Tuesday, April 04, 2006

It's the long one on the right...

Spent all day yesterday and today drinking the corporate Kool-Aid. I really think HR people like to hear themselves talk when they are explaining common sense shit. Anyway, I know now I shouldn't make racist, misogynistic or ethnic jokes at work, so thanks for 2 days of un-productivity. At least we get free lunch.

Anyway, in my boredom at this training session I started thinking about my morning commute. 30 minutes is far longer than any drive I've ever had to work, and I really don't like it. Since I'm not moving anytime soon, I decided to do an experiment in an attempt to minimize my overall commuting stress.

On trial is the notion that driving conservatively rather than my typical speeding, aggressive, yellow-red light running self will be better in the following facets:
  1. Improved gas mileage
  2. Little or no difference in time of commute
  3. Reduced chance of speeding tickets
  4. Improved safety
  5. Reduced stress
Parts 3, 4 and 5 are really speculative and qualitative, and will be measured as such, seeing as my experimental control is flawed in that I have a record free of tickets and accidents. The reduced stress aspect I already know to be true; if I'm not driving like there's a fire in Elkton MD, I'm far less worried about aspects 1 - 4.

Therefore my experiment will go as follows:
  • My commute: Google Maps Link
  • The first 5 day period will be the experimental control.
    • I will drive in my normal aggressive fashion:
      • Yellow to red light transitions will be run when possible.
      • I will stick to the fast lane primarily and pass on the right when possible.
      • I will average 10-20 mph over the speed limit.
      • Menacing glares will be given to those who stand in my way.
    • I will start with a full tank of gas, and I will refill it at the end of the week to measure fuel consumption.
    • I will time my morning commute, and try to leave at the same time each day.
  • The first 5 day period will test the hypothesis.
    • I will drive conservatively:
      • Yellow to red light transitions will be treated as red lights.
      • I will stick to the middle lane primarily and pass on the left when the following speed is not possible.
      • I will average no more than 10 mph over the speed limit.
      • Eye contact with other motorists will be avoided.
    • I will start with a full tank of gas, and I will refill it at the end of the week to measure fuel consumption.
    • I will time my morning commute, and try to leave at the same time each day.
Updates will follow, this experiment is slated to run from 10 April to 21 April. Pre-test feedback will be appreciated - i.e. are there other worthwhile measurables, variables, or recommendations? Does anyone else want to test this hypothesis in a different region?

As for now, I'm going to explore some possible bouldering spots in Wilmington.

2 comments:

kristen said...

it is my humble opinion that you have far too much time on your hands.

robert said...

What else should one think about during the morning commute. or meetings. or during conversation with others.