Framing the Dialogue

Harbingers of Spring Part Deux

Last year I posted about things that let us know that Spring has sprung.  This is technically not an update, just my take on Spring a year later. 

Spring where I live tis the season for potholes.  Most municipalities open tip lines so that concerned citizens can report the most outrageous potholes.  They don’t actually fix the potholes, they just want to know where they should not drive.  This looks like a small hole yet it is obviously very deep.  Fortunately some good Samaritan sunk a shopping cart into the hole to warn their fellow motorists.

This pothole is on private property at a shopping center so because corporations need to keep their customers happy this one was fixed. 

A recent sign for me that Spring has arrived are allergies.  I never had them until around 4 years ago.  Spring now brings me sinus pain, drainage, and sleepless nights.

This Spring the Pittsburgh Pirates (notice that I did not use the term “our” when describing the Pirates) begin another record-breaking run.  Unfortunately the baseball team is looking to break its own record for the longest streak of loosing seasons of ANY professional sports team.  The Pirates set the record at 17 seasons last year and seem on pace to break that in 2010.  The team always seems to perform well at the beginning of the grapefruit league, but as the season wanes and their opponents play more of their starters the losses stack up.

On the upside for Pittsburgh sports fans this time of year also is when the Penguins get ready for a playoff run.  They have provided their fans with great runs over the last few years and won the Stanley Cup last year.  I enjoyed the win, but the really special part was watching my kids experience it.  We are all Pens fans.

I had a pleasant surprise this Spring.  I installed a pond in my back yard and had put in some goldfish to help fertilize the aquatic plants and nibble on any skeeters that chose to lay eggs in the water.  Living in Pittsburgh I knew that I had to have deeper water to give them a chance to survive the freeze.  Low and behold when the pond melted I saw many goldfish swimming about.  That was about two weeks ago.  They are not very interested in food yet, but it was nice to have them survive.  It will be interesting to see how much bigger they grow this summer.

Another great thing about Spring in Western Pennsylvania is that we actually get to see the sun every few days.  We don’t get too excited as it still isn’t all that frequent an occurrence, but the forecast is for a sunny weekend.  Yahoo!

As usual Spring also brings tax season.  I noticed that a few of my typical deductions have been reduced so that I owe more money.  Funny since I don’t make more than $250,000 and I thought I was promised that my taxes would be lower.  Maybe that kicks in this year though I am not holding my breath.

This Spring also brings the U.S. Census to our mailboxes.  There was a lot of bluster about what you had to fill out, but I did not see any legal advise on what questions are required to be answered.  I found the front part of the questionnaire interesting.  I found the statement interesting that “The Census must count every person living in the United States.”  Not every “citizen” living in the United States.  There were many questions about race, but none about citizenship. 

My take is that voting districts and representation in Congress will be determined by the number of people living in an area rather than the number of citizens living in an area.  I find this offensive!  Sorry.  I didn’t want to get political in this posting.

The last image as an indication of Spring was a little gift on my car last Friday (remember this is the end of March).  Yep that is snow on my windshield!  Just when I thought I was out of Winter it pulled me back in.  This is Western Pennsylvania.

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