Auto Pilot Driving

This morning I made it home on autopilot. I’ve done this numerous times. Just like an ant- I know the route home off by heart.

I caught myself twice that I had zoned out. Once was driving past a police car with someone pulled over. Next, I was suddenly at my exit off the freeway without realizing it.

It still worries me though. I don’t like the sensation of losing the time. Once in a while I’ll take a different route home from the freeway just to change it up. I usually do that if I’m really tired. But it’s that long stretch driving for twenty minutes that has my mind wandering.

I can’t think of a good way to keep myself focused. I’ve tried a variety of music, podcasts, talk radio, even hands free calling.

Who knows. Hopefully one day I don’t have to drive anymore. Then I can zone out all the time.

Driving On 9

Today I chose to drive everywhere by doing the speed limit. I know-crazy.

I’ve always been a Mr. heavy foot when it comes to driving. Over my 25 years of driving- I have had about 20 speeding tickets (3 of which were in my first two years of driving) and numerous warnings. It’s about time that I stopped handing over thousands of dollars in fines and started behaving.

This morning I decided to drive at exactly the speed limit on my way to work. It was early morning, meaning no traffic on the roads. Surprisingly, any other driver I met on the road was speeding. I just stayed in cruise control in the right lane and let them whiz passed me. It was the same on the drive home.

I also chose to follow the rules of the road a bit more closely in order to be able to showcase to our daughter that following these rules are important.

If I’m going to help teach her how to drive- I want her to have a good role model. Time to be that person.

Jacked

We insured our Honda Element today in order for our daughter to learn how to drive a 5 speed manual transmission. I thought it was a good idea at the time of deciding it. Only cost us $708 for four months insurance. OUCH. But at least it won’t cost us much more… except…

Whattheeverlovinghell?!?

Ok, not gonna lie. I knew we would need a tune up service for the car. It had been sitting for about 18 months. So no big deal. Really. I have started it up and moved the car a few times. My daughter and wife had driven it a bit today. They filled the tires and got some gas. I decided to take it out for a drive when I came home from work.

It probably wasn’t the best idea. Lots of driving for a car that has been stationary for far too long. That “Check Engine” light did not disappear. On my drive back to the house from the store, my little Element began to “Jack Rabbit” when I was in 2nd and 3rd gear. I pulled over and shut off the car for a bit before driving again. The car ran smooth for a bit, then began Jack Rabbiting once more. I made it home and have decided that I won’t drive it this weekend until after I get it looked at.

Hopefully it won’t cost a small fortune and that all it takes is simply a couple of twists and turns to tune it up right.

Hmmm now I want to watch “Pulp Fiction” again.

“In The Shape of An L On Her…”

Car!

Random did it. She turned 16 yesterday and went and got her learners permit today! She passed the test without issue.

So my oldest is now learning to drive. I raced home from work so that I could take her out for a spin. She slapped the “L” on the back of my car and we got ready to head out. Being her first “official” driving experience (she may have moved the cars a few times over the past year in our driveway, but I won’t tell) she did everything by the book!

She walked around the car- twice. She sat in the driver’s seat and adjusted her mirrors, steering wheel and seat. Her seat belt went on, she started the car and the radio got turned off. As we drove, she used signals, drove just below the speed limit, shoulder checked, and focused. Our trip up the road to the gas station was one of the most perfect by-the-book rides I have had since probably my road test 35 years ago.

Starting with the good habits is difficult. I know how I drive. I know what my car is capable of. I also know how to *ahem* bend the rules a bit. I had to put all of that behind me and talk with her about how to drive properly. She did great- and her smile afterwards was worth it all. Like back when I taught her how to ride a two wheel bike. She was so proud of herself. That was eleven years ago…

But she’s still my little girl. And I am proud of her accomplishments as well.

Driver’s Tan

The sun is out and the heat is now in full force. Driving in my car, I prefer to roll the windows down and drive with the wind blowing in. I think every car I have ever owned has had AC, but I don’t like to use it. Plus, how can everyone else enjoy my loud music if the windows are shut?

I enjoy resting my arm on the edge of the door while the window is down. It’s a casual feel and keeps me calm while I drive. The only problem is that I get a funky one sided tan that is worse than a “Farmer’s Tan“.

The dreaded “Driver’s Tan“.

At the end of my evening commute to work yesterday, I felt like Richard Dreyfuss from Close Encounters of the Third Kind. My arm was warm and the side of my face was beginning to feel it as well. The only way to balance this out is to become a passenger in the car and hope that the sun beats down on the opposite side.

