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I observed a couple of interesting things while driving home tonight. First off was that the thermometer in my car showed 72 degrees. Given that there is snow in the forecast for tomorrow and the fact that I live in Northeast Ohio and it’s mid-November, I think it’s save to say that it was probably the last time I’ll see the 70s, or even the 60s for that matter, until at least April. Guess I should just be glad we’ve made it this far into the year-end without seeing any flakes or freezing temperatures yet.

The other welcome sight I saw on the way home was gas prices under $2 for the first time in months. After spiking around $3 a few months ago, prices have fallen down almost as fast as they shot up. Experts say it is a decrease in demand and not an increase in production. Who would have thought Americans could conserve? Of course there was money involved which has as much influence over people’s decisions as anything else. Fortunately, I think this summer’s high prices have finally pushed companies to produce more efficient products and consumers to conserve and buy more efficient products. That was worth a few months of hardship.

Also, I was surprised to hear Major League Baseball’s new tougher steroid policy announced today. After taking a lot of heat for their soft anti-drug policy, baseball really silenced critics today by announcing first-time offenders would face a 50 game suspension (as opposed to the current 10 game penalty), a 100 game suspension for second offenses (currently 30) and expulsion after a third (currently only 60 games). While only a handful of players have tested positive in this first year of real testing, I’m surprised that any of them were dumb enough to think they wouldn’t get caught. Of course those that are act all surprised, but do they really think the fans believe they might “accidentally” take steroids? That’s more insulting than their attempts to cheat. Hopefully these stiffer penalties are enough to appease the media critics so we can get back to talking about the games next year instead of the politics surrounding it.

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