Moderate Moment | Moderate Moms

“#WeCareFerguson”

A friend felt her stomach turn; I got teary and had a terrible sense of disbelief. I listened closely as CNN interviewed the Mayor of Ferguson and police officials. I heard the news that the FBI was taking over the investigation into the shooting of an unarmed African-American teenager in North County on Saturday by a police officer.

Last night, while an angry crowd looted stores and fired shots in the air, demanding that the officer be named publicly and fired, I was attending a workshop with a woman who is traveling the country in search of grassroots led solutions to some of our country’s most pressing problems. What a wake up call. If ever a story warranted moderation and measured thinking, this is it. Sadly, it also reflects what a touchpoint race still is in this country.

What’s happening in Ferguson today, and what did or did not happen on Saturday, runs counter to everything this region wants to have happen for North County. Ferguson is a place that pulled together, black and white, to rebuild after tornadoes blew through there causing financial loss and physical destruction. It is that spirit that will carry them through this latest turn of events if people can stay calm. After all, we are all concerned with finding out the facts in the Michael Brown shooting. The message to the people of Ferguson is, “#WeCareFerguson.”

North County has been in the news a lot lately. It has seen school districts lose accreditation, manufacturing dry up and a loss of key retail. There is so much hope and energy going into reversing the fortunes of many North County municipalities that we need to make sure this situation doesn’t eclipse the good work going on there.

Let’s let the Department of Justice do its job now in uncovering the facts without anymore casualties or fanning the flames of this fire. We have a choice in how we respond.

Summer? The Mom Vivant / Debbie Baldwin of Ladue News

By Debbie Baldwin
Anyone with children older than 10 has slowly come to terms with the fact that there is no summer. OK, that was an exaggeration. Of course, there’s a summer. According to the calendar, summer lasts about three months. Mentally, it lasts six weeks. Emotionally, summer is 16 reasonably pleasant days sandwiched in-between the end of school wrap-up and the back-to-school check-up.
That being said, it is, in fact, summer—literally, mentally and emotionally. This is the window. The weather is gorgeous, bike tires are pumped, racquets are strung, sneakers are laced. I stand at my kitchen door like one of those fans on the sidelines at a marathon, holding a cup of water for the runners: Come on, you can do it—go! I am met by three glazed-over teens who simultaneously mumble:
We’re out of juice.
There’s nothing to do.
I can’t find my charger.
It’s as if the woodwind section of a very bad orchestra is warming up in my living room. I want to yell with abandon, but part of me knows it’s uncalled for and another part is worried Cranky is secretly recording me and posting the video for her friends. Instead, I calmly encourage Whiny to take the dog for a walk, and Punch to call a friend. The boys protest with their laundry list of canned excuses, returning to the virtual world before I abandon the discussion. Meanwhile, Cranky documents her reactions with a series of adorable selfies.
I have to get them out of the house. I have to. I have a pretty decent book collecting dust, the full season of 24 recorded—that and I’m going to go absolutely bat-guano crazy if I don’t get five minutes alone. Think, dammit, think. I go back to every hostage negotiation movie I have ever seen: Get them talking. Hey guys, what’s up today? Nothing. The games continue their high-pitched humming, Cranky snaps another photo. I went to the store. I got food. That does it. Whiny and Punch beeline to the kitchen—and one room closer to the door—Cranky wanders in behind, apparently documenting the journey as if it’s a trail hike.
Once they’ve emptied the pantry, like a swarm of locusts descending on a fig tree, we are at a crossroads. I’ve gotten them this far. Three more steps and they’re in the yard. They make a move to return. I block the door with my body—my sanity is on the line. Cranky grabs her keys and gestures for the boys to follow. She mentions something about ice cream or swimming or knocking off a convenience store—who the hell cares? They are leaving, they are going out in the sunshine, with the other three-dimensional people. I look around at the crumpled potato-chip bags, empty milk jugs, damp towels and odd array of flip-flops that litter the room and wonder idly, When will summer be over?

