Category: automotive

Change . ORG  Can it really work?

Change . ORG Can it really work?

Change . ORG  Can it really work?

Speed-Limit-Sign-K-8316

Speed limit signs are confusing to some and a form of entrapment for others.

I would like to see a change to these signs and here is why.

Traveling down most highways where small towns are concerned, we see things like 75mph and a few miles later 45mph than 35 mph and in some towns it even gets slower.

Here is what I would like to see.  I would like to see incorporated in that signage “for the next 15 miles or 1000 yards” whichever the case may be.

There are simply too many small towns that depend upon traffic tickets for revenue which is bogus at best, and downright dishonest at worst.

While I am a firm proponent of money from tickets going to education or some other account, other than for law enforcement, or pet projects of some city; that is a different cause.

Alerting drivers that the speed will be XX for the next X miles is one way to assist drivers in maintaining the proper speed and not get cited for failure to control vehicle speed.  At least they can set the cruise and have an idea that it is not going to 75 and then back to 35, 2 miles later!

Some towns post no warning of lower speed ahead and the police person is sitting right by the sign with the radar waiting for you to cross some imaginary line.  We need consistency with signage and we need to do away with the profit motive for towns with speed traps.

Since I live in Texas, I would first address this to Governor Abbott.

I will go to change.org and formerly draft something for them and I would appreciate each of you to go and sign the petition.

If this catches on in Texas, possibly we can make it catch on in other states.

-Best

https://www.change.org/p/greg-abbott-create-more-consistent-traffic-signage

#Texting while #driving @DentonTweets

#Texting while #driving @DentonTweets

Texting while driving

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The smartphone has offered us many different things both good and bad.  The inclusion of a GPS has been a rather cool edition to the arsenal of tools that this Swiss army-knife of a device does for us.

Each and every day new apps are developed by someone trying to make it rich with their programming prowess.

Along with the GPS and many cool games and business applications there are some that are shortsighted in the total thought process.

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We need to think through the process or, the makers of laws will do it for us in typical government knee jerk fashion, and we then lose control of the process.   Let’s look at Facebook for example.

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Facebook is a success story of immense proportions for many reasons and mobile technology has pushed it over the edge of being what it is today. The problem with this app and others that require your attention are that while driving these apps are distraction to the task at hand, driving.

Texting is another example of a good idea run a muck!  Texting is a great way to communicate without a long drawn out conversation.  “I am running late.  I am going to the store is there anything that you need? Would you grab some milk on the way home?

6a00e551eea4f588340162fc474ba2970d-600wi texting-while-driving

Texting and other applications take your eyes off of the road and that is a recipe for disaster.  How many times have you sat at a red light after it turned green waiting for people to look up from their smart phone to see that the light has changed?

How many times have you seen cars or even big trucks weaving all over the road as they think that they can text and drive because they are somehow better or more evolved than the rest of us.

police in car dash camera

I have actually seen many cops sit at red lights and weave in the road because of their distractions.  These folks have the  phone, two way, radar, a laptop and, not only are they supposed to be able to drive but, they have to listen to the two way and watch for people breaking the law all while driving!  And they unlike the rest of us “know” that they are better and more equipped to handle distractions while driving… Yeah ah huh….

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The City of Denton has just implemented a ban on texting while driving that comes with a $200 fine each time that you do it.  We already have a state-wide law against distracted driving, so why a law so granular?

471566_455333961181044_461025221_o I would love to know how much of Daddy’s money ends up in the city coffers because they probably target students.  I know they in fact have a zero tolerance on speed limits so this falls into the same arena. The police should be a cost center, not a profit center.  When they turn into a profit center they loose their objectivity and come up with things like “zero tolerance.”  I stay the hell out of Denton for this reason, and I live real close to there. Business’s should ban together and stand up against things like this.  Zero tolerance means zero thinking!

The answer to this is really simple.  Disable the device’s ability to do anything but answer the phone while it is in motion.  This is not rocket science, many car GPS’s already limit what can be done with them while in motion, why not a smart phone?

It’s not fair!  Cries the passenger.  I am not driving so what difference does it make that I too will not be able to text, Facebook and so forth?  Actually, it is fair.  Do you realize how rude it is to sit in a car with people and you are on your phone texting or face booking or using some other app, rather than being part of the conversation or team “if you will” that drives from point a to b? As a passenger I often drive my half of the car, help navigate or point out something that the driver may not have seen, like a speed limit or stop sign hidden behind a bush or tree..

Removing the risk of distraction from other drivers; is it really such a sacrifice to make?  Some will agree and others that are more selfish will not.  The bottom line is that this action would save lives and keep the government from creating more laws and making revenue off of people making bad decisions while driving. Lets help people to help themselves.

If you plan to use your phone while driving make certain that you have voice recognition working as well as a blue tooth device so at most you have to touch a button on your headset that tells the phone you wish to do something like “call home.”

