Monday, August 18, 2008


Every morning of my life for the past several years, with little deviation, begins at 4:45 AM when my alarm goes off. Actually, it hasn't gone off for a couple of years now. The clock broke and I never bothered getting a new one. I just get up at 0445. Today as I was out doing my morning fitness routine, the skies were almost foreboding: you could look up and see September coming, you could feel its presence, a perception underlined by the crisp air and the autumn-like weekend. We're just a little past mid-August. Me and my tomato plants would surely love at least a 7-day stretch of hot sunshine. The extended weather forecast for Northeastern New York is a good one, while the folks down in Florida brace for a visit from a hurricane. Eastern NY weather has been wet, which in the past has meant a dry almost snowless winter. We'll see about that! There's also a profound increase in North American blogging starting around the 3rd week of September that runs through the First of May. I think we can attribute that to the span of the school year + the colder temperatures in Canada and the Northern USA.

The Olympics and the Russia-Georgia conflict have been dominating the news, with McCain-Obama coming in 3rd. Gas prices are still high in the Capital Region as service stations continue to gouge, marking the product WAY up over the "rack" price. They should be ashamed, but we the public knew this would happen anyway. Of course, if tomorrow a refinery was damaged or something, the prices would shoot up within a few hours. Speaking of prices, this weekend I did all of my grocery shopping (with the exception of meat) at WalMart! Total bill came to $79.95 and just for fun I went over to one of the Price Choppers with calculator in tow. Same stuff would have set me back $129.03!!! For example, a bag of Rice I bought for $8.99 at WMT would have cost me $19.99 at PC. I purchased a couple of nice steaks at Hannaford for $3.53 and $3.77. Similar products "on sale" at PC in the 9-dollar range. The rest of my meat came from Falvo's up in Voorheesville. When I'm in New York City I always stop for groceries on the way down (via the Taconic) at Stew Leonard's in Yonkers.

Before you know it, Summer 2008 will be another one in the history books. I'm sure I blogged somewhere before that Summer 2006 was hands-down the best summer of my life so far. Nothing amazing happened. I didn't have a lot of money to spend. But I was safe, happy, entertained and enjoying life and the people around me. Before Summer 08 is gone, I hope you'll take a moment to see the good side of your current situation, whatever that it is. The kids are back in school very early next month: we've got a US presidential election coming up, and the last quarter of this year I believe will be an interetsing and adventurous one for all of us!

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