Goodbye Passwords! San Jose Mercury News

by Martha Irvine

FILE – In this Feb. 27, 2013 photo illustration, hands type on a computer keyboard in Los Angeles. Frustration over passwords is as common across the age brackets. Bill Lidinsky, director of security and forensics at the School of Applied Technology at the Illinois Institute of Technology, recommends using a simple mental algorithm, including those that use a space, if a site allows that. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File) ( Damian Dovarganes )
INTERNET SECURITY
Cybercrime, hacking and other security coverage.
CHICAGO — Good thing she doesn’t need a password to get into heaven. That’s what Donna Spinner often mutters when she tries to remember the growing list of letter-number-and-symbol codes she’s had to create to access her various online accounts.
“At my age, it just gets too confusing,” says the 72-year-old grandmother who lives outside Decatur, Illinois.
But this is far from just a senior moment. Frustration over passwords is as common across the age brackets as the little reminder notes on which people often write them.
“We are in the midst of an era I call the ‘tyranny of the password,'” says Thomas Way, a computer science professor at Villanova University.
“We’re due for a revolution.”
One could argue that the revolution is already well underway, with passwords destined to go the way of the floppy disc and dial-up Internet. Already, there are multiple services that generate and store your passwords so you don’t have to remember them. Beyond that, biometric technology is emerging, using thumbprints and face recognition to help us get into our accounts and our devices. Some new iPhones use the technology, for instance, as do a few retailers, whose employees log into work computers with a touch of the hand.
Still, many people cling to the password, the devil we know — even though the passwords we end up creating, the ones we CAN remember, often aren’t very secure at all. Look at any list of the most common passwords making the rounds on the Internet and you’ll find anything from “abc123,” “letmein” and “iloveyou” to — you guessed it — use of the word “password” as a password.
Bill Lidinsky, director of security and forensics at the School of Applied Technology at the Illinois Institute of Technology, has seen it all — and often demonstrates in his college classes just how easy it is to use readily available software to figure out many passwords.
“I crack my students’ passwords all the time,” Lidinsky says, “sometimes in seconds.”
Even so, a good password doesn’t necessarily have to be maddeningly complicated, says Keith Palmgren, a cybersecurity expert in Texas.
“Whoever coined the phrase ‘complex password’ did us a disservice,” says Palmgren, an instructor at the SANS Institute, a research and education organization that focuses on high-tech security.
He’s teaching a course on passwords to other tech professionals later this summer and plans to tell them that the focus should be on unpredictability and length — the more characters, the better.
But it doesn’t have to be something you can’t remember. If a site allows long passwords and special characters, Palmgren suggests using an entire sentence as a password, including spaces and punctuation, if possible: “This sentence is an example.”
He also suggests plugging in various types of passwords on a website developed by Laguna Hills-based Gibson Research Corp. to see how long it could take to crack each type of password: https://www.grc.com/haystack.htm
According to the site, it could take centuries to uncover some passwords, but seconds for others.
Lidinsky recommends using a “simple mental algorithm,” including those that use a space, if a site allows that. As an example, he says one might try “Ama95 zon” for an Amazon account, and “Yah95 oo” for a Yahoo! account, and so on. (But choose your own combination.)
There are other ways around the password headache.
Some people have taken to using password generators, which create and store passwords for various sites you use. Generally, all the user has to remember is a master password to unlock a generator program and then it plugs in the passwords to whichever account is being used. There are numerous password managers like this, including LastPass and Dashlane and 1Password.
Some wonder whether it’s wise to trust services like this.
“But sooner or later, you have to trust somebody,” says Palmgren, who uses a password manager himself.
Other solutions are surfacing, too.
Researchers at the University of York in England are developing a new authentication system called Facelock that asks you to identify familiar faces to get into an account or device.
The Canadian government, meanwhile, has partnered with a company called SecureKey Technologies, which allows citizens of that country to log onto government sites, such as the country’s tax bureau, using a username and password from partner financial institutions, including TD Bank. Because SecureKey serves as the go-between, the system’s developers say the bank username and password are not ultimately shared with the government site. Nor does the bank receive any information about which government site the user is accessing.
SecureKey is now working with the U.S. Postal Service to provide American citizens with similar access to federal health benefits, student loan information and retirement benefit information.
Ultimately, experts say, reducing the stress of online security — and decreasing reliance on passwords — will rest on what’s known as “multi-factor identification.”
Those factors are often based on three things:
1. “What you know” — a password, security question or some sort of information that only you would know (but that doesn’t have to be difficult to remember, just exclusive to you);
2. “What you have” — a phone, tablet or laptop — or even a card or token — that an online site or tech-based retail outlet would recognize as yours;
3. “What you are” — biometric information, such as face recognition or a thumb print.
Banks could use this authentication process, for example, using cameras that already exist at ATMs, says Paul Donfried, chief technology officer for LaserLock Technologies Inc., a Washington, D.C.-based company that develops fraud prevention technology for retailers, governments and electronics manufacturers.
“We now have the ability to shift complexity away from the human being,” Donfried says. And that, he adds, should make the pain of the password disappear.
Back in Decatur, Spinner has to think about all that for a moment. It sounds rather daunting, she says.
For one, the issue of privacy is still being debated when it comes to biometrics.
But then Spinner considers the piece of paper that contains all her passwords — the one she typed that’s gotten so difficult to read because she’s crossed them out and created so many new ones.
“Anything to make it easier for those of us who are technology-challenged,” she says,” I would be in favor of.”