I could probably write a book on Cell phone etiquette but, let’s start with texting while driving and let’s make it easy for the rest of the people who think that they are impervious to being distracted.

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Lets help someone who thinks that they are so happy that they must post it on Facebook while driving, it can wait!

This too might be a change.org thing…

If the City of Denton would think outside the box rather than in its regular 2 dimensional style, they would contact the state law makers and propose a bill that made sense. Have Apple and Samsung and others put something into the OS that disables the phones ability to open apps when it is in motion.  Excluding of course the telephone itself and or some apps that are made to run mobile like the GPS.

 

Thoughts?

-Best to you and those that you care about!

Copyright TimeDok 2015 All rights reserved.

www.guard-protect.com

www.timedok.com

Dok at TimeDok.com

Distracted Driving

 

How many times have you been going down the road and some fool does something idiotic and you said, “where is the cop when you need one?”

Distracted driving is illegal.  If you drive and are distracted while behind the wheel you are breaking the law.  Not Unlike speeding, distracted driving can get you killed!  Not only can it get you killed; it could cause the death or injury of others.

Traveling again this week I saw more people fooling with their phones while driving.  The percentage of distracted drivers is alarming!

I am not talking about taking your eyes off of the road for a split second and having to make a small correction, I am talking about the car “or truck” weaving all over the road “kind of like a dance” while the driver is clearly not paying attention to the task at hand, DRIVING!

I would propose a national number set up “like 911” but, this number would use the cell tower’s location to automatically direct your call to the state troopers in that area where you could report people like this.

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This is a common sense “change” that needs to be implemented immediately!

We need to really hit this hard in the PR area to get folks to realize that they are impaired when they are distracted. 

This trip, an 18 wheeler was “doing the dance,” in the rain, and over-corrected a little too much and instead of going into the left lane, went into the ditch.  Because of the rain the mud stopped him rather abruptly.  The next call he made “after to the wrecker” would have been to the company he works for trying to explain how he ended up in the ditch.  What would you care to bet that “I was on my phone” will not come up in the conversation?

Of course the irony in this is that there would be people without hands free devices calling some 3 digit number to “tell-on” someone else who was using their phone.  So, suggesting that they pull over to make the call would be too much trouble; so they wouldn’t do it and … it would be left to those of us you use a hands free “Bluetooth” voice-activated device to “save the world.”

This would be so much easier if you would just leave the damned phone in your pocket or purse while driving.  If it is that important, pull over!

The simple facts are that “technology” got us into this fix, and I would bet that “technology” could get us out.

It may be as simple as getting a dash cam installed and when it records dummies like this, you send the video into DPS and they examine it for what it is and that it has not been tampered with, and go give the driver a bad time.

Maybe we just take the video and post it on YouTube under “stupid people.”  Or, we could send the video, if it is a commercial vehicle, to the company that it is from.

 Here is a question for conversation, should trucks, buses and other commercial vehicles have a black box?  If there is an accident, this device would know the speed, location, if the breaks were hit, headlights were on, if the turn signal or hazard lights were on and any conversations in the cab.  This thing could even be rigged to “listen for RF” and tell what frequency it was detecting.

Either your “regulate yourself,” or the government will do it for you.   Did you know that there was a time when there was no speed limits?  It was simply use good sense.

Be Safe

Profiling

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On a recent trip to Florida I rented a Red Mustang Convertible.  I had been told that was a perfect place for it, as the temperature is not too hot and you can see more with the top down.

The toll way /road coming from the airport to Key West is one long speed trap.  Most of it purports to be under construction but of course there was not one person holding a shovel or anyone doing anything regarding road construction.

There were signs saying that it was an active construction area but of course, no one working.  I am really not sure what active means but;  I would guess if you speed we get to double the fine!

The road is a pitiful 45mph most of the way, a little 55 and a lot of 35 with some 30 thrown in for good measure.  Don’t be in any hurry if you go there, and don’t rent a mustang convertible.  As the matter of fact I would get something that old people drive, so you would fit in.  Most of the locals puttered around about 5 under the speed limit as I am guessing that they too have been tapped one too many times for minor infractions.

From the time that I left the airport to the time that I returned to it, I had been followed by more cops than I could shake a stick at.  It seemed that most every time that I looked up, I had a cop behind me.  The last one was in Miami going back to the airport.  I saw him swoop over from the left hand lane to the right lane where I was, driving about 3 to 5 under the speed limit.  He appeared to call in the plate and as soon as it came back to a rental company; he was gone! 

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Folks, this happened a lot in just a few days.  I used the cruise control to go just about anywhere as I had no intention of paying for one of their new toys.  I would look up, smile at them; and just keep doing what I was doing.  Had  I been in my truck, I would bet I would have not gotten a second look!

Regarding the Mustang I must confess that I was a little disappointed.  The ride was not very comfortable, I had trouble with the Window working correctly and the mirror adjustment is so far forward, that I could not adjust it properly from where I sat.  When I reached up to adjust it I was now out of my “zone” where I was sitting so I had to make incremental guesses until I got it close.

