Cell phones and petrol

In case you didn’t know, or forgot, or thought perhaps it was going into effect next year: it will be a ticketable offense to talk on your cell phone while driving without a hands-free device, starting July 1, 2008.  That’s like a week and a half away, people.  I bring it up because I still see a lot of people driving around (poorly) holding a cell phone to their ear.  You’d think they’d want to get into the habit of using a hands-free device since the police can actually pull you over if they see you holding a cell phone and talking.  They don’t have to wait until you incur some other driving infraction to pull you over, then give you a bonus ticket for your cell phone, unlike some of the other new driving laws in California.  And, if June is anything like the other hundreds of months that have flown by, that July 1st deadline is going to be here lickety-split.  We’ve known about this law for over a year now, so it’s not like the politicians snuck (sneaked?) it into the world quietly.  Heck, there were e-mails running amok last year warning everyone that the law was going into effect in 2007!

Side Note:  Effect is a noun.  To affect is a verb.  Effects can affect things.  You can have special effects.  One can affect another’s mood.  Thus ends the grammar lesson.

Interestingly enough, the law does not address sending text messages or typing on a laptop.  Technically, if an officer pulls you over for a traffic infraction and sees you’ve been texting, you can get a ticket for distracted driving (or something to that effect).  Also, if you are under 18 and get pulled over, you’d better not have a cell phone anywhere in sight because minors cannot use a cell phone while driving at all.  Even with a hands-free device. 

Just trying to do my civic duty, getting the word out to y’all. 

In other news, we have friends who have been talking of getting motorcycles.  T got all excited because he used to have a motorcycle and rode all over the country numerous times with his buddies.  He got rid of it after seeing what crazy drivers California has on the freeways.  To be fair, some of the bikers on the freeways are crazier and a little rude.  But, if we have friends with bikes who want to go riding in more remote areas, he was getting pretty itchy to have a motorcycle again. 

To fuel his interest, we watched Long Way Round, the documentary where Ewan McGregor rides around the world on some BMW motorcycle and survives.  His actor buddy Charlie Boorman went, too, but I couldn’t tell you what movies he’s been in.  There’s a lot of talk of petrol stations and other funny British names for things.  It’s actually pretty interesting to watch, even as a non-motorcycle fan.

All this to say that a motorcyle has been purchased, T is now really wanting to buy a bike, and I have to decide if I want to take the beginner’s rider safety class despite the fact that I hate anything that involved shifting or a clutch.  To my mom, no, I am not going to get a bike of my own (probably), but it’s most likely not a bad idea that I know how one actually works.  You know, just in case.

Also, did you know that the San Diego Fair has racing weiner dogs this year?  In addition to the classic pig and turkey races, of course.


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