Modern World Life Hacks Summer Storm-Podcast 677

I think it is fair to say we’re living in a completely different time than just a few years ago. Messaging, alerts, constant interruptions. People complain they’re working twenty four hours a day because they have to be available around the clock. In Modern World Life Hacks Summer Storm-Podcast 677 I share my hacks to stay sane. What are yours?

Maintaining Composure

Especially relevant is the need to stay in a positive state of mind. This can be difficult when you’re responding to text messages, emails, clients or bosses at three in the morning. Content creators and creative people can find the need to stay connected constantly the most difficult.

Enjoying A Summer Storm

My contribution to your peace of mind? Sitting on the porch during a summer storm. What about the things that interest me. Excite me. Keep me in a positive, productive and creative state of mind? Hopefully my list will spur you to think up your own list. Things that really keep us going. In Modern World Life Hacks Summer Storm-Podcast 677.

Nobody Ever Said It Would Be Easy

Life is not easy. Turns and shifts happen without warning. Sometimes these changes are welcome. Sometimes not. People leave. Jobs end. Companies are sold. Plans shift. There are times when the changes are good. Finally, shifts and changes that are later looked upon as a ‘blessing’.

My Hacks

Travel is a big hack. A great way to shift my thinking. I don’t even care where I go anymore. Just going is half the battle. Especially road trips. Going to exotic far away places is also good. There are times though, when all you can manage is a weekend getaway.

The famous Bob Davis News Cleanse changed my life. It brought the realization that I did not need to maintain a twenty four hour news watch and freed me to create content outside of the confines of ‘the news’. Reading, walking, sitting quietly, or doing anything that shifts your thinking even short term are great for hacking the madness that is modern life.

The Old World Is Never Coming Back

In conclusion, we live in a great age. As we modernize we live among the trappings of an old world. Some of the old things are still around, but the pace of life will never go back to what it was. There are new pressures. New ideas. While we adjust to these new approaches its important to maintain our balance.

Sponsored by Brush Studio in The West End Saint Louis Park, and by Ciro 3D Motorcycle Products and Accessories

Modern World Life Hacks Summer Storm-Podcast 677

Friday Night On Mean Street Hennepin Avenue Minneapolis-Podcast 648

Have you been to downtown Minneapolis lately? These days some don’t feel safe there. In Friday Night On Mean Street Hennepin Avenue Minneapolis-Podcast 648 we run the gauntlet on Hennepin Avenue.

After Billions Spent, New Questions About Safety Downtown

The media is starting to ask questions about crime in downtown. Opinion makers and the city’s leaders are apparently concerned. The questions they don’t ask are revealing.

Another New Crisis

The Crisis in American Cities has been grabbing headlines for a hundred years. From The Gateway District to Mayo Square it’s the same formula. Use taxpayer dollars to Demolish. Rebuild. Repeat. Has it been worth it?

Robert Moses and Richard Daley Would Be Proud

Light rail and mixed use condos. Expensive restaurants and Hipster art districts. Bike paths. Safe spaces. Higher Minimum Wages. Political fights about redevelopment and economic inequality. Tax Increment Financing to bring in big retail and big companies.

When these efforts produce mixed results, the process starts all over again. More money. Newer stadiums. More buildings. More condos that are sold as ‘affordable’ but cost at least two hundred thousand dollars. Higher rents. Traffic Jams. Crime.

Downtown Minneapolis was never a ‘thing’

The neighborhoods and retail business were located in North Minneapolis and North East, Uptown, Lake Street in South Minneapolis and Saint Paul’s ‘Midway’. Sure, Hennepin Avenue always featured bars and hotels, places to eat and entertainment. But downtown was for warehouses, light industry, office buildings, city and county government. And drunks.

Not DisneyLand

Let’s just say it. Downtown Minneapolis isn’t Disneyland. It never was. That’s the reason punks loved in in the early 80’s. The gritty nature of Moby’s and other Block E attractions made it ‘charming’. It’s one of the reasons First Avenue was able to gain a foothold as a seminal and nationally famous music and punk culture venue.

These days, the well connected, with impeccable credentials in the Twin Cities’ public-private partnership world, continue to sell ‘more of the same’; Taxes, regulation, and fees that make seeing a show or going to a baseball, football, or basketball game and having dinner after, impossibly expensive for most of the disappearing middle class.

