Texting and Driving – part 3 of 3 (other cool stuff)

There were a couple more interesting things I came across while reading about Texting and Driving.

  1. ReportTexting.Org: Whether or not you want to call the police on a driver who is texting, it might be interesting to post their information to this website: reporttexting.org/. Now I have to admit, I’m not positive they’re active. The site started in 2011 and the last  update was 2015, but I’m poking around to see if I can get in touch with the people who put it up.
    Nevertheless, their initial information was interesting. Do keep in mind, though, that any kind of voluntary reporting of this kind means the data will be skewed. It will not only reflect how often this occurs, but whether or not people in a given state are willing to report it.
  2. Rate Driver.com: This is another voluntary reporting site, so remember that the data might be more interesting than accurate. You can look at any licence plate number in any state and see if there are any comments about how well or poorly they drive.
    The home page at rate-driver.com has a dropdown from which you can choose a state, they key in a license place number. You can also click on “Comments” for recently reported incidents or on “Driver’s Rankings” to see the best and worst drivers across the nation, month by month. (I wonder how often people report considerate drivers?)

You might or might not find this information interesting. One thing that fascinates me, though, is that sites like this exist. It does show the power of the Internet to allow people to communicate with one another about topics that interest or concern them.

I don’t know if it’ll lead to changes in the behavior of any of the drivers who show up here, but I can say one thing: I’m kind of proud to say that I didn’t show up on either site.

Texting and Driving – part 2 of 3

While I was tumbling down the rabbit hole in my reading about Texting and Driving,  I ran across a really interesting article from Sacramento. A tech startup has an app called “Text to Ticket” that allows you to report drivers who are texting while driving.

You capture the footage of the driver texting, get a shot of their license plate, and notify the company. They turn the infomation over to law enforcement and – if the person is ticketed – you get $5.00 for reporting it.

As of Feb, 2017, when the article was written, the company had received over 600 submissions and paid out over $2000.00.  Here’s a link to the article.

They have one very important rule: the video must be taken by a passenger, or a pedestrian.

The driver cannot take the video.

The driver should be watching the road.

Texting and Driving – part 1 of 3

I’m feeling a little conflicted between encouraging people to turn into “snitches” and being frustrated driving past people who are looking at their cellphones and texting to their heart’s delight. Maybe because we lost Amy in a traffic ‘situation’ (“accident” is not the right word), I’m more aware of the potential damage of distracted driving.

A few weeks ago, I was on I-94 and found myself next to a guy who had his phone propped up against the steering wheel while he thumbed away at the screen. I hoped he was dialing a phone number or maybe scrolling through a playlist, but this went on and on. I looked over a few times, trying to catch a glimpse of what he was doing without turning myself into a Distracted Driver. He looked up from his screen every now and then to check that he was still…what? On the road? Hadn’t rear-ended someone? That there were no cops on the horizon?

He went on like that for a long time – 30 or 40 seconds. Thirty or forty seconds doesn’t seem like a lot, but any of us who have been around car accidents know that it only takes a second or two of inattention for something to happen.

I wondered what to do. My first instinct was to call the police, but what to tell them? And how effective is it if it’s my word against his? On top of that, I assume the police have better things to do.

I thought about pulling in front of him and slowing down to, say, 10 miles an hour but … well, let’s say I tried something similar once and it didn’t go well. (Yes, I admit it. It was stupid and dangerous, but lying to you about it doesn’t make it go away.)

So, I did nothing.

Which led to me poking around the Internet today. I found some interesting things and I’m going to share them.

Three things, three posts.

The first one is that the police in many states (I didn’t look at all 50) do encourage calling 911 if you see a “reckless driver”. I guess that’s a judgment call. An article from Consumer Reports quoted a Connecticut State Poiiceman who put it this way: “911 should not be used for simple motor vehicle violations. The driving behavior must be a danger to the public and place people in harm’s way,” [source: http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2013/05/should-i-call-911-to-report-a-dangerous-driver/index.htm]

Here’s a Michigan reference: http://www.michiganautolaw.com/blog/2016/11/14/report-reckless-driving/ . Michigan State Police also suggest calling 911 instead of the State Police. They will just tell you to call 911.

