Go forth, be safe on the 4th

Happy 4th of July everyone! Be safe as you travel and as you celebrate with family and friends. Here are a couple of reminders.

– Alcohol, testosterone and fireworks do not mix. Adding dry hot summer days do not help the situation. I am reminded of my wife’s cousin who blew off several fingers.

– If driving, appropriate following distance will help avoid many car accidents. Tailgaters overstate their ability to stop a car, especially when following a truck they cannot see around. To be frank, that is the nicest description of a tailgater I can use.

– At large outdoor parties, be mindful of food left out on a picnic table too long. Food poisoning is not rare in these circumstances.

– Also be mindful of long afternoons of drinking, especially those fruity concoctions that mask how drunk you’re getting. You don’t want to have Uncle John going to a crowded ER after wrecking his vehicle.

– The entire group should be mindful of small kids near pools, lakes and oceans. It only takes a few seconds for someone to drown. Hosts need to make sure someone is watching if they cannot. See above about parents’ drinking – I have seen close accidents avoided that should not have gotten that precarious,

– Finally, do your best to avoid politics. If you must respond, try to stay within the white lines and say things like “I wish they would work together to solve problems” which is a safe way to make a statement and exit stage left.

Have a safe and enjoyable holiday and weekend. May the 4th be with you this July.

Car accidents do indeed happen


My previous post on a lizard being set free in my car promoted several comments about other creatures in readers’ cars. I began thinking of some of the car accidents I have been involved with which show our and my imperfections or just confirm being at the wrong place at the wrong time.

In the latter category, one of my unusual accidents happened when a deer bounced off my back right door, shook his head and then ran off. I was near several neighborhoods, but from some woods a couple of deer ran across the road in front of me. Then I hear this thump where I observed in my side view mirror the trailing deer, who fortunately hit the middle of the door which flexed leaving the deer stunned, but intact, with a compression dent in my car door.

An accident which was totally my fault can be summed up with this piece of advice – don’t do a three point turn near a fire hydrant. Not seeing said fire hydrant while realizing I missed my turn, my reversal of direction left a perfectly shaped indentation of a fire hydrant on my back bumper.

Another accident occurred in slow motion after I had just dropped my son off at school. The person in front of me yelled at a construction worker who had parked his truck too far out from the curb. When the construction worker yelled back with a colorful metaphor, the man in the truck in front of me backed up to confront the worker. It felt like slow motion as I screamed “no” as the truck proceeded to back into my front bumper. He immediately realized he had chosen poorly and came out of his vehicle with less bravado than his earlier language.

Lastly, the company I worked for leased space from a bank. The bank installed these steel reinforced concrete pylons that would emerge from the ground in front of the parking lot entrance beneath the tower. As I was pulling in, the guard accidentally raised the pylons into the bottom of my front bumper. Fortunately, it was not beneath my engine or gas line. I could not move until he lowered the pylons.

We have been lucky as every accident my family or I have been in, no one was hurt, even the deer. Those are good accidents. What are some of your good accident stories?

Happy Independence Day Early

Best wishes all on a festive, but important anniversary in our US history. A few reminders to all, including my family, friends, and me.

– Don’t drink and drive – it is a bad idea anyway, but many police officers will be doing road checks looking for overly imbibed drivers.

– Along these same lines, remember alcohol, testosterone, and fireworks do not mix very well, so please leave the lighting to those who are more coherent.

– Stay hydrated if outside. So easy to forget, so easy to fix.

– Drive safely as many of us will be on the road. If you can read my bumper stickers, you are too close, unless we are at a traffic stop. And, the trucker sticker is true – if you can’t see his/ her mirrors, he/ she cannot see you.

– Remember the sunscreen song that began and ended its many lessons with advice to lather up when you go out – this is particularly true if drinking is involved, as a drunk lobster of a person is not at his/ her best (and will be in pain tomorrow).

– Keep an adult or older teen eye on kids around water. It only takes a few seconds. If you have folks to your pool, lake, river, etc. for a swim, make sure all can as hosts can get caught up in the event.

– Remember to hug loved ones close when you leave. It only takes a few seconds and means so much to both hugger/ huggee.

Finally, let’s remember the true meaning of July 4. It celebrates our freedoms. So, remember your freedoms are as important, as my freedoms. Not more or less. That is what we fought for and our history has been one of making sure that is true for all. Happy 4th of July!!!