Wednesday, May 17, 2006
FINALLY ... here is the emu that I've been trying to upload all these days. It turns out Internet Explorer doesn't function well on Macs and AOL doesn't function well on anything. So: while using the iBook which I borrow from my friends when I'm at the "office", I haven't been able to upload on IE. And at home, using my own ThinkPad, and dialing up via AOL, no action there either. But all is changed -- because this office iBook has now been installed with FireFox -- and ta-daaaaa! Emu surprise.
Meanwhile, on other fronts (mentioned in the title), I am learning to drive. Okay, okay -- no hysteria in the audience, please -- better late than never and all that ... so it's been a stressful time for all the young trees along the driveway at my friends' home, where I am gaining valuable experience, and losing much sweat. S, the particular friend who is teaching me, has shown enormous reserves of patience, wit and serenity as we rattle up and rattle down the driveway, scaring goats and dogs and occasional (no doubt) field mice. It's only been about 10 days and there are faint glimmerings of understanding appearing in my cerebral cortex (or wherever. My liver, perhaps. I don't know where the Driving Gene is located).
The reason I am making this effort, after nearly-53 years of non-driving existence, is that I am tired of being a sort of animated parcel, in the US, always having to be collected and delivered from one location to the next. It is an immensely humbling experience, to suddenly be immobilized for lack of taxis/scooters/camels/dog sleds in which to move around. Also, when one is living in a rural area in the US, it becomes positively dangerous to be actually UNABLE to drive -- it is so much taken for granted that every normal adult has this basic skill that it could cause panic and riots if it were to be commonly known that I am Automotively Challenged.
I am discovering all kinds of interesting facts. Such as: I have two feet -- and ONLY two feet -- rather than the three most people seem to have, or SHOULD have, so that they can rest one appendage each on the Clutch, Brake and Accelerator pedals. Such as: there is such a thing as slipping backwards into oblivion when the parking brake is released. Such as: some cars DO NOT HAVE A (functioning) PARKING BRAKE. Such as: yelping and letting go the steering wheel -- mysteriously -- does NOT result in the car coming to a dead halt. Such as ... ohhhh. Never mind. I think I've said enough.
But I haven't yet actually hit anything. Which seems to me to be a good sign. At least till my next lesson ...