Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Stop the Bike

I have avoided writing this article for years because it will likely come across as racist. I assure you - it is nothing more than an observation.

I am fortunate to live in a very diverse neighborhood. We have people from many different cultures living together in relative harmony. Most follow the rules - but some don't. One problem in particular are the rules of riding a bicycle. Some folks just can't seem to stop their bicycle - no matter what. When they near a busy intersection, they either just roll right through - without a look in either direction - or, if they happen to notice a car coming, they simply make a quick right turn until the car swerves to miss them and then continue on. These are not just children mind you and most are young adults. It is a game to them - a dangerous game. I am honestly amazed more of them don't get hit by cars as I have very narrowly missed them on many occasions and I am a very careful driver and a bicyclist.

Where do they learn this behavior and why doesn't anyone in that culture do anything to curb it? I am totally stumped. I would love nothing more than to have someone from this culture (you know who you are) explain to me why people do this and better yet, what can be done to get people to stop their bikes and look for traffic before crossing a busy street. Many people bend the bicycle road rules, myself included, but I would never ride out into traffic without even looking - few people would! But some do and I want to know why.

UPDATE: Last night as I drove home from work shortly after midnight, I was driving down this very street I referenced above. Suddenly a guy on a bicycle going about 10mph darts out into the street without a look or pause - in fact he was riding without his hands on the handlebars where the brakes are. No lights, No hands, No brakes, No brains.

Fly Naked - Part 2

It was bound to happen - a terrorist with explosives in their underwear. I already put my shoes through the scanner after the Shoe Bomber incident - do I get to run my underwear through it now? I don't have a problem with that but Granny might.

We really are getting to the point where everyone will have to fly totally naked - with no luggage. The good news is you will save $15!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

I woke up some old people

Today I decided to make a Christmas Eve visit to a dear older friend who is recovering from a fall in a local convalescent home. I accidentally tried to enter through the wrong door and set off the alarm. Folks were screaming and hollering at the loud noise. If there was a sign warning of the alarm - I didn't see it. The nurses and some of the residents laughed it off but I still felt terrible.

Because of my error, at least the residents were awake this time. I was very saddend by my visit several days earlier. Let me start by saying this is a very well run, and clean facility as far as I could see, but it is also a large facility and I was concerned by all the folks who were sleeping in their wheel chairs - mid roll - in the hallways. They were dressed, clean, had their makeup on and they were clearly going somewhere - until they fell off to sleep. I can only imagine this can be blamed on over medication. People don't just fall asleep like that - even if they are elderly. I'm not trying to point fingers at the resident's Doctors or anyone at the facility - I just think we have an issue in the USA where people are taking so many pills that they can't even function. Its sad.

The "Golden Years" should be spent sharing a life full of experiences with Grandchildren, friends, or even just other residents of a center. The friend I was visiting is somewhat of a legend in this area. I enjoy taking him to lunch on occasion where he shares stories of famous people he has met in his life. But even he was a bit "dazzed" from his medications at the center.

I wish I had an answer on how to "fix" this problem but sadly I don't. Suggestions?

The Last Piece

My dogs love to have the last bite of anything that I am eating - and they will wait very patiently for it. However, sometimes I get caught up in a TV show and before I even realize it, I've eaten all of it. The look on their faces is total disappointment and I feel terrible. So, I've decided that perhaps they deserve better than the last piece and I've started putting aside their bit before I finish all of mine. That way when I'm done with my part - they still have theirs waiting. So far it has worked well.

I guess the lesson learned is to always think about others before yourself.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Market of Monsters

The USA has become a market of monsters - business so huge that they can control the market with their policies (AT&T, Microsoft etc.). Would these companies have gotten so huge if they hadn't been able to buy up the competition? I think not - at least not to this extreme. I have a "cure" for business gone bad (and I wrote about it before).

The concept: Do not allow companies to buy or merge with other companies.

It's simple - a company would be allowed to grow as much as they want - as they do in the current market. But, if they are not allowed to buy or merge with other businesses, they will grow slower and more controlled. A business must then use creative ways to entice customers from the competition - thereby creating a real marketplace rather than a monopoly. If a business fails, their customers and employees would be free to choose a new business to support - rather than be forced to do business with a company they would not choose. Hostile takeovers followed by mass layoffs would be a thing of the past.

There really is no downside to this concept because companies could still work together to form synergistic alliances. And imagine how easy it would be to part ways if that synergy didn't work out (think AOL and Time Warner).

This concept would not hinder the free market - but rather easily regulate it.

Bank Bunk

I keep reading about failed banks the Gov. is closing - 131 so far today. Yet I see new banks with names I don't recognize going up daily here in S. Florida. Seems suspect to me.

Monday, December 07, 2009

At Least He Gave It Some Thought

Afghanistan is a complicated issue. Whether the war was justified or not is irrelevant at this point. President Obama inherited the 8 year old war and he needed to decide what to do about it. Personally I voted for peace and I had HOPE the new President felt the same. But, there are things that we as citizens do not completely understand with our limited information. This President is smart and I am certain that he reviewed all the options available to him before he made his decision. If history shows he chose to continue the war for purely political reasons, I will be very sadly disappointed. But I do not believe that is the case.

This President gave it careful thought - and that is a refreshing CHANGE.