2014 Honda Accord: Safety that Delights

10.1.14

A few weeks back I was on the freeway behind a 2014 Honda Accord and couldn’t keep myself from delighting in the new clean lines it sported. In 1987 my grandfather bought me a Honda Civic sedan and my mother had an Accord so I have an otherwise inexplicable affinity to the brand. I remember driving mine home the first time, it was a manual transmission and I am mystified that it didn’t fall out of the bottom of the car after a month of the abuse a new driver inflicts on a gear box.

In any event, I ended up spending a week in a Honda Accord. It’s the V6 touring model and had just about everything you can pack into a car. I was going to review the car but what can you say about a Honda Accord that everyone doesn’t already know? There’s plenty of leg room and lots of glass so you feel like you’re in a much larger sedan. The dashboard is clear and unfussy. It’s a Honda so you’ll have your oil changed but that’s about it. They’re steady and reliable and now they’re actually quite attractive.

 

What dazzled me about the Accord are their safety innovations, one in particular that I’d never seen on any vehicle before.

When you turn on your right turn signal the navigation screen displays a camera that’s attached to the passenger side mirror so you can see bicycles. As biking has has become more common in and around Los Angeles we’re having more accidents and my worst nightmare is to have a bicycle shoot out of my blind spot and into my car as I turn right. Just the presence of this side view camera made me feel much more confident with my right turns.

My assumption is that Honda actually developed this technology as an aide in parallel parking. You see, there are lines on the display that correlate with car lengths and likely make it very easy to parallel park if you’re not entirely comfortable with the process. Although keeping bumpers in good condition is lovely I just cannot get over what a delight it is to be able to see that very perilous bike lane and I’m unsure why every car company isn’t doing the same. honda accord side view camera

When I checked the window sticker to find out what package you’d need to upgrade to in order to get this technology I was surprised to find that the touring package included this.

2014 honda accord touring msrp window sticker monroney

In fact forward collision warning, lane departure warning and the multi-view camera are all included for under $35,000. The V6 engine is nice. It’s a quiet engine and a quiet car with more than enough pickup but you won’t mistake it for a race car any time soon.

The Accord looks like a great choice for a just about anyone. You could easily put two car seats in the back and not have your seat kicked while you drive. The trunk is enormous and the safety ratings are good with four and five stars in crash tests. I’d just add some sunshades or window tint because there’s a lot of glass and I live in a hot climate. Big kids will be happy in the back seat and if you don’t have a family you’ll enjoy it even more because you stand a decent chance of keeping the car clean.

Cyclists would be wise to watch what Honda is doing here. I do believe those multi-view mirrors are one of the most exciting innovations I’ve seen in a very long long time.

Naked Kids + Internet = Nothing Good

06.23.14

No, seriously, even if your kid is two and looking at their bellybutton. Even if your daughter is too young to lactate and your son’s plumber butt is cute. I agree with you. Your children are adorable, no one is questioning that. In fact I’d be taking the same photos if I were you. I just wouldn’t be posting them online. Even to a closed group. Even to my mom.

Maybe an email, maybe if I needed to get them printed but probably not even then. I’d probably go to a printer, pop in my SD card and get it printed because I’d be really unhappy to find some middle aged loser jacking off to a picture of my naked kid.

Too vulgar for you? I’m sorry. I needed to get your attention.

This morning a Buzzfeed article popped across my timeline and it detailed how a blogger had their Instagram account shut down after repeatedly posting a picture of her daughter in her big girl undies. The internet acted as it always does: it hashtagged that puppy with #bringbackcourtneybabyccino and some well meaning but misguided parents then posted images of their own toddler children with nipples showing.

I gasped because it seems as though we mothers sometimes get so involved with our mothering that we forget the world around us doesn’t have children nor do they particularly care about the health and well being of our children (which is normal and okay).

