Just for Fun 51

If you’re waiting for a sign, here it is. Get your car inspected before you buy so you don’t overpay. TireKickers!


Driving Phobia – What Can Be Done?

Why are there so many names for fear of driving? It has names like motorphobia as well as amaxophobia or ochlophobia. Well, there are a number of things about driving to be afraid of, if the act of driving isn’t enough on it’s own.

Mild Cases

Sometimes it isn’t all that severe, just a few symptoms such as sweaty palms, shortness of breath and a dry mouth whenever you feel like you don’t know where you’re going. Doing things such as visiting new places involves concentration as a driver. Having passengers can make it twice as difficult to perform new tasks. If you feel a bit “mazed” it’s a good idea to find a safe place to take a break.

Then there are the stronger fears. It may be caused at special places like driving over a bridge, changing lanes or driving at night. They fear something bad happening. They may also avoid specific roads, especially if it is connected with an accident. Sometimes they continue to drive more or less normally but suffer discomfort and distress.

An accident for example may possibly mean that you cannot go out in the car again. In some severe cases being adjacent to, or proxy of, can trigger a panic attack. For example, it can also be caused by being in heavy traffic even when you aren’t the one driving. Or, an acquaintance being in an accident not witnessed by you. Or  getting lost (especially in built up areas). In some extreme situations a person might be triggered even watching accidents on television.

Symptoms of amaxophobia include panic, confusion, palms sweating, and quickened heartbeat. It is always a possible to hyperventilate. They may attempt to apply brakes in the car while not actually driving – phantom braking, so a feeling that they aren’t in control and want to change things.


The treatment can include psychotherapy support or behaviour therapy. Having a fear of driving long term (presumably you continue driving) could lead to heart disease.

There may be a lack of understanding from your loved ones who just want a lift. Other people who may lack sympathy could possibly be your employers as many jobs require you to drive. So, your driving phobia could prove costly in the long run as it limit what you can do.

For all these reasons, it’s important to seek help as quickly as possible. Ultimately the best treatment seems to be going back to driving.

Other driving tips:

Other helpful tips are to drive during the day only and have someone with you as much as possible. You may find medication or support groups on phobia could help. Therapy may help get rid of the panic and negative thoughts. A more modern treatment is virtual reality, a type of exposure therapy in a simulated world. Performing the tasks you did in real life, but in a simulator could possibly boost your confidence.

When you return to the car it is worthwhile creating calmness in the car by soothing music, unless it’s at a point when you are tired in which case it’s a no-no. Also try to wear comfortable clothes and shoes. A business suit or similar may not encourage you and it’s likely that you will tense up.

It is unlikely that more experienced drivers will suffer from this condition, but they may do under enough pressure. Again, what is needed is a bit of sympathy if possible.

Three Post Lockdown Bad Driving Habits

Op-ED By A. R. Bunch

Remember those first few weeks of lock down? When you did have to drive somewhere (hoping it was open) the roads were empty. It was eerie. As things open up and people get back to driving, and just about everyone has it seems, we’ve picked up some really bad habits. I want to cover the top three I’ve observed, the one everyone is talking about and two that haven’t had much press. Let’s start with one of the bad habits that isn’t getting much attention.

Bad Habit: Socially Distancing Cars

Notice how you can only fit 3 cars in a turn lane now. It seems people have embraced the six-foot, personal bubble thing a bit too much. Now they won’t pull their car up within six feet of the car in front of them.

The result is that many cars pile up in certain lanes while stopped at a red light and can’t even shift into the lane they’ll eventually need to be in because there isn’t room in that lane. Sometimes cars are so far back at a light in the left lane that you can’t get into the left turn lane because of the barrier.

The Good Habit

Official “stopping distance at a stoplight” guidelines go like this…

Come to a complete stop leaving about half a car length between you and the car in front of you. When the car behind has also come to a complete stop, pull forward until you can just see where the tires of the car in front of you meet the pavement, to make room for cars behind you.

Bad Habit: Not Pulling into the Intersection when Turning Left at a Greenlight

Ideally you have a green arrow indicating you have right of way for your left-hand turn, but oh so many intersections have only a green light for the left turn. This means you must yield to on-coming traffic. The place to wait for your turn is in the intersection.

The Good Habit

I know this can leave some people feeling vulnerable, but the truth is you can legally enter an intersection on a green light. I know that a lot of people whom we won’t name (Southern Californian’s) are running amber and even flat-out red lights, but the official idea is that they would see the amber light and stop, allowing you to exit the intersection left before the cars going perpendicular to you get their green light. There should be a good three second for you to exit the intersection which is a minor inconvenience to any cars that must wait for you.

