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Archive for January, 2013

Commuting Part II – A Crazy Idea!

Posted by middlerage on January 31, 2013

[Update: Nieuwguyski shows he’s just as mental as me. Make sure to read his comment for extra crazy good ideas.]

As I commute to work each day, I see the same sight we all do – packed multi-lanes of interstate filled with single occupant cars. And I think of the same old tired tropes the environmental movement trots out (and remember, I’m an enviro-weenie, so I am self -indicting here): ‘Mericans need to carpool! Americans have too  many roads, and too many cars! We need to take the bus! Let’s get funding for light rail! Have you been to Europe!? (Japan, South America, insert favorite-foreign place) – why they live NEAR their job. They walk to work!

But I say, None of that is going to work. We need to embrace ourselves, our uniqueness.

And what is that uniqueness? Land! We’re spread out! We need cars. And admit it – vanishingly small numbers of us live in the same place as our co-workers such that carpooling makes sense. Plus, our doctor/dentist/daycare is NOT within walking distance, and we need our own car to run to the doc on lunch hour. We are the way we are. So let’s find a solution that works for us.

At first I thought of motorcycles, but nah… that’d never work for a host of reasons. Then I got crazy.

How about a tiny, enclosed, one person electric commuter car with four wheels? With a reasonable top speed, say 70-80mph. It wouldn’t require the talent and skill of a motorcycle, it would be just as familiar as a car, and it would fit two to a parking space.

But wait! There’s more! Remember we have to embrace our Americaness, and Americans need an SUV to haul kids to soccer or the tuba to band practice. We can’t just go out and buy a single-purpose vehicle! Exactly, that’s why my mini-commuter-mobile would be… Free! Like the internet.  How do you get pragmatic Americans to adopt a game-changing environmental movement? Remove the barriers! Exxon, Shell, Google, and Apple are gonna buy us the cars in exchange for carbon credits. Keep the SUV you paid for, but during the work week use the micro-electro-dart.

Work with the war you have, not the one you wish you had. Or something.

Posted in Climate, Environment, wtf | Tagged: | 11 Comments »

Commuting Part I – We’re assholes

Posted by middlerage on January 31, 2013

So the good news is: I’m a workin’ man again. The bad news? Commuting. However, after three years of being run through the laundromat of domesticity (e.g. runs to the grocery store at off peak hours, shuttling kids to daycare) I’ve become more zen in my approach to driving. I’m slower now, more sedate, with lots of room between me and the guy in front. I don’t bang the steering wheel or wonder why the moron in front of me can’t drive. Jeez, I coulda made that light if you had a brain! The fun thing, is that as I meander down the road, I keep seeing the same cars that were in a hurry, weaving in and out of traffic. You’re not doing any better than me bub, so you may as well relax. (I may have to give up my middlerage moniker!)

But I don’t want to act like I’m the high lama of better, wiser life-skills. Three years ago I was just like everyone else in the commuter lanes. How long ’til I morph back into that? At home we kiss our spouses, give to charity, help our neighbors. But when it’s time to drive to work, we’re all assholes, and nothing is as single minded as that drive to not be late.

And then there’s the guy today, the uber asshole. Traffic was backed way up at a slow light – he flew down the suicide/left turn lane and then cut over at that last second to make the straight. I don’t know how to react – Well played sir? or You #&*(^! you ain’t more important than the rest of us. I mean, I have to grudgingly admit it worked, and as I sat through another cycle of the light I watched him speed away.

Posted in observations, short ones | 4 Comments »

Another Words That Bug Me

Posted by middlerage on January 21, 2013

I recently had fun whining about words I find obnoxious in a post titled Words That Bug Me. I’ve remembered another that drives me insane: court martial. Okay, that’s two words, but still…

This is English, not some namby pamby romance language. Our modifiers come first. For fuck’s sake, just say Martial Court, or even better Military Court. I was reminded of my distaste for this word combo whilst recently reading a news article in which a person stumbled over the plural of the phrase; referring to a set of court martials. Ahem, it’s courts martial. You wouldn’t say T-shirt larges. And we wouldn’t stumble over the silly phrase if we just stuck to our normal and called ’em martial courts.

That is all.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

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