I am not sure what kind of an engine was in it but, I averaged over 33mpg so, I am guessing small.  There was not one place to let that pony run, so I really have no idea what it would do.

As Mr. Peabody would say, the moral of this story is rent a normal car and not one that looks like it is doing over a hundred sitting at the light.  I don’t know if others profile in other states but my guess is that they do.

 

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-Best to you and those that you care about!

 

Follow up to #Karma #Florida @theBlaze #Kimcommando

 

 

Trying to piece the puzzle together requires that you not only look and observe but, listen and observe with an open mind.

 Towards the end of the video right before the “finger gesture and subsequent wreck” is the piece of the puzzle so many are missing.

 

He passes her and tries to get around her.

 

She then speeds up “listen to the background noise, her motor speeds up.”  Do you really think it was slick roads that she was worried about as she now speeds up to…

a: Further aggravate him and

b: Make a video that is sure to go viral!

 

He then flips her off which I am not sure who of us at that point would not want to and, B: gets in front of her so she can no longer mess with him.

 

He did not cut her off as it has been suggested, look how far ahead of her he is. He was trying to get away from her. 

 

Because she has now pushed her speed up to try and catch him, he is now going way too fast!  

 

Human nature is that we want to blame the guy who showed her the bird and accept that the girl is innocent.  Examine all of the facts, not just the facts that you want to see and the picture becomes clear.   

A little more telling of her “intention and nature” is the fact that she stopped, laughed, taunted by yelling at him all the while taking video and then made sure that not only did the police have record so they could ticket him, but posted the parts of the video that made him look like the bad guy on YouTube.  In my humble opinion “she is not a nice person.”  This man should get a lawyer…

 

-Best

Watch as Man With Road Rage Gets Dose of ‘Instant Karma’

Yesterday I talked about Drivers..

 

Today I come across a video shot by a “lady” who shot video as a driver who was tailgating her and subsequently passed wrecked because he was driving badly.

 

On the surface, one would absolutely agree with the girl driving, until you examine all of the facts.

 

Watch the video and then come back for the discussion of the facts.

 

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/03/27/watch-as-man-with-road-rage-gets-dose-of-instant-karma/

 

The girl is driving in the left lane which is for passing only, in many states.  Common courtesy is to move out of someone’s way if you happen to be in the left lane and they want to get around you.

 

Her “excuse’s” are:

a: The road was slick so I was driving slow

b: I was going to make a left turn up ahead in a half mile

c: There was a truck in the right lane.

 

The driver indicts herself by showing her speedometer.  Clearly speed on a slick road was not her main concern.  She passes the truck and stays in the left lane keeping the man blocked by the truck and herself.  She is shooting video at the time so if the roads are truly that dangerous as she alleges; she is negligent and should be ticketed for distracted driving.

 

She alleges that she was being tailgated by this driver for 3 minutes.  If she was going to turn in half a mile; how long does it take to go half a mile at 50 plus miles and hour?  I will do the math for you, a little more than a minute, about 80 seconds…

 

After the driver finally gets around her, she speeds up to catch up to him to video more of him.  He then flips her off.  As he accelerates further to get away from this “person” by now traveling way too fast on these slick streets he wrecks out.  This wreck was her fault!  Had she not sped up to further aggravate this poor sole, he would have been fine!  He would have had a story to tell around the dinner table but he would not have a wrecked truck.  She could have caused someone to be hurt or worse!

 

The very next thing she does is laugh at his misfortune and stops to take further video. 

 

That’s not Karma folks… Call it what you will but that was not disserved.

 

There is one thing that stood out to me of importance. she has a bright yellow blazer in the left from seat.  She most likely is a “crossing guard” and was on her way home from assisting children getting across the road safely by doing what? “Directing traffic!”  My thinking is that she was indeed driving slow and in the left lane.  My guess is she was daydreaming or thinking about what she was doing until the kids get out of school and she has to return.

 

This guy pulled up behind her to entice her to move over to the slow lane.  I think she went back into “traffic directing mode, a self appointed governor of speed on dangerous roads”, as well as taking video to post on YouTube to see if it would go viral!  Because it is touted as this guy was in the wrong, and you don’t have all of the context or facts to see that she was indeed the perpetrator, you agree and laugh at the guy.

 

When he finally got around the truck in the right lane she then sped up to shoot further video of him knowing he was pissed by now as she had been taunting him for no less than three minutes, by her own admission!  He knew he was being screwed with “the victim” and shot her the finger.  I suspect had that been a guy he might have pulled him over and had a conversation of another kind.  Here in Texas that kind of crap might get you shot!  It would certainly not be the first time.

 

In my opinion and with the supporting evidence, her video and her documented actions, she is the villain, and I think if I were on a jury, I would convict her.

