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Guess who Just Turned 40

Can you believe it. Raiders of the Lost Arc, Steven Spielberg’s and George Lucas’ blockbuster adventure opened in theaters 40 years ago this past weekend. How does that make you feel?

There can be no question that this movie changed the scope of adventure flics as Indy and Co romped around the globe, fighting Nazis and discovering great treasure. For those of you living in a cave for the last four decades, the story revolves around archeologist Indiana Jones and his race to find the Arc of the Covenant before it is taken from the sands of Egypt by the Nazis and turned over to Hitler. It takes place in 1935.

From the moment the famous Paramount Logo Mountain morphs into a landscape in Peru this movie grabs you and doesn’t let go for the next two hours. Whether he is battling Nazis, a bear chested behemoth, snakes, aboriginal natives, snakes, an evil opponent, snakes, the Egyptian desert, spies, Arab swordsmen, or even the odd left hook from his girlfriend, Marian, Indy never gives up, besting them all in one of the greatest chase scenes of all time, only to have the Arc snatched from his grasp by his own government. By the way, Indy does not like snakes.

Unlike the rest of us, Raiders doesn’t get old. Seeing it again brings back fond memories of swashbuckling and derring-do. Check it out – you can download from Amazon, or practically anywhere else.

Oh, and you Big Bang nuts that believe the story would have come out the same without Indy. So What!

JVH

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People Who Pay No Price for Being Wrong

It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decision than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong.

…..Thomas Sowell

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What you Will Miss at PIE 2021 – If you Don’t attend

Technology

  • Big Data and Parking
  • LPR
  • Electric Vehicle Charging
  • RFID
  • PCI DSS – Are you Compliant.
  • How to Buy it – You can pay too much or too little
  • Merging on Street and Off-Street Tech
  • The Curb –

Operations

  • Virtual Permits
  • Moving from Free to Pay
  • Using time series analysis and machine learning to anticipate customer needs
  • Increase Revenue by combining Hourly Parking and Permit Parking
  • How did COVID Change our Customers?
  • You have Tech, you still Need to Audit.

Facilities:

  • Make your garage Last Decades Longer
  • Reduce Repair Costs – Tips to Set up a Maintenance Program

The Experts

  • Parking Resource Forum
  • 125 Years of Experience – Owner, Operator, Vendor, Consultant and the Media
  • Sometimes the Old Ways are Best
  • The Return of Parking – The Economy
  • The Customer Experience
  • Never in Park, Always in Drive

Networking

  • Gala Anniversary Party
  • Breakfast networking
  • Awards Luncheon
  • Hours of Exhibit Hall with Food

Log on to www.pieshow.parkingtoday.com for details and to register!

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No Parking, Cities Rethink Parking with Fewer Personal Cars.

I know, I know – I’m a contrarian.  Someone says up, I say down. Someone say white, I say black. I get this from being right so many times. (No arrogance there).

My contrarian roots got tickled by an article in the Wall Street Journal. Astrid grabbed it and the story can be found on Parknews.biz. Its title is “No Parking, Cities Rethink Parking with Fewer Personal Cars.”

This article is heavily researched. They quote everyone from UCLA’s Don Shoup to Walker’s Mary Smith to Flash’s Don Sharplin to Las Vegas’ Brandy Stanley to Parkway’s Robert Zuritsky to Gensler’s Andy Cohen. These are some pretty heavy hitters in our industry and far be it from me to be contrary to them. However…

The gist of the article is that with the advent of self driving cars and the popularity of ride hailing services, traffic in central cities would be down as much as 70% and all the folks quoted spoke of different uses for garages from mobility hubs to mobile kitchens, from parks (on the roof) to offices and apartments. Fair Enough.

However, I wondered if the editors of the august WSJ actually read their own newspaper. There have been a number of articles as recent as last week saying that basically self driving cars were a non starter and that it will take a complete change in how artificial intelligence works before the true self driving vehicle can actually hit the streets. These articles said that the advent of these mechanical marvels could be up to thirty to forty years out.

There have also been stories crying the blues for ride hailing services, noting that prices are skyrocketing in the face of too few drivers to meet the demand. That has caused folks to rethink their usage and going back to privately owned vehicles.

Another article stressed that young folks were actually buying cars and driving rather than taking rapid transit (granted this was due to covid) but the so called ‘trend’ to young people giving up cars seems to have stalled.

