Friday, December 14, 2012

Week 29... On My "Soap Box"

Greetings:

This week, I apologize...  I am absolutely "Waving the Red Flag" as I stand very clearly on or behind (never sure about that) my Soap Box.  The 1st third of this Blog Post today will consist of my "rant," if you will, on a disturbing trend that "most" of us are guilty of.  You have been WARNED!!!  Please stay with me... 


Now, this is a "tricky" post, in that each week, as I publish these things, Donna usually sits right around the corner from me on her computer and reads my Blog.  While I'm posting my "link" on various sites, I can usually get "a feel" for how I've done if she is laughing, a lot or a little, or is silent, if she is tearing up, etc.  Fortunately, through 28 of these thus far, I have not heard, "Babe, what were you thinking?"  Or, "You couldn't come up with anything else?"  My point:  Not so sure on this one.  Which will drive me crazy.  Just sayin'...

On Wednesday morning of this week, which just happened to be "12-12-12," I was at work, at Friendswood ISD Transportation (which is code for School Buses).  Part of my job each day as Lead Driver is to help or ensure that the drivers' get going each morning on their routes.  Although we are considered a small district, we do have 36 routes that go out every morning.  That said, I had been out in the Bus Yard Wednesday and the last of the buses had just left on the morning runs as I walked back into the building.  I entered through the back door to the driver lounge area and the TV was on Channel 26 News.  As I walked in, there was a "Breaking News" story on involving a Waller ISD School Bus, Northwest of the Houston area.  

As the story goes, this particular bus had stopped for its first pick up, 3 young students, at approximately 6:20am.  While stopped and with its lights flashing and "stop sign arm" extended, a vehicle in the same lane failed to stop as it approached and "crashed" into the rear of the bus.  According to the News Report, the driver of the vehicle was killed.  Officers at the scene of the accident are quoted as saying, "There was no indication the driver (of the vehicle) braked before striking the rear of the bus."  Another quote said, "There were no skid marks or any evidence the driver (of the vehicle) attempted to slow down or miss the bus."  Channel 2 News reported that the driver (of the vehicle) appeared to be a male driver, between the age of 25 to 35.

Picture is Courtesy of KRIV Channel 26 News

Picture is Courtesy of KRIV Channel 26 News

I want to be very clear here...  This accident is still under investigation and I do not know what caused the vehicle driver to crash into the rear of the school bus.  Going out on a limb, he could have fallen asleep at the wheel, he may have been looking out his driver side window at the amazing and beautiful sunrise, he may have had some type of sudden medical condition.  He may have been inebriated.  Or, he may have been distracted...  as in possibly doing something, maybe texting, with his cell phone.  Whether he was or not, as I stated above, is unclear at this time.  But, as I heard the news report, and after I read the details, I could not help but wonder if he was in fact texting, or doing something with his cell phone.  

Which leads me to my rant:  Our cell phones have become so sophisticated and contain so much information, that we just can't seem to "leave them alone."  They certainly "keep us connected."  They seemingly have to be in our hands at all times, and if they're in our hands, we're using them in some form or fashion, and for a lot of us, even while driving.  And that, sadly, in many instances, leads to somebody getting hurt very badly, or in some cases, results in death(s).  Distraction.gov states on its website that for the year 2010, 3,092 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver and an estimated 416,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driverTexting is at the top of the list of "types" of distractions.  Further, 11% of all drivers under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crash.  This age group has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted.  I have sat through Certification Classes and watched video's of texting and driving fatalities.  At the very least, it is sobering to watch the horror stories of those involved and their families and they are certainly capable of bringing tears to your eyes.

We've all done it.  We all have kids who do it.  We all have friends who do it.  I'm asking...  Why can't we all wait???  If you're driving, I say (for what it's worth), hang on just a bit.  "Arrive Alive," I think, is a slogan related to drinking and driving, but it applies here as well.  It is the Christmas Season.  Family and friends time.  When using our phones in the car, we seem to "take it for granted" that "I'll be OK, I know what I'm doing," or, "That won't happen to me."  But the statistics say different.  I'm just saying, in my small little rant here, if you're driving, please "think before you text" and Arrive Alive!!!

Now, myself, I have a built in safety measure:  I drive a Jeep.  Have you ever driven a Jeep?  Trust me when I say, under the best of circumstances, you can't text and drive in a Jeep.  If you do, I promise you, your target will be unable to read your text, or, they may think you have been drinking.  Add to that, without my "readers" on, I can't see anything up close.  So, maybe everybody should just buy a Jeep and we'll all be a little safer.  Ha!!!  

Did We Get SMOKED Or What???   

