. Located on the very busy Rt. 121 near downtown Hampstead, this beauty stands 6 feet tall, measures in at 4 feet by 8 feet and is sure to be enjoyed by the entire populace!! We had to get up early (around 6am) to get this up before we had to go to work… remember we have to pay for all the cigarettes for the EBT card wielding deadbeats. At any rate, even  at this early hour there were hordes of folks heading off to work and we got several “beeps” of approval. Apparently, all the Obama supporters were still in bed or waiting for their food stamps to arrive….. because we didn’t encounter any disapproval at all!

Since NH is a swing state, perhaps our little sign might help tip the balance… we will have to wait until November to find out.

The Demise of Garage-in-a-Box

Garage-in-a-Box cries “Uncle” to New Hampshire winter.

Well, this winter saw the untimely demise of my Shelter Logic brand Garage-in-a-Box. A “1-2” punch combination of late winter storms ended up destroying it. We got about a foot of snow, which mounted up on the top and depressed the tarp along the frame. Next it rained, and then these depressions filled with water.. and that was it. There was easily more than a ton of frozen snow and water on top of this thing and it collapsed in a heap.

 

Garage-in-a-Box during happier times.

My tractor was inside, and by sheer luck it didn’t get damaged as the twisted support poles more or less fell around it or landed on the bucket or other solid steel components (and thus avoiding damage). Also, it was lucky I had the bucket still attached, because I literally climbed into the wreckage, started up the tractor and used the loader to lift the entire twisted structure off of it. I could then hack away at the 100 pound frozen globs of snow and ice to free it.

Twisted steel poles and torn “canvas”

I have no idea why Shelter Logic sells these things up North. They are completely unable to handle the amount of snow load we get. Now, I am not entirely going to blame the company for this. They give you some warning in the instructions that you need to keep snow off these things… but that is nearly impossible in some instances. I mean, selling you a device designed to protect equipment from the elements that itself must be protected from the elements is a little disingenuous to me. However, you should be the judge. The first year I had this, I had to go out every time it snowed to get rid of the snow and it did survive the winter. Well, this snow removal process is easier said than done. Ever try to get on a step ladder in two feet of snow and brush snow of a 20 foot long tent? Not very easy I can assure you. This is especially difficult after a couple snow storms and the snow has built up to about four feet deep around the edges. I suppose it is possible to keep this thing “snow free,” but it is a huge investment in time and effort. So I advise against winter use for the Garage-in-a-box. It might work okay for covering something in the summer, but it should definitely be dismantled in the winter.

 

“Garage” not from a box… The successor!

So I broke down and built a giant, wood-framed shed to house my tractor. It was 12 times the cost of the Garage-in-a-Box, but is built to last and has much more room (including a loft) and versatility. You can see the construction process and get some ideas of your own here.

New Hampshire lifts minimum poultry purchase restrictions.

Baby Chickens can now be purchased in any quantity in NH

You can now buy baby chickens, goslings, and ducklings in any quantity in NH. Rep. Andrew Manuse, R-Derry, helped sponsor a House Bill 1231, which became effective in July 2012 that repeals the state law banning businesses from selling fewer than a dozen of these birds to an individual at any one time. The law only applied to poultry under 4 weeks old (if over 4 weeks old, they can be purchased in any quantity).

So this is good news for NH residents that want to purchase just a few chickens for backyard purposes. I supposed the next logical question that might come to mind is: Why the law in the first place. Well information on this is spotty at best. One reputable source at our local grain store seemed to believe the “12 minimum” law was put in place as an anti-cruelty measure. It would seem some while back, stores would give baby chickens away as a publicity stunt.. I would imagine as some sort of “living happy meal toy” to placate some bratty kids. I can only imagine that big cage of cute baby chickens would be an irresistible draw to the casual consumer unaware of the commitment to raising a chicken (let alone zoning ordinances).  I even heard that a bank dyed baby chickens pastel colors and gave them away if you opened an account during the Easter season! The “12 minimum” law was then put into place to stop such frivolous live animal purchases and gift giving.

