Monday, December 27, 2010

DMV Adventure, First day driving.

The Wednesday before Christmas I took my son down to the DMV so he could take the test to get his drivers permit. I could tell he was ready for this. He was up early and showered. He wanted to be at the DMV before it opened, and had taken the online practice test the night before.
So we get there 25 min before the doors open. This was one of the big days for rain here in So. Cal.
so we were standing outside under my umbrella the whole time until the doors opened in the rain. It was pretty funny. When we finally get to the counter, he hands them his paperwork and the lady behind the counter punches in some stuff into the computer and prints something. She tosses it up onto the counter and asked for a signature. My son swings it to me, but the lady pulls it back to him and says, "you have to sign it sir", pointing at my son. He goes "OH" I had been texting my friend from up north about how my kids are all growing up and he pushed that paper to me and in a teenage voice says, "stop texting like a teenager and sign this". That was when she pulled it back for him to sign. My comment was, "that's right you get to stand in the DMV line with the big dogs now"
He goes and gets his picture taken, I'm mad about this because he smiled correctly for this picture and always has some stupid look on when I take one, then he stands in line for the test.
He sits down for the test where I can see him. Instantly he starts into the test, he is looking at it for a while and I can see he is starting to second guess his answers. He finally turns it in.
He comes out and tells me that the kid that left before him missed 13 answers and couldn't come back for like 3 weeks. Wow son that is horrible "how did you do"?
"I only missed 6".
We walked out and he was legal to drive with parent supervision. I didn't know this at the time, there was some issue with the drivers ed rules now a days. Oh well he wasn't going to be driving that day anyways. It was raining so much that all the streets were flowing water.
On our way home I made a detour. The news had been saying that the Mojave River was flooding. It flows right to the east of town here in Hesperia, so we went to take a look.
The road that crosses the Mojave here goes right across the river bed, no bridge. We had to go across a field to bypass the road closed signs, so we could get to small hill above the river.
I took a picture and some video.
This river doesn't always have water in it, more often than not it is a dry sandy bottom.
Here it was last Wednesday.

If you look in the middle of the picture there is a black object just before the white water. That is a small pick up truck. Good time to talk to the new driver about not crossing stuff like this and not to go around road closed
You can't see it in the picture, but sitting up on the levees on both sides are all these 4X4's looking over at the river. They all looked like they wanted to see if their Jeep or big truck could make it across. Luckily for all of them the best deterrent ever was in the river already.
here is the video.

We went home after this and found out he could drive a car now so I promised him the next day, in the morning we would go our barring the rain has let up.

The next morning the sun was out and he was ready to go. It was all he could do to not stand at the door with my car keys in his hands.
I figured we would start out learning how to drive a vehicle with a clutch. That called for us to get the Geo Metro out. Isn't it cute.

That pic was a year ago.
This car is a whopping 46 hp sun tanning machine, and it is a five speed.
Unfortunately it is also 18 years old and the rubber on the convertible top has shrunk and the top dripped a little on the seats so we had to get
I drove us out to a place just south of us that was suppose to be a new housing tract, but like so many area's like this the economy tanked and the area is all paved streets with stop signs but no houses or traffic. Perfect spot.
We put him in the drivers seat and showed him how it worked and the lesson began. It was so funny. Every time he would stall the car he would go "sorry". I started to tell him to stop that or I was going to spank
He stalled the car many times. He rolled up to the stop sign with out putting the clutch in and the car bucked to a stop several times. He would steer to hard and end up over correcting on the turns, which wore out his arm.
He started to get the hang of it. This area was basically a city block with stop signs. We went both ways so he could get a stop sign at all corners or reversed it and he could practice down shifting and cornering.
After a while fate through in a curve ball. A guy taking a walk in the area showed up. My son focusing on not hitting the man the first time forgot to shift. We are coming up on the poor guy and I can tell he can hear the motor racing as it gets closer behind him. He started to move into the bushes on the road side. Every time we crawled around the block he had moved around the next corner. By the time he had hit the last corner he was coming up on a stop sign, so my son slows down in hopes that he will cross the street before we gets there. This guy looked like he was going to break into a run about this poor guy.
Also about this time we had a little of nature doing funny things on one side of our city block.
We turn on to the east end of this block and this Roadrunner crosses up in front of us. The next time around we had reversed our direction and hit the east side from the other direction, and zoom, either the same Roadrunner or his friend crosses the road, the third time we notice it crossing again. Now on the fourth time I had been instructing my son not to turn so you end up into oncoming traffic and on coming Roadrunners, zoom there he went again. We were laughing about this time. That bird or a whole herd of them would cross the road every time we hit the east 6 times.
About that time I felt he could handle the car enough to drive us home. He did well, we did have a little shifting problem on a hill but we made it. Confuse the poor boy when down shifting and he forgot to let off the gas.

I let him drive the truck most of the way down to my brothers on Christmas day. He will get the hang of it. I can tell he really wants to be able to drive. Independence!
Little does he know that once he knows how to drive he becomes the family chauffeur. evil grin

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