Archive for November, 2009

Tryptophan Monday

November 30, 2009

Actually, to be technical, it’s cyber Monday, the online shoppers’ version of Black Friday, but we got cyber Monday out of the way on Friday, then went out and got drunk on Try To Forget How Much You Spent Saturday. So, I’m trying to decide whether it’s the tryptophan, the excess drink, or a combination of both that seems to still have me in its tranquilizing grasp.

But here it is, Monday, after a long four-day weekend. Late Wednesday afternoon, when I finished work for the week (thanks to extended days tacked onto working the weekend prior) I got down to making my pies and my stuffing. Baby Rita’s first solo attempt at making the apple pie was triumphant! And now it looks like she’ll be making it for Christmas as well. Thanksgiving and it was a typical gathering at Ariel’s parents’ house except with way too much food.

It was later that night after I went to bed, I woke up screaming. I was in the kitchen and I could hear the unnerving clatter of the family of deer that had gotten into the house running amok upstairs from one end to the other. I remember wishing they would get out. It suddenly became very quiet up there and I grew suspicious. What had they gotten into. I peeked up to the top of the stairs through the balusters and it was as if the now demonic creature had gotten what it came for. Me! It caught me looking and began its mad descent, its horny hooves clumsily clopping as it charged toward me. I found refuge behind the door to the basement and as I balanced myself precariously on the top step just inside the door, which didn’t close all the way, but the deer passed. Suddenly, I saw it’s muzzle pry at the door, and I could see one of its eyes which I remember looked both like a hex head bolt and flat washer (making the iris and pupil) and a circle of lighter color crudely stitched to its face. Either way, it was a malicious sight and the animal leapt at me and when I began to fall backward, I screamed myself awake. Of course I heard all kinds of noises throughout the house after that until I was finally asleep.

Also this weekend, I got the flag reattached to the house. Somehow the screws in the flag holder came loose and pulled out of the wall. At Home Depot I found some incredible masonry screws whose threads were like razors. The box came with a masonry bit to make a starter hole that would penetrate mortar and brick. But after 10 minutes of drilling I hardly made a dent in the brick. Turns out, I would need a hammer drill for that. So I ended up drilling into the mortar and the flag is still hanging.

We also got some work done on McGinty this weekend and I finally hung John Logan’s walking stick/cane in a place of prominence here in my office among some other treasures. It was also a great weekend to kind of laze out and watch movies, while slipping in and out of consciousness. Oh, and I killed a stink bug.

Speaking of bugs, I have a curious story I know my niece, Melissa is going to cringe at, but I’ll wait and tell that one tomorrow.

And if you’re cyber shopping today, I’m a XL shirt, any color, except purple. I like most music but a gift card might be best and I like chocolate.

Happy Thanksgiving

November 25, 2009

…a day early. I’ll be busy tonight working on desserts. I’m making pies. A sugar-free apple for Ariel’s mother and two lemon chesses, one also sugar free. Ariel’s niece is taking up the tradition and making the regular apple for the first time, on her own, since I gave her the recipe (and a complete set of pie making tools) as a Christmas present last year. I’ve had the honor of making the holiday apple pie for the past 20 some years and now I’ve passed the baton. I’m sure she’ll have no problem with it. After all, it’s easy as…pie!

Also, tomorrow is the 83rd Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and there are four new balloons: Spider-Man, Sailor Mickey, Ronald McDonald and The Pillsbury Doughboy. And after 40 years, Santa’s sleigh will be a brand new one in this parade.

What I can’t seem to get a grasp on is that it’s already Thanksgiving. It seems like I was just in Provincetown for the 4th of July.

And how about Donny Osmond winning the coveted Mirrored Disco Ball Trophy on Dancing With The Stars last night? 

Here’s a video of a television commercial that Ariel and I thought was just on this side of bad taste. It’s a young about to be engaged couple skating on a frozen pond. The guy is doofus-ified by being like a newborn fawn on unsure legs falling on the ice, nearly cracking his skull. What got us was the choice of song, even though its sentimentality fits.

