Well Cathy and I are on a short vacation in Naples Florida visiting our cousin Beth, her husband Craig and mom’s brother Uncle Gilbert (fondly referred to as UG throughout the rest of this blog).
Beth’s brother our cousin Gib also decided to fly in to Naples from Chicago with his family, wife Mary Ann and their two children Haley and Macky.
Cathy was due for time away from her family and some well deserved r & r and since I am semi-retired I was more than happy to accompany her on the trip. So far our days have consisted of lounging around on the beach or by the pool, then dining out for lunch and/or dinner, however the most important part of the vacation is the evening festivities which consist of playing euchre with anyone who is in the mood to play.
As I recall last time we visited Naples I teamed up with UG and we blew through any and all of the competition with an undefeated record. This time UG and I teamed up again and things started out in the same fashion on Friday night as we beat up on Cathy, Beth, Mary Ann and Gibby going undefeated.
I consider UG to be one of the top euchre players in our family not only because he plays his cards well, but as an opponent you have to be prepared and have the mental wherewithal to fight off the constant onslaught of his verbal taunts. One of his favorite’s which is “you are one the best losers I have ever played with”.
Typically UG’s mental game throws my sister Cathy off of her game early and often, but last night she was determined to win and did. Gib and Cathy beat us three games to two, but I guess it’s like they say you can’t win all of the time !
Yesterday it was overcast and there were intermittent sprinkles, and Kish and I decided to explore Sutton’s Bay, another nearby town. While there we decided that we had to watch a movie at The Bay, the town’s lone theatre.
The ticket and concession stand at The Bay
Our trip to The Bay — where we watched Inception, which was well worth a second viewing — was like a trip back in time. We went to a matinee, and the theatre appeared to be a one-man operation. The same employee sold tickets, popcorn, candy, and soda. There was only one theatre, and I’d be willing to bet that the metal seats are the originals, although plastic cupholder armrests clearly have been added more recently. The show consisted of a 1970s-vintage plea for people to throw away their trash, one or two previews, and then the feature.
Our visit to The Bay reminded me of Mom’s descriptions of going to movies when she was a child. The theatre was within walking distance her neighborhood, one of several storefronts. The Bay is exactly like that. I am sure that the other establishments in Sutton’s Bay like having it around.
Any regular reader of this blog knows that I have been critical of the “stimulus” legislation and the government response to the current recession, which has featured lots of spending. In the interests of being even-handed about it, attached is an op-ed piece in today’s Philadelphia Inquirer from the chief economist of Moody’s Analytics that defends the stimulus bill and other actions taken by the federal government.
I’ll let readers judge for themselves, but I don’t find the defense especially convincing. It seems to be short on objective proof, and long on the notion that if nothing had been done things would be worse than they are. That argument is tantalizing because it is impossible to prove or disprove.
What we do know is this: when the stimulus legislation was passed, we were told that it would keep unemployment below a certain level, and it didn’t. We know that much of the money went to keep government workers employed, and in some instances to give them raises. We know that the “jobs created and saved” statistics cited in defense of the stimulus legislation often were phony and unreliable. And we know that the stimulus legislation, and the other federal bailouts that have occurred, have added enormous sums to our federal debt — sums that will burden our economy for decades to come. In the face of such hard realities, the argument that things would have been worse without the stimulus bill seems very thin, indeed.