I was heading home the other day, and at one light found myself directly behind a car with California license plates. Two lights later, and I was behind a vehicle with Maine plates. Truly, it was the traffic equivalent of “from sea to shining sea.”
And it got me thinking about what we all have in common.
For instance: we have a National Electrical Code, ensuring the same electricity installation standards across the nation. A Ford you buy in Oregon can be serviced by a Ford dealer in New Hampshire. The Duracell battery you buy in Hawaii is going to work in Alaska. And so on….
It’s something you probably don’t think about too much – but I remember traveling in Great Britain years ago and carrying a bunch of adapter plugs, because you never knew what type of electrical wall outlet you’d be facing at your next hotel. Believe me, standardized outlets are the ONLY way to go!
Anyone play the piano? Can you imagine what a mess it would be if Baldwin and Steinway used different keyboard layouts? Maybe middle C sitting up way to the far right, and the bass and treble notes kind of mixed together?
Ask people about a standard national telephone number that’s three digits – and chances are good they’ll come up with 911.
Of course, we are also interested in ANOTHER three digit national standard number – 811.
Thanks to the Common Ground Alliance and other organizations too numerous to mention here, the 811 number is our national code for getting underground lines and pipes located prior to a dig. Call anywhere in the nation, and you’ll get hooked up with the nearest 811 one call center.
Like its better known sibling 911, the 811 number also saves lives and prevents property damage.
You’ll notice I said “better known.” Getting the 811 message out to the public is a never-ending task, and something ALL of us have to do better.
Wherever you are, take a moment today after reading this blog and mention the 811 system to someone. Perhaps they’ll tell someone else, and so on, and so on.
Because standardization doesn’t work – unless it works for everyone.
Now, for those of you keeping up – I promised to update my weight loss program right here every week. I started at 219 pounds on January 4. As of today, I am at 212.8 pounds. Lost only one pound last week….
Until next week, safe digging!