Houston Texans Football:  Wow!!!  Yes...  We got SMOKED!!!  To the tune of New England:  42, Houston:  14.  Yikes!!!  That leaves the Texans at 11 & 2 and still in control of their Playoff Road.  They need to win the next three games and they will own the "Home Field" advantage throughout the playoffs.  That "road" starts Sunday with a home game at Reliant Stadium against the 9 & 4 Indy Colts.  A win seals a 2nd straight AFC South Division Championship for the Texans.

Merry Christmas

Back to our "Tree in a Box" (my favorite kind) with a few pics:

Just a reminder...  Our Tree in the Box went from this:

...To this:
...To this:
...To this:
...To this, the "Finished Tree" (by donna)
And just for grins:  Donna's "Pinterest" idea for hanging Stockings:  A Curtain Rod
Music:  In keeping with my Christmas Fave's, this week I am highlighting a Rod Stewart & Dolly Parton duet.  I really like this song.  I hope you will click on the link and give Baby, It's Cold Outside a listen.

Market Watch:  An upswing!!!  Facebook closed yesterday at 28.24, ticking upward and is now, finally, less than 10 points from where it started at 38.  But, can it keep this pace up???

The EndAs usual, Thank You so much for checking in this week.  I hope you will come back next week for more.  Until then...

Be safe, be smart, and always smile...  It's "Happy Friday"

adios...  vaya con dios

13 comments:

  1. I'm of the opinion that people shouldn't even touch their phones when they're driving. You're driving a machine that's capable of killing people, you shouldn't be texting someone!

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    1. Thanks for checking in Kellie... you are absolutely right. Sadly, so many will continue, so they can "stay in touch."

      Take care, Slu

      Delete
  2. I completely agree with both you and Kellie. Well written....
    Big Sis

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  3. That picture of the accident is so sad and horrific at the same time. If it was a texting issue, send it to everyone you know who texts and drives--as a lesson.
    LOVE the pictures of the tree--you all did a wonderful job! As always, a great post!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for checking in "Meno Mama"

      The pics are sad & that is why I showed them... It pains me to know that these types of accidents are happening due to "texting." Maybe just one person will see it and think twice.

      Take care, Slu

      Delete
  4. The photo of the bus accident is chilling.
    I think the videos of texting and driving that you had to watch should be required in all new driver's training. I'm appalled when I see drivers (young and old) still texting on the road. It makes me sick. My kids are out there! Thanks for bringing the awareness to light. THere is NOTHING important enough on a cell phone that can't wait until you've pulled over to the side of the road...
    Sorry man about the Texan's They'll bounce back.
    My favorite thing about your tree? That you centered it perfectly on a scratch-free cloth. Hahaa. I'm proud of you.
    Tell Donna that Pinterest rocks and so does her stocking set-up.
    Happy Weekend :)

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    Replies
    1. Hey yo: It is chilling... I hate it that these things happen. Makes me think twice about getting out on a bike. And yes, our kids!!! Grrrrrrrrrrrr...

      Counting on the Texans today. Lots on the line.

      Ha!!! You noticed that about the tree??? Just how I roll.

      Donna loves her stocking holder.

      Thanks for checking in. Take care, Slu

      Delete
  5. It's illegal back home - and here, only in School zones! So glad it's illegal in School zones,but ban it everywhere - PLEASE! Man, I often find myself behind some sketchy driver - or someone will pull out without looking, they're not texting (which is wildly dangerous in my opinion),they're talking on the phone.. scares the living daylights out of me! We don't let each other talk on the phone while driving t's a family rule - but I know the hubs breaks it when he's in the car alone. I call, he picks up, I tell him off! Ha! I liked your rant - and the pics CLEARLY got my attention! It's always hard gauging your other half's response. Interestingly enough, the first blog my hubs deemed crappy (there have been more since) was my only top topic on Bloggers.com - Go figure!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for checking in... this is a subject I'm trying to bring some type of awareness to. I think it's just going to get worse in the hi-tech world we now live in.

      Take care, Slu

      Delete
  6. Hey Slu... My first visit to your page. Menopausal Mother suggested I come check you out. I knew I trusted her judgement... I enjoyed reading your post. Your a straight talker, I like that.

    Well, I don't have to worry about being the cause of a texting and driving accident. I don't own a cell phone, and I don't drive a car... I know. I'm just weird like that. And while I don't have to worry about being the cause, I often worry about being the victim. Instead of a car I ride a bike everywhere, and let me tell you the road has become a scary place for a cyclist. Thanks for raising awareness. Sad story...

    I hope you have a great Christmas, the tree in a box is beautiful, same tree we have as a matter of fact. Only ours is still in the box. Take care... I'll be back to see you again.

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    1. Welcome Jon... I appreciate you stopping by. And I do hope you will come back.

      I have to tell you... I have been seriously contemplating buying a bike. But the car DRIVERS are making me think twice!!!

      Too funny on the tree... Thanks for checking in, Slu

      Delete
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