On achievements, and life

Written by larry on July 10th, 2012

A recent article from my old stomping grounds tells of a fellow who’s been driving a 1966 Volvo P1800S since it was new, and is just a few thousand miles from reaching the 3 million mile mark. Since 1966 isn’t particularly old for an airplane, that got me thinking about the comparison.

A very high-time Skyhawk from 1966 might have as much as 10,000 hours on the airframe. At 110 knots (optimist that I am), that would equate to about 1.2 million miles. A clear win for the Volvo. Working the math the other way, assuming an average road speed of 40 mph, that three million mile Volvo was on the road for 75,000 hours, or about 4.5 hours a day, every day for 46 years. Or in different units, 8.5 continuous years of driving.

I’m quite impressed by what Mr Gordon’s accomplished. But I’ve reached a point in my life where I realize that I don’t have an unlimited amount of time here, and using it optimally is important to me. So without in any way diminishing his achievement, I do find myself asking whether, of all the things he could have done with that 75,000 hours, was setting this record the most rewarding of all possibilities?


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