So That’s How It Was Done In The Olden Days

My son uses a version the title expression every time I refer to life without cell phones and texting or use some colloquial phrasing from my youth. An incident a couple of days ago brought that to mind.

I had just pulled into the parking lot of a client ahead of a big meeting. I get out of the car and push the button on my car door clicker to lock the door. I have one where the key tucks into the unit and pops out in jackknife fashion when needed.  Nothing happened. I try again. And again. Nada.

Momentarily I am confused, then panicked. For that instant I do not know how to lock the car door.  After this meeting I will be parking at the airport and I do not want to leave my car unlocked in the airport parking lot for 2 days.

WHAT THE HELL AM I GOING TO DO!

All of this must have happened in a matter of seconds, maybe even a fraction of a second. It was, however, one of those instances where time stood still.

Then it struck me. I can lock the door with THE KEY. You remember keys. That is what in the olden days everyone used to lock and unlock car doors.

The even weirder thing is that this is the first car I have owned with remote entry. Yes it has been 7 years but what happened to the 45 years before that. It seems that once we embrace a technology we lose the ability to function without it.

There is a long, philosophical post to be written at some future date about the impact of technology and our ability to cope when it ceases to function and what that says about us. For now, just enjoy the shared moment.

At The Mercy Of The Weather gods

One night trip to NY and back.

Last Night. 3 hour delay. In hotel at 1 AM. 4.5 hours sleep. Perfect set up for a big Monday morning meeting.

Today. Flight canceled. At airport by noon. Rescheduled for an 8 pm flight which undoubtedly will be late.

On standby. Will try to get on one of the flights not yet cancelled. Earliest departure time would be 5 pm.

I must have done something to really piss off the weather gods. It is January and there is not a snowstorm. Just a little rain. Why that would cancel flights I do not know.

Have learned to pack extra underwear and socks.

Dodged A Couple Of Bullets

Took my son D back to college On January 3. 182 miles each way. On the way there we decided that 2010 was going to be a great year. Here’s why.

As we were packing D’s friend’s stuff into our already overstuffed station wagon (I had no idea boys would bring home so much for break) I needed to py one of the back seats down to make more room. I then removed the bar holding the canvas that covers the back of the wagon.

As I started to place it on the roof luggage rack something in my brain screamed DON’T DO THAT!!! A small voice in my brain said, You can’t possibly forget that you put this on top of the car, no worries. That second voice apparently forgot how 20 years ago I lost a brand new pair of shoes because I placed the box on top of the car while trying to rearrange some other items. I then got into the car and drove away.

The small voice overcame the screaming voice. Too bad. We were 40 miles away, on the highway doing 70 mph when all of the sudden the screaming voice in my head said OH SHIT!!! I knew I had not put it back in the car. All I could think about was that by listening to the wrong voice in my head it will cost me $250 to replace that piece. CRAP!

As we continued on the sun hit the car at just the right angle at the very moment I was checking the side mirror. The shadow indicated that there was something sticking out on the roof of my car. OH SHIT!! Now I was worried that if the bar was still on the top of my car then a sudden change in direction would send it flying off the car onto the highway causing a 30 car pile up. I headed for the exit.

Sure enough the bar was lodged in the roof top luggage carrier. No $250. No highway collisions. Dodged bullet #1.

About an hour latter we were driving along. Though this journey was long at least the weather was good.

For those that do not know me, I am fairly conservative in my actions. Risk adverse. I set the cruise control to be 8-9 mph above the posted limit which will rarely draw the attention of the cops patrolling the highway. Well, I had at one point to tap the brakes. I then just stayed at the speed of the car in front of me until I could It made sense to re-engage the cruise control.

On a long drive I am not always in tune to all that is going around me. I focus on the traffic. That is why I it was too late by the time I noticed the police car on the median pointing in the direction of my lane of traffic. I checked the speedomoter as I passed him. 83 mph in a 65 zone, in Wisconsin. Another $250 potential event. Sure enough he pulled out onto the highway moments later.

I prepared my son for being pulled over and explained my error in judgement. What a waste. The police car did not have its lights flashing as it passed me. It did however pull in front of me turn its flashing lights on and pull over the car in front of me. Bullet #2 whizzed passed my head. 

My son and I had a good laugh. That is when we decided that 2010 was going to be a great year. Yeah that or I have used up all my luck on day #3.