Friday, March 12, 2010

I've Outgrown the Babysitter...

In the State of Washington, pressing a phone to your ear and talking while driving is against the law. Currently a second offense, this means drivers must disobey another traffic rule first, before they can be cited for what some have called a highly dangerous and distracting activity.

I would contend, that retrieving a screaming child’s dropped bottle from a rear floor mat or dipping double bacon cheesy fries in a milkshake perched in the steering wheel while driving are equally dangerous and distracting. Fumbling to prevent a single Cadbury Mini Egg from rolling beneath the front seat easily robs quadruple the attention answering a phone call does.

On taxpayer dimes, lawmakers in the state’s capitol debate whether there is merit in toughening the ban already in place; changing it to allow law enforcement the authority to cite wrongdoers even in the absence of another traffic infraction. A headset or hands free device would still be required for cell phone use while driving.

Much of the data collected simply does not support the “oh my gosh” belief that there has been an exponential rise in traffic fatalities related to traveling phone conversations. Further, requiring drivers to use headsets when talking on their cells has no demonstrable impact on the number of crashes, according to new findings from the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI).

While not disputing that distracted drivers of any kind may also be dangerous drivers, the haphazard over regulation in areas which should remain under the discretion of individual citizens, puffs up the system and restricts liberty. No law exists banning the “right handed retrieval of tossed binkies while driving” even though this also poses the risk of collision. No additional rules required for safe operation of my vehicle, I've outgrown the babysitter.

Any statute determined to micro manage individual behavior effects no absolute compliance and delivers only perceived increases in societal safety. The resulting outcome is ultimately a pudgy Uncle Sam who claims more space and smells increasingly stout.

Return my iphone usage discretion, get out of my van and quit eating the rolling Cadbury Mini Eggs.

I’ve got it from here.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Can You Believe it???

Here's the exact story he told me..."I actually caught a much bigger fish. Just as I placed the camera on a rock to get it's photo, I took one hand off the fish to set the timer and it moved suddenly, wiggled out of my other hand, dropped into the water and swam away." The picture here is of the much smaller fish.......

Friday, March 5, 2010

For My Face Book Farmville Addict Friends...

The following is for entertainment purposes only with no intended malice toward any group or individual … *

News from the “Committee for Responsible Use of Face Book”…

Four hundred thirty six thousand three hundred forty two virtual RSVP’s were received from iphones, blackberry’s, Mac Book Pros and library desk tops to the first meeting of “Farmville Addicts Anonymous” held through Face Book via both dial up and wireless high speed internet connection.

Barring the number of reservations, the actual attendance was significantly lower, understandably, in light of what some call, “The Complex Nature of Addiction”. Many were simply… not ready to stop farming.

During the meeting **, profile information statistics and birth dates were 128 bit encrypted scrambling data to protect the anonymity of the participants. Uploaded photo albums were replaced by a Joint Photographic Experts Group image of the addicts prayer – “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.”

A read only PDF version of “The Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous” was available for reference with “Farmville and other Face Book Games” replacing the word “alcohol” where it appeared in each step.

The study portion of the meeting began with a reading from the “Big Book” page 328 entitled, “Crossing the River of Denial” Since few possessed an actual copy of the book, an immediate down loadable audio mp3 version was available by clicking on the “flowing river” hyperlink across the top of the homepage.

After the group study, a chat room was made available for the sharing portion of the meeting inviting all those willing, not to offer advice, but to humbly share their stories of recovery.

The first to virtually stand before the crowd admitted soiling his clothes numerous times rather than use a restroom because he was engaged in putting up a fence line on his property. Several others did not deny purchasing mini-laptops for use on the pot. A disheveled and obviously distraught woman sobbed recounting the recent loss of her precious escaped rooster from a half constructed chicken coop. Another interrupted the sharing fourteen separate times desperately repeating the plea, “I just need a one more horseshoe, I’m running out of time… “

Many divulged they deleted Farmville entries appearing on their recent status activity to conceal the actual time spent in hazy enjoyment. One confession that Farmville use led to experimentation of other similar intoxicants like Zoo World and YoVille, provoked the virtual nodding of agreement from many in the group. Unfortunately for some, when Farmville became less and less effective and produced less and less euphoria many turned to Super Farkle, Happy Island and Fish World for an additional fix only to discover themselves forever chasing the high.

