Coping: With Bank Runs and Chaos

Picking up G II (* my son, not be be confused with G2 – Gaye at Monday at Dallas’ Love Field, was a simple example of what the coming world of chaos will be like when it finally gets here.

Fortunately – with more details for Peoplenomics™ readers, we may have a couple of years of peace and order left, but after that, all bets are off.

It started with me leaving the house a couple of minutes past noon for the ride up to Dallas.. 

My son’s plane didn’t come in until 3:50 on Virgin  Air, so it was supposed to be a simple drive.

It wasn’t.

Remember the note in Monday’s column from “warhammer” about engine software updates for Jets?

Well, maybe I should break down and  buy the updated navigation CD for our old Lexus, since the one in the car now is the original.  I may have mentioned previously on a trip a couple of years ago to the Colorado area, how the system would offer pronouncements like “In a quarter mile” turn right.

A quarter mile goes buy, and we’re hanging on the edge of a cliff with nothing but air and tree tops visible below and the (silicon bitch voice in the ) GPS says “Torn right, now!”

I should have learned something in Colorado…but did I?  Naw… $150 for a nav CD seemed a bit much when I can get a paper map (once free at service stations, but now $7.99 and $8.99 – or more at fill-it-yourself, we just want your money and to sell you pogey bait stations.).

Without the update in the GPS, I had the choice between following the GPS voice commands or trying to read the Google Maps print out – which seems somewhat risky…so GPS voice it was.

Things were going along well until the consarned machine told me to take Exit 43 A off what I thought was 35-E northbound.  After a couple of chandelles, a wingover, a legal U-turn, and a merge back onto…  The GPS rode me in a complete circle, only to get back on the freeway one exit before where I can gotten off.

In programming, this would be like getting stuck in a GOSUB loop (if anyone remembers BASIC).

After laying plans to get me again, the GPS finally directed me to exit onto Inwood Road and promptly got me stuck at the intersection of Inwood Road and Lemmon Avenue, not far from Love Field.  This is where a traffic  light was on the fritz,  being worked on.  So it took 15-minutes to get through that intersection.

I really didn’t have a choice, though:  There was a Bank of America on the corner that I needed to stop at, so stop and slow traffic to make it up to the light.

It was 2:30 by the time I made it this far, and the line in the bank was backed up all the way to the door.  And there was a grand total of  1.5 tellers on duty. 

I say 0.5 for one of them because rather than wait on people, the tellers were running off and bringing papers to people – I have no idea what that’s about, but I think it has something to do with welfare payments.  I was one of three people in line that didn’t look like I was getting some of this paper that was being passed out.

After a 20-some minute wait, I finally get to one of the tellers and asked “Kinda busy for a Monday, isn’t it?

The line had filled in behind me and was still to the front door.  Again, more people with this mystery paper.  Mayb e it was welfare somethings.

“Oh, no, this is about normal now.  Someone in corporate made a decision to reduce us from five tellers down to two, and it’s like this most of the time now.”

Seems there was some remodeling being done on the drive-through, too, but I didn’t see how that would help things.

But it did bring up a spectacle in my head about how to cause bank runs to appear in America.

Simply have people in cost accounting of all the big banks keep shrinking down the teller count – which they are doing anyway – and the next thing you know, the bank lines will extend out of the front door.

And in all seriousness, public and banking officials will declare there is no such things as bank runs.  Could it be that we’re getting “conditioned” to the idea of lines right now?

After that, my next task was to get to the airport.  Never been to Love Field before.

Parked in the parking garage – which had almost invisible signage – and eventually (no thanks to the lack of signs) found my way to a sky bridge to the terminal and that was that.

The next 45-minutes was spent waiting for G-11’s plane, and he managed to be the last one off, having drawn steerage in the seating lottery.

It worked out OK for him, because he came off the plane all bubbly about the cool onboard chatroom that Virgin Atlantic has been phasing in.  .

“It was really cool…I chatted most of the trip with a hot chic in 18-C” he proudly reported.  “Then we had a shot at the bar when we got off…and I got a kiss and an email….”

We finally left the terminal after 10-minutes of going everywhere but out (again the signage was lacking while my son kept asking “You OK, dad?” I was fuming. Big cities stick in my craw anymore.

This is what Chaos and Bank Runs will look like when they arrive:  Banks will have insufferably long lines, city services (like stop lights that work) will have all been hacked, and the world will look for all intents and purposes “normal” but it won’t be.

Or it will…still scratching my head about this one.  Has the world slipped over some edge while we were out in the sticks?

2-hours later (of unbelievable stop and go traffic on  35E, 30, 45, and finally 175), and we were back out here to “Deliverance Country.”

