Tuesday, July 19, 2011

No Country For Sane Men - Some Things I Have Noticed

No Country For Sane Men

  No Country For Sane Men
    One Man's Journey Into The Mind Of America

"There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs." - John Rogers

Tuesday, July, 19, 2011

A few weeks ago I wrote NY Senator Greg Ball (better known as "Senator Twitter") regarding his NO vote on civil rights last June. Apparently, no surprise to anyone who knows him, his vote was up for sale. He would have voted YES if the National Republican Committee would guarantee that Dick Cheney would come and campaign for him. I wish I was making this up but it is what it is and the Senator has not only made a mockery of the NY State Senate but once again, of himself.

The Senator did not reply to my note. Instead, a staffer, Krista Gobins, invited me to become part of an advisory council on the environment. I laughed so hard I almost passed out! But I did think about it, in between wiping the tears and catching my breath, and decided it was the worst possible thing I could have ever done. So, I'm voting NO on Senator Twitter's flaccid invite to be part of his political propaganda machine. However, if he would like a date, I'm 5 minutes away from a shower and 15 minutes away from my car! Think of all the fun we could have on Capasso's farm....

From time to time we all have those "head slap" moments when some things we've 'known' our entire lives becomes suddenly obvious. It's like when you first learned that the Marine Corps was not a "corpse" (which happened to me at about 43,), that the world was not in black and white before the advent of color television, that this nation was founded on the premise that the rich shouldn't have to pay taxes at all, that Hugh Hefner and Joan Rivers and are actually still alive and that Paul McCartney once played in a band called "The Beatles".

Here Are Some Things I Have Noticed:
  • People in Brooklyn and Queens don't live on Long Island even though they do.
  • Jews will not cross the Throgs Neck bridge northward to visit family for the holidays. There's some sort of biblical prohibition against it. In Exodus, maybe?
  • Michelle Bachmann is certifiably insane.
  • The driver behind you is psychic. He always knows the moment before the light is going to turn green.
  • While it may seem like good sport, I've been told it's illegal to hit bicyclists when they're riding side-by-side.
  • A landlord's contractor always turns a simple two-day job into a month-long excursion into (his) near death and (your) near madness.
  • Tribal gatherings > Dances > Compuserve > AOL > Myspace > Facebook > Twitter > Google+ > Total and Complete Physical Isolation.
  • Ronald Reagan was not a good president regardless of what anyone says.
  • If you want something fixed, just let your landlord know you're moving.
  • If Tea Baggers were neutered... eh, don't get me going.
  • David Tennant was the cutest Dr. Who.
  • No soap, radio.
  • Mt. Rushmore? Maybe in geological terms.
  • Wyoming is nearly square. Utah could be if the Mormons got uppity. New Mexico would be if it weren't for Gadsden.
  • There are too many laws, too many cops, too many judges, too many lawyers and too many people who love them.
  • "Gullible" is in the dictionary.
  • Mosquitoes don't 'bite'.
  • Marriage Equality? Sure. Just ask my ex wife.
  • Alcohol, which kills hundreds of thousands of people a year, is illegal. Marijuana, which has killed no one, is not.
  • It's against the law to have a revolution but then how did we get here in the first place?
  • When someone tells you that something is "Awesome!!!!" it probably isn't. At least not for more than five or ten minutes after you've passed it on to everyone you know.
  • You take your shoes off at the airport to amuse the TSA. Do they really think you're hiding terrorists in them?
  • The surest way to bring your dog back from a coma is to open the refrigerator door.
  • Nixon is starting to look pretty damned good right about now.
  • Vestigial nipples are more common than you'd think.
  • Turkeys are really quite beautiful birds.
  • Why do breeders get upset when you call them breeders?
  • Water wings aren't really wings.
  • So, Greece is broke. Who cares? 
  • If you lobotomized Republicans would anyone notice?
  • Hummingbirds don't hum.
  • The sky is not really blue.
  • You can't get down off an elephant. You get down off a goose.

If you send this along or steal individual lines from it and it's not properly credited, your home will be invaded by bedbugs, your dog will get fleas, you'll get endless robocalls from questionable Republican candidates, your children will hang with the wrong crowd and the building inspector will find that one little thing you never got approved when your house was being built.

