Driving and B’s

This past winter I was feeling distinctly off my game. Not sick precisely, only sickening for something. Granted we’d just gone through a fairly crappy summer. More a prolonged Spring really. So all in all ’twas hardly a shock a bit of SAD manifest itself with that below par-ed-ness colouring the end of the year.

I was reading about the health aspects of B vitamins and thought I’d give them a try. Oddly enough they didn’t work at all. Not only did they not work then made things worse. So I returned to the WWW to see if I’d missed something. And I had. It seems, it matters very much the packing agent used to carry the active bits. Put it this way. If a person is taking B’s to aid energy for exercise, having calcium is fine. Should one be low in the B’s, calcium will not only act against the vitamin but will cause more removal from the body as the acid and base cancel each other and you end up weeing it out. It’s the very last thing you should be taking above the normal intake from food. This is where the Solgar people from NJ come in. They make a vitamin using cellulose as the packing agent, with no calcium whatsoever in any form. And by jingo are those vitamin manufacturers sneaky devils. Not only do you need a chemistry degree, you need a microscope also so small is the script.  Well, it was like a light switch was thrown. And in less than a week of taking these supplements I was popping over electric fences like a gazelle.


People tend to think about driving in one of two ways. Either as an Art or a Process. Happily and serendipitously I was guided by a guy who trained the Garda/police pursuit drivers. The basic code of this method is defense, this means you are always switched on. Something that’s quite hard to do at first. But there are a few other small things that aid you to keep up. The first is do your braking and down gearing while all four wheels are traveling the one way. In other words, you never brake while turning or cornering. So if you don’t know the route, this means on blind turns you are crossing quite slowly. It is always mirror–>blind spot—> indicator never the other way. Instinct causes one to move once the blinker is activated. Always have the engine on the high side for the speed across the ground. Not gas-guzzling high, just enough that you have power ready available. Always have the inner rim of the steering wheel matching the hood over the speedometer. Two reason for this. Today all cars have an air bag. If the wheel crossed the speedo, the center of the bag will be too low and your noggin will whip about. Too high and you could slip under the bag entirely when it deploys. The second reason, you are in a more natural seat where movement of the hand from the wheel to all the controls is more natural. This also helps when the bag deploys for your arms are cast out with the bag and not into the body. Something that’s not spoken anymore is the ten-two hold on the wheel, today it’s slightly above the midline 3-9. Test it, you’ll see that at 10-2 your hands have a better than good chance of ending up in your face. The makers tend to fix a sweet spot on the wheel.  And always always test your brakes on a straight empty stretch of road, so you aren’t shocked by the antilock. You surely don’t want to lift the hoof in an emergency over being unfamiliar with the roughness of the sound and feel. Put the satnav over the passenger beyond the inside mirror. And if they whine tell them to walk.

Driving these days isn’t half so much fun since the price of diesel has gone through the roof.

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19 Responses to Driving and B’s

  1. Michele says:

    As a vegetarian I watch my B vitamins closely. I can really tell when I’m low. Supplement manufacturers are a sneaky bunch. Watch them like a hawk.

  2. Kelly says:

    You do have to be careful what combinations you take supplements in.

    Good pointers on the driving. I naturally lean more towards an 8-4 on the steering wheel grip. Hmmm…I need to make sure I have that airbag aimed the right direction!

    • Vince says:

      Yeah, that and not get too hooked on foods like nuts. I’ve very little control and never buy the bigger bag.

      On the driving, yeah that grip is kinda important right enough. As is where the bag is aimed. It forces you to become one with the car so you don’t end up like a biscuit rattling about in a tin.

  3. sage says:

    If you’re running like a gazelle, that should save you some on diesel 😉

    • Vince says:

      Something would bloody want to, it’s €8 a gallon. If the car wasn’t extra efficient, it would be truly cheaper to own a horse.
      The thing that really frosts my gts is that more than half that cost is going directly into the coffers of the State for they haven’t a fixed money amount, their take is a % of the total. We’ve got Duty, then fuel tax, then VAT. You call that one sales tax I believe.

      • Vince says:

        €8 is about $10.60

        • Kimberly says:

          Gah! We’re almost to $5 and feel like we are being robbed. At $10 a gallon, for one with an hour or more commute in stop and go traffic, it would hardly be worth the paycheck!

          • Vince says:

            Aye, even when I’m paying it over I disbelieve it myself. And the UK is worse.

  4. Kimberly says:

    (Lauging at Sage’s comment above) I always have one hand on the phone and the other on the radio. 😉 Just kidding. I consider myself an offensive/defensive driver. I like to drive fast, but I am always aware of where I am and what others are doing. However, being that aware makes you see how BAD some of those other drivers are. Gas is an issue here too, I know not as bad as you all have it, but for us it’s jumped tremendously. Between that and wasting gas by stopping at stop lights on every single corner, driving has become very expensive.
    Very interesting about the Vitamin B; Surprising, but good to know.
    Have a nice weekend!

    • Vince says:

      Yes, it’s better to be that way, you do see all sort of insanity while people do all sorts of stuff.
      These days, I’m convinced that not keeping with traffic flow is the biggest sin. Not speeding. Someone tipping along at 20kph below the marked limit.

  5. R. Sherman says:

    I agree with every rule. BTW, my phone is off when I drive, so I’m not tempted. I’ve been teaching the elder son to drive, and have drilled the “defensive driving” part into his head mercilessly. You can never be too alert on the road.


    • Vince says:

      Ah Randall. There are honestly times to deploy money and this sure is one of them.

  6. Rebecca S. says:

    The best defensive driving ‘teacher’ I had was being in four accidents. Nothing sharpens your driving skills more than fear of death!

    I tend to stay away from generic brand vitamins, if I take any at all, and ask the advice of my expert friends on combinations, etc.

    • Vince says:

      It might seem odd since you’ve been driving a good while now, but you might gain from a lesson or two with an instructor. If four, then there might be something very small, like driving with the engine at too low revolutions. Or the seat being placed wrongly for the length of your leg. Or even a bad pair of glasses.
      Oh, it’s an error to think you should have everything all comfy. No, not a bit of it. You should set everything all comfy right enough, but then tilt the back one notch in towards the wheel.
      Ask your fella about the seating in bars, and the theory for drink sales.

  7. Shrinky says:

    Hey Vince, the Isle of Man adds an import charge on everything that crosses over from the mainland, including fuel – it’s scandalous how much a tank of petrol costs over here! I hate driving anyway, but it’s hard to avoid since we don’t live on a bus route, and I’m kinda’ duty bound to ferry the kids about to and fro. As for the supplements, I’ve recently started taking vit D which comes combined with calcium, I’m also taking vit B – from what you say, maybe the prior is cancelling out the latter? Bugger.

    • Vince says:

      You really have to watch those that are fat soluble they can sit in the liver and fatty tissue, poisoning you. While the B’s you can wee out of yourself, so you must keep them topped up.
      The calcium thing is a crock of shite. You can fix calcium from most every vegetable if you are eating some sort of fat with ones food. That every bottle of water is virtually a block of limestone is doing nothing more than a marketing gimmick.
      Tesco’s Ashbeck is the thing, it has 10mg calcium, not 60.

      On the petrol, we hardly believe the UK is higher than us.

  8. Shrinky says:

    Cheers Vince, I think I’ll bin the calcium enriched vit D supplement, my liver doesn’t need any more punishment than it already receives! I already use the Tesco’s Ashbeck, so that’s comforting to know.

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