Monday, December 9, 2013

10 Tips to Prevent the Grinch from Ruining Your Holiday

 

10 Tips to Prevent the Grinch from Ruining Your Holiday


While you’re in the mall stuffing the stockings or out decking the halls, the Grinch may be at work in the parking lot – ready to loot your car of holiday packages and personal items.

Vehicle break-ins are on the rise during the holidays, as drivers focus on celebrating the season rather than protecting their belongings.  Crowded mall parking lots and distracted shoppers make the job easy for thieves –where someone can clean out a vehicle and be gone in less than one minute!

Tips to help reduce holiday break-ins:
  1. Don’t leave your packages in the back seat in plain view – always lock them up in the trunk
  2. Lock your doors – even if you’re only going to be gone a few minutes
  3. Don’t leave windows cracked
  4. Park in well-lit, well-traveled areas
  5. Hide your electronics like your GPS, cell phone and iPad when you head into the mall
  6. Don’t leave your purse or briefcase in the car
  7. Be alert to strangers who appear to be standing around for no particular reason or approaching as the person could be an opportunist waiting to grab shopping bags or belongings.
  8. Don’t talk on a cell phone when walking in a retail environment or in the parking lot – you might not notice a potential thief lurking nearby
  9. Have keys readily available when approaching your vehicle so no fumbling or looking is necessary to unlock the vehicle
  10. If you’re going to be parking in valet, take your purchases home first and don’t leave your personal belongings in the car
If the unfortunate vehicle theft does occur, STL CARSTAR recommends having a repair plan in place so you aren’t stranded at the mall waiting for assistance.  STL CARSTAR Auto Body Repair Experts offers high-quality, reliable repair service with 12 Award Winning Locations in the St. Louis Area.  Just call 1-800-CARSTAR when you have an auto issue and they will send the tow truck, contact your insurance company, arrange for a rental car and repair your vehicle. For information visit KC Auto CARSTAR.

Article posted by STL CARSTAR

Thursday, December 5, 2013

TOP 10 most dangerous Holidays & Celebrations for Drivers




Holidays mean celebration, and celebration often means having a drink with friends. While most drink responsibly, however, many will overindulge – and some will get behind the wheel even when they are intoxicated.

What are the most dangerous holiday for drunk driving and car accident fatalities?

  1. New Year’s Day. Unfortunately, far too many people ring in the New Year with too many drinks – and the fact that the parties last until after midnight mean that party goers often drink for hours before driving home. 
  2. Independence Day. Fireworks, barbeques… and booze. Be extra careful on July 4 and make sure that any drinking friends and family members get home safe or have a place to sleep it off. 
  3. Memorial Day. The chances of a drinking-and-driving accident skyrocket from the Friday before Memorial Day and last throughout the weekend. 
  4. Labor Day. This three-day weekend marks the end of summer – and 72 hours in which traffic accident numbers often soar due to irresponsible drinking. 
  5. Thanksgiving. Part of Thanksgiving is about enjoying lots of food and drink, but some people may go overboard and then attempt to drive home. 
  6. Halloween. Parties, dark costumes, and large numbers of child pedestrians are a bad combination when it comes to drunk-driving accidents and pedestrian accidents. 
  7. Christmas Eve. Christmas is partially about raising a glass of cheer, but many people celebrate too much or drink to pass the hours with stressful family members. It’s actually much safer to drive on Christmas Day, when most festivities take place in the morning and don’t involve drinking. 
  8. St. Patrick’s Day. A celebration that largely involves beer and pubs is bound to end with some irresponsible revelers getting behind the wheel. 
  9. Super Bowl Sunday. It’s not an official holiday, but millions watch every year – and some decide to drive after watching an afternoon of football and drinking. 
  10. Father’s Day. While Mother’s Day doesn’t boast a higher rate of drunk driving accidents than other days, Father’s Day does. Think twice before celebrating with Dad without having a plan to get home safely.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Booster Seat Safety & Identification- How the local FIRE Department can help...


