Friday, October 28, 2011

We've made it into another weekend

3.  Edited Sunday morning (final edit for this storm) to comment on the storm and to replace all previous updates and comments.

We've made it into another weekend and it's the last one we'll face in October.  We did awake to somewhat of a shocker this Friday morning.  The weather forecast has changed a wee bit since yesterday.  Yesterday, a potential weekend storm was probably heading out to sea.  Today it's possibly going to give us one mighty smacking.

NewsCenter6's Kevin Mannix did say the "models" could change again before Saturday night and push the storm coming up the coast out to sea, but right now, he says, it's looking like we'll get three to six inches of snow Saturday night into Sunday.  Now we'll have to do as I said last time, we'll have to just wait and see what happens.  I used to like Kevin!

3.  Final storm update:  Here on the Gator Place only an inch or two of snow fell, but parts of Southern Maine had a bunch.  As of 7 AM, Shapleigh had the jackpot with 17+ inches and other areas got a foot.  There were many places with less than six inches, including our little plot of the state.  By sunrise this morning, well, by the time the sun should have risen, the storm had all but passed us by leaving just a wet, messy slop.  Much of it is already melting away.  Trees with limbs resting on the ground during the night have already returned to near normal, except we do have some limbs permanently down.

We were among the lucky ones as we didn't lose our electricity, but several thousand in our county and severy thousand more elsewhere in the state weren't so fortunate.  We are expecting some sunshine to return to the area this afternoon and the remnants of this storm will all be melted away almost as quickly as it fell.

Well, you wonder, where's a picture?  You can chalk this one up to the Old Gator.  It's been several months since he checked the battery in his camera.  Big boo-boo.  When he headed outside to take a memory of the storm, his camera just sort of chuckled at him.  The battery is now on the charger but by the time it's ready, there'll be no good picture opportunity left.  Lesson learned by the Old Gator.

And that ends this final storm update.  Now, back to the regularly scheduled Gator in Maine.  Can you tell I used to be a broadcaster?

Monday is a holiday of sorts, but not one of those legal ones that extends the weekend.  Monday is Halloween.  WCSH-TV played a very cute "ghost" story this morning, one I suspect will be repeated during the weekend.  It was a very well done report on "ghosts" haunting the Channel 6 building, mainly in the archives room and throughout the building.  Reporter Jackie Ward's eyes were perfect.  The famed "Maine Ghost Hunters" investigated and we'll see their report next week.

Halloween is a great time for the very young and the very young at heart.  It's kind of too bad that it can't be held on a weekend night, perhaps the last Friday or Saturday in October rather than Oct. 31st.  That would take some pressure off school kids about getting homework done, rest, and dealing with potential upsets tummies and getting up the next morning for school.  But then the date does have its own meaning so I'll just put this thought into the clouds.

One of the tough things about this last weekend is the thought that we sometimes get snow, real plowable snow, in November.  I'm hesitant to change my tractor over from lawn mower to snow thrower this early for a couple of reasons.  The leaves are still dropping off the trees in my yard and I use the lawn mower as a leaf vacuum.  We do have a compost pile for the leaves as well as grass clippings so there's some reason for my collections.  Speaking of grass, vacuuming the leaves also gives the lawn a little trim to keep it even before snow flies in earnest.  We have completed the winter fertilizer drop, though.  (If Kevin was correct this morning, perhaps I should take that changeover more seriously; but if we do get snow, it won't last long.)

The problem with not making the changeover is sometimes I get caught and have to do the task in much colder weather with snow already flying.  I know you may be wondering why I simply don't go out and get some shovelling exercise.  Well, my driveway is about 350 feet long.  Using my age and physical condition, I'd wonder if I'd make it through a whole storm.  So, we will put off the changeover for at least another couple of weeks.

We are also approaching Village Construction Time.  If you've followed me for a year or more, you know that every year the Gator Clan designs a Department 56® combination Victorian and Dickens villages.  It's a huge undertaking that we traditionally begin on Nov. 11th and complete it and light it on Thanksgiving Day.  Of course Nov. 11th is not only Veterans' Day but also is a special day for Gator Wife and me.  It's extra special this year so we may start the village the weekend before or the one following the 11th this year to be able to celebrate.  Then, of course, there's always the possibility that since both events, the special one and the village beginning, are so important in our lives that we'll stay on schedule and begin construction on the 11th.

It occurred to me the other day that I've mentioned the upcoming elections (Nov. 8th) once or twice here but have only focused on the statewide ballot questions.  We are also facing many other items on the ballots in many cities and towns.  Councilors, selectmen, school board members, county officials, and many other people are also on various ballots throughout the state.  Not all, of course, are on all ballots, but many places are choosing more than just voter registration procedures and gambling.

This was brought home to me Thursday when I read an article on line in The Forecaster, a weekly regional newspaper.  The article dealt with the selection of town councilors in my town, Scarborough.  It suddenly dawned on me I haven't paid enough attention to our local politics, and that's not a good thing.  Fear not, I'm not going into any local politics here, but just wanted to note that many of us in the state are facing local elections and ballot questions.  Among them here, for example, is whether we'll allow a 35ish million dollar bond for a new school.

We still have a week to familiarize ourselves with the local ballots and I urge you to do as I'm planning to do, some homework.  These local elections are equally as important, perhaps even more so in some places, as those statewide questions.  There's still time to learn what's on your ballot and your decisions could affect your life and/or your pocketbook.

I'd also remind you that in spite of the lies you see on those Vote Yes ads, you can register during next week and vote at the same time.  Of course, most of you are already registered.

I hope your weekend is a great one.


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