Investment For What?

Want to start a business downtown? Want to buy a condo downtown? Better be juiced into the money or have a lot of money. No wonder people are concerned about the nitty gritty nature of Hennepin Avenue. Walking down this street you’re mixing with the great unwashed. Unruly, scantily clad, vulgar, of different races and often from the poor side of the cities. And it’s really, really fun.

What Does The 21st Century Look Like?

We need to start asking questions about the nature of the city in the mid twenty first century. Retail is dying. Corporations don’t need tons of office space anymore. No one wants to pay more and more tax. No one wants to have to pay 22 dollars for a hamburger to fund the sports cathedrals for billionaire team owners that live around Lake of Isles or out in Minnetonka.

Is the solution really more cops downtown. Another Light Rail line? Subsidized office space? Another redevelopment of Nicollet Mall? More incremental taxes added to the bills at the Smack Shack? Who lives down here? Not the servers. Nor the kids hanging out at the LRT station.

Spend Daddy’s Money Downtown

Downtown Minneapolis is a place for trust fund babies, lawyers and corporates relocating. People who are used to having things their way. No wonder they think it’s unsafe. Sadly, they’re making everyone else pay for their own personal Epcot Center. It’s a con.

Present Becomes Past?

No matter how much they spend when you walk this street, you’re walking where the bums in the Gateway used to spend the winter drinking. The past echoes up and down Hennepin, even if the buildings are long torn down. That’s never going to change.

We Pay For Power In The Shadows

When you think about how much of the taxpayer’s hard earned dollars they’ve spent, one wonders when the Downtown Council and the real shadow power in Minneapolis will be held accountable.

Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing of Saint Paul

Friday Night On Mean Street Hennepin Avenue Minneapolis-Podcast 648

Podcast 508 – Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show-29

Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show-29. A departure for this week’s Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show-29. Usually for the radio show, I excerpt content from all the podcasts I’ve done during the week. But for Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show-29, I received so much interest in the podcast I did this week on technology, I decided to use just that podcast. Of course there is original content in this show, as there is every week, just for the radio show. If you weren’t able to listen to Podcast 506, then a condensed version of it might be useful. There’s been a lot of talk lately about planning. Most cities across the country have some kind of planning system, or council, often with legal authority – by state statute – over cities and towns when it comes to this ‘uber’ planning. It’s a subject I have returned to again and again with different wrinkles on the podcasts for a long time. Whether it is light rail systems, bike trails, freeways or state budgeting this issue is evergreen. Meanwhile technology is changing the building blocks of the future in significant ways that will make a lot of the plans obsolete, very quickly. Why do our planners seemingly yearn for a 1920’s urban landscape when we’re on the verge of mind bending new technologies like the driverless car, robotic factories, human-robot hybrids, even more powerful smart-devices, better and faster communications capabilities, options for civilian flight that make it accessible to non-pilot operators, a revolution in materials for building almost everything, all kinds of manufacturing changes, like 3D printing and and we haven’t even mentioned bio-tech, and more. So much more. These new technologies thrive on the individual, decentralized authority and voluntary collaboration. Why are our politicians pushing for more centralization of authority, more regulation and taxation, and less collaboration especially when it concerns planning? Are they leading us in exactly the wrong direction for the future? Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul and X Government Cars.

