Learning to drive
Once again this site has been pushed onto the back burner.
In fact it has been pushed back so far it has tipped over and fallen down behind the cooker.
It has been a busy few days. After a lot of arranging and waiting for the banks to process finances [it is a known fact that the banks use electronics that is hundreds of times slower than normal electronics] I finally collected my [nearly] new car yesterday.
The young lad in the showroom asked if I needed him to guide me around its workings. I pointed out politely that it had a steering wheel, three pedals and a handbrake and all in the right places so what was there to learn? He laughed but suggested I have a lesson anyway. I mentioned that I had been driving for well over fifty years – a lot longer than he had existed – and that part of the fun was exploring for myself. He was happy with that and told me I could phone him any time I had a problem. I wonder if that includes problems with the house or Herself?
Okay, it’s different from the old Focus. The engine is smaller in capacity but seems to have more power which is a bit of a contradiction. The switches are all in the wrong place and I still haven’t quite gotten the hang of the light switches. It has weird things I haven’t come across before such as telling me how many kilometers I have left before running out of petrol, or how efficiently I have been driving. Vital information?
I had to go out again today to head up the motorway to that damned Beacon Hospital for an eye check. [Need I say I got lost in it again?] Anyhows while I was on the motorway I started playing with the cruise control which is another new gizmo. It was weird but it seemed to work well. I had to switch it off though as Irish motorways are full of cars driving at different speeds [anywhere between 50 and 200 Kmph] and I spent my time overriding it.
A new problem is the length of the car. I look in the mirror and there in the dim distance is the rear window. This is no problem until it comes to reversing as I have no idea how far I am from reversing into a kerb or another parked car.
I think I may have to invest in a rear view camera.
You mean it didn't come with one?
And the Beacon hospital? Isn't that the one where the walls are made out of glass or transparent aluminum or something?
Glad you're enjoying your new rig.
"You mean it didn't come with one?" I don't know. Maybe it did but I just haven't found it yet.
As for the Beacon – yes, that's the place with endless glass corridors that are all identical and form a nasty maze. One wrong turn and you are lost. There were several people there yesterday all wandering around and stopping each other looking for directions. Needless to say I was asked and had to tell them that I was lost too.
I think you have a secret liking for the Beacon Hospital and wanted to show it your new car!
I hate the place but seem to be stuck with it. I would imagine that hell is something like that place – endless wandering around looking for a way out that doesn't exist.
My grandfather was a motorist since the 1910s and his single piece of motoring advice was "Always make sure the car's doing what you want it to do: once it starts doing what it wants to do, you're finished". In that context, I never use cruise control – there's no software as smart as an alert driver.
As for cameras, one on my current fleet has 8 cameras and, although initially a camera-sceptic, I'm now a convert – the ability to see, in real time colour, all the periphery of the car and its relationship to any nearby objects certainly adds to the precision-parking capability. (That said, the car will actually park itself but, sticking with my grandpa's old advice, it will never get chance to prove it).
Us grandfathers are a sage lot. As I told the lad – the steering wheel, the handbrake and the three pedals were all in the same place and that is a sufficiency. The rest can wait until I want to play around. [It took me a whole day to discover how to turn the damned radio off!]
I first experienced rear view cameras in the neighbour's car. I was impressed! Buying one is on my to do list but first I have to find one that's suitable.
I have a joke when I talk about something on my tours, that requires a guest go to YouTube or something on the Internet to find a certain bit of information or video. I always tell them, ask a teenager.
I'm thinking you should have stuck with the tutorial offered by the young fella.
He wasn't that young. Mind you – he did talk about applying for Road Tax and hesitantly suggested that it could be done online. I told him that online didn't bother me as I knew a fair bit about the Interweb. I told him that up to a few years ago I did web design and development. He was more than surprised!
I have had my 'newer' car for 3 years now. There are 4 control sticks covered with buttons and twiddly bits behind the steering wheel and I have only ever used 2 – for indicators, lights and wipers. The other 2 do things like cruise control and radio controls and 1) are obviously not important and 2) require serious concentrating on the little dashboard screen to adjust them, which I won't do while driving – so I have taken the decision not to clutter my brain with learning to use them.
Hah! It sounds like my yoke. As well as the little sticks that can be moved in various directions there are also switches and twiddly bits on each stick. There are four buttons on the steering wheel itself and I discovered by accident that two are for increasing or decreasing the cruise speed. I don't know what the other two do.