Sunday, February 25, 2007

I brake for taillights!

So, I was on the way home this evening and got in a crash. It's depressing, and it's weird.

I don't know if you've ever been in an accident, fair reader, but it's a sort of surreal experience. It's a cliche, but we never think accidents will happen to us, and so when they don't quite mentally accept it. Sitting on the freeway tonight, looking at the crumpled hood of my car bowing upwards through a faint spiderweb of new cracks in my windshield, I marveled that less than half an hour ago, I had been mentioning to the people with whom I was eating dinner that I don't take good enough care of my car. Now, I was contemplating with 99% surety that I would never give my car another oil change. In fact, oddly enough, the last thought to cross my mind before impact was, "Well, car, it was nice knowing you..."

Anyway, I saw the brake lights in front of me and slammed on my brakes, but I really don't think my Automatic Braking System kicked in. Also, my airbag didn't deploy, and it seems like it should have since I hit pretty hard, but that's another matter. When I realized my car wasn't going to stop, and the traffic was too heavy on the left to change lanes suddenly, I swerved right towards a concrete barrier, hoping to either pass the car in front of me to the right (which I realized immediately was not going to happen) or at least transfer some of my momentum to the barrier instead of another car. Thinking back some time afterwards, I considered that I might have done well to simply grind my car into the barrier so that all damage would be taken by my car, but then hindsight's not so useful in an emergency situation.

As it is, since I was the car in back, I'm very likely to be found liable. Now, who I think should be liable is the person who was driving the car in front; in the very front. Apparently somebody's car stalled, and they took it upon themselves to simply leave their car parked on the freeway, locked, parking brake on, but no lights. My wife, who had been in a separate car passing by earlier, had called 911, and remarked to me at home that in some surreal manner, she had phoned in to report an accident that happened after she passed, and the person in the accident happened to be her husband.

I don't know why that car was there, but it presented me with an odd dilemma. The Highway Patrol showed up at the scene finally, and they instructed me and the woman I had run into to move our cars off the road. I didn't follow orders. I thought, "What happened here is that a car was parked on the freeway with no lights, and it led to an accident. If I leave, the car will still be there, and very likely, history will repeat itself." I left the lights on in my car (including hazard lights, of course) and climbed out through the passenger window (the doors would not open).

The officer was furious with me. "I told you to move your car!" I apologized, and told him that I couldn't leave the scene as another accident waiting to happen. Maybe someone would smash into my car, but I felt that without my car there and its lights on, someone would be bound to crash into the other car. I hated to leave my car. I hated to disobey an order from a law officer. I hated to walk down a busy freeway on foot. I didn't know what else to do.

Anyway, the officer gave me a lecture later, I emptied my belongings out of my car at home, and then I parked it on the street with a note assuring anyone who inspected it that it was not as abandoned as it no doubt appeared. But still, even though my car runs and can be driven, it's as good as dead, a large portion of the engine smashed in and one headlight obliterated.

It was nice knowing her...

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Blessed art thou, Valentine!

So last night, I was looking at the cheesy little Valentine's Day cards my kids got for their class. You know the ones, probably, little cartoon characters giving cheesy holiday greetings in a pack of twelve? They're goofy, not really deep in the sentiment they express, and every kid loves them.

They come in Strawberry Shortcake, Spongebob Squarepants, Pokemon, He-Man, Lord of the Rings, you name it, and if it's a pop-culture phenomenon, they probably exist somewhere. So I was thinking...what about all those popculture phenomena that don't get put on Valentine's Day cards because they're not the regular mainstream sort of thing that usually goes there? Of course, being a Christian blogger with an odd sense of humor, I thought, "Hey, what about Jesus Valentines?"

So, I did it. Yes, they're cheesy, and they're meant to be. I tried to make them inoffensive, but then the whole concept is perhaps a bit sacreligious, so if anyone's going to be offended, it's probably conservative Christians. Oh well, I had fun doing them.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Super Monday Musings

So, as I start to write this, I have just finished watching Superbowl XLI. I've got big rants about pro sports, but I'm just looking to share a few odds and ends that flashed through my mind as I watched.

Nothing against Cadillac in particular, all companies do this, not even just car companies, but is it just me that gets just a little disturbed with giving the MVP a new car? I'm far from the first person to notice this phenomenon, but how do companies feel about giving away free stuff to people who probably could afford it with their pocket change?

What is the deal with North American sports that crow their champions as "world" champions when few outside of the continent play the game? (For that matter, when there was an attempt at a true world championship of baseball last year, the two teams that made it to the final game were from Asia, which I think says a lot.)

I noticed that the owner of the winning team gave credit to God for the winning season. Does any serious believer in God really think that God cares much who wins the Superbowl and/or takes an active role in determining the outcome? Whether or not there are atheists on the team (and there almost certainly are) is it really fair or right to credit God with the victory?

Was it just me, or were the commercials a bit more lackluster than they used to be? Although it was a very exciting game, I'm the sort of person who watches for the cool commercials, and in my opinion there were only about three or four that were really impressive, and most of them were ones I'd seen before.

Whenever I watch the Superbowl, and actually even a regular season game on occasion, I think about the technology of the television coverage, the salaries of the players, the size of the stadiums, and the costs of producing and airing the commercials. I think about all of that and I think that if the amount of money and effort that was put into professional football was redirected, we could pay off the national debt, solve world hunger, find a cure for AIDS, who knows?

Why are we all so fascinated?