In my book, announcing New Year’s resolutions is like parading personal faults down Broad Street. Besides, they’re usually same-old, same-old.

Instead, consider a more inclusive list of New Year’s Revolutions, or Revelations, or Restitutions, or whatever might make our little corner of the world a better place.

* First, coordinate senior discount days: Burke’s, 15 percent on Monday. Ross, 10 percent on Tuesday. Lowes Foods and Kohl’s, 10 percent on Wednesday. Harris Teeter, 5 percent on Thursday. If they (and other retailers) would settle on one day, the grannies could accomplish more in a single trip.

* Make turning left from Pinecrest Plaza onto Morganton Road less life-threatening during the holiday shopping season, or any day between 4 and 5:30 p.m. Maybe a traffic light is impossible, but how about a stop sign? To avoid the stress, I exit right, drive down to the CCNC entrance, then turn around and come back.

* Standardize credit card machines: Some have chips (which take longer), others don’t. Formats differ from store to store. Fresh Market’s asks if you want an emailed receipt. Some gas stations have pump-mounted TV screens that entertain after entering credit card.

* Decommission, deactivate, deport Siri. I’m not anti-tech, but I despise Siri, Alexa and all their sisters. That’s because I’m not so plugged into the electronic universe that I can’t sneeze without commanding Siri to fetch the Kleenex. “Command” fits. No please, no thank you, no when-you-get-a-chance. As World War II Gen. Browning pronounced: Siri is “a bridge too far.”

* Let’s also scrub cars that drive and park themselves. What with 4-ounce cellphones catching fire, I’m not trusting 4,000 pounds of metal to steer itself.

* Another road wrong that needs fixing in ’17: the merge of Old U.S. 1 and U.S. 1 Sandhills Boulevard. Exiting the underpass, the quick merge to avoid a left turn lane is problematic. I know several folks who go ’round the barn to access U.S. 1 south via Morganton Road.

* Upgrade Cinema 10. Its condition speaks poorly of an otherwise well-cared-for area. And while you’re at it, Siri, upgrade movie selections to more low-tech flicks with compelling plots advanced by serious actors. Wild, computer-generated effects are so 2014.

* To Publix or not to Publix? Better yet, why not a second Dollar Tree somewhere, maybe one of the Whispering Pines mini-centers? But beware: I’ve found several grocery items more expensive there than at supermarkets.

* Pie in the sky: I’d love to see a shuttle bus several times a day to RDU and Piedmont Triad International, leaving from Moore County Airport, where parking is free. By the way, harried RDU patrons should try PTI (Greensboro), which is huge, bright and practically empty, with little traffic on approach highways, and it serves major airlines. Best of all, you pass a Costco, just off I-40.

* In the coming year, Fresh Market needs to paint a crosswalk between its spiffy revamped store and its parking lot. Lowes Foods must remove the sign that invites customers to sip wine and beer while shopping. What good could come of that, except blurring higher-than-anybody-else prices?

* This Mars thing has gotten out of control and must be halted. The Red Planet has fascinated since Robert Heinlein’s eponymous book in 1949, followed by “The Martian Chronicles,” by Ray Bradbury, in 1950. An uptick in films like “The Martian” and the disturbing National Geographic quasi-documentary TV series “MARS” suggests that we’d better get moving. Chilling, since they portend reality rather than exploiting science fiction. But wouldn’t the trillions spent on colonizing Mars be better applied to making Earth more inhabitable?

And, finally: Not to be obtuse, but …

* Downtowners are thrilled by the recent sale of the dilapidated, long-unoccupied house on West Pennsylvania Avenue. It was an eyesore, for sure, even after the front was freshened. Post-demolition, new owners plan a handsome multipurpose building in keeping with the neighborhood. That’s good. Still, something in my cranky side rather liked walking by the weathered gray clapboards — sort of a ghost house, a splotch of black-and-white on a Technicolor screen, harboring secrets of bygone days, but beyond rehabilitation.

Oh well … A happy, prosperous, resolution-free New Year to all!

Contact Deborah Salomon at

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