Thursday, January 28, 2010

Quick follow up

On my return trip today, I saw a person in my rearview mirror (driving a jeep). In my view, the steering wheel covered his/her nose and upper lip. Think about where that put the eyes. It does make me worry.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

No driver?

Has anyone been behind a car that didn't seem to have a driver? My regular 300 mile trek today put me behind a couple of vehicles where a headrest was all I could see. Usually, it turns out that these cars are driven by ladies--the quite young or the very mature. Occasionally, it will be a young male, but those cars are often tricked-out, blasting bass, and--what do they call it--lowered.

I tend to worry when I see a driver who can barely see over the dash. Obviously they can't see the hood of their car, or even the road directly ahead. How do they park? Do they just know from experience (maybe bad) how far their seat needs to be from objects in front of them? What if something blew onto the freeway right in front of them? Would they even see it?

When I drive my car, the seat is all the way up. I don't mean toward the steering wheel up; I mean above the floor up. I like to see where the hood ends. Hubby is not a lot taller than I am, but more of his height is in his torso so my seat location is too high for him. Fortunately, it is easy to change. The newer vehicles can assign a seat location to each key fob.

I think being able to see more than just the tops of mountains and the sky is valuable stuff.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Following rules

Am I the only one who believes that rules are there to be followed? If we don't need to obey, then let's drop the rules. I've heard that "rules are meant to be broken," yadda yadda, but no, dang it, that's wrong.

My community has a pool. There is a set of rules posted by the pool and on homeowners' key holders. Just about every time I've had an occasion to visit the pool (mostly when my grandkids are visiting), there are folks there who are rule-breaking. Now, if we don't want to obey certain rules, then let's get rid of them. But putting up a list, then disregarding it, is goofy.

How about the driving rules? How often do you see someone turn without signaling, pull in the lane ahead of you before he can see you in his mirror, or use the turn lane as a way to pull into traffic? Are there appropriate rules about these things for a reason? If so, they should be followed. If not, then driver's ed teachers can give up trying to teach them.

Yes, there are dumb rules, and we often follow these because the consequences are too unpleasant not to--like having to take off flip flops or scarves when going through airport security. What's the danger there? I believe in sensible rules to keep things safe and somewhat orderly. But rather than have a million rules people ignore, let's just have a few good ones and
try to follow them.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Beautiful view

I took this sunset picture from the airplane window, December 26. I'm not sure what city we were flying over--somewhere on route not far from Atlanta. The setting sun was visible under the dark clouds for just a few minutes, and it was really beautiful.

When I was moving holiday pictures from my camera to my computer, I decided to join Skywatch Friday. I haven't done one for a long time.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Vocabulary building

I love to read. My profile lists some of my favorite authors, but I find new ones I like as I go. Having a Kindle makes getting new novels quick and easy; I don't even have to put on my shoes.

I have tried some of Amazon's free novel downloads. I have enjoyed a few, but I'm getting a bit more discriminating as I go. Most of the new, free books offered are science fiction and romance. Now I like a little romance as much as the next girl, but I've found that the plots are all the same. I need more than handsome man meets beautiful woman; they disagree; they succumb to the inevitable and admit their undying love.

I also like good science fiction, but not all of it is good. I think it is easy to write because authors don't have to follow rules. My sixth grade creative writers always wanted to write science fiction so they could make stuff up. There has to be a compelling story under the weirdness.

There are authors who not only write a good story, but take you to school too. I have a decent vocabulary, but books by Lincoln Child and Douglas Preston show me my inadequacies. I just finished a novel and paged back through it to gather some of the expressions that I needed to look up (thankfully, the Kindle has a built-in dictionary).

"...incipient panic..." "...vertiginous trail." " alpenglow..."
"I'm a pedant and an obscuranist..." "...froth subsumed into an angry ocean."
"...the lingua franca of the service decks." "...the oenophilic ritual."
"...air so thick with schaden freude..."

Some of these are from other languages so even my MacBook dictionary doesn't recognize them. Make no mistake, I liked the novel. And I think that reading something that makes me think is good for me. I may even be a bit of a pedant.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Commercials drive me nuts!

I use TiVo to zip by commercials, I listen to books on tape in the car. But, occasionally, I accidentally hear commercials. On my drive up today, I heard a couple of interesting ones.

Did you know that you can get the sleep you have been dreaming about? Excuse me, but if you have been dreaming, weren't you already asleep? Does anyone dream about sleeping?

Do you know that a man's overall "quality of life" is affected by his prostate? Sounds like a pretty superficial life if its quality is impaired by a slightly enlarged prostate. How about the quality of a person's life who has lost a limb, had a stroke, is fighting cancer? Makes having to go to the bathroom in the night seem unimportant.

See, I shouldn't listen/view commercials. They drive me nuts, and I'm not even posting about the grammar and speech errors--eek.