Friday, May 02, 2014



OK, I've got to vent a bit about 1 WTC again, which is nearing completion in the Big Apple. But someone has to point out a few absurdities of the entire fiasco, might as well be me.  First I want to state I always thought it kind of crazy to hurry up and rebuild the tallest building in town, just because some bloody furriners finally got through our defenses to do some major damage. Can you imagine? A whole building of non-combatants killed in order to get our attention. Kind of reminded us of the dastardly Pearl Harbor attack 60 years ago. Although the body count was about the same, (3,000) our frustration was really a problem as we couldn't blame any one country for it. However, our dear president Bush II and his cronies were able to invade a couple of countries to tighten up our oil supply, with hardly any resistance from our representatives in Congress. Ten years later we're trying extricate ourselves from it, while the rag-heads can start killing each other again. They even have the same religion, for Allah's sake!

  But I digress.   Where to begin? As an architect/engineer the whole thing is fraught with so many over the top ideas it brings me to tears.  Let's begin with the height. Some idiot picked the number 1776 to be the height of the replacement. But that's not really the height. It is the height of a 400 foot (40 stories) mast. the height of the roof is the same as the height of the twin towers that collapsed (1368 ft).  It appears this building is designed to be "sustainable after being hit by a 747 aircraft.  This is crazy!  Why not sell it to Target and paint a huge bullseye on each side?

  Let's look at some stats.  This is the most expensive building ever built. Originally estimated to be $1.5 billion, it has gone up to about $3.9 billion!  Wait, there's more. The first 186 ft is a windowless base of steel and concrete, 5 ft thick.  24 steel columns, so huge, they had to be made in Luxembourg (do you know how teenie a country that is?), as they were the heaviest in the world & we couldn't do it here. These, with the added concrete form a 5 ft protective barrier from a truck bomb on the nearby street. Just as well, there was no room there for office space, anyway, as the core & elevators, stairs took up all the room. 

  Anyway, the tall building folks were not fair in voting it to be the tallest in US. Just because they added a giant mast to it. But some criteria for tall building require the highest usable space to be the top. Not even close here. It appears that the top couple of hundred feet are mechanical floors. I maintain the Chicago tower is still the highest.   You don't see the citizens of Dresden, Germany, and Tokyo, Japan running to build on what is now called "Sacred Pit" and we killed 100,000 in each hell Fire.

   I'm only  upset by our knee jerk over reaction quasi religious hullaballoo and massive  squandering of money on a project that could have been completed with  with some real thought going in to such a huge project and maybe save a few billion along the way.


 Since I strongly believe that our form of government (State & Federal) is suffering from a bad case of Democralerosis (Too much democracy), i searched my The Federalist again for an answer to this enigma. Madison's No. 10 anticipated something of this before the Constitution was adopted. He talked about factions are hard to resist in a Democracy but much easier in a Republic. I guess at the time, it didn't seem possible how much power Lobbyists were to wield, and how much money would be available for the poor legislator to resist.  If the term "Everyone has his price", how many can resist a juicy little extra something, even though most of them are already millionaires.

  It has been said that citizens should be familiar with three foundations of our Republic; The Bill of Rights, The Constitution and the Federalist Papers.  The papers were essays written weekly before the constitution was ratified.   I always wonder how many of our legislators have even heard of them.

  One of Madison's observations was that the problem would get out of hand as states were added. This is a tremendous view, as maybe part of our problem is the hundreds of politicians, who are wrangling at this time, from the addition of nearly forty more states since that time. .  Also, remember the alternate to a Federal government that was being considered at the time was to divide the 13 states into three small nations, probably to fight each other forever, or maybe that would have avoided the civil war?


  Things are heating up around my house again as Joy and I are preparing for another trip to Europe in the Spring. Not so simple this time as we are traveling with a couple of friends as well as a couple of my kids. Fortunately, Joy has become a real tour guide from our experiences on about ten trips before. She can transform an economy seat on the plane into a First Class (Use of Admirals Club!) by throwing our 'miles'  at them. Now we couldn't possibly be seen in the 'cattle car' section of the aircraft. That's not as easy as they make it sound, even though we charge nearly everything on our 'miles' card, even our property taxes. since 1988, we have spent about twenty weeks in Paris alone, Mostly on the Left Bank (Rive Gauche) among the art galleries. Our favorite sidewalk Cafe ,Le Frigate, is in an unlikely spot, right across the Seine overlooking the Pont Royal
 bridge and the Louvre. It's an incredibly busy street, very noisy, but so very interesting! Motorcycles, Smart cars, policia vans with their wonderful two tone siren, tour buses from all over Europe,  hot babes on scooters. See my map of or digs in Paris on the left.


  A couple of years ago (Seems like yesterday) I left off describing my various incarnations on the way to here & now.  Let's see, I left off when I was a sperm whale (love the term!) I had a real need to be out of water as I already breath the air, so it wasn't long before I was buzzing around in a mosquito body, sucking blood from beings like me now. I wonder, if time doesn't really exist, if it is possible to run into yourself in a different body. Let's let that one go, and set me up in a nice humming bird , flying from Argentina to California every year, fighting off all my friends in order not to share any of he meager food these flowers provide.  I especially liked my time as a ladder back wood pecker, banging my brains out on telephone poles and trees.  I might mention one of my stints in the aviary kingdom was the time I spent as a small dinosaur, feathers and all, except I couldn't even get off the ground to fly, but I could really speed around on my two hind legs. Wasn't much different from my chicken life, laying eggs around in a nice barnyard somewhere in Persia.  Finally got into four legs as a cheetah, really had a ball running around the Serengeti. Fell into a really boring life as a house cat for some folks in Boston, man, did I ever have it easy there, eat, drink & sleep all the time, but didn't live very long, I was glad to be a bull elephant for a hundred years or more before i finally fell into a humanoid form. This form really was a drag as it lasted for thousands of years, although there were some highlights, like the times I was a geisha in Japan, a lot better than the damn Zen monk later on. Anyway, I finally got into Lamonts body and here I am, describing my long and interesting ride thru all the species. I remember them well,  We'll see how long this one lasts, maybe a few short years more in human form, then I''ll be one with god.  You know what? i wouldn't have missed the trip for anything, as if i could.  I hope I didn't miss anything, I did start out this excursion in the plant kingdom, didn't I?  You know, you can get some idea of your past times by noting the books, objects that interest you (or repel). I can't get enough of sailing ships of the line and their crews, also wars with Wellington, Napoleon as well as Alexander the Great. What grater thrill than reading about his shenanigans when i was getting married in Greece. Walking the ancient stones of Athens, Rome, as I felt such a kinship with the city planners of 500 BC around the Aegean Sea.