Inflation, delays, courtesy and more

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Dan offers a series of disjointed thoughts and ramblings from the Hamptons…

STEPHEN BREYER

Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer’s last day of work was June 30. He had served on the Supreme Court for decades, voting this way and that on various matters that came to the attention of the court. One day in the late 1980s, he showed up in East Hampton to officiate third base at the annual Artist & Writers charity softball game. Things were safe or over. By honest or dishonest means. The game’s 74th year is scheduled for August 20th at 2pm at the Sandlot softball field behind the Stop & Shop supermarket on Newtown Lane. So he has enough time to prepare.

WEATHER WARNINGS

I get weather warnings sent to my cell phone. They are always negative.

“The rain will start around 3:18 p.m. It’s going to be intense.”

“Tornado alert. Tornadoes are possible between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. today in eastern Long Island.”

“Stormy winds will occur from Tuesday afternoon to 9 a.m. Wednesday.”

“Alfredo formed in the South Atlantic.”

In the last six months I have received almost 200 notifications. The negativity is depressing and annoying. I think for balance reasons an equal number of positive alerts should be sent.

“Rainbows may appear over eastern Long Island between 2pm and 7pm today.”

“Tomorrow it will be a pleasant 79 degrees, only a few wispy clouds are moving across the sky: a breathtakingly beautiful summer’s day.”

How much does a banana cost in the Hamptons?Getty Images

INFLATION

Inflation in America is 9.1%, above the 7% rate in 2021. First and foremost, prices at the pump. The gasoline index rose by a seasonally adjusted 11.2% in June. My personal way of measuring inflation is with bananas. Here in the Hamptons a year ago a banana was 25 cents in a convenience store. A banana bought in the supermarket cost 50 cents. A banana at an upscale deli was 75 cents and a banana at a fancy health food store was $1.25. This year, a banana in a convenience store costs 50 cents, a banana in a supermarket costs 75 cents, a banana in a fancy market costs $1 and a banana in a fancy health food store costs $2. All bananas are picked by a worker who climbs the same type of tree for the same type of banana.

Banana inflation goes bananas. And nobody tells you. So now you know.

TREADMILLS

Every time I see people on a treadmill at a gym somewhere, I think of the experiment we did back in college science class with a squirrel on a treadmill. The squirrel’s running lit a lightbulb in the cage.

Countries whose citizens work in factories don’t have treadmills. Their efforts while at work are enough to keep them healthy.

However, Americans are sedentary. So we jog. What if anyone running either on a treadmill or on the street could transfer the power to the grid? I think it would make the country shine. We could completely wean ourselves off gas, coal and oil. Just run and run and run.

COURTESY

I think a positive attitude and appreciation for what we have would bring goodness back into our lives.

Start with Siri and Alexa. Everyone is busy with these two.

“Hello Siri?”

“Mmmm?”

“What is the capital of Georgia?”

“It’s Atlanta. I hope it helps.”

“It will for sure. Many Thanks.”

“You’re welcome. Enjoy the day.”

“You too.”

“Give my regards to your family.”

These subtleties could easily be programmed into Siri and Alexa. And mercy can lead to respecting the Ten Commandments or whatever other cultures apply to it.

Slowing down, expressing appreciation, thinking of others, smiling and making new friends – this could be a start.

And it is already in progress with telephone representatives.

“My mistake. My apologies. Is there anything else I can help you with?”

Unfortunately, this only happens with companies that have after-call rating systems. Press 1 for least satisfied and 5 for most satisfied. So they know they’re under the gun.

Edvin
Edwin “Buzz Aldrin” poses with US flag on the moon, Photo: NASA

MOON EXPERIMENT

In 1969, America sent two astronauts, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, to the moon. They landed on the surface, hoisted an American flag, and scooped up some lunar soil. It was the first time anyone from Earth set foot on another celestial body. After the astronauts successfully landed in the Pacific Ocean, NASA scientists in protective gear took the bottle of lunar dust to a laboratory, where, concerned that this dust might be toxic and kill humans, they fed some to roaches to see what could happen.

Nothing has happened. The cockroaches went about their business. However, NASA still advertised cautiously, contracting researchers from across the US to join the experiment and see if the three roaches had been harmed. They didn’t. After the experiment, a Minnesota entomologist stored the dead bugs in her home, and her daughter later sold the materials.

Around June 25, RR Auction in Boston received a letter from NASA. NASA had become aware that RR Auction had acquired the first vial of soil and dead roaches and was now listing the material for sale to the highest bidder at an upcoming collectors auction. The expected retail price would be more than $40,000.

NASA said these items all still belonged to NASA. NASA never gave permission. The dirt and cockroaches had to be returned.

Eager journalists delved into the matter, trying to see if this bastard’s “pedigree” would show RR what was what.

DELAYS

I think the problem with shipping delays is caused by Amazon. Before Amazon, truckers delivered goods to the stores, you drove there, got your stuff and drove home.

I estimate that about half of the goods in America are trucked to Amazon warehouses where they are sorted and then shipped directly to you. You don’t have to do anything. Neither do about 200 million other adult Americans. Since we are no longer in the picture, the trucking industry is bearing an enormous new burden. Since no great effort has been made to train a million more truckers, the support is there.

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