Tag Archives: The Week

Goofy weather: Climate Change?

Or just good old Mother Nature’s crazy sense of humor?

Good question! Mother R is all in favor of a crazy sense of humor, and appreciates Mother N’s going to all this trouble for a good laugh, but she’s beginning to suspect this may be more than just an elaborate April Fools joke.

I know my friends in the south didn’t begrudge our enjoying a relatively mild, snow-free winter up here in the Northeast Kingdom while you all were getting slammed with cold and snow, but in the spirit of fair’s fair, I think I should share that after our warmest March ever, we’re now having our third April snowfall this year, and it’s not over yet.

Want to see? Here’s a shot from this morning…


Poor little robin.

And apparently it’s not just us. According to USA Today by way of my favorite news magazine, The Week, this was the warmest March globally in the entire 130 years that the National Climatic Data Center has kept records. Really, Mother N!

So what does this have to do with driving? Well, it’s a stretch, but the goofy weather theme is a wonderful excuse to share this goofy safe driving in the snow performance by a couple of extremely goofy weathermen. And they’re right. Enjoy!

Texting: not the only thing teens should NOT do while driving

Horseplay is also out. Many of us may think that goes without saying, and with good reason, but a recent story from my favorite news magazine, The Week, about a tragic accident in Arizona, reminds us that it never hurts to be crystal clear on this point. In fact, I believe this rises to the level of a commandment:

There shall be NO horseplay in and around a moving vehicle.

And while we can thank a grieving Arizona teen who ran over and killed her own brother by accident (while playing chicken) for this reminder, there is no reason to limit this rule to teens. All drivers would do well to remember that screwing around with cars is dangerous and inappropriate. Always.

Listen to Sgt. Ed Wessing, the officer from Arizona, who is quoted in the story, “Driving is not the time to horseplay, whether it’s hood surfing or doing this type of thing.” Mother Rider doesn’t even know what hood surfing is, and doesn’t want to. She feels quite comfortable forbidding it sight unseen, and thanks Sgt. Wessing for the heads up.

Finally, in case you’re still hazy on the DON’T text and drive commandment, you can find extra clarity at these previous posts: Have I issued a commandment lately? and Why you should NEVER text while driving. And while we’re being perfectly clear, let me repeat: this commandment is NOT limited to teens. Nobody is allowed to text and drive. Period.

Remember to stay salubrious out there, would you please? Because you know mother worries. OK? OK!

Have I issued a commandment lately?

I haven’t, have I? Well, it’s about time I did! Here you go…

DON’T TEXT AND DRIVE

And don’t do it while riding your bicycle either. In fact, I’m going to include you pedestrians, too, as well as the rollerbladers and the skateboarders. Did I miss anybody?

First, I have to admit this wasn’t my idea. To be honest, I’m so lame it would never have crossed my mind to worry about this problem. But thanks to The Week, NPR, the American College of Emergency Physicians and my friend Marcia, I am on it! Here’s what I’ve learned so far:

  • A recent survey found that 18% of cell phone users type text messages while driving
  • There is mounting evidence that this behavior leads to accidents and fatalities
  • The ER doc who was interviewed on NPR treated a woman who stumbled over the curb into the path of an oncoming car, and the driver who hit a light pole trying to avoid her as he chatted on his cell phone. And that’s not all. The text injured keep on coming at the rate of about one per week.
  • The American College of Emergency Physicians has issued an alert because they are seeing an alarming increase in text related injuries, every day in big cities like Chicago.
  • Injuries to the nose, mouth, chin and eyes seem to be the most common, because texters tend to fall flat on their faces. Many are fairly minor, but some are more serious, even fatal. For example, there is an email making the rounds called Don’t Text and Drive, that includes hideously graphic photographs of what happened to a Brazilian driver who was allegedly texting or chatting on his cell phone instead of watching out for that truck. Who knows if that was really the cause or not, but who cares? It could have been! The photos are much too gruesome for a cheery blog like this, but if you’re one of those visual learners who can handle the blood and guts, or just plain curious, you can find them on Snopes.
  • So if you must text and you must also drive or walk or whatever, what can you do? You can stop. Then send your text or have your chat. Then you can go. Simple, eh?

Even thinking about that email is too creepy for this normally cheery website so let’s agree that we will NOT text and drive, because I do NOT want to see any more photos like that EVER. And neither do you. Or your family. Trust me. OK?

OK! Thank you very much.