January 26, 2007


Q1 - Smoking Bans: There's little dispute that smoking and second-hand smoke is bad for your health. But did you know it could also be bad for your driving record? Last week in Maine, the Bangor City Council passed an ordinance making smoking while driving in the car with children under the age of 18 a primary offense, meaning the police can pull over motorists who are suspected of breaking the law, with violators being fined up to $50 per occurrence. Do you think the Bangor City Council made the right decision, or is this just another situation where the government is interfering in our lives?

Q2 - Time: Which do you prefer: Military Time/the 24-hour clock... "I'll meet you at the gym at 19:00," or the more traditional way of expressing time via the 12-hour clock... "I'll meet you at the gym at 7:00 p.m."?

Q3 - You're Outta Here!: Were you ever suspended from school, and if so, what for? If not, did you ever skip school? If you did, what was your most memorable skipping-school experience?

Q4 - Gas: Sixty-five percent (65%) of U.S. respondents to a new UPI-Zogby International poll say a rise in gasoline prices to $4.00 a gallon would cause them to make a significant cutback in driving. Another 13.3 percent said it would take $5.00 a gallon for them to change habits, while 3.1 percent said $6.00 would get their attention. How about you...at what price per gallon would you choose or be forced to make a significant cutback or change in your driving habits?

Posted by Mikal at January 26, 2007 12:01 AM | TrackBack


Q1 - Smoking Bans: I smoke, so I'm not anti-smoking, but the closed quarters of a car are no place to smoke, especially if you have kids in the car. In addition, I think smoking, talking on the cell phone, and other distractions while driving are a bad idea.

Q2 - Time: I'm accustomed to the 12-hour clock, so I prefer it. I also prefer the English system of measurement preferable to the metric system.

Q3 - You're Outta Here!: I've never skipped or been suspended from school. I liked school. Besides, my dad had an uncanny knowledge of everything. I think he was CIA.

Q4 - Gas: Anything over $3 grabs my attention, but I don't drive much, even when gas is $2 a gallon.

Posted by: Joba at January 26, 2007 7:13 AM

Q1 - Smoking Bans: As a smoker, I generally disapprove of any smoking bans. I do, however believe that Bangor City has a good idea with this one. Smoking is a completely unnecessary distraction while driving.

Q2 - Time: I Agree with Joba on this one, comfort is definitely important for developing and keeping habits, so I'd say I prefer the 12-hour system.

Q3 - You're Outta Here!: I was once suspended for calling 9-1-1 on one of the school's phones, completely naively. My dad made me do all sorts of work in and around the house for the two days I was home for that one.

Q4 - Gas: Well, I have been sensitive to gas prices since I started driving back in high school, when they were $1.65 a gallon. Then again, I did drive a truck with double tanks at the time, so I never got away from the pump for less than $40.

Posted by: Fezzik at January 26, 2007 9:48 AM

Q1- Well good thing that law is not in utah or the only place for people to smoke is in their home. Smoking is gross in my opionon and it is bad for ones health. I can agree that smoking inthe car can be distracting. You smoking, and drop the cig and now you are searching on the floor before you burn your car down. If peoples actions interfer with others saftly, then I feel it is ok to pass a law. Its about everyone, not just the smokers or non smokers.

Q2- Normal time.

Q3- I was never suspenede. Close though. And of course I skipped school. Most memorable time whas my senior year when I skipped economics class with some girl friends and went up to the lake to lay out. Before long, the ssecretary was there to bring us back. It was finals weeks and I had already finsished my economics class, but i guess he wanted us to sit in class for the rest of the week. lame I know!

Q4- I already have! Gas prices are ridicluous. I choose to spend my money on other things.

Posted by: Ruth Ann at January 26, 2007 9:50 AM

Q1: Absolutly; just like I feel that driving with a child on your lap and driving intoxicated should be considered attempted homicide.

Q2: I much prefer a twenty-four hour clock and I believe everyone would if it was what they were used to. Not having to specify am or pm and eliminating the potential confusion of morning or night makes the US system silly.

Q3: Never suspended and never played hookie.

Q4: Probably five or six dollars.

