Saturday, April 1, 2017

120 and Counting....

Years ago I was traveling down I-20 coming back from a visit to our sister facility in Columbia.  It was early evening, clear, slightly cool and much to my liking very little traffic.  I was somewhat bored as you can get when you do any amount of travel day after day.  As I traveled I daydreamed.  I looked down the road in front of me and I could not see a car in forever.  I glanced in the read view and found it was also clean and green.  The highway straightened for what seemed miles.  President Eisenhower stipulated when he introduced the Interstate system that one mile in every five had to be straight.  It was thought that in times of war if the interstate was ever closed to civilian traffic they could land planes if needed.  Anyway with all that straight road in front of me I decided it was time to try the old Ford out and see if it really had a Fusion engine, so to speak.  I nailed the accelerator and quickly was up over 100 mph.  I knew the car had guts, but how much?  The lines on the road now seemed like a solid line.  My grip tightened and my palms probably sweated but I didn’t dare to raise my hands to look.  The acceleration slowed but didn’t quit and it steadily climbed to 100, then 120, then as far as I could tell about 131 mph before it topped out.  It seemed like the car was floating.  I was surprised a modest production passenger model could attain that kind of speed.  The road was still clear, I think with the speed I had going if I did see a car ahead I would have backed off.  No cars ahead, but,,,, one was behind, and gaining sort of quickly at that.  I really didn’t have time, although I was slowing down now, to study him but he would be on me in a few seconds, we would pull off and I was sure no amount of talk was getting me out of this.  I pulled the car over and turned it off knowing I’d be there for a while.  I started digging in the glove box for the paperwork.  I really thought it silly digging since this wasn’t a 40 in a 25 situation.  This was going to be major!  I figured he would be pissed but he wasn’t.  More like in disbelief.  “Where you heading in such a manner chief?”  “Quite honestly with a wide open road I thought I’d see what the beast could do.”  “And what did it do” he responded?  Figuring I had nothing to lose I confessed to 131.  “Sounds about right, I had you somewhere around 127.”   “Don’t get many of you guys doing 131.”  We chatted and I was as honest about everything as I could be.  He smiled and told me how long it took him to catch me since he had to start from a dead stop.  I never saw him anywhere, but then again my eyes were glued to the road not the trees in the median.  He gave me options one of which was going to jail for reckless driving, a speeding citation was not going to happen, and careless driving!  I think he had a good vibe and cited me for careless driving.  He told me all the facts would be on citation  but it would be called careless driving, not speeding, and I would have to go before the judge.  He also stated 131 mph on a careless driving citation was stretching it.  No mail in your fine option available.  Not going to jail was good, so I guess I got the lesser of three evils.  I had 3 ½ weeks to get my crap together for the judge.
Court day arrived and I was present and accounted for.  As was the trooper.  My case was called and  I was suddenly on center stage, one man band.  The judge stated I had been cited for careless driving and I had three options; I could plead innocent and go for a court date, plead no contest and receive a substantial fine, or plead guilty, state the facts as I know them, let the judge take those into consideration, and receive a stiff penalty.  I chose guilty with extenuating circumstances.  What did I have to lose.  I stated it was still daylight, the road was clean and dry, there were no cars within sight either in front of behind me, I had both hands on the steering wheel, no radio distraction, and I told him I even shaded the lane position of the car slightly left in the right hand lane so if an animal should dart out I would have a split second more time to react.  “I was speeding.” “ I was cooking pretty good as you can see on the citation our honor.”  “But I assure you and the people of this court I was not being careless about it at all.”  “That was serious business.”  “If anything would have seemed off I would never had done that, or I would have backed off.”  “I may have had a momentary lapse of good judgment but I was not careless, in my opinion.”  During this whole time I did not say the speed I was doing, I don’t think hearing it out loud would have been good, nor did I claim it was stupid, which it may well have been but I didn’t want him to hear me say I was stupid.  For what it was worth he really seemed to be listening intently.  I wanted to say my piece but not drone on and on.  So I left it at that.  The fewer the words the stronger the message.  I continued to stand.  Now silent.
He thought only momentarily and quickly told me the maximum fine for careless driving in the manner I did it was $2500.00 and or 10 days jail time.  Ouch!  That hit home.  He admonished me for doing something stupid, there’s that word I didn’t want to hear out loud, saying the trooped may well have been pulling me out of a wrecked car than just pulling me over.  He said he appreciated my statement, saying it was more facts than excuse.  “Excuses get you no where, admitting fault is the mature thing and having facts with admittance is nice to hear in a court of law.”  “Regardless” he said, “your not going without penalty.”  “Payable within 24 hours the sum of $500.00, or the maximum penalty will be invoked, both monetary and jail time.”  I thanked both the judge and the trooper and was dismissed.  Thankfully I had a $1000.00 cash on me, hell I didn’t know what to take that day, I paid the clerk and bolted feeling like I got off easy.  I probably did.  Heading home I wondered if 131 mph was all the old Ford had in her, someday I’ll find out.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Holding Em Hostage....

