Monday, July 18, 2011

Weather and politics are making me surly...

Another Monday at home. While I rather enjoyed the first couple weeks of the MN state government shutdown, I am getting a little antsy about my extended vacation. I can apply to get my first unemployment check this week, but if there is a budget agreement this week and it includes back pay to July 1st, I would just have to pay it back. So I'll wait another day or so...

It's not the money that's bothering me. I'm saving about $50 a week on gas, cutting back on household expenses, and making do with back pay and The Hermit's income. And while I basically like my job, I am not going stir crazy being away from it and my coworkers. I try to not let my job define my life. And if there is one thing this vacation period has shown me, I have a life outside of my job that is much more meaningful than earning a paycheck.

What bothers me is that, while Governor Mark Dayton pulled what I think was an incredibly savvy move and agreed last Thursday to the Republican legislative majority's budget plan, MINUS a few social agenda issues that I do not think should ever be part of a budget bill, the legislators have continued with business as usual, bickering, dragging their feet, and complaining about the legislation THEIR party drafted. They are basically holding 22,000 state employees hostage, not to mention those that depend on suspended services. Dayton will not call a special session to end the budget stalemate until all the ducks are in a row so to speak, which I think is wise governing, because with the pathetic toddlers we have in office, a special session without said ducks in a row could turn ugly. So I may return to work later this week. Or not. I never thought it could come to this.

By the way, my state senator and representative are both Democrats, very much involved in the community and good examples of responsible elected officials. I was in a school/community musical last fall with the wife of Senator Tony Lourey, their three children, and the granddaughter of Representative Bill Hilty. I am proud to know them and to have voted for them. I am glad that they are not part of the party that created this fiasco.

So here I sit at home. It's better, however, than being out working in chest waders on a lake this week. The whole state of Minnesota is experiencing a high pressure system producing heat and humidity that has not been seen in years. It is 91 degrees here now, with humidity off the charts. This is expected to last throughout this week. I have complained about frost in July before; this is just another turn of Minnesota weather. We even have an air conditioner now. I have never thought one would be of much use here, maybe one or two days a year. However, my stepson Ryan happened to have one that would not fit any of his windows, so he loaned it to us. It would not fit any windows in the house, so we put it in the cabin. It is a mixed blessing. It provides a thermal refuge, but it makes it that much harder to go outside or to the house and face the reality of summer. Summer here is so short anyway, I won't complain, but I can't even play my mandolin because of the humidity!

So I'll end on this note: When the going gets tough, the tough get Surly. Surly beer, that is. Perhaps the only good thing that came out of this year's MN legislative session was a bill that allowed this successful MN microbrew to sell their own beer at a proposed brewery/restaurant. Imagine that! That such a proposal had any opponents is living proof that we have not reached the age of political enlightenment. Yet. Until then, I'll sit back, enjoy the show, and sip a Surly CynicAle. Perfect. Or maybe I should just forget state work and apply for a job at Surly. :)


Grizz………… said...

I believe we have politics here in Ohio, though I'm not entirely certain and prefer to keep it that way. We do however have weather…and at the moment it is GODAWFUHOT! It has been this hot for the past week and is predicted to remain as hot throughout the week to come. The other day the heat index was 121˚F! They claim this week it will top that mark.

A Surly Cynic Ale—possibly several—sounds like just the ticket.

P.S. I enjoyed your music!

greg said...

Hang in there, Deb. Because it sounds like even the GOP leadership had accepted Dayton's deal, but had to wrangle their own ultra-conservative caucus, a small minority of legislators truly were holding the whole state -- and its workers -- hostage. Enjoy the beer!

Floridacracker said...

Yes, hang in there and rejoice in the fact that you do not have the worst governor on the planet like we do (Rick Scott).

Love the marsh picture in your header.

Lausten North said...

Unfortunately that "small group of people can change the world" thing does not always work in your favor. Frustrating that people can figure out how to be activists, but without having sense of civic duty. Worse that people with millions in their pockets somehow feel victimized. History shows that it can't last, but that is little solace when you are living through it.

webb said...

Another "hang in there" from Virginia. Our legislature is every bit as divided and partisan - they just haven't really had a chance to shut down our government, but they would if they could.

Enjoy your "vacation" as much as you can. Share your pain about the weather. The air mass got here yesterday, so we are just starting our real discomfort. This, too, shall pass!

webb said...

yahoo News tells me that you are going back to work tomorrow, so your vacation will be just a memory! hope all goes well.

Deb said...

Grizz- 121- yikes! Luckily I'm just close enough to Lake Superior to avoid most extremes. And thanks about the music. I really thought I'd get more done musically during this break, but the muse was on vacation too. :)

Greg- I just hope this makes the GOP look bad in upcoming elections. Like Bugs Bunny said to Yosemite Sam: "You don't need me to make you look bad!" YS: "Durn right I don't!" :)

FC- I like our Gov. Across the border in Wisconsin, that's another story. I like to believe in the process of democracy, but it's been bought and sold.
The pic is at Rice Lake National Wildlife Refuge, about an hour's drive away from here. I'm looking forward to a fall trip when this lake is positively teeming with waterfowl. Hopefully I'll get a blog post up about my recent trip, which despite the lack of waterfowl was still very enjoyable.

LN- "people with millions in their pockets somehow feel victimized"- yes, and they keep coming back with the tired old, disproven answer that additional taxes will seriously hurt job growth in the state. Tax cuts have never been followed by job growth and prosperity and trickle down stuff...don't get me started!

Webb- Yes, I am back to work as of tomorrow. I have been enjoying this little break from normal, but I had hoped I would get more blogging mileage out of it. Like I told Grizz, the muse was on vacation too.