Peace and Cars

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(BTW: It’s a Pearl Harbor Day. Don’t forget to take a moment and reflect on the men and women who stand between us and danger.)

Many of us find driving very relaxing. Though it shouldn’t be a place to doze off, being behind the wheel of a car should be a relatively peaceful experience where you can forget your current woes, maybe listen to some classical music or light pop? (Of course, if you love rock-n-roll peace of mind might not be how you relax in the first place.) Something like a comic song or a discussion from talk radio might also distract, but it’s important not to forget the road altogether! Obviously stay alert, or accidents happen.

If you don’t want to employ the radio to drown out road noise you can try some gentle driving techniques make a car quieter but this means you take longer in reach your destination! There needs to be a better way.

You may have noticed that, in general, cars are getting quieter with each new model. The Green City project has spent some time trying to figure out how to make cars quieter for those inside or outside, in order to promote a more peaceful coexistence of cars in dense urban areas. They promoted an idea about reducing the sound in cities by changing tire design and adding more sound cancellation tech to new cars.

The problem is that you can’t really do much with the wind and the vibration that moving at speed is all about. It costs money to make an active difference, mechanically, though many car companies seem to be making some progress. Adding cost is a big obstacle.

So that brings us back to needing to cover up the sound. Try a download of something like whale music. Seriously, some folks swear by it. Not of fan of watery mammals? Then maybe an extract of spoken meditation will suit? Not something to make you sleep, just something to make you more comfortable.

Okay, OKAY! We have a real answer and its cheap, simple, and won’t slow down your commute. To explain it we need to look at one simple reality. Folks either find driving relaxing or stressful. Even more promising, most of us would probably say it depends on the day. So we just need to examine the forces that make it stressful one day and the polar opposite the next.

#1 Change the Situation:

Clearly, there’s a difference between a drive on a country road and sitting in traffic on the way to work. Not much you can do about your destination, right? Well, you can plan ahead. Leave a bit early and find something totally self-indulgent to do with the time you have by getting there early. Maybe sit in a coffee shop or look for a new pleasure read. Whatever it is, just make sure it’s something you can look forward to enough to jump in your car a bit ahead of the last minute.

Speaking of last minutes. Don’t add to your stress by having to make up time. You’re literally making your commute more stressful and it’s entirely in your hands to prevent it. It’s your fault you’re late and that’s good news!

#2 Examine your Options:

Whether the car doesn’t do precisely what you want, or the other drivers seem to be working hard to wreck your day, it doesn’t seem a place to relax. Well, have you checked into mass transit? We’re big fans of personal cars here, but frankly, it’s not worth dying for. If driving to work is shortening your life, consider taking a bus or train for all or part of your commute. You might save on parking and stress, and you can use the time to read or catch up on social media.

Carpooling is another way to possibly save money and time can pass more quickly when you have someone to chat with.

#3 Examine your Company:

On the opposite side of the coin from carpooling is the dreaded school run. Driving with kids can be the not-relaxing kind of conversation. You’re the adult AND the driver–it’s going to land on you to set rules and train your passengers to help not hinder.

Here are some helpful tips: getting into a routine, try to let your children know you need to concentrate on the road, not them. Try a book on CD that the whole family can get into. Or get them headphones.

If reasonable arguments aren’t working pull rank. Don’t let your kids do things that make you not like them. Remember if you battle out the rules on the way to school picking them up will be easier, not harder. Also, remember that they’ll be driving in a few years and modeling the priority of taking it seriously is going to pay off very soon.

#4 Try Silence:

Having the car in perfect quiet can act as a detox to your routine, until the next time you have to make the school run or head to a work presentation. If the rest of your life is stressful, try thinking about your time in a car as a single activity worthy of your full attention. There’s a meditation in the simple operation of the multi-thousand-pound beast surrounding you. It’s your job to at that moment to get yourself and everyone around you to their destination safely. if the rest of your life is so hectic, you may soon begin to yearn for the simplicity of driving alone in the quiet.

#5 It’s a choice:

At the end of the day, all these tips revolve around taking charge of your perspective. If you don’t like our commute, change it. If you absolutely can’t change anything else, try changing your attitude.

Many of these problems revolve around the theme of not being where you want to be. Not being at home, or being stuck in a traffic jam. Make a choice to remember that the journey is more important than the destination. It’s not just about being there instead of here, it’s about how well you do where you are right now. You can only impact the here and now. Don’t lose out on opportunities to do something well now because you wish you were somewhere else.

Whatever problem your mind is drifting back to, won’t be solved by obsessing on it. You will be home soon, or relatively soon. It’ll be fixed in a short while.

 

 

Car Hacks (Vlog 21): Smells part 2b

Well, this post is a little late. I confess it should have posted yesterday. We had a collaborative miscommunication combined with crazy schedules. But things are back on track.

Today Mike revisits car smells. We’ve actually addressed smells a few times, LOL, because it’s an issue that comes up (or should I say, comes out) often.

We’ve covered:

Now, Mike is going to cover, head on, the biggest source of smells in a car…your passengers.

Car Hacks (Vlog 19): Headphone Debacle

Today, Mike takes on an important topic, which is one that people are often confused about, and we are often confronted with–with his typical light-hearted fashion.

PS the thing that struck me while listening to this…earphones are for listening to music and headsets are for talking on the phone? Or is it the other way around? I don’t know.
PPSS On behalf of the Kicker Blog staff, we apologize for how Mike (and all New Yorkers) pronounce the word, “Oregon.” Please feel free to mock him in the comments below. (He loves that.)

Car Hacks (Vlog 18): How-To Clean Up

Hello, fans and fellow travelers. This week’s VLog from our intrepid video dude is neat and surprising. By that I mean the topic is cleaning cheap sunglasses (which you should have in your car), and surprising in that he has no head! Click the video and see for yourself–he has no head this week.

PS The real reason he has no head is that we gave him less than no time to prep and film this weeks installment. Its fun to throw him curveballs, what can I say. while we’re on that topic, please send us ideas you’d like to have Mike cover (off the wall is great) and if you’re a sponsor who’s wanted to get your product in front of a crowd contact us through the page. We’d love to get some product that Mike has to figure out how to review…tune in again this month to find out if Mike gets his head back.

Car Hacks (Vlog 17): Vaccuums Suck!

If you drive for rideshare it could be a great tip to keep a vacuum in your trunk for spot cleaning. I’d also recommend baby wipes. Watch the video below to get a fun recommendation from our cost-conscious vlog dude. (Yes, Mike I called you a dude…live with it.)

Hand Vac/Upright Vac Combo as shown in the video.

(PS at this time when you follow a link to a product on the Kicker we don’t collect any referral income. We reserve the right to change that at some point in the future. We don’t endorse any particular brand, we’re providing links purely for your convenience.)