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Fun at Traffic Court!

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Traffic CourtWhat a great day I had today! I got to drive an hour north to the City of Kingston to sit for 1.5 hours on a hard wooden bench in Traffic Court! Woo hoo! That was almost as much fun as getting pulled over by an incredibly pleasant and warm-hearted (not!) state trooper at 7 AM on my way to teach the last CPS certification class. Apparently I was driving 72 on this stretch of highway and didn’t realize it was a 55 mph zone. My bad.  

To be honest, I was really annoyed when the trooper wrote me but he was annoyed with me too for not pulling over immediately (silly me was actually looking for a safe place to pull over instead of the non-existent shoulder of the highway). I tried, very politely, to explain this to him when he got all huffy with me but he didn’t seem to appreciate my concern for both his safety and mine. Whatever.  

The good news is that the prosecutor let me plead to a non-moving violation. I think I pled to parking on the curb or something along those lines. The bad news is that it still cost $100. Thank goodness my DH never reads this blog.  😉

The Waiting is the Hardest Part

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PriusI’ve ranted before about government bailouts.  A trillion here, a trillion there, pretty soon it adds up to real money.  Yet, somehow, not a dime seems to appear to help prevent the #1 killer of kids.  Recently, we’re pumping billions into helping people trade in their clunkers in order to take on even more debt so that they can buy a new car.  I’m glad it’s at least giving lip service to promoting better fuel economy.  I’d like to see some attention to better safety, too.

For example, I’d like to see new model year vehicles crash tested quicker.  Sometimes, it seems like it’s half way through the model year before results are available.  By then, half the sales are completed.  There are certainly very legitimate reasons why the NHTSA and IIHS ratings can’t be ready the moment a popular new model hits the market.  I’m also sure it’s nothing a billion or two dollars and some love from congress couldn’t fix!

Yeah, I’m a bit of a safety nut.  In our discussions about having a third child, I put in my request for a new minivan.  The old one had good crash test ratings, but the new one had side curtain airbags and stability control, plus top ratings all around.  My wife’s Subaru also lacked the latest features, much to my chagrin.  I’ve been hinting that she needed something safer and more fuel efficient for a year or two.

An Almost, But Not Quite Costly Mistake

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pocket contentsI think every CPS tech gears up for a checkup event.  Mentally we prepare for what we may see at the event: the type of parent we may encounter, the types of restraints and errors we may see, and think about stock phrases we may use to get points across to parents and caregivers in a way that is easy for them to understand yet not condescending.  We also prepare by dressing for the part.  Perhaps it’s a favorite pair of old jeans or shorts and a t-shirt that identifies us as a technician.  I usually get ready for a checkup event by putting on my cargo shorts and stuffing the pockets with all kinds of goodies, like a small bottle of Purell, Chapstick, my iPhone, rubber bands for tying up tethers, and my pen.  Sometimes I’ll attach a hemostat to my shirt if I know I’m going to an event where I’ll be working with a lot of convertible seats, since those are helpful for pulling harness straps through slots.

Parlez-vous espagnol?

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spanish dictionaryI have come to the conclusion that I need to learn to speak Spanish in order to work more successfully as a technician.  Many of our clientele where I live are Spanish-speakers it’s a hindrance when the only way I can communicate is by hand gestures.  I just wish I wasn’t so stubborn back in 8th grade when Spanish was first offered as an elective: no, even though I knew it was a language that would come in handy seeing as how I lived in the Phoenix area, I wanted to learn French.  So in high school, pig-headedness still prevailed and I took French for 3 years and another year in college.  I was very good at French.  Too bad I don’t live in France.