Friday, March 30, 2012

Monday, March 26, 2012

Last week in March

The weather will be cold, well, actually at or just above normal for the last week in March.  Certainly nothing like the record setting days of last week.  For me, however, the hiatus continues.


Friday, March 23, 2012

The bubble bursts

Well, not a big burst, though.  As we move into this March weekend, Maine's record breaking week comes to an end.  It is ending on a high note, though, as our area set another record high temperature Friday.  It wasn't quite as nice as the 80s we had all week, but very early in the morning, a temperature of 68 beat the old record high for the day of 66.  Now it's back to March reality.  That record high for Friday only began the fall and a Canadian cold front will get us back to near normal temperatures before the day is over.

And the forecast says some light rain showers Sunday could begin as light snow.

It was certainly a great time while it lasted.

Added Sat Eve:   Another bubble has burst and the basketball season has ended for the Gators.  The men were eliminated from the NCAA championship series today as the women were earlier this week.  At least the baseball team continues to be doing a pretty good job.

Now I hope you have a super weekend.


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Wednesday and the glorious week continues

I know I'm on a hiatus, but I just can't help myself from posting when we're getting the March weather we're getting here in Maine.  I'm just a bit on the older side of life and I honestly can't remember one like this one before.  I'd bet there have been some, but they weren't the memory makers this month is.  Another beautiful day today and potentially an even more beautiful one Thursday as tempertures soar into the 70s and even 80s in some parts of the state.  There's just one word:  WOW!!!!  (I hate to think what summer's going to bring.)

Back to reality, however, over the weekend and early next week.

On the sports front, we said, "You had a great season, Gator BB Women, but now we must say 'Goodbye' until next year."


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Tuesday Morning

The hiatus continues. But, a little cooler weather Monday follows Sunday's record setting highs. The warm stuff returns with more potential record setters mid-week.  And, this Tuesday morning, we awoke to a brand new season.  Spring sprung (sprang?  had sprung?) shortly after one o'clock this morning.  But guess what the weather folk are mentioning now; yup!  Possible snow next week.

Both the Gator guys and gals continue on after impressive wins in the NCAA National Basketball Championship tourneys.

Enjoy this week.


Monday, March 19, 2012

Early Week

The hiatus continues.  But, a little cooler weather Monday follows Sunday's record setting highs.  The warm stuff returns with more potential record setters mid-week.

Both the Gator guys and gals continue on after impressive wins in the NCAA  National Basketball Championship tourneys.

Enjoy this week.


Friday, March 16, 2012

The hiatus continues!

I hope you have a wonderful weekend.


Monday, March 12, 2012

It's Break Time

The Old Gator is taking a break.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Is winter over?

The answer depends on what one calls "winter," I guess.  What we normally call "The Winter Months" has ended.  They are December, January and February.  On the calendar winter will end in a couple of weeks.  There are some wondering simply, "When will winter begin?"

As for snow, our biggest storms were last fall, including a Halloween storm and one near Thanksgiving.  We were beginning to think back then that holidays had been tagged for the stormy weather, but then Christmas came and went with only a few flakes.  That ended that speculation.  Let me digress:  these comments refer only to my little spot of Maine in the southern portion of the state.  The rest of the state had its ample snowfall to make for a good, Maine winter.

The run of snowless, or very little snow ended last week when we were hit with 13 plus inches in one storm.  It's mostly gone now.  Once again we're in warming weather.  The temperature got into the 50s here Wednesday, then Thursday was a record-setter for a goodly portion on Maine.  In fact, several areas, including our Greater Portland, had set a high temperature for the date record by noon Thursday.

We'll have a return to normalcy for Saturday, we're told, but then the warmth begins to return by Sunday.  Maine's unusual season continues at least for several more days.

Then, to add to the confusion, what seems like an early date to me, Daylight Savings Time begins this weekend.  So here's a friendly reminder:  Don't forget to set your alarm clocks for two A.M. Sunday morning so you can get up and move your clocks ahead one hour.  Yep!  This is the weekend we lose that hour we gained last fall.  Of course most of us will probably change the clocks before we head for bed Saturday night.

The one critter really affected by the time change is Gator Golden.  She's just now getting used to her schedule from last fall's change.  We have her on a very rigid feeding schedule, for example, and somehow she knows exactly when her meal should be set for her.  Now she's in for another five months or so trying to get it all figured out again. 