Podcast 355

Nevada and Utah. Live from Park City, Utah in Mobile Podcast Command Unit 8, the Road Trip continues, leaving California and heading into Nevada, and Utah. Thursday was a tough day for the Mobile Unit. Damage was sustained after the driver — tired and hungry — attempted to enter a mall parking lot which inexplicably featured those concrete and steel ‘height regulators’. With damage nominally repaired, the Mobile Unit soldiers on, battered but unbroken. Updates for your weekend. Are you already sick of the Presidential campaign of 2016? What about Hillary’s bags? Is Rand Paul really crazy? Is Marco Rubio’s tax plan really a good idea? It’s Iowa’s fault. Iowa, that has no other reason for anyone to pay attention to it. Iowa, drenched in wind power and ethanol subsides, forcing the whole country to watch as these politicians traverse one end of it to another, just because Iowa has to have the ‘first in the nation primary’ in 2016. As a result, the media valve cannot be turned off. The result? People may just be burned out on political news and coverage, and one wonders whether by the actual election in November of 2016, anyone will have any stomach left for any of it. Is it possible too much coverage will suppress the vote? And, if it isn’t gyrocopters landing on the Capitol steps, its DEA agents who can’t be fired for having orgies, with prostitutes supplied by the cartels. Shouldn’t people who do these sorts of things be fired? Unfortunately, as the head of the DEA testified this week, the civil service employment laws prevent them from even being disciplined. And people say the government is efficient. Tax Day has come and gone, and at the same time one wonders whether the same anti-tax fervor that existed a few years ago, still exists. Touring the country shows people adapting. In spite of a moribund economy, and poor leadership in Washington, they seem to be doing pretty good. (Editor’s Note: Except for Reno, Nevada. They don’t seem to be doing pretty good on the East Side of Reno.) Plus some tips on camping out in Unit 8, emails and one more donation thank you. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul. Also join me April 25th for the SD48 Annual Freedom Dinner. Follow the links for more info. 

Podcast 334

Target Layoffs. While there’s a lot of news — or is that noise — about Hillary Clinton’s email, the iWatch from Apple and more nonsense than you can stand about the 2016 election cycle, some real news hits home in the Twin Cities as the crown jewel of Minneapolis Downtown, Target Corporation lays off 3100 people, mostly from the downtown headquarters. Target says the jobs will not be coming back. Of course the rah rah Minneapolis-Saint Paul media goes for the emotional angle; the human cost of layoffs and so forth, complete with soothing public relations from Governor Mark Dayton and the Target CEO. These people get 15 weeks of severance, we’re renewing our commitment to Minnesota and so on. Just last week General Mills, another Twin Cities mainstay let hundreds of middle managers go. When you look at these two big companies, you have to wonder if there’s something going on, despite rosy scenarios about the US Economic ‘recovery’. Over the years there’s been a lot of cheerleading and downtown boosterism from the biggest booster of them all, The Star Tribune. The ‘Trib’ is constantly promoting the Minnesota Miracle of Public-Private Partnerships and the wonders of what government can do for people. Is it a miracle?  Or becoming a bloated, bureaucratic, crony-capitalist cartel benefitting the rich sports team owners and companies big enough to benefit from the tax breaks? Is it too soon to start asking whether the template – the whole philosophy – of development in the urban centers of this state, is really an outdated, early twentieth century vision? The boosters say Millennials will move in to these downtown areas in droves, you’ll see. This week a new study shows that while some millennials are moving into dense urban centers with hipster apartments, bike trails and light rail, built and subsidized at enormous expense to taxpayers, not enough of them are moving into those downtown areas to be significant, when considering metro areas as a whole. Meanwhile, the tax bill in close ring suburbs goes higher and higher, as does a hamburger and a beer in downtown or uptown. And the same vision is pushed for the first ring suburbs like Saint Louis Park, Hopkins, Eden Prairie, Bloomington, and Richfield, to name a few. More and more big companies are using new technology to downsize and eliminate jobs in the vast middle level management job categories, especially in their ritzy downtown headquarters. 50 years ago Moore’s law established the integrated circuit as one of the most explosive forces in history. Today Moore’s law is back with a vengeance as we pass 25 billion transistors on one chip, we’re seeing exponential redoubling of capabilities, and the arrival of a very disruptive new age. Autonomous machines, robotics, drones, advanced communications, the Internet of things, and more, suggest the future imagined by the central planners in Saint Paul, The Met Council, the Capitol and at Minneapolis’ City Hall might be a dystopia after all. Live from the deck on the first Spring night 

Sponsored by XGovernmentcars.

