Monday, October 27, 2008

Random Thoughts and Events

  • Rusty is in big, big trouble. This morning he broke a window! He has a bad habit of scrabbling at the windows when he sees a squirrel or cat outside, but up till now this has only resulted in more frequent window cleaning. But, this morning a neighborhood tabby was on our garage roof, which is just under our bedroom window. Rusty was standing on the bed, barking at the cat, and reaching over to attempt to get it through the window. Then I heard the tell-tale sound of breaking glass. Bad dog! Onkel Hankie Pants reports that the window (like the rest of the house) is both new enough and old enough to cause problems in replacing the glass; it won't be easy to get the window out without wrecking it, so we will be looking for someone who can come over and replace the glass in situ. Otherwise I guess it will be cardboard and a 3M plastic shrinkwrap for us.
  • I never cease to be amazed by the wonderful entertainment available on the Internet. (And I'm not talking about the political news, although some of it is pretty entertaining). Lately I've been enjoying listening to Neil Gaiman read his new young people's book, The Graveyard Book.  If you go to , you can hear it too -- in its entirety, one chapter at a time.  I highly recommend it to young persons and older ones alike. Gaiman has a great sense of humor as well as a genius for spookiness.  Hallowe'en fun!
  • Mystery readers everywhere are saddened to learn that Tony Hillerman, author of the Leaphorn and Chee mysteries set in Navaho country, has died at age 83. I recently re-read Dance Hall of the Dead, which won him the Edgar Award for Best Novel, and enjoyed it as much or more than the first time.
  • We had a bean supper at church on Saturday, and I signed up to bring potato salad. We were out of eggs, and I didn't want to experiment, so mine was the plainest potato salad imaginable -- the basic recipe from Joy of Cooking except that I omitted the parsley, used cider vinegar instead of red wine vinegar (another thing we're out of), and sprinkled some paprika on top.  I feared we'd be bringing home leftovers and eating potato salad for a week. But when we finished our supper, my bowl was already empty and washed! Sometimes plain is good.  
  • Casting my mind back, back, back, to high school U.S. History class, I believe that initiative, referendum and recall had something to do with the Progressive movement. How odd, then, that Minnesota doesn't have those options, and Maine does. Hence, we have been faced with two or three ballot questions each time we've voted here. Actually, there's usually at least one that's a state bond issue -- this time it has to do with clean water. But we also have a referendum and an initiative. The referendum has to do with a tax the Legislature passed to fund Dirigo Health(Maine's baby step toward universal health care). It's on soda pop, beer, wine, vitamin waters and juice drinks, bottled iced tea and no doubt, bottled Frappuccinos.  So, there is a heavily funded campaign against it called Fed Up with Taxes! bankrolled by the beverage industry. I was already leaning toward voting No (a No vote lets the law stand as it is), but what pushed me over the edge was the sight of the Coors beer truck with a big "Fed Up with Taxes! Yes on 1!" sticker on it. Somehow I doubt that Coors has my best interests at heart. For the amount of pop we drink in a year, an additional 11 cents for a two-liter bottle isn't going to break us.
  • The initiative is for a casino in Oxford County, to the west of us in a part of Maine where the promise of jobs will get people to vote for just about anything. I'm not a big fan of gambling (I can waste money just fine without it, thanks), but if it's going to be here, I'd rather see the Indian tribes running it. Instead, although the initiative started with a young local businessman, the proposed casino development would now be run from Las Vegas. Even its proponents admit that the proposal as written is deeply flawed, and one of its flaws is that it enjoins no further casinos be built in the state for 10 years.  It's going to be No on 2 as well.
  • I feel for Cordeliaknits and other Californians. They have 12 Propositions to vote on! Two of them, the referendum on same-sex marriage and the initiative against inhumane practices of factory farming (profiled in this week's New York Times Magazine) have received a lot of publicity, the other 10, not so much. 
  • We've had one political call today (in support of Question 1, noted above, and I'd be surprised if the call wasn't made from out-of-state) and one which asked for me by name and encouraged me to vote, without mentioning any candidate, question or party.
  • We've had more political surveys taken from us over the phone this year than in any year that I can remember. Is it because we live in a less-populated state now, or because we still cling to our landline? And we're not even considered a swing state, although the McCain-Palin campaign has made a bit of a push in northern Maine since we don't have a winner-take-all electoral vote and they could possibly pick up one vote there.

1 comment:

Songbird said...

Oh, Rusty!! Bad dog!