Betsy Devine: Funny ha-ha and/or funny peculiar

Making trouble today for a better tomorrow…

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Entries Tagged as 'New Hampshire!'

Ice Cream Odyssey #3: Dips on North Main Street in Concord, NH

July 23rd, 2013 · Comments Off on Ice Cream Odyssey #3: Dips on North Main Street in Concord, NH

Ice Cream Badge #3: Dips on North Main Street in Concord, NH by betsythedevine
Ice Cream Badge #3: Dips on North Main Street in Concord, NH, a photo by betsythedevine on Flickr.

Today (July 23, 2013) Frank and I played hookey from both our to-do lists to continue on with our plan of 40 ice cream cones (in honor of our 40th anniversary.)

Once the hookey plan had been formulated, we completely did it in spades. We went out to lunch at the Weathervane over near Concord. We went to a very enjoyable movie (20 Feet From Fame) at an art house theater in Concord. We bought some health foods at the Concord Co-Op in Concord. And finally, we made our way to a new destination called Dips, where you can make your own frozen yogurt dessert from Stonyfield Yogurt and NH dairy products plus really awesome toppings including my favorite, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

I tried three different flavors of frozen yogurt: Original Tart, Salted Caramel, and (sinfully sweet) Cotton Candy. All were super, but I couldn’t finish my cup.

If you are wondering what became of #2, Frank and I had breakfast together last week in Great Neck on Long Island (NY) and our breakfast was (yum) frozen yogurt with granola topping. Sadly, neither of us now remembers the name of the restaurant, but we definitely will go back there.

If you are still reading this .. please, go buy yourself your own ice cream cone!

Tags: food · Frank Wilczek · New Hampshire! · Wide wonderful world

Ice cream Odyssey #1

July 10th, 2013 · Comments Off on Ice cream Odyssey #1

Ice cream badge by betsythedevine
Ice cream badge, a photo by betsythedevine on Flickr.

Frank and I have a wild and crazy idea for celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary — we are going to visit a whole lot of local places that serve ice cream cones. Maybe even 40 of them, although that would take time. So I’m making some numbered badges to keep count of our progress.

Arnie’s Place ( 164 Loudon Rd., Concord, NH) was our first ice-cream-Odyssey destination. It’s part of the NH Dairy ice-cream trail. Delicious ice cream, lovely people serving it, and the place itself is enough to lift your spirits. I recommend it!

Tags: Frank Wilczek · New Hampshire! · Wide wonderful world

Reading the signs in NH: What signs?

November 6th, 2012 · Comments Off on Reading the signs in NH: What signs?

NH Home Depot, home of white male demographic? by betsythedevine
NH Home Depot, home of white male demographic?, a photo by betsythedevine on Flickr.

The Home Depot parking lot in Nashua, NH — I turned my car in here to search for bumper stickers, figuring here if anywhere I would find Romney’s wheelhouse supporters, the male and the white. To my surprise, I saw not even one Romney sticker. Not one. Check these cars yourself, and I looked at quite a few more cars.

I saw one Obama sticker in this lot, just one, and no more. And as I continued up Rte 93 to my old home town Manchester, as I drove around Manchester, as I drove north again to Concord, NH, what I saw everywhere was no bumper stickers.

From the many “yard signs” (mostly not in people’s yards but on stretches of roadside) you might get the idea that NH is enthusiastic about this election. But what I am seeing is that people are mostly sick to death of being pestered by partisans and pollsters, just want this thing OVER.

I have seen more yard signs for Republicans by far, but a Vietnam veteran I met in Manchester (who was holding a big sign for Carol Shea Porter) told me his Obama yard signs just keep getting stolen.

Tags: New Hampshire! · politics · Wide wonderful world

Baby snapping turtle rescue squad

September 10th, 2011 · 2 Comments

Baby snapping turtles surf very small waves by betsythedevine
Baby snapping turtles surf very small waves, a photo by betsythedevine on Flickr.

