Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Drive Me Crazy

Lately,  it seems like people have forgotten how to drive.

Not so much the big things but the little things that make a world of difference. 

1.  TURN SIGNAL - Using a turn signal to let others know your intentions. I don't care so much in a parking lot but I do care when I'm doing 65 on the left lane and you, doing 50, decide you need to move over because your exit is coming up in 3 miles. 

2.  STAY IN YOUR LANE - Simple enough to understand.  I drive in my lane, you drive in yours. No, you can't drive down the middle of both. Maybe if you got off your phone and paid attention to the road this wouldn't be an issue.

3.  SLOWER TRAFFIC KEEP RIGHT - This should be fairly obvious.  The DOT is nice enough to post signs telling you this.  Kinda goes back to #2.   Get off the phone and pay attention to your driving. 

4.  CLEAR YOUR WINDOWS - Now that winter is over (hopefully) this isn't such a big deal. If you are waiting for the wind to blow the snow off your windows or the defroster to melt it, get off your lazy butt and buy a scraper/brush. Clearing your headlights, brake lights and turn signals is also nice.  I'm not a mind reader and can't tell when you want to turn or stop. 

5. SPEED CONTROL - I have saved my biggest pet peeve for last. Maintain a consistent speed. Don't go from 70 to 48 in the course of a 1/4 mile. Obviously, keep up with the flow of traffic.  But if there is a pile of cars behind you either speed up or move the fuck over. Once again the biggest offenders are talking on their phones. 

I guess the theme of this is to pay attention and shut up and drive. 

Sunday, March 28, 2010

... and miles to go....

In trying to be more accountable to my fitness (or lack of) goals, I signed up for dailymile.com. It is a nice place to track your work outs.

It helps me see what I have done in the past and set new goals as I attain previously set ones.

I am tracking my elliptical use, walking and cycling. As far as I can tell, you can't track multiple activities in one post. I have not really had the time to spend digging into the site and find out all the little nuances.

I would like to get a treadmill. I'm on the fence on it. Part of me says I should get my butt outside and walk/run. The other part of me doesn't want anyone to see my fat butt running until it is not so fat. sigh....

At this point, any motivation that I can get helps. I, like many others, start the day with the best intentions but find that some days, I just don't feel like doing anything after I get home from work but walking the dogs, making dinner and vegging out for a few hours before bed.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Stella Awards

It's time again for the annual 'Stella Awards'! For those unfamiliar with these awards, they are named after 81-year-old Stella Liebeck who spilled hot coffee on herself and successfully sued the McDonald's in New Mexico , where she purchased coffee. You remember, she took the lid off the coffee and put it between her knees while she was driving. Who would ever think one could get burned doing that, right? That' s right; these are awards for the most outlandish lawsuits and verdicts in the U.S. You know, the kinds of cases that make you scratch your head. So keep your head scratcher handy. Here are the Stellas for the past year:


Kathleen Robertson of Austin, Texas was awarded $80,000 by a jury of her peers after breaking her ankle tripping over a toddler who was running inside a furniture store. The store owners were understandably surprised by the verdict, considering the running toddler was her own son.


Carl Truman, 19, of Los Angeles , California won $74,000 plus medical expenses when his neighbor ran over his hand with a Honda Accord. Truman apparently didn't notice there was someone at the wheel of the car when he was trying to steal his neighbor's hubcaps.


Terrence Dickson, of Bristol , Pennsylvania , who was leaving a house he had just burglarized by way of the garage. Unfortunately for Dickson, the automatic garage door opener malfunctioned and he could not get the garage door to open. Worse, he couldn't re-enter the house because the door connecting the garage to the house locked when Dickson pulled it shut. Forced to sit for eight, count 'em, EIGHT days and survive on a case of Pepsi and a large bag of dry dog food, he sued the homeowner's insurance company claiming undue mental Anguish. Amazingly, the jury said the insurance company must pay Dickson $500,000 for his anguish. We should all have this kind of anguish.


Jerry Williams, of Little Rock, Arkansas, garnered 4th Place in the Stella's when he was awarded $14,500 plus medical expenses after being bitten on the butt by his next door neighbor's beagle - even though the beagle was on a chain in its owner's fenced yard. Williams did not get as much as he asked for because the jury believed the beagle might have been provoked at the time of the butt bite because Williams had climbed over the fence into the yard and repeatedly shot the dog with a pellet gun.


Amber Carson of Lancaster, Pennsylvania because a jury ordered a Philadelphia restaurant to pay her $113,500 after she slipped on a spilled soft drink and broke her tailbone. The reason the soft drink was on the floor: Ms. Carson had thrown it at her boyfriend 30 seconds earlier during an argument.


Kara Walton, of Claymont , Delaware sued the owner of a night club in a nearby city because she fell from the bathroom window to the floor, knocking out her two front teeth. Even though Ms. Walton was trying to sneak through the ladies room window to avoid paying the $3.50 cover charge, the jury said the night club had to pay her $12,000.....oh, yeah, plus dental expenses.


This year's runaway First Place Stella Award winner was: Mrs... Merv Grazinski, of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, who purchased new 32-foot Winnebago motor home. On her first trip home, from an OU football game, having driven on to the freeway, she set the cruise control at 70 mph and calmly left the driver's seat to go to the back of the Winnebago to make herself a sandwich. Not surprisingly, the motor home left the freeway, crashed and overturned. Also not surprisingly, Mrs. Grazinski sued Winnebago for not putting in the owner's manual that she couldn't actually leave the driver's seat while the cruise control was set. The Oklahoma jury awarded her, are you sitting down?

$1,750,000 PLUS a new motor home. Winnebago actually changed their manuals as a result of this suit, just in case Mrs. Grazinski has any relatives who might also buy a motor home.

Are we, as a society, getting more stupid....

or are more members of Congress serving on juries these days?