What happened to our Mojo?   America has always been on the cutting edge.  A while back I talked about a Scandinavian country (I think maybe Sweden) that had build a trash to energy plant and they were so good at recycling, that they ended up buying trash from a fellow Scandinavian country to power it.  America recycles a fair amount, but the recycling system is in a panic because China is cutting back on what it will accept from us.  Pittsburgh started a single stream for recycling (you don’t have to separate by type), the pick up takes everything that’s recyclable and a sorter separates the stuff.  Pittsburgh is now complaining our recyclables are cross contaminated and they are having a hard time finding buyers.  Fix the system or create a new one.  I think most people are into recycling and would buy into a new system.  Granted, it would need to be easy to use, but that comes in the design stage.

The greed of an American company to sell our private information you may have voluntarily given to face book to a company that used our (yours, not mine, I have give very little info to face book) to sway elections and god knows what else they are doing with it.  The American government has really done nothing about this, it took the European Union to come up with GDPR.  That is why all the companies you deal with are rushing to update their terms of service and privacy policies, I’m sure you’ve gotten a ton of emails alerting you that they were changing these and want you to review them.

Drew, my neighbor’s son from across the street (who got married here, probably my last wedding) approached me about saving me some money with Verizon who has both my cell phone and iPhone.  He did a great job and probably is saving me about $50 a month.  He also got me Verizon’s hum for free.  I had heard the name, but never paid attention to it.  It’s one of those devices that monitors your driving.  I don’t want someone tracking that I am going 35 mph in a 30 mph zone, or where I’m driving.  I’m not smart enough to know all the information they could be mining from me.  This is somewhat like those car insurance companies that offer you discounts if you install their driving tracking device in your car.  If you want to permit an insurance company to monitor your driving for a discount, I’m fine with that.  It’s also like UBER, in the app they ask you to give them permission to know your location.  Once you turn that on, it’s difficult to turn it off, it doesn’t automatically turn off.  So even if I’m not in an UBER, and UBER wants they can know I drove out McKnight Road and parked in the front of the Kuhn’s grocery store, then the Home Depot also on McKnight Road and how long I was parked there because their tracking device is on my iPhone.  I know some stores have tracking devices in them that connect to your smart phone.  If you stand in from on lingerie, for example, for a few minutes, the store sends you a coupon.  I don’t use frequent flyer cards for this reason, (one of the many reasons I don’t shop at Giant Eagle) there’s no need for them to know I purchase Oxyclean once a week.  I’m not concerned about their minimal discounts on their over priced items.

Before I go off on another rant, my point with all of the above, is America is not cutting edge anymore on many fronts.  The innovations that investors might make a ton of money are moving forward, like UBER, Amazon, drone technology to name a few.  Why aren’t we on the cutting edge of renewable energy?  Besides stopping global warming and leaving natural resources in the ground until they are needed 200 years in the future when we hopefully will be smart enough to responsibly use them.

Government can be responsive and creative, like Wolfhagen, Germany with a population of just 14,000 has already become 100% renewable and clean energy.  The problem in America is not too much regulation, that’s easy to say like “Lets drain the swamp”, but there’s lots our Commander in Tweet can claim at 3 am on a 140 character Tweet.  It’s the dysfunction of government.  Slashing budgets doesn’t improve government, it worsens it.  We need a real businessman (or woman), not one that’s all show and thrived on cheating little people out of their small businesses.  Like the lighting shop in West Palm Beach DJT bought a bunch of Chrystal chandeliers for Mar-a-Lago and then refused to pay for them.  I lived there at the time and DJT drove this small business out of business.

I’m pretty excited about Virgin Hyperloop One under construction in the Mojave Desert just outside Las Vegas.  Actually, it started here in Pittsburgh and we called it Mag Lev, which turned out to be a bust.  It’s a similar concept of reversed magnetic fields.  For one thing, it would beat the pants of Europe & Japan’s high speed trains and certainly give America some of it’s Mojo back.  Another Pittsburgh connection is the chief engineer Rob Ferber.  This technology could whisk people and freight from Pittsburgh to Chicago in as little as 48 minutes!  Being self contained and on the ground, i think it would be safer than air travel, not to mention it’s much cleaner than diesel airplanes use.  I for one would be much more willing to grant a right away to Hyperloop to go through my property than some gas pipeline, that never runs past one of the homes of the energy executives that run those companies.  No matter the hype the energy transmission companies say, those pipes do leak and blow up.  Yes, I read the news paper.

OK, I’m a loser.  I thought I had beat those pigeons.  Besides being a loser, I’m also prejudiced.  There’s no reason for my dislike of pigeons, other than I don’t like them  They’ve never done anything against me, but I don’t want them in my yard.  I used to fill my bird feeder and put it out by 7 am.  The pigeons showed up around 8 or 9.  So I figured I’d put it out when I get up at 5:30 for the song birds and I only fill it half full.  That way, the song birds could have breakfast before those lazy pigeons got up.  I wake every morning to bird song, what a pleasant way to start your day, so I knew the song birds would be ready to eat at 5:30.  Well the pigeons figured out the food was out earlier and started coming around by 6.  So I keep some of da kidz tennis balls on the table right outside the kitchen door and hurl one at the pigeons anytime I see them.  I might be  loser to the pigeons, but my aim is definitely improving.  🙂

Me and technology, first it was my camera stopped loading pictures into Picassa last year, then this past winter my iPhone stopped emailing pictures I took with it.  After going to local Apple stores three times, I finally met someone there that said something that made sense to me.  The previous Apple employees tried several things and nothing got it working again.  His suggestion was to call 1-900-aplcare and have them save my phone book, pictures, etc and delete the programs in the phone and upload new ones.  He thinks one of the many updates didn’t take correctly.  By the way, his age was over the normal 20 year olds you normally see in Apple that look at anyone over 35 as inept.  Speaking of prejudice, I’m just saying 🙂

Summer is here.  My AC is working the best since it was installed this year, the Inn is not cold, but comfortable.  That’s all I want.  I don’t use AC in the kitchens where I normally am and walking into a refrigerator in the mansion would be pretty unpleasant.  John did a great job this year, maybe it was that he lowered the temperature that kicks the attic fans on.  The bleeding heart is becoming this huge bush, best year ever for it.  The banana transplants are growing by leaps and bounds, the vertical hydrangeas on the back wall of the parking, have blooms for their first time since I planted them three years ago.  And the regular hydrangea the California Girls bought me in memory of Razor that’s planted by the courtyard wall isn’t showing any buds yet, but certainly looks happy.

Speaking of summer, the Allegheny County summer concert series for both Hartwood Acres and South Park have been announced.  Also, the Pittsburgh outdoor movie schedule has been announced.  The Three Rivers Arts Festival started Friday and runs through June 10.  Pittsburgh Pride started this weekend.  So there’s no excuse to be bored.  🙂

The Kenny Chesney concert last night was less disruptive and ugly than in the past.  Trash was again measured by the ton.  Seems to be a lot less arrests and other disturbances.

Thank care and go swimming,  🙂