Monday, November 28, 2011

A Monday ramble

Sunday wasn't too bad.  At least in spite of the cloudiness, we didn't get any rain on our little piece of the world.  Three more days and we'll be out of November.  Those three days, however, could be interesting.  Temperatures today, for example, could reach into the 60s.  We appear to be on target to set an all-time record high average for a November.

It seems like this has been a rather quick month.  Perhaps the two major holidays has help speed it along.  The first part of the month Mrs. Gator and I were preparing for our milestone anniversary as the first fifty years of our marriage slipped into the past.  Then came Thanksgiving, a holiday for giving Thanks for all we are together and for bringing back family memories.

Next up, Christmas.

It wasn't too long ago that we would have put up our outside decorations this past weekend, the one following Thanksgiving.  We probably outdid outselves in our former home in Portland as it was ablaze with lights and other decorations.  Once we began there, just about everyone on our street began to put up grand lighting for the holidays. 

The first couple of years after we moved to our present location, we tried to get into the decorations mood for a couple or three years, but we were one of only two houses in our field.  Even the street was a dead end so extremely few passersby got to enjoy our efforts.  The area has since grown up around us and our street is no longer dead ended.  

We turned to the inside.  One day Gator Wife arrived home with a single Department 56 structure and placed it on the shelf in front of our bow window.  It was lost.  So we bought two or three more along with some accessories and our Village was born.  Growth of the Village has been our decoration project ever since.

There are lots of things in the news to mention.  Cities and towns around the country and here in Maine are finally beginning to do what they should have done on Day One and that is push back against the "Occupy ..." movements.  I never understood why the protesters were allowed to pitch tents and other structures and take over public spaces.  Peaceful assembly and speech freedom are Constitutionally allowed.  I've never read in the Constitution where setting up tents and other structures in public parks were permitted freedoms.

The continuing and growing shortfall of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services is going to be a costly fix.  Major reform is badly needed.

The term "vocational education" has taken on a very negative image and school districts have long changed any focus on it.  But now under Gov. Paul LePage Voc Ed is being primed for a comeback, only it will be under a different name.  The new name is "Career Education Training," or something close to that.  Education had abandoned a lot of Maine students and the state is now paying for it with unprepared workers.  The rebirth will be a major highway into our economic future.

These are just two or three of the many events around us that affect us.  They, along with many others, just might get a mention or two here with my thoughts and opinions that may or may not hold any water.

Turning to a couple of sports thoughts:  The NBA owners and players have reached a tentative agreement and the pro basketball season will get underway Christmas Day.  Ho-hum.  I absolutely could care less.  The NBA is just plain boring to me.  It can't hold a candle to good college basketball games.  I even prefer watching the high school games.  I've never understood the popularity of pro basketball.


Thanksgiving Day was hectic.  We had a lot of activity happening here, probably just like most of you had in your homes.  We are early eaters as far as holidays go.  So it was about one o'clock when we sat down to give our Thanks and enjoy the hard work of Gator Wife and Gator Daughter.  By mid-afternoon, the clean up had been completed and our projects done.  We wanted a nap.  GD and her dog headed to their home and GW and I curled up, sort of, in our chairs in the TV room. 

I turned on the TV.  The football game was just beginning the third quarter.  It wasn't long before I saw one of the dirtiest plays I've ever seen in pro football.  There have been many, but this was a pip.  After a hard play Ndamukong Suh of the Detroit Lions was lying on top of a face down Green Bay Packer player repeatedly driving his face into the turf.  I couldn't believe what I was seeing and even said out loud that that guy should be tossed from the game.

He was finally dragged off the downed player but as he was being escorted away, Suh appeared to deliberately throw his leg out in a sideways kick to stomp the other player.  His legged pumped a couple or three times but I'm not sure if he actually spiked the Packer.  News reports later indicated he did not or only grazed him.  But the attempt was unmistakable.  Not only should Suh have been thrown out of the game, he was, but the League should be taking even stronger action.

News reports say the league will be meeting this week to review the play.  From what I saw, Suh's season, possibly career, should be over.  There is no place in sports, professional or not, for that kind of activity.

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