How to Reduce Stress and Anxiety When Traveling

The Problem

I have a car accident one year ago. I am really worried that my 10 year old daughter may 'catch' my anxiety about going in cars. him in the car telling him to slow down. What can I do to stop my daughter being as nervous as me? "

The Solution

It is very common after a bad traffic accident to feel nervous in the car both as a passenger and a driver. So what can you do? Please reassure yourself that your nervousness will get better. The keys to this are: Every time you go in the car tell yourself 'I'm safe' and 'this will be OK'. It is extremely unlikely that you will have another accident. Next, you need to have regular practice going out in the car both as a passenger and as a driver. Try going on very short trips around where you live – put your kettle on, and go out for a 5 minute journey.

If you are driving, remember to relax every 5 minutes – let your shoulders drop, do not grip the steering wheel to tightly, and take a deep breath. If any particular situation, like passing a junction, makes you tense, apply the 'relax' technique then. When you are a passenger be aware of your 'feet, hands and mouth', try not to 'brake' or hang on, and try not to point things out to the driver! As these nervous passenger behaviors stop, you will relax more and find it easier to cope with the journey. As you feel better, you will transmit this to your daughter. You can also explain to her that traveling is safe; play games in the car to distract her and make the journey more fun. Please do not worry, this nervousness is understandable and gradually goes.

The Passive and Supportive Stepford Wife

Some of us ladies have a horror of becoming something of a Stepford Wife; that squeaky clean, air-headed, submissive little house person who does not have a thought of her own beyond an imaginative dinner menu to please her lord and master.

There are women who buy into this garbage, especially the wives of busy senior corporate executives which wifely duties entail standing by good old George or Fred or whatever his name is at every major company function, the epitome of wifely splendor in every respect – coiffed, perfumed and beautifully dressed to the envy of every other lady present. Such women produce perfect buffets at twenty minutes notice for ninety without turning a hair. Personally if my husband suggested we might entertain a dozen executives for dinner at three days notice I would check myself into an asylum and hide there until the pension matured.

Contrary to mine and just about every other intelligent woman's opinion, are these ladies really leading satisfied and fulfilled existences? Can virtual enslavement really be that much fun? Most of them would lead us to think that it is, but women caught up in the corporate merry go round of competitive high achievement are brain trained to support such statements regardless of their actual feelings.

Who began this nonsense anyway? Who decided it was unacceptable to wear the same outfit to two functions consecutively? Who made it a rule that sophistication had to go hand in hand with a complete loss of humor? Why do these elegant ladies never smile / stumble / fart? Must all resemblance to the human race as a species be removed before one is considered to be special enough to entertain at boardroom level?

There are, it is believed, certain compensations for having to appear at every company social function behaving as if one's brain has been picked – most of them monetary or, appropriately enough – plastic.

To all you junior executive wives with an ambition to push Herbert up the corporate ladder as fast as possible – get a life, girls, there are more important things to worry about than whether the table is properly dressed or should Mavis be wearing more expensive shoes than the wife of who ever happens to be the head peaceut this week.

Preventive Maintenance Is Better Than a Cure

Most classic car owners cover relatively few miles in their cars both because they are owned as hobby cars but also because they are generally covered by limited mileage insurance policies. Mileage could be anywhere from a few hundred to about 3,000 miles per year. If a problem starts to manifest itself, the owner usually gets plenty of notice and has plenty of time to fix the problem. And unless they have a specific classic run or rally planned then there is no urgency.

Renting out a fleet of classic cars brings us a set of different problems. Firstly the mileage is much higher. Some of our cars will cover 10,000 miles per year and 6,000 to 8,000 is quite normal. This means that problems that may creep up on the average classic car owner fairly slowly appear a bit quicker on our fleet of classic cars. Add to that fact that by the nature of our business, we have cars hired out on definite dates, we have developed a culture aimed at avoiding problems rather than waiting for them to happen and then fixing them.

When we add a new car to our fleet we give it a thorough service including replacing all hoses, whether they need it or not, replacing the flexible brakes hoses with Aeroquip ones which do not degrade, and fitting electronic ignition to avoid the slow degradation that happens with good old contact breaker points.

