Tag Archives: text

Will You Take The Pledge?

by Richard

Oprah has one. Now AT&T has one. Will you sign up?

What’s this dude talking about, I hear you ask. Well, I hear some voices in my head and I’m going to go ahead and just say they’re your voices. Except for the one that tells me to take off all my clothes and run naked through the security screenings at the Charlotte-Douglas Airport. I know who that voice is and I hardly ever listen to him.


I’m talking about the no-text pledge.

There’s a great series of commercials running these days where people hold up signs with a few words printed on them. Those words are what they were reading in a text right before they had an accident, or right before a loved one had an accident. No text is worth it, is the message.

Oprah Winfrey has had a no-text pledge for a while in her no-phone zone. It’s a good idea. I even took the pledge myself in front of my three young dudes and, for the most part, I’ve stuck to it.

In a move mainly designed by PR flacks (the way I see it) AT&T has stepped up and also are asking people to sign their pledge that folks won’t send or read texts while driving. Remember those ads I was talking about up there a bit earlier? Turns out, they’re from AT&T.

Randall Stephenson, CEO of AT&T, was watching the Olympics with his daughter when she saw it — an ad featuring a man in a wheelchair suffering from a severe brain injury and holding a sign with the text: “Where r.”

“This is the text message that caused the car accident that changed my life forever,” the man said.

According to Stephenson, the ad did its job.

“She said, ‘Dad … that’s heavy’,” he said. “I said, it’s supposed to be heavy. It got your attention and that’s what we’re trying to accomplish.”

The ad, from AT&T, is part of the mobile company’s “It Can Wait” campaign. First launched in 2009, the campaign aims to curb texting and driving, especially among young drivers. It will be ramping up between now and September 19, or what the campaign is calling “No Text on Board — Pledge Day.”

AT&T is asking everyone to visit ItCanWait.com before Sept. 19 and sign the pledge. My question is this: Don’t these folks know about International Talk Like A Pirate Day? It’s also on Sept. 19. I hope we can fit in both things. It’s going to be tight, but doable
Moving on.
According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project,texting while driving increased 50% in one year (2010), when 20% of all drivers admitted to texting or sending an e-mail while driving.

Teens report doing so at more than twice that rate, with 43% admitting to doing so in an AT&T survey.

People texting are 23 times more likely to get into an accident than other drivers, according to the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute.

So, yeah, I think this is something we can all agree on. No texting while driving. I mean, that’s what the shotgun seat is for.


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The Electrical Impulse

by Richard

I’m directly involved in the last significant event of the school year and it’s getting ready to kick off next week. Of course I’m talking about the NC End of Grade tests, dudes. What else would it be?

Of course, school doesn’t actually let out until June 10 here in the school district serving Casa de Dude, but, once the EOGs are over, there’s basically only some time marking and movie watching to finish out the year.

Anyway, I’m going to be a proctor for a couple of days during the EOG tests at Carmel Middle School. Because I’ll be in the classroom with a bunch of kids and one teacher, helping to make sure no one cheats or does something nasty, I had to be specially trained for about 30 minutes the other day.

Most of the training consisted of being read a pamphlet and having it reinforced that we shouldn’t read, eat or talk during the four hours of the EOG and neither should the teacher or students.

Which caused one of my fellow trainees to timidly raise her hand and ask if it was okay for a proctor to take and send an “important” text message during the test.

Just got me thinking is all. I used to be a substitute teacher at a middle school, back before the young dudes needed to have constant supervision. (Don’t ask) I used to spend all day in the classroom. With no PHONE AT ALL!!!!!

And, oddly, I survived.

Now we can’t get along without being in constant communication? We must be available and available to respond at every second of every single day?

I know. I shouldn’t complain. I also get the itchies when I go out of the house, hop into the super-cool and awesome mimi-van (I drive a mini-van. Mini-vans are cool!) and head out on an errand. Only to jerk upright in my seat, frantically patting the pocket in which I normally carry my phone.


There’s a feeling I get when I consider this, that it will be good for us to give up the electrical umbilical for a couple of hours. Even for the four hours it will take to proctor the EOG tests. Even during the four hours of the EOG tests, during which they just said I couldn’t pull out a book or a kindle to read.

You know, I might be rethinking my position here.

Let me google a couple of opinions and I’ll get back to you.

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The Bunny System

by Richard

I’ll be back Monday with the last bit on moral choices, but, over the weekend, I thought I’d offer something a little less heavy.

Well, it’s less heavy unless you count squirrel maiming as heavy instead of hilarious, which it is.

The Bunny System is a fantastic webcomic I just discovered by a young dudette named Audrey Saffa. It’s about, well, bunnies and their natural enemies, the squirrels. All right, so they’re not natural enemies in our world, but it makes for some funny comics.

The pictures are drawn in an über-cute style of fluffy bunnies everywhere, but the text and action are pure cynicism and over-the-top violence. It’s some dissonant stuff that really works.

I’ve talked before about my love of Robert Frost’s “Fire and Ice” poem, but I don’t think I ever truly appreciated it until this.

Yeah. Like that.

Go ahead and stop on by. I think you might like it. Just remember this is for the big dudes in the house.

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