My sister Irene gave me a new Crock-Pot for Christmas, or “slow cooker” as they’re calling it nowadays. What a great little rig! Listen, I can throw a bunch of stuff into it before I leave for work, and when I get home, the place smells wonderful. Like my personal chef has been slavin’ away all day preparing a delicious, nutritious meal for me. Basically, I get to experience what Charlie’s been comin’ home to for the last forty years!
Gov. Paul LePage gave his first State of the State speech on Jan. 24, and I have to admit I was disappointed with his performance. LePage devoted all his time to discussing the serious problems that confront Maine and what has to be done to deal with them.
Not a word about the troubles Maine doesn’t have.
Get this folks: in Maine, it’s illegal to have your Christmas decorations up after January 14th. Really! And you could be fined for doing so! This was the buzz going ‘round the A&P last week, so I checked it out on the Internet, and apparently it’s true. Not that you can believe everything you read on the ‘net. Still, I found it on more than one site (there are several) dedicated to “dumb laws.”
I’m a big believer in freedom of expression. Without it, I might have to get a real job.
So, it’s no surprise that I’ve been following the debate over Internet piracy and censorship with considerable interest. Bills in Congress seeking to curb Web sites based in foreign countries from appropriating copyrighted American culture have raised concerns that they could also be used to block legitimate artist expression.
The most important thing in life is having a positive attitude. That’s what I think. It not only helps you live longer, it makes life a heck of a lot less stressful and frankly, much more fun.
Easier said than done, right? ‘Cause some days, it just seems like there’s of host of little gremlins conspiring against me to derail my positivity. And the biggest culprit of them all? Me, usually.
Every January, economist Charlie Colgan speaks at a big breakfast event in Portland to announce his assessment of Maine’s financial picture for the coming year. The place is always packed with businesspeople, reporters, politicians, and other economists, which can lead us to only one conclusion:
The food at this breakfast has to be the best in the state.
The other day, I happened to be watching Charlie when he sneezed. Nothing particularly fascinating about that, of course, but he was standing up at the time, and I saw him kind of bend his knees a little and hunch over.
“What are you doing?” I ask him.
“What does it look like I’m doing? Protecting my back.”
I’m indebted to Kathryn Skelton of the Lewiston Sun Journal for breaking the news that Maine has the cleanest hospital bathrooms in the country. According to Skelton’s Jan. 2 story, Kaiser Health News somehow determined that this state, Vermont and South Dakota were tied for the peak position among pissoirs in medical institutions. In all three states, seventy-nine percent of those facilities were rated consistently tidy.
As I may have noted before, I’m fond of skulls. In fact, I carry one with me wherever I go. I find it to be a convenient container for transporting my brain, eyes and other head-related organs.
Phew! Another Christmas behind us. Every year, I think it’s the best one. And you know, every year I’m right.
Did you do a lot of entertaining over the holidays? We did. As usual, Charlie and me kind of held our breath with our dog, Scamp. He’s been getting better, sure, but he’s still kind of unpredictable.