Did you know that you can stop by our local Fire Department and have your child's booster/car seat checked to see if it's properly installed for your child's safety? They will also give you an identification sticker to attach to the seat with your child's emergency contact. 

WHY IS THIS important? 

What if you & your vehicle carrying your child is in a wreck and you are knock unconscious? What if your child is in someone else car, ie nanny, friend, relative and they are in a wreck and the adult driver is unconscious? How will emergency services know who this child really is? Emergency personal are trained to look for these identifications labels and will better help them identify children in these situations.


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Four Deep Thoughts about Fall...

Four Deep Thoughts About Fall 

(that kept me up last night)

  1. The trees are so beautiful that sometimes they overwhelm me.  But I remember a time when I couldn't see them or chose not to see them.  When I was young and constantly listening to my walkman, my parents would point out the trees as we drove through the country.  I would nod, but go back into my head, my music, my world.  But now I see the trees and I want everyone to notice how beautiful they are (just ask my kids).  When we are surrounded by beauty and we notice and acknowledge, it takes us to a higher place.  Not only does it feel good, but we can easier access the beauty inside of us. 
  2. The trees let go of their leaves so they can get quiet and still and begin again.  We accept this in trees, but do we acknowledge this in ourselves?  Do we let go of what we no longer need or what no longer serves us?  Too often we hold on fearing that nothing new will come.  But something new always comes, that’s the cycle of life.  Trees don’t worry whether or not their leaves will come back – they let them go and trust they will grow and thrive another season.  Letting go of what you no longer need is part of growth, and letting go creates space for new things.
  3. I love the smells of the fall.  I love burning leaves and the feel of the weather.  I love the changing seasons, because I love how they gently remind us what to do.  I like that it gets dark a little earlier because I get off my computer and into my comfy clothes a little earlier. Fall is a reminder that even as school, work, and every other aspect of our life feels fast, we need a little more time to be slow.  Notice what nature is doing and trust your “nature” to slow down a little earlier.  You may find you get more done if you listen to your instincts about what feels right.
  4. Fall is happening right now.  I talk to a lot of people who are already dreading the winter, worrying about the weather, complaining about what “may” come in the next month or two.  But as they complain, they are missing what is.  Right now it’s lovely, the weather is mild, and the Midwest is an amazing place to be.  We have the opportunity to be present for now, and right now, it’s beautiful out there.                                                                                                                                    Original Posting Found Here at http://www.chicagonow.com/self-aware-parent/2012/10/four-deep-thoughts-about-fall-that-kept-me-up-last-night/
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Monday, September 23, 2013

The Future is NOW- Futuristic cars THEN & Modern Technology NOW...





In 1982 Night Rider's KITT was a marvel in creative modern (fiction) technology.
KITT was an artificially intelligent electronic computer module installed in a highly advanced (at the time), very mobile 1982 Pontiac Trans Am.

