"It was imprudent of us, in the first place, to become authors. We could have become something regular, but we managed not to.
We were lucky, but we were also determined." Roy Blount Jr

"I don’t change the facts to enhance the drama. I think of it the other way round, the drama has got to fit the facts,
and it’s your job as a writer to find the shape in real life."
Hilary Mantel

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Capitol Capers

A bright Saturday morning for driving into the city for our party Caucus Day.

On leaving the Legislative parking lot, I snapped this picture of Eagle Square. For a couple of years the Chap worked at an office in one of the taller buildings.

Conditions were excellent for capturing our State House. That's Daniel Webster's statue in front.

I've downsized the above image to a tiny icon, which I will try to remember to use for my State House related blogging. Watch for it! I plan to isolate political reportage, so it can easily be skipped. I'm not even sure how much of that sort of blogging I'll do. At the moment, everything about this gig seems new and fun and exciting. But all too soon we'll tackle the hard work the people sent us to do--and it could make for some awfully dull reading.

In the afternoon I went to the historical museum (I pass right by on my way to our parking lot) to view the current exhibit on White Mountain artists of the 19th century. Most of the painters who immortalised our peaks and valleys did so in autumn--lovely works, and yet there's a certain sameness to the colour schemes. Probably for that reason, I especially liked this one of Mount LaFayette in the wintertime.

From the exhibition hall there's a very steep metal stair up to a simulated fire tower, from which one has a view of the tops of buildings, and the ridges around the city. And the gold dome of the Capitol.

I shopped in the gift shop before returning to the Lodge, where Ruth and Lola greeted me with great joy.

Today marked my first "official" act as a Representative, even though I'm not yet sworn in.

Coffee and muffins were served in the anteroom. The session began at 10. After the moderator called us to order, the Governor stepped in to greet us (as he did on Wednesday.) He'd participated in a Christmas parade earlier in the morning, which explains the cheery red attire. The party chairman is introducing him--as if she needed to!

The vast number of his fellow party members assembled in Representatives Hall explains the huge, happy smile.

There was an amendment to one of the rules, which slowed things down a bit, but eventually it was tabled. Our primary task was choosing our candidate for Speaker of the House (secret ballot), Clerk of the House (uncontested), and Sergeant-at-Arms (secret ballot). Here's my take on the results: Chicks Rule! Each position will be filled by a female.

Standing ovations happen a lot. Up and down, up and down. But when you're sitting in a chair for 4+ hours, any kind of exercise is good, so I didn't mind.

The chairs in the chamber are perfectly comfortable, upholstered in leather. I like the seat pitch, and the amount of leg room.

It's a very attractive space in which to conduct business, or spend a major portion of the day. Behind the well are enormous portraits of political luminaries: John P. Hale (ardent abolitionist and U.S. Senator from this state), Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Pierce (our one and only native U.S. President), Daniel Webster.

The chamber was renovated in the Summer of 2004. It has what I would call a barrel-vaulted ceiling, nicely painted. It's well-lit, and the shades can be moved to let in the natural light. A window was opened slightly to let in cool fresh air. I'm guessing it can get a bit toasty at times. The acoustics are good.

Anyone who wants to see what the place looks like should check out Ron's pictures. The second image on that page is a terrific view taken from the gallery above.

Turns out I won't be co-sponsoring a bill after all. A similar bill was presented a couple of years ago (and failed.) The originator of the new bill wants to buddy up with the sponsor of the previous one.

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