Nowadays, most businesses are to intelligent to perpetuate such animal cruelty (although I highly doubt that a good portion of the populace wouldn’t still succumb to this type of marketing). As such, the “12 minimum” law only stood as a barrier to the casual chicken owner in NH, and a very minimal one too, as this law does not exist in either Maine or Massachusetts (a relatively short drive away from most points in NH). At any rate, Swampy Acres predicts a massive rise in backyard chicken ownership in the near future. Happy Chicken raising!

Your NH tax dollars at work! EBT dollars used for cigarettes

A few weeks ago, Jackie Whiton, a Peterborough NH convenience store clerk was unceremoniously fired for refusing to sell cigarettes to an EBT card wielding customer. It would appear the 65 year old clerk wasn’t quite aware of all the policies and procedures around EBT cards (they can legally be used to buy beer and cigarettes). At any rate, she looked at the 20-something, apparently able-bodied gentleman trying to get his cancer sticks with tax dollars and told him instead to “get a J-O-B.”

Local Hero Jackie Whiton says “Get a J-O-B!” No smokes on the my dime!

It would appear this man’s step-mother complained and Jackie was fired from her job of many years. A spokesman for the “Big Apple” convenience store chain was quoted as saying “Company policy is to follow rules and regulations, and the sale of cigarettes to EBT card-holders is legal. She didn’t wish to follow company policy, so she was let go after four years.”

Although I say Jackie was morally in the right, she was technically in the wrong.  I do have to agree with the management of the store. Jackie refused to follow the rules and was fired. Not much can be argued about that. 

However, I do take issue with the NH Welfare Department (more formerly known as TANF or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) and the Governor of New Hampshire, Stephen Lynch. When questioned on this, and official with the Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees the TANF program, said recipients are allowed to use the EBT cash cards as they see fit.

“We’re not real happy about it,” a department spokesman said yesterday. But the only place the card is prohibited is in casinos, liquor stores and “venues of adult entertainment.”

“That’s pretty much the law of the land; it’s not just New Hampshire,” director Terry Smith is quoted as saying.

Also, don’t be fooled by even these half-assed restrictions. There is nothing stopping free loaders from going to an ATM machine, taking out there EBT benefits as cash and spending it as they see fit, Including beer, wine, liquor, tattoos… you name it.

I wrote to the Governor Lynch on this matter (using his handy submission form on his website)…. and you can read the the response I received here:

Click on Thumbnail

 

 

 

 

 

Well, I don’ t know about you, but after reading that I feel much better! I will follow up with the Governor in a few months to see what the results from this “review”. My feelings are this will result in bupkis, but we will give the Governor the benefit of the doubt for now.

At any rate people, this is your government at work here. This is just reflective of the whole rotten mess in general. To quote Thomas Jefferson “You get the government you deserve,” so I would ask you to remember this on election day. Now get back to work! New Hampshire lay-abouts need their cigarettes!

Lupini Bean windfall!

There was a rare find at Swampy Acres this month via Craigslist. It seems one of our fellow New Hampshirites had purchased tons of dried Lupini beans for a pittance. The story goes  that this man’s friend was in the Lupini Bean wholesale business and decided to get out. So, this gentleman bought the whole stock at 4 dollars for each 25 kilogram bag. Now, you might think the average New Hampshire resident can easily use 4,000 pounds of dried beans….. but surprisingly….you would be wrong! Even the typical New Hampshire resident  can’t possibly use this many…. So Swampy Acres bought the excess. We got just about 2,000 pounds of Lupini beans for $160 dollars! What do we want a ton of Lupini Beans for? Well, they are 40% protein and make excellent goat food.

