• Zephyr – as a resident of Upstate New York, I think I speak for a lot of us when I express the disgust I feel for the governor – it certainly was no surprise for me to read the Post’s claim last week that Cuomo had cooked a deal with Skelos to get him to force his guys to support Cuomo in return for Cuomo’s not campaigning for any Democrats on Long Island. Up here in The Great White North, we certainly feel abandoned by Cuomo (and as a resident of ‘The Sacrifice Zone’ on fracking, I fell he’ll throw us under the bus in a moment if someone shows up with a check big enough), but we end up feeling as if there is nothing we can do since our vote gets swamped by downstate. Ideas?

  • TobyWollin commented on the diary post Pull Up a Chair: Getting Ready for Cold by TobyWollin.

    2014-10-18 05:41:23View | Delete

    Very clever idea, Joel. Foil would go toward the room space, right? I’ve never used foam boards with foil. Blue foam boards, yes – they are great to use between the floor joists in the basement and in the spaces between the foundation and the first floor (we redid our basement with those – made [...]

  • TobyWollin commented on the diary post Pull Up a Chair: Getting Ready for Cold by TobyWollin.

    2014-10-18 05:18:17View | Delete

    You are probably right – the trade offs probably don’t make it worth it. More sweaters, I suppose. :)

  • TobyWollin commented on the diary post Pull Up a Chair: Getting Ready for Cold by TobyWollin.

    2014-10-18 04:50:38View | Delete

    Your house is stone – I remember my parents’ house was two layers of brick. We looked into insulated that and the only way to do it (which would have basically decreased the living space everywhere and so my folks refused) was to put stud walls on every outside wall, insulate between the studs, put [...]

  • TobyWollin commented on the diary post Pull Up a Chair: Getting Ready for Cold by TobyWollin.

    2014-10-18 04:43:45View | Delete

    We’ve been told by local foresters that it’s almost better to take down any ash trees you’ve got before they get infested with Emerald Ash Borer and can spread the infection. While they are alive and in good shape, they actually have some value – once they are infected, no one wants to touch them [...]

  • TobyWollin commented on the diary post Pull Up a Chair: Getting Ready for Cold by TobyWollin.

    2014-10-18 04:41:29View | Delete

    Yes, I know – there are real ‘fer’ and ‘agin’ groups on pellet stoves. All I know is that we were faced with replacing our oil furnace (because we live outside the natural gas service area) and we were able to get one that we could hook up into our thermostat. It works well for [...]

  • TobyWollin commented on the diary post Pull Up a Chair: Getting Ready for Cold by TobyWollin.

    2014-10-18 04:36:14View | Delete

    The DH grew up in an old house in Florida with huge trees around it and a whole house fan – he said they were very comfortable there.

  • TobyWollin commented on the diary post Pull Up a Chair: Getting Ready for Cold by TobyWollin.

    2014-10-18 04:35:21View | Delete

    I know, Marion – whenever the southern folks have visited us up here in the summer, they go crazy. “How can you live without A/C?” It’s too hot!!” You are right about the energy use in the south – and people literally go from the air conditioned home to their air conditioned cars to air [...]

  • TobyWollin commented on the diary post Pull Up a Chair: Getting Ready for Cold by TobyWollin.

    2014-10-18 04:19:22View | Delete

    Now, another source of long range information that I use (and these guys haven’t let me down yet) is this site: http://www.longrangeweather.com/Long-Range-Monthly-Weather-Forecasts.htm

    I’ve even used their information for gardening, six months in advance and it’s saved me several times.

  • TobyWollin commented on the diary post Pull Up a Chair: Getting Ready for Cold by TobyWollin.

    2014-10-18 04:16:55View | Delete

    Ruth — when I tell my husband’s relations in Florida, “You guys need to insulate your houses,” they look at me as if I’ve got two heads (nothing new there – they still blame me for the fact that the DH refused to go back to Florida after college). “Florida is warm; we don’t get [...]

  • TobyWollin commented on the diary post Pull Up a Chair: Getting Ready for Cold by TobyWollin.

    2014-10-18 04:06:53View | Delete

    eCAHN — supposedly, November and December are going to be warmer than normal, and then we are supposed to get hammered in January. We got our pellet fuel in JULY this year. The dealer thought we were nuts to do it (though it was much cheaper that way), but we are now hearing that in [...]

  • TobyWollin commented on the diary post Pull Up a Chair: Getting Ready for Cold by TobyWollin.

    2014-10-18 04:03:44View | Delete

    Ellie – do you own or rent? Do you have a drill or have a friend with one? what you could do (sneaky but no one would know), is get a piece of pine shelving that is wider than your window sill (like a 1×8 or 1×10 or like that), but cut the length of [...]

  • TobyWollin commented on the diary post Pull Up a Chair: Getting Ready for Cold by TobyWollin.

