"If we value the pursuit of knowledge, we must be free to follow wherever that search may lead us. The free mind is not a barking dog, to be tethered on a ten-foot chain."

Adlai E. Stevenson Jr.

A Library in Your Pocket

February 5, 2010

Why Rage Against The Road: Let OCD Set You Free

When I am driving by myself on the interstate long distances, my otherwise dormant OCD comes full throttle alive like an aberrant offshoot of Jack's bean stock.  I make the Rain Man seem like a welcome traveling companion. One thing I do semi-regularly is speed. Nothing overtly suicidal, but still calculated to push the envelope and shave as many minutes as possible from my ETA based on posted speed limits and the latest google updates.

The trick is to find a rabbit. That's the driver that has to have the lead.  The rabbit speeds up, slows down and speeds up again any time you even look like you might be thinking about making a move for the lead.  Catch the rabbit's draft, relax  and enjoy the view. Actually, that's not bad advice for life.

Another obsessive habit I have is reciting poems. I have maybe half a dozen or so memorized. One in particular called Kubla Khan I race to recite in less than a minute. I start the second the new minute begins. I have broken the 60 second barrier only a few times, but each victory has been so sweet.  If anyone wants to hear me go for the record, I'd be happy to upload my latest attempt for your listening pleasure.

Sometimes I imagine how this special talent might one day prove as indispensable as Rudolph's red nose. From there I easily drift into a forensic profile of Rudolph, the troubled young reindeer gone rogue, which is probably within rifle range of Sarah Palin taking dead aim on the young buck. Not to suggest she would intentionally slaughter a defenseless animal, at least not without a proper license and all the fixins for reindeer stew on hand.

When the digital LED screen glows a new green minute, I cut immediately to Kubla Khan. Even though I have only beat the clock a few times, I routinely finish in under 75 seconds. I'm pretty sure this is world record territory. I am also pretty sure Hasbro won't be rushing to market at a Target near you Poetry Road Games although I'm already thinking 'the road not taken' would be a catchy tag line. Not that the Robert Frost Estate or even FrostFriends would ever support such crass exploitation.

In daylight driving I sometimes hold my breath between the one-tenth mile markers. I try to hold it for a mile. There seems to be some correlation between how fast I can recite Kubla Khan and how long I can hold my breath. I doubt it is exactly a 1:1 correlation, but that's pretty much where my math skills end.

Another thing I do when I'm in hillier areas is pick a landmark at the furthest distance ahead that I can actually describe to myself with confidence and estimate the distance. I then immediately reset the secondary trip odometer and calculate my ETA.  When done,  I wait for the next full minute to dawn, take a well timed breath and charge Kubla Khan.

I once read that men are better at estimating spatial distances. Challenge taken, I am amazed how many miles I can see on a clear day. I know we can see planets and galaxies millions of light years away, but we aren't actually seeing them. Its a parlor trick of Einsteinian proportions. All we see is the light they radiate after it travels through time at the insanely constant speed of 186,000 miles per second.  That's a lot of Kubla Khans.

The author may be right though. I am terrible at estimating distances. Maybe my latest invention - a zoom feature for the windshield - will help. Meanwhile,  at a hill's crest I have been able to make out landmarks nearly ten miles out. I read there is a mathematical formula to determine visible distance on flat earth and the maximum is claimed to be 2.9 miles. I don't understand the math. Possibly it has do with the curvature of the earth. I don't believe the claim, but its out there.

These mind journeys are a form of high speed meditation that keep keep me clear of road rage. They may, of course, generate road rage for those in my draft.  Sorry about that.

Warning: I am nobody's rabbit.


  1. HELLO, Good-day To You All Dear Viewers Brothers and Sisters ,Friends ,I want to shear a testimony on how Dr Lugard help me cured a virus called herpes simplex virus, I am so very happy today because I am free from the disease/virus of Herpes, My name is GIRON LARA from USA , I have been having Herpes since the past two years now, and I have pass through many different processes in getting cured from the diseases virus of HSV2 but nothing was working out, a friend of mine on Facebook called Harry Lura introduce me to DR LUGARD,and also give me hes email address (endofpainspelltemple@outlook.com or drlugardendofpainspelltemple@yahoo.com or endofpainspelltemple@gmail.com) http://dr-lugardspellhome.webs.com that he is the only one who can helped me get cured from my Herpes and any other diseases i may have , so I contacted him and have faith on him, All thanks to the gods of DR LUGARD , after sending me the herbal medicines which he has prepared for me, my life get transformed and everything was fine and Okay with me, till now I have been going to check up and its now going to tow-months now I am still negative. All thanks Goes to DR LUGARD and My Friend called Harry Lura for what she has done for me and my family... if you are also passing true problems, pains or any type of sickness or diseases i will advice you to contact DR LUGARD now by emailing him now at:(endofpainspelltemple@outlook.com or drlugardendofpainspelltemple@yahoo.com or endofpainspelltemple@gmail.com) You can also call him on these Mobile number +2347037098000 okay . TRULY DR LUGARD YOU ARE THE BEST MAY GOD-ALMIGHTY REWARD YOU FOR YOUR GOOD WORK OKAY, I WILL CONTINUOUS TO TESTIFY OF YOUR GOODNESS UNTIL MY LAST BREATH IN THESE EARTH MY BEST REGARDS SIR. +2347037098000 whats-app also now or on his web sit

  2. I've had genital Herpes problem over 4 years. I tried everything, of course I went to the medical DR. about a hundred times, probably not that many times , but it sure seems like nothing works . It never did any good for long and caused all kinds of other issues having to do with taking too many antibiotics. It wasn't easy until I stumbled upon this natural remedy , of a great prophet who cures with natural herbal herbs by name PROPHET WILLIAMS i email him and explain my situations and he advised me on this herbal cure which i gave a try, and my life changed completely. I'm feeling so much better now and all of my symptoms are totally gone. I haven't had an outbreak since using that, and am now tested negative info. prophetwilliamsspiritualtemple@gmail.com contact him for any disease like ALS,HEPATITIS B, DIABETIC, HSV2 HIV, HERPES, CANCER, ANTHRAX he is the only solution medical doctors will fail and disappoint you. info prophetwilliamsspiritualtemple@gmail.com thanks prophet you are the best.