The Mom Vivant / Debbie Baldwin of Ladue News

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Posted: Thursday, June 5, 2014 12:00 pm
By Debbie Baldwin
So, school’s out. Cranky, Whiny and Punch are loose for the summer. It’s great—truly. No more grueling classes from eight in the morning until three in the afternoon. No more sports teams. No more homework. No more ‘school-night’ curfew. The problem is, those were the only things that simultaneously kept the kids accounted for and out of my hair.
In a strange way, I dread summer. When other moms pass me in the grocery store and give me that Summer’s here! Aren’t you sooooo happy? look, I give a weak smile and nod my tempered enthusiasm. I don’t dread summer because because my kids run off like a Jurassic Park raptor that has found a hole in the fence. I dread summer because summer makes me feel, well, inadequate.
Summer means you’re handed back all the responsibility you relinquished when your kids started school. I mean, seriously, when people ask you what you’ve planned for your kids for the summer, apparently making sure they get a meal at least once a day doesn’t cut it. Jeffrey’s doing Kumon, then he’s building huts in the rainforest before he heads to NASA for space camp. Impressive. And I’m left wondering, What the heck is a Kumon?
There are several schools of thought on how to approach a child’s summer itinerary. Regrettably, ‘hanging out’ is not one of them. I guess you could let them hang out, the way we hung out. You could, but you wouldn’t just be imagining the whispers: Her kids are hanging out this summer. Good luck getting them into an Ivy. Good luck, indeed.
So, the first and most popular option is dedicating your child’s summer to sports. Swim teams, tennis clinics, lacrosse camps, there’s no shortage of options. The problem is, most kids are not phenoms. All the coaching in the world won’t turn a Cutler into a Manning. Without that potential, summer sports programs are a lot like visiting the wineries: an overly long drive to spend a hot afternoon doing something you could have done in your yard.
Next up is continuing education, the tiger-mom concept that school goes all year long. Let me pause. If you have a child who is willing to take classes over the summer, I applaud you. The summer I tried to make Whiny and Punch take a reading course, I feared a violent outcome.
Then there’s camp. Camp is a phenomenal way for a kid to spend the summer. They are gone for three to eight weeks under the protective wing of several (hopefully) capable adults—hopefully being the operative word. Now, it’s absurd to keep your child from going to camp because of a firmly planted belief that no one can or will watch your child as vigilantly as you. That would be crazy. Let’s just say when your child sends you a letter explaining how he tipped a canoe, hit his head on a rock and no one realized he was missing until he waded into camp, be glad you’re on the other side of it.
I don’t know what the answer is, but I do know I need a plan. Even if my children are just hanging out this summer, I need an elitist, academic, politically correct way to describe it. Cranky is doing independent research on noncompetitive recreational and solar-influenced sedentary activities. Whiny is developing a first-world, non-nutritional calorie base. Punch is exploring observational athletics and streaming sports image transfer.
It doesn’t make a huge difference to me what they do this summer, as long as they are having fun. I just need an answer for when people stop me in the grocery store.

The Mom Vivant / Debbie Baldwin of Ladue News

So this weekend was Mother’s Day. Personally I never held much stock in the event. It’s an overly involved brunch, some unwanted picture taking and a lot of beginner-level pottery. Now I’m not made of stone, an affectionate handmade card gets me every time, but the rest? Honestly, I would skip the holiday altogether if it meant eliminating the ads, commercials and hype. That being said, I did, purely for curiosity’s sake, browse the interweb to see what was trending for moms. These are the top 10 gifts virtual men have chosen for the moms in their lives:

Lipstick/makeup

Perfume

Gift Card

Sunglasses

Jewelry

Wine/chocolate

Bath products/lotions

Flowers

Tea/Coffee maker

Camera/tablet

Almost nothing with a cord, so we’re making progress…however. Don’t buy makeup for another person. Ever. If you buy different makeup than she usually wears, you are saying, You could look better; if you’re refilling her existing supply, you’re unimaginative. Perfume is touchy. Buying mom a bottle of the stuff she already wears is thoughtful but humdrum. Buying something new is monumentally risky, but worse, prompts a lot of questions.