The result of not having at least one car enter the intersection per green light is that the left turn lane doesn’t move at all. The poor driver who is four cars back and watching his third green light come and go without taking an inch of ground is going out of his/her mind. Which leads us to the bad driving habit that is getting some press coverage.

Bad Habit: Road Rage

Almost everyone has noticed that the other drivers are angry. In fact, some of us have caught ourselves being angry on the road. Let’s face it, we’re grieving. We virtually lost two years of our lives. Some of us got very sick or had loved ones who did. Others lost their businesses, had to let go of all their employees. Some folks are months behind on their mortgage and don’t really know how that’s going to turn out. And while trying to claw our way out of all this some of us are facing job uncertainty due to mandates. Trust in media and government is at an all time low.

It’s enough to deal with all these things sitting on your couch at home, but to focus on getting somewhere, on time, it’s automatic distracted driving. When I interview other drivers, they admit that they don’t “feel” like keeping all the laws. It doesn’t feel like everyone is held to the same standard and it’s pushing buttons for the rugged individualist American.

Then some bonehead won’t pull forward so you can get in the turn lane…well, let’s just say there’s a lot gesturing going on and it’s not okay.

These are tough times for everyone. We have to learn how to give each other a little grace. You are the pilot of your vehicle and if getting to point B is the goal, then an accident will keep you from your goal. It’s not enough to get there—you must get there safely. Being in control of your emotions will help you drive better.

But please, don’t forget to pull up to the car in front of you at a stop light, and to enter the intersection when turning left at the green light.

(Best of the Web) Moving with Pets: Helpful Tips For a Successful Relocation

It’s not as simple as packing up their stuff and putting them in your car. There’s a lot of details you need to plan for.

Whether you’re moving across town or the country, moving — and all it entails — is stressful. If you’re moving with pets, not only do you have to manage and navigate your stress, but you need to make sure you’re helping your beloved pet deal with the stress of the move, too.

Pets are sensitive to human stress, so if you’re sweating your move, chances are Fido is feeling it, too. The more prepared you are for handling your move with pets, the better off you and your pet will be. By taking early actions to plan your move and factoring in your pet and their unique needs, you can set yourself up for moving day success.

The ultimate goal when moving with pets is keeping your pet safe. So, whether you have a school of fish in a giant aquarium, a small snake or your 11-year-old cat, here are ways for moving with pets that will keep both you and your pet safe and stress-free during this transitionary time.

Planning is the key to moving with pets

The last thing you want during your move is a last-minute surprise, so plan your moving day as far out as possible. Since you’ll have so much to pack and plan for, putting together a comprehensive plan for moving with pets may slip your mind.

Here’s how to get the ball rolling and help you move your pets with ease.

Decide how you’re getting to your new home

Figuring out how you’re getting to your final destination is important, especially if you’re moving across the country. You’ll need to decide if it makes sense to fly or drive to your new space. But before you make up your mind, take into consideration what’s best for your pet.

Moving long-distance? You will need to decide to fly or drive to your new home. Check airline pet policies for any specifics regarding your pet if you plan to fly. If the driving distance is four hours or less, plan to drive.

If the driving distance is longer than that but your pet has medical needs, driving remains the best option. Also, for any long-distance traveling with your pets, plan for bathroom breaks and pet-friendly accommodations.

If you’re moving nearby your current location, decide if you’re hiring a moving company or planning to DIY with a U-Haul and some friends. Once you select a moving company, make sure to let the company know that a pet is at the residence. While the moving company cannot move your pet for you, it’s important to go ahead and put your beloved companion on their radar.

Research state and local regulations

If you’re moving out of state or outside of your current ZIP Code, take time to research and read up on any state and local regulations as they pertain to your pet. Nearly every state has laws applicable to dogs, cats, birds and other pets like snakes, so make sure your pets comply with the laws of the state you’re moving to.

If you’re moving with pets and you need to go through a state border inspection, make sure you have all appropriate health certificates and paperwork for your animal. If you’re traveling to your new home by plane, you’ll need to show a health certificate and paperwork for your pet, too.

Pick up a travel carrier

Regardless of what kind of pet you have, you should plan to pick up a travel carrier. If you’re moving with pets like birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish, it will be way easier to remove your pet from their aquarium, cage or vivarium and transport them via a carrier.

If your pet isn’t already crate trained or used to a travel carrier, make sure you start introducing them to a travel crate as soon as you know you’re moving. Make sure your travel carrier fits with airline guidelines if you fly. If you’re traveling by car, make sure you have a harness or seatbelt to secure your pet’s crate.

