Archive for the ‘Driving’ Category

Long time no blog…

Saturday, October 10th, 2009

I had been intending to post up all sorts of bits of news about life, driving, programming and cats but it didn’t happen. I have been busy which is good, however it doesn’t leave very much room for blogging. This post is going to be one really quick catch up entry to try and get me back into the swing of it.

I finally passed my driving test at the beginning of the summer, it was my fourth try and I passed with three minors which was a great feeling… since then I have driven once, as part of PassPlus, which didn’t really feel vastly different, although it was more enjoyable knowing that I didn’t have a test coming up. Catherine and I have decided to wait for a bit before we get a car so we can assess what Catherine will need in terms of model and adaptations in a car to allow her to get the most out of it.

Zoe and KerrySadly Kerry, Zoe’s sister died a few months after Zoe, as a family we weren’t ready to lose her, although it wouldn’t have been fair to let her suffer an operation that might not help anyway, so my parents decided it was best to have her put down. My brother and I got a chance to say good bye to her, she wasn’t her normal self and was in a lot of pain. We are all very sad.

In programming land I spent last weekend learning SQL Server Integration Services and this weekend I plan to get into Analysis Services. Have been doing some utility programming at work to automate some of the file server operations we do, I am trying to automate as much as possible using something similar to duck tape programming to free me up to do more programming to create a more unified and friendly framework for managing the school network. Started using CodeRush Xpress both at home and at work.

In sys. admin world I have been continuing to use and learn Windows 7, I now have RTM installed at work still waiting for RTM to arrive at home on or around the 22nd. Been reading and listening to various resources surrounding Windows 2008 R2 particularly some excellent podcasts on RunAs radio.

Driving Test #2

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

Well another day, another driving test and another fail. I had hoped to say that this was a pass day today but it was not to be. I think the nerves got the better of me, I was okay for most of it although my throat kept drying up.

This test actually came out much worse than last time, again I had two serious faults, however more than twice as many minor faults with 14. It was a bit of a shock to me as I had realized I had made some minor mistakes here and there but had not spotted the major faults.

I won’t go into the minor faults, as they are too numerous to enumerate and honestly I can’t even pinpoint what I did wrong, I was focusing on the task at hand and have since totally forgotten the majority of the test itself.

Serious Fault #1 – Meeting a car in the road
This was one of the serious faults from my last test, I got a minor in the same area on this test too. Fundamentally I think it is a judgment problem on my part, I see a which has priority on the opposite side of the road I don’t seem to judge very accurately, I think perhaps in future I need to yield to them regardless of my judgment.

Serious Fault #2 – Road position
I cut across the lanes on a roundabout basically, I don’t even remember doing it and apparently I hadn’t done it on previous roundabouts, perhaps it was because it was the end of the test, and I had a lapse in concentration – although I do appreciate that is all it takes for someone to get hurt or worse.

I have re-booked for the end of May, at which point we will see what happens on Driving Test #3.

Nerves

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

The nervousness is really manifesting itself this time round despite taking my hay fever medication last night I am sneezing this morning, I think it is just the nerves. I woke up with a headache, the Paracetamol hasn’t really helped that much I am hoping it is going to clear as I head into town to sit in a coffee shop to relax a bit.

I feel nervous about taking the test, although neither outcome has any real consequences other than spending a bit more money and having it hanging over me for a few more weeks.

Driving Lesson #41, #42 and #43

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

Like last time in the run up to my test I have not blogged every single lesson, however after a week of Holiday and the last three lessons I am going to be taking my test again tomorrow at 14:32.

I think I am ready to take the test, I felt that way last time – don’t know if I was or not, I am not the person to judge that. However tomorrow we will find out what happens. I have come to the conclusion that the test is pretty much a sequence of events that you either deal with as the DSA deems to be correctly, or not. It’s quite hard for me to get my mind around this method of testing, but that is they way it is to be.

Will post with my results tomorrow.

Driving Lesson #40

Sunday, March 29th, 2009

This post is four days late, and I have nothing to Report. Couple of weeks until my test – I have kind of lost interest in driving, I would like to get it over and done with but I am not overly worried about the test itself.

Drive Safe!

