Danger on I-84?

Okay, I took this picture while driving riding on I-84 between Nampa and Caldwell. I mean, is this something I should be concerned about at all? Something doesn’t look quite right, but I can’t put my finger on it.

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Driving Mr. Bryan

Sign seen by the side of the road: “Drive carefully” Crap. There go my plans to be reckless and get my road rage out of my system.

Fun Car Gadget

You may recall from a previous post that I would like to develop a small tactical nuke to take out drivers that piss me off. I’m still working on that, but have had another idea in my mind for quite some time: an LED sign for the rear car window. That way, I can let the person behind me know what I really think. Well, as it turns out, someone stole my idea. For $60, you can get a 10″ by 2″ LED message board that mounts in the rear window. This is fantastic!

I might just have to get one. I was sitting here tonight thinking of what messages I would like to program in. After all, it can take up to 98. Here are a few I thought of:

  • The 60s are over hippy freak
  • Get the frick out of the left lane
  • Buckle up your kid, moron
  • Nice headlights
  • Your gas hatch is open
  • Ha, ha, passed you
  • Have a good day
  • Life sucks
  • Why do you want your dog dead?
  • In a wacky mood
  • Bet you can’t catch me
  • Slow poke

The Next Big Step

15 and a half years ago, she had absolutely no freedom. She was completely confined to the womb–barely able to move at all. Birth was a huge step forward as she was able to flail her arms and legs about as she wished. After this, there was a steady stream of increased independence during the first year or so:

  • She started turning over on her own
  • She began crawling
  • She took those first steps
  • She learned how to run

The rate of new freedoms slowed down significantly after this and became more subtle: She was able to spend the night at a friend’s house for the first time, she learned how to ride a bike, she learned how to make a simple meal for herself, etc. All small, but important, steps to growing up.

However, one of the biggest rites of passage and strides forward in freedom and independence took place today. Yes, the Older Daughter is now Idaho’s newest licensed driver. I have feelings ranging from happiness to sadness to worry to excitement. In the end, I realize that I have to let this happen even if it means my little girl just keeps growing up. It’s my job to provide her with the knowledge and tools to have the best chance at success (and safety). Beyond that, it’s in God’s hands.

I’m so proud of her.

Reasons I’m Smiling Today

You know, there are lots of things going on in the world, the country, and even personally that I could fret about. However, I’m finding lots of things to smile about. I’d rather focus on those. Here they are, in no particular order.

  • It’s Friday! That’s always a good reason to be happy.
  • The Broncos are ranked #9 nationally and poised to be invited to a BCS bowl game. Tomorrow, they will kick some Vandal butt.
  • We are entering my favorite time of the year with Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up. It’s always an opportunity to spend cherished time with family and friends, and enjoy good food and good times. More importantly, it’s a time to renew and reflect on the things that are truly important.
  • In just 3 short days, the Older Daughter will be getting her driver’s license. While this generates lots of mixed feelings with me, I’m very proud and excited for her.
  • I have a job that I love. Just 5 short months ago I was facing a layoff in a really tough job market. I was fortunate enough to find a new job and have no time out of work. The fact that I absolutely love the job is a big plus also.
  • I have the best family and friends in the world. They are more loving and supportive of me than I feel that I deserve at times.
  • Blogging rules! DITH is nearing its one year anniversary (just a few short shopping weeks left folks). I am having a great time and have made some great new friends along the way.
  • Did I mention it’s Friday? Have a good weekend!

Driver’s Edge

Several weeks ago, I took the Older Daughter to Reno for the Driver’s Edge program. This is a free program that takes driver’s education to the next level. Frankly, driver’s education in this country is pathetic. Teens are basically taught how to pass a driver’s test–not how handle extreme driving situations in a way that can save their lives. This is where Driver’s Edge comes in. It is a free half-day program to teach teens techniques that can save their lives.

There is short classroom component, but the most valuable portion of the training is the behind-the-wheel time. In a closed training facility, they are taught how to maneuver a car out of skid, evasive lane manuevers, proper use of anti-lock braking, and panic braking. Traditional driver’s education program may talk about these situations, but there’s nothing like hands-on learning.

Before going, I don’t think she was really looking forward to it nor did she think that it would be worthwhile. However, she admitted afterwards that it was worth attending and that she felt more confident about handling dangerous situations.

The number one killer of teens is not drugs, alcohol, or violence–it’s car crashes. I highly recommend this program for all teen drivers. Again, it is completely free. Unfortunately, they only tour to a little over a dozen cities at this time. If you have a teen driver, make a weekend of it and travel to a city where they are touring. If yours are still too young, keep this in mind when they get there.

Check out Driver’s Edge here.

Bar Hopping Time?

The Older Daughter wraps up her Driver’s Ed course this week. She passed her written and behind-the-wheel tests with flying colors. She is extremely excited to move to the next step. Now she will need to rack up 50 hours behind the wheel with us before she gets her license.

The Wife had a fantastic idea: We’ll let her drive us from bar to bar. That’s right, no more playing rock-paper-scissors to determine who will be the designated driver. Heck, she might be able to complete her 50 hours in 1 weekend! And I can’t think of anything safer or more responsible than leaving our teenage daughter alone in a car outside of some seedy bar.