Ramblings of a Tampa engineer
Rubbish piles up every day on Putney Common, generated by lockdown partying outdoors
Photo by John Cameron / Unsplash

This morning around 7:50am I left for the park for a run. A short drive and a left hand turn and that's all it takes and I'm at the park. I get into the left lane and see the lane for the park is quite backed up into the road.

Odd drawing of my left hand turn. I am the blue rectangle.

So I tried to draw what I saw as I sat in my car as the blue rectangle above. Knowing it was a minute or two away from the gate opening (red line above) - I saw the light turn green and did not move. I figured the cars behind me were going to the park as well and all would be fine.

I was wrong - at first a honk I ignored, then a just non-stop hounding of the horn behind me. I figured they were not looking at the blocked entrance of the park and would realize it. Before I could further react a car ripped out into the lane besides me - floored it in front of me, tossed a finger and whipped a U turn around me.

So now I understood the driver was attempting a U turn and not left turn which explains the honking. So then I was thinking what an ass, but then I started thinking that I could have easily passed this light and done a U turn myself to get into the other direction's right hand lane as a line had developed.

However, none of that entered my mind in the blast of a horn and heart rate elevated situation for the sub 30 seconds it occurred in.


So I start to think if people are losing compassion and just growing full of entitlement since these situations are happening more commonly than I remember.

Is it location based? I did used to live in the Midwest and folks just felt nicer in that regard, but then I move to the "Southern Hospitality" region and at times don't feel it.

Fallen Shopping Carts (2019)

Take for example returning your shopping cart after shopping. There is a theory about this called the "Shopping Cart Theory" which suggests you can detect the moral character of someone simply from what they do with their cart. If you fail to return the cart to the designed spot - you aren't getting arrested. It seems baring an emergency you should return your cart as it is objectively without fault the right thing to do.

So each time I see someone not return their cart I feel I know their character immediately.


Another thing that continues to blow my mind is trash pickup. We have a raccoon problem here and if you leave trash out without a lid chances are its getting knocked over and perhaps dug through. Which I kinda doubt a raccoon can do, so must be another animal around.

So when I see a trash pile exceeding the space of a can as I drive home, then as I drive to work the next morning and see it knocked over and trash everywhere. I think - what an ass that person is. They know why the city requests you to put lids on the cans.

So what did the city do? They thought ahead - they bought new trash cans for every citizen in the city through a botched roll-out. This new trashcan is huge and is easily larger than my old and has an attached swinging lid. Its extremely heavy in the realm of trash cans and I think the city built the fixes into the can itself.

New (left) and old (right) of my trash cans.

Animals cannot flip this heavy trashcan. The lid is attached so citizens have no argument for not putting a lid on it and the label says not to overfill it and instead request another trashcan.

I feel like this should have resolved our issues of animals messing up trash, but still some folks refuse to follow rules.

  • They pack trash next to, on top, alongside the huge 60-75 gallon bins.
  • They don't close the lids that are attached to the cans.
  • They use the old trashcans alongside new.

Which I cannot follow - its in the best interest of other neighbors and citizens to not break these rules so trash stays in the trash. However, they don't and we deal with pure trash that blows around and has to be cleaned up.

So I need to shout out this older gentleman that I do not know. Every single day between 7 and 8am he is walking the neighborhood road with a bag and trash picker and picks up trash every single day - he cleans others mistakes who do not deserve it.


Finally, I just feel more of the population doesn't realize how they act in public. From watching someone stand in the middle of a sandwich shop looking at the menu and then talking to me when I step up to the counter to order like I'm cutting.

Perhaps its all just Florida - who knows.

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