Driving Lesson #39

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

Had quite an enjoyable drive today, did four manovures first time round (reverse round a corner, reverse park, bay parking and turn in the road), that’s not to say they were without error but they were passable.

Almost didn’t see a car driving round the Sainsbury’s car park, Kev put his foot on the break at the same time I put the break down, he was faster though so I felt the pedal go out from underneath my foot.

I was quite happy with the drive all in all, getting used to scanning the road, although I do find it hard work.

Driving Lesson #38

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

It might be that I am tired, and hungry but I got a little fed up with driving. It takes quite a lot of concentration and it gets me home more tired than if I had sat on a bus for a hour and a half.

It sound silly but sitting on that bus for two hours is the only time I get to relax and pray. Two things you can’t really do when you are driving, the other thing that a bus lets you do when you are on it and if you are feeling up to it is give your full concentration to the book or podcast you are trying to extract information from which is really nice. I think the bus is the only place in the whole world where I know I will not be interrupted.

I was driving well today according to Kev, could have fooled me as I was stalling like it was going out of fashion. Kev was trying to get me to anticipate situations more acutely by looking ahead down the road identifying hazards long before I got anywhere near them. Something else I can practice on the bus (if I can be bother that is… seriously sans motivation today).

Anyway another lesson tomorrow and got my next test booked for the 16th April, see how I do in that one.

Driving Test #1

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

Well as I have let the entire internet know via Twitter that I failed my driving test lets go through some analysis. But first a little bit of information about the Burges Hill driving test center two important things:

  1. The test center does have a toilet
  2. Don’t be tempted to touch the tap in the toilet it fell off when I used it

As for the test itself the results were as follows:

  • Dangerous – 0
  • Serious – 2
    1. about 5 minutes into the test I was approaching another car which I expected to stop and it didn’t I did not slow down enough to be able to safely park and the examiner had to use the brake.
    2. about half way through the test I thought it was a national speed limit (no driveways or side roads for a while and no lamp posts) so I was doing about 38 in a 30 zone.
  • Minor – 6
    1. Control -> Gears – don’t know what this was I probably went round a corner in 3rd gear.
    2. Use of Mirrors -> Change Speed – didn’t look in my rear view mirror when changing gear.
    3. User of Speed – As with the serious I probably went over 30 in a 30 zone.
    4. Progress -> Undue Hesitation – There was a right turn that had two vans parked on either side of the left turn restricting my vision.
    5. Junctions -> Observation – I didn’t check my mirror on the second part of a consecutive turn.
    6. Positioning -> Normal Driving – I probably moved a little too close to the kerb or central markings.

I knew I had failed within the first 5 minutes of the test, that didn’t make it any easier, it was very strange being in a car without Kev there – I have never driven anywhere without Kev. I am going to try and book another test for the Easter holidays after I have had a little more practice.

Driving Lesson #34, #35 & #36

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

Sorry to anyone who was expecting posts on Thursday and Friday time kind of caught up with me, my lessons since last Wednesday have been much better, I still made a few mistakes here and there. Drove under some pressure after one of the Pastors at my church decided to follow us along Church Street and finally left us going up The Upper Drive apparently I handled it well.

So tomorrow is my test thank you to everyone who has wished me luck and said they were praying for me. It is much appreciated, I will probably tweet as soon as it is reasonable as to my result, if I pass it will probably be sooner.

I am nervous, I have had butterflies in my stomach for a couple of days now however I am handling them reasonably well without too many physiological manifestations.

Part of the test incorporates one “show me” and one “tell me” question; these range from telling the examiner how to check the tire pressure to showing the examiner how you would check the indicator lights are working.

In the instance of the former the answer would involve getting the correct pressures from the owners manual, using a reliable pressure gauge, checking the tires when they are cold, check there are not cuts or bulges in the tire wall and ensuring the tire cap is replaced afterwords.

The latter would involve turning on the ignition operating the hazard warning lights then checking all six lights (on a Corsa they are two rear, two side and two front).

There are 16 questions that they could ask, all of which are published on the DSA website.

Right now it is time to find something to occupy my mind for the next 10 hours or so that I don’t fret about the test.

Driving Lesson #33

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

6 Days and counting

That was bad, wrong side of the road and indicating far to long. Could do better.