Friday, October 29, 2010

Distracted Driving - The New Killer

In virtuallly every jurisdiction that has attempted to reduce distracted driving through 'handheld' device bans and other similar legislation, the results are the same: Distracted driving is on the increase; collision, injury and death rates are on the rise; and device use hasn't been reduced.

Interestingly, the article points to other supposed distractions, such as drinking coffee, eating, and the like. Not one to be afraid of disagreeing with bullshit, I suggest that you, dear reader, try this experiment: First, get comfortable and watch a TV show that you really enjoy, then, while you are watching said TV show: A) call a friend and have a conversation on the telephone. B) apply make up, including foundation, eyeliner/shadow, and lipstick. C) Shave using gel and an instant razer.  D) Have a conversation with someone seated next to you. E) eat a donut. F) drink a coffee. G) listen to some music on the stereo.

While doing so, try and determinehow much of the show you are actually taking in... What you will clearly notice, is that talking on the telephone is by far the most distracting, probably followed closely by shaving or applying make up. Interestingly, having a conversation with someone seated in the room with you is probably nowhere as distracting as having a phone conversation, undoubtedly due to how different telephone and in person conversations are. Eating and drinking are probably accomplished virtually subconsciously while enjoying the show.

Now imagine you instead of watching a television show, you are driving a vehicle. There are things one can do which completely distract the driver from the task at hand (cellphone conversations, personal grooming, reading maps and newspapers) and some things which do not significantly distract the driver (talking with a passenger, eating and drinking (not at the same time), listening to the radio).

So figure out what are distractions to proper and safe driving, and eliminate them completely. Your life, and that of others, depends on it.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

TAC - Pictures of You

Monday, August 2, 2010

What's a measly hundred bucks worth really?!

So here I am dealing with a few indivuduals in what I categorically define as bullshit little squabbles, really meaningless crap involving ridiculous issues that no one should really give a rat's ass about, but here they are thinking its the end of the fucking world!

In all consideration to the few individuals involved, to the best of my knowledge the have never had the benefit of watching someone get killed up close, first hand, so perhaps they have nothing to balance their unresolved issues against.

I suppose watching people die is beneficial in a way, as it puts all of the crap that for some silly reason one thinks is important into much clearer perspective: I can assure you that no matter how important you think your issue is, it really is meaningless, because no matter what happens, NO ONE IS GOING TO FUCKING DIE AS A RESULT!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Coaching As Therapy

I am the assistant coach a gang of under thirteen year old kids playing soccer. I got into coaching two years ago, for my own son's (Rudi) under seven age group team, primarily because coaches were in short supply, and Tim (the head coach of that age group) was desperate for some decent help.

This year however, Rudi decided on baseball, and Marlo (Director of Tavistock Soccer) suggested I wasn't under any obligation to help out, but I could if I chose to. I told him that I would love to, but as I had no kids involved, I wouldn't mind moving to an older age group, which is how I ended up with the group I have.

Last night we headed out to play Thorndale, knowing that a large part of our contingent was headed of to the 'JUMP' program at Wilfrid Laurier, and would not be able to play. A few minutes before the start, we had eight plus a goalie, leaving us two players short. Brad (Head Coach) didn't want to concede the game, and had a brief talk with the other coach, telling him that we would simply play shorthanded, but not to give us any quarter, essentially.

We scrambled for another player from Tavistock, and found Clayton, the younger brother of one of our own players, who happily joined us from his under 11 team. So there we were, eight of ours and a goalie, plus a player from the next age group down, still one man short. I had already been making notes of who to play in what position, and Brad asked me if I was ready to run the game... I had never done so before this game, but was up for a bit of 'trial by fire' so to speak, and began assigning positions and getting our crew on the field.

At the end of the first half Thorndale was up three to two, but in the second period we tied, and then with five minutes to go in the game Mike scored again to bring us ahead by one, four to three, which we held til the end.

There isn't much to compare with that special feeling of pride I got when my crew won the game: The smiles from them as they came off the field. They knew they did a great job, and I let them know it.

