FOR MASSACHUSETTS: OUR GUBERNATORIAL RACE – Marilyn Armstrong

I spent some time today reading about races that are close and which are not. Here in Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren is expected to win handily and I am glad. She’s a live wire in a house full of deadheads.

Charlie Baker, our Republican governor, is considered extremely likely to win in more or less of a landslide because everyone likes Charlie Baker. Even I like Charlie Baker, but I’m not going to vote for him.

BOSTON, MA. – SEPTEMBER 26: Gubernatorial candidate Jay Gonzalez speaks to media at The Massachusetts Statehouse on September 26, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Staff Photo By Patrick Whittemore/Boston Herald)

I’ve been thinking as a middle of the state semi-rural resident of Worcester country, I’d like to know what exactly he has done? He certainly hasn’t done anything around here.

He hasn’t paved the roads, repaired the bridges, or updated our disastrous trains (commuter trains, and Amtrak). He hasn’t invested in new or improved schools, better healthcare, or extended MassHealth (our state’s Medicaid) to people who need it. I can’t think of anything he has done that has anything to do with me or anyone in this county. I’m pretty sure the rest of Massachusetts would agree with me.

But he is a pleasant fellow. Your basic nice guy. Garry once told me the nicest people you’ll ever meet are politicians and mobsters. I’ve met both.

Garry was right.

Flowers growing in the potholes

Other than being nice, what else is Charlie Baker doing? All the problems we had when he took office are still with us. And if you live in this state, you absolutely know — 100% sure — the rails will stop working as soon as we get snow. Moreover, we won’t have enough snowplows, sand, or salt.

Charles Baker, Governor – Massachusetts

Charlie Baker is Boston’s mayor. He has little or nothing to do with anyone outside greater Boston or the wealthy areas along our eastern coastline. In short, he’s not our governor. If you live in Newton or Framingham, maybe he’s your guy, although I’m not sure what he’s done for you, either.

In fact, I’m not sure he does anything except be pleasant. He is, however, committed to supporting the Republican ticket because that’s where the money comes from. He may act like a Democrat to get elected in an overwhelmingly Democratic state, but make no mistake. He is not. It’s a political shell-game.

One of the things Gonzalez said during the debate was that anyone who doesn’t live in or around Boston must wonder when the government might do something for them. He actually said he had wanted to do this debate in Worcester, but Baker’s staff would not agree. He said he would like to be governor for the entire state because everyone west of greater Boston was still waiting to some any kind of public transport, much less upgraded transport.

That is exactly how I feel. I get that we are always outvoted by the city and its suburbs, but we live here too. Wouldn’t it be nice to at least get back the amount of taxes we pay in? Maybe have an extension so we could take a  train to Boston? How about a minibus so if you can’t drive, you are not helpless.

I don’t think charming Charlie is enough. We deserve better. Not that this post is going to change the race, but we need to stop electing pleasant do-nothing governors and find one who will actually accomplish something.

The last good one we had was Michael Dukakis — more than 30 years ago.

Facts Fuel Incentive to Vote Out Trumplanders to Save Our Country – THE SHINBONE STAR

Voting matters. Even though you are one vote, the collective number of people who DON’T vote outnumbers those who do.

Vote.

Bring your friends. There are so many places where there is no vote, no choice. Please, please VOTE.

THE SHINBONE STAR

Who could forget the way smug Republicans acted — including Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) — after getting a would-be rapist onto the Supreme Court. Although Graham isn’t up for re-election this cycle, his recent performances should provide incentive to vote against his Republican cohorts.

What evidence, what proof, what hard facts do any of us need to realize our country is not better off nearly two years into the Donald J. Trump era of governance in order to vote out anyone who supports the misguided, self-absorbed person currently occupying our White House?

Just to be clear, there is no tax cut on the horizon for the middle class no matter what Donald says in the next few days. Not only is there no new tax cut, but apparently the one he and his GOP cohorts bragged so loudly about toward the end of last year never materialized for the average…

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WET AND DRY – Marilyn Armstrong

FOWC with Fandango — Dry


It’s raining. Dare I say it? It’s pouring. But this is no longer unusual. It used to be the rain came and left. Recently and including today, it’s sunshine that comes briefly then vanishes.

Yesterday was a day during which it didn’t rain. It wasn’t always sunny, but it didn’t actually rain.

Just as well I took pictures because yesterday’s trees with golden leaves are today’s bare, wet bark. At least it isn’t cold. Yet.

It has been raining as if this were Portland. Definitely not anything like Massachusetts in the summer or fall. We weren’t flooded yet, probably because we never got one of the massive hurricanes. We are far enough north that we usually don’t get the full power of hurricanes … but they occasionally show up.

If they don’t show up “in person,” they show up as a close cousin. Always, they bring rain, wind, and weeks or sodden, gray weather. In the winter, they bring the blizzards. In the warmer weather, a nor’easter means nonstop rain plus a full measure of gloom.

But we also have our own little hurricanes, the infamous nor’easters that pound in from the ocean and then sit right over Boston and just keep bringing in water from the ocean in a powerful circular drive.

Two years ago — the worst ear of the 10-year drought — there was no rain, not even a drizzle through May and almost none in June.

This year, the ground is sodden and feels like a sponge. The trees are dark because the bark is wet and has stayed wet for months. There is green mold growing on our vinyl siding. Even the rocks are green.

Dry? When was that?

TABLES AND CHAIRS IN BLACK AND WHITE – Marilyn Armstrong

Cee’s Black & White – Tables or Chairs


Saratoga chairs
Diner bar and table
A summer table in winter
Dining table with French doors
Picnic table with a camera – Photo: Garry Armstrong
Diner lounge in Mendon

A SUNNY FALL DAY IN NOVEMBER – Marilyn Armstrong

A Beautiful Autumn Day in November


An orange maple leaf

It has been a pretty sad sack of Autumn in Massachusetts. Last week, the leaves finally decided to change. Unfortunately, it was in the middle of our now daily rain. A particularly heavy rain with plenty of wind.

The best leaves

I pondered the situation and realized we were indeed going to get some lovely autumn foliage, but half the trees will be naked by then. Today, finally, it was (mostly) sunny for most of the day. But tomorrow, the rain is back. Wind too. Good thing I took my camera with me. I could tell Garry wished he brought his because he had to borrow mine and take a few shots.

Photo: Garry Armstrong

Always have a camera. You just never know!

Photo: Garry Armstrong

It was a running around day. We had to catch up on errands. We get money on the first of the month, so we go shopping. By the first, we are out of everything except coffee, half-and-half, and dog food. And of course, treats for the dogs. Can’t run out of treats.

Curving rail tracks

The trees — wherever they still were trees and not naked limbs — were beautiful. Not much red, but deep orange and a glorious golden-yellow. The woods were lit up when the sun hit them.