Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Riding the rails

Once upon a time in the 1930's
Thousands of unemployed hopped trains;
Desperate, disheveled, and in a hurry
To get a ticket, a meal, or in out of the rain.

Somehow they persevered in those dire times,
Found food, odd jobs, or hobo jungles to live in;
America's residual strength eventually shined,
Government jobs ensured new help was given.

Today it may not be so simple to fix our problems,
The government is already putting out trillions;
The trains go too fast for the homeless to ride them,
Many wars keep sapping our taxpayer billions.
Something has got to give somewhere, and soon;
Or we are headed towards certain economic doom.

Monday, May 17, 2010

A contrariwise view of cellphones

I finally made up my mind. With the dizzying array of cellular plans and phones, it took me some time. Oh, all of the high-resolution cameras, touchscreens, MP3 players, powerful processors and OS's, it was difficult. But I came to a resolution on the matter.

Why should I pay a provider for a plan? Why should I pay for the privilege of fumbling with a complicated gadget loaded with options and capabilities? Why should I pay for the chance to be forced to multitask every time the thing rings, warbles or plays a tune? I have to pick out a ring tone, set numbers in the thing, figure out how to download stuff on them. I can't download photos to my computer, but must email them to myself in order to get them onto my home computer. If it rings in the car, I can ignore it. But if I am some harried mother, worried about where their kid is,and my phone rings, what do you think I will do?

You are right - I'm gonna answer that phone to see if it is my kid, in trouble or something. If I'm driving, well, so what, things are tough all over. (Right or wrong, people are going to be people.)

And so you want me to pay for all this aggravation?

Not to mention the tracking capabilities built in to phones nowadays. The authorities can trace these things. Great for emergencies, but a bit invasive for privacy concerns. Now there is news that these things can be hacked and made to listen in on the users.

Pay for all of this Orwellian nightmare? No way - not me. I think they should pay me! I can be magnanimous about things, though. I'll only charge them $29.95 a month, and giving me a stripped-down model that is easy to operate. I want a phone - not a gol-danged computer center in my hand. Something with large keys, easy to see and press.

Oh, and throw in about ten extra bucks - I'll probably use it for long-distance, and you know all those taxes and fees they tack on. So, make it 40 bucks even that you pay me - that ought to cover it.

Oh - and I'll take checks, for the exact amount only please. Thanks, I'll be waiting for my phone.



Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Apparently a major oil spill off the coast of California in the 1960's was one of the main reasons for the ban on offshore oil drilling that was enacted back then. Now, today, just a short time after major coastal areas of the US were opened up to Offshore Drilling, here we have another major mishap.

This seems to be a lesson to us: Humans are still like children playing with dangerous objects when it comes to the titanic forces that the Earth is capable of unleashing. We are still helpless in the face of Hurricanes, Tornadoes, Earthquakes and the like. And when we try and poke a hole a mile down and many miles out, we get poked in the eye by Mother Earth.

I suppose we can get the thing capped (hopefully soon for all the people on the coasts down there). But it is another grim reminder that, as long as we rely on non-renewable petroleum for our energy needs, there will only be more of these accidents - to believe otherwise is simply ridiculous. This stands as an urgent reminder of the need to find more non-fossil-fuel transportation methods, and quick. A very unfortunate tragedy as well as a grim reminder.

As big as human accomplishments have been to date, we still have a long way to go to match the might of the Earth, or to equal planetary forces of nature.

Just in case anyone is interested, here is the link to my latest E-book of poetry:

Thanks for taking a look!

Monday, May 03, 2010

Beautiful day in May

A beautiful day early this May,

Right out of a Chamber of Commerce ad;

Profuse flowers illuminated by sun's rays,

Balmy scented scenes make a heart glad.

Everything green is straining to grow,

Sprouts surge into brilliant emerald fronds;

The flower buds unfurling seem to glow

Like mysterious lamps, rising from ponds...

The whole was preceded by a harsh, bitter winter,

As they all are, and must return to in any event --

But for now we have earned the right to savor

The scents, colors and balmy winds evident.

Though the price we paid for spring is steep,

Rewards are sweet indeed, not gotten cheap!