IN MY OPINION
Books Read in 2006
My Favorite Video Blogs
(for others, see Links page)
Look at these videos!
Support liberty and justice for all
BUT TRY TO HAVE A NICE DAY ANYWAY
26 August 2006
You hear it all the time around here the need to patronize local businesses or they'll go under and that wouldn't be fair to the little guy.
But they sure make it hard.
For one thing, prices at the mom and pop stores in town are generally higher than at the big mall 10 miles away.
The local independent book store charges a fee to special order a book that you can walk a block and get off the shelf at the nearby Borders or order on sale from Amazon.com.
If you are a "person of size" (i.e., "fat"), you can't find anything that fits in any clothing store in town.
And now this.
These are the new parking rules downtown. Now not only do we have timed parking spaces, now it's a timed parking block. Gone are the the chalk marks on the tires that you can hide or erase, or move forward two spots and cover up. Gone are the meters that you can feed when the time begins to run out. Now the metermaids have computers which record your license plate and you are not allowed to park more than two hours anywhere on the block. When your time is up, you must move off the entire block for a minimum of four hours before you can return. Never mind if a space has opened up at the other end of the block, or across the street. You can't have it. You must start your car and drive away. Great for a town that's supposed to be so energy conscious, and in an era where gas prices are inching toward $4.00 a gallon!
There are two parking structures in town. Both allow you to park, for two hours (the one near the theatre lets you park for three hours so that you can see a movie, but if the structure happens to be full, you're out of luck. No on-street parking for movie-goers).
Obviously whatever you have to do in town, you have to do in two hours or get out. Or drive your car somewhere else and start all over again.
No more leisurely lunches followed by meandering through the local shops to see if there is something that interests you. Now, get your business done and get out or get a ticket.
I worked at two different offices downtown. At one, we played the "move the car" game. We'd watch the meter maid come and chalk the tires outside our door, then we'd get into our cars and move them around, so we figured we were safe for another 4 hours. We got our share of parking tickets, but at least we could park near the office.
When I moved to a different office, it was across the street from the parking garage. The top floor was untimed parking, so you could be there all day. Now the whole building is 3 hour parking (so folks can see movies at the attached theatre) and presumably you have to leave the building and park somewhere else at the end of it (I don't know if these new parking rules apply to the parking lot or not).
There are, of course, options. You can bike and park anywhere indefinitely, assuming you can ride a bike and have enough side bags to carry any large packages you might buy. You can park out of the core area and walk longer distances to the office, though there are more and more neighborhoods which have gone to permit only parking to prevent the university students from using them for parking lots. Or, I guess, you can buy a house in the downtown area and just walk everywhere.
But patronize local businesses. They need your support.
Jeri, Walt and I patronized the local pizza parlor for lunch yesterday (cutting our relaxing on the deck short so we could get back to the car before the 2 hour limit was up).
Then we went back downtown later in the afternoon (parking after 6 p.m., so it was OK) to see the absolutely delightful Little Miss Sunshine, which I (and just about every other film critic I've read) recommend very highly.
My favorite line from the movie occurs when the family VW bus is stopped by a highway patrolman and Dad (Greg Kinnear) says "Everybody try to look normal."
I identified with this family of, shall we say ... unique... individuals! (Is "unique individual" redundant?)
Well, we didn't exactly get rid of all the puppies. I agreed to take Luna back after her spay operation. But I think I'm puppy sitting for my cousin's daughter, and not for the SPCA. They don't want to bring her into their home permanently until they get back from vacation, the second week in September.
Luna is hurting a bit today, but at least is up and eating food and
moving every now and then, even if she does curl up, whimper and lick herself now and
PHOTO OF THE DAY
(Taken in Boston before Jeri left to come out