I understand that the world want’s electric vehicles to happen and everyone is on that bandwagon, but from where I stand there are a few pesky details that need to be resolved, including the extremely disruptive mining for materials needed for batteries, the ongoing problem with the electrical grid and its inability to service a fleet of EVs, and the fact that the vast majority of drivers don’t seem to be on board with the higher cost of EVs, range anxiety, the time it takes to charge, and the like.

Taking all the above into account, should we start a wholesale demolition or renovation of downtown garages? Although planning for the future is a good idea, should we not also be realistic about what we see when we look out the window?

It was interesting that the author of the WSJ article didn’t mention any of the above issues, or have any quotes contrary to the point of the story. Was it agenda driven, or was it simply a naïve author who made a bunch of phone calls and asked questions that didn’t truly cover the topic?

Just sayin

JVH

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Here are 21 more reasons to Attend PIE 2021

21 more industry experts who will be speaking at PIE 2021

  • Brandy Stanley, City of Las Vegas
  • Dale Denda, Parking Market Research Company
  • Sagy Amit, Red LPR,
  • John Whiteman, Omniq,
  • Katherine Beaty, TEZ
  • Jordan Justus, Automotus
  • Mark Frumar, SpotParking
  • David Hoyt – Parkmobile
  • Bret Johnson, West Town Payments,
  • John MacDonald, Advanced Card Systems,
  • Matt Mandell, GAM Payments
  • Bill Smit, Smith Phillips Communications
  • Craig Williams, Smith Phillips Communications
  • Clyde Wilson, The Parking Network.
  • Brian Wolff, Parker Technologies
  • Tom Carter, Toledo Ticket Technologies;
  • Jay Manno, Southland Printing,
  • John Martin, Secom International,
  • Hector Miranda, Scheidt and Bachmann
  • George Baker, Parkhub
  • Jeff Perkins, CMO Parkmobile

These industry experts, and those listed yesterday,  are scheduled to speak at PIE.   More to come. Register for PIE 2021 to be held at the Texas Gaylord Hotel in Dallas here.

JVH

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Here are 26 reasons to come to PIE 2021

  • Kevin Uhlenhaker, Omnipark
  • Connor Owen, Park Mobile
  • Peter Elliott, City of Ft. Worth
  • Julie Dixon, Dixon Resources Unlimited
  • Brett Wood, Wood Solutions Group
  • Commander Caleb Davis, City of Paso Robles Police Department
  • Parking Manager Donna King, City of Paso Robles Police Department
  • Sgt Dave Tomlin, City of Beverly Hills Police Department
  • Alek Miller, Planner, City of McKinney
  • Eric Davis, Marshall’s Office, City of McKinney
  • Michael Tinglof, Dixon Resources Unlimited
  • Jannette Benefee, DFW Airport
  • Michael Han  DFW International Airport
  • Paul Ruksc, Quercus,
  • Scott Weiland, PE, Innovative Engineering, Inc
  • Barbara Chance, Chance Management Advisors,
  • Bob Harkins, Harkins Consulting, LLC
  • Ali  Khaksar, Tagmaster,
  • Susan McDermott, Transcore
  • Mario Baggio, Alchemco
  • Teresa Trussell, CAPP, PayByPhone,
  • Thomas (Tom) Kelly, Bowling Green State University
  • Rebecca Guiterrez, Blink,
  • Paul Young, Juicebar,
  • Mark Henderson, EV Box.
  • Roamy Valera, PayByPhone,
  • Mark Pratt, One Parking,
  • John Van Horn, Parking Today,

These industry experts are scheduled to speak at PIE. This is a short list, More tomorrow.  Register for PIE 2021 to be held at the Texas Gaylord Hotel in Dallas here.

JVH

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The Land of the Free, Because of the Brave

I literally tripped over this headline, written in chalk in the street near our home. The neighbor kids were celebrating Memorial Day and left the message for the rest of us.

Memorial Day is a time to remember. A time to express thanks for service. And a time to think, just a bit, about those millions who, over the centuries, have made the supreme sacrifice for our country. Whether it was the war of independence, or the war to end slavery, or the war to end all wars, or the war that followed that, or the wars in Korea, Vietnam, or the middle east, they were not fought for expansion, conquest, territory, but to protect our way of life.

As was inscribed on a wall of the US cemetery at Normandy in France, “If ever proof were needed that we fought for a cause and not for conquest, it could be found in these cemeteries. Here was our only conquest: all we asked … was enough … soil in which to bury our gallant dead.” General Mark W. Clark.

Memorial Day weekend is more than just an extra day off. It is a day to think about those to whom we owe so much. To think about those who returned, and those who did not. We must remember that the families of the fallen served. They, too, paid a high price.

