Monday, February 13, 2012


I found this on facbook today and really liked it. I thought I would share it here.
The Mayonnaise Jar

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day is not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and two cups of coffee.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him.
When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and fills it with golf balls.

He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured it into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls.

He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else.

He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous “YES”.

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

“Now,” said the professor, as the laughter subsided, “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things - God, family,
children, health, friends, and favorite passions. Things, that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the things that matter like your job, house, and car. The sand is everything else -- the small stuff.” he said.

“If you put the sand into the jar first,” he continued, “There is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are
important to you...” he told them.

“So... pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Worship with your family. Play with your children. Take your partner out to dinner. Spend time with good friends. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the dripping tap. Take care of the golf balls first -- the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.”

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented.

The professor smiled and said, “I'm glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend.”

Please share this with other "Golf Balls"

Friday, February 10, 2012

Driver Awareness: Van Accessible Parking Spaces

When coming through our program clients often have questions related to handicap parking. The first thing I like to explain is that obtaining a handicap placard by the MVD involves a separate process than the one we assist with as it relates to adaptive drivers licenses.
(For more information about how to obtain a handicap placard you can visit
Some clients that come through our program will absolutely require a handicap placard, while others aren’t as concerned with where they park.
While most people reading this blog are aware and considerate of handicap parking spaces, I will take a minute to remind people the importance of not abusing handicap parking spaces. Handicap parking spots are made for those with short term or long term physical disabilities. It is illegal to stop, stand or park in a handicap parking space if you do not have a MVD issues placard or license. It is NOT OK to park in handicap parking even if you are “just running in and out.” It is not only illegal, but it is inconsiderate, rude and selfish. Dont be "that guy."
While there is always the ignorant exception, I would like to think most people are considerate of not parking in handicap parking spaces if they are not permitted. But one thing that many drivers in general aren’t aware of is the significance of the larger handicap parking spots with the diagonal lines to the right. Ex:

These Van Accessible Parking spaces should be reserved for those using a vehicle with an interior ramp. Most Vehicle Ramps will open to the right and will be that person’s only way of exiting and entering the vehicle.

 ADA guidelines specify that public facilities should have at least one Van Accessible Space and one Van Accessible Space for every eight accessible parking spaces.
So, next time you are choosing your handicap parking space, be sure to be aware of you and/or others needs for the Van Accessible spots.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Driver Awarenesss Tips From an Adaptive Driving School

Wait in line and consider what others are trying to do.
                One discussion that we have with most any driver who comes through our program, whether it be a new driver or one who has been driving for 60 years is the concept of Driver Awareness.  As driving becomes habit we often do it unconsciously. Let’s face it, we all have had one of those days when we are on auto pilot and couldn’t remember if we shut the garage door or where we parked the car in grocery store parking lot. But driving unconsciously can be very dangerous and so we urge you to be aware of yourself and others on the road. Our Driver Awareness Blogs will focus on giving examples of common scenarios where drivers are frequently unaware.
Driving is Social a social activity. It is important that we acknowledge other drivers, offer them common courtesy and communicate with them effectively. This awareness and socialization does take effort. Let’s look at a few examples.
                Scenario 1: The other day I was driving on the 101 south- same as I do every day. Traffic was bad and backed up where the right lanes merged at Guadalupe.  I was in the furthest right lane and can see the right lane ending sign and traffic ahead; I turned on my left blinker and slowly changed lanes to the left waiving at the gentleman in the Honda civic behind me for letting me in (roadway communication at its finest). A qyuick video to help you picture the scene:

As we inched forward, I looked in my side view mirror to see another car come flying up next to me on the right; he long passed the merge sign before he finally slowed. The car came to a complete stop and finally put on his turn signal. As I inched forward I could see that he was on his cell phone. He looked straight ahead while talking, and slowly inching forward with me, side by side. I watched him carefully, looking for some kind of communication- who will go first?-which I did not receive.  Common sense says I was there first and am in the correct lane, so I have the right away, I should be able to keep moving forward- but he was not paying attention to common sense. I then came to a complete stop, holding up all the other people who have been waiting behind me, to allow this guy on his cell phone to cut me in line.
 People, one of the first things we learn in life is to wait in line. Don’t cut. Wait your turn. The lane ending sign is there to tell you that you should begin merging, not driving 50 yards past it and cutting in front of others who have been waiting. And if someone does let you cut in line, because you are in a horrible rush (we have all had those days too), say thank you.
(Merging should work much like a zipper and if everyone does it correctly no one should have to come to a complete stop).
Let’s “touch base” for a quick second on talking on your cell phone while driving. That is a whole other blog post waiting to happen. There have been millions of articles written on it, so I won’t dive into that here. But, please note, that if you are communicating with the person on the other end of the phone line, it makes it a lot harder to communicate with those driving in the deadly weapon next to you and they should be your priority.

                Scenario 2: As I approach an intersection I turn on my right hand turn signal, stop before the cross walk to assure it is empty and scan the intersection to make sure there aren’t signs prohibiting a right hand turn on a red light. Since there isn’t, I inch forward looking to my left waiting for traffic to clear. I also continuously check to the right to make sure there are no surprises coming that way.
A truck comes from behind, approaches the intersection and enters the left hand turn lane. He moves all the way forward into the crosswalk, consequently blocking my view. This truck is obstructing my view enough, that I don’t feel it is safe for me to turn right and I must now wait until the light is green.
The same way I stopped behind the crosswalk and scanned the intersection, the man in the truck should have done the same. It is important to take a second to consider all the other cars in the intersection and be aware of what they might be trying to do. The man in the truck is "unaware" that he is blocking my view. The crosswalk not only serves for a safe place for pedestrians, it serves as a boundary for intersections. It helps the drivers to know where to expect others to be and therefor serves as a communication tool. When waiting at an intersection, you should always stop and wait behind the cross walk until it is your turn to enter the intersection.

Thats all for our first Driver Awareness Tips "Wait in line and consider what others are trying to do". Do you know a common scenario where you observe others to be "unaware" of how thier driving is effecting others?