This whole darn decade has a year to go

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By Jay Miller

SANTA FE — Hooray. We still have a year to redeem the first decade of the 21st century from being a complete bust.

Reader Earl Nielsen, of Alamogordo, recalled that 10 years ago, I participated in the effort to remind the world that the decade, century and millennium didn’t end on Dec. 31, 1999. It ended a year later.

When you count, you start with 1, not with 0. That means our next decade doesn’t start until we finish with 2010. It makes perfect sense. When the Romans began counting years, they started with year 1. They didn’t even know about 0. The Arabs had to teach us that.

But I forgot about that little crusade and let the rest of the world suck me into a premature end of the decade. We’ve already chosen the athletes of the decade, and the movies, and the best and worst of everything. But at least you and I know we still have another year left to straighten ourselves out in this decade.

Gov. Bill Richardson has a year to wind up his term too. But when I predicted that he would remain in office the full year, I heard from state employees that isn’t the word in their hallways.

According to those who contacted me, the governor will leave as soon as the legislature ends to take a job in industry.

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