The meeting rules accessed by clicking on a circular red and blue hyperlink button at the top of the homepage stated -- Recovery Meeting Rule # 1 -- “If you have used within 24 hours kindly refrain from attending this gathering.” Compliance to the rule was thought to be mostly present until it was discovered that several hundred thousand attending were engaging in relapse behavior by privately text messaging requests for horseshoes bricks and nails encouraging the trades by offering virtual gifts both large and small.

The meeting adjourned with a parting suggestion “To take what was wanted and leave the rest” and with this message from page 58 of the “Big Book” –

Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves.

There are such unfortunates. They are not at fault; they seem to have been born that way. They are naturally incapable of grasping and developing a manner of living which demands rigorous honesty. Their chances are less than average.

If you have decided you want what we have and are willing to go to any length to get it – then you are ready to take certain steps. At some of these we balked. We thought we could find an easier softer way.

We beg of you to be fearless from the very start. Some of us have tried to hold on to our old ideas and the result was nil until we let go absolutely.

And then it ended… with a virtual unison hand holding circle… repeating the words, “Keep coming back, it works if you work it.”

* - poking fun is different than making fun
** - no actual meeting occurred... You didn't seriously think it did... did you???

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Mistake Averted...

Okay, first of all it is completely pathetic that I have blogged nothing this entire year, the one video clip not counting. Really.....? I've been a "Blocker" which is a fusion between "Blogger" and "Slacker" -- mostly slacker.

Today I heard the story of a grown child's difficult decision which ended a multiple year relationship lacking long term potential. I know this kid... and for positive it probably hurt him terribly. His sting significant at causing the parting injury.

I thought of a situation from my own life... dusting off a pair of old photos, I sat to recount the memory and send it his direction. Interesting what emotions surfaced. Many years had past since that old flame crossed my mind. Flooding back came the certainty of a choice well made. Two pictures two stories.

Here’s my 5 year crush that began in 1980 before my mission. Hal got down on one knee and proposed which completely swept me off my feet. He had all the right ingredients -- RM, great family, raised in the church...

The relationship was long distance for a lot of the time which made it hard to really get to know him. I decided to go on a mission in the meantime. After my mission we were 5 years older and he was finally ready to make it official. I traveled to San Diego 2 weeks after I got home and within 2 days I knew the honeymoon was over.

He just wasn’t spiritually as committed as he once was. I hated that I had invested so much time only to have it over. I was on a different spiritual level at that point and I knew it just would not work long term.

Just writing this brings back some tough memories I forgot about mostly because choosing him would have been a GIANT mistake. Although the “wait” message I got felt really open ended -- I just had to trust.

Here’s the guy who annoyed me in Seminary beginning in 1979. I ran into him in the MTC and wrote him a half dozen letters in the mission just to be nice.

Mostly because of your mom I remained in SD after things didn’t work out with Hal. I felt like I should stay with no real reason I could pin point at the time.

Four months after my 5 year crush ended Tim traveled to San Diego for a post mission surf trip. Having a seminary teacher in common who also happened to be in town that week - a small class reunion was organized where I saw this former classmate with new eyes.

He was bright and funny with a spiritual foundation I was drawn to - plus he had grown two inches on his mission making us now the exact same height and which significantly increased his eligibility to date me.

Everything about him felt right even though I could not explain why. Had I not been in the right place at the right time I would have missed him. I converted to a full fledged believer in “proper timing”. Needless to say the last 24 years have been so worth the angst of prior lost love.

I am certain my beautiful children fully needed his cute genes -- who knows what they’d have looked like with the other guy.

On a very interesting side note -- looking at these pictures really brings home the huge difference between Hal and Tim. Looking back, Hal was not real warm and fuzzy. After professing his love the first time he expected me to remember it until he told me different. He wasn’t much for repetitive mush. Tim, on the other hand is the exact opposite making my life with him exceedingly more enjoyable.

I sent the email to my sweet Tim as well and his response was... "Lucky for me. Thanks Hal for swinging and missing"