Things I don’t see when walking

I never know what I’m going to see when I’m walking. One thing I’ve discovered is what I want to ‘see’ when I walk.

If I want to observe, I walk someplace new and fresh. That way, I can explore on what my eyes focus.

On the other hand, when I prefer to let my mind wander, I seek the familiar places… like the vacant lots where Bernie and Chris play and investigate.

That’s where we went this morning.

It was fifty-nine degrees at almost seven o’clock this November 29, 2017. The sun was struggling but losing to a total overcast of various gray colored cloud levels.

We drove the familiar thirteen-mile ride to the undeveloped community of paved streets and sidewalks and streetlights and cleared housing lots with silent walls enclosing the area.

Yes, there was some background construction noise. But it was muted by the distance. I mused on recent events I experienced.

Especially, our future currency. We are a nation of paper currency, and the world is rapidly evolving to be digital. When will digital currency replace paper?

For all practical purposes, it already is. I have a wallet with some paper bills. It’s been quite some time since I’ve had very many coins rattling in my pocket.

With that thought, I glanced around. Bernie and Chris were playing nearby. What I didn’t see was a common fixture most city dwellers find.

Parking meters.

I thought it would be interesting to do a bit of research on that symbol of modern times. Right off the bat, this was what some folks experienced recently in Oregon City, Oregon.  no parking meter400  Thieves cut the metal pole and stole the entire meter during the overnight hours. The meters don’t contain a lot of money since they are frequently emptied. But they cost about a thousand dollars to replace.

In Houston, Texas last March more than thirty-five meters were sawed off, presenting a uniform appearance on a single street.

Parking meters have been with us for decades. Here’s a photo of one from the 1940’s.  ca 1940-400 Once the government decided it was a way to fund itself, we were doomed.

full mechanical450  This fully mechanical Duncan brand parking meter accepted U.S. pennies, nickels, and dimes.

Although I’ve never seen them, here’s a very modern version that accepts not only coins but bills, credit, debit and prepaid cards.  accept everything430

One of the latest examples is an in-vehicle parking meter, the EasyPark device by Pax. in vechicle parking meter400

On the other hand, people have become increasingly frustrated by having to pay for parking. In many cases, overpay because the machine malfunctioned.

One group of citizens banded together (FullDisclosure Network) and published a YouTube video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lkd srDafEA

It is an interesting view of how the city “needs money.”  The video originally viewed November 6, 2010. I presume the situation has been resolved. At the time the machines effectively functioned, so the meter resulted in citizens getting sixty dollars fine when trying to use a public park.

YouTube is a wonderful piece of technology. Park for free: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c2CZ6yHJdBs How to Hack a Parking Meter. Use a quarter, put it partway… hold for a minute until the meter reads “out of order.” (I presume that cute gimmick was fixed.)

While my walks can focus my eyes on interesting sights, other times these pleasant strolls expand my thoughts.

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