In Australia, they call them mozzies

What’s the deal with the mosquitoes this year? Have you seen them in such numbers before? They’re attacking in mass, and there’s nothing you can do about it. We’ll all succumb to some sort of mosquito borne disease before the summer is over. It got so bad in my yard last weekend that my bug zapper shorted out.

And, what’s the deal with this rain? We either wake up to rain or sun streams through our bedroom window in the morning before clouds punch-in and the deluge follows.
What about the beach? Have you been to the beach yet this summer? Talk about wet sand, even your summer reading came home soggy. If you have a Kindle; have you purchased the new Kindle screen wiper? It has intermittent speeds, which is nice.

Your summer reading schedule at the beach can be saved with the new iWiper. Beach umbrella planted, beach chair adjusted, mosquito spray handy and your electronic mark activated; now you’re ready to read.

A Forbes Magazine article predicted that Amazon will begin discounting its Kindle books, which are actually a book toll, if you think about it. Amazon may push its competition, such as Barnes and Noble, out of the eBook business. But not so fast; it is also reporting that Barnes and Noble will give away its Nook, starting as a special for this Christmas. But one thing the Forbes article stressed: back-list books – which number 40 percent of all books. Those are the books that are only available in hardbound or paperback versions. Those are the books I read. They smell good, you can save them and stack them on your book shelf seeing their binding and remembering their contents. A book should be a bound, not just bits or bites on a screen.

But on the other hand, for an author to get his book published in book form is not very easy. If you want your lifelong dream published, it will most likely end up a self-published paperback or an eBook. A self-published book could end up starting at the bottom of the list on Amazon. “We Won the Vietnam War” by a local writer entered the market at number 1,310,201. Therefore, it could be difficult (not to discourage a budding author), if a publisher is found, you could climb the list quickly or be added to bookshelves at the only real bookstore I know of – Barnes and Noble.

One local author, Leonard Adkins, who has been published by Arcadia Publishing, has more than a local following. Anyone who is interested in solace, a physical challenge or the scenes the Appalachian Trail can offer, will enjoy this book. Bringing into focus, hiking the Trail five times, Adkins has taken a road less traveled and is referred to as the “the habitual hiker.”

Hiking was a passion of mine many, many years ago. If I wanted to hike some of the trails my fellow hikers and I wandered some 35 years ago, things would have changed so much it would not be as fun or maybe recognizable anymore.

What were winding roads leading to the base of Mr. Adkin’s Appalachian’s where we hiked is now an Interstate. It makes it easier  for a vehicle to cross some of the gorges but ruins the experience for hikers. A view of an Interstate bridge just doesn’t seem right in the wilderness. It’s like paying for parking at the concrete garage at the trail head and then visiting a taco stand before your hike.

It’s getting more difficult to get away from progress and what was an ever increasing mishmash of Interstates and five-lane highways. Why do, or did, we keep building roads?  Congestion, according to the Reason Foundation. When you head to the beach packing that summer read or head to the trail head; you are more than likely to encounter vehicle congestion. There’s no walking the Appalachian Trail if there’s too much traffic to get to a trail head.

“Beginning in late 2008 and continuing into 2009 and 2010, Federal stimulus funding contributed an additional 22 percent to funding resources. These events have given the states some breathing room in addressing long-delayed construction work and may have led to better overall system performance. But looking forward, the recession also slowed Federal and state fuel tax revenues, making future repairs more difficult,” the Reason group reports.

The Reason Foundation promotes privatization of new roads. If you’re headed to the Outer Banks you’ll pay a toll. But recently you’ve read articles about the Australian company that lost to foreclosure of the tolled 895 connector to the airport access road and Interstate 295. This same company has been extremely successful in its home country. Why is that?

In Europe and other developed countries, their citizen drivers are used to tolls and rather accept them. We in the State grumble and grouse about them, including me. But I feel like they are the wave of the future that will eventually swallow us like a five-foot wave at the beach, just when it stopped raining, and it may just be a little more expensive to get to the Appalachian Trail and those boots that create a few less blisters may be just a little less affordable – got to save for those tolls. 


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