Beach Walk 462 – Vehicular Solitude

People like their solitude.

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  1. Susan and my dog Lexie says

    …we’re always up for a ride with you and Lexi in the vehicle! Enjoyed seeing Lexi having her own window rolled down far enough to stick her head out for the fragrant breeze, too.

    I live 20 miles between work and home on purpose; it’s the right length of time/distance for solitude to gather thoughts, not being too close for work relationships to take advantage (expectation to drop my life to accommodate theirs beyond the scope of work) and a side benefit of having a different life and set of friends/ relationships in another community. So it was that Lexi breath of fresh air to find you commenting on this topic. You’re doing such a great job, Rox — wonderful smiles, as well :)

  2. Luci from Albuquerque says

    Once again, I totally agree with you! I too enjoy the personal solitude I get when travelling between my home office/clients/client meetings. Sometimes I get my best ideas for resolving a particular speed-bump I may be experiencing.

    Of course, that only works if you unplug the hands-free cell phone device from your ear ^_^

  3. If only I could be like Lexi, I would be evolved. She happily views her world from side to side, and is so relaxed she rests her tail on the seat back.

    What a gorgeous place you live in. I will try and do better noticing the beauty where I live.

    (ordered Mighty J’s album, waiting for it to arrive…)

  4. Hi! I met you at the pixolodeon festival, and I really like your show, it makes me feel peaceful….. that’s so cool your over 400 episodes, wow. hope you check out my show at nice meeting you! see you around on the internet, Joy

  5. @Celeste: I’ve started noticing the beauty where I live too – makes quite a difference in attitude.

  6. Yes! Solitude seems to be something we can forget how to do in our fast paced culture. When I lived in the city on the East Coast I never took any down time.

    Now, I try to unplug one day a week and go out in nature. I don’t always get to do it but taking a weekly “Sabbath Day” sure can be relaxing. I also find it helps me to be a bit more focused when I go back to working.

  7. I love to jump in car and drive. I so agre with you so much! Anyways hope to see you next week. Kanoa and IPo will be back in the studio trying to finish “it” up. Aloha! =Ipo=

  8. Howdy Roxanne, Great meeting you at Pixelodeon. I spent a few months in Phoenix, it gave me a unique perspective on cars. Phoenix is the hotest city outside of the middle east with temperature regularly in the 110-115 range in the summer. In phoenix cars are a necessity as air conditioned bubbles that get people from point a to point b without having a heat stroke.

    The truth is I prefer biking… with an ipod on occasion. The only problem is drivers of cars do on regular occassions, it seems like practically every time I ride, tend to be aggressive invaders of my space and peace.

    I’m not saying I don’t like cars or they don’t have their place, but we’ve become a car monolculture. This monoculture means cars have stopped connection us and started dividing us… isolating into suburbs… places with no cross walks, no sidewalks, no bike lanes… whole areas that are anti-pedestrian. You don’t even realize it until you get out of the car.

    I’m all about diversity, alternatives and new perspectives. The truth is the way we interact with the world come to define us. The most obvious case I always give is that of this is the police… as the moved away from beat cops to patrol cars it created quite a distance between cops and the community. An efficiency yes… but also a distance. Quite an obtuse world, a harsh world for cops and the community alike. Cops primary interaction with the community would only be under times of duress. It’s not hard to extrapolate how the “bad boys” image evolved.

    With community policing initiatives cops have come back out of the cars via bikes, the walking beat and other alternative forms of re-connecting with the community. The result has been a huge change in the way communities see the police… though television pervades the bad boys image.

    It is not until we step outside the mainstream that we see these cultural perspectives. We see this with cars where other forms of transportation exist, we see this religion, race and culture in communities with diversity, and we see it now in media where because of the internet we have new perspectives on mass media. To me this is the foundation of bottom up culture.

    When it comes to science and macroeconomics efficiency is gained in scale… but when it comes to culture, society and innovation the human factor says that decentralization and diversity wins out.

    It’s not a matter of which is better, car or bike. It’s a matter of everything has it’s time and it’s place. Sometimes it’s appropriate to drive, sometimes to bike, sometimes to walk, skateboard, segway, scooter, train, subway, bus. The key indicator of good mental health as they say is adaptability. To study the world around us and adapt to it. Almost a very zen like concept. Of course it’s about more then mental well being… it’s also about our physical well being today, tomorrow, and that of future generations… which is where we so often fail. Societally we have an inability to adapt. Perhaps it’s because as Michael Moore suggested in Sicko we’ve embraced the me so much we’ve forgotten about the “we”.