Gift card…zzzzzzz, I’m sorry. I must have dropped off there for a minute.

Sunglasses are a good choice. Most people have more than one pair, so if they’re not exactly right, they can still work. Also, they are one size fits all, so no issue there. Thumbs up. Same is true for jewelry. Even if it’s hideous, it’s still jewelry.

As for wine, I would avoid anything she can throw in her grocery cart while zipping through Schnucks. As for chocolate, no one ever complained about a Teuscher Champagne truffle. Bath products will earn you a tight smile and snippy aloofness for the rest of the day. Flowers are fine. I love getting flowers actually, but put some thought into it. You don’t have to arrange a bouquet, but you also don’t need to clip a fistful of your neighbor’s hydrangeas.

As far as hot beverages go, I don’t care that the millionaire next door makes his own coffee, I’m going to Starbucks. Technology is a winner. It’s not around long enough for someone to be bothered by it and most of the time, it’s pretty nifty.

That’s my two cents. Honestly, the best Mother’s Day gift I ever got was when my husband took Cranky, Whiny and Punch away with him for the day, the whole day, as I lounged around my empty house doing absolutely nothing. The one thing a mother almost never has, is time to herself—well, that and the chocolate.

The Mom Vivant / Debbie Baldwin of Ladue News

Posted: Thursday, April 17, 2014 12:00 pm

By Debbie Baldwin

It seems most of what comes out of Hollywood these days are sequels and prequels…and remakes and re-imaginings and reinterpretations. It’s green, actually: Reuse, reduce, recycle. If there’s an additional dollar to be made…like I said, green. So it may surprise you to know that at some point, industry executives dropped the ball. Either that or they exercised some discretion and halted work on an ill-conceived sequel. Perhaps someone learned a valuable lesson from Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo and Weekend at Bernie’s 2. Believe it or not, according to screenanswers.com, these sequels were actually in the works until the plug—for whatever reason—was pulled.

Forrest Gump 2: Gump and Co.

Honestly, there was so much going on in the first movie, I can’t imagine what was left to film. You can only cover so many decades.

E.T. II: Nocturnal Fears

As a child, I’d often hoped for E.T.’s return. Sure, that freakishly adorable alien was ‘right here’ in our hearts, but I wanted to see that darn bike fly again. As time passed, it occurred to me that the perfect sequel would be a film where Elliott is an off-track adult with a family of his own and E.T. returns. The sequel they actually had planned involved evil aliens invading and abducting children. Go big or go home. Fortunately, they went home.

The Breakfast Club 2

At least, there was no ridiculous subtitle following the colon. The film would have reconnected with the high-school outcasts: the nerd (Anthony Michael Hall), the princess (Molly Ringwald), the jock (Emilio Estevez), the rebel (Judd Nelson) and the poet (Ally Sheedy). The film fell through when star Judd Nelson had a very public falling out with writer/director John Hughes. Maybe Nelson knew he was the only one who wouldn’t have a career going forward.

Gladiator 2

Always an interesting undertaking when the main character dies in the first film, rumor has it this sequel involved Russell Crowe’s Maximus in the afterlife. Fortunately, everyone came to their senses.

Napoleon Dynamite 2

I guess there is only so much pot people can smoke.

Kill Bill Vol. 3

This may be the only regrettable decision on this list. Tarantino planned to follow Vernita Green’s (Vivica A. Fox) daughter as she grows up, with a life mission to avenge her mother’s death and kill The Bride (Uma Thurman). It’s not too late.

Elf 2

It may not star Will Ferrell, but this will happen—trust me.

Ferris Bueller 2: Another Day Off

OK, maybe not another day off in high school or even college, but the idea of Ferris as a buttoned-up lawyer who has lost his zest for life taking a day off, that’s appealing. Maybe Ferris’ hypochondriac buddy Cameron (Alan Ruck) changed the course of his life when he liberated his father’s Ferrari from its glass garage. Maybe sister Jeanie (Jennifer Grey) ran off with the bad boy (Charlie Sheen) in the police station. Think of the possibilities.