Frank and I found eight baby snapping turtles, over the course of a long sunny afternoon, being bounced by some very mild waves against the glacial sand beach of our local lake. This probably relates to a story we heard in July about a very large snapping turtle who unexpectedly hung out on the very same beach for a couple of days. This surprised all the locals because the sand beach is much too clean a part of the lake to harbor much food for turtles of any size.

So Frank and I gently moved our new turtle colonists, one by one, into a murkier backpond with a lot more algae and plantlife and algae, where snapping turtles have lots more to eat. And where snapping turtles abound, and have done so, all of the many years we have seen turtles around here.

To say that the turtles did not appreciate our interest would be a very big understatement. But no fingers or toes were bitten off during this rescue, to their disappointment and our satisfaction.

Tags: Frank Wilczek · New Hampshire! · Wide wonderful world

Two men and a great big chainsaw

August 28th, 2011 · Comments Off on Two men and a great big chainsaw

Two men and a great big chainsaw by betsythedevine
Two men and a great big chainsaw, a photo by betsythedevine on Flickr.

That’s what it took to clear up all the trees that Hurricane Irene dumped back and forth across the road that leads to our house. So now we could leave if we wanted to, but we don’t.

We charged up all our hardware before we lost power, so I sit here posting the photos from my iPhone into my Flickr account via my little Sprint wifi hotspot, by the light of a fireplace fire and one wax candle.

We’ve go plenty of food and water but come tomorrow we will probably venture out to get some more electricity.

The Northwood NH Fire and Rescue team are super people, in the best sense of the word. These men made their way down the long dirt road to our house, chopping up great big trees as they went along.

The man with the chainsaw remembered the last time they came out, after the microburst storm in 2006, when he helped to remove a truly enormous tree from my neighbor’s house. Compared to that, Hurricane Irene was not so bad.

We have no lights or fridge until (probably) tomorrow but big wooden matches will still light the propane stove. So we had hot dinner, with toasted marshmallows to follow.

And we had to eat up every bit of the ice cream melting in the freezer. I blame it all on Hurricane Irene!

Tags: Heroes and funny folks · New Hampshire! · Wide wonderful world

NH low-tech barbecue afternoon grill

August 8th, 2011 · Comments Off on NH low-tech barbecue afternoon grill

Too red or not red enough? by betsythedevine
Too red or not red enough?, a photo by betsythedevine on Flickr.

Fourteen people are coming to lunch today. The entire half-salmon has already finished grilling, now it’s the turn of a marinated flank steak to join our really, truly enormous sausage.

Plenty of good things for the vegetarians too.

But I love the primordial look of this family grill. Half a big metal drum rests on NH lake rocks. Rocks and bricks inside it hold up the actual charcoal. The grid is two overlapped shelves from some long-ago stove. The chefs are people who, as children, were themselves fed food from this very grill.

I love NH.

Tags: New Hampshire! · Sister Age · Wide wonderful world

Morning after a beautiful afternoon and a sad night

November 3rd, 2010 · Comments Off on Morning after a beautiful afternoon and a sad night

Political place-holders

Originally uploaded by betsythedevine

Webster School, in Manchester, NH — I walked the half-mile here from home for 7 years of my childhood. It is, and was, a polling place for Ward 1. I came back yesterday to hold a sign for us Democrats.

Things looked pretty even when I got there. Ward 1 was solidly Republican when I was little — my family used to joke that the Devines were the only Democrats there, us on North River Road, my grandpa and Uncle Shane’s family up on Union St. Demographics have shifted it toward a more even balance, judging by the yard signs I saw nearby.

But I could tell, in the two hours I stood there, the tide was against us. When I got there, the signs were almost even, and good positions at the front had been claimed for our side by a bunch of union guys who were NH electrical workers by trade.

But as time went on, folks from our side drifted away and nobody replaced them. Their signs disappeared because the law says that the only signs allowed must be held up by people. There were a couple of campaign supporters for Carol Shea Porter who stayed the whole time, and there was Betsy Devine, who came just for two hours and then left because I had to drive people to the polls down in Cambridge.