    2014-10-18 03:54:17View | Delete

    Ruth – we have southern relations (so to speak) through the DH (his people live in Florida), and all winter long unless it’s at least 75 degrees, all we hear from them is, ‘it’s soooo cold,’ because so much of the housing down there is not insulated and no one bothers to have anything even [...]

  • TobyWollin wrote a new diary post: Pull Up a Chair: Getting Ready for Cold

    2014-10-17 23:05:29View | Delete

    ThumbnailIt’s almost Hallowe’en – do you feel ready for winter? NOAA National Weather Service just released their ‘through January’ predictions, and though here in the Northeast we seem to be getting off easy through the end of the year, the ‘Polar Vortex’ is slated to dip way down into the US in January and February, bringing [...]

  • TobyWollin commented on the diary post Independence Yea or Nay? by Elliott.

    2014-09-16 08:30:02View | Delete

    Oliver is a hoot but completely right – the Brits (that video of Cameron’s response regarding ‘stupid questions’ is typical) have treated the Scots like garbage for a thousand years. My mom was a very proud Scot – her father came down to Yorkshire from the the Edinburgh area as a young man, but she [...]

  • TobyWollin commented on the blog post Pride and Prejudice and the Market in Marriages

    2014-04-06 10:19:47View | Delete

    A couple of notes (which may be of interest to some and not to others): Jane Austen began writing the book which became P&P in the fall of 1796 and completed it the next year. She was 21 years old. It went through rejections and revisions until it was finally published in 1813. Another book, which, in its own way, deals with love, courtship, and marriage (and the disastrous results of poor ones)was published by 1847: “Jane Eyre”, by Charlotte Bronte. In the same period, Thackery’s work, “Vanity Fair” was published and it, too, deals with the issues of money (or lack thereof)and marriages, revolving around the character of the ambitious and covetous Becky Sharpe, she of looks, cleverness, and no money (as compared to Jane Eyre, she of no looks, naivete but strong moral fiber, and no money). Certainly it has to be said that when one considers the fact that within the same 50 year period, three of what have become the most popular and studied novels of the 19th century all have dealt with the same basic theme, that this was a huge issue. Women (and it has to be noted that they were really dealing with women of the middle and upper classes) were in the economically powerless position of having no choices. They had to be ‘chosen’; women did not choose. And if you were someone, like Charlotte Lucas, with nothing to recommend you other than being sensible (that is, no money of your own, no accomplishments per se, and no great looks), then you are going to feel that Mr. Collins is a great pick( I would also like to note that Jane Austen may have felt a good deal of sympathy for Charlotte Lucas; by the time Jane Austen got the request, it was too late). She made the sensible, reasoned choice, unlike Mr. Bennett, who made his choice based on looks and being amused. Another aspect of this (which is in the background) is this: Young people in England at this time (and remember, we’ve got a lot of young men in the army and navy and a lot of young men being killed in the Napoleonic wars)actually did not have many opportunities to actually get to know one another, other than going to church and attending ‘assemblies’ and balls, both situations where the rather formal behavior of the time (and the obvious pressure on both sides to attract, amuse, and make an impression)precluded knowing anything about the people you met other than how much money(land, estates, income) was in play, how well they dressed, how cleverly they spoke and how light they were on their feet. So, if you end up with characters like Elizabeth Bennett, her sister Jane and Jane Eyre,who end up in marriages based on love (but where there is a rather comfortable amount of money as well), then that is just plain great luck.

  • They can also try the New York State gambit after our educational court case (where the supreme court basically said, “you guys are not adequately or with equity funding school districts in the state”), when the state basically… ignored the entire thing. Did nothing despite threats by the court and now we’ve had several years of Andy Cuomo’s eviscerating the state K-12 and state university budgets and promoting charter schools. So, esp in small, rural and center city school districts (ie, not rich white suburban school districts) we are worse off than we ever were.

  • ThumbnailEarlier this week, there was a lot of excitement (nay, elation) expressed over the new guidelines from the FDA on antibiotic use in production livestock situations (i.e., factory farms). It sounded like a huge thing. It sounded as if finally, the FDA was going to do something which would end up cleaning up the dynamic on [...]

  • TobyWollin commented on the diary post Raise a Glass, and Let Us Give Thanks by Peterr.

    2013-11-28 07:12:07View | Delete

    Peterr — ‘ding’ to all and then some!! Happy Thanksgiving to everyone – and my hope that everyone is safe, warm, and where you want to be today.

  • This is classic Tompkins County/Ithaca regional stuff — probably highest per capita consumption of solar, wind, Berkinstocks, hybrid and electric vehicles, organic locally grown food, and in the Finger Lakes to boot. The guy also probably has his campaign office (if he has one – could be he operated off a kitchen table) at the Rongovian Embassy in Trumansburg. :)

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