One need only look at the American Pie franchise or Ocean’s Eleven to see the lengths to which Hollywood is willing to go to milk a concept. For now, everything seems fine on the sequel front. If Stallone tries to turn Grudge Match into another Rocky franchise, we may have a problem.

Debbie Baldwin of Ladue News / The Tangential Thinker

Lemon Aid

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Posted: Thursday, March 27, 2014 12:00 pm

By Debbie Baldwin

I drive a lemon. Let me clarify: According to Webster’s Dictionary, a lemon, in the vehicular sense, is a car that ‘does not work the way it should.’ So, in that sense, my car is a lemon. According to the state of Missouri, however, it is not. Not that I disagree with that. The ‘lemon law’ exists, and is effective because it deals with cars that have more immediate and obvious defects. In other words, the lemon law deals more with car heart attacks—my car has cancer.

Let me be the first to admit that I am not the easiest person on a car. The ‘check engine’ light is more of a guideline than a rule. I once found a Ziplock bag of Cheerios in my tailpipe. A certain car wash politely requested I take my business elsewhere after discovering a somewhat disturbing odor source. So suffice it to say that when the bells and lights on the dash started going off like a winning slot machine urging me, ordering me, to pull over immediately and turn off the engine, I did what any normal woman with a car full of groceries would do: I drove it home and tried not to think about it.

After a quick once-over at the mechanic, I was informed that my little malfunction actually was a big malfunction. Something that apparently is integral to the car’s operations was dead, and the repair would cost several thousand dollars. Now I am hardly a nitpicker. If I’m overcharged at the grocery store, so be it, but $3,000 is a pretty big nit. So, at the urging of my mechanic, I called the manufacturer. What could go wrong there? Surprisingly, they were willing to help. In fact, there was a chain of command already in place for just such situations (something that perhaps should have concerned me, but didn’t), and they were going to cover a substantial portion of the work. Sure, I was still writing a four-figure check at the end of the day, but it seemed like something that it was less than I originally thought. It’s the same reason I’m a sucker for sales.

Things seemed dandy with my then 5-year-old car. The dash board would warn me to get gas, the radio scrolled the band that was playing, the seat warmer toasted my back nicely. Then…the slot machine again, warning after warning, alarm after alarm. If it hadn’t been so sluggish, I would have worried it was going to blow up. Well, I’d already had the big repair, so how bad could it be this time? 

A new engine? What else is under the hood? (I would find out soon enough). My engine, as it turns out, was sludgy–not to be confused with sluggish, which apparently is survivable. Sludgy is bad, very bad–$7,800-and-some-change bad. This time, when I called the very nice lady who had been so generous with her employer’s funds the last time, I was rebuffed, decisively and with prejudice. She rejected my plea as she read from the prompts in her customer-service manual. (When I may or may not have threatened to come to her house, she re-read the canned response, so I thought it best to end the call.)

So I replaced the engine. It was a small fortune, but it was still less than a new car. Now my 6-year-old car has a brand-spanking new engine. At least I will have a newish car. I mean everything that could break has broken. Cranky even pulled off a windshield wiper over the summer. For the most part, I should be good to go, literally.

Apparently, there is this thing called the transmission. It makes the car go. According to the mechanic, my transmission looks like the bottom of a junk drawer. He assures me; however, that he thinks my friend up north will be willing to assist with this particular repair and sure enough, they are in for half. I don’t know the ins and outs of it, but I assume this particular malfunction is not, shall we say, expected. I’m not sure how taking responsibility for half a defective part makes sense, but if I think too hard about it that little vein that throbs in my forehead will threaten to burst.

So I drive a lemon. When it’s working, I actually like it. I guess that’s all I wanted to say. I won’t buy that brand of car again. That seems to be my only recourse; after all, there aren’t many items one has owned for seven years that can be returned. So, much like the airbag that will no doubt deploy without need or warning, I just wanted to get that off of my chest.

 

 
 
 

The Mom Vivant / Debbie Baldwin of Ladue News

The Big Chill

 Posted: Thursday, March 6, 2014 12:00 pm

By Debbie Baldwin

It’s warming up. Yes, I’ve lived in this town long enough to know not to declare with any certainty the rough part is over, but still, it is March. Even if this little heatwave is just a temporary reprieve from what no one can argue has been a brutal winter, it gives a temperate moment of reflection to thoughtfully ponder what the hell went on for the last three months. I mean, if one more person posted a screen shot of a -18 degree day…We heard the explanation dozens of times: The polar vortex.

