Thanks for taking a moment to read this month’s update. I hope you’re doing well.
The featured photo this month at the top of the page is from 29 Aug 2023 while on my daily walk. It’s the completed parking area that replaces a field of prairie grass previously used by wildlife and pollinators. Below is a photo of what the field looked like in July prior to the parking area being developed.
The new parking area helps accommodate RV parking and vehicles during football games. It is also used by weekday commuters, mostly those working at the hospital. Proposed names for the new parking area will undoubtedly include “Prairie View Parking Facility” since it is common for developments to be named after the habitats they replaced.
There’s a saying that we sometimes can’t see the forest for the trees, meaning we can get so focused on specific details of an issue that we don’t see the overall picture. In this case, there is no forest and there are no trees, but the principle is the same.
It’s easy to be discouraged by the loss of natural spaces and it’s disappointing to see habitats removed. Of course, the driving forces behind sprawl and development are far upstream. Often with projects involving the de-beautification of natural spaces, the protests and “solution” involve moving the proposed development to someone else’s neighborhood or backyard. We subconsciously know that the landfills, the power plants, the factories, polluted rivers, deforestation, smelly waste water treatment facilities, and similar byproducts of massive demand are apparently, given our present technologies, necessary to sustain all that we do. We just don’t want to look at those things or be reminded of them.
Anyone who has been in the Iowa City area for a few decades ends up being somewhat of a welcoming cheerful ambassador to greet and help visitors. With the new parking area, I’ve already had an opportunity to meet and visit with some of the travelers that come to our town by car or RV. On game-day weekends, the parking area turns into what looks like a traveling RV show. Many enthusiastic football fans descend on the area for the camaraderie and festivities that accompany the big game (every game is the big game when you’re a fan). I like to meet new people. I like RVs. I like seeing people having fun and socializing. So, there can be some positive aspects to this development.
Big parking lots have always been an important aspect of human experience: at large factories, theme parks, concert venues, shopping malls, sporting events, and remote commuter lots that reduce city traffic congestion by replacing cars with public transit. For many people, the concrete jungle and asphalt parking areas are our habitat. The spaces that support cars and parking are part of the complex mix of what makes up our human habitats.
WALKING AND TRAVEL
In August I walked about 160,000 steps covering 34 miles in about 10 hours. These calculations are provided by Google as totals of my outdoor walks and other steps. The Google Maps and Google Fit monthly reports provide cumulative reports as well as weekly and daily reports. These help to stay motivated. Below are the steps and travel summary reports for August. The top report is from the Google Fit app and the bottom report is from the Google Maps app.
GOOGLE POSTS 8.9 MILLION VIEWS
I posted some more pictures and reviews in August using Google Maps, and there were over two million views. The total cumulative all-time views are now at 8.9 million as of mid-September. As the collection of posts grows, the number of monthly views increases.
My main goal for the posts is to help local small businesses become more discoverable, and also serve the many people who visit our community for big events, healthcare, education, and other reasons.
TOPIC REPORTS FOR 2023
I continue to expand on the topic reports found on the Resources For Life dot com website. The list can be found on the What’s New Page. The list of topics expanded considerably in April. I keep adding to these reports, typically with one or two additions per month with a video or article link. Adding incrementally takes very little time since the post and related elements are already present.
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Many thanks to all of you who keep in touch and provide support for the work I do.
Origins. For those of you who are new to these monthly personal updates, they began about 23 years ago out of a desire to share from my personal life about topics of lifeways (faith/philosophy), health, career, finances, relationships, effective living, and public interest efforts. This is based on the Life Map presented on the Resources For Life website. [View]