Saturday, April 21, 2012

Cell Phones, Cars and Other Musings

I love this picture!

When the WSO did her 2nd Class Midshipman cruise (also know as the enlisted cruise) she went to sea on the USS Curts (FFG-38) out of Sandy Eggo.

This beauty is the USS Preble (DDG-88) and she has a bone in her teeth, for sure.

The WSO shot a lot of nice photos on this cruise which I will share over the course of time. I shall reward her with more posts.

About her.

Of course.

She requires this.

That being said, I have some rather strong opinions regarding cell phones. And about the operation of motor vehicles. And what happens when the two are combined.

First of all, I find the cell phone to be a marvelous little bit of technology. It's convenient to have the ability to call my wife or the kids no matter where I'm at. I am no longer anchored to a land line. Recalling times when my automotive conveyance has decided to cease operations at inconvenient times and places, it would have been nice to have a cell phone on those occasions. Now I do have one and have not had any motor vehicle mishaps to speak of. I'm not saying there's a cause and effect relationship here, but it does make me wonder. But if it does happen, I have a cell phone with which to call AAA, let people know I'm stranded, etc. What would be the odds of my vehicle and my cell phone ceasing to function at the same time? This I do not wish to discover.

Normally I use my cell phone to chat with CINCHOUSE while I'm away "up north" and to talk with my progeny who are spread from coast-to-coast, literally. From the WSO in Virginia, to the Nuke in Tennessee, out to the Naviguesser in California. "From sea to shining sea...". So it's a nice to have kind of thing and also a must-have for those emergency situations.


There are people who have these things glued to their ears practically 24/7. I have seen them in the grocery stores:
          "...yeah, I'm walking past the cereal aisle right now, heading over to get some milk..."

Outside my place of employment:
          "...yeah, I'm at work now, gonna go to lunch around noon....

My favorites are the ones with the ear-thingy, you know the ones who appear to have Borg implants.

The picture is for you non-Trekkies, that's a Borg, with an implant (the red light thing attached to the right side of his face). The rest of you will know what a Borg implant is. I know I do, I admit it, I'm a bit of a geek. Live long and prosper and all that.

But the Borg implant type cell phone users amaze me. The first one I ever saw was in a glassed-in corridor at work. As I approached, he was walking back and forth in the corridor apparently talking to himself. I kind of slowed down, thinking that perhaps I had just come across one of those, you know, disgruntled employees. Perhaps about to go forth and bring down carnage on the workplace. But no, it was just a cell-phone-guy with that cell-phone-ear-thingy. Also he was completely oblivious to his surroundings, nearly colliding with me as I passed by. People on cell phones do tend to concentrate on their conversations, to the occasional detriment of those around them.

Which brings me to, wait for it...

One of the Old Sarge's Pet Peeves

I'll be the first to admit, I have a number of pet peeves. We all do. But one of my biggest is people operating a cell phone and an automobile at the same time. Many people in my neck of the woods seem to have a great deal of trouble understanding "the rules of the road". For instance, Stop Signs and Red Lights.

Many Rhode Islanders have a tendency to blow through these like nobody's business. To them a Stop Sign is equivalent to a Yield Sign. Also if you're the fifth car in line at a Stop Sign, you can go ahead and roll through it if the first four cars do so. I have seen this behavior many times.

Red Lights are a special category in Rhode Island. When the light goes yellow, that means "floor it, that sucker is about to turn red!" If it has just turned red, then its apparently okay to just keep going, no one in Rhode Island actually will start to go through an intersection when the light turns green. I guess they know someone will soon be blowing through there on a "just turned red" signal.

But it gets worse when they have a cell phone pressed to the side of their noggins. I've seen the case where I'm proceeding down a road and there it is, a Rhode Islander, on their cell phone, waiting to turn right into traffic. That bit is important, turn RIGHT into traffic. Personally I'd be looking to my LEFT to see if there was oncoming traffic. But invariably, Joe-on-his-cell-phone is looking to his RIGHT. And as I approach he (or she, it varies) will pull out in front of me, with little room to spare. And then proceed onwards, oblivious to everything but the cell phone. I can imagine the conversation sounds like this from the driver's perspective:

          " yeah, I just pulled onto Main Street, heading for the grocery store, gotta buy some milk..."

Yeah, pet peeve, a big one.


  1. It's even worse here in California. I recently sat at a light and half the cars that passed had the cell phone either up to their ear (illegal), or held just below their chin (still illegal, but they must think that makes it oh so much safer.) Any cellphone use while driving is illegal here, but you wouldn't know that by the amazing number of offenders. I even saw a CHP using one. I would have taken a photo of it, but my cell phone is my camera, and doing so would have also been illegal.

    1. Ah yes, California, or as some of us Back East like to call it, "The Land of the Fruit and Nut". I'm sure a photo of a Chippie using a cell phone while driving would've gone viral, in a big way.

  2. We also have laws againt cellphone use in a vehicle. However, I prefer the alternative remedy but I'm not allowed to pack a Peacemaker either....
    Viewer caution!:

    1. Loved it. Many's the time I wanted to do something similar.


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