At first, I thought it was one of those made-up weather words like tornadic, but it turns out the polar vortex is an actual thing. And no, it’s not the name of Jor-El’s fortress of solitude or a new North Face jacket. It’s a weather phenomenon. It’s also what my husband calls our bedroom after his syndicate poker night, but I digress. The polar vortex, according to Wikipedia, is a “persistent, large-scale cyclone, located near either of a planet’s geographical poles.” It can last for more than a month, and I’m guessing you already know what it brings.

Apparently, the polar vortex also brings a terminology shift. It’s hard to sell people on the idea of global warming after a winter out of a Dostoyevsky novel. So now, it’s global climate change; and the polar vortex is both a causeand a symptom. I’m not discounting climate issues but changing the moniker to that catch-all really takes the wind out of the sails: possibly due to climate change, but there’s no way to be sure.

So, back to the polar vortex: It’s a whirling, swirling expansive air mass that every 20 years or so swoops down from the Arctic (or swoops up from the Antarctic), and blasts bone-chilling cold across several hundred miles at a stretch. The polar vortex can be responsible for ozone depletion, sub-zero temperatures, brutal wind-chill factors, depression, weight gain, over-sleeping, road rage, an increase in chili production and a subsequent baby boom.

So whatever the Polar Vortex was, it appears to have dissipated. I picture the thing swirling violently into a cave that instantly seals shut–Bam! Then silence…and perhaps a bird chirping. Slowly people emerge from their homes, stretching in the sun and seizing the 40-degree day. Who knows? My next weather column may be titled, The Long Hot Summer; but for now, at least it’s not frigid, we can bask in the brisk.

 

 
 
 

Texting Etiquette by Debbie Baldwin of Ladue News

 

By Debbie Baldwin

Everybody has a cell phone, and almost everybody texts. Texting is easy, cheap, fun, mildly illicit, and it makes you feel cool—it’s kind of like the 21st-century’s version of smoking. And not unlike smoking, it can be offensive at certain times. The good news is, after a solid decade of text capability, certain rules of order have been established; an E-tiquette, if you will. Now before you decide to forward this to the closest teenager you can find, know that I have seen as many—if not more—offenses committed by an older demographic. Texting, like chewing gum, done anywhere but in the privacy of your own room, runs the risk of offense, so here are some basic parameters.

Rule No. 1: You are not that important. Unless you are waiting for the arrival of a transplant organ or need the launch codes for a nuclear weapon, the text probably can wait. That seems simple, but it can be hard to remember when the movie is reaching its climax and your friends want to know if you’re supposed to be meeting at Bennigan’s or Applebees.

Rule No. 2: There is a difference between silent and vibrate. We can all hear that annoying little buzz-buzz as your phone dances across the table. In a weird way, it’s more irritating than a full-blown ring.

Rule No. 3: Know how your phone works. This sounds simple, but you might be surprised. Do you know how to dim your screen, where your flashlight is, how to silence a call, and how to set and control the various alerts? All useful skills.

Rule No. 4: Almost any phone-related activity is acceptable, if handled appropriately and politely. A simple,Excuse me, I need to take this, works wonders. That being said, there still are areas that are undeniably off-limits:

Forbidden at:  

Funerals

She lived such a full life…But you, you’re going to hell. You may chuckle at the absurdity of this, but there’s a trend developing involving tweets and selfies at funerals.

Job Interviews

Hard to imagine a text more important than the offer.

Driving

Much like the resultant crash, this is a no-brainer.

Take off and landing

See above.

Frowned upon during:

Movies

Just make an effort—dim the screen, silence the type, be quick.

Class

If the teacher doesn’t confiscate the phone, have at it.

Meetings

Seems like this is common practice. It tells the rest of the people in the room that you have important things going on—lots of balls in the air.

Dinner Parties/Family Holiday Get-Togethers

These are presumably the most important people in your life. If you’re texting, invite that person, too.

Free-for-all places:

Malls 

Airports

Grocery stores

Sports venues

West Hollywood

Bars

Salons 

Public transportation 

That about covers it. As for new territory, well, we’ll cross that virtual bridge when we come to it.

 

 
 
 

An Inspiring River Tale