 

I think this gentleman has a good case that some lawyer should take.  It looks very much like this lady is a control freak and actually enjoyed keeping this driver behind her.  I would allege that she pissed the guy off to such an extreme that he acted as most would, showed her his feelings for her actions and then tried to get away from her!

 

I would make the argument that she is at fault for this entire disaster and if the police indeed ticketed the guy, they are asleep. They should re-examine the facts.

 

Another thing I found of interest here is, on this thread, you will notice that people treat people badly.  If you don’t agree with their opinion, they name call etc.  Why?  They can do this because they go by pseudo names that give them anonymity.  I can act badly and no one will know it was me.  I can be a jerk and feel good about myself by talking shit to others, and no one can do anything about it.

 

Folks, you are no better than the videographer taunting that guy.  She is a bully and by your truculent attitude towards your fellow posters that you disagree with, you too are being a bully!

 

The Blaze and other such boards that allow “pseudo names” should stop that practice and only allow you to post with your “real name.”  There is no excuse for being an ass because you can.  The human condition is appalling at times.  This video and the subsequent post are only a small example of how far we have fallen as a race. 

 

Would you cut in front of someone in line at a checkout in the store?  No, because you are not anonymous.  But you will go get into your car and cut off anyone to get ahead of them.  Do you see the problem here?  People will act badly if they don’t have accountability.

 

Practice what you preach and look a little deeper into things before you throw stones.  I would start by looking in the mirror.

 

I hope that this guy gets a copy of this video and gets an attorney.  I have little doubt that he would win.  It would actually be “KARMA” to Judge Judy this.  Bring the attention craving “videographer” to the national spot light!

 

I am not a fan of daytime TV however if this case were to go there, I would make a point to DVR it! 

 

Cheers!

 

Drivers Beware …

I am unsure if the stars are out of kilter, the moon is lined up incorrectly or if people are just out of sorts however; yesterday was a bad day for drivers in general.

Here in Texas; yesterday was a normal spring day by all accounts.  The weather was nice, mid 60’s and sunny, open window weather for most of us.

There were accidents where I usually don’t see them, which was odd.

While going to clients yesterday I just about had the opportunity to test the air bags as some young blond women in a red Mercedes, “nice car,” ran the light right in front of me!  She had a phone stuck to her ear and never saw me.  Even as I came to a screeching halt she never looked.  I shook my head and was thankful that my breaks worked so well.

My truck would have made a mess of her paint and might have scratched my bumper had a hit her.  Actually 7000 pounds at 30mph in the side of her car would have made a mess.  I wonder if she would have looked up then.

The Day was not over for idiotic drivers.  I had dinner plans which took me to an out of the way restaurant. While parking some guy started backing out of his spot and came close to backing in to me.  When I tooted my horn to alert him I could see him screaming at me “I guess” through his window.  He then waved the traditional one finger salute and sped off.

My only guess is that he is not a Texan, as we really are a little friendlier than that.  It was all his doing and I did not honk to be mean, just simply alert him that he was about to hit me.  “That is what they made the horn for.”  We are not talking a long horn blast either we are talking a “tap.”

 

They serve alcohol where I was going so I can only surmise that he had been drinking and his better judgment was impaired, or he is a jerk.

That is the reason for this “blog”..

As we guide our thousands of pounds of steel down the highways and roads we really need to be mindful that they are really “loaded guns.”  In a split second of indecision or distraction, we can take a life, if not our own, someone else’s.

While the girl in the Mercedes was not texting, she was clearly distracted.  If someone other than I was in that intersection that also was either not on their game or driving too fast or texting or otherwise distracted, thousands of dollars of damage would have ensued.  Damage to her personally could have happened and possibly me, as it would have been an abrupt stop.  I don’t know how solid a Mercedes passenger door is but, it might have triggered my air bags which would have sucked, because I heard that they hurt!

The guy that cussed me in the parking lot is another story.  People in Texas carry loaded guns.  An armed society is a polite society “don’t you know.”   You really don’t want to bring your “northern attitude” down to Texas and pick a fight.  WE DON’T SCREW AROUND HERE IN TEXAS!  Drive friendly or else!  If you decide to drink and drive and then come at a Texan with an Attitude, YOU WILL LOOSE! Our Prisons are full of your kind.  Be responsible if you come to Texas.  We will welcome you with open arms, if you are a jerk; you will not like it here.

About 25 years ago one day in November I was met head on with a guy driving a vintage Cadillac. His wife had just bought it for him as he whined about wanting another car because he had wrecked his previous car. “I learned this later on from her directly.”

 

We were on the freeway, I topped a hill and there he was, barreling down the road at over 60mph, on the wrong side of the freeway!

 

Friends, when you see something like this and you have exactly enough time to say “oh $hit!” followed by a large bang, your day gets ruined quickly!

 

In the few milliseconds between seeing him, and the subsequent crash, several things happened.

 

I quickly noticed a red truck beside me in the right lane, slammed on the breaks “locked up anti-lock breaks and actually bent the brake pedal, and then the crash.

