Monday, September 25, 2006

Texting While Driving ?!

Here is a snippet from today's "Mr. Roadshow" column. I read this column religiously, and have been published a few times. This question just blows my mind...

"Q. Does the upcoming California law on cell-phone usage while driving just refer to talking on the phone, or will it also cover using a cell-phone to send text messages? The other day I saw a car drifting from lane to lane on Mission College Boulevard. At the stop light, I saw the reason: The driver was using her elbows to steer while using both hands to send a text message!
Tony Colacicco
San Jose

A. Ugh. The hands-free requirement does not cover text messages, only actual phone calls. This Simitian-sponsored bill becomes law July 1, 2008."

Forgive me for being blunt, but is anyone that freakin' stupid that they would attempt to send a text message while driving a car ?? The sheer boneheadedness of this driver's actions is absolutely shocking to me. I cannot believe that anyone would even consider sending a text message, something that requires one's full attention and dexterity, from behind the wheel of a moving vehicle.

I have often said that legislation is required to save people from their own stupidity. This is yet another action to add to the list.

People never cease to amaze me.

Monday, September 18, 2006

The Spanish Catwalks

Catwalks in the country of Spain are about to become a little more healthy, according to this article on CNN.

Before the fashion show, models are measured on their Body Mass Index (BMI), which is calculated based on their weight and height. Those who are dangerously thin will not be allowed to participate in the show.

Of course this has put the fashion industry in an uprorar. They can no longer take their stick-thin, airbrushed, unhealthy waifs and place them on a pedestal as the ideal images of beauty. Of course the fashion industry takes no responsibility for the rampant eating disorders among young women. Of course they try to place the blame on something or someone else.

Well, this time, they have failed. This is the first step in a necessary cultural shift, away from thinness at all costs, and towards real, natural and untainted beauty.

The company Dove has also initiated a campaign for real beauty. Their commercials and print ads feature normal, everyday women; some are overweight, some are within the normal range, but all have a beauty that only nature could give them. They are what should be the standard, not emaciated women who are not capable of lifting a small suitcase.

This is the direction our society needs to head, and it must start with the media. I truly hope that other countries will follow suit, and that a healthy standard will be mandated across the world. The fashion industry will not do this themselves. They need to be encouraged, and Spain got it right.

Absolute proof that this was the right thing to do, in my opinion, is the result of the QuickVote poll. The question was, "Do you agree that underweight models should be banned from fashion shows ?" The answer was overwhelmingly yes. By males and females alike.

That says it all.

Bravo to the country of Spain. Now, who is next ?

Friday, September 15, 2006

Quality Assurance

A new pre-build of our software was released today for internal testing. We are still very far away from releasing this new version to the customer, so we are testing everything as thoroughly as possible. While verifying the password feature, I was given this error message:

"The password you entered is invalid. This entry must contain atleast one lower case, one upper case, one number and one special pronunciation characters."

Hmm. Methinks our poor, overworked developers have been burning the candle at both ends for a little too long now.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Clairvoyance ??

At Starbucks this morning, I was waiting in line, behind the person who was placing his order. The coffee shop was surprisingly un-busy for that time of morning. While the counter person was finishing with the customer in front of me, the barista called out, "Andrea, what can I get you this morning ?"

Huh ? How did she know my name, I wondered ? I go to this Starbucks once a week at most, and have never given them my name. My order is always a tall coffee black, dispensed by the cashier. No need to give my name and wait for my drink to be created.

Then I looked at my shirt.

I'm wearing my Community Emergency Response Team Instructor polo in preparation for tonight's class.

With my name embroidered on the front.

D'oh !

Monday, September 11, 2006

Five Years Ago Today

Five years ago today, the world as we knew it was forever altered.

Five years ago today, thousands of people lost their lives, in an evil act of malice by a group of madmen propagating their campaign of terror.

Five years ago today, the feeling of safety and security by an entire nation was shattered.

Five years ago today, a new era of hate, mistrust, prejudice and fear began.

One day before this tragedy, we were smug and comfortable in our own complacency. We thought we were invincible; that nobody would dare touch us, that our national security was strong enough to prevent something of this magnitude.

We were wrong.

And the thousands of precious, innocent people that were lost on that day are gone, never to be returned to us, much like our sense of security.

Today, we mourn and remember those who gave their lives on that day.

Tomorrow, we solemnly move forward with our own.

Link: [Special Bulletin]

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Never Give Up

Ever since I've played organized sports, I've always given my all. I have permanent scars on my knees from sliding on gravel softball diamonds. I've had a multitude of scrapes, bumps and bruises, and have bled many a time for the love of the game. Even when I draw a walk at the plate, I always run full-tilt to first base. That's my policy. That's the example I set.

But last night, at my softball game, I became unravelled. Stymied by a four-game hitting slump, I became more and more agitated as the score tilted in favor of the other team. I had done nothing at the plate so far but tiny, miserable, squibbling hits. And on my third at-bat, I hit a lazy pop-up.

For the first time in recent memory, I gave up. I took my time. I casually tossed the bat, feeling nothing but disgust for my horrible performance. I trotted towards first, only by habit, knowing that I would once again be the third out.

But then, the second baseman dropped the ball.

I turned on the gas and ran full-tilt to first base. I had a chance to make it. I had a chance to redeem myself. I gave it my all and then some, pulling from every reserve of energy I had. Even with all my effort though, I was thrown out by a half a step.

Had I not hesitated, I would have been safe. Giving up cost my team the out, and the inning.

I'm disgusted with myself. I've seen many other people give up just like that. I've seen people trot lazily around the bases, when they easily could have stretched their singles into doubles and doubles into triples. I've watched fielders just let the ball fall behind them with only a cursory effort to chase it. But that's not me. That's not who I am. And I am ashamed to admit that I was that last night.

It ends here. I've learned my lesson. I'm never giving up again, no matter what.

After the game, over beer and pizza, my good friend AJ gently pointed out that my nasty habit of cocking the bat before my swing had returned. I'd worked so hard to remedy that problem, but for some reason, it was back.

Now I know what the issue is. Now I can fix it. But even if I hit nothing but lame pop-ups next game, I will never give up again.

That's a promise.
Keywords: Andrea Di Lecce, andrea di lecce, Andrea DiLecce, andrea dilecce, Andrea Abrahamsen, andrea abrahamsen, Slinky, slinky, SlinkyGal, SLiNKyGaL, slinkygal, SlinkyDee, slinkydee, Toronto, toronto, San Francisco, san francisco, San Jose, san jose, softball, Seido karate, volleyball, blog, emotion, philosophy, funny, jokes, musings, psychology, EMT, EMS, emergency medical services