Tag Archives: air pollution

Jelly, Jam, Preserves, Marmalade . . . Palatable With Peanut Butter, Not So Much With Traffic

I can’t recall if I have an asphalt road in any of my novels. If they do exist, you can bet they are few and far between. I’m more of a woodsy kind of guy. If it’s not dirt, sand, stone, grass or any number of natural elements, including water; then, it more than likely doesn’t exist in my written world.

When I think about it, it’s probably a good thing. Who wants all the pollution, expense, aggravation and high blood pressure that goes along with a nicely paved road? . . .Well, evidently we do. There are approximately 263 million cars in the United States. I don’t know about you, but the last time I checked fellow motorists were rude and getting worse by the day.

Why do we have such a love affair with a mechanical beast that releases our aggressive nature, makes us late more often than not and ties us into knots with the appearance of a tiny scratch? Been in a traffic jam lately? You have to admit it’s a fun time. I can’t think of too many things I’d rather do, other than get mauled by a bear or set my head on fire. If you want to see a real traffic jam, then check out southern California most anytime of the day or night. That’ll get your blood flowing!

All in all, people like their rides. I’ve said this for years and still maintain this position. My favorite thing about an automobile is, “paid for!”

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As I have mentioned (more like over stated), I am currently neck-deep in the slurry that is rewrites, edits, and a third verb which escapes me at the moment, but more than likely is an expletive.buses

With no prior warning or even an inkling that something may be amiss, random words enter my brain, for what I can only assume is a search for a simple place to hang out. The first one to venture forth and enter my thought processes was the word, “typical.” This single word propagated paragraph after paragraph of ramblings that no sane individual should have to endure.

Unfortunately, as I was bringing last week’s lesson in futility to a close, another word seeking asylum in the recesses of my gray matter decided to bring its sad little self to the forefront. The word in question, “ridiculous,” has kept me chomping at the bit to resolve, in order to resume my necessary work. Thankfully, the time has now come.

How does this grab you? No smoking.

I used to spend my time traveling the country with various trade shows. It was in one of our great cities that I encountered this paradox. It seems that the convention center had been constructed with a roof at its entrance. This overhang extended outward far enough to allow buses, at least two maybe three abreast with five or six in each line, to idle in wait.

This barrage of large-scale transportation occurred each morning to deliver conventioneers and once again, every evening to haul away said conventioneers. In between the a.m. and p.m. deluge, buses would constantly move guests to and from the convention center, usually on a thirty minute schedule.

I don’t know, but it seems to me you took your life into your own hands just crossing this area without donning a hazmat suit, complete with oxygen and a full face-mask.

What I could not understand is that some bureaucrat making six figures that in actuality should have been working a job where only two words are necessary, “paper or plastic,” installed no smoking signs in this area.

Try to imagine, if you dare, a closed in area cocked full of idling buses. These behemoth transports sat spewing the sweet smell of diesel exhaust into the air. Who wouldn’t want to light a cigarette in order to breathe filtered smoke and diesel fumes until they could run the gauntlet of buses to the clean city air just outside of the overhang?

Please, don’t misconstrue what I’m saying. I am a former smoker, but not a nicotine Nazi. I think it’s a deadly habit that takes too many lives and reduces others to an existence fraught with tubes, oxygen, and limited activity.

By the same token, if you’re determined to smoke, then by all means, burn’em if you got’em.

Now that we’ve explored the ridiculous, let us cross that fine line and move on to the ludicrous.

Bottled water.

Not so many years ago it would have been thought an enormous waste of resources to purchase what was readily available. Of course now, at least in my world view, bottled water is the best thing since they made a bottle to put water in. (No sliced bread here.)

I grew up on well water, but as an adult have learned that wells can contain all sorts of chemicals (arsenic) and little nasties (E. coli); therefore, I choose to drink water from le bottle. Of course, I don’t really know where the bottled water, I imbibe originates. For all I know they’re sucking my next case of H2O off the bottom of the Hudson right now. It all boils down to:  you gotta trust somebody sometime.

The brand we drink is tasty enough as far as water goes, but then the company (for what I can only assume to be environmental reasons) started making the bottles with less plastic than it would take to cover a gnat’s rear end. So thin in fact, that if you held the container tight enough to open, once the cap was removed, you would receive a gusher of water in places that no gusher should be.

The bottles also boasted a cute little convex bottom that would allow the container (at its own discretion of course) to wobble precariously or fall over, drenching important documents or maybe even the occasional laptop. If the plastic were any thinner you’d be grabbing a handful of water. Since then the practice has ceased and we have an acceptable chunk of polycarbonate to recycle.

Of course, if a plastic bottle covered with dirt doesn’t send you into delirium tremors you can always toss it into your local landfill, which by the way is why it’s there.

Well, that about does it for this week…… Please, no!…… Not again!…… Sleep…….Sleep…… Sleep…… Another week of head banging resolution!…… Sleep…….Sleep…… What does it all mean?……

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