Considering Sonny Bono died when he slammed into a tree while skiing we just thought this an odd choice of song. What do you think?

And for some fun, here’s a comical take on a popular commercial.

And lastly, there’s a little life left in one particular horse that I need to give one more whack to. In response to Melissa’s comment yesterday about record sales being the basis for winners of the American Music Awards, I’ll amend my query about Michael Jackson. Where were all his awards in the past few years? Which equates to, where were all his fans? Okay, now, that horse is officially dead.

And with that, I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving. I’m not sure if I’ll have anything up for Friday since I won’t be working. I’ve been cramming all my hours in all week so I could take Friday off. But check back just in case.

 

Give Me A Break

November 24, 2009

Okay, so I changed my mind and put up my usual ugly mug shot instead of the next of my baby pictures. I figured I’d prolong all that adorableness and show you one each week, on Tuesdays, kind of like Baby Picture Monday except it’ll be on Tuesdays.

So, I watched the American Music Awards the other night, as I mentioned and I really don’t want to spend a lot of time on it other than a few notable mentions. First of all, Janet Jackson lip-synched her much talked about seven minute show opener medley of hits, which was supposed to be 8 minutes “we’d never forget”. Alright, not all of it, she did happen to actually utter “Come on and sing with me” in between prerecorded songs.  Ariel and I both agreed that had she come out with her medley closer song “Together Again”  now (Everywhere I go/Every smile I see/I know you are there/Smiling back at me/Dancing in moonlight/I know you are free/Cuz I can see your star/Shining down on me), it would probably be her biggest best seller of all time. Kanye West looked spooked sitting in the audience; what he was doing there at all is perplexing (there’s that word again). J-Lo fell during her fancy choreography, stepping across someone’s back and then KERPLOP, right on her biggest ASSet, but she got herself right back up without missing a beat. Whitney Houston did an emotional self analytical recapping ditty of her rise from the ashes and the audience’s reception brought her to tears.

What else was there of note? Oh, yes, it was more like the Taylor Swift show. She won 5 awards and thanked everyone via satellite, far away from Kanye West in London where she was rehearsing her show there. I must be missing something, or maybe it’s the fact I’m not a sixteen year old girl that’s keeping my shrouded in mystery, but I don’t get the appeal. Another thing I didn’t get (and I know I’m gonna get my head handed to me by a certain someone) is how Michael Jackson managed to win quite a few awards himself, when, for a number of years he hasn’t done anything. Well, he died, so I guess his fans (since these awards are fan-based) decided a write in vote was appropriate. I don’t know. One thing though, in Taylor Swift’s favor, is she won the award for Artist Of The Year, over Michael Jackson.

And the moment I wished I had not seen, even a glimpse of,  was the Adam Lambert closing number. I only saw some of it because Ariel made me rewind it to see one part of his “choreography”. But I saw clips of it on the news yesterday and then of course there was a smattering of online articles. Besides the walking two of his male dancers on the end of a leash while they were on their hands and knees and trying to dislodge something from the throat of his male keyboard player with his tongue, and he shoved another male dancer’s face into his crotch. Maybe for some it was expected from the screech king from last year’s American Idol but for others, such as myself, it was just a ridiculous gimmicky cover for someone with nothing else to offer, kind of like movies with special effects in overdrive to mask the absence of plot.

What boggles my mind is, where were the censors? Event producers said they did not expect the impromptu moments of “freedom of expression and artistic freedom” (according to Lambert) which differed from rehearsals. It is still unclear whether the FCC, who is all up in arms with rules regarding profane or indecent material ever since the event that rocked the very moral foundation of the entire world, The Wardrobe Malfunction, will incite a fine to ABC because of the time slot in which Lambert performed his trashy routine. It was after 11pm past the 6-10 window during which the broadcasting of indecent material is banned. And of course, he succeeded in getting people to talk about him.

