Friday, 24 May 2013


OK, I think I've reached where I can go with my current situation without getting both melancholy and just sitting here repeating myself.  So! Time for something a  little different.

Cars!  I love them, I always have and I have an idea that I always will.  Not all of them, a car needs a certain something for me to like it, but in general...

And bikes! Something I don't do as often as I should- as I found out last weekend when I went for a ride. I've been off of the bike too long and was tippy toeing too much in the beginning.  Especially at traffic lights and in quick corners.

And it's not the safest thing to tippy toe on a 120bhp, 165kg super sport bike.  It needs riding with confidence, something I could do 12 months ago, but a winter off of the bike has not done me any favours.  The clutch is an evil little thing that thinks it's digital rather than analogue and you forget just how well it goes around corners.  Time to ride every week where it's dry I think to get my level back to where it was!  (And don't worry - I am being careful!  In fact, if I wasn't thinking that my riding at the moment needed brushing up I would be more scared!)

But, back to the cars. I have a couple of toys, the Spitfire that is in the garage being restored (the rear suspension is now rebuilt and the body tub is ready to go back on!  Woot!) and my Volvo.  Both of them are tuned a little and both really are essentially toys.

When I was younger I used to love going for a drive just for something to do.  Miles and miles I drove through the Leicestershire counrtyside.  It was cheaper than some other forms of entertainment and I loved it.  Of course these days with the cost of fuel sky rocketing I doubt I could do it now, but it was great at the time.

So why am I telling you that I am a petrol head?

Because...  I want a Google car!

Actually, it doesn't have to be a Google car, it just has to be self driving.  It would be great not to have to do the commute. And would be great to drive to see my parents without sitting behind the wheel for 20 hours (I split that up into two days obviously).

I would also like to think that we could make our roads safer. Just looking around today on the way home I noticed so many people waving due to being on phones, or simply not paying attention. Even the driver of the car in front and the car behind was not as concentrated as she could have been, what with it being the start of the weekend and having and having a hard week behind her.

No, I do not consider myself above admitting I am a less than perfect driver, and I am afraid of anyone who who is - they are the really dangerous ones in my opinion!

And yet when I saw an article recently about the Google car in a tech site the vehemence against it was just amazing.  It was like listening to the car version of the NRA! I think someone actually used the phrase 'you can have my steering wheel when you take it from my cold dead fingers'. Interesting phrase when you consider how dangerous driving is...

I will admit I want a choice of driverless or driver mode (a driverless Spitfire would be much less fun!).  And I think that driver mode should be limited to certain roads.

Of course, all of this is a way off yet.  But when you look at the stats for Google cars in Nevada we are making great progress. Let's see how long it takes!

(Incidentally, do the same people yelling about computer controlled cars being too dangerous as there is no human involved still get on modern passenger jets? ;p) 


  1. A self driving car? Yes please!

    Mrs J does most of the driving and I'm fine with that. But the idea of a car that would drive me to work.... and I could have a kip in on the way. Sign me up! :-)

    1. Like I say, I love driving, and with the Volvo there are a couple of places on the way home from work (when I need fuel) when I love the manual mode to have fun when it's quiet.

      But even I can see the advantage :) Either from the sleep point of view, or the safety point!

      On a long trip Mrs Stace and I swap every 4 hours of so, but even then it's getting to the point in life when it takes 2 days to do the 1000+ miles to see my folks and takes a day to get over it!

      A self driving car would be great for that trip!


  2. Can we make it so that the idiots who insist on talking on the phone/eating breakfast/applying make-up/shaving/reading the newspaper/watching TV have to buy one? That was the rest of us don't have to drive their car for them, as we do now. Just a thought! :c)


    BTW, those are all things that my father and brother - both police officers - have seen. Often in combinations, if you can believe it...

    1. I regularly see people calling (in very expensive cars as well - if you can afford the car you can afford the hands free kit!), texting, reading documents on the steering wheel. Or maps. Or, as you say, do make up (I have to ask, how???).

      The worst that I have seen must be the guy with what looked like a 15" laptop stuck on top of the dashboard watching movies.



  3. Stace, my brother saw *exactly* the same thing - a guy watching a movie while motoring down the highway nearly 20MPH over the speed limit - all while meandering between lanes, of course, forcing other cars to swerve suddenly.

    He was irritated when my brother pulled him over - because he interrupted the movie. (No, I am not kidding.) My brother says they should give people a driver's test *and* an IQ test. There would be about six cars on the road, he jokes, and he isn't far from the truth in these parts, unfortunately.

    Did I ever tell you the nickname for Boston drivers in the rest of the country?

    Massholes. :c)

    == Cass

    1. The mind boggles doesn't it? Just how do these people think that this is an OK thing to do (OK thinking is possibly something they can't do!). And then to complain be cause the movie has been interrupted! Beggars belief!


  4. Hell is other drivers!

    I have just had a marvellous trip across France, first north on empty national routes occasionally catching sight of crowded motorways in the distance and I picked a late afternoon start to drive through the mountainous centre on the free empty sweeping motorway with a full moon lighting the way. It has reminded me that driving, even a van like thing, can be fun...

    1. Absolutely! It still astounds me the stupidity that you see on the road. Today I saw an Aston driver clinging his phone to his eye as he went around the corner. I know that it's not the reason, but surely if you can afford an Aston then you can afford a hands free!

      I think the problem here is in a very tiny space there are millions of people. As such all of the roads are clogged - motorways or back roads. But, yes, when I find an empty road it's stunning! :)