Friday, August 1, 2014


Yeah. So be prepared.

This is my last day at work and my last week in my current home. I am on vacation until August 18.

Chad and I are moving south of the highway in our small town so our daughter can walk to school when she is able. Before her autism diagnosis, my husband and I had no concerns when we bought our current home about living near an 80 km highway with a 60 km cross street. We paid it no mind, because we saw lots of children crossing the intersection and figured our kid would be just fine when the time came. Unfortunately, we've learned many things about our daughter and one of them is her lack of situational awareness, so no, my kid is not crossing a six lane highway, coupled with a walk along a rural road with no sidewalk, to school. This may have been fine for the hundreds of kids before her but I need to be able to sleep at night.

In my walks with her to the sitter's each morning, I can tell you that drivers in rural Clarington don't give a shit about pedestrians. The car is king out here and don't get me started about the attitude towards cyclists. Drivers will run you over if there wasn't the possibility of jail time. It's not that people are bad drivers, it's drivers who can't put their phone down while driving - the texters - there are just too many. It's a deadly habit and you assholes have to stop. Because I find walking and cycling where I live to be so dangerous, I recently doubled my life insurance policy. However I am hoping, and planning, to make it to the age of 65.

After moving seven times since the age of 20, this will be my last and final move. I am both excited and anxious.

So what does this mean for you? The site may go for days without an update. The symptoms you will experience during this period are temporary. If you feel lost at any point, you can text me and we can hug it out, okay?


FRED said...

My day doesn't feel complete if I don't read this site. I guess scheduling content isn't the way to go any more?

C.J. Smith said...

Scheduling content appears to be working. I do have submissions and emails and photos to post but didn't get the two to three hours I would have needed this week to do the work. And since Blogger let me down twice before, I don't trust it anyway. I am in always in awe of the loyalty.

doug said...

You know, I am sick and tired of people telling me what to do behind the wheel. How is playing with the radio any different than dialing a phone number or sending a quick text? What about eating and people who put on makeup? I'm just tired of hearing about it. If it's as bad people say, wouldn't we be passing accident after accident on the way to work or where ever?

George said...

Distracted driving rocks!

Who the hell needs to pay attention to the road while you're driving a ton of more of speeding metal down a road occupied by other cars, bikes and sometimes pedestrians?

This sarcasm if you don't realize it.

My car was smashed by a texting driver when it was parked in my driveway. The loser was texting and going to fast around a corner on a suburban street. Luckily it was when no people were walking about.

My niece caused a four-car collision yapping on her cell phone while trying to find Lady Gaga on the radio.

My wife had her car rear-ended and crushed in 2008 on the QEW by someone playing with their radio in traffic. Luckily she only had a sprained arm but her car was halved in length. Thank you Hyundai safety engineers.

If only those assholes who text and/or talk on their phones or any other activity that distracts them could guarantee nobody else gets hurt by their stupidness, then I say scrap the distracted driving laws.

C.J. Smith said...

Hi Doug
The reason why you don't pass accident after accident is due to the non - texting drivers and pedestrians and cyclists like myself looking out for your well-being. We're the ones who yell and honk at you, or in some cases, slap the roof of your car. I'm the one who blows a whistle at you from the street corner so you don't mow me down making a right turn on my green. I'm the one who beeps at you at the stop sign or green light to get your attention that I'm behind you, and have been for over 30 seconds, while you finish your text message and we can get on with driving.
That's why, Doug, you're not dead yet and you haven't killed anyone, yet.

As for the radio station analogy, many studies have been done and concluded this isn't a tangible distraction because 99.9% of drivers have a preset radio station they habitually listen to.

Eating and make up applying have always been dangerous distractions. Smart drivers know this and don't do it.

Driving has less to do about rules and more to do with common sense. I've managed to make it to the age of 40 in this technological era without having sent or read one text message while driving. I admit to having answered calls when cellphones first came out but learned really early on I could not dial a number and focus on the road at the same time, so I rarely did.