Although it’s tempting to let Fido ride shotgun to your new home, don’t let any animal roam freely in the vehicle. It’s not safe for you or your pets. Keep your snakes, lizards, turtles, cats, rabbits, dogs and frogs in their travel carriers at all times.

Schedule a veterinarian appointment

Once you have a moving plan in place, make sure it includes taking your beloved pet to the veterinarian. You’ll want to make sure your pet’s health records are up to date, and if they need any inoculations or boosters, this would be an ideal time to get them.

While at the vet, ask about prescribing your pet medication to help ease their nervous system on moving day. Your vet can also go over any warning signs or unusual behaviors you should look out for as your beloved companion settles into the new environment.

Review identification tags

Make sure your pets, especially cats and dogs, have identification tags. If your indoor kitty typically doesn’t wear an identification tag, go ahead and get one made and put it on your cat before moving day.

Identification tags should include your pet’s name, your name, your phone number and your address. Since you’re relocating, go ahead and include your new address on the tag, if possible.

Pack mindfully

Your pets, especially dogs, cats and birds, will know something is up when you bring home boxes and start packing up your space. To keep your pets as stress-free as possible, set up designated packing areas in your house. Keep some rooms or areas box-free.

Additionally, stay mindful of what you’re packing. If you’re handling any cleaning supplies or materials that could harm your pets, make sure you don’t leave boxes open or in places your pet could get into.

Create a travel kit specific to your pet

Since you know your animal best, build a pet travel kit specifically for your companion. No matter what type of pet you have, make sure their health certificates go into this kit.

Here’s what else you should consider adding:

  • Pet’s regular food
  • Travel-sized or collapsable food and water dishes
  • Blanket or towel
  • Favorite toy
  • Treats
  • Extra paper towels
  • Plastic bags to clean up after your pet
  • Prescribed medication from your veterinarian
  • A leash
  • An extra bottle of water
  • Spray bottle (for pets that need to stay moist)

Move through moving day

Ready or not, moving day will arrive with a vengeance. Ideally, you have already taken care of everything that needs to get done for your move, including anything pertaining to your beloved pet.

Here are day-of tips for moving with pets:

  • Put someone in charge of your pet. Whether it’s you, a friend or hired pet sitter, appoint someone to take care of your pet’s needs for the whole day. This person needs to safely and securely keep the pet out the way and help with any needs like feeding or walking.
  • Reduce food intake for your pet by one-third the day before and the day of your move. This will help quell their stomach, whether you’re going by car or airplane.
  • If you have a prescription for calming medication from your veterinarian, administer it to your pet at least 30 minutes before your movers arrive.
  • Find a room that you can put your pet in with his crate and toys that’s separate from the chaos of movers, boxes and heavy lifting.
  • Remind movers and anyone helping you that you have a pet. Tell them where your pet is, so they can use extra caution if they need to go near the area.
  • Double-check that your pet travel kit is ready to go.
  • Make sure identification tags are on your pets.
  • Secure all crates and cages from the outside. Make sure your dog can’t easily open the door to his crate and that your boa constrictor can’t move the lid off its carrier.
  • Stay aware of the temperature outside, especially if you have pets that are sensitive to extreme heat or cold.
  • When you get to your new space, don’t let your pet roam freely right away. Section your pet off to one room, so they can get acclimated while you move in. Wait until all the movers are gone and then slowly introduce your pet to other spaces.

Help your pet settle in

It doesn’t matter if you’re a human or a pet newt, moving takes a lot out of you. Give yourself and your pet some time to settle into your new home. The more relaxed you are in your new environment, the more relaxed your pet will be.

To help your beloved pet find its footing, arrange a space exclusively for your pet to make theirs in your new home. The more this area is similarly arranged to the last place, the better. If you need to set up your frog’s vivarium, aim to recreate an environment as close to how it previously was. Animals, especially dogs and cats, will find comfort in the scent from your old place, so make sure to not wash your dog’s favorite blanket.

During this settling-in period, keep a close eye on your pet as they get used to their new space. Yes, your pet will probably experience some stress on moving day but if you notice any weird behavior or anything causing you concern, call your veterinarian immediately. Also, if you moved to a new area — go ahead and start looking for a new veterinarian practice that can help take care of your pet and all its future needs.

Home sweet home

Whether it takes a few days or a month to turn your new space into a place that feels like home, at least you’ll have your beloved pet! While daunting, moving with pets is 100 percent worth it. They’re family, after all.

(Reposted with Permission from Charlsie Niemiec of Rent.com)

Reusing and Recycling Car Parts

A car is actually made of 30,000 distinct and different parts, though you would be hard pressed to name them all. For starters there’s the headlights and the other lights, all the seats and upholstery, mirrors, engines, hubcaps and so on. We think these parts disappear when they are crushed but it’s vital as many parts as possible are recycled. More so with some parts than others. Many of these must be reused or destroyed.

