Yes it’s my birthday today, so I’m typing another blog post. I’m so blase about it that I didn’t even post a suggested gift list this year. I mean I have most of what I need and pretty much all of what I want (except that harem). Well there are a few things I still want and/or need, but those are not the kind of things that can be gift-wrapped and placed on a table with a nice card.
I still want/need safe places to ride my bike so that I can get places on my bike. Right now in the Beautiful Suburbs of Hell we have almost 10 miles of bicycle infrastructure. Contrast that to the more than 1000 miles of automobile infrastructure and you see the problem. Comparing lane miles is even worse because so many roads here have more than one lane in each direction. We have just under 2 miles of bike lanes, the rest is shared lanes with cars. We have no cycle tracks, and a few bike paths that don’t go anyplace in parks. I don’t include them because they are intended for recreational use, not transportation. That would be like using the number of public swimming pools in an inventory of navigable waterways. And I don’t include residential streets because most of the residential streets are not built to get anything through in a smooth and direct fashion, they are impermeable for every mode. To wit at the end of the next block is a park with a cycle path, that is blocked by a chain link fence and a gate for maintenance vehicles. Entry to the park and cycle path is a quarter of a mile away from the end of my street. This is the opposite of “permeable”. And it makes the cycle path completely unusable for transportation.
I still want/need affordable health care that covers what the gig as a lab rat doesn’t. And that covers Mrs. the Poet. Right now if I have more than $100 in my bank account(s), I don’t qualify for Medicaid in TX. I don’t make enough to even qualify to use the insurance exchange. I’m caught in the middle, and I shouldn’t be because there shouldn’t be a “middle” to get caught in. For that I blame Gov. Goodhair and the Tea Party rejecting any expansion of Medicare/aid eligibility, while simultaneously rejecting establishing state insurance exchanges. I propose a lawsuit that makes Perry and the Tea Party responsible for every death, every person with diminished quality of life, and every child that suffers because of a lack of access to medical care caused by the actions of Perry and the Tea Party-controlled legislature. If they created the situation they can bloody well pay for the damages they caused.
Something else Perry should have to pay for is the 2009 veto of the vulnerable road users law that actually would have punished drivers for killing people with their motor vehicles. As it is now in TX unless you are drunk or have made public statements about killing people not in cars (and the prosecutor bothers trying to look those statements up) you pretty much get a free pass for killing in a motor vehicle. Claim blindness (“I didn’t see him!>sob, sob<"), claim the victim "forced you" ("He was right in the middle of the road, I either hit him or the oncoming traffic"), claim the victim shouldn't have been there, and you walk. Just be sober and don't leave the scene of the wreck and you'll be fine. And if you do leave the scene just claim you didn't know you hit anything, and you'll be fine. People with busted windshields and missing body parts (the vehicle's body, not theirs) have made that claim and it has been accepted as true. You don't even need to be legally driving the vehicle as long as you stay at the scene of the wreck, or stop and return. I want/need laws that correct this gap in prosecution, particularly a law that requires all road deaths be brought to trial so that every death will be investigated and also some kind of sanction against LEO that fail to investigate a fatal wreck. Can somebody get me a law like this in TX?
Another thing I want/need is a local vendor for metals in job-lot quantities and bicycle sizes/alloys. For instance there is a metal vendor 15 minutes away by bus with 2 stops nearby, that doesn't carry the sizes and alloys I need and does not sell in job-lot quantities. Get that fixed and I'll be a happy bicycle builder. I really don't like having to change the design of my bikes to accommodate the metal I can get locally. Having access to sizes and alloys to build that T-Bucket project would be nice, too. And having a roomy workshop without a bunch of other people's junk in it would be a plus, too.
And that's what I Really Want for My Birthday.