Electric Scooters

Why is there so much resistance to electric scooters.  Are the city fathers abusing their power because they are fearful of losing their seat on the gravy train?

How many scooters can occupy a single parking garage? How many scooters will it take to create a gridlock in Dallas?

Trump is the only person I can think of who can turn a profitable situation into a disaster.

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Pencil

A number of years ago, during my Commodore 64 days, I came across a dandy suggestion published in the Blue Heron Newsletter. With a ready-made alternative in hand, I was ready to dump my C-64 and join the ranks of  the “Yellow Pencil Society”. But first I needed to know more about this author and how I might join his revolution. Research was a bit more difficult in those pre-Internet days, but I eventually learned it was a sales pitch.

This fellow’s uncle owned a pencil factory.

The Wedding Chapel

I was station at Beale AFB, California when I began dating Barb, who still lived at home on the Oregon Coast. That was February or March 1961. Interstate 5 did not yet exist. Seeing her meant traveling two-lane US 99. I was a wee bit younger in those days and tackling a thousand-mile weekend didn’t give me the pause it would today. She became an air force wife in June 1962, and the two of us moved into a small, mountain hamlet called Rough and Ready, California, eighteen miles from the flight line.

In it’s day, Zachery Taylor discovered gold in nearby Deer Creek and the hamlet swelled to a population of more than 12,000 greedy souls. When we got there, the gold fever was part of a story and the two of us brought the number to 18. The old livery stable was still standing as well as a few older buildings. However, the centerpiece, in Barb’s opinion, was (still is) the wedding chapel. Inside, was room for the preacher, bride, groom, and 12 guests.

Barb wished she’d known about this place and struck a close friendship with the owner. Her late husband had been a mining engineer. She’d built it to provide an income in their old age.

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KC-130T Crash

This morning’s Military News reports that the crash of a KC-130T on 10 July 2017 was caused by a corroded propeller had failed. That oversight resulted in the death of 15 marines and 1 sailor and the blame goes back on air force maintenance. And it should. Maintenance items are checked and signed off as serviceable by individuals. Somebody is asleep at the switch and that somebody should to be held accountable, big time.

I think it was 1961 while I was stationed in Northern California that similar incident occurred. Beale AFB was sending a relief maintenance crew to the missile silo near the Feather River. Sixteen skilled ICBM technicians were killed when their helicopter rotor failed. An investigation determined that the contractor responsible for disposing of old rotors was simply repainting them and selling them back to the air force as serviceable rotors.

Jail Time.      

Waiting

The Secret Code Ring is the talking point at school. I can hardly wait to get mine. Money, or the lack of it is the issue. Maybe Mom would give me an advance? So I walked to the Woolworth Store on Denver Street where she worked cutting window blinds. I’d already had box top and an addressed the envelope, and I’ve licked a three cent stamp. It is ready. All I need is a quarter.

“How much?” she asks

“Twenty-five cents,” I reply.

“Twenty-five cents!” she echoes. Her loud response turns heads. “But that’s your entire weekly allowance,” she adds.

“I know, but the other kids already have their rings.”

“Rings? What rings?”

“The secret code rings. I guess you don’t remember the offer on the side of the Cheerios box I showed it to you in the store yesterday.”

“Friday is payday for me, young man. That’s your payday too. Besides, a polished apple tastes twice as sweet,” she says, turning back to the bind-cutting machine. Then I see the floor walker heading our way, so I circle around the island and head home.

Now there is nothing to do but wait until Friday. And then I will have to wait again for the mailman to bring it.

When I get home I’m still wondering what an apple has to do with a code ring?

The Kerouac Effect

Jack Kerouac created a following in 1957 with his novel, On the Road. I had difficulty classifying his writing as literature, so I was a late follower. He addresses a lot of territory in his chapters, describing his trek to Colorado in order to visit his friend (was it Neal?). Along the way he and his friends, at least once, pissed from the back of a flatbed truck as it sped along US 6. He didn’t mention the backwash that was certain to have occurred. During the summer of 1953 three of us enjoyed a similar experience, but in a different place and for a different reason.

We were farm boys, teenagers, working for neighbors harvesting and storing summer hay crops. Most often the farmer towed a farm trailer behind his tractor while two of us jogged ahead of the tractor snagging bales and hefting them on to the deck. The third worked on the trailer stacking them. It was a far easier job. So who would be the fortunate one? Years later, while discussing out youthful endeavors, we often referred to our selection as the Kerouac Effect.

While returning to the hay field we stood at the back edge of the trailer attempting to make water. The time required was proportional to the bumpy road. But someone was always first. That person got his choice.

George H.W. Bush

In the passage of time I remembered some untrue facts about our former president. Who knows how I came to believe he was a bomber in the 8th Air Force during World War II. Today I learned he was Navy pilot flying off a carrier during that same period. It’s strange how rumors become facts if one believes them long enough. Or maybe I mixed him us with one of my father’s friends who indeed flew a bomber with the 8th Air Force. I overheard him tell my father he was taught to ignore his gut and trust his instruments. “Many times I returned to England knowing I was going to drag a wing if I believed those instruments. But I’m here to tell you they were always right.”