Saturday, March 8, 2008

Another year has begun!

As predicted our little part of Maine got a good dose of rain overnight, but by morning it was over. I guess some places had some sleet and freezing rain, but the temperatures stayed relatively up so we apparently didn’t have too many problems.

After a short visit by the sun this morning, clouds began rolling back in for part two of this weekend’s storm and by two o’clock this afternoon the rains had returned. The weather folk say this part of the weekender will be just a little more severe and the National Weather Service has issued flood warnings for a goodly portion of the state, especially away from the coast. We could get about two inches of water with this rain. Snow, sleet, freezing rain and rain, that infamous wintry mix, will pummel other parts of the state.

Because the sun came out this morning, our daughter brought her pup over to play with ours for a while. Both needed and seemed to enjoy letting off some pent up energy. After an hour or two, they both were trying to take a nap in our living room while neither really wanted to give up. Then the rains started and it was a good excuse to end their visit.

Since it’s a Saturday, I don’t much of the state government mischief to talk about. Some of the Democrats are being very critical of Governor Baldacci’s second round of budget cuts which are needed for the state to make up a revenue shortfall. While the Democrat legislators are saying the state cannot get along with the proposals, the governor is saying the revenue shortfall will grow even more over the next few weeks. He says he’s now preparing even more cuts. Next week will be an interesting one.

There’s been much discussion lately in various news media about the so-called Federal identification program called Real ID. The Feds want states to standardize their drivers’ licenses and the issuance of drivers’ licenses. That’s an oversimplification but the idea is to have it act like an in-country passport. States have only until the end of this month to apply for an extension to explain how they will implement the Real ID and, I think it’s only 4 or 5 which haven’t yet made that application.

Maine is one of them. The Maine government has said it will not comply with Read ID as it says the ID is too intrusive. The ID will be required for travel on planes, trains, boats, etc., within the US. The feds say not having the ID won’t necessarily ban travel, but it will slow down Mainers trying to fly, or go through any other screening. Mainers will have to go through more extensive, I think it’s called something like enhanced, screening and background checks. So far Maine has shown no inclination to relent.

Daylight savings begins tonight. The twice a year ritual means the trip around the house to be sure that the clocks have been set ahead one hour. Most of the time the loss of an hour’s worth of sleep isn’t too bad as we can sleep in Sunday morning to make up for it. But for Mrs. G.D., it’s going to be a rough one. She accepted a manager’s request to change the price tags in the department of the supermarket in which she works tomorrow morning. That was before she realized it was DST change weekend. By today’s time standards even though the clock will say “4” when she gets up, her body will still think it’s “3.”

When I woke up this morning, it was a new beginning as another chapter in my life was underway. I am very thankful that I have been blessed with still another extension.