Will I do it next time? I don’t know.

I once called 911 about a guy who was a clear case of “reckless” driving, weaving all over the lanes and cutting in and out of traffic at high speed. I saw two cars slam on their brakes on I-94 to avoid hitting him. I called 911 but they asked me “what city are you in?” I did my best to guess (I was somewhere between Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor) but when I told them the name of the street I saw on an overpass, they said they’d have to connect me to a different police department. By then, we came to the intersection of US-23 and the car exited heading north. I told them that and hung up.

So, no, I’m not sure if I’ll call it in next time, but I wanted to share at least the bit of information I found on this so you can make your own decision.

 

 

 

 

The REAL Ending of Monty Python and the Holy Grail

The thing that drives me crazy is when… [wait!] There are two things that drive me crazy, no, three There are three things that [oh, shut up!] Amongst the many things that drive me crazy are…

(Five points if you get the reference, if not , click here .)

I burned a fair amount of time today on YouTube, watching videos like Kids React to the Beatles and Do Kids Know Beatles Songs?.  Now, as you might or might not know, George Harrison was friends with Eric Idle of Monty Python, so link led to link and I eventually ended up watching some clips from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

And that’s when I found it! The original ending I’d been looking for! The one you’ve likely been denied unless you were lucky enough to see the movie back in the 70s when it first came around. The one that reflects the same kind of brilliance you need to conceive a 3 sided record (“Matching Tie and Handkerchief“).

Let me tell you about it.

My younger brothers and I and some friends saw the Python’s “And Now for Something Completely Different” at a seedy little theatre on 8 Mile in Detroit, somewhere west of Telegraph Road. We loved it, it was exactly our kind of humor.

This was our first exposure to the Pythons as the movie was released before the television series was run on PBS. We were laughing so hard we were crying, stumbling over our feet. We barely made it to the car and repeated our favorite sketches over and over all the way home. (We did this with a lot of our favorite comedies, including, notoriously, Smoky and the Bandit.)

So, when “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” was released in 1975, we were right there at the front of the line. If memory serves, we saw it at the same theatre. The film was great but what really stuck out to me was the ending.

You’ve seen most of it, I’m sure. King Arthur’s knights are charging downhill toward the beach, intent on attaching the French castle and capturing the Grail. They’re interrupted at the last moment by a police car that screeches to a halt and blocks their path. Arthur and Bedevere are arrested and thrown into a van as one of the policemen raises his hand and blocks the camera.

“All right, sonny, that’s enough” is the last thing we hear as we see some bits of undeveloped film, then the screen goes to full white. The curtains close and the audience gets up and starts making its way out of the theatre.

At least, that’s how it happens now. But that’s not how it happened the first time I saw it.

After the policeman pushed the cameraman back and the screen went to white, the curtains stayed open. And the music from the Intermission came back on. And it kept running. And everyone just sat there, waiting to see what would happen next.

My brothers and I were among the first to get it. We started laughing, then we quieted down and sat there for a long time, waiting for the rest of the audience to get it.

It was sheer brilliance.

Terry Gillliam and Terry Jones had devised a way to keep the entire audience staring at a blank screen, listening to looped organ music, waiting for…nothing. Each audience had to make up its own mind when to get up and leave. I don’t remember how long we stayed there, but it was one of the most memorable experiences I’ve had in a theatre.

If you want to get some idea of what it was like, watch these two YouTube videos back to back: the police scene and then the closing music. It isn’t the same experience, but at least you’ll know what I’m talking about. (There’s even a 10 hour version, in case you’re interested.)

