Monday, May 18, 2009

Planting done, frost expected, that's planning for you!

Gator Wife and our daughter accomplished their goal of getting seeds and seedlings into the ground over the weekend. Great planning. Today we’re faced with a frost warning for tonight along with the admonition to cover sensitive plants. The warning covers just about all the area between the foothills and the coast. GW will be covering her seedlings this afternoon. This is the first time she’s planted this early. I looks like she shouldn’t have taken the chance.

The Maine Legislature’s Appropriations Committee resumes working on the state budget for the next biennium today. It had received a proposal from the governor but then learned of a massive revenue shortfall. How to correct the budget to meet new revenue expectations has been a challenge for the committee.

It had hoped to have accomplished the task last week, but needed a little more time. After virtually day/night sessions most of last week, the committee decided to take the weekend off to refresh. The main sticking point right now appears to be how much to make state workers pay as their share of health insurance. The committee recommended workers’ base pay be cut five percent then needed the break. The committee resumes deliberations today.

I got my “stimulus check” from the feds last week. That check along with the “massive” reduction in withholding tax has just about turned my life around. I can hardly contain my excitement. But, I’m willing to do my part. I’ll save it until next April when I have to give some of it back with my tax returns.

This is the week when my favorite television show ends for the season. It has laid the groundwork for the elimination of one of the characters. N.C.I.S. didn’t tell us which one, but last week Ziva, the female lead agent, and Tony, one of the male agents, got into a personal spat, partially over Ziva’s love for a foreign agent. Tony shot the agent at the end of the episode and now they’re taking the body to Israel for interment.

A preview I saw yesterday on showed what looked like Ziva putting a gun to Tony’s chest and shooting him. I suspect that’s what the preview was designed to make me think and the end may not be anything like that at all. But the announcer said to the effect, “They went to Israel and only one will return.”

As long as it’s not Abby who gets eliminated, I suppose I’ll be happy.

I often wonder why producers of TV shows change cast members who have adapted perfectly to their roles. The entire cast of N.C.I.S. plays the parts as if they were really those folks. I felt the same way when they eliminated Caitlin a while back. She, too, was excellent and I didn’t know why she had to be killed off. The lady “director” of the agency was also killed off, but that was one of the few I didn’t miss. Wlomen have a tough time on N.C.I.S.

I suppose sometimes characters are eliminated because they wish to leave the show, perhaps for other roles they perceive as better opportunities. Nevertheless, my perception is when characters perfectly suited for their parts leave, the shows lose something. As an example Law And Order isn’t anywhere near as good a show as it was 18 years ago. Many of the changes there haven’t always been for the better.

I hope N.C.I.S. isn’t heading down the same road. Right now it’s consistently in the top five or seven rated shows which more or less insures its continuation. If they are to lose a cast member tomorrow night, I hope they don’t head down that road of unfortunate changes.

Another observation I made this weekend was about the Preakness Stakes in Maryland Saturday night. Rachel Alexandra, a filly, won. Fillies don’t usually fare well in the Triple Crown races, but because she was a favorite and pulled it off, the news media is making a big deal out of it. Unfortunately, I think it’s a misplaced big deal.

I watched the replay of the ending several times on the Sunday Today show yesterday and have come to the conclusion that if that race had been three strides longer, Kentucky Derby winner Mine that Bird would have won, coming once again from way back in the pack. Mine that Bird was held up trying to get around other horses about three quarters of the way through the race but was closing extremely fast to pull to within a half a horse length and still closing fast before hitting the finish line.

Already building is the hype for the Belmont, which is three weeks away, if both horses do run again. The Belmont is a longer race than the Preakness. There’ll be no competition between them.

Interesting fact, though: The same jockey rode the winners in both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness. It was the first time a jockey had won both races on a different horse.

Finally this morning, I think Red Sox manager Terry Francona must have read my comment last week that it was time to re-evaluate David Ortiz and his poor performance so far this season. Big Papi was benched over the weekend. Unfortunately for me, I seriously and honestly doubt Francona has ever heard of Gator in Maine. I have nothing to say about the Celtics as I didn’t see the game.


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