Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Dude, Seriously, Just Drive

I tend to talk a lot about sports here, but I've been noticing a trend in stupidity lately that I feel the need to comment towards. Granted, I'm not a poster child for making all the right choices, but I'm really beginning to wonder about some people. Mind you, it's bad enough lately when you see guys at your work bathroom talking on their cell phone while doing their business, it hardly fazes you. But when they are using the wall urinal and cradling their phone with their head on their shoulder, I wonder why the conversation is that important that you have to talk while peeing. Mind you, two days prior to that, I was trying to use a sit down stall in another part of the building, and they were both being occupied. I turned to leave and heard snoring from one of the stalls. So apparently, you can fall asleep while doing your business, but I don't want to become one of those people obsessed with poo. We've already got one family member with that issue...

But in the vein of cell phones, I'm tired of people using their cell phones while driving. I've seen enough near accidents and slow driving around the area to know that people aren't paying enough attention to driving while they chat on their phone. These aren't folks using hands free sets or the phones with speaker, but people cradling the phone with their neck or driving with one hand and talking on the other. Seriously, your conversation with some random person is more important than actually driving and paying attention to what you are doing, so you risk the lives of everyone else around you just to talk more? I just don't get it.

I mean, seriously, when I took drivers education back in the 1980's, they showed us the education films with accidents and bloody bodies and such, and it freaked most of us out enough to drive and pay attention. But my history in driving stopped at high school, as I went to college and sold my car as I left, and then I moved to Portland and lived a carless existance until I moved out to the eastside with Girl. I've always had a drivers license, and have driven enough rental cars to keep some skills going, but it wasn't until I drove more regularly that I got better. But there's been some scary moments, and times I really thought girl was going to banish me from driving. Driving is a lot of paying attention to detail and traffic flows, and my old roommate John-O would be happy to hear me channel traffic terms. I've gotten better, and I try not to make mistakes and not speed, but I drive a bit faster than I should at points. It happens, but I make it a point to never use my cell phone while driving unless I have a hands free and it's a conversation that I need to take.

Yet, I see dozens of people talking while driving on the highway, responding to and sending text messages, not paying attention to what they are doing. Some drivers drive slower while on the phone, which may give them a false sense that they are helping things out by slowing down. But seriously, anything that you do to draw attention away from the road is bad, and trying to pay attention to that many things isn't good for most people. I know there are exceptions to the rule, I'm sure there are people that are smart enough to do both things, but the law of averages says that most of us aren't and some folks aren't smart enough to know better. So I'm asking all of you to put the cell phone away while driving, or let your passenger make the calls while you are driving around. If you need to talk, pull over and talk. The choice might cost you some time, but the alternative isn't worth the risk.

MLS Update!!! - Montreal has bowed out of the MLS sweepstakes, and our interim mayor, Sam Adams (no relation to the patriot guy or beer guy) is soliciting input on stadium ideas. He'd love to put a footy stadium in the Rose Quarter complex, but right now, it's more about soliciting ideas and getting a task force together to talk about the ideas.

If you'd like to leave comments about the plan, learn more about Sam's ideas, or learn more about the committee folks, you can visit the following site: It's directly to the mayor's site, and has the latest news. The MLS sites to Portland also have periodic updates about progress, and you can get to them from my home page. The decisions about the 4 main candidates for MLS expansion are due soon, and right now, it looks good for the Rose City.

Web Alert - In reading the Interwebs today, I found this interesting tidbit from Brooks Sports about the University of Montana. During my college days, I've actually been to Missoula, Montana a couple of times. It's a nice part of the world, very rustic and scenic, and fanatical about their pointyball team. So fanatical, that they throw pastries about. Yes, I said pastries. Being a pie loving person, I can't condone the use of pastries in celebratory gestures, and after reading the ingredients list on these things, I think this is a better use than actually eating them.

That's all for now. Be good everyone, and remember, don't text and drive!!

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