I get grumpy when it gets this hot. I think my irritation goes up with the relative humidity. I was going to take it out on my friends, family, co-workers, small children and animals, but they don’t deserve that, now do they? So I’m going to take it out on you.

Yep, I’m going to wring out all of my frustration into some ink and throw it onto this page for you to digest. Warning: it will most definitely cause heartburn. But I do thank you in advance for your help in this matter. Better grab some Pepcid though.

The entire state of Alabama goes to the Farnborough Air Show

Look, I know we need SOME of our leaders representing our city and state at the Farnborough Air Show. Of course, we do. But did we really need over 20 from Mobile and Baldwin alone? And 90 from the state?

Flight demonstrations and business deals are the centerpiece of the annual Farnborough International Airshow near London.

Flight demonstrations and business deals are the centerpiece of the annual Farnborough International Airshow near London.

Perhaps we did. I’m not sure. But at first blush, it seems a bit excessive. It would be interesting to hear what each person on the trip’s role was and what was individually accomplished. I’m sure it was worth every one of our pennies for some of these folks to be over there, but if our tax money just paid for the rest of these guys and gals to see Big Ben and Parliament on our dime, while all they did is shake some dude’s hand at a wine and cheese (or fish and chips?) reception for five seconds and say “we sure hope you’ll come to Mobile, y’all,” I really don’t see the value in that.

I’m not saying that’s what happened. I’m saying I don’t know what happened over there, but I would like to. And I’d also like to know who makes the decision on who will be part of this delegation. Is it anyone who just says, “Oh I’m going”? Or is there a reasonable human being who can say, “Well, we already have two members of the council representing us, a third would probably be a waste of our sweet, precious constituents’ tax money” OR “We already have one commissioner representing us. Do we really need two out of the three there?”

Does anyone have the authority to say that? Is there any “I’m going to this one, you can go the next one” kind of planning going on among these bodies? Or is just a free for all that certainly ain’t free?

Our roads are completely awful in Mobile. At least one councilperson complains about ditches all the time. We have an empty cruise terminal and a maritime museum that still hasn’t opened (although I think it’s finally getting closer). Our employees can’t get raises. The park in my neighborhood is so overgrown right now it’s unusable.

We have no money for any of these things but we can travel the globe at will? These travel budgets add up. What could we have accomplished at home with this money over the years? Could one park have been cleaned up – even just a little? Or at the very least mowed? Could one sign have been repaired? Or one little stretch of these hideous roads resurfaced?

Are these suppliers all twenty-something of you are courting going to want to come to a place where we can’t even provide them with a decent infrastructure for their trucks to transport their goods? Or with quality of life services their employees desire?

This is why we can’t have nice things, people.

Again, I know some travel is needed, but all we are asking as constituents is for it to be done efficiently and strategically. One or two representatives from each body should certainly be enough. Rotate it. Be open and upfront about how it’s organized and planned and let us know why the benefits justify the cost for each trip.

Do those simple things for us and we’ll say, “Bon Voyage.”

Back off BayFest

BayFest announced its lineup last Friday, and I thought it was one of the best and most diverse ones they have ever had – a perfect way for the festival to celebrate its 20th anniversary. With Alabama, Kid Rock, Stone Temple Pilots, Ludacris, Earth, Wind and Fire, Amos Lee, Ceelo Green, Trombone Shorty and many more set to hit the streets of downtown Oct. 3-5, they are catering to many different tastes this year.

But still, some people took to social media to say how horrible they thought the lineup was. I know everyone would like to program their own personal music festival. I sure would, but if I did, only about 50 people would show up.

Everyone’s musical preferences are so different, there is no way BayFest can please everyone for the whole weekend. The ticket prices are still very reasonable for a three-day event, especially compared to other festivals. The weather is usually absolutely glorious and if you just can’t find a band you like during a certain block, the people watching is almost just as fabulous.

I love just walking around downtown with the kids listening to a few songs on one stage and then heading over to another to catch a few tunes at another, even if it’s not my favorite band. It’s a good event for our city.
Quit your whining and support it. Grrrrr.

OK, I feel better now. Anybody want ice cream?