Not a commercial interruption:


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Lastly, last winter I was so poor that I figured if I were frugal I could get several meals out of the dog. My camping gear was in the car and I was on my way to points unknown leaving everything I owned behind. Somehow though I got through all that but the idea of staying here at the Asylum is no longer a satisfactory one.

Those who known my landlords will fully understand. Those who do not know them cannot begin to reckon the psychological complexities and unhappy, odd surprises that are the norm and that I've lasted here this long speaks more about my lack of self-esteem than anything else. But those days are over.

So I'm looking to replicate what I have here, (without the active indifference from the landlord), elsewhere in the Hudson Valley.

My needs are simple: I need to be able to piss off the back deck in the morning, the dog needs to be able to leave the house at will and roam, I need a sunny spot for a vegetable garden and, if you don't mind, I'd prefer not to hear the joyous sound of the neighbor's children screaming in the yard nor their son's stereo playing WPDF at ten AM on Sunday morning while he works on his quad. 

If you know a place let me know - soon. The charm of this place has most definitely come to an end.

Copyright © 2011 No Country For Sane Men
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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

News That Matters - An Open Letter to the Carmel Town Board

News That Matters

News That Matters
Brought to you (Almost Daily) by PlanPutnam.Org

Telling it like it is for 10 years and counting...

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Dear Carmel Town Board,

I know your minds are on many issues that are more important than public safety. Issues such as picking up the pieces of the Leibell puzzle and trying to figure out what your future holds with MaryEllen Odell as your new county executive, and how many more quasi-legal explosions you'll allow on the once verdant hillside above Stoneleigh Avenue. In comparison, the issue I would like to bring to you now is nothing but a trifle. It's only about public safety and saving money so I'm sure you're not all that interested, but here goes:

I frequently drive Route 6 past the Putnam Plaza and turn onto Route 301 at the courthouse and it never fails to amaze me how much traffic builds up there in the afternoons and evenings. When I first moved here what was considered a traffic jam were three cars entering a 4-way intersection at the same time. It usually ended with  all three drivers BSing together on the side of the road until someone came along we didn't know. We'd walk over and introduce ourselves, pass around another beer and, well, life was merry back in the good old BC (Before Camarda) days. But, I digress...

One day it took me almost 25 minutes to drive from the traffic light at John Simpson Road to the intersection of Route 52 and Route 301. And while that is admittedly an extreme example, those couple of miles could easily be traversed in moments - if you were to time the lights correctly and add a turning lane or two along the way.

There are two main choke-points along this route. The first, heading north out of Put Plaza is at Church Street as people attempt to turn left and traffic backs up behind them all the way down the hill. A turning lane here would be nice so that traffic could flow while others wait to turn. I know you'd have to get some land from Tim Curtis or the landowner who own the slums over there but you've done it before and can do it again.

The second choke-point is the cluster-fuck of Route 52, Route 301 and Fair Street where everyone wants to go every which way and the lights were apparently timed by a dyslexic watchmaker.

Here you need several things:
A lighted turning lane for northbound traffic to turn left onto Route 301 and that the traffic light there and 200' further at Fair Street are set so that traffic flows through both intersections not from one to the other as happens now. Then, once that area is clear cars turning north on to Route 52 have a place to go.
You could also use a sidewalk from the Reed Memorial Library along Route 6 to the Donald Smith Center. Many, many people are always walking along that road with nothing to distance them from cars other than a single white, painted line. This is an accident waiting to happen!

Where to get the money? From Paul Camarda or the Town of Patterson. See, last winter they managed to finagle $1.5 million from the State DOT to upgrade the intersection of Route 311 and I84 based on what Patterson Supervisor Mike Griffin insisted is a dangerous intersection. Forget that he made that up for the benefit of State employees who don't know better. Forget that the board went along with the lie in order to secure Mr. Camarda another taxpayer funded hand-out for a project he promised he would pay for himself. So, forget all that and just petition them for monies for projects that have actual public benefit.

The truth is, Route 6 and Route 52 as far as Fair Street is a lot more dangerous and as traffic build up that $1.5 million would go a long way toward resolving the situation, making the area safer for the many pedestrians who use it now and would speed traffic along saving time, money and gasoline.

If you would like I can put you into direct contact with Supervisor Griffin and I am sure an amicable agreement can be made. Just call.

Love and knishes,


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