This little critter was showing a spirit of determination when it was spotted during a recent visit to the little gem of a park in Jonesboro which the photographer frequents. Please notice that the turtle was not using a cellphone at the time the photo was taken.

Sometimes, it's good to pay attention to things...

Please read this...

Tuesday morning, as yours truly was preparing for the daily journey to The Paragraph Factory, I happened to notice that everyone was taking a morning nap...

The Other Half...taking a nap. Cat one...taking a nap. Cat two...taking a nap. Cat three...taking a nap. It was like the night before Christmas...not a creature was stirring...

Oh, well, at least I was paying attention to what was happening in the world around me...

Sometimes...actually, most of the time...it’s a good thing to pay attention to what you are doing...

For example...when I’m driving, it always seems like a good thing to pay attention...which is why I get somewhat confused when I see folks yakking on the phone...or ignoring traffic signal lights...or speed limits...

I’m still not quite sure how it is that people think they can drive a ton or so of metal, glass, rubber and the occasion faux leather or wood at a high rate of speed while talking on their cellphone...or maybe texting some sort of really “important” message.

Sometimes, I’ll see a driver with a phone in one hand, a cup of coffee in another hand, yesterday’s mail in another hand and, maybe, a cigarette in another hand. 

Wait a minute, you’re saying to yourself (and I hope you’re not driving)...people don’t have four hands. Exactly.

And what confuses me even more is to know that using a cellphone in one of your four hands is, in a word, at least in Illinois, illegal. 

This is straight from the Illinois Secretary of State’s website: 

“Illinois law prohibits the use of hand-held cellphones, texting or using other electronic communications while operating a motor vehicle. Hands-free devices or Blue Tooth technology is allowed for persons age 19 and older.

“Even using hands-free technology is considered a distraction while driving and can be dangerous. If you must make a phone call, even with hands-free technology, it is recommended that you pull off to the side of the road before making the call.

“The only time Illinois drivers can use a cell phone that is not hands free is: To report an emergency situation. While parked on the shoulder of a roadway. While stopped due to normal traffic being obstructed and the vehicle is in neutral or park.

“Drivers who are in a crash resulting from distracted driving may face criminal penalties and incarceration.”

I don’t know about you, but I would not be very excited about the possibility of facing criminal penalties and incarceration. Maybe I’m a little old school that way. Or, maybe just a little bit too old.

For the sake of full disclosure, I have received a speeding ticket. Once. In what I later learned was a notorious speed trap. The speed trap was located in what we call a company town.

Subsequent to my brief life of crime, the company which owned all of the residential property in the city evicted all of the residents. The city then was dissolved by a court order. Or so I read on the internet. Apparently, karma is indeed a beautiful thing.

I will say that I was not behind the wheel last weekend when I did something that should have involved paying closer attention...

So...I opened our refrigerator door...reached down to grab of a bottle of a cold lemon-lime flavored beverage... The beverage, you see, is always in the same place in the refrigerator. Always.

I grabbed the container... and... without really paying attention... twisted off the lid... and took a big gulp... A BIG GULP...

...of...

...pure lemon juice...

As you can probably imagine, I quickly realized the error of my ways... And, I’m here to tell you that a swig of pure lemon juice can be a bit of a jolt.

Fortunately, taking a big gulp of pure lemon juice did not involve paying a hefty fine. And, lucky for me, pure lemon juice doesn’t taste all that bad...

The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158
Email: news@annanews.com

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