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Friday, Apr. 18, 2014

Thoughts on texting; I-69 in the fast lane

Posted Tuesday, October 11, 2011, at 2:42 PM

My age obviously shows when I look into the mirror each day.

But, am I the only plus 50-year-old individual who gets a little incensed when other people can't seem to put their smart phones down?

These days people young and old are everywhere thumbing out text messages.

I was sitting in the waiting room of a doctor's office the other morning in Bloomington and this 30ish couple came in with their young child -- who was probably 4 years old.

The little boy was immediately handed a children's magazine and couple of books and told to sit down on the floor while the parents quickly pulled out their iPhones and began texting away.

The boy on two different occasions tried to get the attention of his mother, who snapped back, "Can't you see, I am busy."

Also, in recent months, I've witnessed individuals texting away during public meetings. Some of those texting were appointed individuals serving on very important county boards.

I've even seen texting in church and that is particularly disturbing, not to mention disrespectful.

I admit, I do text -- probably more often than I would like too.

Sometimes, it's a job necessity.

Other time's it is just keeping up with the new and changing wave of technology.

My two daughters -- who live out of the area -- text often as one of their primary ways of communication so responding to their text messages is something I also do.

To be honest, I would really rather not text at all, but I come from an era where we didn't even make long distance telephone calls very much -- only on Sunday nights after 9 p.m.

I'm "old school" enough to believe that this small high-tech apparatus we call a cell phone should be used for talking and not for texting, checking our email, playing games or anything else that the contraption is able to perform to make our lives easier.

The topic of texting came up as we were sitting around a wiener roast campfire at a friend's home on Sunday night.

A friend of mine, who is deputy on the Greene County Sheriff's Department, put it pretty bluntly saying, "I don't text. If you text me. I will call you back."

I read an interesting story this morning on the MSNB website that links the over-use of texting to some physical problems.

I wasn't aware that some texting individuals had come down with painful "Blackberry Thumb."

Today's smart phone technology is also being blamed for another malady called "text neck."

Doctors and chiropractors say people hunched over their mobile gadgets are developing neck strain, headaches and pain in the shoulders and, sometimes, in arms and hands. What's more, all that curving of the body to text, type, watch videos and play games could cause debilitating pain that lasts a lifetime, according to Dean L. Fishman, a chiropractor who practices at the Text Neck Institute in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

He trademarked Text Neck and changed the name of his practice after noticing 90 percent of his patients coming in with the same complaint.

His youngest patient is a 3-year-old, who's in love with playing games on an electronic device.

Now that is something to ponder.

I-69 now in the fast lane

While we are pondering, let me say that construction work on I-69 is definitely in the fast lane.

I was traveling down by Mt. Nebo Church and near the U.S. 231/State Road 58 junction this week and was amazed at how much dirt work and construction has taken place.

There is an overpass bridge completely built and iron pilings are going in everywhere.

Construction work is going nearly around the clock, seven days a week, while the project steams forward -- hoping to meet the completion schedule of December 2012 for the sections that runs from Evansville to U.S. 231 near the NSA Crane base in Greene County.

I'm pretty amazed that the anti-road folks are still making some noise about this much-needed highway project.

Last week, the Federal Highway Administration announced in written responses to questions from the Bloomington-Monroe County Metropolitan Planning Organization that state officials need that group's backing to spend federal money on a 1.75-mile section of the highway near Bloomington.

The federal officials also upheld the state's right to withhold federal money for road projects in Bloomington if the planning group doesn't back the I-69 project.

The Evansville Courier & Press reported that Indiana's two senators and seven of its nine congressmen have sent a letter to Bloomington Mayor Mark Kruzan seeking his support for the project.

The Indiana Department of Transportation wants to begin construction on a 27-mile stretch of the road from near the Crane Naval Surface Warfare Center to just south of Bloomington by the end of this year.

Gov. Mitch Daniels indicated in a conversation with me a few weeks ago at WestGate Tech Park that the I-69 highway was moving forward with or without the approval of the Bloomington planning folks.

So, it's safe to say the new highway is coming.

Nick is the assistant editor for the Greene County Daily World. He can be contacted by telephone at 847-4487 or by email at schneider.nick@gmail.com .

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