Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Invasion Iowa...

What just happened? I was at work today programming content for April 17th. That is only putting myself 2 and a half weeks out into the future. If that's the case, how did we get here? Is it just me, or did this first quarter of 2005 just blast past at hyperspeed? Was I too busy playing video games, so busy that I didn't notice each sunrise and sunset.

Am I getting old?

I'm stunned. Pinch me.

Well, I'm much better today than I was yesterday. So much so that I went to work and didn't die or cough up a lung before lunch. I was happy to get back in the saddle. And make some money. I even stayed extra super late (if you consider 6:30 late) and got ahead (where I realized that the first quarter of the year was already over).

I got email from Bonnie stating that they did surgery on her dad, some sort of heart pump, I'm not sure of the details. They said he's doing wonderfully, and his vitals are 75% better than they were before the surgery. This is good. This could mean that Walt is in the process of pulling off yet another miracle. But, I won't speak too soonly... anything can happen, the jury is still out. I'm relieved he sees another day, and that my cold is hopefully going to abate in time for me to get into the city to give him a big fat kiss on the cheek and hold his hand yet again.

Oooh, Secret Message time: Carrie -- I'm not ignoring you. I had no voice last night, and got home late tonight. I'll try and call you.

Walt is in hospital in Boston. There is discussion afoot to do what they are doing in London, making a toll-zone inside the city for people driving in, for whatever reason -- entertainment, work, looking for hookers, sports betting, the usual stuff people do when they go into Boston.

The way it would work is that you'd have to buy passes in advance or if you didn't, your license plate would be photographed when you drove into this certain area of the city and you'd get a bill in the mail, you "scofflaw" you... I'm not positive exactly where the area is... Hell, it could be the whole damn city for all I know. It's not that big a city.

Proponents like this rocket scientist from the North End (where there isn't a single parking space EVER, especially now that the parking under the central artery no longer exists) say it will generate a lot of revenue.

[Sidebar Note] By the way, if you visit the honorable Paul Scapicchio's website, you'll notice it hasn't been updated since 2000. Nice. Way to keep the world up to date. I was going to try and email him my opinions, but I noticed the email link to send mail to the councellor is to a Leslie Smith, probably an aide from 1999. [/Sidebar Note]

Opponents say it's bullshit to charge people to drive into the city for ANY reason because the gas taxes are already sky-high, there are huge tolls to pay depending on which direction you come in from, and there is nowhere inexpensive to park. People are getting wallet-raped already, why add that extra layer of pain.

Now, I'm not one to drive into Boston often, but I do know that such a policy, such a surcharge, will pretty much mean that I no longer drive into Boston. Nay, it will mean my money and my visage no longer darken the doorstep of that Rotten Borough. The primary reason is that there is never anywhere to park, and I bet driving around the block 10 times will net you 10 pictures of your license plate, and 10 bills in the mail for your trouble.

The politicians in Boston are trying very hard to come up with ways to keep people out of the city unless they use rapid transit. From reading local blogs, I only hear the negatives of the T. Waiting, smelly people, the Silver Snail line. I can't imagine going into Boston for anything. Anything I want I can get out this way. Merrimack Valley, southern New Hampshire. I can get there faster than going into the city. I can park easily. The only thing I think I'd miss is the occasional trip to a museum (Fine Arts, Science, Children's) but I can honestly live without those things. For the rest of my life. I really can.

I'm thinking that if this passes and is put into place, this will be a boon to towns outside Boston. Chambers of Commerce should begin advertising like MAD to draw businesses out to the 495 belt. More so than they are already. Pretty soon, no one will work in Boston. No one will go into Boston because they'll feel like me. The exurbs will take over. The infrastructure of the big city will crumble. And eventually people will look back and say "How did this happen?"

Actually, it won't be that apocalyptic. I do think though that individuals and businesses are getting to the point where being IN Boston is no longer seen as where its at.

I'll go to Boston to see Walt. Bonnie lives in Boston. I'll go see her. I'm just going to make sure that wherever this targeted area is, my car never approaches it. Either that, or I'll buy some spray junk or a loover for my plate so I can stick it to the man!

I'm such the activist.

Oh -- one other thing. Last night, we caught the first episode of this reality thing William Shatner is doing called Invasion Iowa. I loved it. No, seriously. I loved it. It was hysterical.

The premise is that Shatner is making a movie that takes place in the town that serves as the birthplace of his character from Star Trek, Captain James T. Kirk, Riverside Iowa. Last night he set up the hoax to the audience (us) and then rolls into town to start auditioning people for his movie.

It is really funny, but what scares me is how seriously people take this, and what their reactions are going to be when they find out they've been had. In the first episode last night, Shatner himself expresses this kind of fear and trepidation, that this is not all going to end well. He didn't think they'd make it into town and get anyone auditioned before someone figured it all out. But these folks are ... genuinely convinced. Totally and absolutely convinced this is a real movie.

The supporting staff around Shatner is a team of actors, ranging from his "nephew" who serves as his body double, a spiritual advisor, a bumbling personal assistant, and the film crew and others. They're all actors. It seems like they were given this basic idea and told to make stuff up. It's like Punk'd, only on a whole town and Ashton isn't sitting in the control room whispering what you should say next into your ear piece.

I'm really interested in seeing how this all pans out. Check it out if you can. There's even an Invasion Iowa blog. Everyone has a blog these days. I feel so. Mundane.

Alright -- I'm off. Time to read to Geoff and get him ready for bed.

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