Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Cruise Control

I took friends to the airport and drove Jerry's space car with all the bells and whistles because it has easier access for luggage.  I got lost once (no surprises there), turned around and since I was then coming from the opposite direction, I failed to recognize the turn-off, so I drove right past it.  (That could've happened to anyone.)  In fairness to me, my guests were extremely entertaining so I was distracted.  Eventually they arrived at the terminal with plenty of time to wander around.  I think we were all relieved!

I decided to take the scenic route home, the same choice I always make.  I'm well acquainted with all the turns and there is little traffic.  Win, win. The ride in Jerry's car is so smooth it feels like you aren't moving at all so the only potential dark cloud was that I might end up accidentally speeding.  In our family circle I'm well known for driving prudently (think little old lady) and a ticket would lead to endless merriment and years of teasing at my expense.  I could do without that.  

Jerry's car has cruise control, so it seemed prudent to use it.  That way, I could sail right by any speed traps without concern.  The controls are on the front of the steering wheel and I fumbled around and pressed various buttons but nothing happened.  Since I was already driving, I really couldn't fiddle with them too much so I let the whole idea go and drove on.

A couple of minutes later, I glanced at the speedometer and was horrified to see that I was going over 70!  Of course I slowed right down to 45.  It's not in my nature to speed but it seemed like I was barely moving.  "That's how great the ride in Jerry's car is," I thought.  

It happened again.  This time, I was only going sixty though.  Still, 60 in a 45 would be a major ticket.  I have other ways I'd prefer to spend our money so  I slowed back down.  A short time later, I chanced to look in my rear view mirror and, much to my astonishment, there was a line of cars behind me. One brave soul passed me - even though he had to cross double yellow lines to do it.  The lady in the passenger seat seem to glare at me as they went by.  

This is one of my pet peeves, that people seem angry at those of us who obey the speed limit laws.  I was mulling over this phenomena when I realized, yet again, that I was going 55 in a 45 zone.  "It's a speed limit!  That means don't exceed it!" I chastised myself.  It's really so unlike me to go too fast. Normally I just stay a couple of miles under what the law allows and even then I feel guilty if I see a policeman driving behind me.

The speed limit was changing to 35.  To be safe I slowed down to 30.  It was amazing to me how my speed just kept creeping up.  This is just not a problem that I usually have.  I decided to keep closer tabs on it.  The line behind me kept growing and that was upsetting, too.  

The next speed check, I noticed it.  Right beside the digital numbers was a "km/h" display written in red. Underneath that it said (in letters so tiny that it would take an elementary school child to read), "Press to change to mph". When I pressed there, my speed magically changed from 34 km/h to 21 mph.

Wow.  When I had been driving 70 km/h, I was actually driving 44 mph - and when I slowed down to 30, I was going 19!   

No wonder people were glaring at me.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Estimating is a Math Skill

I asked Jerry if he thought I could clean up the kitchen in fifteen minutes.

"No." he said.

Way to show support!  I decided to accept the challenge. I turned the timer on to fifteen minutes to prove him wrong.  It buzzed.  I kept working.  Two and a half hours later, I finally finished.

"How did you know it would take me longer than fifteen minutes?" I asked.

"You seriously underestimated how messy it was."  he replied.