And one more thing, in regards to the censors, it just makes me nuts to read how the producers couldn’t “expect” something like this when for the past several years it has become tradition for the awards to be  filled with nothing but shocking controversial acts. But oddly, they weren’t asleep at the switch in 2007 when Sally Field’s rant on the “god-damned war” was silenced when she won for her role in Brothers and Sisters and all we saw of the end of her speech was the ceiling of the auditorium for several seconds until it was “safe” to return to the event.

Come on! Give me a break!

Now, darn it, there was something else I wanted to show you but those AMA’s took up all my time. I guess it’ll have to wait until tomorrow.

Hey! I’m Back

November 23, 2009

I’m back. I needed a rest. Well, part of the reason I’ve been away is because I was on vacation and the other part of the reason was because I just had to get all my ducks in a row afterwards and get myself back into the swing of things. And now I’m not sure if I got my blog game on, but I’ll give it my best shot.

Okay, well, my vacation was spent with my family in Illinois and spent most of the time just hanging out with my father, talking about family stuff, waxing sentimental and overall just enjoying each other’s company. We had a big family dinner on Saturday at The Ranch where in a moment of weakness from too much to eat, I divulged my famous apple pie recipe to my sister-in-law. And I also broke tradition and did not make plans to go Alexander’s Steakhouse. My trips in the recent past to the Midwest have been short and rushed and I just wanted to enjoy time with my family.

And in regards to the family stuff we talked about there was some unbelievably fantastic documentation which you’ll be seeing once the next chapters of McGinty Chronicles launch, most likely beginning after the first of the year. And I’m really looking forward to getting that back up and running. And I also was given John Logan’s (my great-grandfather) cane shaped walking stick which will get hung on the wall of my office as soon as I figure just where I want it and when I find an appropriate way to hang it. I want just the right holder for it and put it where it will be out of hand’s reach.

So, Brian, what’s up with that blog picture? I’m glad you asked. While we were going through stacks of pictures, I found a series of pictures that were taken of me through my first few years. This one happens to be my hospital picture. Cute…no?  Wait until you see tomorrow’s.

Okay, so I was home from my trip in time for work on Wednesday and by Friday, I needed a break so it was off to the theater. We had tickets to see A Steady Rain starring Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig. It was a 2-man, no-intermission play about two cop partners who had been friends since kindergarten in a tough Chicago neighborhood and how their lives had intertwined since, including bachelor Craig being in love with married but cheating (with a hooker) Jackman’s wife. In every sense of the word it was a minimalist set, namely two chairs on a representative cement slab and an occasional dimly lit backdrop of either a ghetto apartment building or a densely wooded area. I heard gasps and groans as the story developed coming from the audience but it wasn’t really gripping me like that. For me it just sort of rolled along with no emotion. I gave it a 6 and Ariel gave it a 9.

At the end of the play, the two stars announced that it was time for a Broadway Cares: Equity Fights AIDS drive, which happens twice a year on Broadway for period of time and among the incentives to drop big dollars in the buckets by the exit doors were signed Playbills and posters. But the big ticket of the night was Jackman’s announcement that the wifebeater tanktop he was wearing on stage that night would be autographed and given to the highest bidder from the audience, beginning at one thousand dollars. Two people waged a bidding war and at 10 thousand, Jackman stopped the auction and announced that for that amount each, both he and Craig would sign their shirts for the two warring bidders backstage.

By contrast, I heard on Saturday that the sequined glove Michael Jackson wore when he did his moonwalk for the first time on television was among the items being auctioned off that night at the Julien’s Auction, and the estimated amount it was expected to bring in was in the neighborhood of $50,000. Not all that big a big price, for something of the “King Of Pop’s” I thought, by comparison to a tanktop for $10,000 the night before. Well, the glove, as it turns out, sold for $350,000. So, egg on my face.

