Father’s Day, Road Trip, and Ignoring Cell Phone Bans

I had to make a quick road trip over the weekend. I got news about my grandmother on Saturday afternoon, and we decided to alter our weekend plans and shoot up to Buffalo for a short visit. I was given my Father’s Day present early, a Nintendo Wii. It’s still in the box at home. The rest of my Father’s Day was pretty uneventful, enough that I pretty much forgot it. We left our house around 5:30 PM Saturday. The GPS led us astray. I wondered why we weren’t taking the Northeast Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, when my wife took the thing and found that somehow "avoid toll roads" was checked. We lost a good hour of time and went about 60 miles off course. We rolled into Buffalo about 2:15 AM Sunday morning. I still have no idea why "avoid toll roads" would have been checked. I would have checked it earlier, but my wife yells at me too much for "playing with the GPS" while I’m driving.
While in Buffalo, we took the kids to Niagara Falls, since they see it in the Little Einsteins video they watch incessantly. We went to see my grandmother and spent some time with her neighbors, wonderful people who have watched over her and taken care of her for years. We left Monday morning, and stopped for dinner in Plymouth Meeting to sit out traffic on Philadelphia’s Schuylkill Expressway. I hate Philly traffic. I wouldn’t mind moving to Buffalo. We like my grandmother’s area. The cold wouldn’t bother me. I’d welcome it.
While driving, we noticed a lot of people talking on cell phones. One girl driving a Corolla that we passed going down I-81 in New York was texting heavily while driving. In fact, we had to pass her on the right because she was so busy texting, she didn’t notice all the cars flying up on her in the left lane, then flying around to the right to get back around her at realistic highway speeds. While coming up on trucks, we could often see the drivers in their side-view mirrors. I was amazed at how many truckers were talking on cell phones without hands-free devices. I saw this article on MSN about how drivers are ignoring the laws. New Jersey has some pretty stiff cell phone/driving laws, yet 1 out of every 2 drivers I see on the road here is TALKING ON A CELL PHONE WHILE DRIVING. I don’t agree with these laws, but if we’re going to have them, why not enforce them? Nobody but me takes them seriously. Since I lost my headset, I won’t answer my phone while I’m driving. If it’s an important call, I’ll put it on speaker. If my wife is with me, I make (kindly ask) her to take the call for me. Nobody else her seems to take the law seriously though. Why not enforce it with hefty fines and maybe give us a break on our "highest in the nation" property taxes?
During the trip, my wife had to use my Pocket PC a couple of times to look something up on the Internet. While I talked her through it, I tried to pitch to her how much easier it would be if she’d led me get an iPhone, or better yet, if we both had iPhones. She’s much more disciplined than I am though, at least when it comes to buying an iPhone.
We spent a buttload of money on gas for this trip. Here is a piece I came across at how we can thank Al Gore for that. Don’t forget: follow the money. There is a LOT of money to be made on "green tech" and global warming speeches. When I see Gore move out of his huge mansion into a tent in the woods and ride a bike to his global warming conferences, I’ll consider that he’s doing it for reasons other than it pays really good and makes him really popular.
Anyway, I’m tired and cranky and I should quit while I’m ahead.

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