Monday, June 21, 2010


The seat belt buckle is held above the floor by a little plastic button that is riveted onto the seat belt at the right height. The plastic button is black and visible in the middle of the belt towards the bottom of this picture.

Sometimes, it breaks off. Thereafter it can become difficult to find the buckle, because it can slide along the belt all the way to the floor.

I first tried a safety pin for awhile, reasoning that the small hole in the belt must not be a safety hazard because the hole is there for the original equipment button in the first place. However, when the safety pin comes undone, it can cause some damage to a questing hand.

So, I used a large keyring. Carefully starting it through the pre-existing hole in the seat belt, I worked it around until it was entirely in place, encircling half of the belt. It is clearly visible around the right half of the belt midway down the picture.

This works very well, and the questing hand can find it easily, and without injury.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Friday Flashback: Public Speaking

As most of my readers know, I was raised in a family that belongs to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. During the growing up years, we just considered ourselves to be Mormon, and that's what everyone around called us, as well.

Part of the religious practice is to attend a Sunday meeting called "Sacrament Meeting" which includes speakers chosen from among the members of the congregation (called a "ward").

At that time, it was customary to have one or two "youth speakers" start out early on in the meeting. They were customarily followed by two or three adult speakers. When I was 12, I got my first opportunity to be a youth speaker.

When I stood at the pulpit, I began to cry out of fear or tension or something. I couldn't seem to get control. My dad, who was seated on the stand behind me, as a member of the bishopric, came and stood beside me, with his arm around my shoulder, while I composed myself. He sat down once I started to give my talk.

I have always appreciated his gesture. Many a time I overheard him in our home asking my mother with some exasperation, "why is he crying?" I can't remember her answer, nor do I really know myself why. But, I used to cry quite easily as a child.

After this traumatic public experience of crying, I had a stern talk with myself, and mostly control myself ever since.