Well, I’m really writing this on Sunday night and I’m watching the American Music Awards which I’ll probably moan and groan about tomorrow, if I deem any of it worthy of mention.

Have a great day.

Veteran’s Day

November 11, 2009

As we salute the veterans who have ever served in a war, with parades and white sales, I thought it would be fitting to give you some facts about the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

The tomb, known both as The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and The Tomb of the Unknowns, has never been officially named and stands atop a hill overlooking Washington, DC. A mostly flat marble structure, it is relieved at the corners and the east side, which faces Washington, DC has sculpted panels, each with Greek figures representing Peace, Victory and Valor. This sarcophagus is placed over the first unknown soldier, who was selected by Army Sgt Edward F Younger when four unknowns were exhumed from a World War I American cemetery in France. Each casket was identical and Younger chose the one who would be transported back to the United States by placing a spray of white roses one of them. It was the third from the left. The remaining three were interred in the Meuse Argonne Cemetery in France. Three crypts of unknowns, one each from WWII, The Korean War and the Vietnam War lay to the west of the original tomb and are indicated with white marble slabs.

The tomb is guarded constantly, even though the guard himself is being changed every 30 minutes, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. The guard paces 21 steps across the tomb and waits 21 seconds before making an about face. The number 21 alludes to the 21 gun salute, the highest honor given to any military or foreign dignitary.

When the guard turns, his rifle is then moved to the shoulder facing away from the tomb, thus constantly changing its position. He also keeps his gloves moistened so as not to lose his grip on his rifle.

A guard must meet specific requirements. He must stand between 5’10” and 6’2″ and have a waist size that does not exceed 30″. He must commit 2 years of his life to guard the tomb, must live in the barracks beneath it and on not drink alcohol on or off duty, swear in public or disgrace the uniform or the tomb in any way for the rest of his life.

His shoes are made of specially thick soles to guard against the cold and there are metal heel plates that extend to the toe to make a clicking sound as they come to a halt. The uniform must be kept free of wrinkles, folds and lint. Five hours a day are spent getting the uniform ready for guard duty.

For the first six months of duty, the guard is not allowed to watch television and must study the notable people laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery, who they are and where they are interred.

After his two year service, he is given a wreath pin which commands the same degree of respect otherwise it must be surrendered. 

  tomb of the unknown soldier

ETERNAL REST GRANT THEM O LORD, AND LET PERPETUAL LIGHT SHINE UPON THEM.

 

 

      sparkling-usa-flag

All Charged Up

November 10, 2009

We have a new water tank and a few thousand dollars less in our bank account, or we will once we pay off the charge card…. (charge card? Who says charge card? Charge-a-plate is cool, though) once we pay off the charge-a-plate. And you know how it is with something new, especially this large, all eyes are on it to make sure it’ll operate fully and not take on the phantom illness of its predecessor. And the one question I forgot to ask amid the myriad I fired at the guys about the new tank, is how a hole could just form in the side of the other tank, and not even on a seam, if even there was a seam.

Now that it’s over, I wish I had had the audacity to step out of my melee for a moment and photograph the mess…for the blog’s sake, but at the time, getting rid of the standing water was a more pressing issue. But you can imagine what 3 inches of water across a space of about 20 feet, under 80 lb bags of water softener salt, a mini freezer, and seeping up into cardboard boxes, while a stream, like a geyser, shoots out of a hole in the side of the water tank against the wall, splattering all over everything, including electrical wires looks like.

Speaking about charging, Rupert Murdock wants to pull news stories from his publications (such as The Wall Street Journal) off Google once his News Corp company’s content becomes strictly pay-to-read. But despite his claims that Google are “kleptomaniacs”, who is going to want to pay for news items they previously got for free? Charging for it isn’t going to make the news any better. Sounds like he’s just shooting himself in the foot with this one. News comes from all over the place.

