Family and Friends update for the People's Republic of Us.
**You ever start writing something and forget about it and then run across it weeks later while looking for something else? No? Well goody for you, smart ass. I do it all the time. Anyway, this is one of those. The six weeks mentioned below has shrank to two.
The Republic has been experiencing some unexpected challenges in recent months. In the next six weeks the Republic will be losing half of it's tax base (my job) and shortly afterwards negotiations begin on debt restructuring with the World Bank (mortgage renewal). We have been granted a slight reprieve (one year's salary minus 25%) however we do not anticipate the World Bank negotiators being impressed by this nor do we believe the People's Supreme Council (Bernadette) will approve a short term secession of labour by half of our work force for the purpose of mental realignment (time off). Attempts at securing a new tax base (job) for the Republic are occurring but unofficially and mainly through back channels.
Infrastructure programs are proceeding though are slightly behind schedule due to unforeseen environmental conditions (if you wait long enough it will rain, but really, the sundeck needed to be washed off anyway after all the sanding and seriously, it's freakin hot out!). Long term projects have been put on hold due to labour shortages but we anticipate recommencement of work shortly (Ok, I'm lazy, alright? I freakin' hate painting and who puts wallpaper in a bathroom? It either falls off by itself or super glues itself to the wall. And by the way previous owners of my house, textured wallpaper? Seriously? No it's not red with black velvet, but does it matter? What is the point of this? Did people spend a lot of time caressing walls in the 70's? I was only a child but I don't recall that bit.)
The individual provinces that make up our great republic are healthy and doing well. The newer additions are strong and growing within forcasted expectations. We foresee acceptable and expected incidents of rebellion which will be handled through a combination of government approved education programs and joint policing/military intervention where needed. The Republic will be focusing on education programs in these provinces this year (kindergarten & pre-school) and will also begin instituting mandatory physical fitness programs (martial arts, gymnastics, swimming, whatever) as we believe the general populace will be less prone to rebellion if their free time is properly focused (and they will fall asleep quickly).
The founding member provinces are doing well. Both could use significant infrastructure improvements (beginning to resemble Vegas era Elvis), but are otherwise healthy. Mental improvements are ongoing.