Let’s look at the pieces that make the car up one by one:

The windows are difficult to recycle due to having layers of plastic.

The car battery is a problem: they are toxic and so cannot be placed in the public waste. There are various other plastic parts which are also tricky to recycle, the only thing that can be done is to grind them down.

There are small metal parts that can be melted down.

Second-hand Market

There’s no reason why the carpets and so on cannot be sold off. There’s value in selling off items such as alternators too.

Watch out for used car parts, they could be made on the cheap meaning they are worn out easily. Anything from seat belts to spark plugs could be counterfeited. The other problem is that should something go wrong it can’t be recalled. You’re having to deal with parts which are more worn than the rest of the parts, meaning you have uneven wear in the car, not a good selling point. And in the worst-case scenario they could be from a car which has been involved in an accident, even scrapped. The only thing to avoid this is to attempt to go to the best dealer as possible and don’t go for cheaper prices.

In order to get the item you require you can search by the make and model of car. Going for the actual model is important especially if the car brand produces a range of cars.

Aftermarket vs Used

You will find references to aftermarket car parts online. This may have been covered before but it simply means parts which aren’t made by the original car brand. They aren’t made with an intent to deceive. They are used as replacement parts when bits wear out or become damaged. It can mean your insurance is affected if you install aftermarket parts though.

The opposite of aftermarket parts are also known as OEM or Original Equipment Manufacturer. Even mechanics prefer the original parts as many aftermarket parts do not even fit some models. The range of parts can be confusing too, so try to go for original parts if you can.

Some of the Wackier ReUse Ideas We’ve Discovered:

A 12 volt car battery can be used as a portable lighting system or as a power source for making medium sized robots, powering an electric car, running a radio studio and so on. You will need a power inverter though which will change the battery from direct current to alternating current. Remember that all household devices work on a different voltage-the quicker the voltage the quicker the battery will be drained.

Other transformations include a car hub to a beer table, assembling tires to create an assault course or, more simply, turning them into swings. Let’s face it, it’s your car, you can do what you like with the parts!

Extroverted and Introverted car Drivers

Introverts are more apt to be more focused and zen and less likely to show a carefree attitude. They are more likely to plan where they are going and leave the house early but this may not be a universal thing – there must be some introverts who don’t want to get where they are going and leave late?

When it comes to driving, the extrovert is prone to distraction and easily get into a situation that inspire road rage. They even become dangerous behind the wheel. They could possibly answer an “important text” thus putting their life in danger.

Many introverts recharge themselves behind the wheel. Though extroverts hate driving alone, the reverse is true of an introvert, it gives them a strong feeling of peace and exhilaration. So it’s important when they’re driving to leave them be.

Another thing you may notice is that the split second decision is less likely to occur with introverted types. Accidents occur by not just attempting to make a split second decision but also trying to reverse them. An introvert will continue on the wrong path if it keeps them safe even if it seems frustrating to the passengers in the car, an extrovert less so. But if you know anything about introverts this all seems like common sense. The surprising thing is just about to be revealed.

Surprising Thing about Introverts

The surprising thing is that introverts are likely to race cars. It surprises us because they are in the spotlight, watched by thousands of cheering fans. However, they are inside a car, with a helmet on and they perform in a much more focused way. Introverts are less likely to make any major errors behind the wheel and as any sportsman knows major errors is what may cost the win or in this case, risks their lives.

Are introverts confident enough to race though? Introvert extrovert is mainly about how you recharge and how you tend to prioritise your attention. There are those who lack confidence and those who are very bold. It’s not the same skills needed to make a speech or run a company. They need to rely on their own mind when making decisions though there is a bit of feedback from the crew. They have this ability to think before they speak and have this tendency to “zone out”. This seems a shocking way to drive but it does seem to work.

Car Buying

If you are an introvert you probably don’t want to deal with that many people so try to speak to a person you spoke to before and bring a dealer along with you. Bringing a mechanic with you would help a lot.

SUV, van and truck owners tend to be more extroverted. Sports cars are bought to gain a certain status, but introverts worry about their status as well.

A sports car doesn’t suit everyone but introverts may appreciate the smooth drive. Car handling tends to be a mixture of smoothness of speed so it would figure that the more mid-range person may talk about this, also known as an ambivert.

The introvert tends to look towards comfortableness and smoothness. We don’t associate performance cars with introverts but maybe we should.

The extrovert tends to like a bit of movement and a bit of music.