I did not write what I wrote to be challenged or debated. Driving is a privilege, not a right. I'm sorry you feel your civil liberties have been impeded but feel free to turn in your licence for a bus pass at any time and you'll be free to text all you want, and when you want, as a permanent passenger.

milpool said...

texting and driving is incredibly dangerous, I can't count a day where I don't see someone weaving, driving too slow, etc and sure enough when I get beside them, they're looking at their phones.

Just because we point out one thing as dangerous doesn't mean those other things aren't as well. Stop using distraction as an argument.

C.J. Smith said...

People who fiddle with ipods and cds are a problem! But the radio itself is not a problem. Sorry if my statistic didn't make sense. It was meant to address another comment I didn't publish where the troll said radios should also be banned from cars. That we should ban everything we need to look at, including the gas gauge and speedometer. Not having any of that stupidity today.

Michael Suddard said...


" fiddle with ipods and cds"

really? You don't need a bow?

I learn something knew everyday!

Enjoy your move Cindy! Hopefully your new home is closer to the train or at least provides with either a shorter bus ride or more bus options for when that *shake my fist* bus doesn't come.

Anonymous said...

Doug is probably the kind of texting driver who gives the finger to people like CJ who honk to get his attention.

I remember when CJ was my driving instructor said...

If Doug really knew who he was challenging, he'd burn his cell phone.

Sylv said...

I hope your move goes smoothly and know that your loyal followers will count down the days until you're back.

Naomi said...

I remember when "one more for the road" was socially acceptable. Thank god we've since smartened up.

LC said...

People who text and drive rarely consider the consequences to their actions... I've heard someone justify it with "It's not like I was driving drunk", yet the end result could still be the same. Is that message you are sending really more important than your life, someone else's life? Is it's value equivalent to your car, your insurance premium, a $280 fine? Probably not.

I'd love to know how old Doug is...

Jules said...

CJ good luck with your move! As a mother of a teenager (high functioning) autistic girl I know your fears. Mine also has a lack of situational awareness which frightens me all the time. At her age I was taking the TTC all over town, with her and the morons on the road and in general I worry all the time, she doesn't have the same ability to pick up on stuff.
Anyhow I won't touch the stupid comment by doug because most people with half a brain know its wrong, I've had my share of close calls with distracted drivers and my ex being a former fire fighter has seen the really bad side of the results of it.

Bicky said...

I certainly hope Doug's comment was sarcasm but I somehow doubt it. We really need that sarcasm font.

Seriously, CJ, hope your move goes well and you're able to enjoy your time off. Give a holler if you need anything.

C.J. Smith said...

Doug wishes to respond to your comments and judging by his attempts, he is serious but I can't do Doug today, so he will not be hijacking the soap box. Doug, and people of the same mind as him, are welcome to start their own blogs declaring how much they enjoy texting and driving. I wish them well.

Skin Man said...

Moving is awesome and sucky all at the same time!

Good Luck!

Patiently waiting for the glorious return of the crazy. Maybe the first post can be some sort of silly text exchange with some demanding your help to recover the ashes of the poor deceased service budgie! Just make up....its still be funny!

Valentino Assenza said...

As a survivor of a near fatal car accident when I was seven years old, due to the negligence of distracted driving, I can say with absolute sincerity Doug's comment is the stuff of wondrous ignrance.

Doug's comment is the reason why I have a license, but have lived in Toronto all my life and have never owned a car. It is also the reason why I prefer cycling using the bike paths in the ravines or out of town altogether instead of anywhere near traffic.

Regardless of what you're doing in your car, texting, changing a cd, putting on make-up, eating, reading (like "Mayor" Ford), whatever. You're not appreciating the fact that humanity is around you and nor are you appreciating the expensive piece of machinery you're inflated ego allows you so much pride to sit behind, and do whatever the hell you want with in addition to yeah..driving.

Most of all you're not appreciating the fact that every day we wake up it's a gift, and in the blink of an eye someone's life can end. And sure there are many aspects that can cause the demise of human life, but truly friend, far be it from me to tell you what you can and can't do behint the wheel of your own car. But next time you're in your drive way, after you've adjusted your mirror, and turned the key to start your car. Think about if it's really worth cancelling someone out because you absolutely had to look down at your phone to text someone some inane bullshit that couldn't wait, but if you're not at all concenred about that other person, think about the worth of your own life then.