The Republicans who were there when I came were still there when I left, and more had come out to stand with them. They were enthusiastically greeting voters they knew.

The Republicans I met there were pleasant local people, fed up with the bad economy and convinced that free enterprise solutions would make needed changes. They were not ignorant, aggressive, or hostile–people unlike them make all the headlines of course.

I hope the three Republicans now going to Washington from NH reflect the good will and good hopes of the people I met outside Webster School in my old home town.

Tags: New Hampshire! · politics · Wide wonderful world

The unreasonable beauty of August sunset

August 17th, 2010 · Comments Off on The unreasonable beauty of August sunset

The unreasonable beauty of August sunset

Originally uploaded by betsythedevine

“Nature is profligate,” said Annie Dillard. Thousands of green leaves erupt from seemingly nowhere to cover an urban wasteland gone to seed — hundreds of little frog eggs float out over the spring pond that may add no more than one new grown-up frog this season — millions more blueberries get eaten in NH summers than ever manage to sprout into new bearing bushes.

Nature is profligate not only of mass and energy, but also of entirely senseless beauty. There is so much extra beauty everywhere going to waste if we don’t take just those few minutes away from our busy lives just to stand and take heed of our own part in this world.

Tags: New Hampshire! · Science · Wide wonderful world

“You have already succeeded.” Granny D Haddock of NH (1910 – 2010)

March 16th, 2010 · 3 Comments

Granny D

Originally uploaded by aahsa

“Never be discouraged from being an activist because people tell you that you’ll not succeed. You have already succeeded if you’re out there representing truth or justice or compassion or fairness or love. You already have your victory because you have changed the world; you have changed the status quo by you; you have changed the chemistry of things and changes will spread from you, will be easier to happen again in others because of you, because, believe it or not, you are the center of the world.”
Granny D, 14 May 1999

She walked across the USA at the age of 90 to promote campaign finance reform. At 94, she ran for the US Senate and gave Judd Gregg one heckuva run for his money — an indie film “Run Granny Run” resulted and can be watched on the interwebs.

She started her career as an activist rather late in life (!) and achieved a great deal in the mere ten years she gave to it. Thank you, Granny D, for the inspiration. A real New Hampshire icon has now left our planet. My thanks to Dean Barker and others at for so many inspirational quotes from Granny.

“Don’t walk away because you are confused or because it is difficult. We have entered an amazing time, when each of us has an important role to play. That time is now. It is the best time ever to be alive on this earth, because everyone matters. Everyone is needed if we are to survive. Your creativity, your love, your courage–all of it. As the smoke of battle swirls around you, smile. It is a privilege to be alive in such a time.”
Doris “Granny D” Haddock, 19 April 2002

Tags: Editorial · New Hampshire! · Sister Age · Wide wonderful world

The trouble with Crime 2.0

August 7th, 2008 · Comments Off on The trouble with Crime 2.0

Poisoner eyes her victim

Originally uploaded by betsythedevine

You already know to watch out for poisoned teacups, but what you should have been worrying about instead …

An internet-based team of “three people from the United States, three from the Ukraine, two from China, one from Estonia and one from Belarus” (says Reuters) stole credit card numbers by millions from US retailers, and sold them “… to people in the U.S. and Europe for thousands of dollars. The buyers then withdrew tens of thousands of dollars at a time from automated teller machines, officials said.” Even so, the chief conspirator’s lawyer sounds very confident that his client will never enter a jail cell.

After all…. the guy who made possible the NH 2002 election phone-jamming got his conviction overturned because the interstate denial-of-service attack on Democrats’ phones was not covered by Federal laws against phone “harassment.”

It’s hard for the laws against doing bad stuff to keep up with human innovation in stuff we can do. Maybe that’s how it should be.

But let’s hope the US Attorney’s office works smarter on identity theft cases than they chose to do in the matter of NH phone jamming.

Tags: Good versus Evil · New Hampshire! · politics · Reputation systems · Science · voting