And speaking of charging, scientists are developing alternate means of battery power. I’m not sure I understand all the techo mumbo jumbo, but I’ll do my best to make it just slightly clearer than mud for you. The hook of the story is that you could charge your cell phone battery simply by walking or even spray on a new battery.

Every movement of your body makes energy. Even the motion of typing makes energy. Scientists are looking for ways to harness that energy to power small devices, such as a cell phone or a media player (that’s code for iPod, I’ll bet) and it’s all to do with nanotechnology. Nano, of course meaning one billionth; technology meaning never ending source of joy and frustration at the same time.

Environmentally friendly zinc oxide nanowires have the capability of harnessing this energy of movement and they are less harmful to the environment that silicon that is more traditionally used. The eventual goal in this motion powered battery is to create a way to self-power a blood pressure or a glucose monitor, simply by implanting a small device in the arm and it would detect one’s own pulse, in a similar fashion as a test mouse with a nanogenerator attached to its heart which read out in picowatts, which is one million millionth of a watt.

Another potential source of power is from the M13 bacteriophage, which is a virus to bacteria and which we have all over ourselves, (yet is harmless to humans). These engineered viruses coat themselves with iron phosphate then bind to carbon nanotubes (sorry, my brain is exploding with all this terminology).

During this process the virus is not alive and once the battery is made, the virus can no longer make copies of itself. Which I would hope since it was allegedly dead in the first place, but even cockroaches tend to grow an ever increasing immunity to each stronger formula of Raid. This viral type of technology could be used in spray form which gets applied to the device.

Just don’t be in a rush and mix up your spray on battery with your Aqua-Net.

Some Days Are Just Like That

November 9, 2009

I woke up this past Friday, without a care in the world, until I looked in the bathroom mirror. Well, my mug first thing in the morning would scare anybody, myself included, but I was perplexed (there’s that word again) with the big clot of blood on my nose. That area where I had the second skin cancer removed back in the summer had bled at some point during the night. Naturally I called to make an appointment with the doctor and was in to see him by 10:30 am. He suggested it was either still in the 3-5 month healing “window”, or maybe a pimple had formed over scar tissue or even quite possibly he didn’t get all the cancer out and it was returning, but he didn’t want to go there just yet. He did point out to me, as I held a magnifying mirror, a spot of blood in the immediate area. Yeah, I pretty much knew that. Well, long and short, I’m in pursuit of a second opinion. You might remember how I insisted there was something wrong and simply because it had returned to what the spot had always looked like, a skin tag, he dismissed it as nothing but took a biopsy anyway and he discovered it was, in fact, cancer. That left a bad taste in my mouth, but since steps were taken to remove it, I thought we were back on track. Now, I’m not so sure again.

Fast forward to yesterday. We had dinner to finish preparing to take to Newark for a combined birthday dinner–Ariel’s mother’s, his niece’s and mine–and I was hand washing some dishes and noticed how the water seemed to waver between a normal flow and a sluggish one and I thought I’d probably have to bleed the tank before too long, like I had done once before years ago. Ariel went to get some stuff out of the fridge downstairs and first said, “There’s a strange noise,” and then said, “We’re flooded”..or words to that effect. I went down to see what he was talking about and sure enough, there was water all over the place from between the “canning” room and the furnace room, about 3 inches deep and water was gushing out of the tank through a hole in the side. We had a drain in the floor of the canning room (just a name we call it because we imagined it might have been used for that at one point some time in the past) and the mesh drain cover I keep over it had gotten clogged, hence the flood.

The cleanup began while we called Anthony’s, who had done the work for us a few years ago when the well pump went. They came, they saw and will return early this morning to take care of the situation and they estimate it to be a 4 hour job. For now, we have no water, (including toilets) except my bottled water to keep me in coffee, and no heat because I turned off the furnace, since it gets fed from the same source. And naturally, the mind is automatically set to panic mode because every three seconds I have to “go” and I can’t shake the 3 degree cooler “chill” in the house. 

