Archive for the ‘Sprawl’ Category

‘It’s stupid not to bike.’

November 9, 2019

Grandpa John whiled away his retirement making miniature pianos, replicas of JFK’s rocker, and other lovely bits of woodwork instead of riding a bicycle. For transportation he preferred a stately maroon Cadillac with a cream interior.

I don’t care to live in Copenhagen. The climate seems ill-suited to a worshipper of Tonatiuh who knows why his bog-trotting, ring-kissing, pub-crawling ancestors invented the uisce beatha.

My stepgrandfather on my mother’s side was a Dane, but he didn’t want to live in Copenhagen either. He lived in Sioux City, Iowa, where he was retired from the railroad and whiled away the hours drinking beer and smoking cigars, maintaining a medium-heavy vegetable garden in the back yard, and making lovely bits of this and that in a basement full of woodworking tools.

I don’t recall ever seeing Grandpa John aboard a bicycle, though he certainly had the leisure time for cycling. He drove a stately maroon Cadillac with a cream interior, because that’s what a fella did in America.

Which is a shame, really. Because if we hadn’t built our cities around Grandpa John’s stately maroon Cadillac with cream interior, The New York Times might be writing stories about Albuquerque, the cycling capital of the Southwest, where the residents neither own cars nor care to, because the bicycle “is typically the easiest way to get around.”

Albuquerque probably has Copenhagen beat when it comes to cycling weather. Today, for example, we’re looking at mostly sunny conditions with a high in the low 60s, and more than 10 hours of daylight, while Copenhagen can expect a high in the low 40s, rain, and less than nine hours of daylight.

But if you think I’m gonna ride my cargo bike to the Sunport to fetch Herself home when she jets in from Florida, well, think again, Jens old scout.

First, the Sunport is a 25-mile round trip from El Rancho Pendejo, with a thousand feet of vertical gain. Second, Herself travels about as lightly as Hannibal crossing the Alps. And third, the roads seem to be full of cars for some reason. Not stately maroon Cadillacs with cream interiors, mind you, but suburban tanks about the size of Hannibal’s elephants. And their mahouts are all inattentive, impaired, or insane.

Anyway, I don’t have a cargo bike. Because for better or for worse, Albuquerque isn’t fucking Copenhagen.

And until we rethink our cities and how we get around and about in them, we’ll have to settle for reading about Paradise from our parking lots.

Free tea! (Bring your own bag, cup and water)

May 8, 2014
Tea Party

`I didn’t know it was YOUR table,’ said Alice; `it’s laid for a great many more than three.’

The smart money says that the GOTea is poised to make big gains in the midterm elections, extending its pallid, liver-spotted grip on the U.S. House and perhaps retaking control of the Senate.

“What the hell?” you may think. “They’re all the same anyway, Donks and Pachyderms. Opposite sides of the same wooden nickel. How bad could it be?”

Well, we here in Bibleburg have been test-driving this brand of Gadsden-flag, live-free-or-die governance for you for as long as I can remember (my family moved here in 1967). And here’s what you get for your low-taxation, no-representation dollar:

• An unaddressed backlog of $1.3 billion in capital needs. Whether this figure includes repairing or replacing the burnt-up, 80-year-old Martin Drake Power Plant, which provides a third of Bibleburg’s power, is not clear.

A “jobs-creation program” centered on tourist attraction that boils down to “there’ll be pie in the sky.” Not one of the visitors we’ve had at The House Back East® has expressed a desire to visit a downtown stadium, a sports medicine center, an Olympic museum, or an Air Force Academy visitors center (other than the one that already exists, on the base). They want to see the Garden of the Gods, Pikes Peak, Manitou Springs — in other words, the things that are already here which we have yet to fuck up. And be certain to check the numbers for jobs, salaries and operating deficits from our other stadium/entertainment venues, the World Arena and the Pikes Peak Center.

Plummeting home sales, and home-sale prices. For some reason, people seem uninterested in moving to communities that lack jobs, electricity and other must-have items.

We hate that out-of-control federal government’s spending, but gyrate like a speed-freak pole dancer for every freedom-killing dollar it stuffs in our threadbare G-string. We despise taxes, but demand services. We insist on Christmas 24/7, free of charge and taxation, but if anybody wearing a red suit climbs down our chimney we’ll blow him right back up it with our AR-15.

Take a good, long look, folks. America’s future is Bibleburg’s present.

 

Oh, Atlanta

January 29, 2014

Man — talk about things that suck. And no, I’m not talking about the State of the Union, though, yes, that too, come to think of it.

No, I’m talking about Ragnarok coming to Atlanta.

I’ve always heard that the traffic in Atlanta made Chris Christie’s arteries look like the wide-open spaces, but still, damn.

I was mystified, shortly after my family was transferred from Ottawa, Canada, to Randolph AFB, Texas, to see school and pretty much everything else canceled the two times in five years that it snowed (about a gram’s worth each time).

But I didn’t have a driver’s license, or any urgent tasks to perform, so I suppose my ignorance was excusable. Plus a guy could pretty much walk or ride a bike everywhere on base, so the potential for fatal collision and/or extended naps in Dad’s Cad’ was greatly reduced.

Gee. Y’think suburban sprawl ain’t all it’s been cracked up to be?