There’s a whole world full of people who have never known a meal without an electric dishwasher, a microwave, and Lucky Charms cereal.  These people live in cities and line up for everything.  I  HATE lines.

I’m going to go have a chat with Zeus the Cat and explain to him how good life really is out here in the boondocks.  And if I don’t see another human all day (except family, of course) that’d be just fine with me.

Al least I won’t be in a damn line for something.

My biggest gripe this morning is the red tailed hawk is screaming and ZtC is meowing at the door reminding me not to get wordy since it’s holding up breakfast.

Somewhere in all this is a clear explanation of why witches prefer their familiars to the company of other humans, too.

I swear to you I wasn’t anti-social until Inwood Road and Lemmon Avenue.

Properly Shamed

Oh-oh.  Another column has landed me in hot water with a reader…and I should apologize:

” A “memorial page” sounds a bit maudlin,…”

My Grandson (18)died of leukemia in January. There is a memorial page enabled by the funeral home that is still up. It is filled with well wishers and their memories of my grandson. A couple of weeks ago a family friend, whom no one had heard from in several years, found it and left word of his sympathy. Reading what others have written has been very comforting these past few months. My grandson and me were friends, I miss him immensely. Perhaps you have not lost anyone recently and have forgotten how such grief feels. We all grieve in our own way. for you to even think to call it “maudlin” is an affront to the memory that many of us would hold on to, with the help of such means as a memorial page. Shame on you!

Perhaps so, but no offense was intended.

What I was getting to was the superficiality of social behaviors.  There’s just some things that (as a throwback) I have a difficult time virtualizing.

As a kid, many of my Asian friends had urns of passed relatives on the living room mantle – a few had full-on Shinto Shrines, too.  And it was in  this way, the specific  memories were kept alive of loved ones long departed.

I still know grief now and then.  And as Keeper of the Ashes in my family,  there’s not a week goes by that mowing around where my mother’s urn  is buried that I don’t touch that.  I mean other than mowing around it, too.

When time comes for me to drink from that bitter cup, please make a note that I would rather have a phone call, a cup of coffee with someone, or a shot or two of scotch and a toast in their honor, than an email or post.

It’s a matter of personal taste (and you’re advised that I may have none) and no harm intended.  My condolences for your loss.

And the Good News About Incense Is?

Score a great find by Madison Avenue Mike in this one:  “Killer Germs” Obliterated by Medicinal Smoke (Smudging), Study Reveals.”

I read this and my brain fired off in 10-directions at once.

The most important thought?  Is is possible that smudging (or its cousin incense burning) could be valuable for protecting people from airborne pathogens in general?

Next time anyone gets sick around here, we may light up (some incense) and see if it helps.

Scientifically it would be meaningless, but it can sure be a mood enhancer.

OK, off to work on Peoplenomics, which is focusing tomorrow on Templates, Boundaries, and Logical Limits of this here made-up economy.

Write when you break-even


25 thoughts on “Coping: With Bank Runs and Chaos”

  1. Good God George! As an ex-emergency dispatcher, (and admittedly someone who collects maps) I find your tale of woe regarding your GPS to be ‘disturbing’. So I am to believe (at least according to your own words) that because you rely on said device to the exclusion of more traditional methods i.e. reliable paper maps that one can look at before ‘hitting the road’ – you are in the position of the unfortunate group of people who get ‘lost’.

    As in your case – most people only lose time – but some who follow the GPS without looking at a map beforehand lose more – I know of two families on two separate occasions, who followed the shortcuts provided by the so helpful device, got stuck in the wilderness and died . . .

    Oh, no you say that would never happen to me – but then you bring up the problem at the bank . . . if time is a factor . . . call ahead . . . and Mondays are always going to be a problem at many businesses . . . (And I thought Love Field was relatively famous . . .)

    Sorry, but what you said ‘just blew me away’! Mental maps are important too!

    • Actually, it was more an experiment to my way of thinking….I was arguing all the way to Dallas about whether the new CD would be worth it…

  2. Our family is Eastern European and Funerals are more of a forced reunion, complete with jokes and large sit down meals, and a general festive mood.
    Traffic … i am a pro football fan, and due entirely to traffic I gave up season club tickets for my fav team. The traffic hassle and wasted time just drove me crazy.

  3. I’ve always refused to use a GPS for anything, though I don’t mind the idea of having it as a backup. Walmart sells an variation of the Rand McNally road atlas with all the Walmart locations listed in it, and it costs about $8.99. That seems like a good price for something that gets used rarely, but would be helpful in a bind. Unfortunately, nothing other that recent updates can prepare you for construction season, and that seems to be almost all year long.

    The best use of GPS for me is when hiking in the wilderness and finding something I want to return to, to get the coordinates down and mark them on a map.