The movie comes around periodically to theatres and I used to sometimes ask the manager: “are you going to play the whole ending? You know, the way it was the first time?” They always say “yes” but they never do.

I’ve stopped asking. But I never stop hoping.

ADHD Partner’s Group Starting Up Again

On Wednesday, June 7, we’ll be starting up the Non-ADHD Spouse Peer Support Group. The group is free for members of ADDA . (If you’re not a member already, consider signing up for this great group focused on those of us with Adult ADHD.)

I’m going to be posting some Key Learnings from the last few months, but in the meantime, I wanted to get the word out that we’re going to continue the group through June and July.  The calls will continue to be once a week, at noon EST on Wednesdays.

Guests Jill Corvelli and Terry Huff have agreed to continue to visit once a month, the rest of the sessions are open discussions and sharing of stories and wisdom.

If you can’t make the calls every week, don’t let that stop you – drop in when you can. We’re always glad to see new faces. Everyone’s story is different and you’ll learn a lot from people in similar and from people in different circumstances.

For more information, see this flyer or visit ADDA.

ADDA Non-ADHD Spousal VSG-V2_2017-05

Seeking Discussion on Yousef Ajin’s deportation protest

As we know, today there was a huge, successful rally in support of Mr. Yousef Ajin from Ann Arbor. https://www.facebook.com/events/593223320883317/

I Shared the Facebook event for the protest on my Facebook page and received a critical comment from Kenneth Ramsey, who I believe is one of my brother’s FB friends. He brought up some interesting points and I wanted to acknowledge that he made some good points.

My overall view on this whole immigration debacle is that 45 is playing to the xenophobic tendencies of his base, which is completely in line with his having been elected by playing to our most base fears. He is a keen observer of humanity at its worst and uses that knowledge to  make himself appear to be a “man of the people.” No comment on exactly which people he is the man of…

That said, Ramsey brought up an interesting point- the decision to remove Mr. Ajin was made in April of 2012 under the Obama administration. I don’t know enough about immigration law to know why this decision was made.

Mr. Ajin was in the system and working toward citizenship, according to multiple reports, so I find the decision confusing, but again, I don’t know a lot about immigration law.

Mr. Ajin did have a felony conviction in 2001 for using someone else’s credit card, but he’d been fined and served probation, so that is ancient history. Contrary to Ramsey’s assertion “No way he was set to be a citizen! HE IS A CONVICTED FELON!”,  it appears (based on info from Nolo: http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/crimes-that-will-prevent-you-from-receiving-us-citizenship.html) that this would not have prevented him from becoming a citizen. He also had a misdemeanor conviction in May of 2003, but again, that was quite a while ago.

He’s a father of four children who seems to have turned his life around and done everything right, at least for the last 10-plus years.

Pending more information, I support the protest and am glad to see that the outcome was positive for the Ajin family.

I’d love to hear people’s comments about this, it raises a lot of interesting questions.

 

Fireworks Photographs

On Monday night, I went downtown to visit my friend Fred. He lives on the 21st floor of a nicely refurbished building near Grand Circus Park in Detroit. Fred’s heavy into photography, so I brought my new camera (not a big deal, a Canon SX530) so we could shoot pictures of the fireworks and I could ask him a few questions.

IMG_1096_sm

We set up our cameras on his balcony, which has a pretty good view of the city. There is an observation area higher up in the building that has an amazing view of the city and the river, but it was fairly crowded already so we decided to work from his apartment.

He told me that the way he captures fireworks, he manually opens and closes the shutter instead of setting for an interval. My camera doesn’t have that option, so I experimented with 1, 2, and 4 second shots. The best pictures were at about 2 seconds, so I posted several of them in an album on Facebook at Fireworks Album

It was a great night, we had pizza and chatted for about 4 hours, talking about cameras, travel, and ADHD, not exactly in that order.

I had so much fun, I might even take a class in Photoshop or Lightroom. Wait! – aren’t they the same thing? Yeah. I need a class…