Friday, March 26, 2010

The Blue Whale redux

I brought the whale home from its repose for a once over this weekend. The on board computer indicated an average of 20MPG on the run home! So take that Al Gore!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Blue Whale

I have officially become an old person. I am now driving around (slowly) in a 1995 Lincoln Town Car with faded paint and split leather seats. To quote the B52s: "'s as big as a whale and it seats about 20..." which describes this car. It sort of marshmallows along as I drive it and it definitely doesn't want to be hurried around corners or merging onto the freeway. I got the car through the generosity of Chechee and it is what I keep stashed at work to conduct my daily business with. I'm only putting about 3 miles a day on it which is fortunate because of the various warning lights that are on (ding, ding..antilock brake failure; ding, ding...check air suspension). So far it has started each time I've asked it to. It has become a topic of conversation at my place of business, mostly gently humorous although the fact that it takes up 1.5 parking spaces is a little disconcerting for my fellow parking lot users. I feel like the anti Al Gore when I drive it and I am sure the Amazon rain forest dies a little more each time I start it but then again I am balancing that by commuting via train and bike so perhaps in the scales of environmental justice I may be coming out even.

Stay tuned for further adventures....

Friday, March 19, 2010

Life in the fast lane

I've started my new job which is for a municipality (which may not be ever, ever be mentioned so please don't even leave comments regarding the name of the place or terrible things will happen!) which I am happier than a clam could ever be to have, but that isn't the point of this post. That comes next time. Today I'm talking about what I have been avoiding since 1992 more or less successfully: the dreaded commute by car. Until I moved to the new job I commuted by train and I loved it. This is despite being involved in a crash and derailment my first year using the system, multiple broken down trains, being on a train that struck, killed, and decapitated a man as it rolled into the station (I only know the poor guy suffered that final indignity because of the fellow riders who rushed to the window to see the carnage and then told the rest of us, most of whom felt compelled to look for themselves), being verbally assaulted by several certifiably insane bag people (on different occasions) who objected to me putting my bike near their mound of mouldering possessions, and...well that is probably enough. What I did like is that I did not have to drive and face the daily running of 'Death Race 2000' reenacted live on the Golden State freeway. So far in two weeks I have had 3 cars and 1 semi suddenly change lanes into the space that my very large Jeep just happened to be occupying as we all hurtled down the freeway with vehicles randomly switching lanes like the scene from Star Wars where Han Solo suddenly has to pilot through the dense belt of rocks that are all bouncing off each other and crashing and.....ok, I'm calm now. The most egregious was the ramshackle Firebird that literally suddenly dodged into me as my front bumper came level with his rear. I braked, swerved, and blew the horn in one coordinated action. I discovered that the automatic stability control and anti lock brake system work nicely in tandem and I did not roll the Jeep. The other driver stuck his hand out the window and gave me that timeless response of unspoken eloquence that involved a certain digit in a human's hand.

The ride home on the other hand is a study of life in slow motion, about 5 MPH slow. This is when I curse the day that I felt that a manual transmission was just what I needed in my Jeep. I hope the clutch and my knee can stand up to it.

Anyway, that is my story for today. More to come!