Friday, July 18, 2014

I-95 North, Deerfield Beach, Florida

I purposely drive Jeep Wranglers because they are simple.

My own 2002 Jeep has only about 44,000 miles on it since I don't drive much.  That's not the Jeep's thought.  It only means that every time I take the car out, it is like driving a brand spanking new Jeep.

I truly enjoy the experience.

But they are a simple beast.  The newer ones have succumbed to the bigger is better motto.  That means that in order to have my own simple car, I will hang onto it as long as possible. 

A Data Center has its own place, just not in my car.  Since they don't make the VW Thing, or the Ford Model A, I'll hang onto this one.  At this point it qualifies for Classic Plates, so I guess it is a classic. 

It's my third one, having had a CJ 7 and an earlier TJ just like this. 

Simplicity has its place, but it doesn't have to be quite as simple as that. 

Being a technology nut, I do have my way of getting my fix while driving.  While the car has the old school needles and dials on the dashboard, I have a way of getting to the computer and getting more information.  Ironic that I go out of my way to get the world's simplest car and end up "tarting" it up with gadgets, isn't it?

Sure, more distracted drivers you may say.  Did you ask the guy in that white car that was texting when I passed?

Point taken.  I'll be careful.  No worse though than more "modern" cars with all that glowy crap on their dashes, right?

This was what is for me a Long Trip.  I had to plan for it.  Normally all I ever do is drive around town, and by town, I mean a little 3 by 1 mile island with an occasional swim across the river to the neighboring town where the Post Office is.  Maybe two miles when I do that, or perhaps three.

No, I was leaving the area and going up to the next county way up there in another area code.

Yes, I was going to Wellington. 

Now no complaints there, I was visiting Larry and Kathie, my Godmother and her husband.  Great people. 

But it did give me an excuse to break out the OBD II Module and use the software to talk to the phone.  I'm trundling down the highway in my big black and tan beast, making sure to stay well beyond 2 seconds behind the guy in front of me. 

An occasional glance at the display tells me that the EPA was confused when they tested the car.  15MPG is not realistic unless you're stuck in traffic.

At normal highway speeds, the speed limit in Broward County, FL on I-95 North on a clear day with few other drivers, is 65MPH.  A tick over 100KPH for my friends outside of the US.  That was basically what I was doing because I noticed a long time ago there is a built in speedometer error of around 5 percent.  If the Speedo is doing 65, I am really only doing 62.  Makes me wonder if someone at the Gov'mint got with the car dealers and said to dial it down so the dummies didn't speed quite so badly.

62 MPH is 100 KPH.

I'm humming along on giant 31 inch black donuts, in the not-quite-fast-lane glancing at the phone.  18MPG. 

Groan.  I can do better than that. 

I slowly pass that white Toyota with the texting man behind the wheel who doesn't realize that TXT=RIP.

He pulls off at the next exit and I'm able to slow down a little bit after I get into Palm Beach County with a THUMP at the border.  The canal is the county line. 

The aerodynamics of a Jeep Wrangler are as bad as you may expect.  Think of an adult's shoe box.  Then park a smaller child's shoebox on top that is one half the size.  Now try to push that beast forward through the air at Highway Speeds.

Clearly this isn't a vehicle for high speeds.

I eventually get off the road at Forest Hill Avenue.  West Palm Beach, FL, I believe. 

Turn West.  Here's where I realize if I relax I can see some silly numbers.  

No, really, the sun glare lets me see the phone as clearly as the dash.  21.8MPG.  Not bad for a 4 liter 6 cylinder motor pushing 2 tons of steel and plastic.

Eventually I get to Larry and Kathie's place for a long overdue visit.  Empty out the car because having a Jeep means that you can't leave anything in it.  Windows are made out of Cling Film and held together with Zippers.

Security?   We don't need no stinking security.

Slap a giant grey metal flying saucer over the steering wheel and slide a metal club in there to lock it all in place.

Hi Larry, Hi Kathie, Great to see you!  Let me set down all this crap...

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