Put aside the hot dogs and beer for a moment, and remember. Those kids are right — we truly are the Land of the Free Because of the Brave.

JVH

               

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Cruella… A Fab way to go back to the Movies   

Disney’s Cruella is a fun movie. But you can’t take is as a true prequal to 101 Dalmatians. Its more like 101 Dalmatians meets the Devil Wears Prada. You need to forget everything you knew about Cruella di Vil and take this movie as a stand alone that could have many sequels. After all, Cruella does have “a lot of other ideas.”

Its Emma vs Emma as Emma Stone plays Cruella to a “T” and Emma Thompson is cast as her nemesis, the Baroness. Set mostly in 1970 London the movie plays well with two adorable dogs and of course those other canines the dalmatians. The critters steal the show helping Cruella outwit the evil Baroness, particularly when one eyed Chihuahua “Wink” masquerades as a rat to wreak havoc on one of the Baroness’ events.

Brits Paul Michael Hauser and Joel Frey join Cruella as two grifters as kids who mature into full fledged thieves, and they are good at it. British character actor and comedian John McCrea is wonderful as a cross dressing, flamingly gay designer/shop keeper who befriends Cruella and saves the day.

From my point of view, Emma Stone does a great job humanizing Cruella. She adds just enough evil to remind us just who she has become, but still shows humanity that would never come from Disney’s original villain.

This film earns its PG rating with a murder early on, but stays true to its Disney roots with heart warming animals, some hilarious secondary characters, and world class effects. You will love the music.

Take the kids, take grandma, sneak in the dog, but go see Cruella. It’s a wonderful way to get back to the movies.  Oh, and stay through the credits. You’ll be glad you did.

JVH

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Let’s Face It. We’re Back

I’m aware there are a few pockets of Covid Virus here and there and certainly we must be mindful of those who aren’t vaccinated or are in the demographic that covers those who are potentially in danger from the disease (elderly, obese, those with preexisting conditions) but from what we can hear from all the scientific experts Covid Virus is on the run.

There are multiple stories over at Parknews.biz describing the upcoming Memorial Day weekend travel and predicting records in all areas, including parking. My experience, our office being adjacent to LAX, is that parking is filling up fast (we have an off airport parking facility in our building). This can only be good news.

There is truly pent up demand and folks are taking advantage of the lessening of Covid regulations and filling restaurants and clubs. I expect to actually go see a movie this weekend, in a theater. It’s only been 14 months since we have entered those wonderful multiplexes.

National Parks are full. Folks just want to get out and feel the freedom. They want to live their lives. I expect that our betters are feeling the heat, too. The CDC has removed mask requirements, many states have followed suit, and even California, that’s CALIFORNIA will remove most all Covid requirements in three weeks.

Traffic was back to precovid levels this past weekend. I had forgotten to take the back roads I used to use to get around the 405 and Lincoln and Washington. Oh well, I was visualizing all those cars looking for a place to park. It was wonderful.

Have a happy Memorial day. Drive, fly, and remember to park.

JVH


 

 

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Email, Texts and the Loss of Conversation

Someone in the vast PT organization had to cancel a meeting the other day. She sent out an email cancelling the meeting and set off a deluge of emails (9 in total) all of which were filled with “OK”, “I didn’t know there was a meeting”, “I wasn’t’ coming anyway”, “I really don’t’ think I’m involved” and the like. Naturally everyone involved in the meeting was copied on every email making it not 9 emails but actually 36.

Then I hear a complaint like “I emailed so in so and they didn’t respond to me. What am I going to do?”

The other day an extremely important email was sent to me and it went into my Junk folder. Now I have my junk settings at the lowest level so I get almost all emails and very few go into Junk, but it happened anyway. I never occurred to me that an email of such importance would end up there. Someone sent me a text at 9 pm at night telling me to check my junk email. This was very important (our Parknews site was down) and a phone call would have been appropriate. Frankly I don’t check email or texts in the evening.

I believe that we are losing the ‘art’ of conversation and replacing it with email snippets. So effective this week, I am invoking the following policy:

I am declaring every Thursday a “no email’ day at Parking Today Media. All PT staff are forbidden to email or text any other PT staff on Thursday. On the fourth working day of the week if you need to communicate with any PT staffer, you must pick up the phone and talk to them in person. Anyone breaking this rule will be subject to a Court Marshall offense.

So there.

JVH

PS So now I send the staff an email telling them not to email on Thursday. Sigh.

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