On 04/23/2013 01:18 PM, turquoiseb wrote:
> Tonight I'm going to rap about Yet Another Trivial Uncle Tantra Day in
> Paris. Be warned. This one even has a soundtrack, Bruce Cockburn's "My
> Beat." Listen along if you want to:
>
> http://www.artistdirect.com/video/my-beat/38863
> <http://www.artistdirect.com/video/my-beat/38863>
>
> You see, even though I love being in Paris, I've been experiencing a bit
> of a Jones for something I had grown used to in Leiden. Riding my bike.
>
> So today there was a big Employees Only meeting at my place of work, so
> since they neither invited me nor needed me around (because all of my
> subject matter experts would be in the meeting), I decided to go out and
> take advantage of one of the things that's new in Paris since I last
> lived here -- the Velib system.
>
> Velib was one of the initiatives strongly supported by Paris' very gay,
> very Green mayor back when I lived here, and it's wonderful to see it
> come to fruition. There are racks of bicycles all over Paris, every few
> blocks in many areas, that are essentially Free For The Riding.
>
> You pay a paltry 19 Euros per year for a pass. Then you walk up to a
> Velib bike rack, swipe your card, take the bike, and ride it. If you
> ride for less than half an hour, when you check it in at the next Velib
> site there is no charge. If you ride that particular bike for longer,
> there is a very reasonable charge.
>
> So I went out bike riding in Paris. I got to ride through the incredibly
> picturesque village-within-a-large-city of Butte aux Cailles, and then
> up a little to rue Mouffetard, and then back to work again. Such a deal.
> Don't feel that I stiffed the company I work for in any way; I am
> scrupulously honest with my billing, and worked an hour later than usual
> this evening to make up for my hour on the bike.
>
> But man! was it worth it. I'd forgotten how wonderful it feels to have
> the wind in your face as you zoom along city streets. I may rent another
> one tomorrow morning and ride to work on it rather than take the Metro
> or a bus.
>
>       Ancient and always
>       The wheel's ever whirling
>       Today I'm riding
>       Tomorrow I walk
>       Step through forever
>       into this very moment
>       The heart is pumping
>       and the heart rocks
>
>           It's my beat
>           In my new town

Sounds like a great idea but never work in the hilly Bay Area though I 
think San Francisco has or had a similar program.  The dorks around here 
would think it too socialist (ya gotta buy a car!)  Also probably need 
bikeways but they never figured out how to fund those so there are just 
bike lanes instead.  In fact we probably need truckways too (remember 
truck routes).   Of course the US probably needs to build  high rise 
apartments on transit lines but that's way too socialist or downright 
communist!  The former USSR was able to survive an economic collapse 
because it was set up that whereas the US wouldn't survive so well.

Heard some interesting things about "Oblivion" so am planning to head 
off to see it in an hour.  Wouldn't be a bad walk if it weren't mostly 
uphill.


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