It took a while, after a long hard winter, but Spring finally arrived at the end of April. For a while, it looked like we weren’t going to be able to get out to the field on time, and even if we did manage to get out there, getting on the lakes would require an icebreaker. Fortunately, the ice broke up during the third week of April, and there were some warmer temperatures to help things dry out. As the Memorial Day weekend approached, the “bad thing” about spring in the Adirondacks appeared: Black flies.
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One of the fond memories I have about my childhood in the Adirondacks was when my parents would decide to take us to a movie at a small theater in a nearby town. It also served as a performance venue for various bands, stage shows, and the community theater. It was always a special treat to go, and to this day, I still love to go to a movie, buy a bucket of popcorn, and watch a movie in the theater. When I moved back here, the theater was still going, until 2006, when the owner decided to close it. After two years of effort and organization, it was taken over by a community group and reopened, to everyone’s delight. But recently, another threat loomed on the horizon, and it wasn’t just this theater that is facing it.
I’m often told by various visitors to the Adirondacks how lucky I am to live here year-round. Yes, there are a lot of good things about living here. I know most of the people in the area, we’re very much “small town” in both population and attitude. I don’t have to lock my doors or my car, and it’s not uncommon to see a car left running while someone goes in to check their mail or grab something from one of the convenience stores. Having lived in cities, the difference in noise and attitudes is remarkable. Those are the upsides, but there’s a downside: I live in a desert.
In looking around at the various tech and business sites or blogs, there’s discussion about how the personal computer seems to be “on the way out.” They’re basing that on sales figures from various manufacturers, as well as the sales of Microsoft’s new operating system, Windows 8. The thinking is that “obviously” the market has shifted, and people are purchasing tablets and smartphones as replacements for their personal computers.
The latest winter storm, or as The Weather Channel calls it, winter storm “Nemo,” is moving off. While we were under a winter storm warning, the actual brunt of it was off to the southeast of us. Around here, we weren’t all that concerned, it’s stuff we’re used to handling. A few years ago, we had a lot of snow fall, and while we’ve had more than last year – which was a very mild winter – we’re still not even in the ballpark of “heavy snows.”
I’ve been reading through some recent news stories, and it made me wonder what the hell these people were thinking (or if they did) when they chose their careers. The first was in a story about hospitals cracking down on workers who don’t get the flu shots.
Cancer nurse Joyce Gingerich is among the skeptics and says her decision to avoid the shot is mostly “a personal thing.” She’s among seven employees at IU Health Goshen Hospital in northern Indiana who were recently fired for refusing flu shots. Gingerich said she gets other vaccinations but thinks it should be a choice. She opposes “the injustice of being forced to put something in my body.”
In the middle of this past fall, I was out with a group of fellow supervisors doing “general maintenance.” As we were headed to one point, the topic of conversation was what weather we might expect this winter. I said “If we have a good snow, this place will be busy. ” When one of the others asked what I meant, I pointed out that if we went another few miles down the road we were on, we’d be at the entrance to one of the major wilderness snowmobile trails. He said “You know, I really hate snowmobiles. They’re noisy, polluting, and I wish they weren’t allowed up here.” I replied “Yes, but you have to understand something. They also drop a hell of a lot of money on the local economy.”