Ponderings with Doug – August 5, 2016


I drive a PC car.

I have been driving for forty three years. I can drive all manner of vehicle. Four on the floor or three on the column are all the same to me. The only mystery with a four on the floor is discovering where reverse is hiding. I remember being taught arm signals for turning and stopping. Driving has changed in these years I have been attempting to drive. I have not mastered driving fully, I’m still learning.

Vehicles are amazing. They have power everything.

I have been married for nearly twenty seven years. In all those years of marriage my bride has driven every place we have gone in a car. She lets me hold the steering wheel. Now she has back up. The nice goddess of the GPS tells me where to turn and if I miss a turn she loudly proclaims, “Recalculating.” If I ignore her for several miles she will silently plot my trip based on the route I want to take verses where she wanted me to go. We fight this all the time when I go to Baton Rouge and I use Highway 190 rather than Interstate 10. You would think she would learn.

My current model has PC cruise control. To avoid resetting cruise control one needs to fly up to the back bumper of the car in front and then move into the passing lane. My cruise control has radar assist. I have not found the disable button yet. My cruise control will keep me at a safe distance from the car in front of me that includes applying the brakes if necessary. The cruise control is cramping my style. I have to anticipate my cruise control slowing me down as a come up on the car I intend to pass.

Then the car insists that one signal before changing lanes. Failure to do so will result in the car nagging me about not signaling to change the lanes. If I don’t signal a lane change several times in a row, a light comes on the dashboard suggesting that I am tired and need to pull over for a cup of coffee. No kidding, I have a coffee cup idiot light on my dashboard. My car is an illustration of the nanny-state on radial tire steroids.

I have discovered how to turn most of this non-sense off.

I can remember when I was sixteen and would use any excuse to drive a car. The car barely had enough power to go up hill. The radio was only AM. The cruise control was my foot. There was no GPS lady. I am a guy. We had no maps and would not ask for directions. There was nothing better than waiting for that landmark to appear on the horizon. All the while the female in the car was saying, “Why don’t you stop and ask for directions?”

You didn’t fight over the air conditioner. If you were cold, roll the window up. If you were hot, roll the window down. Your arm was the thermostat.

Simple was fun.

It seems that all the protection gadgets have sucked the life out of driving. I wonder how many of these gadgets became standard equipment as a result of the cell phone distracting the driver. Of course all these gadgets are put in cars to protect us.This is either paradoxical or ironic. I’m too tired to figure it. I fought my cruise control all the way back from Shreveport.

A car designed to protect your life takes the life out of driving. You have heard something similar in church, Jesus said, “Whoever seeks to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.”

Are you really living your life, or trying to protect it?