I challenged my Facebook friends and asked them please to remember that they don’t own their children as one owns a dog or a piece of furniture. It’s really unfair to exploit their images endlessly and no 12 year old wants their 2 year old naked photo lingering on google for their frenemies to find. All I’m asking for is a little foresight.

Of course things devolved and I don’t understand what it’s like to be a mother or a mom blogger. Ahem. Okay. Whatever. So I took less than 3 minutes, looked up toddler undies on flickr and came up with Steven Horne’s profile. These are his favorite pictures.

edited pedo fl

How does Steven Horne find his images? Why y’all have set them to public and tagged them with things like kids, undies and of course the porn shots are tagged with the appropriate words.

The problem isn’t Steven Horne. The problem is the multitude of Steven Hornes. I found him in moments, hundreds of seconds not thousands which can only mean there are more.

While the buzzfeed baby is unquestionably adorable it’s the wrong hashtag to hop on. I want the world to be safe. I believe in the goodness of people but I still lock my front door.

This is Why UBER Should be on Every Kid’s Smart Phone

07.29.13

I’m at a party with my friend Laurie and we’re talking to this really nice guy who has a seven month old daughter. I’m typically really cautious when I talk to new parents because I don’t want to scare them. Especially Dads. Especially the Dads of daughters.

We totally failed when I started talking to Laurie about how unpanicked I am about leaving Jane to wander Century City with her friends. “She has Uber.” I said. And sort of shrugged.

Then Laurie and I started talking about why every kid should have Uber on their phone and when we got to the part about being a teenager and on occasion not wanting to get into a car with a Dad who plays grab-ass the new Dad looked at us with horror in his eyes. Even though 100% of the adult women at the party sort of nodded and knew what that felt like I was all, “Oh but times have changed. I’m sure it will never be an issue.”

Because ya know… new parents… sometimes you’ve got to lie to them.

Laurie was insistent that I’ve got to blog about it so, here’s how I use Uber with my kids.

I’ve installed the app on Jane’s phone because she’s out and about with her friends both during the day and at night. She also goes to parties and not all of them are with close friends. I’ve told her that she should use Uber to get herself home if she is ever uncomfortable getting into a car with anyone for any reason. Some of the reasons I’ve talked to her about are parents who have been drinking, parents who make her uncomfortable (and there doesn’t have to be a name for the discomfort), teenagers who make her uncomfortable (same thing, no reason needed) or if there’s anyplace she wants to leave and she doesn’t want me picking her up.

I’ve told Jane, and I will honor this, that if she gets herself home with Uber from a sticky situation at noon or at 2am there will not be any negative consequences. She won’t be in trouble for going to a party with alcohol or drugs. She won’t be in trouble for being out with friends. She will never be punished for getting herself home safely.

I’ve decided to give the kids Uber for a variety of reasons. Each and every reason in it’s essence is because I love my children.

When I met the Push Girls last year I noted that four of the five women I met were in wheelchairs because of car accidents. The accidents were all excessive speed or alcohol fueled. If a smart phone app can get my child home without risking dangerous driving conditions I’d be a fool to not use it.

Parents of teens: I’m going to ask you to do something we should all do at least once a day. I want you to be still and quiet and try to remember being 14 or even 17. Now put yourself at your friend’s house and their parents have just left. All of a sudden 5 other kids appear and they’re thinking about drinking a beer and smoking some pot. What does the 14 year old you do?

The only answer I have is that I know the 14 year old you doesn’t call Mommy for a ride home.

Now imagine the same scenario. The 14 year old you pulls out a smart phone (it’s probably already out) and texts for a town car. 14 year old you can hop into the back seat of a limo and get home. My credit card information is already stored in the app, no money changes hands and your private driver gets you home.

Boom. Done. Decision made.

Taxis in Los Angeles are filthy, dangerous and unreliable. Public transportation is something we struggle with and is only marginally safe. Plus there could be walks of up to a mile, kids can’t do that when they’re already feeling unsure. Los Angeles is not the worst city for public transportation but it’s close.

