Posted tagged ‘driving’

Nowhere to Go

December 23, 2018

I found this post languishing nearly finished in my draft folder.   I think it’s pretty funny as long as you don’t take it too seriously.

hours-highway-truck20060928_0120-2016-09-27-13-43-e1494531460183-2017-05-15-09-30So, you’re driving on the freeway. Yes, depending where you live, it might be the turnpike, throughway, parkway, highway or expressway. Just assume lots of lanes, speed limit, say, 65 mph. Traffic is moderate but moving along, heavy 18-wheelers mostly hanging out in the right lane. If you are a driver like me, you are in the second lane from the right where you can move along at a few mph above the speed limit, but not deal with crazies in the speed lanes. As you begin an incline, the eighteen wheeler ahead of you begins to slow and you are gaining on it steadily. Out of the corner of your eye in your right side mirror you see a Honda Civic coming up fast, clearly trying to get by you before you catch up with the truck. Do you: (a) slow down and let him pass then cut ahead of you; or, (b) slowly accelerate so that he can’t? Me? These days I’m almost always the (a)-guy but every once in while, the (b)-guy sneaks out. When I’m the (a)-guy, I think, Now where does he think he’s going? before letting the Civic slide by. If I think, Where the hell do you think you’re going, idiot? the (b)-guy is in charge.

The (b)-guy isn’t satisfied just to keep him from passing. He accelerates gradually so the Civic driver on his right keeps thinking he can make it. The (b)-guy knows if he times it perfectly, not only will the Honda not be able to cut ahead, the car behind him will catch enough up keep it trapped behindPSX_20181223_083757 the truck. Points are accumulated for each minute the would be right-side-passer has Nowhere to Go. The question is, how long will the sensible (a)-guy let the (b)-guy keep it up. The record is five minutes. That’s because my friend, Gary, says if you miss your exit playing a road game, you are really crazy. Even my (b)-guy doesn’t want to be considered really crazy so he zips past the truck and bails when our exit comes up. Some day I’ll tell you about the (c)-guy. He’s really crazy.

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Driving to the Park

September 25, 2018

If this post looks familiar, there’s a reason. I accidentally published it before it was finished. So, now, I’ve finished it and am publishing with a new title.

PSX_20180924_232233As I age, I become more of an observer of life and (perhaps) less of a participant, although I prefer to think that I participate in kinder and more considerate ways. Even when the forty year old in my head conspires with my Inner Curmudgeon try to agitate me into repeating the actions of my youth … say, flipping off the driver who cut me off … I resist. Most times successfully. Sometimes, the behaviors of our strange species that I observe are exactly what sets off my forty year old and my Inner Curmudgeon and my brain becomes a battleground between Look at that. Isn’t that interesting, and Look at that idiot. I should give him a piece of my mind (a truly odd saying, if you think about it). (more…)

Driving Tests and Pedestrians

May 11, 2018

dmvThe great state of California requires drivers over seventy to take the written driving test every time they renew their license. This is in spite of the fact that as a group, drivers from 70 to 80 are safer drivers than drivers from 16 to 30 … and it is not until they pass 85 that the crashes per mile traveled comes close to that of drivers under 30. Can you say ageism? (of course, you can)  So, yesterday, I went to the DMV to take the test and renew my license. The written test consists of 18 questions on rules of the road and driving skills … getting 15 or more correct is a passing score. For the most part, the questions are easy, even if you haven’t reviewed the CA Driver’s Manual. If you are lucky, you might pass without studying. But there are always a handful of questions that require specific knowledge found only in the driver’s manual or the dozens of practice tests online.  It is illegal for a person 21 years of age or older to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) that is _____ or higher.  (a) .08%; (b) .10%; (c) .05%*. Or how about A white painted curb means: (a)Loading zone for freight or passengers;  (b)  Loading zone for passengers or mail only;  (c)  Loading zone for freight only**. (more…)

Throwback Thursday – Driving Music

December 9, 2016

In an attempt to get back to blogging on a regular basis, I am designating Thursdays as Throwback Thursdays. That will assure I post once a week by posting old favorites from the almost 2000 posts that have appeared here. This one is from November of 2009 and, appropriately, its about music. Yes, it’s a dated playlist. But, hey, I’m 72 … I’m dated, too.

alfa1Speeding along a winding Connecticut back road in a 1965 Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce with the top down in the autumn, red and gold leaves dancing in the draft. Cruising along Ocean Drive in Newport, RI in a bright red Fiat Spyder convertible as the surf crashes against the seawall, filling the air with salty mist. Driving across the great plains in a gray Volvo 144 toward a new home in California. Racing the eighteen wheelers across the desert in a green Toyota Camry on the way to visit our grandchildren. The vehicle may not be as exciting as we get older but one thing remains constant … I can’ t do the long drive without Driving Music. No, I’m not talking about the old guy poking along in the fast lane with Henry Mancini playing softly in the background. (more…)

Senior Commuting

October 21, 2014

trafficIn my big industry days, I was very fortunate.  I never had a commute much longer than forty minutes.  That wasn’t all that uncommon at my first two places of employment back East because few New Englanders will put up with a long commute.   However, here is California, it wasn’t uncommon to come across people with commutes of more than ninety minutes.  Sometimes, that was because they chose to live in the ultra-suburbs of Greater L.A., where the home prices were two-thirds of what they were in town.   The commute was acceptable at first until more and more people decided they wanted to do the same and the freeways into the city became bumper to bumper during rush hour.   Others chose to live at the beach and pay the commuter-price for the privilege.  Sometimes, that perfect job was on the other side of the city with a drive that took forty minutes at night but two hours in broad daylight.  For roughly ten years, while I was doing my graduate work at USC, I had an hour and a half commute to class twice a week.  That was enough to convince me that no job was worth over an hour on the road.   So, now, I’m retired or semi-retired, depending upon when you look in on my office.  My commute?  Left at the foot of the bed, through the bedroom door, forty feet down the hall, slight left into my office.  Total time, forty seconds, if I stop to pet Mister P, our Siamese cat.   Delightful.  Of course, during busy times, it makes it a little too easy to go back to work at odd hours but I don’t have many of those times these days.  (more…)

Older, on the Road

January 27, 2011

On my way to Target last week, as I slowed to turn into the driveway, a woman in an SUV pulled up behind me impatiently.   She followed me around the corner and down the driveway, still hugging my back bumper.   Glancing in my rear-view mirror, I realized that she was not impatient … she was oblivious, chattering away on the cellphone.   In the bad old days, I would have tapped my brakes or slowed to a crawl, blocking her way but I just found a parking place and let her move on.   Sunday morning, I was on the 91 Freeway, minding my own business in the right hand lane.   A Volkswagen Something-or-Other came up on my right in the on-ramp lane, in a big hurry.   I let my foot off (more…)