Posted by: wade at January 26, 2007 9:54 AM

1. I support ANY measure that makes smoking more difficult. If it were up to me, cigarettes would be placed on the same list as marijuana, cocaine, and all the other illegal drugs. Smoking causes way too much death and health problems, both for the smoker and for those in close contact with them, and I think measures like that communicate very strongly that it just shouldn't be done anymore. I say that, of course, with great sensitivity towards those who are actively trying to break the habit.

2. Of course, the military clock makes more sense, but since most people are used to the 12-hour clock (including myself), that's what I prefer.

3. Believe it or not, I've never been suspended from school, and I've only intentionally skipped once. On that day, I picked up my prom date from the airport and spent the day with her (I lived in Texas at the time, and I flew her down from Utah, where I've lived most of my life).

4. I'd say $3.00, but I already do lotsa biking to save on fuel costs (and because we only own one car).

Posted by: Neal Jenks at January 26, 2007 10:00 AM

Q1. I totally agree with the city council. Having kids in th car is one distraction and smoking is another. plus you shouldnt do it with kids in the car.

Q2. Traditional

Q3. I got suspended for punching a kid in the face. He hit me in the head with a laptop! what the hell was I supposed to do? ( I knocked him on his ASS)

Q4. Now! I already try not to drive everywhere.

Posted by: Vin Deisel at January 26, 2007 10:01 AM

1. I agree that the car is one place we need fewer distractions, so ingeneral it's a good idea. However, making this a primary offense is idiotic. I'd prefer that my police officers are doing something a bit more productive than looking for people who are smoking in their own vehicles.

2. I like military time for work related issues that require documentation. Otherwise I'm fine with traditional timekeeping. Partially because a given time usually has an understood frame of reference (ie, you're probably not going to be meeting someone for lunch at 1:00 am, going to a movie at 6:45 am, or be scheduled for a doctor's appointment at 11:45 pm) and also because it sounds less artificial.

3. Never suspended, but I did skip. The most odd skip was when we managed to stay in the school building all day by camping out on one of the third floor sundecks with several bottles of rum, whiskey, mixers and other recreational substances.

4. In the past 2 1/2 years, I've only averaged 7,600 miles per year, so I'm fairly frugal and minimal in my driving already. Since Indianapolis is distinctly pedestrian unfriendly even inside the mile square, it would take a dramatic extension of bus service and/or light rail to further curtail my driving.

Posted by: mike at January 26, 2007 11:13 AM

1. I hate smoking, can't stand being around smokers. I grew up in a home with a smoker, and I hated every minute of it. That being said, smoking cigarettes is still legal last time I checked the lawbooks, so the citizens of this great nation should be allowed to do so without worrying that they're gonna get busted for it.

2. 24-hour, all they way! Though I prefer 24-hour, I know that everybody else does not, and they look at me funny when I say, "I have to be at work at oh-eight hundred." So generally I used the 12-hour clock in speaking. But all my watches and clocks are set to 24 if they are able.

3. Never suspended, but I hardly attended my senior year of high school. Most memorable? Hmmm... I'd have to get back to you on that. Maybe it wasn't worth it after all.

4. Well, I adjusted slightly at $2, but it would probably take $4 for me to significantly change my driving habits.

Posted by: Stuart at January 26, 2007 12:45 PM

1 - I think it's a great law. I quit almost 11 years ago, and I think the bans are great - I can't stand being around cigarette smoke. We need to protect the lungs of our kids. There's a debate in Atlantic City right now regarding the smoking in the gaming establishments (wouldn't let me use the word), will be interesting to see how it turns out.

2 - I prefer traditional time. Just me - never military, old fashioned.

3 - I was never suspended from school - always a good girl! :) I never skipped in high school. Again, I was a good girl. :) Don't ask about college. LOL

4 - As it is, I try to consolidate my driving when I have errands taking me out of my area. I'd rather spend money on other things.

