You Don't Leave Space Between Cars

This morning while approaching an intersection the car in front of me drove past the stop sign and was partially into the intersection.  I noticed a car on the main road wanting to make a left turn.  As usual, I leave some space between my car and the car in front of me so if he has to, he can back up a little.  Well this guy was well into the intersection and started to back up; as I wanted to give him more room, I wanted to back up also.  Well, Mr. "Let Me Get As Close As Possible" was approximately one inch from my car; so, I couldn't back up.  It was all sorted out eventually and we were on our way -- finally.  The driver in front and the one in back of me were both stupid and/or ignorant for causing a needless problem.
It's important to always leave enough space so the front car can back up to behind the stop sign: where he should have stopped originally.  If the car in front of you is half way past the stop sign/red light white line then leave one-half a car length between your car and the one in front of you.  If you're the third, fourth, etc., car in back of the second car you should leave approximately one-half a car length between your car and the one in front of you.  Probably even more important to leave that space is if an emergency occurs.  That space will allow you to drive around the car in front and escape the danger.  Situations like these don't happen very often, but they do happen.  All cars in line are bumper to bumper waiting for the light to change.  An old car in the line catches on fire and you can't escape because your car is jammed in the line.  You jump out and see your car destroyed when the fire hits his gas tank and explodes.  The car in front of you rear-ends the one in front of him.  That driver gets out and starts shooting at the car directly in front of you.  As he's in front of the car in front of you and firing towards the rear puts you in the line of fire also, but you're jammed in . . . you're trying to crawl over the center console to escape out of the passenger-side door.  But a bullet killed your wife in the passenger seat, so now you're not only trying to crawl over the center console but also a corpse.  You see traffic stopped up ahead on the highway.  You slow down and drive to within inches of the car in front of you before you stop, of course, the car following parks his car inches from yours.  You then notice an exit just up ahead that would have allowed you to leave the highway, take a side street and get home without a hassle; but, you're jammed in so you sit there for a few hours.  Always leave room so you and/or the other driver can escape a bad situation.

Shifting Lanes Destroys Your Driving Ability

You're driving in one lane, the lane shifts but you're still driving in one lane and now you've nearly lost control of your car.  Why?  What is the difference between driving in one lane and driving in one lane?  In my mind, there is none.  Driving on an Interstate today, four lanes, two in each direction, the two lanes shifted slightly to the left.  As soon as the car ahead, that was in the left lane, shifted, the driver couldn't keep his car in his lane.  He veered quickly and violently half-way into the right lane, overly corrected to the left, slightly crossed the white lines again and finally was able to settle down into his lane and continued.  What if he was in the right lane and after shifting left, again shifted to the right?  He would have crashed into the Jersey barriers.  If a car had been abreast of him in the right lane he would have sent that car crashing into the Jersey barriers.  The lanes before, during and after the shifting were exactly the same in road surface, condition, width, and weather.  If shifting lanes are a problem for you I suggest that you take your foot off of the accelerator a comfortable distance before the shift, allow the car to slow down a little, go into the shift, settle down into the lane, then accelerate back to your prior (highway) speed. 

You Leave a Child or Animal in a Closed Car

How many times and how many people have to remind you of this?  Of course this doesn't pertain to your Personal Safety but that of a child and animal. Most people think that we're only talking about heat, but what about cold?  Are you positive that nothing will happen to you to delay your return to your vehicle?  Most people think that as long as a window is open, usually slightly, that everything will be fine.  Two windows for cross ventilation is better, but is it enough?  Even with two windows open the heat in the car can build to over 100 degrees.  In the cold, what degree does it have to be and for how long before your child gets hypothermia?  What about frostbite, frostbitten skin, trench foot, among others such as eye injury.  Is your dog one that lives outside in extremely cold weather or is it a small or hairless dog?  A few months back I ran into two situations, in the same week, relating to heat, with a child and a dog.  I was able to put my hand inside the cars to check the temperature.  In one situation I opened the door a little to let out heat until the owner arrived.  Did you notify someone that you left your child or dog in the car and the time you'll get back to the car?  What if something happens to you and you can't get back - your child or dog dies.  What if you get back in good time but your baby is missing, kidnapped or your dog is dognapped?  Wouldn't your child or dog be better off with you?  Wouldn't they much rather be with you, instead of feeling abandoned?

My Condolence To Kenya; And Some Sticky Points

  • The following points are my views, and only mine, regarding the killings at the university in Northern Kenya, but could also apply to any similar situation.
    There are two facts that we know, a physical fact and an emotional fact. The physical fact is that no one had a gun. The emotional/psychological fact is that generally no one will act unless someone else does first. 
    Some background: No one on the three planes that crashed into the twin towers and the Pentagon in the United States, on 9/11, did anything, did not act. Only when one person on the fourth plane knew of the exigent circumstance when told by his wife decided to do something by getting help from the other passengers and prevented more deaths. Now going back to Kenya, no one took any action. What if all 250+ victims, 148 dead and those injured had immediately and viciously attacked the four terrorists with anything they could have gotten their hands on? Doesn't Kenya have rocks, sticks, broken glass, etc. that could have been used as weapons? You constantly see on TV where fighters use their hands and feet to knock out their opponents; they don't use any weapons. I will venture a guess that if the students had, the outcome would have been far better..