 

Funny thing about a crash; time seemed to fragment. It was almost as if one were watching a movie in slow motion as the film went by, frame by frame.

 

My personal theory is time is like a frequency.  It has to do with gravity and motion and space and what have you but, the crash had somehow caused a ripple or harmonic.  Don’t know enough math to prove that; and I am certain that Michio Kaku could not come up with the equation either.  This is far past p=mv or F=ma.

I have heard that adrenaline causes this “effect.”  If adrenaline can cause “time distortions, ” than we have discovered how to slow down time.  While I am certain that there was a “shot of adrenaline we are talking about less than a second from seeing him there and the crash!

As we hit head on, the window beside me imploded.  Tiny pieces of glass tumbled horizontally in front of me to my right.  I remember vividly watching the glass tumble as past from left to right, I felt each piece bury itself in my face, arm and hands.  The steering wheel came in and crushed into my face and chest breaking my nose and most of  ribs and sternum. “That bone between the ribs up front.”

 

The dash came in, crushed into me knees and legs.  I distinctly remember the pain as my left leg was punched up under me, torquing my hips in such a way that the sacrum is twisted to this day.  This is how it happened and the order in which it happened, all in a split second.

There is a Star Trek Movie where Picard is with some gal who teaches him to “live in the moment.”  Friends, I think they got the idea for that from someone who has experienced this very phenomena, as that is exactly what it was like however; “and I stress this,” it was not pleasant!

I had just stopped at a service station before this and filled up not only my gas, but my stainless steel thermos full of coffee.  The thermos was sitting beside me.  As the truck went from 55mph to zero in about .025 seconds or less, the thermos tumbled down to the floor.  Little did I know at the time, the thermos had wedged itself between the firewall of the truck; and the frame of my seat!  I in fact have legs today because of that thermos and the fact that it was full of coffee.  Has something to do with hydraulics, if you are scratching you head.

As the truck came to a rest in the middle of the median, steam and Freon and what have you escaped from what used to be my engine which was now sitting underneath my seat.

The pain in my chest was unbelievable, and very soon after that, blood started coming out from everywhere, nose, mouth ears and of course where lots of glass was now buried up under my skin.

Very soon after that I began to loose my vision and figured well, this is it.  “Jesus, if this is your plan, I’m ready.”

I struggled with the seat belt, while I was still conscious thinking if I could get it off, the pain would subside and maybe, just maybe I could breath, no such luck.

There was no time for anger, or fear.  I was consigned to the fact that this was most likely it and I was waiting for the final “sting.”

Before too long, someone came to my door asking me if I was OK.  I turned my head to look at him, he had a camera and was evidently a free lance photographer.  As I spoke I remember blood escaping my mouth spurting, punctuated by my words, “no, I don’t think so.”

I must have looked a sight as the picture that made the front page of the local paper was of them taking me out of my truck..  For that I am thankful.

I remember watching as they took the old man out of his car and put him on a stretcher.  Not too long after that I heard loud sounds as they were cutting my door off of my truck and extracting me out of what was left of it.  As they laid me horizontally on that “board” my vision returned.  Hmm I thought, maybe he has another plan.

The man in the ambulance told me that he was going to stick me in the arm and it would hurt as it was an 18 gauge needle. The needle paled in comparison and quite frankly I was OK with it as if I felt it, I was still alive.  He told me they were putting “sugar water” in me… “Ok…..Fill er up…”I said as best I could!  He smiled as I said that, I knew that things were going to be ok…

The trip to the hospital was uneventful and before long I was being wheeled to some ER room.

The ER visit was terrible.  The doctor was summoned in from his day off.  He was wearing sports attire and clearly distressed that he was missing the game or what have you.  His bedside manners were terrible and quite frankly he sucked!

You know what they call the guy who graduates with the lowest grades from medical school, “Doctor.”

While there, a curtain divided me from the man who hit me.  He was drunk and later I learned he was on several medications that he should not have had alcohol with.  Oh yes, he was in his 80’s!

We had the perfect storm for a disaster and it struck.  He was not wearing a seat belt and because of his inebriated state only ended up with a small cut on his forehead which required a few stitches.

My care was abysmal.  After they took care of the old man they came “by they I mean an entourage of police, some “want to be doctor women” and the rude guy with the sports attire.” They ripped, cut my clothing off.  The paramedic was also there and the cop was telling the doctor that I did not have my seat belt on.  I told him that I had taken it off and he said “sure.”

I think that they somehow wanted this to be my fault, some how some way.

As my shirt was removed there was a huge purple stripe where the seat belt had cut into my skin through my clothes and across my belly.  The trooper was visibly upset as I think he wanted to write a ticket. I want to preface this next remark by saying that I have huge respect for law enforcement folks.  I know several and am friends with several.  I listen to the scanner, a lot, as I like to know what is going on that the press does not think is newsworthy.  Having said that, some cops are simply assholes!  The guy that caused this was on the other side of the curtain and he “the cop” was giving me shit…  I am laying there in pain, bleeding from everywhere, and this guy is looking for something to write me a ticket about or blame me in some way.

