I’ve always had a fascination for numbers. Some numbers have always been more pleasing to me, like ‘3,’ ‘12,’ or ‘Seven of Nine.’ This is, of course, very odd, so I’ve had to resort to extremes to hide it, like becoming an engineer, or pretending to use Excel to make pictures.

When I was young, two numbers I recall seeing all the time on my clock radio (the same one Bill Murray had in Groundhog Day) wasn’t 5:59 or 6:00, but either 9:41 or 9:44. It’s been over 30 years since these numbers were ingrained in my neurons.

Take a look at Apple’s image of an iPhone. What time is it on the phone? More often than not, it’s 9:41. Coincidentally, I now own an iPhone 5S (thanks, Gazelle!). And what car is wasting away in my garage? That’s right—a 944.

What I’m saying is my life is ruled by numbers.

And that’s why I take pictures of my odometer.

This is all mathematically logical. Possibly in a parallel universe.

Making It Last Longer

The advent of digital photography has made this much easier. With a film camera, I did this only for major numbers like 100,000 miles. But with a digital camera, silly numbers like 123,456 or 98,765 are possible—even 24,680 (2-4-6-8-10). The Count would be proud.

or 0x01E240
or 0x01E240
or 0001 1000 0001 1100 1101
or 0x0181CD

I also find repeating numbers soothing.

or 22,222
or 33,333
or 55,555
or 99,999
or 111,111
or 111,111

I like palindrome numbers—reversible numbers like 23,432. Okay, this may be entering the realm of dumb numbers, but remember—never mind, it is just dumb.

I’m still waiting for a few numbers to come around, like 186,282 (speed of light in America—can be rounded to 186,000) and 314,156 (pi—3.14156). Another is 235,711—the first 5 prime numbers. I thought I had 32,768 (215) and 65,536 (216), but I can’t seem to find those. Maybe I decided that was too much at the time. A number I keep missing is 101,010, which is the answer to life and stuff for those who are either always on, or always off.

Numbers named after people (Avogadro, Boltzmann, Euler, Fibonacci, Planck, etc.), I tend to ignore. In theory, the mathematicians or physicists can take those pictures.

I Can’t See Clearly Now

So I have two problems with this obsession. While it’s extremely satisfying to get a great picture, it turns out I take a bad picture more often than a good one. That’s my first problem. It was worse in the old analog film days when I didn’t want to waste film, but it’s not much better today. Here are a couple examples of film.

Blurry 1990 Chevrolet Beretta GTZ picture
Blurry 1984 Buick Skyhawk Custom picture

Blurry Subaru WRX STI picture
This last picture is just an example that proves I’m still an idiot.

Here was my recent attempt at taking a picture of 150,000 miles on my Honda, the third car I currently have that broke this barrier. It’s a good thing I wasn’t chewing gum or I would have crashed for sure.

Honda Civic Si redline
Snap! Snap! No, Shift! Shift! Focus!

I’m obviously going to have to practice my one-handed, self-satisfying, number photo-taking hobby. I just hope I don’t strain a metaphor working on it.

Does It Smell As Sweet?

Other than fiddling with my radio, this is the most dangerous thing I do when I’m behind the wheel.
This is really stupid of me because in everything else, I take driving safety very seriously. Which leads me to my second problem with this obsession.

What the hell do you call taking pictures of your odometer?

The internet knows what a “selfie” is. Is this an “odie?” That’s a dog, I think. Or perhaps “bragging odometer photograph.” That’s more like a tongue speed bump. I feel I need more inspiration.

The best I’ve been able to come up with is a “milie,” pronounced “MILE ee.”

I know I’m treading shaky ground, because this could be associated with famous musicians, like Bubber Miley, James Miley, or even Miles Davis. I just hope these jazz musicians were never caught twerking.

Crankiness Rating:

(I think I have to convince my wife that for a number of reasons, I have to buy more expensive camera equipment to drive safer. Also, I need a life.)