Thursday, 17 June 2010

A Bridge Too Far

Sometimes...you read a story...and you realize you have a connection to the story.

Today, we came to realize that Arizona is going to spend $1.25 million...to build these special bridges....for endangered squirrels over a mountain road.

The logic? The state doesn't want them to be roadkill.

Apparently, Red Squirrels are awful dang rear in the state...maybe 250 of them total. They'd like to ensure their survival....because they think at least five per year die from cars.

The region affected? Mount Graham....which is a bit far out on the normal drive for most folks.

I sat there reading this...and I didn't really want to say much...because I'm one of those drivers who actually hit a Red Squirrel back around 1989...on one of these roads in the Mount Graham region. I can remember the episode because thats the only animal I've ever hit in my life....and I remember at the last second...this blur of red going across the road.

So...$1.25 million to be spent. I can imagine this engineer getting into this...having to figure out the length, the height, and what entices a squirrel to enter such a bridge. My guess is that someone will want to name these after famous congressmen or senators....and we'll eventually have the Harry Reid Squirrel Bridge...somewhere. Just my hunch.

My METRO

A few days ago....in our local DC paper....they covered a METRO (our subway & bus network) episode.

METRO has come to admit that the scanners on the bus network (on board each bus as you enter)....have a fairly noticeable failure rate. You board...swipe your card...and it is supposed to deduct the fare from your account. It's a great system...if it works.

On any given day....there's probably at least one bus every hour running around...with a scanner that won't register or has failed. This means you enter the bus...swipe your card...get no reading....and then get a signal by the driver to just get on and forget about the charge.

Since arriving in January....I've had this to happen to me at least four times. That's around $6 that they never got. Multiply that by maybe 200 customers over a three-hour period....and you've missed $300.

They won't say how much has been missed, but I'm guessing they miss out on at least $500k a month throughout the entire DC bus network. Yep, a minimum of $6 million a year. That would buy twelve new buses.

They talk about more maintenance personnel and better machines...but neither item has shown much advancement. Me? I'm thinking I'll save bucks over the remainder of 2010.

And folks why METRO is such a failure?

The American Car

I almost shed a tear watching this. It made me want to go out, and buy a new car.

Talk Dumb to Us

Not that it really matters...but CNN got desperate enough to invite English language expert to measure the "level" of the President's Gulf speech, and determined it was written at the 10th-grade level.

Then the expert said it was over the head of most folks in the audience across America.

I sat there for a while pondering this.

This is absolute desperation of CNN...to do something weird like this. Does Anderson Cooper measure his nightly broadcast...to ensure it's built at the 8th-grade level...so that the vast part of his American audience can receive the message he is putting out? Does Katie Couric do this? How about Glenn Beck? Is this why Larry King was so successful....he kept his entire interview system geared to a 8th-grader?

Would the Gettysburg address come out to be at the 8th-grade level of life or the 6th-grade level of life?

Will the White House get the message and dumb down it's speeches?

Will CNN eventually bring on a designer expert and eventually determine the clothing style of important folks....like Nancy Pelosi or the "Arnold" of California?

Finally, will CNN finally find a guy to explain to the CNN network why we just aren't watching the network much anymore? Just curious.

Another Show I've Come to Notice

I spent a significant amount of my life overseas, and I missed various TV shows over the past three decades. I probably only saw half of all the Magnum PI episodes. I might have seen only sixty percent of the X-Files episodes.

About three months ago....I was channel-flipping and came to this 70's Show. I watched an episode....and became addicted. I hadn't seen a single episode before. The script was five-star. "Red" was this great character as the dad. And Fez became this work of art about the visiting exchange student who could fit into any situation.

I've probably watched forty episodes now....and still have another eighty to go. I kinda wish there was an ending movie to the show...where they had them all lined up today and tell their sorrows and woes of the past thirty years.