Monday, September 15, 2008

Monday thoughts

This Monday did not start off in typical fashion. The passing of Ike mostly through Canada near our border is bringing an unusually windy, very warm and humid day to our region. Kevin Mannix, the weather guy on WCSH, says this is just what to expect by passing hurricanes. He pointed out that when Hannah passed, it was just out to sea and we were on the other side of it, the side that brought a lot of rain and some wind.

This will not last long, I gather, as we should be settling into more normal mid-September weather before the day is over; and by the end of the week we could be getting some rather cool weather.

The weekend went by just about as we had expected. Those pictures out of the Gulf Coast area, especially Houston, showed how extremely devastating hurricane Ike was. It will be at least several weeks before possibly millions of people will be able to return to a somewhat normal life. As I said over the weekend, we feel sorry for the folks down there but equally glad we live here in Maine. We do get our share of disastrous occasions, but they don’t seem to be quite as awful as those in the wake of a hurricane or tornado.

On another note, I’ve been wondering what would happen if the Republicans told of the background of Barack Obama to the extent the Democrats are digging into Sarah Palin. I guess that wouldn’t happen, though, as the Republicans will tell you they don’t want to fall to that level. But as I watch this election season unfold, I continuously wonder how terribly we the people will be treated after the election.

The advertising for the bottle and insurance tax increase repeal has begun. We’ll be seeing a lot of ads in the coming weeks urging people to vote YES to repeal the midnight tax passed by the Democrats as the last Legislature was coming to a close. I suspect it won’t be long before the pro-tax folk begin their campaign, too.

I saw one complaint that wondered why it took a YES vote to block the tax. Some people were thinking that perhaps it should have been NO for No Tax. But as I understand the state law, and I’m about as far from being an attorney as you can get so don’t hold this as authoritative, the wording on the ballot question must have the results the petitioners wanted as the default answer. The question asks if we favor repeal of the tax, so the YES vote passes the question, repealing the tax.

Speaking of advertising, there is what appears to be a dumb ad by one of the local TV stations being broadcast. The station says it switched to digital broadcasting and ended analog broadcasting earlier this month. The ad then points out that Federal law requires the switch in February, but that station switched early. That part’s just fine, but it urges anyone who is still watching on an analog TV via any kind of an antenna to either buy a converter box or switch to cable or satellite reception. All over-the-air stations must make a similar announcement several times daily.

So, if they’re required to do it, why do you call it dumb, you ask? Simple. If they are already only broadcasting with a digital signal, who is seeing the ad on an analog only TV? In defense of the TV station, they probably have no choice but to make the announcement under FCC rules or law.

It’s probably all in my head, but I think I’m already feeling the humidity as it moves through our area. I don’t like humidity.


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