Tag Archives: Extras

Extras: Driving Tips Not for the ‘Fast and Furious’

The first thing my father taught me when I began to drive was this (warning: strong language here but I want to quote my father exactly): “Act like each and every one of these sons of bitches is going to do something stupid that can get you killed and react accordingly.”

So for the year that my dad rode with me teaching me how to drive, he would constantly say things like ‘what if this idiot over here swerves over towards us, what are you going to do’. Yes, I will freely admit it was annoying but it was very good teaching as all that repetition turned thought into pure instinct. And those instincts are still intact to this day and much-needed as much I’m on the road.

Because on an average day, I probably see at least three near-miss collisions in front of me and sometimes I come close to being in one of them. And yes, I use lots of bad language (in my head if I have people with me in the car, and out loud if I don’t) whenever I see bad driving.

There’s a commercial on the radio here for a big personal-injury lawyer and it says the top causes of accidents continue to be speeding, drunk driving, and tired or distracted driving. But I want to go a little further than the obvious here with my driving tips that I would like to see so I don’t have to use bad language every day on the road:

Speeding: Speed limits are not set arbitrarily. They’re the top safe speed on that stretch of road on dry pavement so if the roads are wet SLOW THE HELL DOWN!!! Why idiots want to hydroplane in the rain is beyond me but these idiots sometimes get other people hurt or killed. Also, slow down whenever you’re coming to an intersection, a lane you’ll have to merge over from, or a freeway interchange you’ll have to slow down to go into the curve with.

Tail-gating: This will have me cursing the driver doing this to me straight to Hell and back. It’s wrong on every level and there is no justification for it. And if you rear-end someone because of tail-gating you will be found at fault for doing it. If you’re running late, that’s no one’s fault but your own so grow the hell up and leave with enough time to get where you need to go.

Distracted driving: I believe people who are caught texting while driving or doing anything that takes their hands off the wheel completely should be arrested, or at least fined heavily and the ticket be a major moving violation. I see this all the freaking time despite the laws against it and there is no justification for doing this.

Drunk driving: I honestly shouldn’t have to say this at all but this is a big reason why I don’t like to drive after midnight or one a.m. now. I read about too many drunk driving crashes and I honestly don’t want to be a statistic. Not only do Uber and Lyft help people get around, they save lives. So don’t be a stupid-ass drunken cheapskate and drive drunk.

Now driving and navigating is not easy and I was recently asked how I do it. I replied that it’s taken a lot of practice to get to where I can drive and navigate as well as I do. If you don’t do this on a daily basis I suggest you study the route you’re going to take and try to learn how to read a map. And I hate to say this, most people don’t know how to give directions. I don’t mind landmarks being used but sometimes people honestly don’t know their right from their left. Also, people are not as specific as they should be so if someone gets turned around because of your crappy directions, don’t blame them.

Finally, watch out for the idiots on the roads because there is no cure for stupidity. My father always said driving was a serious business and he was right. So please, for the love of humanity, take your driving seriously and don’t drive badly, or like a dumb-ass entitled jerk who thinks he’s in a ‘Fast and Furious’ movie.

Introduction – Breaking My Radio Silence

I’ve been blogging on and off for about a decade now and each blog has gone silent. The reasons for the silences vary and I won’t go into them here other than to say I won’t let those reasons silence me again.

The goal of this blog and website is to use it to establish my writing career.

There. I said what I’ve been wanting to do for the better part of three decades now. Yes, ever since I was about twelve years old and started writing in earnest I wanted to earn a living off of it.

So what stopped me?

A lot of things, which I will go into in the ‘Breaking Radio Silence’ book that you’ll be seeing a lot about here. I’m at a point in my life where I know I can make things up as I go along if I have to, but also know that I can keep going even if I get knocked down. Besides, it’s just me, my dog, and my cat and those two are pretty low maintenance though I wouldn’t go anywhere without them. Eventually when this writing gig takes off, I want to get a van and trick it out to where I can live out of it with my dog and cat while we hit the road.

Although I love where I live and seeing the city day in and day out, I want to see the rest of the world, too. And I want to be able to live and work on the road and I figure writing is as good a way to do that as anything else.

Am I nuts in doing this?

I don’t think so. I tried the nine-to-five corporate gig and all I got out of it was a slightly-messed up back and a ton of stress I couldn’t medicate with alcohol (I don’t drink alcohol because my body reacts to it like I’m allergic). Right now I’m a full-time Uber driver because it’s a gig where I can be by my own boss and earn money without dealing with too much bullshit.

I’ve spent all my life battling fear and doubts and I’ve gotten to the point where I see where they come from. And if anyone asks what took me so long to do this, I’m not going to answer that question directly even if the intent behind it isn’t an on-the-spot demand like it’s always come off to me. The answer to that question is a lot more complicated and deserving of a much-lengthier explanation.

And no, I have no real idea of what I’m doing past a certain point. But NO ONE has all the answers and if anyone claims to I call ‘bullshit’ on them. All I can do is study, learn, and do. I can change direction if something isn’t working and if I fall on my ass doing something then I can just pick myself up and keep going like I always have. And if someone has a problem with that, they can take it up with me directly or just be totally ignored by me.

But I will say I won’t be just posting willy-nilly here. I’ve got topics and categories I want to write under as well as book projects to put together. So I’ve got the focus I need and I know if I start to avoid something then I need to figure out why. But these projects I have going have been with me for so long and haven’t let go no matter how hard I’ve avoided them sometimes. And when things stick with me through thick and thin, like my dream of being a full-time self-supporting writer, I know this is what I really want to do with my life. Once I accept that something is here to say with me, I feel a clarity and a calm I know is true and real.

Because one thing I’ve learned over the last few years is that if I listen closely enough, answers will come to me. But I’ve also accepted I can change things if I have to, and that sometimes I just need to be patient and let things play out until I come to an answer. And yes, I know this sounds a bit woo-woo but expect a lot more of that here because although my woo-woo might be non-denominational, I believe in it.

So, what will I write about then?

Whatever I want to, to be a smart-ass in reply to that question.

In reality, I’ll be working under these main categories:

1) Breaking Radio Silence: Memoire/self-help hybrid topic so these posts will be going towards that book.

2) We Ride at Dawn: This is my political topic heading and these posts will be going towards a book, too.

3) Poetry: Yes, I write poetry. And yes, I will be compiling it into a book someday.

4) Writing: Since I’m a writer these entries will be about the writing process including grammar.

5) Short fiction: For the longest time, I didn’t think I could write short fiction but then I discovered I can.

6) Novel Excerpts: I’ve got one cooking right now and many, many more to come.

7) Life on the Hustle: This one will be about my time on the road as an Uber driver along with other entries about my previous incarnations as a call-center wage-slave and such.

8) Extras: One-off entries (or more) about anything not under the above categories.