Why the French Want to Stop Working

If you want to understand why the French overwhelmingly oppose raising their official retirement age from 62 to 64, you could start by looking at last week’s enormous street protest in Paris.

Retirement before arthritis read one handwritten sign. Leave us time to live before we die said another. One elderly protester was dressed ironically as “a banker” with a black top hat, bow tie, and cigar—like the Mr. Monopoly mascot of the board game. “It’s the end of the beans!” he exclaimed to the crowd, using a popular expression to mean that pension reform is the last straw…

France is not alone with this problem. Rich countries everywhere are facing similar demographic challenges, and pushing up their retirement ages to cope. The advocates of reform in France should have more room to maneuver than most, because retirements here last an average of about 25 years, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. That’s among the longest in Europe, where retirements even out at about 22 years, and well above the average retirement duration in the United States, where people now live for about 16 years after they stop working…

Well-written with reasonable explanation(s). Europeans will – I think – get it before many Americans. But, that ain’t the point either. Reflect upon the article’s conclusions – especially the direction presumed of a changing and growing economy.

Wooden Ships

My favorite version. David Crosby, Graham Nash, Grace Slick. Doing nothing but making beautiful music together.

Yes, I remember moments like this in my life back in the day. Never wanted to work hard enough at it to find the big time. Singing with folks who wanted to hear the music, the words, feel the sound and emotion…was always enough. Even after I stopped.

We’re going to miss you, David.

Haven’t noticed, yet? Drones already delivering pizza.


A self-piloting Zipline drone drops a package on a test flight

Drone deliveries could be dropping into your life, too, as the technology involved matures and expands beyond isolated test projects. In 2023, drones could replace vans and your own trip to the store when you need medicine, takeout dinners, cordless drill batteries or dishwasher soap.

Today, Alphabet Wing drones reach hundreds of thousands of people in Australia, Finland and Texas and will expand its service in 2023, according to Jonathan Bass, who runs marketing for the business. “I would expect those to go into the millions,” he said of the number of people Wing will be able to reach.

Today, Alphabet Wing drones reach hundreds of thousands of people in Australia, Finland and Texas and will expand its service in 2023, according to Jonathan Bass, who runs marketing for the business. “I would expect those to go into the millions,” he said of the number of people Wing will be able to reach.

Looking forward to the projected rapid expansion. With increased availability over recent years, our pickup and delivery orders have increased dramatically. Mostly grocery shopping. And I see every reason for this sort of option – if affordable – to increase share and frequency of deliveries.

Some say…”Electric Vehicles are bringing out the worst in us”

American car executives keep insisting that there is no trade-off between saving the planet and having a hell of a good time behind the wheel. “What I find particularly gratifying,” Ford’s executive chair, Bill Ford, said in April as he unveiled his company’s new electric truck, “is not only is this a green F-150, but it’s a better F-150 … You’re actually gaining things that the internal combustion engine doesn’t have.” Mary Barra, the CEO of General Motors, sounded equally bullish in a recent social-media post: “Once you’ve experienced an [electric vehicle] and all it has to offer—the torque, handling, performance, capability—you’re in.”

The pitch is enticing, but it raises a few questions. Is the electric F-150 Lightning “better” than the conventional F-150 if its added weight and size deepen the country’s road-safety crisis? And how, exactly, are electric-vehicle drivers going to use the extra power that companies are handing them?…

Converting the transportation system from fossil fuels to electricity is essential to addressing climate change. But automakers’ focus on large, battery-powered SUVs and trucks reinforces a destructive American desire to drive something bigger, faster, and heavier than everyone else.

And that question raised in conjunction with what smallish discussion there is among American consumers about battery-electric cars…sounds like, feels like, every discussion I’ve wandered into about more power, different power methods, in the last seventy years of my life. Not that the discussion originated with me. That just covers the time on this wee planet I’ve spent as a car nut, a hot rodder, sports car jockey and rally car navigator.

I honestly feel it’s over-emphasized in the article. Excepting me, my immediate and even somewhat-extended portions of our family are fairly representative consumers of automotive gear. Most of our vehicles are US-made cars and pickup trucks. They already include a few hybrids…usually driven as designed with a significant portion of all driving done on electric power. We can announce our “gas mileage” is 50 or 70 or 90 miles per gallon (today, in fact) when we’re out running errands to town in my wife’s Ford Maverick Hybrid.

What I see of the folks in our small community driving hybrids from the host of brands already midway to full-electric commitment, our driving styles haven’t changed a jot from prior. The same holds true of the few Teslas in the neighborhood. Aside from that subtly different nose, that crew is mostly identifiable by the sudden sprouting of solar panels atop their garages.

Boxing Day!

We don’t celebrate any of the religion-based holidaze in our household. We DO celebrate all the footie that makes it onto the telly as part of festivities.

Already on our 2nd match of the day and we’re watching 2 of my favorite clubs. So, cheering for both sides, I guess. Though Frank Lampard coaching Everton still a warm spot in my heart from so many years seeing him as a key player in the EPL.

FINAL, Everton 1 – 2 Wolves. Wolves scored in the final minute of stoppage after regular time.

Yes, Blondie rocks…

Been a musician too long to be concerned about when a song is written (1st version 1974), first hit recording of it (1978) or oddments (one of the first recordings with computer-generated percussion).

The song is still rocking sweet…mostly because of Debbie Harry. Solid pitch.