How Far We’ve Come

Do you remember the day you discovered the Internet? I do. I was working for a graphic designer and he had a computer. A computer I had access to use. In those days, you had to load 10-20 square disks to install a program, such as Ami Pro, WordPerfect, or Quickbooks. Now it all happens with the click of a link. I remember only a few (counting on one hand) websites back then: AOL, CompuServe and NetNoir. These were places I frequented to ‘meet’ people online. That excitement led me to change careers from TV news reporting to web producing.

But I don’t want to talk about technology as much as I want to wax rhapsodic about the world technology has literally expanded for us, both good and bad. True there is a lot of junk online. No I take that back — a lot of disgusting, filth and trash. But for those of us who avoid that kind of thing, the Internet has been a time-saver, an educator and an accelerator.

As a time-saver, the Internet allows me to find things I need to buy or investigate. I don’t have to go to the actual store and browse. Granted I still like to window shop and the Internet cannot really help me touch the clothes or smell the fruit. And even though it can save me time in my search  for books at the library (I can search Dekalb County locations and reserve my books) I still go to the actual LIBRARY to borrow them.

As an educator, the Internet has exposed me to resources I need in order to understand my field better — be it project management or writing. I can find lots of blogs and other sites hosted by folks like myself who share vital information.

And finally as an accelerator, the Internet brings me in touch with the organizations I want to join in order to meet the people I want to know and a very short period of time. I find it amazing that if I did not have this resource, I would never have met my book illustrator in Duluth, Minnesota or my critique partner in New Brunswick, Canada, or my book cover designer in India. In addition, I wouldn’t have become aware of organizations like the Society for Children s Book Writers and Illustrators or the Georgia Writers Association, and everybody they know. So I guess I’m saying that the Internet has been a wealth of useful information in my life these past 20 years and I am grateful to have the help, and to see how far we’ve come.

Driving Test Answers

For those of you who actually care, here are the answers to our mini-drivers test, according to the Georgia Department of Driver Services:

1) If a school bus is stopped in front of you on a 2-lane highway, with a solid yellow line is it legal to pass?

Answer: Passing is prohibited on two-lane roads in areas marked by a solid yellow line on the right of the center line, or a “Do Not Pass” sign, or double yellow lines.

2) what if it’s a city bus?

Answer: Passing is prohibited on two-lane roads in areas marked by a solid yellow line on the right of the center line, or a “Do Not Pass” sign, or double yellow lines.

3) If the light up ahead is flashing yellow should you stop?

Answer: A flashing yellow light means you must slow down and exercise caution before proceeding through the intersection (translation: don’t stop! Only those with a flashing red light must stop and treat it like a stop sign).

4) Can you turn right on red if the light is showing a red arrow?

Answer: No

5) What if there’s just a sign that says No Turn On Red?

Answer: Unless a sign posted at that intersection prohibits doing so, it is permissible to make a “right turn on red” at an intersection controlled by a traffic control light.

6) If you come to a 4-way stop sign at the exact same time as another driver, who can legally go first?

Answer: If two vehicles reach the intersection at approximately the same time, yield to any vehicles on your right.

 

Regarding school buses, this is also important to keep in mind: Once the flashing lights have turned red and the stop signs have extended from the side of the bus, it is unlawful for any vehicle to pass the stopped school bus while it is loading or unloading passengers. On a highway divided by a median, cars traveling on the opposite side from the stopped school bus are not required to stop.

I hope this little exercise will help all of you who are transportationally-challenged. See you on the road!

Could You Pass A Driving Test?

Is it just me or are drivers less and less aware of the rules of the road? I commute 60 miles a day and I can’t believe some of the idiotic behaviors I witness on the road. So I’m going to give you a little test to see how much YOU know about driving.

1) If a school bus is stopped in front of you on a 2-lane highway, with a solid yellow line is it legal to pass?

2) what if it’s a city bus?

3) If the light up ahead is flashing yellow should you stop?

4) Can you turn right on red if the light is showing a red arrow?

5) What if there’s just a sign that says No Turn On Red?

6) If you come to a 4-way stop sign at the exact same time as another driver, who can legally go first?

These questions were evidently not a requirement for drivers within a 50 mile radius of Atlanta because daily they make the wrong choice, wreaking havoc on our roads, not to mention my nerves.
So let’s see how ya do. I will post the answers in my next post and I truly hope you pass (for the sake of good drivers everywhere).

Just Because…

I’ve decided that it’s time for me to add a new category to my blog postings and I am calling it Just Because. That way I can talk about anything that I want to…just because I want to talk about it. So, today’s Just Because post is about old movies.

Yes, I am a BIG fan of old movies. I mean OLD, like 1930s and 1940s old. I love them and I am not ashamed. My addiction started when I was about five years old. That was in the early 60s when my mom stayed at home, made biscuits and watched me until I was old enough to go to school. We’d make those biscuits watching actresses like Bette Davis, Myrna Loy, and Rosalind Russell (ever heard of any of them?) Well, anyway, we had just gotten our first TV. It was black and white of course, with very few channels.

The first show I ever saw on television was a comedy: the Three Stooges. Sadly, the first tragedy I ever saw was the funeral of President John Kennedy. I remember seeing John Jr. saluting as the soldiers walked by, which is an image that was shown over and over for decades.

We also watched cowboys, gangsters and even a few silent movies, but the reason I love the old ones is two-fold: 1) they were black and white and to me, the shadows and light were used much more dramatically to set the scenes, and 2) the actors ACTUALLY acted; they had talent and could transform themselves into whatever or whoever the role demanded. Very few can do that today. Tom Hanks is Tom Hanks no matter what he’s in (I will give him some credit for Forrest Gump but that’s about it). I’d say only Meryl Streep has the ability to really change on the screen. The rest of them have a lot to learn from old movie actors.

The movies back then were a lot more wholesome too. Except the Cagney and Edward G. Robinson ones.  I mean, in general  the only questionable things they in most movies was smoke a lot, but rarely did they curse or promote lewdness (Okay, during the early 30s before the codes they were pretty wild, but between the late 30s and mid-40s the movies were relatively tame, and I liked that.)

I rarely go to the movies these days, too much violence and weirdness for me. Guess I’m old school, but that’s who I am. Why? Just because.