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Saturday, September 09, 2006

Lets take a test drive

Lets take a test drive

After what seems like walking barefoot (on broken glass) for longer than I ever would have imagined, perhaps it’s time to take a car for a ride, and see if I can still remember how to drive.

That feeling of wondering about maybe driving again. What would I drive given the chance? One of those new modern cars, I hear the damn alternators are water cooled, or would I be more at home with a car that has a little less newfangled high maintenance features. A car with experience in the ways of driving – one that drives itself instead of relying on constant user feedback? Perhaps a car that can both drive it self and allow a little mutual road rally dancing – autopilot or drive by the seat of the pants. Where is the comfort zone with this new means of transport – does it need premium fuel or cough sputter and croak – can it live of the land a little – how about a little fresh table scraps in the flux capacitor (Back To The Future style) – oh how precious to go with the flow. I can remember the smell of leather seats when getting into a new car for the first time in ages. As apposed to the familiar I know every creak and vibration, the response to eh steering wheel of the bumpy dirt road vs. the roll and sway of a lane change as we motor down the highway – remember that Fall cruise for the colors, and being one with the car so well that you can look around at the tree lines and clutch/shift/steer/brake completely detached from the act of driving? And then get behind the wheel of a car never before driven, and you cant find the windshield wipers, how so you turn on the lights, how do the brakes feel, can I start this damn thing without having my foot on the brake? Autopilot.

What, I was doing 90 in a 70 zone? Couldn’t be – it only felt like I was rolling at 60, I’m very sorry officer I’ve never driven this car before and I just don’t have a feel for it yet – thank you so much for giving me a break and I promise to use the cruse control and pay more attention.

Do I have gauges or just warning lights, do they work. When I start he car do I hear and ticking or feel a rumble – oops the stereo was cranked and suddenly my attention span is completely focused on nothing I had thought about either moments, minutes or hours earlier.

Where is that dipstick hiding, I guess it would be nice to check the oil before I take that first spin. Hmmmmm, I rolling at about 20 mph and I can feel that slight thump thump thump in the seat of my pants – I wonder how soon I will have to replace those decent looking glass belted radials that seem to have a lot of tread life but obviously will drive me nuts with belt separations as I drive the highway commute on a daily sail. By the way does the car pull to one side or the other at 80?

How do the tunes sound, are the speakers blown, does he CD player work, what type of tunes does the car like to have playing – and how does it roll when the rockin isn’t the norm? What would happen if the radio stations weren’t programmed in, how easy to navigate the settings?
Will the means of transport alternate back and forth between driving and being driven seamlessly – can a true collaboration be possible? If the rain comes with the windshield streak and blindness set in, or would the car be just as happy in pulling over and discovering a new roadside café from the completely random and fate inspired rainstorm.

Should I just keep walking for a while, and I ready to ride in a car again and participate in that collaborative process of getting somewhere I could never get alone?

Do I remember how? Am I up to the drive?


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