Old Guys Can be Creative…
...and a bit safer
Pulled Over! & My New Best Friend
This is Chapter 2 of my series “Old Guys Can be Creative.” As I stated in the beginning, this is a collaborative effort so once you have finished this chapter, please send your own versions of what I present today. Remember, these have been tried and tested by me and judged to actually work and keep you a bit safer.
Before we begin, I would like to share (from Chapter 1) a submission by Janet Pinti regarding washing baseball caps. She places hers on the top rack of the dishwasher and they come out clean and bright. Janet also 'blocks' hers with plastic bags. Thank you, Janet for taking the time to respond.
If anyone missed Chapter 1, you can find it ‘Archives’ November 2018 in the Sidebar.
Now, let me present something that has happened to many of us over our driving careers, including me: File this under ‘Personal Safety’
Pulled Over! (By the Police)
When this happens (and it will eventually), here are some guidelines to keep you, and the officer safe:
• Immediately find a safe place to pullover and turn on your emergency flashers.
• Put all your windows down. Tinted widows are hard to see through. The officer will appreciate this.
• If at night, turn on your dome light. Give the officer full sight.
• Do NOT reach for anything.
• Do not get out of the vehicle.
• If you have passengers, tell them to be quite and still! You do the talking.
• Place our hands on top of your steering wheel.
• Answer all questions slowly and do NOT try to be cute!
• When the officer asks for license and registration, tell he/she where you are reaching…and do it slowly!
• If you are asked about weapons, calmly describe each and location. Guns and big knives (hunting) are obvious, but do not forget about that Swiss Army knife, Leatherman (tool), or pocket knife in the glove box.
• If not asked about weapons, volunteer that information, even if locked in the trunk.
If you follow these guidelines, the officer will recognize you as a responsible citizen interested in your and their safety…even if you did commit a ‘dumb’ traffic violation. Who knows, these measures just might convince the officer to apply “The Mercy Rule” and give you a warning. If not, at least both of you will drive away safely.
File this next one under ‘Mental Confidence’
Sticky Notes - My New Best Friend
(because they help me remember)
For years, I was constantly forgetting to do many little things around the house, in the yard, and out while running errands. What I am about to suggest is not perfect, but it will surely make you feel better about yourself and help you accomplish so much more doing the day.
First thing you do is buy a really big stack of ‘sticky notes’ and some cheap pens. Then, place a pack and a pen in the places you spend a lot of time. For me, that includes: the kitchen, garage, my truck, bathroom, laptop, bed nightstand, and my ‘man-cave.’
Whatever you are doing, when you think of something you want or need to do, buy, clean, repair, etc…write it down! When you leave that room, take the ‘sticky’ with you and assemble them in one place. That one place for me is the kitchen. I place them below one of the cabinets. "Special Note from my Editor (Sandra) regarding the Merry Christmas needlepoint: "I am not decorating early for Christmas. I leave this up all year because it was a gift from a dear friend."
Then, I look at the notes and make a master list: Groceries, errands, yard work, repairs, etc. Believe me, it works! And, it is rather easy once you get into the habit of writing it down immediately. If you are like me, if I say, “I’ll do it when I get back or later.” Get back gets forgotten.
When I leave for the day to run errands, which is usually most of the day on Thursdays, I make a list of stops…in order. “You gotta have a plan!” At least I ‘gotta.’
When I get in the truck, I place the list on the dashboard dials. You always look at the dials. But, remember not to cover the gas gauge or the actual speedometer numbers. In this picture, my tachometer is covered. Actually, at times, I place it in the middle of the speedometer, but the sticky only covers the light gray section.
After each stop, when I get back in the truck, I cross one off. After the last stop of the day, I carefully look over the list to make sure I did not miss something. This may sound a little over the top to some, but it works and it takes little effort.
Why did I start this? Very simple. I just got tired of forgetting so much during the day. I concluded that I was, as the old saying goes, “trying to pour six gallons of water into a five-gallon bucket – too many thoughts going into this old brain and some were falling out.
My solution: Write it down and take it with you.
Today, I feel better about myself and I am accomplishing more during the day.
I have ‘generally' eliminated spousal eye-rolls and repeated,
“Where is… and...Why did you forget…?”
And that concludes Chapter 2 of “Old Guys Can be Creative.”
“Pulled Over & My New Best Friend”
I look forward to your feedback. Remember, you can contact me by private message on FB or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don’t forget to run off a copy and file it away.
Until next time, this is Mike saying,
"Enjoy each to its fullest…you’re never getting it back!"
“Your humor is absolutely spot-on and intelligent, peppered with a bit of sarcasm and childlike wonder. Your stories have that element of memory, poignant and comic at times, but always heartfelt and affecting. Your language is simple and friendly, weaved seamlessly in your narrative that is consistently lighthearted and warm in tone. Your experience as a teacher shows in your elaborate, playful descriptions and your sharp, unpretentious irony. I am also impressed with the way your structured the book—as a collection of short stories in no chronological order as opposed to one big chunk of episodic chapters that are more or less akin to a journal. It serves the tone and heart of your words perfectly.”
On the whole, these essays encourage us to nurture our better selves—and who among us doesn’t need an occasional nudge toward greater kindness, tolerance, and appreciation of the things that really matter in life?