You Don't Know Your Function as a Member of the Military

The basic difference between the military and law enforcement is quite simple.  The military protects the country from outsiders and law enforcement protects the people inside the country.  But that is not always the case as we have seen many times in dictatorial countries where the military is used to suppress their own citizens.  As obvious as it is, most military as well as law enforcement personnel don't realize that they are citizens of their country too.  So when the military acquiesces to suppress the citizens, they, in fact, suppress themselves.  Military loyalty belongs to the people only; never to the government.  If your oath is to the head of state then your life is in the hands of only one man.  Hitler purged many in his military even after they swore an oath to him.  Stalin purged nearly all of his first line commanders out of sheer paranoia.  Obama is purging many of the US military top brass, not by killing them like Hitler and Stalin, but by cashiering them out of the service; those who he feels don't or will not go along with his Progressive plans for the future.  Whatever that is.
One must never forget that the only allegiance that protects a military person is his allegiance to his country, not an individual.  For once that individual loses favor, whether killed or deposed, then you lose favor in the eye of the new ruler.  How can the new power trust you if your allegiance was to the one he killed or overthrew?  My basic premise is that if anyone asks you to pledge allegiance to himself, kill him immediately; as sooner or later he will kill you, have you killed or directly cause your death.  Usually death by torture.
(U.S. Navy '51-'55.  Korea & China Service Medals.)

You Don't Have A "Look Here First" Bin.

Several years ago I bought a medium size plastic bin and put a label on it which says:  "Look Here First."  I can't remember whether I picked a purple one to distinguish it from all the other bins but now I think it's a good idea.  Anything that I find that I can't readily identify or not sure what it's for, I just throw it into the bin.  Of course there are many things that I know their use but have no special place where I'll be able to find it at a much later date.  These items go into the bin.  "When will I use those shower curtain hooks again?"  "Where did I put that bulb for the flashlight."  How many times have I asked myself where the batteries are?  All similar items go into the bin.  Small items are bagged in see-through plastic bags and marked.  Unless, merely looking at them is obvious what they are and their use.  As I've moved several times there are many small items such as nuts & bolts and curtain hooks.  What about that special tool that can only be used to take the patio set apart?  I can't tell you how many times arriving at the new destination I found just the item I needed to complete a project.  That purple bin with the "Look Here First" sign on it has also saved me many hours throughout the years.  Every six months or so I take the bin out of the closet and review its contents.  Sometimes I'm then able to identify an item and able to attach it to or fix an item.  This purple bin has saved me a lot of frustration.

You Break My Heart

My?  Whomever the heart belongs to.  Adults can have their hearts broken but I speak mostly of the hearts that belong to children.  Every child has a special love of something in his heart.  If that something is taken away then that child's heart will be broken.  Adults, whether parents, grandparents or teachers, are usually the ones who break a child's heart.  Usually the adult will take away "that thing" to punish the child for a misdeed, but that is never the proper thing to do.  There are many other punishments that may be meted out that will get the point across and help to make the child behave.  But if you take away that "one thing" the child may never reach his full potential or be as happy as he would have been.
One man I personally knew always wanted to play football.  Although he became famous in his state as a basketball player his true passion was football.  As his mother thought that the sport was too dangerous she never let him play football.  He eventually became an alcoholic, was arrested for DUI many times, besides other problems in his marriage.  Can playing football be dangerous?  Of course, but would it have been more dangerous than ruining his life?
It's not only an activity or an inanimate object but also inattention, isolation or ridicule can break a child's heart.  Special needs children are more prone to have their hearts broken as they don't understand all that is happening to them.  The more vulnerable the easier their hearts are broken.  Supervisory adults should be extra sensitive in this area so not to totally destroy their wards.  We adults will eventually die but what kind of child do you want to be left behind?  One that was well nurtured or one whose heart you broke?

You Don't Use Your Emergency Flashing Lights To Warn A Tailgater.

The other day I saw a driver put on his emergency lights to advise the driver behind him that he was following too closely.  Tailgating.
It seems that this procedure was taught in the United States by driving instructors back in the 60's.  Why has this technique been dropped?
Isn't it an emergency when one tailgates you and therefore puts you in danger of being involved in an accident?  We use our emergency flashers for many situations, such as when you see an obstruction ahead and will make an emergency stop.  When you merely use your brake lights, usually the driver in back of you feels that you're merely slowing down and will then resume your speed.  But if you use your emergency flashers the driver tailgating will know that there's an emergency ahead and will slow down and back off.  (He doesn't know that he's the emergency but you know you're in danger).  Once he realizes that you didn't slow down he may catch up and start tailgating again.  If you repeat the procedure he should eventually get the message that you think he's tailgating and putting you in danger.
This should become a universal signal to tell the driver in back that he's tailgating -- among other reasons. If you can't see all of the front tires of the car in back of you -- then he's tailgating.