In the not too distant future...
In light of the fast food lawsuits, and the general lack of taking responsibility that seems to be rampant, I thought this
was interesting. Overblown, yes, but still a little scary.
The Wonderful Light Rail
I loved this article
in the Wall Street Journal by P.J. O'Rourke. Mostly because light rail has been a pet peeve of mine for a while. Sure, I used it when I was in college, because it was free with my student ID card. It was nice then because I saved money on parking downtown. But attempts to use it to actually, say, get to work, were an unmitigated disaster. Not to mention a huge waste of time. I wanted to use it, I really did. I didn't go in with a prejudice against mass transit, I wanted to use it because I would feel good about myself and I would be helping the planet. *ahem* But I just couldn't justify it.
Case in point: when we lived downtown, it was about a 1 1/2 minute walk to the light rail stop. My job at the time was about a 5 minute walk from another light rail stop. I had visions of using the light rail all the time, it would be so convienient, so great! Well, the drive to work took about 10 minutes, tops. Taking the light rail took at least an hour, maybe an hour and a half. Plus, I had to find some cash and pay to ride it. I mean, come on. What would you do? Zackly.
When I would ride the light rail, it would often be almost empty. I read somewhere that San Jose's light rail system was the most expensive and offered the worst service in the nation. Greeeaaat. What was that about a budget crisis? What was that about closing elementary schools? Oh, what the heck, let's expand the light rail anyway.
Anyway, here is an excerpt from PJ's article:
The new transportation bill, currently working its way through Congress, will provide more than $52 billion for mass transit. Mass transit is a wonderful thing, all right-thinking people agree. It stops pollution "in its tracks" (a little ecology-conscious light-rail advocacy joke). Mass transit doesn't burn climate-warming, Iraq-war-causing hydrocarbons. Mass transit can operate with nonpolluting sustainable energy sources such as electricity. Electricity can be produced by solar panels, and geothermal generators. Electricity can be produced by right-thinking people themselves, if they talk about it enough near wind farms.
There are just two problems with mass transit. Nobody uses it, and it costs like hell. Only 4% of Americans take public transportation to work. Even in cities they don't do it. Less than 25% of commuters in the New York metropolitan area use public transportation. Elsewhere it's far less--9.5% in San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, 1.8% in Dallas-Fort Worth. As for total travel in urban parts of America--all the comings and goings for work, school, shopping, etc.--1.7 % of those trips are made on mass transit.
Then there is the cost, which is--obviously--$52 billion. Less obviously, there's all the money spent locally keeping local mass transit systems operating. The Heritage Foundation says, "There isn't a single light rail transit system in America in which fares paid by the passengers cover the cost of their own rides." Heritage cites the Minneapolis "Hiawatha" light rail line, soon to be completed with $107 million from the transportation bill. Heritage estimates that the total expense for each ride on the Hiawatha will be $19. Commuting to work will cost $8,550 a year. If the commuter is earning minimum wage, this leaves about $1,000 a year for food, shelter and clothing. Or, if the city picks up the tab, it could have leased a BMW X-5 SUV for the commuter at about the same price.
So there you go. Why do we keep pouring money into things that don't work?
I'm a sucker for these things...
Personality tests. Feeble Knees
had this one on her blog, so I thought I'd take it. Apparently I'm left-brained. It makes sense to me. I'd be interested to see how the test would come out if Erick took it for me. I'm sure he would have rated the statement "I am messy" as Very Accurate. He's been getting very tired of seeing my shoes all over the house :-)
Anyway, here are the results:
Feeling a little better
Thanks Cindy, Randall and Feeble for your encouragement
. You're right, I need to give myself a break. I had a nice, relaxing night last night (even though I still cooked dinner) and I feel better today. It's just hard to adjust to my new state after having been so active and busybusybusy. Erick finished the laundry last night (even folded it and put it away!), and reassured me that it is okay for me to just lie there.
I needed to hear that it's okay to be tired and not to do so much. So thanks.
I went home a little early from work yesterday. My boss is really understanding, and I'm thankful that I have a job that can be flexible. I laid down on the couch when I got home, and caught up on reading Mere Christianity for my Wednesday night group. I dearly love C.S. Lewis, by the way. Then I watched The Simpsons. Which I also enjoyed.
I would say I feel almost normal, but I keep tearing up as I write this post (sniffle). Oh boy, those horomones.
Sad, Tired and Nauseated
I was looking, and I realized that I haven't posted since last Wednesday. I have had zero energy since Friday afternoon. I got real ambitious on Friday and did a bunch of yardwork, pulling up weeds, planting groundcover and mulching. But then I collapsed. And I still haven't recovered. Also I can't seem to get rid of the nausea. And I keep getting teary-eyed about every little thing (for those of you that know me, even worse than normal, okay?). Also, my sense of humor seems to have left the building.
If you think about it, pray for me, cause I'm not doing too good. And I need to get my crap together so I can function in the "real, grown-up world".