Routers and wireless systems just got a full checkout.

Firmware upgraded, settings tweaked, and everything is running as it should.

We take internet access very seriously. Our connection is fast and reliable. We have a professional level router that has robust security features that protect you from hackers and malicious websites. There is good reception throughout the house; a hard-wired unit extends reach to the upstairs bedrooms. The hardware and software are kept up-to-date and I check the log files for performance issues and attempts by hackers to get through the firewall. This does not guarantee that the system will work perfectly for each guest, but it is my best effort to provide a dependable and secure service

CT Restriction on short term rentals

We are continuing to rent.

ON April 2, 2020 The Governor of CT banned short term rentals until phase 2 which is expected to be June 20, 2020.

  • For health care workers, first responders, and others who work for an essential business
  • For “members of vulnerable populations,”
  • For those receiving long-term, specialized medical care from a Connecticut physician and the family members of such individuals;
  • For those affected by “extenuating circumstances,” like fire or casualty, or those “unable to return to their own homes due to flight cancellations, border closures, or other direct and material constraints on travel"

Note that "Members of vulnerable populations," by definition, includes people over 60yrs old and people with pre-existing medical conditions. This covers the vast majority of our renters. Also there is no evidence that renting to families would endanger anybody. The concerns was that infected people were going to pour into CT and spread disease. The fact is that wearing masks and practicing social distancing has been able to protect hospital workers from contracting COVID 19. There is no evidence that renters do not follow safe practices. We are very concerned with safety, but it is imperative to use common sense.

The biggest COVID issue in CT, and many other states, is the failure of elected officials to recognize the danger to those living in nursing homes. These facilities are low margin operations that did not have the resources to deal with the COVID 19 problem. Without protocols, financing, and a large supply of protective equipment, a disaster was inevitable. This was totally predictable, and should have been addressed early on. It wasn't. Haircuts and outdoor individual activities were banned, while desperately needed assistance for nursing homes was ignored. From my perspective as a physician, this made absolutely no medical sense. Over 1,500 nursing home deaths in CT. That is a stunning number. Why ban individual dwelling rental homes while ignoring nursing homes? Why crush a portion of the economy without any demonstrable benefit? We are continuing to rent because it is technically permittable and because it is not a health issue.

COVID 19

Wow! We working hard to keep in front of this issue. As a physician, I have had to intubate and manage COVID19 patients; some of what I have learned is relevant to vacation homes.

The virus, SARS CoV2 (Severe Adult Respiratory Syndrome Corona Virus 2), that causes the disease COVID 19 (Corona Virus Disease 2019), appears to be primarily spread through droplets that are generated by cough, sneeze, and speech. Masks and social distancing appear to be very useful in preventing the spread of the droplets. Spread outside is much less likely because of dispersion into a large volume. The CDC has determined that spread by touching contaminated surfaces is not the primary mechanism by which the disease spreads. The virus enters the body through mucosal surfaces such as mouth and nose. Droplets can directly access these surfaces during inhalation of a cloud generated by an infected person. These droplets can settle on surfaces, but by the time they land, the area of distribution may be quite large and it is unlikely to get a large viral load on your hands and effectively transfer it to your mouth or nasal passages. Also, the virus degrades fairly rapidly on surfaces, especially with elevated temperatures. What does this mean for renters?

We have always taken cleaning very seriously, and have now doubled our effort. In the summer months we rent for a minimum of a week so there is a greatly reduced exposure compared to hotels, restaurants, and airplanes. Our house is very isolated and there is really no need to go to restaurants given the professional style kitchen. Also, there aren't any restaurants with a view comparable to ours. Ingredients can be safely purchased at farmers markets and stores since social distancing and masks are very effective for preventing disease. Sightseeing, biking, hiking and fishing are are fantastic activities that are are COVID safe!

Home Theater Conundrum

It's always something. Maintaining a rental home from afar is not easy. Unfortunately we have a lot of electronic stuff including home automation, security, networking that is not the kind of you can call somebody to fix. Our vacations "vacations" are spent fixing and replacing things. Here is an example.

While watching a movie, the system was shutting off intermittently. We noted that it was only during a loud noise like an explosion, even though the sound level was not turned up high. The receiver temp was not elevated. The only other issue was that the volume seemed lower on the left side speaker. I did not relish the idea of getting a new receiver; this one was working well and new ones have an uncomfortably high rate of early failures. I figured the left speaker might be related. Sure enough, there appeared to be some loose wire fragments causing a partial short between the terminals.

The current going to the speakers and the short was not a problem at low levels. However the power required to double the listening volume requires the power to be squared ie 10 watts has to go to 100. At high volumes, the amount of current going through the speaker and the short was too much and the protection circuit kicked in. I remember years ago a guest had noted that the sound cut out out after peaks so i installed cooling fans, thinking it was just the receiver overheating. I did not hear of any other issues until experiencing them myself! I fixed the issue as seen here.

Guess what? Problem fixed!!

New Faucet

Finally got around to building a faucet that is easy to access. When we built the kitchen, the outdoor faucet for the garden was located in an incredibly inconvenient location. I spent the day building a faucet system that also provides a source for our automated sprinkler. Repeat guests know that I like copper. I use copper exclusively for plumbing. It is very durable, looks attractive, and involves melting metal with fire (solder).

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