Browsing the web I recently found a list of KITT's "features".  Knowing that these were fictional features, I still couldn't help but wonder how far we've actaully come to making cars of the "future" today.
I mean my current car seems pretty advanced. It tells me my current mileage, how far I can drive until I'm out of gas & current weather conditions. I can use Bluetooth technology to listen to my music from my iPhone as well as make hands free phone calls all while driving my car. In my car there's a woman's voice with a british accent that gives me directions to and from my location of choice. Kind of like KITT right?
Here's a list of KITTS feature. There's a few features I wouldn't mind having. 
Especially the Money Dispenser.
Computer AI 
KITT is essentially an advanced supercomputer on wheels. The "brain" of KITT is the Knight 2000 microprocessor which is the centre of a "self-aware" cybernetic logic module that allowed KITT to think, learn, communicate and interact with humans. He always had an ego that was easy to bruise and displayed a very sensitive, but kind and dryly humorous personality. He also has an in-dash entertainment system that can play music and video, and run various computer programs including arcade games which Michael sometimes indulged in while KITT was driving. KITT's reaction time is one nanosecond, and his "memory" capacity is 1,000 megabits
Alpha Circuit 
It is part of KITT's main control system which allows the CPU to drive the car. 
Molecular Bonded Shell 
KITT is armored with "Tri-Helical Plasteel 1000 MBS" (Molecular Bonded Shell) plating which protects him from almost all forms of conventional firearms and explosive devices. He could only be harmed by heavy artillery and rockets, and even then, the blast usually left most of his body intact and only damaged internal components. The shell protected every part of the car including the tires. As a result, KITT's body is durable enough to act as a shield for explosives by driving over bombs to cover them and suppress the blast, ram through rigid barriers of strong material like cinder block walls or steel gates without suffering damage himself while damage to the car's structural integrity with its frequent long jumps on turbo boost is never an issue. The shell also protected him from fire and electricity; 
The shell provided a frame tolerance of 223,000 lb (111.5 tons) and a front and rear axle suspension load of 57,000 lb (28.5 tons).
Pyroclastic Lamination 
KITT is protected by a thermal-resistant coating that can withstand sustained temperatures of up to 800 degrees Fahrenheit (426 °C). 
Power System 
KITT is powered by the Knight Industries turbojet with modified afterburners and a computer controlled 8-speed turbodrive transmission. Specifications 0–60 mph in 2 seconds, standing to quarter mile 4.286 seconds. Electromagnetic hyper-vacuum disc brakes: 14 foot (4.25 m) braking distance (70–0 mph - 112–0 km/h).
Turbo Boost 
A pair of rocket boosters mounted just behind the front tires that lifted the car, allowing KITT to jump into the air and pass over obstacles in the road. Also, occasionally, Turbo Boost was used to allow KITT to accelerate to incredible speeds in excess of 200 mph (322 km/h). The boosters could fire forward or backward.
Voice (Anharmonic) Synthesizer 
KITT's Voice Synthesizer allowed his logic module to speak and communicate. With it, KITT could also simulate other sounds. KITT's primary spoken language was English; however by accessing his language module, he could speak fluently in Spanish, French and much more. The module can be adjusted giving KITT different accents.
Voice Projection
KITT can project his voice at any position. 
Anamorphic Equalizer 
KITT's most apparent feature was his front scan bar called the Anamorphic Equalizer. The device is a fibre-optic array of electronic eyes. The scanner could see in all visual wavelengths as well as X-ray and infrared. Occasionally, the bar could pulse in different patterns and sweep rapidly or very slowly. The scanner is also KITT's most vulnerable area.
 
Etymotic Equalizer 
This system allowed KITT to hear sound. An array of audio sensors was threaded throughout his interior and exterior.
 
Olfactory Sensor 
KITT could "smell" via an atmospheric sampling device mounted in his front bumper.

Microscanners 
Microscanners are tiny audio and visual sensors embedded into the grooves of KITT's body. They allow for visual tracking and display of anything around the car.
 
Cruise Modes 
These are KITT's three drive modes:
Normal Cruise - On "Normal", Michael has control of the car. In an emergency, KITT could still take over and activate Auto Cruise mode.
Auto Cruise - In "Auto", KITT could drive himself utilizing an advanced Auto Collision Avoidance system.
Pursuit - "Pursuit" is used during high-speed driving and is a combination of manual and computer assisted operation. KITT could respond to road conditions faster than Michael's reflexes could; however, Michael was technically in control of the vehicle and KITT helped guide certain maneuvers.
Super pursuit - KITT's Super-Pursuit mode was added at the start of the fourth season. It was the result of a redesign of the car to integrate new concepts consisting of improved rocket boosters for enhanced acceleration, retractable spoilers for aerodynamic stability, and movable air inlets for increased cooling. Super-Pursuit Mode provided a 40% boost in speed beyond the car's original top speed of 300 MPH. First used in Episode 70, "Knight of the Juggernaut, Part II".
 
