Tuesday, January 17, 2017

FIXING WHAT? WHEN? HOW?

We've been hearing in dribs and drabs, about major, essential things seriously deteriorating -- infrastructure that urgently needs fixing.

I read a scary article, then another, avoiding stuff I didn't understand -- my ability to tolerate bad news is at an all time low. But now -- January -- right now is the time to look at things clearly, toughly, and perceive what's ahead.  

WASTE -- garbage, recycling -- what we're doing with it, what we need to do to fix the problem would cost $56 billion.

RAILROADS -- just to fix the rails between Boston and DC -- $10 billion.  (No money numbers about fixing troubled rails between other major cities, but I dug up this list of the 50 major cities -- all have seriously deteriorating railroad connections.) Multiply by 10 -- give or take a couple of $bill. here and there -- $500 billion?

BRIDGES -- last time estimated was in 2010, when fixing deficient bridges was -- $106 billion.

ELECTRIC GRID -- to make us secure between now and 2025, the government needs to spend  $934 billion.

ROADS --  fix, upgrade, maintain them the FHA (Federal Highway Administration) needs $170 billion.

... Billions -- what's happened? "Time Magazine" said in 1965, just for transportation and water, we used to spend 6 % of the national budget. Now we're spending maybe 2.7 %....

LEVEES -- designed to protect farmland, they're currently used to protect residential areas where the risk of flooding is a major concern -- fixing -- $100 billion.

DRINKING WATER --  90% of the country depends on old public water systems that last 75 to 120 years. The EPA (Environment Protection Agency) estimated in 2011 that maintaining or replacing pipes, treatment plants, storage tanks and other assets over the next 20 years will cost $384 billion.

AIRPORTS -- mostly rely on a 1960s radar system. FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) has been rolling out a new air-traffic control system since 2007 -- fixing over the next 10 years will cost $32 billion.

Yowie-owie-wow -- add up the red money numbers, the time it's gonna take, the problems -- it's a billion, trillion, centillion big and little things to fix, change, update. Golly-gee -- I hope the  guys who will be running the country, know how to hold back a Tsunami.

Friday, January 13, 2017

KILL KILLER ADS

Google has been spreading like a puddle, seeping into every aspect of our lives.

It controls our YouTube channel, our email, my blogs, my searches -- whenever I search, ads for what I searched for magically appear on any page I'm on -- ads echoing where I searched for a broom, maid, name, organization, machine, exercise, historical tidbit, even a word -- it's a cobweb of eyes perceiving my need for medicines, apps, gizmos -- every kind of this-or-that for every aspect of my life.

The other day I read about Ad-free Youtube Red for kids. Whoopee! Mentally, I jumped up and was dancing around till I read the finer print: For $10 a month on your kiddie's channel, you make ads go away, though watchdogs claim Red inserts "love me-buy me" flashing pix, in kids' videos.

I ain't dancing. I'm grieving, searching for a bigger, louder way of expressing what I feel ads are doing to us.


Drowning us?

Yep.

Even if you close your eyes tight, and cover your ears, ads are constantly trickling into the heart, the lungs, the blood stream because everyday we breathe in ad-poisoned air.

Ads are worse than global warming that will destroy our planet. Ads are destroying us, our minds, our sense of right and wrong, our ambitions, dreams, hungers, passions -- ads are there, hovering, waiting, anywhere, everywhere, wherever you are even if your eyes are closed -- ads-ads-ads are night and day a monstrously continual presence.

How many ADS do we see watching TV? Maybe 300 to 700 marketing messages per day, depending on what you watch or listen to. We can maybe, probably, sort of stop ads, if we buy DVR recorders that skip ads, or buy MythsTv, Ads By Name software and maybe, probably, sort of figure out how to use it. 

Hey, guys, turn 'em off -- don't listen, don't look, beware of all fun, interesting, well-advertised products, don't buy -- that's the way to kill them.

THIS   IS   US!!!!!!!!


Kill or be killed.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

CULLUM ON PROLOGUE OF "HEART CITY"

John reads aloud the bone-chilling opening chapter of this novel--setting the stage for a tale of a loving couple, and the rape and scalping of an Indian girl.

Get free copy of HEART CITY
(free till Jan.11.








Wednesday, January 4, 2017

BYE BYE XMAS/NEW YEARS

It's my first day back at work since the holidays. I've got to post a blog for tomorrow.


I'm looking out my window  before I head for my computer.

 It looks ... different from last year. Maybe it's my mood, new year, new President, not sure where we're heading.
 
Workers have been demolishing the old nuns residence across the street. It will probably be another parking lot. The tall, wide buildings directly across from us, which were lofts for various businesses, are mostly condos now. Families with kids live there -- 3 in one loft, 2 little ones in another. Their fancily decorated Xmas trees are no longer lit up. The kids aren't up yet.  Maybe, now that the holidays are over, they're in nursery schools.

There's already a tree lying at the curb. Soon all the trees will be in the street. After the holidays you can pretend not to notice the branches becoming brown and  pine needles on the floor, until you notice pine needles on your kitchen  and in the bathroom.

Our neat small tree is is already in our hallway, waiting for Phil, our janitor, to dispose of it. We didn't need a tree -- our son JD who lives in LA is doing a show in Hollywood. The folks in the condos will soon elevator their trees downstairs and their trees and ours will rest ignobly on  their sides at the curb till the garbage guys arrive, and the dumpsters, which will soon be piled high with red, green, and gold stuff that was purchased to prettify the gifts under the tree.

Golly, I'm glad I gave holiday presents to Phil, and whats-his-name, the parking lot guy who sweeps our curb. I don't know the post office person. The mail lady who replaced our  postman, doesn't buzz the buzzer on the TV monitors that protect us now, but if she buzzed I can open the front door for her and say, "Put it on the bench, thanks."

Lately real estate agents buzz, give their names and credentials, expressing interest in buying our building.  I quickly say "I'm the owner. I'm very busy right now.  It's definitely not for sale,." and turn off the TV monitor, not explaining that the building will be inherited by our son. These agents have our address; they'll write me letters for the waste basket. 

Hello 2017!!  It'll be Ground Hog Day soon,  then Valentine's Day, first day of   spring, 4th of July, Halloween, and  in a minute it'll be Xmas New Years again. 
  
No doubt about  it -- our street will be busier than ever with a new parking lot, and kids -- bet they'll have pets, and playmates, there'll be school buses taking them to school, and more grocery, drugstore, UPS deliveries. I'll learn the names of the delivery guys and get Phil to tell me the parking lot guy's name. Tomorrow, I'll put a note on the mailbox for the mail lady --  "Please buzz  buzzer -- when I buzz back tell me  your  name." Knowing names for the new faces will help  make my street, my world,  into a familiar neighborhood again.  

Hey, things are safer with the TV monitors. Kids growing up  will be fun to watch from my window -- next time I see a kid at the window  I'll wave. Kids wave back. 
 
When I post my blog, I'll borrow the title of this video.