    BTW, the best transportation in a big city is a reliable motorcycle(with a competent rider, of course). Unfortunately, it does have a load limit.

  4. Smudging is well regarded here in the mountain states. We tend toward white sage, and it does make a difference in the feel of the place. I can’t speak to the scientific reasons, but I can tell the difference.

  5. George, I’m surprised, as someone who is as tech savvy as you didn’t look at Google Earth or Maps, or anything at home long before you ever thought about sitting your butt in the seat of your chosen conveyance. Even a glance at the highway department’s blog to check on possible construction delays and detours that your car may not have access to. I’ve seen too many people blindly trust the device in their hand to tell them where to go without already knowing where it was they were headed. But then I have been accused of being a bit primitive.

  6. Cheapness can be costly. Love Field was problematic back in the early 70’s. What has changed?
    Mapquest with directions before you left the ranch would have done it.
    I have a recent hi$ Garmin Works very well.
    Also Google on the IPhone now speaks directions. The Apple Map does also
    U do need to get out more.
    Read your stuff daily thanks

  7. Being an engineer for so many years has reinforced Murphy’s Law to the point that triple redundancy is a normal state of mind. I would have left home with a printed map from Google, Garmin with address pre-entered and a phone and a tablet so I would have access to Google Maps. But then, being a woman maybe I am just extra paranoid about getting lost.

  8. Wunderlist is a great tool! This type of tool falls in line with your view of lists! Isn’t it ironic you just mentioned the importance of lists this last week? It is just one more way to make the smart phone productive! The original version for personal use that just has the list functionality and email support is free.
    I am happy for the owners/developers, they will make big bucks on the sale… but sad for users as its now one of Microsoft’s products. :(

  9. If you hate traffic DO NOT come to Seattle area we are under water With Calif escapees Traffic is unbelieveable and every thing is under construction or just blocked off for the hell of it. That also includes Tacoma, We have a Farm out in Yelm area and just hate to have to go anywhere north.

  10. So we can’t manage Positive Train Control but we can have a nationwide fleet of surveillance aircraft hiding behind fictitious company names (BTW, isn’t that illegal?).

    And all this “monitoring” is being done by the same government that accidentally sends out live anthrax all over the country, routinely seizes citizen assets and allows 67 out of 70 threats thru their airport “security”.

    Makes me feel warm all over, or is that flopsweat?

  11. “And if I don’t see another human all day (except family, of course) that’d be just fine with me.”

    Yeah, I second that thought. Your comment about witches may actually rooted the other way around: people shun other people and liked the less verbose critter, hence they MUST be a witch.

    Anyways, I live smack in the middle of “Stop-Light City” Evansville (I call it E’ville), and it was ok when I was childless. With two kids, I’d run fast screaming to the outer edges and beyond if I could afford to do it. We are working diligently to get the hell out and onto 5 acres or more with a modest home in neighboring Spencer co. Until then, I quietly avoid what I can and clench my teeth with a bizarre grin on that which is unavoidable. City life sucks rotten eggs.

  12. Instead of a new cd for your gps, which may not be up to date when you get it and certainly will not stay up to date, buy yourself a used 4g iPad for a couple hundred dollars, being sure it has a gps chip in it. Then, when needed, you pay for one month of unlimited service, around $10 or so, and stick it up in your windshield. This will give you turn by turn instructions for pretty much anywhere in the world. Maps will always be current, but problem is you will then realize what a piece of crap your kindles are, because the best kindle in the world is the software written for iOS devices. (I replaced 11 devices with my iPhone 4S a $200 device.)

    When my wife asked why a smartphone, I told her, it’s easier to learn how to use one now, rather than waiting until our seventies and have to figure it all out then when we are forced to. Now you would have to pry it from Her cold, dead hands.

    I chide your son for not whipping out his smartphone and not only navigating you home, but also checking traffic reports to smooth your trip.

    Going into any major city in the world without a smartphone is like going with severe cataracts. You will make it, but your experience will be rife with stumbling, numbing, frustration, as you now well know. It’s like having a lifetime resident with you as a personal tour guide only better. Cities and commerce now in the USA are designed for smartphone users. Not having one cripples a person as much as a physical handicap. And more importantly, if you don’t have one, nobody gives a damn whether they have your business or not. Look in the mirror and see your sad face when you read this, I saw it many times on the faces of seniors when I told them that their dial up Internet put them into a class where nobody cared if they could access their websites or not.

    And btw, millions use their smartphone to handle their lists and to do schedules with BUILT IN CALENDARING AND NOTIFICATIONS! No need to buy a program trapped in a computer. My “honey do” list pops up on all my device screens promptly at 9am every day, courtesy of my wife. She can add items to my shopping list even when I am halfway to the city. You can even set notifications by location, so when you drive by the paint store it will remind you to pick up another gallon of paint for next weeks project, and in some cities can even tell you what is on sale in the store you are walking by. And those big maps in the mall? You don’t see any young people looking at them, do you?

