Thursday, August 20, 2009

Nice day today, but on the horizon . . .

We have mixed emotion about this day. The temperature and the humidity might be among the best we’ve had recently as neither is expected to be as high as they’ve been for the last five days. That is good. But the good news gets tempered by an approaching hurricane and rains into Sunday morning.
That is not good.

The exact path of Hurricane Bill is not truly known and we probably won’t know exactly what the path is until it passes. At least it has calmed down somewhat from its roam through the mid-Atlantic Ocean and there is a good chance the most we’ll get is some heavy rain and, possibly, some wind. Of course that weather ridge out there could miss Bill and let it come either a lot closer or even into Maine.

I don’t mean to sound like an alarmist which, I suspect, is close to be the result of what I just said. We do, however, have to remain alert and prepared for the weather. We do need the rain if it comes, at all indications are we’ll get at least rain. The Gator yard is bone dry.

Gator Wife has remained optimistic that we’ll still get some vegetables from our garden, but the ground there is bone dry, even though we have irrigated them each night. She knows we won’t get much, if anything, as some of her plants, including the tomatoes, had to be pulled early due to blight. We thought we had lost the summer squash and cucumbers, but the combination of sun and irrigation has brought forth some blossoms and even tiny, very tiny so far, vegetable growth. Hopes are up for at least at saving a little bit of the crop.

Today, of course, is Thursday, the second day of my twice weekly visit to the senior fitness place. As I’ve said earlier, Tuesday wasn’t the best of days there as it was simply too darn hot and humid for great success. I’m not sure just what I did later Tuesday, but I was helping Gator Wife in the kitchen, emptying the dishwasher, I think, and turned wrong. I felt a sharp pain in my hip and it has hurt ever since.

I suspect I irritated a muscle as I’m not incapacitated, just a little sore. We’ll have to see what happens this morning when I get to the machines to learn if that will interfere or if the arthritis has calmed down from the humidity and is sufficiently gone to get back to a normal routine.

The heat has been keeping me from getting heated up on the political front. The debate continues to rage on a number of fronts, including national health care, the tax reform referendum in Maine, the Maine gay marriage referendum, and the previously approved ballot questions of Tabor II and excise tax reduction.

The only one so far that is not on the ballot, and I don’t think there’s any time left for it be there in the November elections, is the tax reform question which would ask voters if they want to repeal a significant increase in sales taxes and a relatively minor reduction in income tax rates passed by the last legislature.

Officially, the state says the income tax rate is major, a full two percent from the current 8.5% to 6.5% at the top level. I say a minor reduction because the new rate applies to all income so some will be paying more while others will be paying less. Also, deductions have been eliminated in favor of household credits. What it simply boils down to is paying a lower rate on a higher base income.

I honestly have no idea where that goal is in collecting the 55-thousand plus signatures needed to get it on the ballot. It has already passed the deadline to get it on the November ballot, but organizers of the petition drive, primarily the Republican Party, hope to submit enough signatures to get it on the June ballot next year. If they succeed, the new law scheduled to go into effect in September will be put on hold until the balloting.

But will they succeed? I really don’t know. They have been really quiet on just how many signatures have been collected so far and they’re calling in the petitions next week. After they have had a chance to count them, then I suspect we’ll know.

I’m personally against the so called reform as I believe it’s going to cost us a lot more in taxation.

The other drives have been completed and are already ballot questions. As we close in on November, I’ll give my opinions, if you don’t already know them, on what I hope those outcomes will be. I wonder if the state will let me use my rubber stamp “yes” on a ballot.


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