Thursday, January 15, 2009

Can You Hear Me Now? Join the Hang-Up-and-Drive Movement

Posted in Life tagged at 4:51 pm by Elaine Petrowski

Ok,  so it’s not an official movement yet. But it can be if you all get with it and join me in supporting the National Safety Council’s call to ban all cell phone use in cars.  And pass it on by sending this posting and links to a few like-minded friends. (Yes, shameless blog promotion, I know.)

Click here to go to a site that offers  several Hang up and Drive bumper stickers and the html code  for the nifty little widget to the right. ( No, I don’t know who they are or make any money from the suggestion.  And yes, I do have one of the bumper stickers. That’s my bumper in the photo.)  If you don’t like the sticker offered on the home page at this site, just look just below it to the link.

And here’s a link to The New York Times article that delves into some of the research behind the proposed ban with additional links embedded there to take you to the research.

So join in. Get a bumper sticker and start talking it up. Write to your congressional representative and your governor. As mentioned in the previous post,  I did write to Jon Corzine, asking him to be THE FIRST governor to sign the proposal into law since he almost” bought  the farm”  due to cell phone use (and speeding and no seat belt … DUH!)  in his car.

And if you send me a photo of your car with your hang -up- and- drive bumper sticker,  I’ll post it here.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Hooray–National Safety Council Proposes a Ban on Cell Phones While Driving

Posted in Life tagged , , , , , , at 9:11 pm by Elaine Petrowski

Who would have thought that the National Safety Council would make my year? And on only the 12th of January?

To my way of thinking, drivers who insist on talking on their cellphones are, and have been, a menace and a scourge on our society  for the last ten years. So  I can NOT begin to tell you how thrilled –no– make that ECSTATIC  — I am at the news  that the U.S. National Safety Council  is proposing a ban on cell phones while driving in all 50 states!

I wish the NSC as much success with this program as they had with seat belts and infant car seats.

I am,  after all,  the woman who sports a bumper sticker that reads “HANG UP AND DRIVE”.  I refuse to answer my phone while driving. And no, I really don’t think that hands-free is any better. ( And neither do the NSC studies.)  I don’t know why, I can’t explain it.  I just know I can carry on a conversation with a person sitting in the car and that’s not half as distracting as talking on a cellphone. It’s long been my view that cell phones and cars do not mix, kind of like alcohol and cars do not mix.

ALLELUIA… where do I send my contribution for this campaign to begin?

Now please excuse me, while I  write to Jon Corzine, the current governor of New Jersey, who, in case you do not live on the East Coast and did not hear,  was very NEARLY KILLED about 18 months ago when the driver of his official car was TEXTING as he drove the UNSEATBELTED governer to an event, going an estimated 90 MPH, in the left lane of the GARDEN STATE PARKWAY. Perhaps the good governor (who I happen to like very much)  was spared by the powers-that-be  for this exact purpose …so that he could be THE FIRST to sign the proposal into law?

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Snow – Love It or Hate It?

Posted in Life tagged , , , , at 10:49 pm by Elaine Petrowski

It’s not even officially been winter for a month and so far, we’ve had nearly a foot of snow here in Northern New Jersey. In fact, it’s snowing as I write this.

snowy day

snowy day

I’m not complaining.  I actually like snow. I’m pleased that it covers the gray world we find ourselves  in right now,  that it softens street sounds, creates some incredibly beautiful visual details (if you take the time to look), and gives me an excuse to stay home and knit if I feel like it. A snowy afternoon reawakens the little girl  in me, who always had the hope that enough snow would pile up to reach all the way to the top of my boots … and to  close school.  I love that the snow glitters in the sun for a few days after the fact, and that it provides moisture for my garden while keeping it warm and safe on these frigid nights. In fact,  I might even venture to say that I love the snow.

There’s only one thing about it I don’t like.  No, not shoveling. I don’t even mind that, if I can take my time. But I do hate driving in the snow.  And it’s not because I lack the skill.  After all, I grew up here in   the Northeast and it’s snowed every winter since I got my license at the age of 18. And my  father, who taught me to drive, insisted that I learn to drive in snow and that the  only way to do that was… to drive in the snow. Because snow happens here.

At the risk of sounding arrogant, it’s not my driving skills I question, it’s the driver who insists on following me about three feet off my back bumper,  apparently because he’s irked at the fact that I’m driving at less than the speed limit.  Or the driver who’s not twenty feet away,  looks my way, and still decides to pull out, apparently believing that the half ton of fiberglas and metal I’m heading toward him in will stop on a dime.  It’s the driver who treats the fourth of January like it was  the Fourth of July who scares the be-jesus out of me.

Is it that we are all in a big hurry?  Is it that some of us are new to snow and so really haven’t  driven in it before? Is it that some of us think we are invincible? Or that some of us are just plain rude, and possibly, just plain dumb? Or a little bit of all of the above, and then some?

What are your thoughts on driving in the snow? Are you comfortable doing it?  Are you good at it?  Do you have a favorite tactic for avoiding trouble? Or do you live where it doesn’t snow?

Friday, January 2, 2009

Am I an Old Fogey?

Posted in Humor, Pursuit of Happiness tagged , , , , , , at 2:00 pm by Elaine Petrowski

Have I actually become the old fogey I’ve long feared I would?  Or do I just need to “bust out” my attitude?

This may take some explaining. Here goes:

The one aspect of a long car ride alone that I thoroughly enjoy is programming my own audio. Nothing fancy. I simply use the scan button to find a radio station that offers one of the following:

A) My usual fare, public radio.

B) Anything BUT my usual fare, public radio.

C) One thing you actually CAN NOT GET in New York  City and environs, i.e., Country Western music. (I know, I know.  Can you BELIEVE it? Some brainiac decided to kill the last station in NYC about five years ago.)

I  have always had a fondness for CW music — the heartfelt sentiments, catchy (some  might say mindless) tunes and clever lyrics.  My all-time corny favorite:  The Bellamy Brothers- “If I  Said You Had a Beautiful Body, Would You Hold It Against Me?”

But I digress.

On a recent 6-hour long trip up Route 95 from Arlington, VA to northern NJ,  I blissfully trawled the stations as I drifted out of the airwaves of one city into another– DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Trenton. In the process I enjoyed such cultural and musical diversities as  Mike Doughty’s ” 27 Jennifers” and John Legend’s If You\’re Out There

But one offering, while admittedly a catchy, tango-inspired tune, just plain stood my hair on end. It  got me to wondering if this is how my own grandparents felt the night Ed Sullivan introduced Elvis or John, Paul, George and Ringo?

This little ditty was  entitled.. I kid you not … ” Bust The Windows Out  Ya’ Car “

Please take a few minutes to listen and tell me: Have I  just slipped irretrievably over the hill?

Or do you agree that this is a somewhat scary and terribly anti-social topic to be

A) Singing about?

B) Admitting publicly, and to thousands of listeners, that you took part in?

C) Somehow suggesting is OK because he “deserved it”?

And do let me know your thoughts, via the comments below.