Saturday, April 29, 2017

Driving across America to fight secession. Avoiding flying.

One antidote I think to secession is long distance driving. The United States of America is an amazing country with a beautiful landscape in most areas.

I think when you drive across America you have the opportunity to see vast landscapes and feel the immensity of our nation. You are also away from the television or other video devices and can just listen to music and reflect on things. It is perhaps a uniquely American form of meditation.

It also is a great way of learning in an intuitive way how secession is a totally stupid idea. While you are driving you can imaging what it would be like to dive 500 miles and having to stop several times and present a passport and perhaps a travel plan and have your car inspected, perhaps you might be part of a random pat down, and your baggage searched and your laptop and cell phone checked. Also, as you drive out of your little nation you are no longer among your fellow citizens, but you are a foreigner. As sure as the sun rises, there will be stereotypes and prejudices about your nationality.

Instead we can drive across the nation and where ever I go I am an American among Americans. I do need to acknowledge that for minority members of our society it is not this simple. However, I would say that being divided nationally would put another layer of division over this layer of division.

Also, if the place you are going is 600 miles or less I really have to wonder why you are flying. For 600 miles is the break even point for me to fly. If it is over 600 miles I might fly, but I will not fly less than 600 miles. There is no advantage to flying less than 600 miles and every reason not to.

1. You either have to drive to the airport and pay parking for the duration of the trip, or get someone to drive you there, or schedule a driver and be ready to go at the time of driver pick up. When you drive yourself you can leave when you want and any driving you do is in the direction of your destination.

2. You have to arrive at the airport really early. There can be traffic jams on the way to the airport, the airport can be suffering from traffic problems. Then there is the TSA which can have really long lines with some lanes idle. The wait can be long while you are lugging your brief case, suit case, etc.

3. Then there is the TSA security. You take off your shoes, take out your keys, take off your belt, laptop, cell phone, coins, which go into a bin which is X-Ray scanned. You watch it really closely. Then after you are through being scanned you run to get your bin and get your cell phone and stuff before it is stolen. The benches are often not really well placed to get your shoes on.

Then there is the chance you might get a pat down or strip search.

4. Then you wait in a place with lots and lots of noise and endless announcements. The food and drink is way over priced.

5. You wait in this noisy place until the plane arrives at the gate, unless they move the gate and you are running to it.

6. When you get on, there can be overbooking and you might be selected to be removed.

7. Then your plane can be delayed for boarding or once boarding is completed it can be delayed.

8. Boarding is really a hassle. They have crammed more seats in and everyone is bringing on luggage and not checking it which we will discuss. It is slow. There is a fight for space because there really isn't overhead space.

** So by the time the plane takes off and reaches its cruising altitude it can easy take 1.5 to 2.5 hours. You could have driven from your house, gotten on the highway and be 70 to 150 miles along the way.

9. I don't check my luggage and always bring aboard my laptop because I don't want my stuff stolen. I believe others feel this way also.. I had a co-worker who had something disappear and he spent months going through channels trying to get compensated. Then there is the rough handling of your stuff.

10. When in flight you can purchase a tiny snack for a lot of money.

11. Hope the person in front of you doesn't lower their seat into your face. The small seats will allow very little personal space. Hopefully everyone practices good hygiene. The overworked employees are often surly. Services are slow. I flew first class on an airline and my tray would not come down and fit the space and I had to hold the tray with one hand and eat with the other. Major airline.

12. When you arrive you will have delays as your plane waits for a gate or moves across the airport, then the slow process of unloading. You will have to walk to the sidewalk, get on a bus to the car rental place, wait in line for a car, walk to the car, fill out paper work, and then figure out how to drive out of the airport and to your destination. Later you will return the car via the same process. There are cases where people are trapped on board a plane for 12 hours or more because the airline can't get a gate.

13. The airline systems have very little capacity for disruption, so if there is a snowstorm a thousand miles away, or thunderstorm  somewhere and your plane doesn't arrive, If you are on a return flight you face camping out in the airport for hours. Then there are the occasions where the computer systems go down and the airline can't board passengers.

