Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Adjusting to new limitations that resulted from the less than fully-successful cataract surgery three weeks ago ... .

It may be finally getting through to my busy brain that "old" may be making its belated entrance from stage left, and I may just have to deal with it at last.

Have been in recovery that doesn't seem to be taking hold, and my sight is truly less than before, but there's still hope that when my new prescription for glasses has been completed -- and sight is optimized again -- things will clear up considerably.  Let's hope.

Yesterday I found myself musing about that new driverless car that Google, Tesla, and others are developing, and how great it would be if the "Oldest Ranger in the National Park Service"might be the perfect choice to demonstrate this new age of auto travel.  Do you suppose? I could be the poster girl for this new method of travel.  Think about it.  They might use me in order to begin to answer some of the questions about just how effective this technology will be in extending the independence of elders as life itself is extended by many years.  Interesting?  Okay.  It was just a fast-moving fantasy, but worth  a few moments of consideration while waiting for the tea to brew... .

I've given up driving almost completely, and am relying on friends and ParaTransit for transportation to and from work, but that leaves a lot to be desired.  I figured that -- if I could get a group of friends to each take on one day each week when we could visit en route the six mile drive to or from, this would offer a continuing regularly scheduled social contact with others, and those times that weren't covered that way would be times to use Uber or Lyft.  Sounds perfect, right?  Not quite.

So far I find that I'm reluctant to ask my friends, and, to use ParaTransit requires a 24 hours notice to reserve rides, and only works between 8:30 to 5:30 each day.

The 4 and a half mile drive from our offices to my home (10 to 12 minutes drive) takes 4 busses and more than an hour  by public transportation!  The 5 and a half mile ride from the Visitor Center probably requires even more time.

Small wonder that we're not rushing to use that system

Seriously considered retirement as a practical answer, but then on Saturday night at an important dinner I received the Roosevelt Award and ... .

Since I work a 5-hour day, paying $18-$20 round trip is hardly reasonable by  ParaTransit, even more by Uber, and outrageously expensive  by taxi.

I've decided not to force my sons to wrestle my car keys away, but to turn them over to one of my granddaughters as soon as she has her license.  Having it sitting there declaring my loss of independence each time I give it a glance is just too tempting, and the time has come to adapt to a new reality.

How 'bout it Google?  Tesla?  Anybody ready for a no-drivin' hell-raiser with enough passion to go it apace for at least another decade? Maybe the Department of Motor Vehicles has some unanswered questions that need exploring; and how about those questions about accountability on the road?  Focus groups, perhaps? Except for very slowly-failing eyesight, all other systems are firing appropriately, and  you'll rarely find a sharper mind or keener insight.

Those Boomers are fast moving up to making such decisions, and within a few years are going to make up a significant portion of the group for whom driverless vehicles will be a godsend.

We've ventured into the age of robotics and mechanization, and anticipating the changes they will bring could hardly be more spine-tinglingly exciting!

The Future is NOW, and I'm ready if you are.