We also drive our own hire cars regularly as our customers will not always report anything unusual as they tend not to know how the cars drive normally. In this way we can usually pick up symptoms as they start to develop and have them fixed before they become a problem to either us or the customers.

This is illustrated by a piece of work that we are currently having carried out on our 1970 Jaguar E-Type Roadster. As well as hiring this out, we use it quite a lot ourselves and drave it across Europe to the Czech Republic and back in September 2010. The MSA Euroclassic is not a normal road run and is set to take in the most scenic routes possible , including in this instance crossing the Alps via the famous Stelvio and St Gothard passes.

The Stelvio has been featured on the BBC Top gear program as one of the best drives in the world and having completed it twice we can verify this accolade. This year on a few of the 49 hairpin bends, when turning in tightly under load, there was a slight knock, knock coming from the right rear. We have a team of mobile mechanics with us on the Euroclassic so I asked them to have a look and they said it was a small amount of play in one of the four universal joints on the rear drive shafts. They pumped in a load of fresh grease, to the offending UJ and the other three for good measure, and the problem disappeared.

The E-Type has now gone in for it is annual pre hire-season service and I asked our garage to check it out. They confirmed the mobile mechanic's diagnosis that there is a small amount of play in just one of the four UJs. If this was a normal classic car their prognosis is that the UJ would be fine for anywhere from five to ten thousand miles which for most classic car owners could be anywhere from 3 to 10 years motoring.

However for the Open Road this could have been done in a single year. There are not any tight, stelvio type, hairpin bends for many miles and it is unquestionably that a customer would hear so much as a slight clunk during the coming year. However I do not want a customer to be either worried if they were to hear such a noise or, still still, to be inconvenienced if it were to fail.

I gave the garage instructions to replace the offending UJ. Based on the assumption that the other three UJs in the drive shafts are of the same age, and have been subject to the same driving stresses it is reasonable to assume that they might be starting to deteriorate. I therefore instructed them to replace the other three UJs at the same time to remove any risk of premature failure.

About once a year, a customer will say that charging over £ 300 for a day's hire for an E-Type feels a bit expensive. This is one of the reasons why. I would rather spend money in advance on preventive maintenance that a normal classic car owner would not think was strictly necessary.

At the end of the service our E-Type will be setup and ready for what I am expecting to be a very busy year. The E-type was launched in 1961 so this year celebrates its 50th birthday. It has already been featured in a number of the classic car magazines and I expect it to receive huge amounts of coverage through the coming year which should generate loads of requests to hire this icon of the British automotive art.

How To Select A Good Web Hosting Provider For Your Website

There are so many time consuming little things that conspire against you when you first start your online adventure. Selecting a hosting provider is one of them. How do you find a good hosting provider? By the way you need hosting, if you plan to put your site on the Internet (so that other can see your web pages).

What ever you do, do not buy hosting services from local companies. I've made this mistake in the past and paid quite a lot in price and time. It's simply a nightmare to get things done with them and they never provide 24X7 support! These are the cheaper and more efficient options.

Depending on the size of the site or the number of sites you want to host, there are 3 main answers.

  1. If you want to host a simple site, then go for a basic provider. Some are world famous for providing this service for a very small price (about $ 4.95 / month). There are many packages but the best one I've used so far is the "Baby" package for Web Hosting. You can select your preferred operating system as well (I prefer Linux, it's more robust and easier to use, but if you like you can select windows). With the package you can host a unlimited number of domains, meaning you can buy any number of domain names and host them here. Quite a good deal J
  2. If I want to host many high traffic sites, then I use a Virtual Private Server (VPS) from a company. There are some very good deals costing about $ 19.97 / Month. When you use a VPS, you are given your own VPS, but main hardware (CPU, RAM, etc ..) on the server are shared between many VPSs. On this, You can host about 500 site, with about 300 pages per site. Their customer service and support is superb. Usually you get a reply to your questions within minutes.
  3. Lastly if I want to host 1000s of very large site, I use a dedicated server from another company. They come with good CPUs, RAM etc..Prices start from $ 139 / Month. Very solid networks, fast connections, etc …

So those are the options … if you are just starting your online journey, I would go for a simple hosting account. Once you build some traffic you can migrate to a Virtual Private Server (VPS). Once you have quite a lot of traffic and web pages you can select a dedicated server.