So far outside the box you can't even see the box from here.
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Wednesday, December 2, 2015
Ice storms and other distractions
There's an ice storm in progress this evening. My lovely wife and I were invited over to some friends but we aren't traveling anywhere. More ice and snow are in the forecast. Hopefully it will clear by the end of the week so we can head south.
The White Mountain Cafe in Gorham NH has a ham sandwich called the Monroe, named after Mt. Monroe. It's the closest thing I can find locally to a Cuban sandwich. It's good, but it's not quite the same as those sandwiches made by actual Cuban immigrants in the Florida Keys. You know it's an authentic place when it has a small boat out front in which young Cuban men dared the waters from Cuba to Florida.
Those Cuban sandwiches are pretty healthy too. So how can a pork and ham sandwich be healthy? Well first we have to kayak from our boat to land. Then it's a long walk across Boot Key to the restaurant. Those sandwiches are earned.
People ask me how I can boat in shark infested waters. It must be so dangerous. Yes, it is possible to tangle with a shark that wants to take a bite out of your inflatable kayak. However, here in NH it's much more likely that someone will get hurt and killed slipping on ice. Falling down isn't as dramatic as a shark attack, but it's much more likely.
For the last couple of days I've been sorting out my personal business. One company was giving me a lot of trouble. I had on-line payments with them before, but because I closed one account they automatically closed on-line access to my remaining account. Since I'm staying in town I don't have access to all my paper work back at the lake. Their “security policy” would not let me pay my bill. Finally I told them that if they didn't straighten out the on-line payment system they would not get paid at all. Suddenly they found a way to make it happen. Imagine that.
I'd planned on sorting out this stuff in the fall, but my dad's sudden illness put everything on hold. As a stop gap measure mail was forwarded to his place. Eventually my business will be simplified even more, but as a mid term solution I'm setting up more on-line payments.
Last winter while traveling in rural Texas I purchased an AT&T hotspot for Internet access. When I got home in April I let the service lapse. Yesterday I was able to charge it up and reestablish the account. Fortunately I'd kept good notes on how to set up the hardware and software. It saved me a lot of grief. The service isn't cheap. Currently I'm paying $75 for 8 gig of data. Last year I often found myself adding a couple more gigs at the end of the month for a few extra dollars.
There are cheaper services out there, but AT&T provides good coverage in most of the areas I travel in. If it allows me to spend more time out at anchor than in a marina it pays for itself.
A good part of the afternoon was spent dealing with my health insurance -a very frustrating and eventually pointless exercise. The government informed me I might qualify for cheaper insurance, about half of what I'm currently paying. After dealing with their crashing web site, spending long stretches on the phone, mostly listening to crappy on-hold music and plowing through paperwork, I got the final result. Not only do I not qualify for the cheaper rate, my insurance is going up $50/month.
While it's not great insurance, it's still $600/month cheaper than what I was being billed before Obama care. In fact, I couldn't afford insurance and had none at all. It was tempting to let it go, but since my dad just passed away I'm feeling a bit more mortal than usual.
Most of my business up here in NH is done. One more trip up to the lake to raid my old boat for gear should do it. However, I'm not going to budge until the ice is clear. Schedules are killers so I'm doing my best to avoid having one.
I live in an area of NH known as the Great North Woods. I'm in my dome-i-cile out in the county with my lovely wife and a varying number of family and friends
-part red neck, part hippie but all country. Experimenting and enjoying the adventure of life.