Road Trip Day 4 - 2007-07-23

Here's a map of my journey on Day 4:,+VA&daddr=Asheville,+NC&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=49.844639,79.101563&ie=UTF8&z=7&om=1

Check out pictures of today's trip here:

Today I drove from Reston, VA where Rob lived over to Asheville, NC where my grandmother lives. The drive was pleasant enough for most of the trip, though I did hit some rain coming into North Carolina.

I had to fill up my tank, which gave me the opportunity to check out the fuel efficiency of the Infiniti I'm driving. It was 28 MPG on the highway, quite a bit better than the 18 MPG I'd get on my Jeep. I will be driving approximately 8000 miles, so assuming gas is around $3/gallon, this will save me $476 ($1333 vs $857). Not a bad deal!

I finished the audio book How to Win Friends and Influence People today. It was pretty good, and not as creepy as it sounds. Basically, it tells you to be nice and try to empathize with people's point of view. Here is a summary of the key points from this site ( For more details check out that site.

Building Personal Relationships
1) Never criticize, condemn or complain.
2) Become genuinely interested in other people.
3) Talk in terms of the other person's interests.
4) Be a good listener.
5) Make the other person feel important.
6) Use Names whenever possible.
7) Smile.

Selling your Ideas: Establish a Space for Cooperation
1) Avoid arguments: you can only lose.
2) Begin in a friendly way.
3) Let the other person do a great deal of the talking.
4) Be sympathetic.
5) Respect others’ opinions. Never say, "You're wrong."
6) If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.
7) Try honestly to see things from the other person's point of view.
8) Frame requests in terms of what others find motivating.

Selling your Ideas: Closing the Deal
1) Get the other person saying "yes, yes" as soon as possible.
2) Dramatize your ideas.
3) Let the other person feel that the idea is his or hers.
4) Appeal to the nobler motives.
5) Throw down a challenge.

Leadership: Giving Criticism & Driving Improvement
1) Begin with praise and honest appreciation.
2) Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person.
3) Call attention to people's errors indirectly.
4) Let the other person save face.
5) Make the fault seem easy to correct. Use encouragement.
6) Praise the slightest improvement and every improvement.
7) Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to.

Leadership: Motivating Others
1) Ask questions instead of giving direct orders.
2) Try to make the other person happy about doing things you suggest.

Step by Step Guide to motivating others to do tasks:
1. Be Sincere. Don't promise what you can't do or deliver.
2. Know precisely what it is you want the other person to do.
3. Be Empathetic. Try to understand what others want.
4. Focus on any benefits the other person might receive.
5. Explain how those benefits match the other person's wants.
6. Frame requests to communicate that the other person will personally benefit.

I arrived at my grandmother's house around 4:30. We picked up some pizza and brought it back to the house to eat it. For those of you who haven't met her, she is not in the best health and even struggles to get a fork up to her mouth. It is impressive to watch her determination when she eats. I can tell where I get my persistence/stubbornness from!

We sat out on the porch after dinner where I showed her the sweater I'm working on for Justin's new baby, Blue. We talked for a while and then she got a bit sleepy, so she went to take a nap. I stayed out on the porch and continued working on the sweater until it was dark. I finished up the button border and most of the seaming, which is a real pain. It is difficult to see exactly which part of the stitch you need to stick your needle through to make the seam look nice. It seems to be turning out pretty well though, if I do say so myself!

Unfortunately, I didn't get any photos of my grandmother today, but hopefully I'll get some tomorrow morning and post them in tomorrow's update.

(This post is a bit late due to computer problems: I couldn't get it to boot! See tomorrow for the exciting conclusion.)

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