    This is why I love events like critical mass bike rides that celebrate alternatives. When I see whole families riding in chicago I know it’s succeeding… even if sometimes they’re parking their SUV and pulling the bikes of their rack. :)

    I know recreational opportunities abound there in Hawaii but you should try biking and other alternative means of transport think about how it changes the way it changes the way you percieve the world. Like meditation it’s not just something you go out and do one day and it opens your eyes, it’s part of a process you have to be a student of it.



  9. @Mike – Mahalo for your thoughtful comment and so many great examples! FWIW, I am an avid walker, cyclist, and our second car is a moped. One of my points in this show was that to try to impose mass transit or alternate forms of anything on people, we’ll want to address hidden pleasures that are gained from the normal mode. You mentioned a great one re: PHX and the AC bubbles.

    My other point was to take the guilt out of experiencing one’s car (labeled a “bad” thing in some minds) when life calls for it. I find when we are attached to things that are getting a bad rap, it is useful to identify and appreciate the positives.

    The notion of attraction versus promotion I find very appealing and often more effective too. Like you mentioned, I think _many_ of us would find bicycling more pleasant and fun if the roads and car drivers were more accommodating. In our own town of Kailua, which is very eco-conscious and filled with athletic, outdoor people, the bike lane was partially obliterated (instead of upgraded) after a 3 year sewer and road process. I find this very frustrating.

    Getting the behemoth government departments to cooperate and start with the end in mind is not easy or automatic – yet. People like you are getting the thoughts in motion though.

  10. rush in n louisiana says

    One type “mass transit” in my past experience, is associated more in areas with skiing, those being enclosed ski lifts–ones where your skis are off and ride up on the outside. Many times you are with strangers but occasionally you are riding as a single.
    Course now, people take their “tunes” with them and bring along other necessities in their packs.

    Other thing I wanted to “share” was something I heard mentioned about MIT working on a “stacking” car (!?!) (was it on “CARTALK”-NPR?)
    Anyway, with a few tries on the ole search engine, viola
    Notice, several concepts are taking much of the familiar out of the thinking of what a vehicle is! (Click on the “Transology” link!)

    Mahalo for the continued work on series and Aloha!

  11. @rush A “stacking car”? Very cool.

    I’m a huge fan of Cartalk, and I don’t even have a car. Been listening to it for years.

    The thing about itunes btw, is that it gives us some control over our environment… crating an artificial “pod” of sorts… people are much less likely to aproach you on the streets, subway, bus if you have headphones on… of course apple didn’t really promote or popularize this… sony did with the walkman… when sony droped the ball on digital music (and they did) apple picked it up.

    I say this because as adults we have more control over our environments.. our houses, offices, cars. Kids have so little power. The ipod gives them back some of that power.

    I regularly listen to the ipod while riding because it alows me to reclaim some of that space invaded by cars. Of course, most of the time I luckily get to ride country roads with little to no taffic.

    @Rox… glad to here you’re into various types of transportation and play. I would think Hawaii would be quite good with the bike lanes and side walks and what not… but with development they’re so often the first things forgotten about. If you walk, run or bike then you’ve seen sidewalks to nowhere… places with no crosswalks… anti-pedestrian place. You just can’t characterize most cities or states. Some like portland have gotten noticed for being more bike friendly. Even chicago where there are tremendous initiatives things often go so wrong. I saw them put in bike racks all over michigan avenue over the space of 10 years only to in one redevelopment of the streets and sidewalk remove EVERY SINGLE bike rack in one swoop. Pedestrian and bike stuff always is the first thing to get left out of development plans.

    Here in michigan we have a “Greenways” NFP that has created maps and plans and lobied and worked with local governments and it’s starting to make a big difference. We have people thinking about accessibility again. I’m extremely happy because in the last 3-5 years… two of the big county roads have been repaved with 3-8 foot shoulders. This has made a tremendous difference to the safter and bikeability of these roads. Not only that but they’re currently in the process of working on a third. I think it comes from new state wide codes.

    Oh… and perhaps I’ve not been an avid enough watcher… but I can understand this pro-car episode much better in the context which you explain in your email. It would be hard I emagine to bring across the experience of walking or biking… you’d have to find yourself some quite roads or paths devoid of honking cars and loud traffic.

    One last thing… I used to rent cars alot on weekends in chicago. I rather enjoyed it, it was cheap and very cost effective for me. But because I didn’t drive everyday my attitude toward driving was completely different from regular car commuters. I not only had more patience with cars, but could actually enjoy it and appreciate it more. Perhaps this is what you were getting at. Getting people not to take driving for granted. People get so focused on the car in front of them they forget to take a step back and enjoy the experience.

  12. Well, I am sorry to see this episode rolling down the line in the rotation after these amazing comments. So many wonderful ideas – and really, it’s one of the reasons I don’t take on too much worry about things in the long run. As humans, we are so capable of solving dilemmas. It’s just that we tend to wait until the last minute so often…

  13. great topic. I agree that I like the solitude.