Paradise ponders: Debbie's “graduation”, filling station milestone, steam train, and tax cuts... This morning Debbie went in to see her surgeon for a two week post-surgery followup. He pronounced her recovery to be great, ready to get her staples taken out, and cleared for any physical activity that didn't cause her pain. She looked so good, in fact, that he declared it unnecessary for her to have the usual subsequent followup visits. This prompted a nurse who was in the room to comment that Debbie had “graduated”. Yay! The staples came out (something that Debbie really hates – she crushed my hand and buried her head in my shoulder while the nurse did this), and now her big job is to see how far she can push herself with exercise before it gets painful. First milestone there will be walking without any walker, crutches, or cane. The surgeon said she could be doing this just as soon as she can comfortably put full weight on her left knee.
Yesterday the guys were here working on our filling station. They got all the pipe cut, threaded, and installed – the tanks are now actually connected to the nozzles! I just put in a call to my fuel supplier, and within a few days I should actually have some gasoline and diesel fuel sloshing around in those tanks. There's still more work to do on the filling station, but we can use it while that work gets done. I've just ordered the steel door to go in the front of it; that should be here in six weeks or so. I've also got Randy Bingham (the mason who did our fireplace) lined up to put rock on top and all around it, but it might be a while before that gets done. Progress!
Yesterday we'd planned to go see a steam locomotive that was scheduled to stop for just a half hour in Cache Valley. The place where it was to stop was the teensy little town of Cache Junction, just south of my brother Scott's home. This town has about four houses, and it's kind of in the boonies of Cache Valley – so we weren't expecting many people to show up for it. Man, were we wrong! There were a couple hundred cars parked there, overflowing the little parking area to line the sides of the roads for a half mile or so on both sides of town. I'd guess that around a thousand people were milling all about. In that environment there was no way for us to park close by for a view of the train, and Debbie's not ready to walk over rough ground, so we just drove through town and marveled at the size of the crowd. We visited for a little while with my brother (where we picked up some beautiful logs he'd saved for me) and on the way out we did get to see the locomotive as it approached Cache Junction. We crossed the tracks about 2 miles from Cache Junction and were amused to see that a crowd had gathered there as well. This steam locomotive was darned popular here!
As I started writing this post, news is trickling in about Trump's proposed tax cut. I have no idea what the chances are that this will actually get through Congress intact, but I'm skeptical given the magnitude of the cuts and the general hostility of the Democrats. But one aspect of the proposed plan jumped out at me: repealing the federal income tax deduction for state and local taxes. This deduction is, in effect, a federal subsidy that disproportionately benefits residents of high tax states. I'd be delighted to see that actually be repealed, but it's easy to foresee that the Democrats will start crazed howling about this one. That's so obvious that I have to wonder if it was included in the proposal mainly as a sop whose removal could be traded for Democratic votes in the Senate...