I’m totally okay with UberX and I’ve loved my drivers but I’ve asked my kids to use a black car first. I’d rather have a professional driver with them but if there’s an exceedingly long wait they should use UberX. With little kids I like that extra level of vetting but at the end of the day UberX would probably be just fine.

Thus far Jane’s only used Uber with friends during a scavenger hunt (long Hollywood story). I wasn’t exactly thrilled but part of me is delighted that she and her friends can get themselves around town and have experienced the app without me.

Remember when you’d go out and your parents wanted to be sure that you had $20 on hand to not spend, it was just in case money? Well, this is the just in case app and I think it’s brilliant.

If you haven’t signed up for Uber you can use my link here to get a $10 credit.

Uber ratings safety

This is my Uber account history

 

Paula Totally Knows Better

07.13.12

I had lunch at Hugo’s Restaurant with Michelle today and was all WOOT I get Michelle and tamales. The combination of Hugo’s tamales and Michelle Magoffin is like an explosion of awesome, you should try it sometime. We had a great lunch and then I picked up a few things including blue hair dye for my daughter’s tips (eating my words tastes terrible) and then I grabbed the kids from camp.

While we were in the car I told Jane that I’d had lunch at Hugo’s and she begged me to get her tamales as an after camp snack. Since I had to bring Alexander to the tennis club I’d be driving past there anyhow so I told her I’d pick some up on my way home.

It’s a humid 97 degrees today, or at least it was 97 degrees when I parked my car at Hugo’s Tacos. I know it was crazy hot because they have these misters going and the water ruins purses so I made an effort to stand where it was dry. When I arrived a pregnant lady was ordering, behind her were a trio of 20 somethings and behind then was Paula. Paula was friends with the pregnant lady, that’s how come I know Paula’s name.

I almost left Hugo’s because the line was moving so slowly and the pregnant lady kept changing her mind about cilantro (eat the fucking cilantro lady, your next year is wasted, live now) and I was hot. The line was so slow it took a full 15 minutes for me to place my order which is so bizarre that I actually timed it. While I was ordering Paula started talking to her pregnant friend and mentioned the baby asleep in the car. I knew for a fact that her car wasn’t parked in the one and only spot where you could actually see a child because I was parked there. It was also just 24 hours after my meeting with VTAC where the LAPD Captain was telling us about their outreach, of course it includes not leaving children or dogs alone in cars because the temperatures can spike so quickly.

I finished placing my order and interrupted Paula and her friend with an, “Excuse me. You don’t really have a child alone in the car right now do you?”

She looked at me, “It’s okay, thank you for your concern.”

Tempering myself I said, “It’s a really hot day and we all know better than to leave kids in cars.” I even smiled.

Paula said, “Again, thank you for your concern.”

So I did the only thing I knew how to do. I pulled out my iPhone, made sure the ringer volume was up high so that everyone would hear the unmistakable sound of a picture being taken. And I tweeted this:

The lady in the white shirt is Paula. Her baby is sleeping in the car. It’s 90 degrees out. Paula thinks its “fine”

Along with this image (I blurred faces after I was home)

Within seconds Paula went to the car to sit with her child and her friend grabbed her takeout order when it was ready. I know I embarrassed her but I also know that I often don’t do the wrong thing for one reason. Getting caught would be humiliating.

Sometimes it doesn’t matter why you do things, it just matters that they get done.

Miranda Hemphill Has Been Found

10.26.10

Ivan Lopez, age 22, has been taken into custody. Miranda met him online. Miranda is 13, and was found with Lopez in Las Vegas

According to ABC news:

Authorities believe she ran off with Lopez, who is from Lennox. Upon investigation, authorities found that Lopez currently has an active felony warrant in San Bernardino County for a sex crime involving a minor that occurred in 2009.

If you’re a parent or educator take a look at my friend Lori Getz‘ site, she’s a fabulous resource.