Of course GG's schedule also affects Gator Wife.  GG has taken it as her responsibility to be sure her "mommy" is up on time in the morning.  The hour change will have the dog totally confused.  I have absolutely no clue how animals know the time, but they sure do know when the events that affect them are due.

So the question remains:  Is winter over?  

Thursday was a day that no one, especially me, expected me to see.  I'm among the few in my immediate family to have achieved this goal, and the medical events of the last 15 years or so put this March 8th in my life in serious doubt.  It successfully, however, allowed me to reach a major milestone.  I celebrated by 75th birthday.

I hope you enjoy your weekend.

David (Gator)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

This could get interesting!

Edited below Wed. Noon

We all know lying on her back is Gator Golden's favorite position.  Here's she's jammed
herself into Gator Wife's TV chair.  As you can easily see, she's just a wee
bit longer than the chair is wide.  But it's one of only four chairs she's allowed
to climb into in the house.  (None is in the living room where guests
are welcome so doggy hair doesn't get over visitors' clothing.)  When
this picture was taken Monday, she was sound asleep.  There have
been times, I think, when she's tried to ask us for a her own,
bigger chair.

Now on to the unimportant business of the day.

I say it's unimportant because a whole lot will change before the next 10 days or so are over, possibly beginning as early as today.

Former governor Angus King has jumped into the fray that is to end up next November with the election of a new U.S. Senator from Maine.  Sen. Olympia Snowe (R), you know, has said she will give up her seat in frustration over politics in Washington.  As I said last week, her long service to Maine both in the Maine Legislature and in both houses in Congress, should be honored.   She will be missed.

But is Angus King the person to replace her?  I don't know and I won't have a real opinion until all the combatants are known.  I must say I'm beginning with a negative feeling.  In his announcement and in an interview on WCSH6-TV with Rob Caldwell, King said he believes that as an Independent in Washington he could help bring the two sides together so that what has been described as a broken Congress can mend itself.

When Caldwell ask him if he honestly thought an Independent can be effective, King responded by pointing out that as a two-term Maine Independent Governor he was able to bring both parties together in the Maine Legislature.  He said his election could cause other Congress folk to think about their own elections in the future.  If Maine could replace a Republican powerhouse with an Independent, those others just might start thinking of their own constituents replacing them.

As an Independent, King only needs to gather signatures by May whereas those in the political parties must have theirs collected by next week, a daunting task.  There is a bunch of potential candidates for the June Primary.  Probably the two Democrats with the best chance of winning a Primary and the election itself would be former governor John Baldacci and current U.S. Representative Chellie Pingree.  Both have said they are evaluating their run and, until last night, awaiting King's decision.

Edited:  As I said in the opening, this stuff all could change before the day was over.  At least one piece has changed:  Chellie Pingree apparently didn't agree with me she could beat King.  She withdrew from her Senate bid this morning and said she will seek to hold her House seat.  I also heard a rumor...note:  just a rumor at this time...that John Baldacci also would not be running.  Angus King must be an intimidating factor for Democrats.

There are others considering the run.  However, if I were a betting man, I'd put my money today on Pingree being more formidable to King than he of her.  From watching past elections, I'd say King might be facing the dirtiest ad campaign against him than he can imagine.  Baldacci would face the same obstacle in the primary.  I'm not accusing any candidate of conducting such a campaign, only remembering those very expensive ads a couple years ago paid for by outside political action committees.

There are several prominent Republicans also gathering signatures.  They include Secretary of State Charlie Summers, State Treasurer Bruce Polquin, State Attorney General William Schneider, prominent Republican Richard Bennett, and Scott D'Ambroise, a former Maine town selectman.  There are a couple or three others also thinking about running, but I suspect they either have or soon will decide against it.

However, the winner among the Republicans will face the same negative campaign as King in the election.  Do any of them, Democrat or Republican, have anything in their background that could cause them great embarrassment?  I have absolutely no idea, and, frankly, don't care.  I'm interested in the issues facing us and resolution to our problems.  At least a couple of the candidates have been influential in causing my perceived problems.

Now the wait continues.  Who will be in the primaries for the honor of facing Angus King next November?  We should have a clearer idea by March 15th.

