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Self driving cars can't come fast enough!

So pretty but made me sick(er).
The self driving car, for me, can’t arrive fast enough!
Let me explain.
I live in Billings, MT. On the weekend of April 1st 2016 (actually March 31st) I drove to Missoula Montana to visit some friends and do some hiking. I hadn’t been in that neck of the woods in almost 11 years. It was long overdue. During the drive out there I had developed a cough that persisted the duration of the drive.
I remember thinking, “why am I coughing so much? What strange disease do I have?”
I finally arrived at Missoula and met up with one of my friends. We went to Pizza Hut where we both used to work in the early to mid 90s. We marveled at how much the place had changed. We ordered food and reminisced about the old days and all the silly/stupid/fun stuff we used to do. During this time my cough went away and, in the back of my mind, I thought that maybe I had kicked what was making me cough.

After eating and visiting for a while we went back to my friends house. I would be staying there for the duration of the trip. We sat in the living room and visited until the late hours of the night. During this time my cough came back but it was different. Kind of like a persistent tickle. I remember commenting how annoying the cough was.
As the night grew late my friend and I decided it was time to turn in. After all we had a big 16 mile hike to do the next morning. We were standing in the kitchen and my friend was telling me where extra blankets were and where the extra bathroom was. I suddenly got light headed. Very light headed. I don’t know if my buddy noticed it but I’m sure if it had been a slight bit worse I would have probably fell to the floor. I didn’t say anything and my buddy went to bed.
From the point of the lightheadedness I felt the fever and shakes suddenly course through my body. I got ready for bed and lay down on the couch I’d be sleeping on and a strange delirium overcame me. The sleep was light but the dreams were strong, strange and bizarre.
By the time the next morning rolled around I had a fever and I couldn’t keep warm enough or cool enough. I was weak.
We decided not to go hiking and, about an hour later, I was feeling a little bit better. My fever broke (a bit) and we decided I was good enough to go up in the mountains and hang out by the Blackfoot river, the river made famous in the excellent movie “A River Runs Through It.”
The day was sunny and bright but it was chilly out. I was also very weak so the very act of hiking up the short hill to get to and from the river wore me out. We spent several hours there and, though I enjoyed myself, I was cold to the core. I started shivering and feeling feverish again. The drive back to town seemed to take forever even though I enjoyed the mountainous views and I deteriorated by the minute. By the time we got back to my buddy’s place I was wore out and half ready to go to the ER. I didn’t. Instead I layed down on the couch and dozed off. I remember the amount of heat coming from my head and neck and being kind of concerned about it.
About twenty minutes into my nap I was awoken by my buddies son. He had stopped by to say hi and to wait for his wife to get off work. We visited for about an hour and his wife finally showed up and they took off. I was ready for some sleep.
I will take this moment to point out that I had been a bit proactive that day. In the morning, before going to the river, we’d stopped off at Walgreens and I’d bought some cough drops and some Nyquil. The latter was important since I had such a bad night before I wanted to make sure that I would sleep well that night. I’d also told my friend that if I was feeling up to it that I would try to drive back to Billings the next morning. It always sucks being away from your own comfy bed when you aren’t feeling well. That being Saturday morning. So, when my buddies son and wife left I took some Nyquil, laid down and promptly fell into a very deep sleep. It was about six pm.
I gradually awoke and still felt like crap but I noticed I wasn’t as feverish. A quick look at my phone informed me that it was midnight. I got up and went to the bathroom and it was a chore. I was still feeling very week. I took some more Nyquil since it had been a little over six hours since my last dose and fell promptly asleep again. I didn’t wake until seven am in the morning. After a morning of visiting and drinking a bunch of orange juice I get on my way.
The trip was long and tedious. Being sick I had to stop for the bathroom several times. That, and the act of stopping to fuel up, wore me out since I was so weak. I don’t ever remember being so weak before.
Through luck and perseverance I finally made it home, medicated up and slept like a baby.
A long and over told story (probably) to get to the point of self-driving cars. I do keep up with the futurology subreddit and read a lot about the self driving tech that is coming so I do have a really good idea at what is possible these days. Tesla absolutely blows my mind.
When I was driving back home I thought how perfect it would be to be able to crawl into the backseat of a self driving car and let it drive the five hours to Billings. Every mile I had to drive reinforced that idea.
The day that self driving cars become available I’ll be the first in line to buy the first one.


  1. So, I get these e-mails from Google + every so often saying "Here are some posts you might find interesting", and they're always from people I don't know and I delete the e-mail. Just today I got another one and, figuring it was the usual suggestions of strangers, I deleted the e-mail, BUT...just as I clicked that delete button, in that split second, I noticed the pic in the post...a familiar scene from the Blackfoot River. To be sure, I went to my deleted e-mails and recovered it and sure enough it was. Then I realized it was YOU! Not sure why Google + is just now suggesting it two weeks later. Anyway, sorry you got so sick. Did you get bronchitis after the flu that lingered for weeks? I did. Yes, I didn't tell you because I didn't want you to feel bad, but the day you left I felt the tickle cough hit me and that night the chills and flu hit hard and lasted a few days. What really sucked though was the heavy deep congested chest cough, which I'm sure was bronchitis, that set in immediately after the flu and lasted over two weeks. In fact, I still to this day, over 3 weeks later, have a bit of a lingering congested cough, though it's much better. It sucked, though. Took me off the trails for a while. I tried to run but just couldn't with the hard hacking and coughing. Just these past few days I'm finally getting back into it. That's my very longwinded comment for today. The End.

    1. Oh man, I didn't realize that you replied to this. Google must bury the notification.

      Anyway, I am pretty sure I had bronchitis after I got sick. I had the heavy chest cough and I really couldn't seem to kick it. Ugh.

      I feel bad you got sick though. I was hoping you and Dori would be okay. That is probably the worst sick I've been since 1984 and that ain't no lie!


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