Podcast 290

Southwest Light Rail. News that Minnesota Speaker of The House Kurt Daudt says the House will not consider funding for the Southwest Light Rail, leads this midweek update from the Bob Davis Podcasts. SWLR has caused headaches for the Minneapolis Park Board, Bicyclists, Residents of Western Suburbs, Mayors, City Councils and legislators since its inception, and it isn’t even built yet! Despite the fact that light rail does not carry more passengers than buses, doesn’t spur development without expensive subsidies, and doesn’t generate employment beyond construction crews (which is a small swath of the working population and short term) the unelected Met Council and transportation ‘activists’ plan as many as twenty of these light rail projects, with the Southwest Light Rail central to the overall plan. Moreover, media coverage of how the state funds transportation projects is very confusing. Senate transportation chair Scott Dibble wants to add a wholesale gas tax which some report could add as much as twenty cents to a gallon of gas, which is projected to raise almost a billion dollars, add a license fee increase and then borrow 576 million for ‘roads and bridges’. What’s the other 800 million plus a year for? And let’s not forget the transportation amendment, passed a few years ago, which generates God knows how much in revenue. Is there a sinkhole someplace where this money goes? Oddly enough people who a month ago were touting the lower gas prices as acting economically as a ‘tax cut’, now advocate raising the federal gas tax. Hint, there is plenty of money if they would just dedicate all of the money raised in gas taxes for roads and bridges. Furthermore, what about Obama’s trillion dollar stimulus? Wasn’t that for roads and bridges too? New economic numbers this week has the media touting the ‘booming’ Obama economy, and leftwing commentators laughing at Republicans for spinning the good news, bad. But, there are still some questions about employment, central bank policy, and worrisome signs. 2.5 to 3.5 percent GDP growth is good, but wages are not increasing and some say, this isn’t enough to sustain the growth. Don’t get too cocky. The Bob Davis Podcasts provoked a lot of reaction in Podcast 287 regarding tea party politics in Minnesota, chiefly that rhetoric does not win elections, or force politicians to do your bidding. Almost as proof is a new poll of registered republicans in Iowa. If there is a grassroots tea party movement, the poll doesn’t show it. Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush lead a field of GOP candidates in the first primary state. Shockingly, the White House says journalists should be careful what they say, since it might provoke attacks against US military personnel and in his role as Commander in Chief, President Obama might have to shut down journalists who write stories jihadists don’t like, or satire that might make them attack. Not making this up. And you wonder why the President didn’t go to Paris. Finally, the IRS head continues to bitch and moan about the lack of funding for the agency, saying fewer audits are in store, and they may not be able to collect taxes …The Nation Rejoices! Sponsored by Baklund R&D

Podcast 284

Polar Vortex 2015. Perhaps we should start off by saying, “Previously on Polar Vortex”. It happens just about every year around this time in the Upper Midwest. It gets real cold. We call it winter. A few weeks of below zero temperatures with little relief. It’s been colder. Where are the cavalcade of ‘economists’ (astrologists) predicting the inevitably dour economic effects of the ‘polar vortex’? Surprise! Now that a Republican majority is about to take office ‘economic experts’ are optimistic! Touting 5 percent GDP growth, lackluster employment statistics and a host of other debatable ‘facts’, some formerly doom and gloom analysts are finding  rose colored glasses not used since the Bush administration. As a new Congress is about to be sworn in, scolds to tell Republicans, “It’s time to govern”! Isn’t ‘governing’ something both parties and all branches of government engage in? Not just a majority and not just one branch of the government? Freedom Works has declared Speaker Boehner ‘must go’, and thus the factional battles in the new Congress begin. Freedom Works instructs you to write, call or email your congressman and demand the speaker be retired! (Editor’s Note: A waste of time, since interns answer the phones, review emails and open letters, even writing replies. If you want to get your congressman to pay attention to you, you have to control votes or money, and preferably both. If you want to write, call or email, go right ahead, but don’t fool yourself. Until you’re organized, you’re nothing to them.) Next we have the ‘Restore America’ crowd. ‘Restore’ in this case means turning back the hands of time to 1950, everywhere in America. Uh…no thanks, there were no smart phones. Want to bet this will be Jeb Bush’s campaign slogan in 2016? What America needs isn’t ‘restoration’, but new ideas that meet the challenges of new technology and a world that doesn’t look anything like 1950. Now there is one place in the world where it is, in fact, still 1950. North Korea. Here’s a question; What if the Sony Hack wasn’t the work of North Korea’s ‘army’ of hackers? The FBI’s contention – and the President’s – is under fire from tech security companies. If it wasn’t the North Koreans and the President ordered a retaliation, this could be the first major Obama Screw Up of 2015. Stay tuned. Back home in the land of ten thousand lakes, and taxes, Minnesotans should prepare themselves for a gas tax increase. Democratic Governor Dayton has decided that while cheap gas acts ‘like a tax cut’, it just isn’t expensive enough for the dancing peasants, so we need an increase in the gas tax. Or something like that. Minnesotans need new trains, and bike trails and bridges are falling down, right? Not really, but it works every time. Meanwhile, Kurt Daudt, Republican Speaker of The House says there will be “give and take” this session. Sigh. And a final parting shot at ‘morning people’ and their arrogance. Nocturnal People Rule! Sponsored by X Government Cars, and Depotstar.  

