School Zones

School safety zones exist for the exact reason of safety. Get traffic to slow down so that students can come and go from the school quickly and safely, but also to allow buses and parent pick up/ drop off occur in a quick and safe manner. However, today I have found one caveat to that.

For the second time this month I made the trip to our district office. In order to take that trip in a timely manner I have to drive up a fairly large and busy mountain side. On said mountain side is a school and with that comes a speed safety zone. Inside the safety zone the speed limit is 15 MPH. Having a line of traffic drop to that speed on an incline turn is not a difficult task however trying to accelerate on the other side of the safety zone is not an easy task.

The incline at that point increases by another 2 degrees and if you have a large truck at the head of it forget it. There are two lanes of travel both ways, but its not always easy to negotiate that pass and the stress on the vehicle is unwarranted. That aside this does create another safety issue.

Some people just aren’t able to compensate quickly enough to slow down. Especially if they aren’t aware of the school zone up ahead. Yes, I am aware that any driver should be aware of their surroundings at all times, but not everyone is perfect. To bottom line it this particular schools safety zone doesn’t need to have the speed limit reduction. At no point in time will students ever be crossing on foot. The only vehicles coming in and out of the school other than the employees is buses and other district transportation vehicles.

I may just be bitching here people, but after watching a dump truck almost monster truck a smaller car for the second time in same area in a less than one month time frame I think my words hold some weight.

The Bus Driver Goes Beep Beep Beep

So while watching Inside Edition I was enlightened to a disturbing statistic that last year 31 students were trapped by the bus doors and then drug across the ground. I did zero research into that number, but my guess is there is some validity to it. Relax people I now Inside Edition is normally filled with a bunch of bullshit, but occasionally they throw something like this in there and I’m more inclined than not to believe it.

Lets just say that this only happens one time per year. That is unacceptable to me. If you drive a bus of any kind you need to be heads up and on a swivel at all times. Especially with a school bus. I understand that you have a lot to pay attention to while driving and the rowdy kids at the back of the bus don’t always help. However, when students are being let off the bus it is at a stand still and in park. So part of your attention is not immediately divided for driving.

With that being said there should be no hurry at the bus stop. Were not exactly dropping troops into a hot LZ and you have to dust off quick.  Your waiting to make sure the kids clear from around the bus what is to make sure they are completely cleared from the entrance/exit way as well. Let’s also examine the door control as well.

Most buses in the school district I work for although newer still have the manual control arm to open and shut the doors. When shutting them if it takes a little more pressure than normal to shut the doors something is clearly wrong and quick turn of the head should reveal the issue. Should you be a bus driver lucky enough to have a bus equipped with an electronic open/close device I would think it would be all that much more important to make sure the entrance/exit is clear so as not to put undo stress on the hydraulic unit.

I may just be shouting into the void about nothing here, but common sense should be employed in general.

The Double Yellow Lines

When driving down most major roads there are two things that normally separate opposing lanes of traffic. The first being the large concrete k-rails and the other being the double yellow lines. The k-rails are an actual physical barrier in which, unless you have a desire to cause a lot of damage to your vehicle and yourself, you are unable to cross.

The double yellow line is physically there, but most people don’t understand the concept that you are not allowed to cross it. The exceptions to it are clearly labeled by the DOT workers when the solid lines are broken up by the dotted line area and also the dedicated turning lane areas.

Otherwise when you cross over the double yellow lines to turn into whatever entrance and/or driveway you are committing a moving violation and are subject to a fine. I could care less about someone being issued a ticket but, I do care about the fact that these people are creating a safety hazard and causing a traffic issue.

If you’re one of the lucky people who comes up on one of these individuals feel free to use your horn. Lay on that sucker.

Keepin the Hammer Down

When traveling long distances one of the key factors to arriving at your destination in a timely manner is traveling at a consistent speed. Our interstate system for the most part allows for that. A lot of interstate corridors have now raised their speed limits to 70 MPH or are at least studying that as a top speed.

Most vehicles on our roads are capable of driving at high rates of speed with improved breaking and suspension systems. I will also point out that in the event of an accident your survive-ability rate is significantly higher. However, all the technology in the world cannot make up for ones owns driving skills…..or lack there of.