14. Finally there are idiot things. I was on an international flight and the surly flight attendants left a strap hanging out when they closed the doors. So fuel had to be dumped at a high altitude so we could land in Atlanta. When we arrived in London hours and hours late, we didn't get any help from the airlines to our destination to Scotland. Yes, if anything goes wrong, the airlines just don't care.

15. Connecting flights: Are you insane! You have a connecting flight and you aren't driving. You really need to consider driving unless it is a really long distance. I remember being trapped in Houston on plane that landed but had to wait for thunderstorms to clear to take off.

If it is another plane, you will get your exercise traveling to another terminal maybe, to get your flight, unless it has taken off and didn't wait for you.

*** It is easily faster to drive someplace if it is 400 miles or less than fly with no risks of some airline inanity holding you up or trapping in a plane with overflowing toilets.. People who take planes from Dallas to Houston or Dallas to Austin are idiots. 400 miles is simply a break point in terms of time traveled. I will explain why I have a 600 mile break point.


A. You don't have to rent a car and are spared the expense, you don't have to go through the whole process of renting a car and returning it. And you have your car which you are familiar with. You won't be paying extra charges on gas. You won't be quickly looking for a gas station to fill up a tank before you return your car.

B. On the way if you are hungry you can stop and get what you want easily and the price won't be extortionate. The service usually is friendly. It will be something reasonably palatable or maybe delicious, or something new that you are first discovering. You can have your favorite places along the way.

C. McDonald's restrooms don't induce claustrophobia and usually are clean.

D. You can take as much luggage as you want to fit in your car. You can take what you need for your trip not constrained by fear of stuff being stolen from your luggage, rejected by the TSA, or baggage charges.

F. No lugging around your stuff everywhere. You arrive at your fiends and just carry the luggage in or at the hotel put on a push cart and in a short distance you are at the elevator and then to your room.

G. No taking off your shoes, belt, putting valuables into a bin and worrying about them being stolen. No X-ray of your stuff. No IDS. It doesn't matter if your state's driver's license is TSA approved or not. No waiting and waiting for long lines to be processed by unhappy employees. No strip searches, no patting down.Your bags won't be searched. You won't have to show TSA employees your cellphone or laptop contents. You simply won't have to see their faces.

H. You will have time to reflect and think and when you arrive you will might be a little tired from the long drive, but not as worn out as you might be from flying. You won't be wasting mental energy trying to figure out which airline might be better than the horrible one you just experienced. You will likely be in a good frame of mind and not need time to recuperate from air travel.

I. Along the way you can stop and stretch when you stop to get gas, stop at a rest stop, stop at a restaurant, or just stop to stretch.  You will not be trapped in a really small chair for hours.

J. You can have real bottles of shampoo, body wash, cologne, lotions, etc. and not over priced small bottled liquids manufactured for air travel.

K. You can pack fingernail clippers or what ever you need for your trip. You won't have to check up what the latest TSA regulation and will avoid throwing a valuable into a bin.

L. If you see something interesting along the way you can stop and check it out.

I put the break point at 600 miles to drive instead of flying in the case where you need to be there within a time window. Like you are going there tonight for activities the next day.

For when I have time to travel and don't have to be there right away I might take two days driving.


I can drive 10 to 13 hours a day. These are the tricks.

1. Good posture. Your posterior needs to be in the base of the chair. Sit up straight. Don't slouch. Otherwise you will feel aches and pains.

2. Don't be fiddling with the radio and stuff. Your back is bend over and it will hurt eventually.

3. Cruise control if you got it, or your leg in a comfortable position on the gas pedal.

4. Put your wallet someplace safe and not in a back or side pocket.

5. Stop every hour and stretch. Don't skip to make time. Also, when you stop often you will find that you did indeed need to use the rest facilities.

6. Use major highways when possible, avoid short cuts. Highway driving is comfortable.

7. Pack a bottle of aspirin, just  in case.

SO  DRIVE ACROSS THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and enjoy seeing the nation and interesting things and have a pleasant trip and fight secession.

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