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March 28th, 2008

Cupcakes!

Yes, _real_ cupcakes.

I saw a package of foil muffin/cupcake tins and paper cups at the grocery store two trips ago and thought, oooh, that could be fun. We also picked up a variety of sprinkles, confectioner's sugar (because we were out, which was a little mysterious, but I think that was one of the things that I left in Albany at Christmas and never replaced). Last night, I used the yellow cake recipe from Beth Kidder (with my usual oil/egg emulsification replacement for the cream margarine and sugar together) along with her Chocolate Frosting I. I had a little trouble getting the frosting right, but eventually made it work with the assistance of the immersion blender (I don't even know if we have a handheld electric mixer. Presumably we do. But I have no idea where it might be).

Yum.

I also had one this morning. Extra yum. There are 5 left, since the "makes 12" recipe only produced 9. Not sure what happened there.

FWIW, I don't recall ever having eaten a cupcake before. We never bought the ones from the store, and I'm allergic to the stuff in them anyway. Presumably I had one at some point as a child, but I have no memory of them. My mom made layer cakes, not cupcakes.

rules? we don't need no stinking rules!

After trying, on and off, for months to track down NH state guidelines/standards/administrative rules for public libraries (like, how many hours/size of collection/turnover rate/circulation by population/credentials for director, etc.), during which process I found the library statues which reference the rules, the rule making body, and the website where most agencies publish their rules, but no rules, I broke down and talked to a human.

I called the state library reference desk and just flat asked. After a slow start, I learned that:

(a) _all_ state rules expire after 8 years
(b) most state rules have to exist in order to implement federal law (like, water quality kinda stuff)
(c) there are no library rules and haven't been for close to a decade
(d) there are unlikely to ever be library rules again

Since the state doesn't give any money to libraries and has no other enforcement authority, and it costs money to implement rules (public hearings and so forth), the last batch of rules lapsed and were never replaced.

So the next time someone says, state whatever sez we're supposed to, I can just blow them a raspberry and possibly thumb my nose at them.

Respectfully, of course.

Who knew? It does free us up to use other guidelines (from national organizations, other states, etc.), since there isn't anything more directly applicable.

that headline is misleading

http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2008/03/28/cold_math_of_tax_leniency_chills_a_tiny_nh_town/?p1=email_to_a_friend

Summary: Small town in NH (Windsor, pop 250) had a tax collector who:

(a) didn't product a report for the annual Town Report
(b) kept all the records in ledgers, rather than in a spreadsheet
(c) did not collect taxes from close to a quarter of the town, many of them friends and relatives

Apparently DRA (NH's IRS) has been after them since a selectmen told the state about the problem in,
get this, 2002. The tax collector has stepped down and about half the people owing taxes have ponied
up (which makes you wonder just how much of a "hardship" they were under in the first place) and
the town's working on, like, complying with the law by putting liens on and so forth when people
don't pay their taxes.

Ya know, every time I think I've plumbed the depths of we-don't-do-it-that-way-here,
someone, somewhere, finds a new variant.