How to Drive Like a Gentleman

gentlemanOnce behind the wheel some bad behaviors sometimes surface due to the anonymity we feel when in the driver’s seat. The driver’s seat gives us a sense of being “king of the road,” and the protection provided by our vehicle gives us a license to behave in ways we would feel ashamed of in more public gatherings.

From time to time we could all use a refresher on driving etiquette. Driving like a gentleman not only makes driving less hazardous to all. Some of the auto etiquette mentioned in this post is already backed by laws, which are often forgotten. Others my technically be supported by laws but make other drivers confused and/or irritated.


Do not drive slow in the #1 lane. This is the furthest left lane that is not the HOV/carpool lane. Driving slow in this lane is actually against the law in several states. The #1 lane is for passing. Slower traffic should always stay to the right. Those who drive slow in the #1 lane force other drivers to then use the lanes to the right to pass.

If you are behind someone in the #1 lane that won’t move over, don’t tailgate them expecting them to either speed up or change lanes. Another no-no: flashing your headlights at them instead (at least not in California, where this is in fact illegal–the DMV website has some general guidelines for passingl). If you are the one driving 60 mph in the #1 lane change lanes as soon as you see someone approaching you at a higher speed. Continue reading

Tips for that Long Drive

Tips for preparing for a long drive:

First off you should get a good night’s sleep so you are up for the drive. Definitely don’t go out early in the morning after a night of partying and drinking. And, of course, never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs including over the counter and prescription medicine. If you are sick or tired it is probably best you just stay home. There will always be another day for you to have fun in the sun on the trails and rocks.


If you are ready for the drive let’s make sure your ride is too. There are several things you should check before heading out for the ride:

–          Front and rear tire pressures, check your spare tire too

–          Proper torque settings on all lug nuts Continue reading

No, No Mods California

Want to modify and upgrade your ride to get noticed on the streets and increase horsepower while at the same time not get the unwanted attention from LEOs? The following is an informational list you will probably not want to do if you live in sunny California. If your stereo can be heard from 50 ft, that’s a no no. Other modifications noticeable at distance are lacking front and rear license plates, having blue or yellow headlights, or headlights that are of higher wattage than the OEM headlights. If you’re so cool you drive with just your parking lights on, expect to get some one on one time with Joe or Jane Cop. Surely if you’ve added flashy decorative lights you’re begging to get pulled over or beat up. Your front turn signals must be white or yellow and the rear turn signals must be red or yellow. If you want add lights to your windshield nozzles, the lights better be cute shades of white or yellow ;). Adding lights to your tire’s valve stems might look cool at speed but another ticket on the fridge won’t (or maybe it will). Want to add lights around your rear license plate? That’s okay as long as the lights are red. And, the rear of your ride needs to have rear red reflectors. Continue reading

Mount Whitney 2010

A couple of years back some friends and I hiked Mt. Whitney.  We almost summitted. Almost summitting is quite a feat when you consider how unprepared we were.  We committed several cardinal cross country hiking sins (before we knew any better):

  • It ended up snowing (in July!) and we were unprepared for this
  • We were under layered (I had a total of 2, and inner layer was cotton)
  • We had no crampons, ice picks, compass, trail map
  • One of our tents was missing pieces
  • We were very hung over

Mount Whitney

OBD2 Reading with your Smart Phone or Tablet

Ever want to read your vehicle’s fault codes and see relevant information without shelling out the bucks for an ODB II diagnostic scanner or  a programmer?    You can do this quite “easily” by combining a Bluetooth enabled OBD2 Diagnostic Scanner with a smart phone or tablet app that can read and display the information (I used Torque Pro with my Android).   For the setup, I used this video as a tutorial.  To be clear, this is more of a fun thing to do for a gadget geek like myself.  It’s not going to do the powerful performance tuning you’ll find from Superchips or Hypertech.  Nevertheless, this will allow you to Continue reading

Turnbull Canyon

As I’ve gotten busier and unable to spend whole days or weekends away in order to get my nature fix, I’ve been looking for trails closer to home.  One of the areas I’ve found that provide  reasonably challenging trails within a short driving distance is an area known as Turnbull Canyon.  This area is maintained by the Puente Hills Native Habitat Preservation Authority and the trails here include Turnbull Canyon Trail,  Rattlesnake Ridge Trail, Workman Ridge Trail and Worsham Canyon Trail.  Don’t expect Mt. Baldy or Mt. Whitney-type challenges, but consider it a great starting point if you’ve never hiked or if you’ve let your hiking shape atrophy thanks to countless lazy weekends filled with copious hours of Call of Duty.

So far I’ve used two different access points.  Coming in from Beverly Blvd Continue reading

Hotspots: Where to Hit A Person And Rock His World (even if it’s a big dude)

Here are some hotspots you can strike using your knuckles (after making a fist) or another hard object, like your smartphone.  No matter how shredded your opponent is, or how skilled, hitting any of these relatively easy-to-access targets is sure to ruin his day.

: In fact, any blunt force trauma to the side of the head, including the ear area disorients your opponent at the very least – can be fatal if the damage is severe enough.  There isn’t much protection on this part of the skull, and the ear?  Well, smashing your fist into someone’s ear is the equivalent to dropping a car on a piano.  It’ll jack. him. up. Continue reading

The World’s Most Complete Fighter

In Undisputed 3, Boyka sternly proclaims himself ‘the world’s most complete fighter’.  A big claim, yes, however, watching the fight scenes in this overlooked movie will lead the viewer to concede: “man! this dude just may be the world’s most complete fighter.”

I say “overlooked” only because when you click on the IMDB above link, the main image is a blueray cover.  That, and the fact that nearly no one’s heard of the movie.  It’s puzzling why Undisputed 3 hasn’t generated a more interest: the storyline’s uncomplicated, the fight scenes – nothing short of spectacular, and the characters Continue reading

Android OS Update Details

Calling All Android Users

Android’s fantastic.  Intuitive UI, customizable, good looking – if only people were like that, right?  The closest I can think of is Zoolander but I don’t know how intuitive or good looking Derek Zoolander really is, in any case:

It’s a love / not-so-much-love thing with Android.  Love – cuz of all the great above-mentioned things and more about this smartphone and tablet operating system.  Not-so-much – cuz they roll out OS upgrades but do so slowly and without any discernible pattern.  I’m all about life, liberty, and free-Android-OS-upgrades for all.  What’s the deal with some devices getting ICS and Jellybean while some don’t? Continue reading

Delicious Jerky Selection

Who likes beef jerky?

Obviously, you do cuz you clicked on the link, right?  Well, I like beef jerky.  I don’t like how it gets stuck between molars after I’ve enjoyed a great feasting of teriyaki jerky, hot and spicy jerky, or original flavor jerky.  I need to floss those chunks out afterwards, but it’s a tiny price to pay for the glory of chowing down on beef jerky.

Ah, the robust, mesquite flavor, the sinewy texture, the savory sweetness: beef jerky can possibly be the perfect food ever invented.

Sure, you can check out popular jerky review sources such as and get comprehensive comments on a variety of beef jerky products.  After deciding on what you wanna try, you can visit your local store (which probably won’t carry many or any of the brands you’re searching for), or you can find them online. Continue reading