The “doctor” treated me like a cadaver flipping me over, was rather brutal and really did not take into account that most of my ribs were broken.  His final “test” was to stick a finger up my rear.  I really don’t know where he went to school but I can tell you that is probably the one place that it did not hurt.  Of course everyone watched the entire process.

You know my part in this; I was in the wrong place at the wrong time.  God knew where I was so, I have to guess that all of this happened for a reason.

The old man had lived in this town his entire life and was most likely known; I was an outsider and relatively young so guess what “it just had to be my fault.”

Other than the sugar water they did nothing for me.  Other than leaving me naked on the table for all of the gawkers, nothing.  I was waiting for the doctor to start filling out a toe tag, as they were doing nothing!  I was in pain, probably scared although that the time I was more pissed than scared.  I worked in the Texas Medical Center for fifteen years.  I know what professional care is and I know what a real doctor does in a trauma situation.  This wasn’t it!

He finally ordered x-rays and a sonogram of my chest.  Finally, some orderly came along and gave me a wool blanket.  Someone had some compassion but not the people that should have.

It is cold in ICU and it was winter, and oh yes, they were pumping me full of something cold. “Sugar water.”  I guess it is “hummingbird therapy.”  Isn’t that what they eat, sugar water? Oh, and did I mention I was naked!  Beat all to hell, naked and shivering is a terrible combination.  I would imagine there was also a “shock factor” involved as well.

This was clearly the hospital without funding as the equipment was a joke; it would not stay in place and kept moving after the tech would place it.

Wheeling one around on a gurney, “which way are you looking?”  You look straight up, at the ceiling.  The ceiling had several brown stains from leaks and what have you.  How much mold do you suppose is loose in that hospital?  Folks, if you run a hospital, look at the damned ceiling once in a while.  This was the basement where the morgue and radiology was.  If the ceiling in the basement is stained with dark brown stains from leakage, what leaked?

The old man was released that day and I got to stay in ICU for about a week before I was moved to a room.  I did not sleep for 72 hours.  I entertained myself by using biofeedback techniques to alter my heart beat.  I once got it so slow I scared myself.  One of the leads came off and the monitor went to that “solid beep.”  Twenty two minutes later someone showed up running to my bed to check on the reason.  I had a solid beep for twenty two minutes before they noticed!  Now you know why I was afraid to sleep!

Some doctor (dentist I think) came and stitched up my lip where my teeth had come through, another came and tried to straighten my nose without any kind of pain management.  Huge forceps up the nose with this guy twisting on it, without so much as an aspirin.

They did not do anything for my pain as they were worried that it would adversely affect my heart which had been “bruised”.  I had to take little breaths as it hurt to breathe.  I could not turn my head because of vertigo.  I could not lift the sheets to pee as I could not lift my arms.  When they pump you full of saline solution you have to pee a lot.  I had to have help each and every time; you would have thought that they would have installed a catheter.

On the third day in ICU I asked to be cleaned up because even with the broken nose I could smell myself.  The busted glass was still in my hide, my body was still covered in blood and my beard / mustache was caked in blood.  The nurse said she would have to shave my face as there was no way to get blood out of my beard… REALLY?  I told her, whatever just please get me cleaned up; I was going to live and if I did not for some reason I damned sure did not want my next of kin to identify a blood covered corpse.

She never did anything.

Would you believe that it was not until I got into a room, days later and was able to take a shower was I able to get “cleaned up.”  I dug into my luggage, found my tweezers and dug the glass out of my arm and hands and face myself, after the shower!  A male nurse came in as I was finishing up to check on me.  There was enough blood from my digging out the glass he got concerned.  I told him to get me some bandages but he sent on the doctor anyway.  I had not seen the guy since the first day as there were other Erudite s to take his place.  He seemed visibly upset that I had taken the glass out of myself.  I am unsure if he was upset with me or the fact that it was still there.

The entire time I was there they kept asking me “what I was on.”  I guess they thought that I was on some sort of recreational chemistry and kept confronting me.  “No, don’t drink.  No, don’t do drugs…”  They had taken my blood several times a day for a week and yet they kept asking.  Had I been able, I would have walked the hell out of there, it was that bad!

By the end of my stay the doctor was treating me somewhat better as I guess he was finally sure that I was indeed “clean.”  They had collected blood and urine for several days, I guess he was satisfied. Maybe it took that long for the tox screen to come back!   If you are young it would seem that you are guilty of whatever they decide you might be guilty of..  Small Texas towns… Be wary… BTW, most small Texas towns are speed traps so don’t speed.  They depend upon giving tickets for revenue.  Now if you are from the north and have attitude, forget what I said and speed all you like.  You too can meet some “nice trooper who will address you as “boy or son ” and will have absolutely no use for wise ass remarks from Yankees! Heaven help you if you give them attitude!

