Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Has the Round Pond Independence Day Parade Gone Poli-tick-ly Correct?

Every year I fight the traffic to go to the Independence Day Parade in the village of Round Pond, Bristol. It has always been known as the politically incorrect, quirky, outrageous, full of fun parade, and to me it epitomizes the freedoms of our country. No president, politician, or anything making the news has ever been safe from some local group taking it on and satirizing it. With all that's going on in the country and world at this time, I was expecting to see some real jabs. Imagine my disappointment when that didn't happen.

I did have to laugh at the poli-ticks group, though. It was good, but not really poking fun at anything, it was just a general statement about politics sucking you dry. Most of the parade was pretty much old cars, which while nice to see, weren't really decorated or anything. Come on people! What happened? Has Bush's restrictions on our personal freedom gotten to you? An example of what freedom of speech really is has been muzzled? And where was the Bristol Fire Department? Last year there was some controversy generated by the town as to whether or not they could participate and help out. This year, nothing in the papers, or even whispered about their participation. Usually they assist with parking, put up yellow tape for no parking, and ride in the parade itself. Not a single sign of them this year.

Well, I will admit, there were two other parade entries that were pretty good, just nowhere near as good as in previous years. I wish I had gotten a rear shot of this photo, showing the guy in the Dick Cheney mask, referring to himself (on the sign) as a "dick." The darn dog chose that moment to pull my arm away to "show her muscle" at another dog and the shot was ruined.

Also, another did have a Bush carrying a fish, in reference to the recently completed "Lobster Summit," where Bush XLI and Bush XLIII treated Vladimir Putin to some local fishing on Daddy's boat, Fidelity. I'm surprised no one added the story about the anchor coming loose from the boat, with George LXIII casting his line as the divers were trying to unsnag it.

And then there was the group pushing for world peace. I mean peas. A little take off on the "Visualize Whirled Peas" bumper stickers that are so ubiquitous on cars. Usually Volvos. They were carrying giant pea pods, and cheering. Kind of cute, but no "punch" to it.

And the one with the people dressed as lobsters sitting inside a lobster trap, calling their float the "Tourist Trap." But where are the jabs at the state of our world today? I was really really disappointed in the parade this year. Next year, I just may stay home instead.

Happy Independence Day, America. May we have 213 more years of freedom.

Read more!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Newcomers to become the majority in midcoast region

Saw this on the Boston.Com site.

Huh, why doesn't this surprise me. Although I'm a newcomer and transplant, I certainly relate more with native Mainahs than this group, the over educated, over wealthy, the "quality of life" people.

These are the ones giving transplants a bad name.

They are the ones who move from the city and look down on the locals. The ones who buy homes next to a railroad track and then complain that the trains "spew out diesel fumes hurting the quality of air," while at the same time driving their own diesel volvos or whatnot.

They are the ones that buy property adjacent to conservation easements, and then take chainsaw in hand and cut down every tree that is blocking their "quality of view" from their home, violating the shoreland zoning rules, trespassing, and then say, "Oh, it was only a couple of small saplings."

They are the ones who successfully mount a campaign against Wal-Mart, because it "will impact their quality of life." Well, what about the working person's quality of life??? I have to shop at Cant-afford (Hannaford) with their high prices (it's all organic, you see) because I don't have a nearby Wal-Mart supercenter. And Reny's, who sells more Chinese imported junk than Wal-Mart (but used that in the campaign).

They are the ones responsible for buying up the oceanfront land and blocking access to traditional use, leaving Maine with only 20 miles (half of which is privately owned) of its 3,000 mile coastline for access to traditional use, as it "will interfere with their quality of life."

Okay, rant ended for today.

Read more!

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Osprey Causes Power Outage

I had to laugh when I read that headline in last week's Lincoln County News. Actually, I laughed more at this photo of the osprey that ran with the story. Sure does look like he was "electrified," doesn't he? A friend of mine back in Michigan, who used to lose her power very often, claimed a "dog must have peed on a telephone pole again" whenever it happened.

But I wasn't laughing when I woke up on the Saturday in question and we (and 8100 others) didn't have any power. What made it even worse, when I called in to CMP to find out what was going on, the recording said that there was an outage affecting Bristol, Bremen, South Bristol and Damariscotta, and the crews were out patrolling the roads looking for the problem.
Huh? Say what?? Isn't this the 21st century? Isn't it computerized, so if there is a break in the grid, wouldn't it be easy to spot? Apparently not.

The utility companies in this area are somewhat behind the times. I swear the local phone company, Tidewater Telecom (which we refer to as Bilgewater) was probably the last phone system on earth to provide caller id with name. They had it with number, but name didn't come in until just a couple years ago. And even though McDonald's Restaurants will take a debit card, Bilge, I mean Tidewater won't. And you have no option to pay online, of course. And yet they offer DSL??? Of course, theirs was the worst deal around. You have to purchase their proprietary modem (for $200) and then pay $50 a month for the "blazing" speeds of 256 kbps. And pay surcharges if you exceeded their bandwidth limits of 128 kbps.

It's actually not all that surprising. Tidewater used to be GTE. And I had GTE in Caseville, and you couldn't call anywhere but Caseville and Elkton with them. And who was there to call in Elkton?? It wasn't even contiguous with Caseville. And when we installed a phone in the cottage in 1985, we got a party line. There was no way you could have a private line, you were put on a waiting list. After five years, we finally did get a private line, but a recurring nightmare of mine was that I needed emergency service,a dn couldn't get through because someone was on the line.

One good thing here in Maine, the Public Utility Commission forced the phone companies to expand the calling area to be local calls rather than long distance, to all neighboring exchanges. When I first moved out here, all you could call with the 563 exchange was another 563 exchange, South Bristol and New Harbor. Now we can call Waldoboro, Wiscasset and Whitefield, also. Michigan could learn a few things from this PUC; in Holly, our local exchange would only call Holly and Fenton.

Read more!

Design | Elque 2007