L’art giratoire

Those carousels of cartage, traffic circles there in France

have blossomed with fey sculpture in delirious romance.

It’s almost worth the effort now to drive a small Citroen

around the countryside to look at all the statues soigne.

Who can think of road rage when a quick glance will unveil

a paper boat gigantesque or a bright enormous snail?   

traffic circle art

My father was a union man

My father was a union man, but never went on strike.

(Although he often said his boss was part of some Third Reich.)

He paid his dues and did his job, and went to union meetings.

(He came home smelling of cigars and gave us boozy greetings.)

When he died the union sent a wreath but said his pension

(never asked for since he thought retirement detention)

was forfeit cuz he never paid his last month’s dues before death.

(And that is why I’ll damn all unions up until my last breath.)

on strike

“To Be Volkswagened”

To celebrate the company that sold us but a fag end

of diesel car, the past tense verb has now become ‘Volkswagened‘. 

As in, the purchase of a car we think will pass inspection

but turns out to be hiding just a pile of imperfection.

I think this new word that I’ve coined has got some staying power;

more than Volkswagen seems to have, with customers so dour.  

Provo’s Dirty Little Secret for Bus Rapid Transit

(Guest Post by Phil Hinckley)

The truth about BRT and what every one in Utah County will be paying for.


These quotes are taken from the” U.S. Department of Transportation Report on the Provo, Orem  Bus Rapid Transit” or (BRT) dated March 27, 2015. The “ Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)  issued a finding of no significant impact” when speaking about the”Environmental assessment”  They ignored all the trees on 700 North and University  Avenue and all the businesses that will lose their parking along University Avenue. “An environmental impact statement is not required”.

“The project will utilize 25 articulated, 60 foot buses  capable of  holding 200 persons each”. These buses will run Monday through Friday at this schedule. Twelve buses per hour in each direction with 5-minute head ways from 6:30 am to 10:00 am and 3:30 pm to 6:00 pm”. With all buses filled on their trip during this six hour period they could haul 28,800 people. “Six buses per hour in each direction with ten-minute head ways during mid-day,(10:00 am to3:30 pm.)”  With all buses filled during this period they could haul 13,200 people. “Six buses per hour in each direction with 10-minute head ways during early evening (6:30pm to 8:00 pm.)” This  period they could haul 3600 People. “Four buses per hour in each direction with 15-minute head ways during early morning(4:30 am To 6:30 am And late evening (8:00 pm To 11:00 pm)”  These two periods they could haul  8,000 people.  “Two buses per hour in each direction with 30-minute head ways during late night (11:00 pm To 2:00 am)”  during this period they could haul 2400 people. During the slow periods they will still run sixty foot buses because of the center load platforms.  BRT could haul a total per day of 56,000 people if each bus filled up. That’s almost half the population of Provo. Google says the population of Provo was 116,288 for 2013.

“There will be two new traffic signals on University Avenue and one on 700 North.  (TSP) traffic signal priority will be implemented at 31 signalized intersections.”The buses will control the traffic lights.  These two things and the left turn lane closures listed below will slow and snarl normal traffic and increase air pollution. We don’t need three new traffic signals just for bus operation where bus stops are. There will be thirteen less bus stops,(to discourage people from riding the bus??), extra traffic lights

and all those left turn lane closures to prevent people from going where they want to.


“There will be restricted left turn lanes (no left turns from or onto)  on 700 North at 600 East ,500 East, 300 east, and 100 East and restricted left turn lanes on all legs on  University Avenue at 400 North, 300 North, and 100 South and restricted left turns from University avenue onto Center Street and 400 South. The traffic lanes on University Avenue will be narrower from fifth south to seven hundred North and how many other things they will do without telling us about until afterward. Stop BRT before it is too late.

Phillip Hinckley can be reached at pwhink@hotmail.com


Your Commute Could Help You Lose Weight

The Wall Street Journal has some encouraging news for those of us who use public transportation to get to work (or to McDonalds):

“A 15-minute walk to a light-rail station might not seem like much of a workout. But such walks, twice every workday, could help millions of people meet exercise guidelines and get fitter without setting foot in a gym, researchers say.

Commuters who switched from driving to walking, cycling or public transit lost more than 2 pounds in two years on average, according to a recent study of 4,000 adults in the U.K. The longer the commute, the greater the weight loss: People with one-way active commutes longer than 30 minutes lost more than 15 pounds on average over two years.”

And Women’s Health Magazine is even more emphatic:

“A study from the journal BMJ finds that people who walk, bike, and even take public transportation to work have a lower body mass index (BMI) and body-fat percentage than those who drive to work.” 

Considering the insanity surrounding weight loss diets in today’s calorie-ridden world, you’d think this kind of information would lead to immediate and mass abandonment of cars on the side of the road as wage slaves across the nation began hoofing it to the office, boarding buses to the salt mine, or biking to work like a gray flannel Lance Armstrong.

But no, this story has barely caused a ripple in the vast sea of lipids that is the American psyche. Americans will eat all manner of strange viands, or starve themselves, to lose weight; but any attempt to wean them from their BMW or Toyota is as futile as carrying microchips to Silicon Valley.