The old man and I had the same insurance company so I was lucky to get my bills covered and get what was left of my truck payments covered.  She (claims person) argued about the cost of my cooler and camping supplies which were ruined.  Looking back, I think that was a distraction from the bigger picture.  Pain and suffering was not covered here.  Embarrassment and harassment from the locals was certainly not remunerated.

Oh and pain today as a result of this was and is not taken care of either…  Insurance is not for your benefit.  They sell it as if it is, but trust me, have a claim and you will learn.

When this type of thing happens; nothing good comes of it. I don’t know whatever happened with the guy that hit me, that was 23 years ago so I am in hopes that if he is still alive, that he is not driving.

Insurance claims and such have a life of 2 years.  Statute of limitations…

Guess what, after an accident like that, things happen much later in life as a result, like bone spurs and such, which cause pain.  You are never normal again after an event like that.

I drive a larger truck today and have little to do with small vehicles.  Screw the mileage; if I get had again I want the larger vehicle. I support MADD, and encourage everyone else to as well.  I don’t care if you drink, just don’t drive!

If you don’t have a “hands free device” get one, or simply call back, nothing is that important.  Oh yes, that bell alerting you that you have a text, ignore it if you are driving.  It can wait.  Too many times I see people texting and driving.  I know that they are doing something because they are weaving or their speed is erratic.  Upon closer inspection they are screwing around with the phone.  “I drive a truck, I can see.”

This inconsiderate old man changed my life forever.  I live in constant pain, and had to quite my job and re-invent myself because I could no longer do my job.  “Not compensated for that either BTW.”

Over 30% of all drivers on the road are impaired by either alcohol or prescriptions drugs or “recreational chemistry.”  Add to this statistic now we have distractions of people who think that they can drive and text, or what have you.

There is nothing smart about a smart car!  I would drive a tank if I could get one.

 

Actions have consequences… Be safe and courteous and if you are in Texas, don’t speed, drive and text and don’t drink and drive!

 

Best to you and those that you care about…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Buying a car….

I finally decided it was time to replace the 12 year old mini-van with something newer.  Started shopping at the place where I purchased my last 3 vehicles.

 Upon parking I was greeted by two sales people.  My guess is that they were taking turns.  The weather was a balmy 33 degrees with a strong wind out of the north with scattered drizzle;  so it was probably not the best day to be walking all over a car lot. 

 I test drove a couple of vehicles; the first one was a two seater so the sales guy could not go with us.  The next was larger, four seats so he hopped into the back.  Immediately I noticed an odor from the back, this guy either had really bad breath, or whatever his diet consist of came right through his pores.  The issue with this is that I was not so much focused on the car as I was getting it parked so we could get out of that smell!  I digress…

 I really liked the second vehicle and the price was within my budget.  As a returning customer I expected a little better treatment than someone off the street.  He assured us that he would make us a great deal!  While he cajoled us and said we were part of the family, the numbers did not reflect any discount what so ever.  As the matter of fact the final price is what was on the sticker with an interest rate of 6.9% . 

 We thanked him and left.  Talking about it; we felt as if that was a slap in the face as this would have been the fourth automobile we had purchased through this dealer.

 We then went to a different dealer this time, to look at another brand.  Found a vehicle with 9 thousand miles on it via the internet and the price was less than the first.  The sales guy was nice enough and he was a “top performer.”  We spent about two hours there.  The vehicle we were looking at was in “like new” condition.  The difference in price between that vehicle with 9000 miles on it and a new one was 3000.  The color options were limited and there were no whistles or bells to speak of.

 We thanked him for his time and were about to call it quits for the day until we decided to try the place where I had purchased 4 cars before.

 Once there we asked to see the vehicle that we found on the internet.  There was some sort of pending deal however; we managed to get the keys as there was some issue with their credit.  After just looking at the car I noticed that it was really in great shape.  The factory tires had been replaced with new Michelins (about $800  worth)  The inside was pristine and the outside was the same.

 

While there was no navigation package there were enough whistles and bells to interest me.  The original driver had purchased it there 3 years prior and put 22K on it.  The depreciation on the car was $15k for 22 thousand miles and three years.  That is not counting the extras that he had included.

 

Normally I buy new cars however; I know that the depreciation is horrific so I decided to save a few $$.  The people were very nice, answered all of my questions and I did not have to haggle the price, as the internet price is what it is.  They discount them on the internet to the rock bottom to get people to come to the dealership.  A quick look at Edmonds and Kelly’s and a call to my trusted mechanic, I knew that I was being treated right.  Easiest purchase of a car in my life!