Stupid, Stupid, Stupid

November 5, 2009

I guess congratulations are in order to the NY Yankees for winning the World Series last night–their 27th victory. I still don’t like them and never will. I’m a zombie after last night’s game, though, having watched, with hope beyond hope that the Phillies would have pulled it out and brought about game 7. At least now I can get some decent sleep again.

March 7, 2010 is the 82nd Academy Awards and there ‘s a slight change in the line-up. Not only will the event be hosted by both Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin, which has caused quite a stir in Augusta, Maine. A recent vote by outraged Mainers (Mainians? Maniacs?) has banned the broadcasting of this year’s awards gala with a same-sex duo because it would destroy the sanctity of the of Oscar hosting. Maybe it’s just the choice of  less than compelling co-hosts they chose that has the residents in a dither, but it prompted Carol Foyler, a key activist in that state to ask, “If Baldwin and Martin are allowed to do this, who will host the Oscars next year–a man and a horse?”  But I wonder if they also ban the Oprah Winfrey show when she has on a female guest? And chances are they won’t be voting in favor of gay marriage up there in Augusta, Maine anytime soon.

Another change coming this year is a throwback to the early, early days of the ceremony with 10 films, rather than the usual 5 in the Best Motion Picture category. 1943 was the last year, in fact, when there were 10 nominees. And in both 1934 and ‘35, there were 12. Are there even ten decent movies made nowadays worthy of nomination? Why not just give them all an award, photograph Paris Hilton six ways to Sunday and call it a night?

Kellogg Cocoa Krispies is pulling the “Now Helps Support Your Child’s IMMUNITY” banner off their boxes of cereal. It was cited that the cereal company was just cashing in on parents’ fear of the swine flu (or should I say H1N1 so no swine are offended?) and the claim was never proven. Although, I would imagine eating a balanced breakfast would help support your child’s immunity. I guess those critics saw the label as a cure all. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

This is another video by Ricardo Autobahn who put out the one I posted yesterday. It’s just cute and funny.

It’s A Gooble Gobble Plastic World

November 4, 2009

A while back, I blogged about the new So In Style line of black–er–African American Barbie dolls and now there’s another new addition to the Barbie family. Well, maybe not exactly new, but the latest incarnation of an old favorite. It’s the new Ken doll that won’t be available until next April…and we’ll need that long to work ourselves up for this one.

Like Barbie herself, who, over the years, went from a rigid, over-exaggerated plastic model of feminine pulchritude to, in subsequent steps, being posable, to tanning, to talking (“I’m a bitch…I have everything!”). She even had tattoos once and then went and got herself pregnant, Ken has had a variety of transformations. He had flocked hair once and he could also talk (“I hate that bitch!”). Ken could even shave, if you helped him and he played guitar for a new wave band even though he was once again sporting a crop of molded hair until finally, when he became more “street”, in his jeans and T-shirt, he got some slick nylon hair, just like his main squeeze, Barbie.

New Ken is currently available on pre-order at a savings of about twelve or so dollars off the regular price tag of $82 when Sugar Daddy Ken hits the store shelves next spring. Barbie’s one time surfin’, rockin’, 5 o’clock shadow sportin’ boyfriend had dipped his plastic bonded toes a little too far to the left in the “Metro” pool and settled all too comfortably one step beyond, almost like he’s on the prowl for one time pal Bendable Leg Allan he’s known since 1965. That must be a nice how-do-you-do to Barbie. Well, he did call her a bitch!

If the pastel green paisley print blazer over the pink shirt and starkly creased white slacks weren’t enough of an indication of this latest turn, perhaps it would be the West Highland Terrier tethered to a pink leash. Sugar is the name of the pooch, hence this Palm Beach edition Ken’s actual moniker, “Sugar’s Daddy Ken” (Sugar Daddy is a slight corruption, yet slightly more fitting). A spokeswoman for Mattel says that even though the name refers back to the dog, people are going to interpret it as they want to interpret it. Really? Ya think? Rest assured, though, this doll is geared toward adult collectors and not little girls on who the not so subtle innuendo of the new Ken would be wasted. And, oh, cripes, he’s even got sandals.

sugar daddy ken

 

And here, I know you need a purging from that, I can tell, so here  is a fun video. What grabbed my attention was the opening scene from the Tod Browning 1932 cult classic horror movie, “Freaks”.