(OK, trying to calm down after that one...seriously...some people)

PS CJ, will miss your observations, and and insights into this craziness that his the GO commute, but have yourself an awesome move...and I'm sure you'll be thinking up some doozies for when you next post, and when that time comes I along with your other faithful readers will only be too happy to pick up where you left off.


C.J. Smith said...

Thanks everyone. I'm an emotional wreck. I'm leaving behind a home I love, neighbours I'd take a bullet for and a 300 meter walk to a bus stop. Granted I am only moving 2 km south but it's 2 km to the bus stop and 2 km home. This will suck serious lollipops in winter. Hubby has agreed to come fetch me in -27 weather. We are doing this for our daughter who will benefit in many ways, especially being in a subdivision filled with her classmates and other children. She also gains a backyard where right now I back into shared space - conservation land. I will miss seeing the creek and the deer and all of the things being on country property brings the but life is what it is. In the end I am just grateful to have a home.

milpool said...

Hey CJ, my comment was directed at doug, not you. Sorry, I should've been specific!

George said...

I just thought of something. My radio, cruise control and heat/cool controls are on the steering wheel. :)

No radio fiddling for this guy.

Plus my cell phone is safely in my pocket. No text is important enough to take the eyes off the road. I'll let the passenger handle that if there is one and it goes unaswered until I stop if there is no passenger.

Anonymous said...

Doug, please watch this excellent half hour documentary, From One Second to the Next:

I used to occasionally text and drive, but will never do it again after seeing this.

MATT said...

I wish I could say I'd only moved 7 times since I was 20...I'm currently at 9 moves since that age, with probably at least 1-2 more that I can realistically predict.

Moving sucks. Good luck CJ.

KM said...

I recently started driving occasionally after not doing it at all for about 3 years. I'll admit when I was 17 and first got my licence I would text and drive all the time...I can't imagine doing it now though. Not only do today's phones require much more attention but so do the roads! I am very glad that it didn't take a horrific accident to change my mind. Merely just maturity over time.

And CJ, I was wondering how the move would impact your commute! Good luck!

C.J. Smith said...

It's not a big deal when you consider my dad walked 4 miles to school and back every day, even in winter, in rural New Brunswick.

C.J. Smith said...

It's not a big deal when you consider my dad walked 4 miles to school and back every day, even in winter, in rural New Brunswick. said...

We moved a couple of KM over the border from Mississauga into Oakville for a new, better school. They were closing down schools in my old hood. I still miss my old house like crazy (old, traditional compared to more 80s modern subdivision) but it's worth it in the end. Way better neighbourhood, neighbours and classmates. When I was having a yard sale last summer a teen kid on his phone hit a parked car in front of my house sending it over the curb and 2 houses down, crossing the sidewalk where thank goodness no one was walking at the time. The lady still in the passenger seat of the parked car had to be taken away by ambulance, I never heard how badly she was hurt. I was called to court as a witness, didn't get to say anything. Kid pleaded guilty to "failure to signal" or some such thing and got an $80 fine and some demerit points. How's that for punishment? I was disgusted by our so-called system.

TomW said...

CJ: I walk 2km to the GO station in morning. It is a pain in winter, but if you wrap up well, the walking will keep you warm. Just get a decent pair of boots with chunky tread to cope with snow/ice - many boots don't have this, and that's a recipe for a twisted ankle. (Although now I'm thinking you probably already own such boots). (Mine are one size too large so I can add extra thick socks, but I get cold feet very easily).
I find mornings easier, because there's rarely much wind, and I've got breakfast inside me. Evenings there's more wind, so the wind chill is worse even it the thermometer is higher, plus I'm wanting dinner.
I actually find the walk harder in the summer, when it's hot and humid.

Moving sucks, for all the reasons you've described. However, you'll end up gaining additional friends and neighbours, and you have the knowledge that your child is much safer.