13 February 2012

Monday Musings...
Top of the week, and a top o' the morning to you all.
It certainly has been an interesting weekend, hmm?
I'm into day 5 of my cold, and I can truthfully say that "Sam Elliott" has left the building...lol.
(damn shame, I was really getting into the whole "movie-quote" gig...)
On the other hand, I did have at least ONE "well-wisher" stop on by our patio buffet to say "hi", AND...I'm also finding out that yes, the human body CAN produce it's own weight in mucus.
My nose has been running all weekend, and I've yet to catch the damn thing.
But, it appears as though I've got those millions of germs on the run.
Forces from MY auto-immune coalition have been ever vigilant over the last 72 hours in taking out the offending little buggers (with some help from the local Walgreens). Patton would be proud.
Anyway, let's see what's been going on elsewhere...
*** Unless you've yet to come out of your cave because the shadows on the back wall were too damn fun to watch, you know that singer Whitney Houston has died at the age of 48.
When Wifey mentioned this to me, it was not one of those "wow, no sh*t...really?" moments.
I took it right in stride. I guess after a while, you become resigned to see such things.
Many people in this world pass on in much the manner as they have lived...it's that simple.
And when your time is up, the one who calls makes no exception for class, race, wealth, past achievements or past failures.
It's what YOU do with that life that makes any difference at all...to anyone.
As to the Grammys?
Well, a female singer ADELE walked off with a few of them, and I've listened to her, and have to admit she does have a very good voice. If she sounds like anyone, I would say Janis Joplin...BUT...Adele has a lot more POLISHED version of Joplin's voice...less gravely and she's got a better tremolo.
Perhaps a bit of Jewel and Carole King tossed in there with Joplin. Either way, she's got promise, if she can avoid the pitfalls that helped to claim Joplin and made Houston's life less than stellar, she'll be alright.
Movin' on...
*** When was the last time you drove around, and took a thought about the driver alongside you?
And would you be surprised if about ELEVEN PERCENT of those people are on SOME kind of illegal OR prescript meds?
Well, according to this article, it's TRUE...and it gets even better (or worse):
http://www.journalgazette.net/article/20120212/LOCAL/302129936
And we have the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to "thank" for this study.
It's a given that I will be watching every one that I possibly can while driving (as an adjunct to paying attention to MY vehicle and the path IT'S traveling).
And the numbers cited in the story seem on track, if a bit under reported for SOME parts of my city.
I can honestly say that when this study took place (2007) I was NEVER once stopped and OFFERED $100 to be tested for drugs (not that any would be found...but, HEY...I could always use another hundred bucks...as could we all...lol).
Hell, I'd even down a bottle of Robitussin, if I knew they'd give me $100 - it would at least PAY for the Robitussin.
But, it's the findings that have police stymied, because not ALL people will exhibit symptoms OF such impairment, while others act impaired when perfectly normal.
How can you pull an IMPAIRED driver off the road (when needed), if they don't APPEAR to be impaired?
You have to have PROBABLE CAUSE to initiate such a traffic stop, and without that, it can (usually) be construed as harassment.
In the ACSD (Allen County Sheriff Department), there are only FIVE officers trained to spot subtleties that would infer an impairment.
That's WAY too few, the sheriff feels, and he's right.
Becoming a drug recognition expert doesn't offer a RAISE IN PAY, and officers don't want to put in the time, if it "doesn't pay off", as it were...understandable logic, if a bit misplaced.
Sometimes, in order to be a BETTER officer, you have to learn things you might not be financially compensated for...goes without saying.
Works that way in the military, as well as the private sector, too.
But, in the end, YOU are a better- knowledged individual, and often more valuable an asset to the department, platoon or private company.
The training IS quite comprehensive, and teaches officers the difference between physical impairment, and drug-induced impairment.
(diabetics can display similar symptoms, which to the untrained eye can be taken as non-compliance)
And this is a course that requires special people - those with the "right stuff", as it were, who are "true believers" when it comes to fighting impaired driving, and provides expert testimony when such cases go to court.
Methods for better testing are being...what else? TESTED and should be ready to roll out within 5 years, including saliva tests.
Many of these could be done roadside, of course.
The entire program seems intriguing, and one which I would get behind in a heartbeat, because that is exactly HOW LONG it would take for an impaired driver to kill another motorist or pedestrian.
*** In a perfectly-related story, there's THIS:
http://www.journalgazette.net/article/20120213/LOCAL07/120219832/1002/LOCAL
Here is a case that (like most every time) could have been avoided.
Woman hits tree, car totalled, woman in critical condition with a BAC of 0.31...amazing.
And stories such as this happen every minute of every hour of every single day across this nation.
Some would say this is "God's way of weeding out the bad seed", and perhaps there is some sense of truth to be found there, but what if it never had to occur? Wouldn't that be a better ending, than carnage, injury or possible death?
*** Lastly today, it's not hard to figure out that bad decisions often lead to bad outcomes, right?
And we ALL have made our share...no one is exempt.
Hell, I've driven impaired a few times, and I'm still here.
Doesn't make me one damn bit BETTER than anyone else...just lucky...DAMN lucky.
I recall one time in another February (late 70s), after a night of scotch on the rocks (5 within an hour) at my favorite club, and coming back home northbound on I-295 from South Jersey to the interchange that would get be back across the bridge to Philly.
It was cold out, too...musta been twenty degrees or less outside, and there I was tooling along in my (own) '75 Torino, when I got this notion to "see what this baby will do"...(ahem).
Well, it wasn't exactly WARP FIVE, but...
The speedometer went up to 120, and I damn near PEGGED it (108 mph) - got me to my exit DAMN fast, and NO police around (at 2AM - more luck).
The next morning I told (proudly) told my Dad what I had done, and I got the ass-chewing of a damn lifetime, believe you me!
I was lucky I didn't have to hand over the keys then and there, but Dad got me thinking REAL good, and his word was law in our house.
Lesson learned there (never tell Dad...lol).
Actually, it was more than that, and I did pull a few more DUIs after he passed away, but NEVER with the devil-may-care attitude I had that one night.
The LAST time such a thing occurred, it was my last day on the job in Ohio, and the guys took me out for one last hurrah (ahem).
Got home okay, just didn't roll up the window on the car and it rained that night...(DUH!!!)
Lesson FINALLY learned...never since (and that was a while back).
What it comes down to is knowing YOUR OWN LIMITATIONS, and then NEVER exceeding them.
It's about your OWN accountability, and being PERSONALLY responsible for YOU...period.
Some folks just never seem to figure that much out, though...do they?
Have yourselves a great week.
Be well, make a difference to someone, and...
Stay SAFE out there, America.