Silent Mode 
KITT could run silently. The feature dampened his engine noise and allows him to sneak around. 
Grappling Hook and Winch 
KITT has a hidden winch and grappling hook system, one mounted under his front bumper, and another in a compartment behind his tail light plate. Most often the hook is connected by a strong cable, but a metal arm has also been seen. 
Oil Jets/Smoke Screen 
KITT could spray an oil slick and a plume of smoke from under the rear bumper. 
Induction coil 
KITT has an induction coil he can produce from under his front bumper and that, being placed on a metal object, can be used by KITT to induce electrical voltage or current in that object. 
Flame Thrower 
KITT has flame throwers mounted under his bumpers. 
Tear Gas Launcher 
KITT can dispense a cloud of tear gas along with his smoke screen. 
Ultramagnesium Charges 
KITT can launch magnesium flares, which can also be used to divert heat-seeking missiles fired at him. 
High Traction Drop Downs 
When activated, the HTDD system hydraulically raises KITT's chassis for better traction when driving off-road. 
Telephone Comlink 
Michael could contact home base and communicate with Devon and others using KITT's video display.
 
Microwave Jammer 
KITT has an electronic jamming system that played havoc on electrical systems. The three main components are the Electromagnetic Field Generator, Electronic Field Disrupter and Microwave Ignition Sensor. The system could take control of electronic machines, allowing things like cheating at slot machines, breaking electronic locks, fouling security cameras, and withdrawing money from ATMs. 
Microlock 
KITT could lock the brakes of other vehicles. This system is believed to work by utilizing focused microwaves to heat the brake fluid, causing it to expand and apply the brakes of the car.
Surveillance Mode 
Surveillance Mode did several things:
KITT could detect people and vehicles and track their movements and discern proximity.
KITT could gather structural schematics of buildings, vehicles, or other devices and help Michael avoid potential danger when he was snooping.
KITT could also monitor radio transmissions and telephone communications within a location and trace those calls.
KITT could tap into computer systems to monitor, or upload and download information as long as he could break the access codes.
Infrared Tracking Scope 
KITT could monitor the position of specific vehicles in the area within 10 miles.
Laser Powerpack 
KITT can fire a high powered ultra-frequency modulated laser capable of burning through steel plating. Like most of KITT's components, the schematics for the laser device are classified. 
Bomb Sniffer 
KITT is equipped with a bomb sniffer module that can detect explosives within a few yards of the vehicle. 
Medical scanner 
KITT has a medical scanner that includes an electrocardiograph (ECG). The medical scanner can monitor the vital signs of individuals and display them on his monitors. It could indicate such conditions as if they were injured, poisoned, undergoing stress or other emotional behavior. KITT could even monitor Michael's physical activity through sensors inside the driver seat. 
Tintable Windows
KITT can tint the windshield and windows. 
Deflatable Tires 
KITT could deflate and re-inflate his tires. 
Fuel Processor 
KITT was powered by a turbine engine primarily fueled by hydrogen gas. However, his complex fuel processor allows him to run on any combustible liquid, even regular gasoline. KITT's actual fuel requirements and efficiency ratings were classified, however in one episode, KITT mentioned his fuel economy was at least 65 miles per gallon. However, when operating on fuels other than liquid hydrogen, KITT's fuel efficiency and power output may be lowered.
Voice Stress Analyzer 
KITT can process spoken voices and determine if someone may be lying. 
Seat Ejection System 
KITT had two front ejection seats, mostly used when Michael needed a boost to fire escapes or building roof tops. 
Passive Laser Restraint System 
Added to KITT in later seasons, the restraint system helped protect Michael and any passengers from the shock of sudden impacts and hard stopping, especially after Super-Pursuit Mode. It is speculated that this is a primitive form of an inertial damping device. 
Video Display Monitors 
KITT had two CRT video display monitors on his dash for various readouts. They are controlled by two systems, the Graphic Translator (which sketches likenesses from verbal input) and the Anamorphic Equalizer (which gathered visual information from KITT's front scan bar) and microscanners. KITT only had one when his dash was redesigned for the show's third season.
Computer Print Out 
KITT could print hard copies of data on a dashboard-mounted printer. 
Money Dispenser
KITT could give Michael money when he needed it.
Ultraphonic Chemical Analyzer 
KITT has a retractable tray with an electron scanner that could analyze the chemical properties of various materials. It could even scan fingerprints and read ballistic information off bullets and compare these with a police database. Aside from the scanning tray, the system could also analyze chemical information gathered from KITT's exterior sensors. 
Interior Oxygenator 
KITT could release oxygen into his driver compartment and provide air to passengers if he was ever submerged in water or buried in earth. This is also used to overcome the effects of certain drugs. 
Two-Wheel Ski Drive 
The Ski Mode setting allowed KITT to "ski" (driving up on two wheels).
Third Stage Aquatic Synthesizer 
With this system, KITT can hydroplane, effectively "driving" on water, using his wheels and turbo system for propulsion. 
Emergency Braking System 
The EBS slowed KITT down from Super-Pursuit speeds. It consisted of a forward braking booster and air panels that popped out to create air friction (air brakes). 
Convertible Roof 
Added fourth season, by pressing the "C" button on KITT's dash, Michael could bring the top down and KITT became a convertible.
Comlink 
KITT is in constant contact with Michael via a two-way communication wristwatch (a modified '80s LCD AM radio watch) Michael wore. The watch also had a micro camera and scanner that KITT could access to gather information.
 