 

The point to this diatribe is this.  There is much information on the internet regarding what the car cost, what it should sell for, and interest rates that you should expect to pay.  Pushy sales people are a sign of desperation and the “game sucks!”  Each and every time we had to wait several minutes while the sales person went to talk with his manager “under the guise of getting us his card.”  My time is valuable so playing games is not my thing.  Some people enjoy it however; you are on their turf, they have all of the Ace’s and unless you do your research you will be getting screwed.  With the prices and information available to you today, you have a fighting chance of not getting taking advantage of.

 

This was my fifth vehicle purchased from these folks and I would imagine that it won’t be my last.  In retrospect I think that the day of the car salesman may be coming to an end.  I am not sure that this is a bad thing as up until this purchase I have always left with a bad taste in my mouth knowing that I had been screwed.  I don’t mind someone making a living for what they do however; taking advantage of people to the point of obscene is, well… obscene.

 

One of the reasons that I shop for my techie stuff at Best Buy is they are not commissioned, they are straight salary.  I don’t want to be directed to something that they make more money on, I want to be directed to something that fits my needs the closest and is in my price range.

 

Do your research whether it is houses, cars, or computer equipment.

 

Best to you and those that you care about!

Electric Cars, a Case for the Combustion Engine

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I went into an office the other day and noticed a small car parked up front, rather stylish but the name caught my eye, “Volt.”

As an electronic gadget loving guy, not to mention one who designs circuits for one thing or another, I was rather intrigued. Walking around the other side of the car there was this device sticking out of the fender with a long thick cord attaching it to some sort of box with another cord extending from the box to the outlet outside the building.

I really don’t want to rain on the electric car parade but, I think that this technology is too immature for prime time.

When an electric car is fully charged you are going to get a maximum of 100 miles (maybe.) That most likely is predicated on perfect road condition, traffic etc. The radio, air conditioner, windshield wipers and stop and start traffic all play a role.

100 miles to empty in most peoples cars is like somewhere between a quarter and an eight of a tank of gas till empty. Put another way, the little gas light is either on, or about to come on.

Now think about this, you go to work 15 miles each way. You go to lunch maybe 5 miles to lunch and 5 miles back. So far this is good, only 25 miles used. Add to this the trip to the school or the store and then home again, you might make it happen. After work and back home now you have errands to run, but you can’t because the car has to re-charge.

Add to this that each and every night you have to get this cable out of the trunk, drag it across the driveway or what have you and plug everything in or guess what, the next day you will be calling a cab to get to work.

As these cars make more of an impact on society, office buildings and possibly stores will provide a place to hook up your car for a little boost while you are working or visiting the doctor or even shopping.

We are not there yet.

Propane powered cars never took off as there are few places to get propane. It was a natural for cities as they can house the filling station for their fleet. Propane now cost more that gasoline however; and most probably because it can be used for transportation instead of only heating and cooking. Those using propane that live in the country, know exactly how much that has changed in the last few years.

I would imagine that if and when someone makes an electric car that will go further than 100 miles, and they become more ensconced in our way of life, the price of electricity will skyrocket as well as there will be more demand it.

One other thing that the dealers don’t talk about regarding the electric car is the replacement cost of the batteries.

There is a huge difference between the batteries that goes into the Prius (Hybrid) vs. a pure electric car or EV. The Prius battery has been known to go 200000 miles. That is mainly because the Prius battery assist a gasoline engine and is charged every time the vehicle brakes.

Not only are the chemical differences something to be considered, but lets say you “kill” your batteries. That is known as a deep discharge and will in fact damage the battery over time.

Secondly let’s say your drive is only 50 miles a day. When you charge your car every night the batteries will in fact loose some of their ability to hold a charge and before long you may not be able to make it even the full 50 miles.

While GM and Nissan both offer a warrantee on them, they do consider that the batteries diminished capacity is not a warranted item.

You laptop battery uses the same technology. Does it last as long as it did on battery the day that you bought it?

The lithium ion battery which the EV uses, needs “lithium” which this country does not have in abundance. The interesting part if this equation is that Afghanistan is loaded with it. Chile also has large deposits as well as Bolivia. If this country as well as others start driving EV’s in any quantity guess what the cost of lithium will do, not to mention its availability.

Since this is earth week, are EV’s “green friendly?”

Pure Ev’s are charged from the grid. That means that the same power plant that burns coal to create electricity is now putting energy into your car. Since there are no tailpips to allow exhaust to get out and pollute the planet, remember that the “juice” in your batteries came at a carbon cost.

If I were really concerned about getting better mileage and not adding to the carbon foot print I would purchase a hybrid of some sort. No limits on miles, charges from the vehicle braking and can be charged from the grid.

If my mileage was incredibly predictable I might consider an EV at some point. The battery technology and the eventual disposal of them is still to new and since I don’t have thousands of dollars to piss away, I will stick with what I know.

If, and this is a big if, you could get an EV, charge it from your solar array or wind farm, you might have something. Alternate forms of energy producing things are way too expensive for the normal guy, not to mention take up lots of real estate.

It is a free country “still,” and your mileage may vary.

-Best to you and those that you care about.