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Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween no scarier than everyday life

Since the calendar turned to 2011 the Northeast has been witness to blizzards, hurricanes and now an October snow storm.  Trees have fallen in and around New Jersey like celebrity marriages.

Really now, are we surprised about Kim Kardashian announcing her months old marriage?

Are we surprised trick or treating is on November 4th this year?  Is it a shock our town was without power for three days due to 4 inches of snow?  Or that the reason the utility company was unable to begin repairs because a rep from NJ Transit was required because the transformer was on their property?

Nevermind the trains were NOT in service.  In theory you could have trusted a 4 year old to hold a flag for the work needed to be done.  THERE WAS NO POWER!!!

34 hours later a crew comes to town and 4 hours later there is light.

A weekend of no commerce.  A Monday morning that saw a great many commuters either stranded home or getting to work in towns without functioning traffic signals.

Restaurants and gyms that provided power were overwhelmed with patrons.  Each spot became a chore. Coffee?  20 minute line.  Breakfast?  30 minute wait if you were lucky.   Why head to the out of town grocery store if the fridge was not working?  Get a hotel?  Maybe, but they became scarce in a hurry.  Then, they hotels figured let's go all Jersey on them:  3 day minimum stay only.

Yeah, America leading the way in infrastructure technology and political efficiency.

Here, in Madison, NJ, population 16,000, 20 miles from New York City, one of Newsweek's top US places to live in America, former home to Eddie Trunk, Janeane Garofalo and Neil O' Donnell, a 5 inch snowstorm done laid a beating on it.

This is not to minimize the damage done.  Interstate 78 and 287 was a sea of fallen trees and median filled cars Saturday evening.  Mother nature lashed out with unflinching horror and the devastation is real and far reaching.

But what are we paying for if we cannot get staff to even look at the problem until 33 hours have passed?

Are there that few trained workers to handle such a problem?  If we have adequate workers and the response was still this slow I would be more troubled.

Nothing good comes from this story.  There are still huddled massed in downtown Manhattan rallying for Wall Street change.  Ok, I get that.

My recent research indicates we may need a change at the Main St level too.

This Madison is a quaint and affluent town.  At the same time storefronts have consistently changed over the past decade.  There are also several vacant, weed filled lots and/or buildings in highly visible areas.

And as we have seen, emergency response to basic power failures can, and will, cause major issues.  Worse, the issues will be resolved at an increasingly slow rate.

If it's the weekend, forget about it.

The houses may be prettier, and the taxes certainly higher, but we are America for sure.  When the going gets tough these days we are ill-prepared.

What will tomorrow bring?  There is a joke that locusts are the inevitable conclusion to 2011.  That would appear to be the end game, right?

Surely we do not have enough bug catchers?  Entomologists?  Disease specialists?  You get it, whatever is needed to rid the World of bugs.

They would bring us all down.  And on the day we celebrate (ugh!) our 7 billionith human) please take a moment to realize just how screwed we all are.

Maybe that's a bit harsh, but that is what 50 degree living rooms can do to a person's spirit.

And its not even November yet.

Happy Halloween.

Other scary thoughts this evening:

Kim Kardashian's wedding cost $10 million dollars.  It lasted 72 days.  That is approx $140,000 a day.

Tim Tebow will start at quarterback again for an NFL franchise.

Antonio Banderas' voice won this weekends box office.

Ruth Madoff wants us to feel sorry for her.

Jessica Simpson has another life in her uterus.

Nickelback has a new album.

Herman Cain continues to lead the Republican field.

Sharks are still eating surfers.

Alternate fuel sources are scarce.

An our soldiers are still dying in needless wars.

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