We’re definitely in the age of political correctness, that tune could go on and on and I don’t know if this goes in that category, I think not, but then again it kind of does.  Or it goes in the category of silliness.  Here it is, you decide: people who smoke but won’t smoke in their car, even if there is no one with them.  They drive along then when they have to stop for lunch or gas or whatever they light one up and smoke away standing outside their car with the cigarette holding them hostage until it’s burned out.  They knowingly pull smoke into their lungs playing cat and mouse with about 87 different diseases but don’t want to get that smoke smell in their car.  Makes sense to me?!?  Unless their some 15 year old kid I’m pretty sure everyone who knows them knows they smoke, they’re not hiding it.  Maybe the concern is with passengers later on.  So considerate.  What a good parent watching out for the kiddies.  Well unless you’re blowing it directly in their faces I doubt the cigarette you puffed an hour ago is going to effect them much.  I smoke cigars.  I smoke inside my truck.  It’s my vehicle.  If you get in you’re going to smell smoke.  Deal with it.  I won’t smoke if a non-smoker is riding with me, but the aroma from cigars past you’ll probably need to get used to.  I love the used car ads that say it was driven by a non-smoker.  That’s nice, but my concern is the car may be more a smoker than the previous driver.  How about the driver who holds the cigarette up to the open window so the smoke goes out as they drive?  Some are damn near holding their head outside the window to puff it.  Man up people.  When I sell my truck and they ask if I smoked in it I’ll say, “yes, and outside it too”.

T Minus Two Days and Counting....

Well we’re two days out from Inauguration Day.  The world wonders what will happen?  I bet the sun rises same as always.  Some folks see it as D Day.  Hell maybe so.  Maybe were entering the Twilight Zone….. a dimension of sight and sound!  Who knows?  Did I vote for the man?  Damn straight!  I honestly haven’t run into anyone who voted otherwise, or anyone who would admit it anyway.  You see I have no idea what this cat is going to do once he’s actually in office, none what’s so ever!  I just know I was so exhausted with our current President disrespecting this country it was hard to even watch and listen to him speak anymore.  Really I couldn’t and didn’t.  To keep going down the same path and thinking things will get better is madness.  I actually think Einstein called that the definition of insanity.  Race relations are at an all time low, Muslim terrorists were radical terrorists in his Muslim eyes, and he was ready to welcome Syrian refugees with open arms.  No harm there right?  He never seemed to get pissed midst all the chaos.  I know a President has to keep his composure, however there comes a time when the vibe they emit has to say enough is enough.  Trump at least calls it like he sees it.  If your trouble he’ll tell you.  If he doesn’t like you he’ll tell you.  You see he’s a business man not a politician, and business man, a serious one, will not hold his tongue.  It’s business, suck it up buttercup.  As of late when attacked by a congressman, he responded by telling this 16 TIME elected congressman that his district is a poor crime ridden area and he needed to spend more time cleaning up his own act before challenging him.  You’d think a 16 time elected official would have better sense to think first.  By the way he’s not attending the inauguration.  Elected 16 times?!?  Wow!  Fear not doomsayers, the President does have a lot of power but it’s not a dictatorship and policies and procedures are in place in case a President starts to go bonkers.  The only thing that irks me about the Inauguration is, I’ll be working and won’t be able to see it live.  I will see the sun rise however.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Tacky Situation....
I remember a few years back, oh probably 50 or so anyway, I was in grade school at the time.  Catholic School to boot.  A no-non sense Catholic School.  Anyway one day we came to class  and unbeknownst to anyone a school mate came a few minutes early and put tacks on everyone seats.  How he got in the class room is a matter of speculation because no one got in until everyone got in.  You lined up outside and marched in as a group.  Well after the prayer and pledge, did you hear what I said, the Prayer and Pledge we sat down.  It’s hard to believe I said the Prayer and Pledge for eight years and lived to tell about it.  Now a days it cannot even be discussed in school.  Anyway after sitting down and then shooting right back up rubbing our butts guess what the teacher said upon finding out the reason for our uprising?  Guess??  She said words to the effect “oh, brush them away and let’s get started”.  Do you have any idea what would happen in todays school world?  First everyone would be rushed to a first aid station to have their buttocks examined, ointments applied and bandaged.  But not before every parent and relative on their family tree was notified and the ok and three releases were received.  Secondly there would be a Warren Commission type inquiry and investigation as to who the culprit or culprits were.  Thirdly classes would be cancelled for the rest of the day due to the philological harm inflicted.  Fourthly the next day grievance counselors would be on site for those that needed to talk it out and get past the experience.  And there possibly could be some protesting.  Yes they would probably do all this in exchange for, brushing them away and getting started