Sometimes we get so busy that we don’t see the silliness that surrounds us every day. Or perhaps we’ve just become so accustomed to the silliness that we overlook and accept it as part of every day life.
That’s so sad.
I guess silly is a way of life these days. More and more we have someone or something to do anything for us, and we tend to forget how to do the simple things.
When I was a teenager, the be-all and end-all of daily existence was to own your own car and be able to get from place to place without having to wait hours for someone to come available to take you there, and then make arrangements hours in advance to get back where you needed to be.
These days, two in four teenagers don’t even have a driver’s license, let alone their own mode of transportation. Now some would feel this is a good thing, keeping the inexperienced drivers off the road and making room for those who know better how to crack up and kill….ooops…did I really say that?
Anyway, part of owning your vehicle was knowing how to keep it on the road. You didn’t need to be a mechanic, but you needed to know basic safety things, like how to turn on the hazard lights if you got stuck somewhere, or how to rock your vehicle out of a ditch or snow patch to continue on your way. But most of all, you needed to know how to do some really simple and basic stuff like CHANGE A TIRE.
As if just managing day-to-day operations for a county that is more than 100 miles in length with a transportation system dependent on more than 40 bridges, a water system tied to a dedicated water source by a single pipe and a power grid fed by single high-power lines spanning more than 130 miles, weren’t enough, 2014 will prove to be a watershed year for Monroe County officials.
For this is the year Monroe County officials must get serious about protecting our island chain from runaway gentrification.
First, let me say that I hope each and every one of you have a wonderful Christmas, and here’s wishing you the best of New Years.
I think we’re all glad (except the little ones) that the Christmas holiday is rushing past and nearly behind us. The mad rush to get everything done, the lines, the stress and the bustle are all something we can do without more than once a year I’m sure.
Though I will miss the smiles and good cheer that follow this season, there are many things I won’t miss.
We are glad to see that the graduation rate for Monroe County schools is on an upward trend, hopefully forecasting a better educated populace in our near-term future.
Of course, the numbers released Tuesday don’t actually equate the the exact number of students that have earned graduation compliance from the local school district because of some rather odd regulations in state law.
Anyone who has talked to me for more than 60 seconds (and actually listened to the words being said in return) has probably heard my 15-second diatribe on “people with too much time on their hands.”
I won’t bore you giving it here, but perhaps I can give you a quick glance at the things that send me into that diatribe on a routine basis.
The other morning a client/acquaintance of ours made an off-hand comment to someone about washing a deer. Almost instantly, the phone was ringing with people asking him how dare he use synthetic soaps on deer, and how dare he take it upon himself to wash deer anyway. They knew when they needed cleaning and would be fine until that time came.
Now had these folks bothered to take 15 seconds from their busy “trying to find ill in others’” schedule, they might have bothered to find out that the deer were stuffed, and or plastic, were perfectly legal, and that they were being prepped to be sold for a charity auction.
Too much time.
If the Monroe Board of County Commissioners really has serious thought about putting more than $12 million into the old 7-Mile Bridge span that connects Marathon to Pigeon Key, then we believe the backers of the project should be asked to do the same thing that was asked of the backers of the purchase of Rowell’s Marina in Key Largo.
Before the commission could muster the necessary super majority vote to pay $5 million for Rowell’s Marina in Key Largo, commissioners individually asked for a business plan that showed how the park could run without being a further drain on the county’s general fund maintenance budget.
And we would ask that the backers of the old 7-Mile Bridge project do the same.
I am one of those people who believe that we are not alone in the universe.
The odds that our planet, of the billions that are out there, was the only one where chance hit all the right markers over tens of thousands of years, are so miniscule that even the greatest long-shot player in history wouldn’t book the bet.
I am also one of those who believes that the races out there that are eons older than us, have probably been in our neighborhood a time or two, and have thus far written us off as unworthy of inclusion in the galactic community.
Recently the state announced that the most-visited segment of the statewide Overseas Heritage Trail is the segment that spans Monroe County, and that despite the fact that the bicycle/pedestrian path along the length of the Keys isn’t even finished yet.
And that makes efforts to get the trail completed well worth the work.
Another from the files of the strange but true, can’t-believe-this-could-happen, department. That department, by the way, is located just off your left shoulder, in a land parallel to our own, in a place called The Twilight…. oops.
I made the mistake of trying to stop by the grocery store last week during rush hour. We all know when rush hour is at the grocery store. The 4,500 of us on this island who have to work for a living get off work, need a thing or two for dinner, and drop by the store to get it.
There are two hundred cars in the parking lot, nowhere to park except the last slot in the puddle still there from the last rain. There are four cashiers in the store and 1,000 customers. Now, these numbers may be exaggeration, but the impression is dead on.
There is very little limit these days on the ways folks can use to communicate with one another virtually whenever the need or the mood strikes them, particularly for government agencies who usually get the best of the latest toys on the taxpayer dime.
Land line phones still exist, cell phones are common place, email is readily available, web sites are accessible, teleconferencing is becoming old hat, smart phones can send and retrieve data at will, and if all else fails, the highway still goes two directions.