Thursday, November 22, 2007


Yesterday I saw another article about texting while driving. That one solicited feedback and for the most part the feedback was either: "People who text while driving are STUPID" (the correct answer) or "I am not STUPID I am some kind of super human who can do both and don't you be telling me I can't " (the wrong answer). One "stuper-man" said all it took was "distributed attention". That is as i understand it the ability to split your attention between two activities. Nice to know there is a term for driving with half a brain.

Driving especially in a major urban center in winter in Canada is a full time job. It takes all your attention because the knuckle head in the other car might very well be texting, reloading his iPod, having breakfast, surfing the net, or reading the paper behind the wheel. "Distributing" their attention. Sorry but doing anything else while navigating traffic is STUPID. But if you are 25 and immortal you can do it. Guess again. If you are not paying attention to your driving you will be paying your insurance man. Sooner or later those habits will catch up with you.

We have all seen the doofus with the cell phone and the coffee careening down the road in and out of lanes expecting everyone to watch out for them. I say hit 'em. Hit 'em hard enough to jam that cell phone in their ear and dump that double double all over their designer suit and all over the leather interior of that leased gas guzzler with all the toys and whistles. I heard of a bumper sticker once that read "Maybe you would drive better if I crammed that cell phone up your ass!" I agree with the sentiment (and want one for my car).

It should be a law that if the police see you texting, chatting on the cell, reading a book, bobbing up and down tweaking the stereo, or any one of a hundred stupid things while driving, they should be able to stop you and take you off the road right then and there. Being stupid is not criminal. Getting behind the wheel and being stupid is. What did you do before text messaging and cell phones. People survived being out of touch for more than 10 minutes. The world will not end if someone cannot get you while you are in traffic. We did without that for years and some of us still do. They don't call them "crack berries" for nothing. You are addicted if you can't go for the duration of you commute with out your wireless device. And feeding your habit putting everyone else at risk is STUPID.

One last point, the car makers are enablers for these junkies too. They are installing technology in the vehicles that facilitate people being STUPID. GM is prviding an option to allow you to download music to your iPod while driving. And an option on my van (that I don't have, want or need) is a hands free phone that you can plug your cell into. It will turn your cell into a hands free phone with, (get this) call waiting! There is about 30 pages on how to use that phone in the user manual and only 3 pages on how to use the transmission. Think they might have their priorities all screwed up? Me too.

Sitting here watching the world go to hell in a hand basket...


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A Chinook Would Be Nice

For those of you not familiar with it a Chinook (shin-ook) is a warm westerly wind. The climate scientists say that that it is warm Pacific air that is blown through the passes in the Rockies that warms up the province. Well our little piece of the province anyway. The word is a native word that means "snow eater". And if there is any snow around a Chinook will make short work of it. And we are waiting for our first one of the season. It has not been really cold, no minus zero Fahrenheit weather but cold enough. With the wind cold enough to make hands and joints ache. Cold enough to pull the winter coats out of storage. And its been that way for a couple of weeks now. Time for a Chinook.

The weather man on the TV has promised one by Friday. Unfortunately Dave is usually spot on on the bad news and off on the good. That is he is able to predict bad weather correctly more often than he predicts good weather. Or so it seems.

At least there is no snow and ice yet. That is what makes dog walking down right dangerous. Last year I fell on the icy sidewalks a couple of times. It was a good thing that Belle was young and quick because I nearly landed on her the first time. And how do you go back to the humane society and explain a squashed dog!

The second time Dixie was just in front of me and she slipped on the ice. And as I was telling her to be careful I wiped out. Belle tried to keep going (after all I had fallen before) but Dixie came back to see if I was dead. She was newly adopted then and needed to know if she still had a meal ticket.

And that's the bad side of a Chinook. If there is snow there will be ice and lots of it. So before the snow comes it would be nice to get a Chinook to warm things up a bit. One last chance to get out and do some of that yard work we have bee procrastinating about. Picking up the frozen dog rockets and picking up the garbage that has blown around. Actually I picked up after the dogs but we have a whole new collection of trash thanks to a gale that came through last week for a few days. (But unless it gets warmer that's not going to happen.. A bit of snow covers a multitude of sins.)

But I can't put off getting the Christmas Lights up. I don't want to look like the Grinch house. It looks like there will be lots of lights this year because some folks have their's up already. I think people are coming to Calgary this year. They don't put up lights if they are going away. So judging by the show this will be the place to be come December 25. And it is much more fun to put the lights up when it is warm. So a Chinook would be nice.

Hunkered down by the fire till the Chinook comes...