Posts Tagged ‘driving’

Personal vehicles have become far too complicated. I make this statement as someone who is not a “car person.” I can appreciate, say, a Chevrolet Corvette as a fine piece of machinery and even a work of art. It is an iconic car, after all.

But why must everyday vehicles used for commuting and errand-running and social outings be ever more driven by and dependent on computers? Have we not reached a point of diminishing returns? Vehicles are fancier, but to what purpose? Some safety features might be helpful, but they can make drivers less attentive and more reckless.

Mechanics have to spend thousands of dollars on specialized computers which communicate with the on-board computers, and then the software on the diagnostic computers requires a monthly subscription so that it constantly downloads all of the latest information.

Right now there is an issue with one of the computer systems in my vehicle. According to the light on the dashboard, one or more of my tires has incorrect tire pressure. I have verified several times that the pressure is correct, and my mechanic agrees.

I suspected that there was an issue with a sensor in one of the tires and\or a communication issue. The problem is that the information coming from the sensors and the main computer don’t agree. The computer says that one of the sensors isn’t communicating. The sensors says that the computer isn’t listening. Also, the tire\wheel positions might not be correctly identified, which might be cause for confusion.

The codes have been cleared and the current wheel positions have been identified. Now I just drive until the light comes back on, and then I can go back and possibly actually have the problem fixed.

Now, as a non-car person who views the vehicle as a tool to get me to work and the grocery store and wherever else I might need or want to go, being alerted to tire pressure issues sounds like a good idea in theory, but so far it is becoming more of a hassle and an expense than a benefit.

I have similar feelings about power windows and locks. They are nice to be sure, but when those controls in the driver’s door fail, you can find yourself locked in or locked out until they can be (expensively) repaired. Ask me how I know.

At least the car doesn’t talk to me or try to drive for me, so I don’t have to worry about those systems failing. It’s all about perspective, right?

ETA: I realize that this is 100% a first-world problem of privilege not worth complaining about in the grand scheme of things, but I spend a lot of time thinking about how bigger issues break down into smaller ones and how smaller issues add up to being bigger ones. Today I decided to write about one of the smaller issues.

Read Full Post »

This post will likely be short because I had a busy day and I need to unwind, but I wanted to wave to the new subscribers and say thank you and prove to myself that I can keep up this practice while I resume working … and commuting.

I have been extremely fortunate to have always had a short commute (at least in terms of mileage — leaving at the wrong moment can make a short distance commute a long time commute), and while I worked from home for almost four years, I didn’t have to drive at all. Today I started a temporary position which will hopefully teach me some helpful skills and lead to more permanent and lucrative endeavors.

For the first time in about four years I actually had to be up, dressed, lunch packed and out the door by a certain time, and what does the weather do but snow. Snow! Okay, so spring snow is not uncommon, and it was only a little snow, but still. Snow! Complete with cold and wind. The wind was actually more of an issue than the snow.

I got to experience firsthand what the articles and statistics have been saying about driving during the pandemic — there may be less traffic congestion, but people’s driving habits have deteriorated further, so driving is actually more dangerous. On a highway with a speed limit of 65 miles per hour, drivers chose 60 or 80+. That much of a differential creates risk Someone pulled out right in front of me and was fortunate that my brakes work. Then there was some object flapping about on the highway which I couldn’t avoid completely without driving off the road, but I didn’t find any damage.

Nevertheless, the commute was not as stressful or as dangerous as I expected, probably because there wasn’t much congestion. The trip only took about five minutes more this morning than it did yesterday morning with very few people on the road.

I survived my commute and the first day on the job. I was up early enough to write Morning Pages, and I got home early enough to still go for a walk. There are a few other daily disciplines I need to check off before I turn in for the night, but I am putting today in the win column.

Happy Monday!

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: