A few things seem to have moved along so I thought I’d report in:RTMLast night was the special meeting on the budget. Once again, the RTM was asked if we intended to make any cuts to the budget. No one raised a hand. Then various members of the Body spoke, mostly in favor of the budget. Our Republican colleagues, though, took the opportunity to open the campaign season by bringing up the recurring theme of fiscal responsibility.Some of the speeches were interesting, some pointless since they were exaggerated facts and misinforming the room. Our First Selectman got a wee bit hot under the collar and rebutted most of them and took some to task for the mist-statements. As one Republican put it to me later, “I know I’m right when I see him that upset.”And once more the general public had a chance to speak. Our Moderator reminded one and all that no cut were being proposed so they should moderate their comments to reflect this. Well, only three spoke, all teachers from the same school and all felt it their duty to speak in favor of the budget.It passed 42-4-0 so there was little doubt.Afterwards, as was the Democratic custom, we headed over to a local restaurant for drinks. Being early enough, I tagged along. While there, several members of the GOP also turned up and as the night wore on, I found myself engaged in a lively discussion with one member of the opposing party, whose words usually sound properly concerned and factually accurate. We chatted about this and that, getting to know one another and it turned out we both had kids who had performed last weekend in the high school production of Grease and they knew each other. We found more and more common ground on education issues and it certainly un-demonized her in my eyes.CABLEVISIONBack in September, I told the story of how my analog package was dissolved, effectively forcing me to switch the digital cable service. I was given a year’s deal for their i/o Gold package at the same price I had been paying.Two weeks ago, I dropped the president of the company a note pointing out that September will be here before you know it. While there was a lot to like about digital cable, there were too many unwatched channels to make Gold the best deal for me. Now that digital cable had been around for a while, I thought now might be a good time for Cablevision to take a leadership position in the field and start offering some packages aimed at the different viewers. If the studies are right, the average cable subscriber watches only 17 channels with any regularity. So, maybe it was time to start tailoring some packages with that in mind.In April, they rolled out a premium sports tier and suggested maybe they try that with movies channels or other subjects.Having been a Cablevision viewer since 1975 and a subscriber since 1980, I reminded them they have never been in a position of leadership and are usually not putting the customer first. Maybe now would be a good time to try something new.This morning I received a call, not from the company president, but someone in customer service. She asked specifically which channels I wanted and then said I’d be best having the Silver package with the Showtime package added ala carte. When I asked how much it would run me, she replied it would come in $2 over what I would be paying in September for the Gold package. We both agreed that didn’t make sense. She held to the party line and indicated that there were not likely to be changes until enough customers complained in my community to force Cablevision to renegotiate packages with the town. I pointed out that means they will do nothing to benefit the customer until enough of them get pissed off at Cablevision and the churn rate forces the company to react, rather than be pro-active. She admitted I had a point.Suffice to say, nothing got accomplished except getting my concerns on the record. Once more this proves the Dolan family, owners of the company, remain the idiots I knew them to be the first time I dealt with them in 1975.EXERCISEJust over six months ago, Deb decided it was time I went to the gym. I dutifully signed up at the rec center, bought a pair of sweat pants and a water bottle and started working out twice a week.The good news is, I haven’t keeled over from a heart attack. I have been lifting an increasing amount of weight on the various pieces of equipment as well as prolonging my time on the cross training machine. I can feel the muscles straining and sometimes even leave the gym feeling good for my efforts.The bad news seems to be that I haven’t lost much weight in the process, but what weight I carry must certainly be better toned.