A first glance at the weather map and the local forecasts would indicate we in Southern Maine, specifically the Greater Portland area, are in for a cool but rather dry week. The only glitch right now seems to be Wednesday when we could get just a little dusting of snow. The temperatures are a lot colder than those of last week, but certainly more tolerable than the ones of a couple weeks ago.
I'm starting here with the weather because I may have
found a new "favorite" local weather presenter. As you know I normally watch the news on
Channel Six, partly because I worked part time at that station for 30
years. The Thompson family and the
management at the station always treated me very well. I had retired before the station was
sold. There's nothing negative about
that statement as I honestly don't know how the management treats its employees
today, except one major hint would be that many of the people with whom I
worked are still there some 19 years after I left.
But Sunday the Ch. 6 Morning Report was shortened to 30
minutes so the station could carry the Olympic hockey gold medal game, which,
incidentally, Canada won. I didn't watch
and had explained why I don't watch much Olympic coverage over the
weekend. So, for the first time in many
months, possibly years, I switched to the Channel Eight Morning Report. The news/sports parts of the newscast didn't
draw me into a need to try them again; but their weather forecaster went
through several weather portions, perhaps all of them since none caused me to
say, "Oh, no difference here," without my hated trite phrases.
Several posts ago, I ranted about weather folk using the
very worn out trite phrases "out there" and "all is said and
done." The Channel 6 meteorologists,
except veterans Joe Cupo and Kevin Mannix, both of whom were there when I was,
use the phrases very infrequently. The
new ones average those phrases four to eight times in their short
segments. I counted 11 one time. I do not know where "there" is. These phrases are in the extremely trite,
meaningless category that includes "You know" and "I mean." Again, because of Olympic coverage, I watched
Ch. 13 weather people recently and son of a gun, there was that triteness in
its full glory.
My Fearless Friend who's living near Orlando, Florida,
right now, sent me a message that the weather people down there must have gone
to the same "out there" meteorologist school as the new forecasters
on Ch. 6 and 13.
But I digress.
Sunday morning on the Ch. 8 news, Mallory Brooke did not use the trite
phrases at all. If one was slipped in, I
certainly missed it. How refreshing it
was to hear a weather person with an AMS (American Meteorological Society)
after her name have such good control of our language that she didn't have to
resort to meaningless, boring phrases. I
salute Mallory Brooke for presenting the weather by someone who convinces me
she actually knows her subject.
Unfortunately, the rest of the news presentation didn't
scream, "Come here, come here for the news."
On another topic, my perusal of the world/national news
through Google News found another story of
particular interest to me. The
New Britain Herald had a story that said Canadian researchers have concluded
that regular mammograms are not necessary and that their research shows that
mammograms really have little impact on saving lives, especially in young
Please, don't read that story and believe it. The story also says their research is based
on a 20-year-old study using outdated equipment. However, the personal experience of my wife,
and thousands or more of other women, have clearly demonstrated the worth of
mammograms. We're convinced that one saved
my wife's life.
Five years ago a little question mark appeared on her
mammogram which immediately caused her personal physician to involve a cancer
specialist. That was in October of
2009. Early in December she underwent
breast surgery and had that blip removed.
It was cancer. She continues to
have regular tests and checkups, but now, heading for her five years later, she
remains cancer free, a true survivor.
She probably wouldn't like me to mention she's now in her 70s, so I
She had done the regular self-testing procedure for years
and had never found a lump or anything else.
It was that very alert mammogram technologist who spotted a suspicious
spot and began my wife on her road to recovery.
We thank our God that we hadn't read about that Canadian research so it
couldn't affect our decision. As a
result she lives. She probably thinks
she's being punished for something, though, as she also has to continue to put
up with me.
And finally, a question I have about all the money the
Republicans and Democrats both in Augusta and Washington D.C. want to spend on
"training." We're being told
daily that the answer to our economic woes is more training so more people can
What I fail to hear is training for what jobs? This country has allowed just about all of
our industries to leave for off shore or other continent countries where
there's cheaper labor and material. Have
you bought anything major, like appliances, electronics, cars (don't be fooled
by this one), that were made in the U.S.A. recently? Where are all these jobs going to be created
to prepare people for what?
Most of the good companies in "the good old
days" used to train their hires for specific jobs themselves. People who wanted to move up the ladder were
trained to do so. Colleges and
universities used to prepare people for many professional or management type
jobs, but from all I read most now have studies in dead end or non-existent
So I simply ask, "What is this unspecified
'training' that we need to spend so much money for?" I think we need a lot more answers before we
simply pour money into . . . what????