Monday, February 27, 2012

Ramblings: Buckle Up!

Ramblings: Buckle Up!: I read a news release today from the Kentucky State Police reporting the number of fatal accidents from the previous week. It noted that ei...

Buckle Up!

I read a news release today from the Kentucky State Police reporting the number of fatal accidents from the previous week. It noted that eight fatalities involved motor vehicles and four of the victims weren't wearing seat belts. 

So far this year, according to KSP, 89 people have died on state roads, with 43 of them not wearing seat belts. How tragic.

I've been wearing seat belts since the late 1960s when cars were equipped with lap restraints. Later, cars came with shoulder restraints. And later, we have airbags.

A seat belt is simply a step that should be automatic for a driver -- lock door, fasten seat belt and turn on ignition. 
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates the 13,000 lives would be saved each year if people would only buckle up. The National Safety Council notes that 88 percent of drivers in the United States use safety restraints.

So what about those 12 percent who decide that's it's too much trouble to fasten a seat belt? My guess is that many of them end up on fatality lists.

From my standpoint, I simply don't feel safe without my seat belt fastened. It would be like being on an amusement-park ride without a restraint. Kind of scary in many ways.  

Wearing a seat belt is just a smart and common-sense thing to do. And don't forget child restraints/car seats for those little folks who depend on you to keep them safe and secure! 

Until the next time...

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Blowing Smoke

One thing that really surprises me these days is seeing someone light up a cigarette.

After all the medical evidence linking tobacco and smoking to various cancers and diseases -- evidence that continues to mount -- it's just hard to believe that someone would puff on what we used to refer to as a cancer stick.

Confession time. I used to smoke. I quit nearly 34 years ago. Why? I was puffing a cigarette and my 2-year-old son, Justin, picked up a popsicle stick and mimicked me. My wife was eight-months along with our second son, Sean, and I decided right then and there that I wasn't going to influence my children to become smokers.

That was in August 1978. I haven't had a cigarette since then. That's not to say I haven't been exposed to second-hand smoke on a few occasions. But I try to avoid places where people can be so inconsiderate of others that they light up and puff away.

I'm not going to go over the statistics. You can read about them on the National Cancer Institute or American Cancer Society websites. Anyway, I'm not sure numbers, even overwhelming figures, can convince people to give up that nasty habit.

Besides, we all know smoking is harmful -- even deadly -- to one's health. And to the one's you love and care about.

Until the next time...

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Tootin' Your Own Horn

Sometimes I'm amazed by what people put on their Facebook pages. It's almost like they're saying -- NOTICE ME!

Of course, some people are deliberately trying to draw attention to themselves because they're selling something. And Facebook is a great place to spread the word about politics, products, and propaganda.

But there was a time, and not so very long ago, when people kept certain things to themselves or told only their close circle of family and friends. And let me emphasize "told" because it was generally oral. They didn't write things down for all posterity.

Now you can learn about a person's religious and political beliefs, music and movie preferences, books they've read, favorite sports -- and that's only the tip of the proverbial iceberg -- simply by looking at their Facebook page. It's no wonder why Facebook is such a great treasure trove of information for advertisers and marketers. 

In addition to a person's likes and dislikes, we can read their rants and raves and some of that isn't very pretty. I've been surprised by some of the "likes" I've seen by friends -- and I'm sure some of my likes have caused a few folks to roll their eyes.

Until the next time...

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Birthday Girl

Today was a special occasion for several families -- the Embrys, Hagans and Caswells.

We celebrated Lola Grace's first birthday. She's my granddaughter. I'm not sure she understood what was going on, especially being the center of attention, but she handled it rather well.

The dining room was decorated with balloons and cards. Lola wore a pink tiara with "Birthday Princess" on it. And there was some Valentine heart candy since she's a sweetheart as well.

Her sweetheart and princess sister, Lily, helped her blow out the candle. I was told that Lily even helped her dad, my son  Justin, pick out the chocolate cake. It was even Lily's idea to have some purple icing on the cake. Purple, by the way, is Lily's favorite color.

The cake turned into finger food for Lola. It was delicious. 
Lola received some nice gifts. She even seemed to enjoy the boxes and wrapping paper they came in.  

It's hard to believe a year has passed since Lola made her grand entrance into the world at Central Baptist Hospital in Lexington. I know her parents, sister, and grandparents look forward to many more birthday parties.

Until the next time...

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Rockers Recognized

It was nice to hear this week that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will induct six groups who were backups to previous solo inductees.

So the new additions to the Rock Hall will be the Comets (of Bill Haley), the Famous Flames (of  James Brown), the Crickets (of Buddy Holly), the Miracles (of Smokey Robinson), the Midnighters (of Hank Ballard), and the Blue Caps (of Gene Vincent).

“These Inductees are pioneers in the development of the music we call rock and roll,” Joel Peresman, president and CEO of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation said in a news release. “As part of our mission to recognize the most impactful, innovative and influential artists in rock, the committee brought forth these six groups that belong in the Hall of Fame.”
They'll join this year's inductees -- Guns N' Roses, the Beastie Boys, Laura Nyro, Donovan, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Faces/Small Faces, Freddie King, Don Kirshner, Cosimo Matassa, Tom Dowd, and Glyn Johns -- on April 14 in Cleveland.

But the question is why some other backup groups weren't included in this year's ceremony -- artists such as the E Street Band (of Bruce Springsteen), the Wailers (of Bob Marley), the Mothers of Invention (of Frank Zappa)? Although Springsteen, Marley and Zappa have great credentials on their own, it's hard to think of them producing their wonderful music without their awesome bands.

Or how about the Silver Bullet Band (of Bob Seger), Wings (of Paul McCartney), Blue Grass Boys (of Bill Monroe), the Drifting Cowboys (of Hank Williams), and the Belmonts (of Dion)?

I would hope that the Rock Hall will induct these and other overlooked backups in future ceremonies.

Until the next time...

Saturday, February 4, 2012

A Blog About Nothing

One of my all-time favorite TV shows is "Seinfeld." I still watch reruns and reruns of reruns, and probably reruns of reruns of reruns, and still find it funny.

There always seems to be something I see that I missed on an episode (no doubt, that could be said of a lot of things in life that I missed the first or second time, but that's another blog).

"Seinfeld" has often been called a "show about nothing" although we know that's far from the truth. For me, it contained subtle moralizing but in reverse, showing the vain, narcissistic, and selfish sides of human nature in a humorous way. Don't we all see ourselves to some degree in the characters?

You could even argue that the sitcom revealed the seven deadly sins -- wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony -- in a variety of ways. I'm not sure if there was much redemption for Jerry and his gang because they usually suffered in the end for their shortcomings.

And a big reason for "Seinfeld's" success is the writing. Jerry Seinfeld, Larry David and their team of writers were masters of dialogue and characterization in bringing the show to life on the small screen.

Until the next time...