Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Backseat Driver!

"Mom, can you come pick me up?"  Little Girl was calling from her last day at driving school, a bit earlier than i expected.

Sure, i told her, grabbed my keys and wallet, and headed out.  When i got there, i asked how she did.

"I got a 96% on the written test!" she gloated.  "That means I only missed two questions, and now I understand those, too.  The teacher was great.  She was interesting, had good anecdotes, kept our interest, we actually learned, and she went over what we each got wrong so we would understand it."

Wonderful! i said, and she responded with "Nine and 3!"

What? i asked.

"Your hands, on the wheel, you're supposed to have them at 9 and 3!"  She had a huge grin on her face.

Oh, so now you can correct me, right? i grinned back.

"Oh, you should have been in the car the other days, when dad came to pick me up!  He was doing so much wrong while he was driving, and I kept telling him and laughing, and he was mad!  It was so funny!"

That's called backseat driving, you know, and it can irritate people to no end, i told her.

"Yep!  Nine and 3!" she called out again, and we were both laughing.

Well, you may backseat drive me if you want, but my hands stay around 8 and 4, because of the airbag.

"Close enough," she said.  Then, "Oh, and we got to do something interesting today, too.  They have these glasses that you put on, and get in a driving simulator, and the glasses show you what you would see if you were drunk.  Guess what?  I didn't hit any pylons!  So I guess that means I would be a good drunk driver, even though I've never been drunk and don't ever want to be."

Well, that's a bit scary, i noted.  Please don't take that as a reason to drive impaired.  You might think you could do just as well, but you were probably driving very slowly to get those results.  At real speeds, with more than just stationary pylons around, you wouldn't do so well.

"Believe me, I'm too scared of what cars can do to ever really try to drive drunk or even be drunk.  Remember when I broke my arm and had to be on all of those prescription pain medicines?  I hated that, you can't think right, and I don't like that feeling.  No way I want to do that on purpose, get to where I'm not in control."

Neither do i, i noted.

"Nice blinker!" she yelled at the person who changed lanes in front of me with no signal.

While #2 Son didn't seem to much care either way, i think with this youngest i'm going to have to be on my toes a lot more, watching what i do more closely as i drive.

There are advantages to having a good backseat driver to be a role model for, and i'll take advantage of it.

Today is:

Anniversary of Snick-Snacker's Right Foot -- Fairy Calendar

Carnival Tuesday -- Granada

Day of Battle between Horus and Set; Aset gains the Horns of Hathor -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (date approximate)

Defence Forces Day -- Zimbabwe

Festival of Aventine Diana / Nemoralia -- Ancient Roman Calendar (commemoration of the dedication of her temple; celebrated between now and the 15th, and rededicated as the Festival of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin after Christianization)

Festival of Xocotl Huetzi -- Ancient Aztec Calendar (first fruits of harvest festival; date approximate, but two weeks around the end of August)

Fox Hill Day -- Nassau, Bahamas

Independence Day -- Central African Republic(1960)

International Left-Hander's Day -- sponsored by Lefthanders International

International Sundance -- Manitoba, Canada (an extraordinary gathering of Elders from many Native traditions around the world, to perform the sacred Sundance of the Lakota people and sacred ceremonies of the other traditions represented; through Saturday)

Lao Issara -- Laos (Day of the Free Laos)

Lesser Festival of Flora -- Ancient Roman Calendar

Machias Wild Blueberry Festival -- Machias, ME, US (blueberries and fun, in the place that has lobster, too; through Saturday)

National Filet Mignon Day

Obon -- Buddhist (celebration to revere the ancestors; celebrated at different times even within Japan, but usually the biggest dates are in mid-August)

Qi Xi -- China (Double Seven or Chinese Valentine's Day, the 7th day of the 7th moon, the day all the magpies in the world form a bridge so the cowherd and the weaver can meet across the Milky Way, which separates them.)

Runic Half Month As begins (the gods)

Skinny Dipping Day -- funny t-shirt:  I no longer skinny dip. I chunky dunk!