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Fallacy of the Term 'Accident'

There is really little need for the word 'accident' in common use of the english language, as by definition, an accident is something that has little chance of ever happening. Drownings, automobile collisions, aircraft and boat crashes generally have an apparant or deliberate cause, and cannot be considered accidental in nature. I rememeber being questioned by the defense attorney in a trial and recall illustrating the difference between the two:

DEFENSE: So Mr. Chiles, you indicated earlier that you had actually pressed 9-1-1 on your cell phone just moments before the accident occurred?

WITNESS: Ummm, what accident?

DEFENSE: The accident between the tan coloured SUV and the blue minivan...

WITNESS: Accident? There wasn't any accident.

DEFENSE: What do you mean there wasn't any accident? You spent the last two hours testifiying about the circumstances leading up to the accident between Mr. Doherty's minivan and my clients SUV...

WITNESS: Oh yes... Well that wasn't an accident at all, it was a collision.

"An accident is a specific, unidentifiable, unexpected, unusual and unintended external action which occurs in a particular time and place, with no apparent and deliberate cause but with marked effects." (From Wikipedia)

Don't piss me off by talking about "car accidents", because they virtually do not exist. If two cars collide, it is simply that, an automobile collision, as they virtually always have at least an apparent, if not deliberate cause.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

An Interesting Link

I don't know how I came across this site, but it is worth visiting for the brutal eye opening that awaits. It is nothing more than a compilation of links and stories about all the fatal and near fatal collisions that occur in Canada, in addition to comments posted by readers. What makes it effective is that there are dozens and dozens of items posted each week. Although the raw numbers of individuals killed every year in Canada has been on a steady decline over the last few decades, there are still roughly 5000 lives ended each year in completely avoidable collisions.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Something That Inspires Me

Sometimes the psychological effects of my meetings with the cloaked traveller leave me unhappy, depressed, feeling helpless, or worthless. But I can generally fight off these symptoms fairly well, though it does get hard toward the end of a long winter. Nothing better to help me get my shit together than a sunny spring day, and a little video clip I watched initially close to a year ago. This is the one video clip of Andrew Johnston you will ever need to see, and after you see it, and the reactions of those in it, you will understand why. You will also figure out why it gives me the strength to do the right thing when I can, to try my best, and to kick the crap out of the blues i suffer. Enjoy, and see what it does for you.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Connections and Relations

It's amazing how sometimes it takes such a long, long, time to figure out why the human brain works the way it does. Earlier this evening I was giving Alexander his bath, and for some reason halfway through he started calling for something, pointing over toward the change table and towel rack, and pleading "moyne...moyne...moyne..." Unlike Rudi, who was experimenting with simple sentence construction and had a vocabulary of about two hundred words, Alexander at age 'two plus four months' is progressing a bit more slowly, and I could only figure out he was pointing at his pants (which he didn't want taken off before his bath) and was probably saying "mine...mine...mine..." He was getting exasperated a bit, as was I, as I couldn't give him back his pants when he was in the tub, and I really had no idea what he was really bleating about anyway.

In any event, the "nyownying" kept up unabated, and I called for back up, after just having barked 'STOP' at the poor little kid so loudly he shook, and stopped for three seconds before continuing his pathetic little chant. Katherine came in after my third quick yell at Alexander, but at this time my heart rate was up, I was feeling trapped, stressed, claustrophopic almost, and I needed to get away fast. "Katherine just take over ok, I can't deal with this!" was all I said before rushing out. Only about six or seven times in my life has this type of event happened, all with either Alexander (two, perhaps three times) or Rudi (three or four times maybe) getting into a pathetic little chant, continuously repeating the same word or words for a few minutes at the most, and interestingly enough, my reaction has been like this only when they are in the bath.

So I figured out exactly why I get freaked out, and its something that has me flummoxed. The chant completely mimics the sounds or words persons have made for some reason or other when I have encountered them in my 'experiences'. Examples are the tow truck driver repeating "Gotta-get-them-out...gotta-get-them-out...gotta-get-them-out" or the Chinese man pleading "Li...Li...Li...Li..." or the sobbing wail of one of the occupants of a car caught fire on the 401, mostly engulfed in flames when I pulled up, knowing my fire extinguisher at that point was completely useless.

Why did it take me six years or so to relate the two types of events, and why do I only react to their kind of bleating when they are in the tub? They can do it any other time, and I don't react at all. Strange.