One month in with Dracourage…

Call me Dracourage.
Call me Dracourage.

It’s been a month since my car crash in North Carolina.  I have a new car, and, for the most part, new car payments.  And so many people, the minute they see me, ask me, “Hey Chuck, how do you like your new car?”

And my response is the same… I’m getting used to it.

And little by little, I’m getting more used to it.

I’m getting used to increased gas mileage – 36 miles per gallon on Dracourage, the highest MPG achieved on any car I’ve ever owned.  Heck, it’s twice the MPG of my 1991 Pontiac 6000 of nearly a decade ago.

I’m getting used to the backup sensor that tweets and beeps and warns me of anything behind me.  A very important tool; at least twice it’s caught people running behind me JUST as I’m pulling out of a parking spot in a shopping center.

I’m getting used to the vastly improved OnStar.  Long-time blog readers remember that my previous car, the Blackbird – sorry, 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt SS – had a factory-installed OnStar setup.  Unfortunately, the 2006 setup was outdated by the time I acquired the Blackbird, to the point where everything THAT OnStar could do, I could already achieve with aftermarket modules.  Well, this OnStar actually interfaces with my phone, to the point where I can download locations from my phone to my car, and I can receive automatic updated turn-by-turn directions through the car’s internal computer – AND, those directions appear on both the car stereo and my steering wheel-centered display panel.  Okay, OnStar… this is a good thing.

Oh, and with a swipe of my finger on my cell phone, I can monitor Dracourage’s gas mileage and available fuel; I can lock and unlock the car with my phone; and I can even maintain a connection with my car dealership for maintenance appointments.

I’m also getting used to a nice little feature that allows me to integrate my iPod into my car stereo.  Yep, I can start the car and it automatically searches for a device called “Chuck Miller’s iPod.”  And once it finds that little device, it can play any song on the iPod’s playlist – right through the car stereo, just as if it was a distinct radio station.  Yes, folks, in addition to AM, FM and SiriusXM, I can actually select a channel called K-Chuck Radio.  Of my previous cars, my Pontiac 6000 actually did have this capability to play an iPod through the car stereo system, but that was based on an aftermarket Alpine deck, with my iPod tethered in the glove compartment.

I’m also getting used to Dracourage’s “safe driving” mode.  The minute I start the car, my 2013 Chevrolet Cruze nicknamed “Dracourage” automatically syncs with my BlackBerry PRIV phone, so that when someone calls me, I can speak to them in hands-free safety.  Oh yeah, and if anybody texts me, my phone automatically sends an auto-reply (ha, an “auto” reply) alerting the texter that I’m driving and that I’ll respond later.  Good.  This way, I won’t allow myself to get any distracted driving citations.  Aces.

I’m getting used to going an entire first month without windshield damage.  Yes, as much as I loved the Blackbird, I swear that I was on a first-name basis with the people at Safelite Auto Glass every time my car picked up any debris damage in the windshield.  Argh.  So far, the only thing I’ve seen in the windshield of Dracourage has been the open road.

I’m getting used to a larger trunk capacity – which is good when I need to haul artworks to competitions.  Especially the LARGE artworks.  There’s some serious hammerspace in that back trunk.

I’m getting used to the whisper-quiet travel, without the grumbling and rumbling of the Blackbird’s overachieving engine.

I’m getting used to a lot of things about Dracourage.  My fourth car.  My second Chevrolet and my fourth General Motors ride.

I like the idea of getting used to things.

It’s going to take some time, I know.

Thankfully, though … I do have the time.