Showing posts from July, 2008

A realistic article on Amtrak

Thoughtful articles about my favorite political subject, passenger trains, are hard to come by. This one, Train in Vain is a notable exception. The author, Ben Jervey, makes a cross country trip on Amtrak and reports his findings. Jervey seems genuinely concerned that this country hasn't made a commitment to passenger rail, and he shows why Amtrak isn't all it could be. He gently, but realistically distributes responsibility for the problem to all parties involved, including Amtrak itself. In all, I am in agreement with him that Amtrak should be more than it is, and that economic conditions will likely force the matter sooner or later. Which brings me to something I heard last night. Leon Panetta gave a talk to a group at my workplace. He expressed frustration with American political tendencies to govern by crisis. Our leaders habitually wait until a problem becomes so incredibly bad that it can't be ignored before working on solutions. Transportation in general, and Amtra

Our new store!

The upgrades to the Monterey Peninsula Toy Box continued this week with the addition of our new store! For lack of a better name, it is called the Monterey Peninsula Toy Box Store . It is stocked with guidebooks, maps, history books, art and photography books, literature and cartoons by local writers, locally made music, and our favorite subject, movies made on the Monterey Peninsula. Our little shop is "powered" by, that megasized on-line retailer where you can get just about anything. Mind you, all I had to do was electronically gather a listing of Amazon's offerings of local interest and put them into an attractive home-grown package. Amazon does the rest. For this I'll make a little something off of each sale to help pay the Toy Box's bills. I hope you'll drop in and see if anything tickles your interest. Regular Toy Box visitors may have noticed that I've also started adding those ubiquitous Google ads, both in this journal and in various


The Business section of Saturday's Herald showed a crowd of people gathered outside the AT&T store in Del Monte Center. The headline read " SOLD OUT, THEN NOTHING." What was all the fuss about? A new phone. Not just any phone. Only the sleek lines of the latest Apple iPHONE can draw such crowds. This thing does everything. No, wait. The first iPHONE did everything. This one can do more than everything. It can do anything ! Even things that nobody has thought of yet! Hence the crowd gathering outside the store to be the first to do anything with a phone. Unfortunately, when people tried to actually use them, the sheer numbers of new subscribers overwhelmed the system and nobody could get them working. Why the rush to get something that will still be there tomorrow? Why not wait until the bugs are worked out? Because Apple has everyone hypnotized into believing their sleek products are the best because they look the best. Hence they must be obtained immediately , before

The move is complete!

First of all, as noted in my previous entry, the Monterey Peninsula Toy Box has moved from AOL's free service to one that costs just pennies a day. The new address is . This is also to be my last Mental Notes entry in the AOL Journals service. When I learned that Google's free Blogger offered so many better formatting options I felt it was time to move this journal as well. AOL's service works just fine, but the format is just darned UGLY!!! Sorry AOL, but you aren't keeping up with the Joneses. So my new Mental Notes journal can be found at I'll see you there! Addendum, October 10, 2008: This entry was originally posted on AOL Journals. The old AOL archives have since been merged with the new Mental Notes on Blogger.

I have moved!

Well, folks, as I noted in my old Mental Notes page on AOL Journals, big changes have occurred at the Toy Box. A few days ago I moved the Monterey Peninsula Toy Box away from the free AOL Hometown hosting service to a more formal service that costs just pennies a day to maintain. The service I chose is InMotion Hosting , which from extensive research indicated reliable customer service. And with their 90 day money back guarantee I don't feel I'm taking too big a gamble on the move. If you've gotten this far you may have noticed I have started placing banner ads in the Toy Box. AOL was doing this anyway, so I figured I should get a piece of the pie and have more control over the ad content. Most of the banners thus far are in my visitors guide . I have become an affiliate with Expedia, Best Western and the National Geographic Store, which I feel would be of interest to my readers. If you click those banners and make a purchase you will help support the Toy Box and all o

Changes are coming!

Big changes are coming to the Monterey Peninsula Toy Box. Our old AOL address, with the hard to remember URL of will soon be giving way to an easy to remember address. Actually, we have an official domain name but it hasn't been publicized much. I am the proud owner of , which has pointed to the AOL servers for a couple of years. AOL's free hosting has served me well for eleven years, but it's time to grow up. Or at least enter puberty (hey, I'm only 11!) The Toy Box will soon be moving to a "real" hosting service. Your old bookmarks to the AOL addresses will no longer be valid. I'm doing this in the hopes that this labor of love might provide some modest financial reward. AOL has always placed banner ads across the top of my pages. I figure if there's gonna be ads, I should get a piece of the revenue. So it's time to move. So I'm going commercial. It is my intention to present ad c