Most vehicles are also more fuel efficient at higher rates of speed so traveling slower to maintain better fuel efficiency is no longer valid. To be clear I am not condoning speeding, just don’t be the guy slowing things down for the rest of that want to get to our destination in a timely manner. Good rule of thumb is that most cops won’t chase if you exceed the speed limit less than 5 MPH over the posted limit. i.e. Posted limit is 50 MPH then your speed should be between 50 and 55 MPH. Be warned though all bets are off on targeted enforcement days and aircraft enforcement always tags everyone.

If you are not confident in your driving skills please stick to city, country, and side road driving. The rest of us appreciate your cooperation.

Thunderstorms

Currently there is a thunderstorm passing through the are I live in. Despite it potential for destruction I probably enjoy them more than most people. Especially the calm that temporarily settles in the are after it passes. Many a time I have mediated to the sound of the rain and rolling thunder. The lightning is also an awesome sight to behold as well.

Despite what some “nancies” may say there is an overall calming effect to be had from storms.

Normally the biggest worry when a storm occurs is my power going out. When this occurs I light a couple of candles. Grab a flashlight just in case and read a book by candle light, meditate, or if I happen to be lucky enough to have the fiancée around just snuggle on the couch and listen to the storm.

However, it should be remembered that the storm carries the power of nature and can be very destructive. Don’t travel in the storm unless absolutely necessary and if you are caught outside seek shelter or a low lying area immediately.

Micromanagement

Micromanagement is one of the worst ways to run a business and/or supervise employees. To me it says that the supervisor doesn’t trust the employee(s). Having to report about every single facet of a job task is tedious and a waste of time which in my experience makes completing the task in general take more time.

When starting something that is a brand new service, product, or procedure I am more than willing to go through some extra motions and extra reporting steps just to make sure everything is running smoothly and working as should be. However, when it has been some time into whatever it may be step back and the employees do what they have proven to be able to do.

Another acceptable reason for micromanagement would be safety. If the task being performed is something that is abnormally dangerous than  yes by all means please check and double, triple, quadruple check me. Last thing I need is causing harm to myself or someone else.

If you are in a supervisory position have some faith in those in your charge. Once they have mastered what is required take a step back and let the machine run. Let the expectations needed be known and I’ll bet everyone steps up and gets it done.

Airsoft: Comfort

Alright so what I consider the second thing to consider when putting your airsoft kit together is comfort. Some of this will also play into safety as well.

Let’s start from the ground and work our way up. One thing to remember is for every piece of gear you choose that’s the weight you are going to have to carry. With that in mind let start with the feet.

Socks…….wear them. Make sure the sock will cover the same area the boot is. Wearing ankle socks with boots that come up high on your shin is asking for some rub burn issues. I also recommend wearing socks with extra padding on the feet soul area. I find it cuts down on fatigue, add foot comfort, and reduces end of op pain.

Boots…..wear them. There are many safety reasons to wear them, but comfort is key as well. You will be running around in them for 5 or more hours based on the op. Please remember to break them in. One optional thing for the boots may be inserts of some kind.

Moving up the leg lets look at the shin to knee area. I like to wear just knee pads mostly to save my knees some wear and tear, but also to save my pants some wear and tear as well. If you opt for the combat pants with knee inserts you need to accept the fact that the fabric holding the inserts in place will eventually break apart. Some people like to wear shin protectors along with knee pads. It honestly comes down to your role choice and how aggressive a player you are.

Continuing up to the waist area. Regardless of the role you chose to play I strongly suggest wearing some sort regular belt of suspenders to help hold your pants up. You will be moving around a lot and they will loosen up. I can also suggest a battle belt of some kind on top of it. Even if it’s just another belt to further help hold your pants up. Depending on your role and kit choice you might also find yourself putting pouches, side arm holsters, extra mag holders, etc… on it.

Although I don’t personally use one I have run across a player or two that have chosen to wear some protection over their sensitive neather regions. I see this as more of a safety option, but whatever helps you feel more comfortable while playing is always a plus to me.

After some thought comfort is going to have to be split into two posts. Too many thoughts to share and I only made it to the waist area.