 

 

Who’s Watching?

November 3, 2009

I was out early this morning to do my civic duty and I voted. Now, whether I had a hand in the alleged betterment or the probable complete dessimation of New Jersey remains to be seen.

Okay, on with today’s blog. I saw an item on the TV news the other morning and when I finally found it online to study it, I discovered it was already a few months old. As I read through the article however, it became clear that the recent mention on TV must have reflected the closing statement in the piece that said The South Jersey Transportation Authority is awaiting the results of a study on the proposal in the fall. Well, here it is, the fall. It concerns the Atlantic City Expressway. It’s not about the plans to widen the road, which there are, but there are also plans of taking down the toll booths. And not because they’re doing away with having to pay a toll to get to the casinos to lose even more money (or the shirt off your back in some cases). So, what does this mean? All lanes will become E-ZPass lanes.

But you don’t have E-ZPass? You don’t want E-ZPass? Never fear, you can still get to and from Atlantic City with the greatest of ease but you can expect to pay for it later. Besides the usual equipment perched high on armatures that stretch across the roadway to read the E-ZPass transponders, cameras will take pictures of license plates and a bill for highway usage will be generated and sent in the mail. Surprise!

Here’s an interesting aside, a quick fact about the Atlantic City Expressway. The 44-mile toll road, which was built in 1962 is officially numbered, although it is unsigned, as NJ State Highway 446.

Going back to the cameras and toll roads, given the fact that some the Interstates that run through New Jersey have been eyeballed as possible new deficit-decreasing toll roads. So now, if this technology is possible, to photograph license plates at highway speed (I’m assuming) on one certain highway, what’s to stop the construction of such other apparatuses and we get charged for driving around the state without the benefit of at least being able to watch our hard earned money disappear into toll booth baskets.

Which brings me to another sort of related story about cars and driving. It’s the thought that your car could be a tracking device. Cars of today come with a data recorder that is connected to a variety of sensors all around the car; inside and out. It can tell if a person is wearing a seatbelt, if the oil pressure is low and can deploy a car’s airbags in the event of a crash. But can the recorder track everyday car usage? According to a GM spokesman, it doesn’t track where you go or what street you are on, but in the event of an accident, the most recent data is “frozen” and that information is helpful in reconstructing the scene when settling insurance claims. Other than that, newly collected information is constantly overwriting what was there previously. Likewise it’s assured that OnStar, a GPS type of tracking device on GM cars, also does not “track” and individual until a call is placed through the system by a customer in despair whether of a tire blowout or a crash and is also useful in tracking down a reported stolen vehicle.

Of course there are external devices that can be put on your car to determine speed, direction and your every movement by way of video sensors all over the car, all with the idea of proving (or disproving) one’s innocence in a collision. And there is also a real-time tracking device, Inthinc’s Tiwi, parents of teens (or those with elderly parents) can use to actually monitor a car’s route and subsequently alert both driver and external viewer of an offense such as aggressive driving, accelerating or braking too hard and whether or not the seat belt is being worn and the notifications are put on the company’s database which is accessible either online or by telephone alerts.

But other innovations are sure to come, where, possibly someone would be able to know what you are wearing or what radio station you are listening to. Seems not that long ago one could simply turn the key in the ignition and head off to work or the grocery store and not give it a second thought and certainly and in the least, not be surreptitiously charged for it.

Happy motoring!

And here’s something to enjoy, which coincidentally goes with the driving theme today. Everyone should be so conscientious.  (click anywhere on the picture below)

 

drunk driving call

GO PHILLIES!!!