4 comments:

CWMartin said...

Yeah, it just took watching Dad get raked over the coals by AA and alcohol countermeasures to convince me... and a year on the wagon to apply it. If I'd had a brain, perhaps the two incidents would have been closer chronologically.

Bob G. said...

CWM:
There is not a day that passes when I don't hear about SOME traffic clusterf$ck, and then hear about a DUI involved, and THEN thank Dad for being as strict as he was...and he was known for tying a few on as well, but NEVER behind the wheel.

He lost a co-worker buddy who was killed when he crashed while drunk - closed casket - and THAT brought Dad around.
And HE impressed as much to me...and I caught on (after putting my Guardian Angel through SEVEN types of hell ).

Some things in life, no matter HOW enticing they might seem, or WHO might want you to do it, are rarely if EVER worth the price you might have to pay.

Hey, thanks for stopping on by today and commenting.
Stay safe (saved & sober) up there.

John D. said...

And would you be surprised if about ELEVEN PERCENT of those people are on SOME kind of illegal OR prescript meds?

Actually, that makes perfect sense in light of the way many folks drive these days. My youngest has her permit and is learning to drive. I'll have to pass that bit of trivia on to her. It's a very sobering statistic (pun partially intended).

Bob G. said...

John D.:
I'll be brutally honest with you here...THAT number in some parts of MANY cities across this nation is TOO DAMN LOW.
(they ARE talking about that ELEVEN PERCENT during DAYLIGHT HOURS ONLY).
After dark it rises to close to FIFTEEN PERCENT (again, the number is too LOW in some parts of some cities)

And they don't even mention RURAL areas with plenty of wide-open roads and fewer people living nearby (and fewer police) so it "must be ok to drive like a dumbass at breakneck speeds"...

The study IS a good one..if a tad under reported as to SPECIFIC statistical data.

We used to watch a movie in high school about the DANGERS of drinking and driving...and it made any horror movie seem like a COMEDY!

My school ALSO parked a totalled car (from DUI) on the front lawn...as a "reminder" to all of us.

I miss those days.

Hey, thanks a lot for rolling on up today and commenting.
Much appreicated.

You stay safe out there.
(that goes DOUBLE for your youngest daughter).