Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Notice: Don't text and drive. Stay Alive!

Today is Tuesday, May 10, 2016, and I have another in my series of public services announcements. This texting while driving menace has become a runaway epidemic. When I am out on the road in the company truck, it sits up high enough that I get a clear view of all the texters around me. The other day the freeway slowed way down. The car beside me was texting. The car in front of me was texting. The car on the other side of me was texting. The car behind me was texting. For those of you who do not think it affects your driving, think again! It does. I had seriously thought about getting my wife's old smartphone enabled for me to use. I do miss a lot of texts from our circle. However, nearly every single day I am reminded why I have hesitated to go down that path. Yes. I am very aware that you could be disciplined and not have the same level of exposure. Sure. I know that. But, for me, that might be difficult, therefore, for now, I will just keep on keeping on in using my little flip phone. That's right. A flip phone. You think maybe I could get one with the old round dialer on it? Laugh if you want to but it does get the job done for me. For me. Nearly every time I return from a trip into the metroplex I breathe a sigh of relief because I was able to dodge all the near misses from distracted texting drivers. That's the truth and you heard it from an eyewitness. Thanks for listening.

Yesterday had a very frustrating start for me. As most of you know, I travel a very secluded roadway to work each day. In the wee early hours of the morning. On a normal day, I meet a few other vehicles here and there along with all the wild animals who have completed their night shift and are on their way home. Yesterday I had a different experience. I turned onto the final five-mile stretch and made about a half mile before I was stopped in my tracks. It was just past 4 a.m., and I had happened upon an episode of cops going down right there in the middle of the road. There were two patrol cars with their emergency lights beaming, one on my side and another on the other side. Both were parked diagonally and had the road completely blocked. In between, there was a vehicle and the police officers were engaging those who were in that car. As best I could see. I know it wasn't a real episode of cops but it sure looked and felt like it was. I sat there for about five minutes. I could see flashlights and I did see the officers walking forth and back. There were a couple of cars coming my way and they were also waiting. Since no one was behind me I decided I had better back up, turn around, and take a detour before I got locked into my position. That's what I did. I didn't really want to add 20 minutes to my commute but you just never know what you are going to run into on any given day. Oh yeah. When I finally got to my workstation here at the Company, the internet was dead. Not sick or puny. D-E-A-D, dead. Some days it just seems like staying at home may have been a better choice.

I've seen that commercial about how people begin to go stir crazy within minutes of the internet being down. The little girl makes a fairly profound comment in that ad, “Something has happened in the world and we don't know about it.” It does make for some inconvenience when much of one's work environment depends on being connected. While I was unable to get on with my normal activities, I took the time to run a full security scan on my system and to clean up some other stuff on my computer. Many years ago in what would be considered to be the ancient days of computing, response time was very limited. This was before personal computers. Folks were connected to large computers with a terminal. When you would hit the enter button you would then wait for it to respond. The mega computer firm that furnished these systems needed to help people deal with these longer than desired wait times. They came up with a campaign to try and get people to utilize those delays in a more productive manner. They promoted THINK as the answer. They provided notepads, buttons, and other reminders with that logo emblazoned on them. In other words, while you are waiting for the system to get back to you, spend that interlude thinking. Think about ways to improve the job or business you are engaged in. Sorry. I had the responsibility of delivering those services and from what we heard at the help desk, our users were predominately thinking about how lousy our service was. Just like I was thinking when the internet was down yesterday. The more things change it is the more they stay the same. And, that's my story for today and for now I've decided to stick to it. Have a blessed day and may God bless each one. Amen. ....More later.

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