Podcast 278

Vehicle Mileage Tax. Minnesotans were shocked and dismayed this week to learn their state is one of 18 considering passing something called a VMT; A Vehicle Mileage Tax. A GPS locating device would be attached to cars, and drivers would be taxed according to the number of miles they drive. While ‘sources’ say the VMT would replace the state gasoline tax, at an average of 34 cents, that would depend on individual state legislatures and the wording of bills in those respective states. How many Minnesotans would bet the state would ‘replace’ the state gas tax with the VMT? More than likely a reduction in the state gas tax would be combined with a  VMT. Advancing this story requires some research on why states spent as much as 150 percent of their gas tax dollars, and Podcast 278 provides the details. Is government efficiently spending transportation dollars? Is government spending transportation dollars on roads? Is government allowing tests of alternative methods of funding roads? Will bicycle riders have to wear GPS devices and pay a VMT too? Why not? What about the privacy issues related to GPS devices placed on the cars of citizens. States will argue ‘driving is a privilege’, and ‘you already have GPS tracking on your cell phone’. Will those arguments be good enough to prevent, or withstand a constitutional challenge if VMT’s are passed? What about ‘intermodal’ and ‘modal’ forms of transportation. How much of the transportation budget is sucked up by commuter rail, light rail, passenger rail, high speed rail and street cars, buses, and bike trails? Can Minnesotans depend on a Republican majority in Saint Paul to vote against this kind of tax. (Editor’s Note: Hint…um…No.) Is this an opportunity for birds of a different feather to flock together and defeat the measure if it is offered in the state house? These kinds of taxes, and so called infrastructure projects, controlled by central planners, rubber stamped by career politicians, create sclerotic bureaucracies and governments with too much centralized control. What strategies might be used effectively to defeat ideas like the VMT, and throw politicians who support them out of government, for good. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul

Podcast 176

Midweek updates on the big stories. What is Obama’s end game with immigration? The Highway Trust Fund will hit empty in August, unless Congress ‘does something’. How about passing a law that says one hundred percent of the money in the Trust Fund has to be used for highways, not trains, buses, bike trails and ‘affordable’ housing along LRT lines…and not to prop up bankrupt transit departments. Think the President will sign that? Compare how two different news services come away with two completely different stories out of the same economic news. Farmers have already lost millions of dollars on grain from 2013 that hasn’t been shipped. Why? Because Warren Buffett’s trains are hauling oil rather than grain. This is why we wanted the Keystone Pipeline built. Oh yeah, Warren is good friends with President Obama. Weird, huh? What happens when someone tries to cancel their Comcast service? In this podcast a short clip of a bitchy customer ‘service’ rep, but the whole debacle went on for 45 minutes. Want to know what’s wrong with America? This is a start. And, thanks for your patience as we upgrade to new software, with associated learning curve struggles. Sponsored by X Government Cars

Podcast 152

What about ‘The City’? Central planners  use tax dollars to finance light rail, street cars, bike trails, stadiums, apartment buildings and hotels. The goal? A serendipitous experience. Is this a pipe dream? Do people really want to pay 1500 dollars a month for a condo in ‘the city’, so they can have coffee with hipsters? Or do they want a yard, good schools and lower taxes? You might be surprised what some new studies are showing. Things like bike trails, and light rail, paid for with transportation tax dollars move ahead, while repairing roads and bridges languish. What if robotics, driverless cars and delivery trucks, smart phones,  automated offices and other technology obviate the need to be in a big central city? Will all this ‘investment’ recreating the city of 1900 America have been worth it? Sponsored by X Government Cars