Homing Device 
In dire emergency, Michael can activate a secret homing beacon hidden inside a gold pendant he wears around his neck. The beacon sends a priority signal that can remotely activate KITT and override his programming so that he rushes to Michael's aid.

Monday, September 16, 2013

CARSTAR - 10 Tips for DEALING with an Auto Accident







Here's some HELPFUL information from CARSTAR

Once every seven years, the average driver is involved in an auto accident.  When that happens, it’s smart to know what you need to do to protect yourself and your vehicle, and put yourself on the road to a quick, high-quality repair.  Here are a few tips to keep in mind and share with the drivers in your family:
  1. Turn off your vehicle’s engine and leave it where it is as long as you feel it’s safe. If you feel threatened or your car is in danger of being hit by another car, slowly drive to a safer place, such as the side of the road or a well-lit parking lot.
  2. Keep calm.  Be tactful and courteous, even if you’re angry.
  3. Assess the degree of impact and determine whether you are injured. If you think you’re hurt in any way, stay in your car and try to relax. Be honest if anyone asks how you are. Ask someone to call for help, and let a professional assess your condition.
  4. Provide medical help to others ONLY if you are trained to do so.
  5. Evaluate the damage to your vehicle. When examining the accident scene, NEVER walk directly between the two cars. If one is hit again, you could become trapped between the two vehicles.
  6. Call the police to report the accident. Dial 911 first, if that doesn’t work, dial 0 and ask for the police.
  7. Don’t say the accident was your fault, even if you believe it was.
  8. Call 1-800-CARSTAR to request a tow, arrange for a rental car, contact a family member and call your insurance agent.
  9. Get the names, addresses and phone numbers of any witnesses.  If you can’t get their names, at least get their license plate numbers.
  10. Exchange names, addresses, license numbers and insurance information with any other drivers involved in the accident.
It’s smart to have an accident plan in place before an auto accident occurs.  Identify a reliable body shop where you can take your car in advance so you’re not forced to make a sudden decision at the accident scene.  To determine the best body shops in your area, look for the CARSTAR logo.  All CARSTAR auto body repair shops are locally owned and operated, and are committed to providing the highest-quality repair and getting you back on the road quickly.
For more CARSTAR car care tips, visit carstar.com.
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