As for me, I’m retired; I don’t even GO to work anymore. I am just looking for a way to rhyme lipid with insipid.


Leave your KIA in the driveway, take a pogo stick

off to work and you will slim down to a candlewick.

Dodging traffic on a bike or riding on the bus

will shed more pounds than even Oprah might want to discuss.

Up and at ’em, slugabed — no driver’s seat for you.

Trade in that old Lexus for a Nike tennis shoe!


Passengers filled the AATA No. 4 bus as it passed through Ann Arbor on its way to Ypsilanti just after 5 p.m.  on a Tuesday in June. One likely reason for the  recent increase in riders has been high gas prices, AATA officials said. ELIYAHU GURFINKEL, THE ANN ARBOR NEWS
Passengers filled the AATA No. 4 bus as it passed through Ann Arbor on its way to Ypsilanti just after 5 p.m. on a Tuesday in June. One likely reason for the recent increase in riders has been high gas prices, AATA officials said.


In the USA, A Woman Earns 81.9 Cents for Every Dollar a Man Earns

Women earned 81.9 cents for every dollar a man earned in the second quarter of the year, 2015.

Labor Department data out this week showed the pay gap between men and women but little changed, or even taking a step back. Full-time women workers earned almost 84 cents for every dollar a man earned in the second quarter of last year,2014.

Overall, median weekly earnings of all full-time workers were up 2.7% from a year earlier to $801. Men got bigger paychecks, with wages and salaries going up 3.4% from a year earlier to $886. And for women, the increase was a more modest 1.4% to $726.

One item that hasn’t changed much recently is the difference in pay between genders. Women have been slowly closing the pay gap with men, and by some calculations may need another twenty years to achieve equal pay. The problem has caught the attention of the White House.

(Wall Street Journal)


Men get more than women; that is a fact of life.

It isn’t very decent, and causes lots of strife.

If women want more money, they ought to act like men —

crow just like the rooster and not lay like the hen.


The Saga of Britt McHenry


Based on a story from the New York Post

It happened down in Arlington; the mean streets there are gritty.

And no one cares just who you are, not even if you’re pretty.

A shady bizness enterprise dragged Britt McHenry’s car

Into a compound reeking with rank weeds and broken tar.


When Britt the Blonde strode in to pay the ransom she was told

She’d have to cross their palms with lots of 14-karat gold.

Her language was explicit and unlady-like, tis true;

But those who deal with villains often turn the air quite blue.


Using her fair visage in unauthorized display,

The bizness grabbed publicity in a real big way.

Poor Britt was banished from the air for a lonely week,                                                                             

Denying her admirers a glimpse at her physique.


A tow truck is a stench in urban nostrils, there’s no doubt;

Yet they are here to stay no matter how we swear and shout.

But must they pick on damsels who are beautiful and fey?

Why don’t they do some good and tow the IRS away?         


Gas Prices Hit All-Time Low in Utah!


On Saturday, January 3, 2015, gas was retailing in the Provo area for $1.89 per gallon.  It appears the price is going to continue to plummet.

A recent poll shows how the American people feel about this.

The public is gradually becoming aware of America’s energy boom. Currently, 54% say domestic energy production has been increasing in recent years, up from 48% in September 2013. Meanwhile, the recent slide in gas prices is registering widely: An overwhelming 89% say that that pump prices have fallen in the past month.

Despite the growth of domestic energy production, public attitudes about energy policies have changed only modestly in recent years. In broad terms, developing alternative energy is viewed as a more important priority than expanding the exploration and production of oil, coal and natural gas. By two-to-one (60% to 30%), more prioritize the development of alternative energy sources than expanded extraction of energy from traditional sources.


  • The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center, conducted Dec. 3-7 among 1,507 adults, finds that the public remains wary of the increased use of nuclear power. By a 53%-41% margin, more oppose than favor the government promoting the increased use of nuclear power. Opposition to nuclear power has been at about 50% or above since March 2011, following the nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan.


Furthermore, the drop in gas prices around the country has registered widely: Fully 89% say that gas prices have gone down either a lot (50%) or a little (39%) over the past month; just 8% say they have gone up at a little or a lot.

Large majorities of college graduates (91%) and those with no college experience (86%) say gas prices have fallen, but college graduates are more likely to say they have declined a lot (56% vs. 43%).


H/T  to http://www.people-press.org/2014/12/18/as-u-s-energy-production-grows-public-policy-views-show-little-change/

Flying to Malaysia.


Flying on an airline from Malaysia isn’t wise.

They do not have a franchise when it comes to friendly skies.

Do not take along much baggage or wear a brand-new suit;

Unless you’d like the fishies to recover it as loot.


It seems that pilot error is as common as can be;

Instead of the altimeter they’re watching some TV.

The hostesses are pretty, but they’ve wised up pretty quick;

When flights include old Singapore they always call in sick.


Although their planes are rated by the government as good,

You really cannot do much when the wings are balsa wood.

An ocean cruise is healthier than flying Asia Air.

But then again you might enjoy repeating The Lord’s Prayer.



This squib is brought to you by American Airlines.  Feel safe, fly safe — with American Airlines!