Yelping about a lot of stuff

journalistBeing a journalist has always been about being fair and writing without letting my opinion into the message. Editorial writing is something I’m not comfortable with since it puts YOU out there as much as the facts and details. This blog has been my attempt to move past my reluctance, but if you read the posts here you’ll see most, if not all, of the subject matter is unique to me and my experiences. I’m really not taking any chances talking about myself, in other words.

In addition to that, I have been suffering through a period of forced social silence. I have been keeping a low profile while events and circumstances in my life settle down. That is finally happening. The big news is my family is moving back to the Seattle area and leaving NYC behind. It’s been a long five years. Continue reading

Hands-free driving and texting dumba$$

texting and driving -- (C) Willow-Townsend ProductionsI’m no saint on the road. I’ve made my own dumb moves and paid the price. But when I saw this I experienced a visceral response.

I watched this guy pictured on the left for almost 3 minutes. Most of the time he had both hands on the phone, with the occasional grab at the wheel. This happened at the start of the evening rush hour on the I-5 southbound on-ramp in South Lake Union, Seattle. I was recording with my iPhone while riding in a shuttle bus leaving the city during a visit.

Watch the video:

Continue reading

Driving dangerously and Meter Maid mistakes

New York drivingIf you’ve never driven in New York City, it’s hard to convey the absolute utter disregard many drivers have for the rules of the road, let alone common courtesy. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve slowed then stopped for a yellow light then to have some driver blow around me from behind and run the red. Multiple times I’ve seen drivers back up after missing a turn off despite disrupting traffic behind them. My jaw is getting tired of dropping after seeing drivers go the wrong way on a 4-lane street to get to where they wanted to go. Or turning across all lanes of traffic even though it blocks EVERYONE. And don’t get me started about driving in the right lane of the street, or should I say NOT driving there, since you come across car after car double parked. Apparently hanging out in the right lane of a street is fine here as long as you turn your emergency blinkers on (or not). Oh and the honking. You would not believe the constant honking. Continue reading

Alumni donation begging out of control?

wsu-picI’m proud to be a Washington State University alumni! But. When you’re having students call about making donations to the alumni organization please empower them to leave the script when appropriate. As I told the sweet sophomore woman studying communications who called me last night, I am between jobs right now, and no, I can’t donate $200 to the school. Maybe next time. She offered consolations about my job situation. Then she continued to sell… Continue reading

Where are all the Christmas trees?

Christmas tree in Great NEck (c) Willow-Townsend ProductionsThere have been more than a few times that I’ve felt like I was living in a foreign country. One of the more recent was when it was time to find a Christmas tree for my family. The past two years in Manhattan a Christmas tree lot appeared literally at our apartment’s door step. Years prior to that in Seattle, the Christmas tree lots were found on nearly every street corner. This year I kept expecting to see one in the parking lot of the local grocer. Inside, you could find wreaths, poinsettias and garlands. But week after week nothing. Perhaps down the road at the hardware store? Or the gas station? Nope. Continue reading