Lupini Beans!
Lupini Beans now in the basement

Now the first problem is where to store 2,000 pounds of dried beans. First we tried our “shed in a box.” However, we were worried about mice, so we moved the whole mess to the basement.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now the next problem is how to feed them to the goats. The beans are hard as a rock. So, I ended up soaking them overnight. Here is a tip, Lupini beans expand about 3 or 4 times if you soak them.. so get a big bucket.

Lupini Beans reconstituted

And the verdict is… the goats love them!!!

UMass Amherst Smoking Ban: More reasons New Hampshire is better than Massachusetts

More Government control of your life courtesy of University Massachusetts. Last week,  the University of Massachusetts Amherst Faculty Senate approved a smoking ban on the entire campus. The existing policy is that you can smoke outside, but not within 20 feet of any building.  Now, I could envision someone coming up with an argument (albeit very weak) that someone theoretically could be exposed to second-hand smoke outside and thus this could cause a public health issue. However, my favorite part of this policy is it includes ALL TOBACCO products. So this would include chewing tobacco, snuff etc. Now how can someone enjoying chewing tobacco outside possible infringe upon the rights of others?

UMass Amhest: We know better than you!

 

Now there are a couple of disturbing items in the article that strengthen my belief that American’s have lost the understanding of word “freedom” and the ability to think critically in general.

1) The article states that 78% of the students polled are in favor of the ban:

Now, if this is true, how does this possible bolster the legitimacy of this ban? What would happen if 78% of the students wanted to ban Muslim students.. Would we do that too? What would the vote be if we asked “Should your tuition at UMass be free?” The problem here is this is a personal freedom issue and not a “what do you think other people should do and let’s make that a policy issue.” It bothers me that other people just don’t see this. This response typifies how our society has degraded into a “we are sheep” mentality.

2) The article sites that 466 other Colleges and Universities have similar policies:

Once again, is this a good way to develop polices? Since when does that fact that “others do it” legitimize an activity?  I am sure the number of dictatorships far outweigh true democracies in the world, does this mean the U.S. should adopt this political system? It looks like we are starting to, actually.

How will the student body react to this ban? Well, very weakly I suspect. The basic problem here is that smoking is seen as “low class” to the academic elite and thus not seen as a true freedom. It is my opinion that these folks believe they are smarter and more elightened than smokers and thus feel that they simply know better than them.  Therefore, the elites are correct to legislate how others should or shouldn’t live their lives. Unfortunately, once you give the government this type of power, it often quickly expands its hold. I wonder when the “fast food ban” will take effect? How long before UMass tells students they can’t smoke even at home?

The bottom line is that I am not upset that UMass would come up with this moronic crusade (which should be expected from the the ultra-liberal UMass system). What bothers me is that so few are rising up against it.

PS I don’t smoke, and University of New Hampshire still allows outdoor smoking….. Live Free or Die.

PPS: The Nazis also decided the people shouldn’t decide for themselves to smoke or not….. You won’t learn about that at UMass……

Welcome to the new Swampy Acres Farm Blog!!

Welcome to the Swampy Acres Farm official blog. Topics we will be covering include all the happenings on the farm, as well as any goofy projects I happen to be doing, mixed in with a few of my crazy Libertarian political ideas, and some of the super-exciting happenings in Hampstead, New Hampshire.

Well, I come full circle here. First a couple years back after I realized the web would be incomplete without my presence, I started with Google “Blogger”… but then I abandoned that because I wasn’t crazy about Google deciding my content and server space, etc.. So, I switched to my own static website (www.swampyacresfarm.com), but I think it is tough to get “blog” interaction and ease of update into a website format. So, back to the blog. Now, I think I have the best of both worlds. I am hosting my own WordPress software on my own server and domain (so I can do whatever I want) but I still have the “fun” of a blog. Don’t worry, the official website isn’t going anywhere. In fact that will still be the main effort… but the blog will be used for updates and for my crazy rants that don’t fit in with my farm theme.

So, feel free to visit and get the latest updates!