    Bragging about how much technological denial you are in does not make you self determining or powerful, it just costs you more in many ways, and makes you irrelevant in the country you chose to retire in. You say you are not retired, but your choices are retiring you from relevancy in your economic system.

    Don’t be like the person who destroys his aging shoulder using a handsaw for his project, while a power saw lays unused six feet away. Retro is a hobby, not a lifestyle.

    • And how much do you pay a month to have your Smart Phone? Bet it is a LOT more than my Tracfone.

    • iam glad i got my first smartphone a few months ago it just blew me away i am going on 64 and my eldest daughter said welcome to the new age dad , my moto e cost $99 from republic wireless with an option of four plans plan 1. $5.00 a month .plan 2 . 10 a month , plan 3. $25 a month , plan4 is $45 a month —– i am on the 10 dollar plan for now i can change between any of the 4 plans 2 times a month without xtra charges—

  13. Re: the geek debt crisis, anynone w2anna take a slippery bet on a Grease default?? didnt think so….

  14. Picking up G2 from DAL should be a relatively easy (albeit somewhat spendy) proposition using the Mouse. Depart PSN to the north, after about 3,000 MSL turn left direct to REDDN and expect vectors to final for a visual at DAL. Contact approach as soon as you can raise them. Of course the landing fees may be a real bite, approach may vector you to hell and back to stay out of the way of jets, and the Mouse might get relegated to outer Mongolia on the ramp while you wait for his arrival – but you’d avoid the car traffic at least! Well, come to think of it, I haven’t been around DAL or DFW in quite a while so I’m just assuming unannounced itinerate VFR flights are still allowed there.

  15. “I” would not own a GPS – give me a paper map – even an older one. But then I love maps and older Atlases as well and learned how to read maps and tell direction by where the sun is in the sky – unless it’s not there but hiding behind clouds or the other side of earth. Google maps is ok – I use them and print out interchanges where I want to get off – I certainly don’t try to print a whole map from there. If you still have problems – print off the written directions or write them down. You folks that like and “trust” these modern day newest electronic crap (and you tell me about what an EMP can do) I find hilarious.

    then: #1 – you still use a “bank” and not a credit union – and then #2 – if you are going to use a bank – Bank of America??? This town had three branches – they closed the main branch down a year or so back, now the other two branches are closing.

    That leaves a “Canadian” owned bank, the local bank that used to be the “National” bank, and First Federal – now working against 4 very decent credit unions.

  16. The burning of herbs, saps and essential oils for medicinal purposes is ancient. Look up Kohl and you will see that the black “smudge” used to darken eyes in desert countries is created by putting a brass bowl over a lit brazier of medicinal herbs. The resulting soot is very protective, not just for deflecting sunlight but also for protecting the eyes from biting flies, bad bacteria, and other disease vectors. There’s an essential-oil blend anciently called “thieves oil” that was worn by pickpockets in the plague years that allowed them to stay healthy while pawing through the piles of dead bodies to collect jewelry. All the materials used to make incense have antibacterial, antiviral, anti-fungal properties, and some of them (frankincense and myrrh especially) have psychoactive properties as well. Check out _The Fragrant Mind_ by Valerie Anne Worwood. This is a HUGE subject that we moderns are mostly ignorant of.

  17. Buy an updated cd on eBay it’s not 150 and it works . We use as a backup as use bad elf and iPad

  18. “smuddging” – I am reminded of what was called “thief’s oil” as something to try as a airborne anti-microbial.

    “unemployed tellers” – See how tellers are now cube-farm dwellers.

    And over on planet money – how you’ll be automated out of a job. Like the tellers.

  19. George, about a year ago, I found out that Bank of America’s drive throughs and lobbies are not open after 4:00 during the week in Austin. I could not believe it!!! Shut down their hours without a peep. They also did not announce that they no longer take cash deposits from non account holders. So that means if a person wants to put $50 in their nieces BOA account for her birthday, they cannot do it. They will accept a check but not cash deposits. I think the net is tightening very subtly everywhere; I would get out of BOA if I were you, but you may not have much of a choice there in the outback…Wells Fargo is not any better but they still do have extended drive through hours and operate in grocery stores, etc., which have extended Saturday hours. Chase here in Austin, in the lobby, is the same as BOA….too many people and not enough tellers….sometimes you can wait 15 minutes at the drive through to do business, too. Just my .02.

    • But look at the bright side! Instead of Bank Runs we will have Bank Idles…and they are here today without the usual boatload of drive-by urinalistas…

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