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Thursday, August 28, 2003 

Don't forget to check out my interview (Aug 25) below and sign up to participate in the next round!!!

Last night was meeting number 2 of the East Bay Stitch n' Bitch. Only four of us were able to make it (where were the rest of you?!?!?!), but we had a good time. We hung around for about 2 1/2 hours chatting, knitting, drinking, and eating. Jennifer showed us the cutest little hat she made for her little boy. It was one of those little crocheted lemon hats. So darling! I cast on for my first mousie. I was doing it on DPNs though, and kept twisting the stitches. What buffoon decided to put terrible lighting in a bar?! You can't knit in a bar with bad lighting. Geez.

In more serious news....

My boyfriend had a near death experience yesterday. Okay, I exaggerate...sort of. He called me after he got off work yesterday to tell me that earlier in the afternoon he and another CSA (Community Service Assistant - he works for a local Police Department) were driving a couple of patrol cars to another station. As they were driving down the freeway they came across this accident that had just happened, and since there were no emergency vehicles already on the scene, they stopped. Jon pulled his patrol car up behind the accident, which was sticking out into the number 4 lane (furthest right lane). The other CSA pulled his car onto the shoulder. Jon got out of the car and one of the guys involved in the accident ran up to him and started to tell him what happened. Seconds later Jon said the guy became frantic and signaled that something was happening behind him. Jon turned around in time to see a green car that had come to a screeching stop just before the patrol car, followed by a guy in a new Durango smacking into the back of the green car at 55 mph. This sent the green car smashing into the patrol car, and because of the angle of the crash, had Jon and the other guy not jumped out of the way in time, they would have been hit.

Certainly it is one of the hazards of the job. But still, I am 100% supportive of Jon's desire to become an officer, and work in law enforcement. I think it's the right career for him, and I believe anyone who tries to tell him not to follow his dream is just being selfish (like his parents). Of course there is a serious risk of injury or death in that profession. But, what you're probably not aware of is the fact that more construction workers and taxi drivers die on the job every year than do police officers. Officers are trained to keep themselves from getting hurt/killed, and given the tools to do so. But I will admit that it's still very scary. I dread the day that I get that phone call. It could have been yesterday -- someone calling me to inform me that Jon was in the hospital, or worse, after being hit in that second crash. And in that instant, because of the carelessness of someone behind the wheel of a car (a deadly weapon, might I add), someone elses life is changed forever. In those few seconds he could have lost his limbs, been paralyzed, been denied the opportunity of persuing his dreams, or even lost his life.

Too many people treat driving like it's nothing. They drive blindly, paying more attention to the person on the other end of their cell phone, the song blasting on the radio, their child screaming in the back of the car. They hop behind the wheel after working an 11 hour mid-shift (as was the case with the driver of the Durango, who was an officer for a local PD on his way home from working the mid-shift). They don't think twice about sticking that key in the ignition after taking medications that may cause them to become drowsy. They assume that the cage of steel around them is going to actually protect them from injury or death, and so they speed down the highway at 20 mph over the speed limit, cut across four lanes of traffic, fail to use proper traffic signals (such as blinkers) when merging in front of others (often too closely as well), fail to allow sufficient distance between themselves and the car in front of them (another reason that second accident happened - the green car would have stopped in time, but because the Durango was following too closely it couldn't and thus smacked into the green car). Perhaps too many people see driving as just another task, like taking out the garbage, or paying the bills -- just a mundane, innocuous, every day task. Plus, most people are quick to be defensive and don't like to admit when they're driving in an unsafe manner. People assume that because they've engaged in some stupid behavior a million times before and haven't crashed yet that "it won't happen to them." All it takes is for one person to make a stupid move for an innocent person to become a victim. And in that instance, because of that one stupid, careless, selfish decision, so many lives can be affected, and changed forever.

Kids, be careful when you get behind the wheel of you car today. Think twice about the other people on the road and the actions you take with your two ton deadly weapon. If you're tired, stop and take a nap. If your kid is screaming, pull over. Be courteous to other drivers, and stop looking at driving as a competition. Drive defensively, always expecting the other driver to do something dumb. Obey all the traffic laws -- they're put there for a reason. Otherwise, someday you may be the reason that some woman gets a phone call notifying her that her boyfriend/husband is dead, or some child finds out that mommy is never coming home.

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  • I'm Dani
  • From San Francisco
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