But the sun is great and makes everyone a bit happier. I love that the weather is spectacular these days. For the past 25 years or so, I have survived every summer’s “Driver’s Tan“. I think I’ll survive this years as well.

The Shitty Routine

I’ve been coming to Calgary Expo for seven years now. And every year I get the same gift. A gift I don’t want. I thought this time would be different.

I had been awake since 3:30pm the day before, worked all night, then grabbed a quick nap before hitting the road by 09:00am. As much as I wanted to sleep, I had to stay alert. But throughout the drive, my co-pilot was out cold periodically. I began zoning out as I drove. It was the last leg of our journey- only about an hour and a half remained of our ten hour drive. Then it happened…

A speeding ticket.

This year it happened on my wayin to Calgary. The officer was quick to pull me over, issue the ticket and in a few short minutes- turning around his car to give out a ticket to someone else. Seems like it was a regular place to make a buck or two… Usually I get a lovely photo in the mail a few weeks after our trip. Oftentimes an image of my car the day we are leaving!

So now that The Shitty Routine is behind me for this trip, time to enjoy my weekend.

Let the Full Frontal Nerdity begin!

Just Music?

On my drive to work today, these were a collection of the songs I listened to:

Peter Gunn by The Art Of Noise

It’s music that just sounds like it’s from a 1970’s/1980’s film. Jazzy and techy. Fun to drive to.

Mama Mia by ABBA

A great disco tune. One that I know the words to. I love singing to this and bouncing around in my car.

More Human Than Human by White Zombie

This song just gets me going. It has a killer beat and drums along.

My Sunday morning drive is usually an eclectic arrangement of fun music that I enjoy. The drive home was NEWS Radio. That my usual Sunday. The rest of the week is mostly talk radio and podcasts.

Quiet Sunday Roads

Turns out that not a lot of people were on the roads this morning. I was heading home with my son after we spent the night at a friend’s place. The roads were empty and the fog was blindingly thick. The sun was attempting to burn it away with hardly any success.

On our way home I stopped at another old friend’s home to pick up a bed frame for my oldest daughter. She’s kind of outgrown her twin bed. At age 15 and being 6’2″ I figured it was time to get her a bigger bed. So I packed in the dismantled queen size bed frame into my Pathfinder and headed home.

No one was on the back roads going home. It was eerie and calming. Usually there is too much traffic and bad drivers. Not today. My son and I had a pleasant journey home as I drove below the speed limit in order to not jostle the bed frame pieces around. Before getting home I was tempted to keep on driving around since it was a quiet Sunday and the fog was dissipating. But I needed to come home and rest before my night shift. Hopefully the roads will still be quiet later on for my commute to work.

Belting Out Song Lyrics

I am a terrible singer. I don’t even try. But I do have fun.

I end up having more fun mocking the styles of the artists I hear by over-exaggerating their sound. Sometimes it’s just loud mumbles until the chorus. Then I own that shit! I’ve done that at pubs and bars- sometimes in the middle of a live performance by a cover band. Shocking everyone.

I really enjoy flipping radio stations in the car when my kids are with me. I’ll sing portions of songs, then switch to find another that I know, just to switch it to another. This is also done at extremely loud decibels. That way people outside the car can hear it as well.

Did I mention that I not only drum on the steering wheel, but also dance in the car or make motions with my hands to the lyrics? There has been times where I’ve stopped the car and continued to sing and dance in the driver seat while people walk past. Only to have them smile and do a little jig for a moment before catching themselves. Life can’t always be serious and stagnant.

We’re here for a good time. Not a long time. So have a good time.

Driving in the Rain

I am an aggressive driver most days. No need to sugarcoat it. But when it rains, I slow down and give myself extra time to get to my destinations.  Not because I can’t drive in the rain, but because others can’t.


Almost daily on my commute to and from work there is an accident or volume on the roads. Anyone who lives in the Fraser Valley experiences this. It’s truly annoying. Add that we are entering rainy season and people are stupid- means more accidents waiting to happen.

So on days like today, I slow down. I take the slow lane (travel lane) and allow others to be stupid and weave in and out. I give a bit more room in front of me just in case. I’m glad I do, because I’ve had close calls of people not checking blind spots or trying to maneuver around some slow driver taking up the fast lane. 

I’ll get where I’m going in due time. No need to rush. And hey, when it rains- it’s like a free car wash!