Sunday, January 23, 2005

Teen driving

Still stuck in the hotel, I'm flipping through the channels and run across Teen Kids News where teens product and report on different issues related to teens. One of the segments was on teen driving. The numbers and stats all show that, for teens between 15 and 18, traffic accidents are the #1 cause of death and injury. Most teens feel that they are good drivers and can (and should) be aloud to drive unrestricted once they pass their drivers test. Some states are implementing something called Graduated Drivers licenses (GDLs). These vary from state to state but generally have restricted driving hours, restricting the number of teen passengers and other limitations. These go until the drivers are 18 or over. The stats are that states implementing GDLs have up to 40% less teen traffic accidents/injuries/deaths.

I'm now 42 years old. But I can still remember when I got my license. It was a bit different than when kids get their licenses here in the US 'cause I got mine in Germany. I had to go through the Military driving program to get my license. This consisted of a 100 question test, 25 questions on general driving issues (rules for accidents, questions on registration, etc.), 25 on right-of-way (something that doesn't seem to exist here in the US) and 50 questions on traffic signs. Out of the 100 total questions you could not miss more than 4. Additionally you could only get your permit at 17, which limited you to being only aloud to drive with an instructor licensed driver (not just any licensed driver). You couldn't get your full license until you were 18 and passed the above test. I say all of this because even with all of these extra measures I was still an insane driver, just like every other teen driver. Taking way to many chances, driving to fast (though I rarely ever speeded because the Autobahn doesn't have a max speed limit, it does have a minimum speed limit), not paying attention and all the normal things that new teen drivers do. We have to learn to drive sometime but maybe it might be better if that sometime were later in life. I don't know when, later, maybe early 20's? Thankfully I'm not chosen to solve this issue.

A side not to the piece was the question, "Who would you feel safer with when driving a dangerous road? Another teen, your mother, your father or a grandparent." The answer kinda surprised me a little. 12% said teen, 14% said mother, 20% said father and 54% said grandparent. The reasoning was because the grandparent was such a slow driver. As I have gotten older I've seen how driving skills do get a little ragged around the edges when you get up there. My mother, who is 66 now, can still drive well but is recognizing that her night vision is getting worse and that there's a few things that are more difficult than they were years ago. When I was a teen I would have wanted my father behind the wheel. I hope that in 5 or 6 years my son will feel the same.

Ruby on Rails and White Powder

No, it's not a gem show on a train with a cocaine chaser. From the O'Reilly site -
Rolling with Ruby on Rails by Curt Hibbs -- The Ruby community is abuzz about Rails, a web application framework that makes database-backed apps dead simple. What's the fuss? Is it worth the hype? Curt Hibbs shows off Rails, building a simple application that even non-Rubyists can follow.
Now, I really like the design of ruby. It's got the power and abilities of perl with a clean and readable syntax like python. I just wish I had the time to learn it. Maybe with the new job I can work something out where I do some development. We'll have to see.

And on that note, I need to come up with a feedback/comment form for the training I'm doing. You know, was the material covered, did the instructor suck, was it worth attending... That kind of stuff. Unfortunately I am having a hell of a time coming up with something. Maybe I'll try google and see if I can't come up with an example or template.

As to the white powder, I'm sitting in a hotel room (blogging instead of working) surrounded by 6" to 8" of snow. The storm blew through very quickly, thank $DEITY, or else we'd have had 12" to 18". I remember the Blizzard of '94 and am not interested in playing that game again. Three feet of snow is four feet to many, if you ask me. My son is enjoying it, though. It's as easy to get him out of the snow as it is getting him out of the pool. Man, he'll stay in even though he's shivering so hard he can hardly talk and his whole body is blue. A definite water baby. Takes after his mom. While I enjoy the beach as much as the next person the whole "in the water" thing I can take or leave.

Well, it's way past my bedtime. Even though I don't have to get up for anything tomorrow, with the exception of the game (Go Steelers!), I'd prefer getting a couple of hours of sleep.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Life moves way to fast!

It's been a while since I've updated this blog. A lot has happened. Well, one thing has happened but it was a major life-altering thing. I got a job.

It's not just "a job" though. See, I've been working with and using Linux and open source since November 1991. I'm a big advocate of Linux and open source. I've participated in a number of open source projects, written articles and helped with the spreading of Linux whenever I can. This job is like a dream. I will be doing Linux/open source training, Linux/open source consulting and building Linux/open source solutions for companies. Can you believe it? I still can't. Right now I'm in PA doing three weeks of Linux training with the potential of some add-on consulting. It's been a little rough, though. It's been a while since I've done anything more than one day sessions but this first week seems to have gone well.

The one down side is that I'll be away from home for three and a half weeks. That's a long time away from my family, especially my son. That reminds me, I need to call him.


Ok, just got off the phone with him. He's doing good but misses me. I miss him very much. Thank $DEITY that my mother is there to watch him. If she wasn't I don't know if I could have taken this position. Another reason I wish I had a wife/girlfriend.

On that front, I believe that I'm going to give up looking for a woman. Not necessarily forever but for a while at least. It's to distracting. And it's not likely that I will ever find anyone anyway. Man, you know it's bad when your own mother also doesn't think I'll ever find a woman. Very depressing.

Which reminds me... I have run out of the Wellbutrin. The Doctor has said I need to see him again before continuing the prescription refilled. That's not likely to happen anytime soon as I won't be back for over two more weeks. Unfortunately the lack of the Wellbutrin has meant that I started smoking those damned Eclipse cigarettes.

Oh well, what the hell. Or as Miles says in Risky Business, sometimes you just have to say, "What the fuck."