Posted by: Marjorie at January 26, 2007 1:06 PM

1. I'm conflicted about this because the libertarian part of me wants government to let people alone. However, the civic and social part of me wants to protect children (and non-smokers) from the known & potential dangers of 2nd-hand smoke. I don't smoke, with the exception of a good cigar for special moments, and even that has trickled down to once or twice a year now. When smoking is banned in bars and clubs, business have created "private clubs" (that are regulated differently) to avoid such "restrictions." I note "restrictions," because some businesses have noted an ongoing increase in business when all smoking has been banned.
2. I prefer the modern 12-hour clock, thank you. There are very few times when someone could confuse a 7am or 1pm meeting with its pm/am opposite.
3. I've never been suspended from school. I pissed in my green jeans in 2nd grade in Ms. Fincher's class and had to change pants in the nurse's office. I've skipped class many times, most notably and frequently in college at Brown. And only once to have sex!
4. None, really, as I expect my real earnings to increase steadily and maybe even dramatically. This doesn't mesh with my environmental and social concerns, but, hey, I don't drive now anyway. I am curious to know what similar polls showed when gas was projected to be $2 and $3 a gallon - and to know if drivers changed their habits accordingly, (which I doubt they did.) Can someone remember Bill Clinton's perception of the forgotten middle class and the reduction of real buying power??

Posted by: Lee McD at January 26, 2007 1:08 PM

Q1- Smoking is bad period. Parents should know the harm in smoking in such small space. I guess the law would be good if the parents do not have any common sense or love for their children. Also, driving, eating, putting on makeup, and smoking at the same time might be a challenge.

Q2- 12 hour clock, mostly because that is what everyone else uses that I come in contact with. I am not dissing military time, but with something such as this to where you could use either one if needed, I don't really think it matters to me.

Q3- I got sent to the Principals office a couple of times in Elementary School. Once for having punching matches at the bus stop, and the other for drawing inappropriate pictures during art class. I have since changed my ways.

Q4- I actually bought a scooter this summer and sold my truck. I got 70 miles to the gallon on my scooter instead of 18 in my truck. A huge difference. But...I bought a new car in October because it was frickin freezing at 6:30am driving to work. I will be parking my car for the summer, and rockin the scooter again.

Posted by: Jake at January 26, 2007 2:51 PM

1. On one hand, I think it's good that people are being fined for smoking while children are in the car. But, you raise a good point, is the government interfering in our lives too much? Could be. We don't want Big Brother to get too involved, little by little, whittling away our rights. It starts out with the small things you think might not be so bad, then before you know it we're living in a police state...

2. Regular old time...don't have to do any math to figure it out. I'm not in the military.

3. Nope. I was never suspended, nor had I ever skipped school. Although I wanted to many times.

4. Why wait for it to get higher than it already is? At more than $2.00/gallon, I'd say that's bad enough, but it doesn't keep me from driving anywhere. Past $3.00/gallon, and I'd have to limit my driving.

Posted by: Missy at January 26, 2007 8:13 PM

1. I go along with the law because of the children. I feel that rights are only rights as long as they don't infringe on someone else.

2. I've done both. I think I like the 12 hour because we are used to it. If everyone were using it then I would be fine with 24 hr.

3. Never suspended. Never skipped. Such a squeaky clean girl. Boring.

4. We curtail somewhat now but would do more so if it got over $3. We are working on cutting back more.

Posted by: Deb at January 27, 2007 10:08 AM

Q1 - Smoking Bans: I've had several family memebers die, including my dad, for reasons related to smoking. So, I'm for all and any bans on smoking.

Q2 - Time: Which do you prefer: Oh, I'd say I was old fashioned too. But, my dad used military time often when I was a kid. I'd go with what was set as a standard regardless.

Q3 - You're Outta Here!: I skipped out on my last class in HS quite a few times. Never was suspended. Don't ask about College. :)

Q4 - Gas: Hmmm...the travel we do is usually needed as for work or to pick up my step-son who lives 4 hours away (one way). So, we wouldn't really have a choice either way. We did cut down on travel to visit family (about a 6 hour drive roundtrip) when gas got above $3.

Posted by: Missy B at January 28, 2007 11:16 PM

1. Smoking in a confined space is bad news, especially when others are around. BUT{!}, if I am in my car{MY CAR, NOT a government vehicle}, I should be able to be stupid if I want to be. Bangor City Council is outta bounds!!!
2. Traditional Time! Otherwise I would have to think :-}
3. Uhhh... Yep, I have been expelled. It was a religious school and I wore my dress to long{out of spite... I was a rebel then..hehehe} and I did skip school in High School... we went skinny dipping in a pond off of Keystone ave. in Indy{other details uhhh, I can't remember}.
4. My driving habits have already changed. If I drove less I would be a hermit.
~Great Questions Mikal... sorry I am late.~

Posted by: Sallie at January 29, 2007 8:30 PM

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