Thursday, July 10, 2008

Elections and Windmills

I felt a lot of pity for the roofer guy who began the process of putting a new roof on my home yesterday. He got here about 7 AM and began work almost immediately. Shortly after 8 o’clock a big truck arrived with the shingles and lifted them up to the roof for distribution. I had pictured our roofer person taking many, many trips up and down a ladder getting the shingles up there. It had never occurred to me that a big lift on the truck would do it for him.

But it was hot up there. Completely in the sun, the temperature rose above 90. And the roofer guy never slowed down. He had told me he was going to begin on the garage because of the thunder storms forecast for yesterday afternoon and evening. He had hoped to be able to complete it before the rains came, although he was prepared with tarps. He didn’t get the garage finished. About 2:30 he came to the door and said he was toast for the day. I was amazed he made it that long in that heat.

We passed each other in the driveway this morning. I was heading out to my Senior Fitness Class when he arrived. Wife Gator was here, though, so he wasn’t held up at all. He expects to make a little better progress today with the oppressive humidity now history, at least for now.

I mentioned the other day about the length of the Presidential election, and although we know who they are, the candidates haven’t even been nominated by their conventions yet. That’s not the case for the U.S. Senate seat being contested in Maine. Both incumbent Republican Susan Collins and Democrat Tom Allen were selected by their parties during the June primaries. I think most of us had accurately predicted the primary outcome long before the voting.

But that still doesn’t change my mind about the length of the campaign season. When the season was much shorter, seems to me I remember it being between Labor Day and November, the candidates had to spend their time talking issues. No more. Now with the internet and the huge amount of money available from all over the world to control the elections, we have to spend many extra months with the lies, distortions, and extremely few facts about the candidates.

Although I’ll never see it again, I yearn for the day when Mainers could determine the results of elections in Maine and that all the name-calling would stop.

Energy is a top topic just about everywhere on the globe. Primarily here in Maine we’re concerned with the price of heating oil next winter and the price of gasoline right now. Those two get the brunt of the concern, but I was talking with a fellow Senior Fitness guy this morning and he was lamenting the price of K-1 he needs for his home. It looks like propane isn’t a cheap source, either, if one compares prices on the internet. And electricity isn’t a great bargain, either.

At least the state is making one little bit of progress. The Land Use Regulatory Commission has approved a wind farm along the Canadian border. I remember a few years ago when WG and I were on one of our motor trips out west. We went around a curve in the road and before us was more windmills than I had ever seen. A huge wind farm covered acres and acres with most of the blades revolving slowly. I didn’t find them objectionable at all.

I’m not sure how I’d feel if someone put one of those huge wind farms in my neighborhood. Those things are huge and I’ve read about some windmills already in use in Maine that are rather noisy with a “whomp, whomp, whomp” sound as the blades whirl. I wouldn’t like that. But I’ve also seen some smaller, home/business size ones that I don’t find objectionable at all. The one I’ve seen most is just off the Turnpike around mile 50.

There are some in homes in Maine as well. If I could afford one of those to help out with my energy costs, I’d welcome it in my back yard. But those unbelievably huge wind farm windmills like approved for the Canadian border? I’m not so sure.

Time now to return to the outside and watch work being done. I sure do love work, when I’m not doing it.


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