Friday, October 17, 2008

What a comeback!

Gator Wife has gone back to work at her part time job. Phew! She has kept me hopping all week while she has been on vacation. Now don’t read that wrong. She has worked hard, too, in fact probably a lot harder than I. But, my goodness, I’ve been doing outdoors work and how many time since I started writing this continuing epistle have I said, “I don’t do outdoors, except for mowing and snow blowing.”

Today, I’m definitively saying, I don’t do outdoors!

This has been quite a week. I sure do thank the gods of outdoors work for all the great weather we’ve had. Yes, yesterday wasn’t so great, but that didn’t stop GW from working me. I was in a more familiar place, indoors. She went to the grocery store while I was at my Senior Fitness program. After we had a breakfast, I found myself slicing, dicing, cutting, pinching, measuring, pouring, you name it. We cooked. We cooked soups, stews, and a chicken among other things. I think we’ve got all next week’s meals in the fridge.

She told me when she dropped her hours down considerably last week that it was a trial to see if she could deal with full retirement. I now believe this vacation week was to give an idea of how it would be if she were home all the time. I think she’d be happier working full time.

What an absolute shock this morning! GW had arisen earlier than I as she wanted to get ready to go to work. When I went to bed last night, The Rays were leading the Red Sox 7 to 0 and the ALCS was all over. The first thing GW said to me when I entered the TV room this morning, “The Red Sox won last night.” No way! Well, as they say, Way! Giving us all yet another lesson on not giving up, the Sox had indeed come from behind once again to win a playoff game. This one sends the series back to St. Petersburg for at least another game in the Sox Season.

Wouldn’t it be great from a Republican point of view if the comeback could be an impetus for the Republicans in the upcoming elections?

Revenue is down in Maine. People are truly feeling the hurt put on us by a declining economy and Maine’s tax structure. Gov. Baldacci has taken the lead by announcing cuts in his department’s budget for the coming year and yesterday the education commissioner said that local school districts can expect a flat line funding source for possibly the next couple of years. All state departments have been told by the governor to reduce their budgets by at least 10 percent.

As individuals and families, we’re all in the process of cutting our own budgets so we can make it through the heat season, continue to eat even though it’ll probably be a little less (which won’t hurt a few of us), and travel to work. I suspect many of us are planning on cutting down our seasonal spending this year as well. My dentist just the other day mentioned her practice is getting more cancellations than ever as her patients are finding ways to reduce their expenditures.

The State, though, still wants to hurt us even more by increasing our taxes. We have a chance to do something about that by voting “Yes” on Question 1 on the November ballot to repeal a massive tax increase passed in the last Legislature. It’s a tax on just about any beverage we drink, and it’s a tax on any insurance claims we pay. A double whammy, if you will. And in spite of the claims by opponents of the vote, no one will lose their insurance because of the repeal.

Finally for this morning, just yesterday the Maine Turnpike Authority gave preliminary approval to a toll increase for the Maine Turnpike. A toll, incidentally, is just a euphemism for use tax, even though in this case it’s only charged by a quasi-governmental body and not directly by the state. One reason for the increase is because traffic is down on the ‘Pike. As part of their cost saving attempts, the people are driving less. I wonder if they’ll utilize the toll highway even less as more cost saving when the higher tolls go into effect.

I know I will. I like the convenience of using the ‘Pike to bypass Portland when heading to Falmouth or the North side of Portland. There will be a time when the tolls make the longer ride just as convenient. Just like the rest of us, the MTA should consider cutting their budget. The MTA won’t miss what they lost from me. But there are a whole bunch of potential “me’s” out there.

The weekend starts tomorrow and it looks like it will be a nice one, even though a little cool.


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