Out and About – Week of July 24th

We all have a fear of something. Whether it’s a fear of heights or a fear of clowns, we all have something we will do almost anything to avoid. I can handle speaking in front of one hundred people, as long as I’m speaking about something I am very familiar with, but don’t ask me to sing or dance in front of ten people I know.
I also have a fear of dying in an auto accident, especially if it’s a slow fiery death. This brings me to my most recent fear.
There’s been a lot of talk lately about cars that can operate on their own. Well, not completely on their own, but pretty much without the aid of a driver. A car is a machine, and any machine can or may break down anytime. It’s a machine, after all. On the open road, I will use my cruise control, which is a very nice thing to have, and most cars come with this as standard equipment. Cruise control relieves a certain amount of stress on the driver and has been proven to be quite economical. The good thing about this is that someone still needs to steer the vehicle.
Now, “They” say that these cars of the future will be perfectly safe once they are available. There is even talk about California being one of the first states to have them on their highways. My question here is, why not Iowa or Nebraska? I’ve driven across these states numerous times, and it’s a perfect place to let a car be on its own. The only place for driver-less cars in California is Disneyland.
As mentioned earlier, cruise control is very common, and it’s less tiring for the driver. However, the driver must still be aware of his/her surroundings. The positive thing about a driver-less car is that it would give the person responsible for the safety of the car’s contents more time to text or play games on her/his cell phone. S/He wouldn’t need to worry about oncoming traffic or hazardous road conditions. On the other hand, commercial aircraft have been using auto-pilot for years. Remember, there was a time when cars that could go faster than forty miles per hour made drivers think twice before hitting the highway.
Because of the availability of automatic car washes and busy schedules, you don’t see too many people washing their cars in their driveway using the garden hose. As a teenager, I’d spend the good part of a Saturday afternoon washing my car in preparation of the all-important Saturday night date. I’d make sure to vacuum the interior, as well. Washing the family car was a learning experience. My dad always seemed to be around to offer advice, some of which I followed. I never washed the car in the sun but used any available shade. Cooler temperatures prevent water spotting as the car dries. It’s always a good idea to let the motor cool down before washing. This gives you the opportunity to vacuum the interior. I won’t go into complete detail on how to wash a car, but I should mention something quite important. Start from the top of the car and work down, and always keep the car rinsed off and wet. I don’t know if they still make chamois cloths, but, if they aren’t available, a clean soft towel is perfect for drying the car after washing. Don’t forget to open the car doors and wipe down the inside edges of the doors. Somehow dirt always seems to find its way in there. Oh yes, you’ll want to make the job of washing a car seem fun. That way the kids will want to help. Tom Sawyer had the right idea.
This is one of three times of the year when volunteers are out picking up litter on the major highways. Please be watchful and give them room. A friendly wave lets them know that their efforts are appreciated. If we all worked harder at disposing of our trash properly, these volunteers would have nothing to do except spend more time with their families.
Cats have over one hundred vocal sounds. Dogs only have about ten.
See you Out and About!

Submitted by Norm Stutesman

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