Reflections from the Road

Anyone who knows me — or follows me — knows I spend a lot of time on the road. I don’t know if it’s a sad thing or an accomplishment, but I actually choose most of my miles. I don’t have to drive for a living, although for most of my adult life I’ve tended to live on the outskirts of civilization, necessitating longer-than-average commutes.

And I enjoy this time in my own private cockpit. It gives me a chance to let those pesky neurons out of the pen and let them roam free … instilling me with absolutely useless information. I thought I would share some of my reflections from the road.

For whatever reason, I have developed a fascination for those idiot lights on mirrors — you know, the ones that tell you when someone is in your blind spot. Whisking down the freeway I would see where and when I got into that “blind spot”. Of course that led me to wonder whether they actually did any good.

I’m sure they do, but like any other driver’s aid, you have to pay attention to them. I can tell you from experience, not all drivers pay attention to the light on either side of the vehicle. A few times, I found myself needing to brake to allow some dude with fancier-than-mine wheels and up-to-date gizmos to change lanes without looking. It’s a good thing I learned to watch front tires as I pass or am being passed on the road…

Speaking of mirrors, most trucks have vertical mirrors. Most cars have square-to-horizontal side mirrors. Except for Infinity. They have vertical side mirrors. That’s a fact. I polled cars for about 150 miles on one trip to verify. Hey, I warned you about useless information! …

I haven’t figured out how my maps app can start with an ETA to my destination and watch it change as I motor down the road. It’s especially disconcerting when I consistently run about 5-10 mph higher than the posted limit with no tolls, stops or slowdowns. Hmmm …

Americans don’t like Canada. Even in my rural New York neck of the woods, there are always cars with Canadian plates. On my first trip through Canada from Eustice, ME, to Thousand Islands, NY, I saw just two vehicles with American plates — a pickup from Tennessee and visitors from New Jersey.  Okay three. I was behind another New Yorker at customs. On my last trip, I saw zero … zilch … nada … none. I would have thought for sure there would be some visitors from neighboring states — Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont or New York…

Speaking of Canada, here’s a tip. Pay by credit card whenever you can. Our northern neighbors like to think a US $20 is the same as a Canadian $20. Credit card companies make the conversion…

There are more antennas than satellite dishes in Canada …

It’s also difficult to — what word am I looking for — overhear, yeah, overhear a conversation at a grub stop, especially in Quebec. They speak French. Hello!! At the table next to me recently was a family — mom, dad and teenage brother and sister chowing down. Except for merci! and a s’il vous plaît, the only other thing I — uh — overheard (saw) was a universal single digit hand salute by sister to brother…

Oh, I got another one. It happened in Canada, but it could have been anywhere — like the local Walmart. While having lunch, a young girl attempted to park her car. She passed a guy backing out and he waited for her to pass since there was a space two slots down. So he starts to back up … as she comes to a stop before pulling in. He almost hits her. She backs up to get in the slot directly behind the guy. And he waits — as she backs in once, pulls forward to straighten out, backs in again, pulls forward because she wasn’t straight enough, backs in a third time, inexplicably pulls forward again (I think her passenger didn’t have enough room to get out) and inches to the left, backs in, pulls forward to straighten out, backs in, pulls forward again and finally parks the little Ford Focus. I managed to eat half my Papa Burger and onion rings and take a couple of swigs of my frosted root beer watching the entertainment.

But it gets better. Our guy also waited, presumably without a burger, onion rings and a drink. As girl and boyfriend(?) walked toward the restaurant, our guy simply pulls forward and exits the parking lot…

Cows are just as stupid in Canada as they are in the U.S. In western Quebec, Bessie was standing in a muddy stream chewing on some shoreline grass. It must have been some special grass because her friends were making their way to the stream bed…

Man, do I love driving! That’s entertainment!

THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: We are continually faced by great opportunities brilliantly disguised as insoluble problems. — Lee Iococca





About wisdomfromafather

I'm just an ordinary guy walking along the journey of life.
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