Meanwhile, Gator Golden awoke from her nap and returned to the outside where she gets perched on a fadng snow bank to keep a keen lookout over her property.  She's poised to pounce on any intruder, you know, like a neighboring cat.  (That's my neighbor's driveway which is farther away that it looks.)


Monday, March 5, 2012

The non-debate

Another week is underway, the first full week of March.  I just looked over my calendar for the month and it's virtually empty.  I do have my end of the month luncheon posted; that's the one on the last Wednesday of the month I have with several fellow retirees.  Of course Tuesdays and Thursdays begin with an hour at the senior fitness place for exercise.  But, so far, that's it. 

That huge storm we had just last Friday left a little over 13 inches of snow in my yard.  Already, just a couple of days later, that storm is almost a secret.  By Sunday  they had shrunk to about 3 inches, perhaps four here and there and, naturally, the piles left by the plow are still very evident, but I'd guess that by week's end only the memory of the storm will be here.  Some weather forecast's long range prediction hint our temperatures could reach 50 or into the 50s before week's end.  If there's still any snow left, those temps will quickly eliminate it.

Tuesday is another of those caucus/primary days.  Known as Super Tuesday because the most states have their say in the race for the presidential nomination process.  In most election years the nomination is all but wrapped up on Super Tuesday, but probably not this year.  Mitt Romney is predicted to increase his delegate lead, but won't get enough to give him the nomination in the summer's national Republican convention. 

I enjoyed watching my perception of Newt Gingrich ripping David Gregory to shreds on NBC's Meet the Press Sunday.  I'm sure only a few would agree with me.  Gregory opened by asking Gingrich about Rush Limbaugh's slamming then apologizing about some comments concerning contraceptive mandates by President Obama.  Gingrich turned the question into a slamming of what he said were wrongful activity by the President and the failure of the main stream news media to address them.  He asked Gregory about that and why the MSM doesn't go after the President.

Naturally, that wasn't Gregory's agenda so he avoided the questions and tried again to draw Gingrich into a discussion about contraceptives.  Gingrich wouldn't bite and said the problem had nothing to do with contraceptives as absolutely no one was denied them and they were readily available but rather with what he called the President's assault on religion.

Later, Gregory tried to bait House Republican Leader Cantor with the same question.  He got the same answers from Cantor.

Of course the Democrats Gregory had on later in the show were on the moderator's side, but generally it wasn't a good day, not that any are, for Meet The Press.  I sure do miss Tim Russert.

Limbaugh has apologized for his remarks about a young lady who had testified in favor of mandated contraceptive inclusion in insurance plans, but apologies never take away the truly horrible remarks he made.  It may be awhile before Limbaugh lives that attempt at what he calls humor down.


Friday, March 2, 2012

And what a roar the beginning was!

There have been a few times this winter that I've wished for just a little snow.  Well, Thusday we got just a little snow.  A most snow that has ever fallen in the Greater Portland area on a March First dumped 13 inches of new snow.  Both Portland and Scarborough hit the 13 mark.  Westbrook got 10 inches.  I was happy that neither Gator Wife nor I had to leave the homestead Thursday.

I'm also lucky that my only neighbor has a plow and we have a shared driveway, at least the entrance is shared.  Since he plows his yard, he's kind enough to take a few swipes in mine, also.  The work I have to do this Friday is mostly just cleaning up the drifted snow from overnight. 

I'll get that done while GW is at work Friday morning.  Our daughter is coming over Friday night to help get the deck cleaned.  She completed her yard Thursday night and called with the self-invitation, "If you'll give me some meatloaf and onion potatoes, I'll come over after work to help with the deck."  You'd be amazed at how fast GW accepted that offer.

Another storm is forecast to slam into us Saturday.  This one, however, we're told will be a wind-swept rain.  It's really important we get our walkway, steps, driveway, and deck cleared of snow before it gets here.  My snow blower hates water.

It looks right now like we'll end this beginning of March Weekend on a sunny and pleasant temperature note Sunday.  And the temperatures could climb back to the 50s by mid week.

March has roared in like a lion.  Let's hope that's it for this year and it will settle down to leave like the lamb in a few weeks.

I hope you don't strain yourselves or overwork getting your yard cleaned and can enjoy the better part of your weekend.