St. Cassian's Day (Patron of students and teachers; Brixen, Italy; Comacchio, Italy; Imola, Italy; Mexico City, Mexico)

St. Concordia's day (Patron of nursing mothers and wet nurses)

St. Hippolytus' Day (Patron of horses, prison guards/officers/workers; Bibbiena, Italy)

Wall Day -- anniversary of the day in 1961 that the Berlin Wall began going up; observe it by trying to break down a wall or communication barrier somewhere in your own life

Women's Day -- Tunisia

World's Fair of Money -- Chicago, IL, US (the greatest money show on Earth, including dealers, exhibits from around the world, family activities and educational programs; through Saturday)

Birthdays Today

Danny Bonaduce, 1959
Midori Ito, 1969
Dan Fogelberg, 1951
Philippe Petit, 1949
Don Ho, 1930
Pat Harrington, Jr., 1929
Fidel Castro, 1926
George Shearing, 1919
Ben Hogan, 1912
Alfred Hitchcock, 1899
Bert Lahr, 1895
Annie Oakley, 1860

Today in History

The English army under King Henry V lands at the mouth of the Seine River, 1415
Tenochtitlan of the Aztecs is conquered by the Spanish, 1521
Tenbun Hokke Disturbance, in which Buddhist monks from Kyoto's Enryaku Temple set fire to 21 Nichiren temples throughout Kyoto, 1536
John Smith submits the story of Jamestown's first days for publication, 1608
Christiaan Huygens discovers the Martian south polar cap, 1642
Founding of Litchfield, CT, 1651
Marie Antoinette and other French royals are imprisoned by Revolutionaries, 1792
Nat Turner sees the solar eclipse which he interprets as a sign from heaven to begin his ill-fated slave rebellion, 1831
Earthquake in Peru and Ecuador kills 25,000, 1868
Ferdinand von Zeppelin patents his "Navigable Balloon", 1889
First production in the UK of stainless steel by Harry Brearley, 1913
Opha Mae Johnson is the first woman to enlist in the United States Marine Corps, 1918
Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW) is established as a public company in Germany, 1918
The first barbed wire fence that would become the Berlin Wall is erected, 1961
The Apollo 11 astronauts are released from a three-week quarantine to enjoy a ticker-tape parade in New York, 1969
Michael Phelps sets the Olympic record for most the gold medals won by an individual in Olympic history, 2008


  1. It's hard to live by providing a good example. I never drove with my hands at 9 and 3 and I've got a fairly good driving record.

  2. With those air bags you have to do the 8-4. That's what I do and it's indeed close enough.

    Have a terrific day. :)

  3. When i learned to drive.. ahem.. and i'm going to whisper here.. over 30 years ago, it was 10 and 2. So many things have changed. Well, at least she'll be a smart, good back seat driver and not an obnoxious, bad one lol

  4. mine is already a backseat driver at 7.
    I shall now think of YOU each time she does it and smile...not grimace :)

  5. It's carnival in Grenada? Now that would be a nice place to be and to take photos, I'm sure.
    Have a good week!

  6. It helps me to have a backseat driver in the car sometimes to pull me up on the things I am getting lazy about. Driving in London with its fierce traffic, confusing traffic systems and narrow streets, is not something to get lazy about!

  7. Stephen, some things are mostly suggestions, and i'll go based on your record more than anything else.

    Sandee, i agree; airbags scare me!

    Mary, i've been at it for 36 years, and yes, it has changed a lot. She's seldom obnoxious, and i'm glad.

    Miz, we can learn a lot from our kids, can't we?

    Angelika, it is carnival there, and i wish you could go photograph it!

    Jenny, i've been to London, L.A., NYC, and plenty of big cities, and i know i would want another set of eyes. It gets crazy!

  8. Your daughter sounds so responsible. That is awesome. My son is 18 and still doesn't even have his permit. He failed the vision test and never went back, even though we did the eye exam and all that. I'm secretly glad he doesn't drive. We're more of a biking/skateboarding family, really :) Good luck!