Cranky Driver

Trying to Make the Driving World a Little Less Annoying

Dad Tribute

It’s All My Dad’s Fault

My family was government cheese and peanut butter poor when I was growing up1. But our family of seven had a roof over our heads and a car for getting to work. And if something went wrong, we never called anyone to fix it. My dad would roll up his sleeves, grab what few tools he had, and tell me to go help him.2

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Berlin Hauptbahnhof

Versus 2: Car vs Train

There’s nothing like the smell of a burning red project at work as you leave it behind for vacation. Unfortunately, I’m one of those worrying conscientious types so to take my mind off my disaster, I tried to figure out which is the most relaxing way to travel across Germany for vacation.

This is actually a trick question because for me there is no relaxing way to travel across Germany.

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Versus vs. Versus

Versus vs.

Go to any internet forum about cars and you will see the discussions: STI vs. Evo / 911 vs. Corvette / Mustang vs. Camaro / Turbocharged 4-cyl vs. big V8 / Import vs. domestic / Fast and Furious vs. Laws of Physics.

Most of the discussions involved poring over every spec and using it to gloat superiority over the other. None of this is new.

Why do we do this? Because we are all idiots.

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2016 VW Golf R

5-Year, 2-Month, 20-Day Itch

Man has grappled with certain basic questions since the dawn of time: Who am I? Why am I here? What’s my purpose in life? What car should I get?

I don’t know much about the other questions, but I think about the last one a lot. I call it ADIDAWCTB (All Day I Dream About What Car to Buy). That’s not as catchy as ADIDAS, but it’s pretty accurate.

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Rear View Perspective

There Is No Substitute… for a Vacation Day

The Porsche 928 has always been my favorite Porsche. I had built a model of it in high school about the same time I really started liking cars. Then I saw it in movies like Weird Science and Risky Business.

It made me want to be a U-boat commander.

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Driving down Stelvio Pass

Stelvio Pass

I give myself one job when we go on vacation: driving the car. My wife handles the trivial things like: packing, lodging, food, sights, and kids. Of course, we only drive if our destination is in the same continent3.

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The Not So Green Man

Crossy Kids

My kids (10-, 6-year-olds) sometimes walk 1 km to school here in Germany, and it freaks me out. That’s because we Americans never let our kids out of an adult’s sight, and because I have no idea how far 1 km2 is. German kids here walk or ride their bikes and scooters to school, which must mean German parents think this is normal, or they need to be locked up.

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German Traffic Signs

Rechts vor Links

Germans must be anti-American. Germans do not celebrate the 4th of July, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, or Thanksgiving. And while Germany has a baseball league, is the home of the ancestral hot dog, and allows a few Chevys, it has no apple pie (it does, however, have Apfelstrudel, Apfelstreusel, Apfelkuchen, Apfeltasche, and even McDonald’s original tongue-scalding hot apple pockets).

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Ravensburg License Plate

Are You TÜV Enough?

[Update 2016-06-25: accidentally deleted this post, and lost some info posting it back. Oops.]

It took a while, but I finally got my approval from TÜV (Technischer Überwachungsverein) for my 2008 Subaru Impreza WRX STI. This is necessary to register my car in Germany. A car requires this approval every two years.

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Grand Canal by Rialto Bridge

The Streets of Venice

I consider myself a car-driving fool, so traveling to a city where cars are not used is a bit odd for me. But Venice is pretty unique, so I don’t mind coming here. It’s been sinking for centuries, so who knows how much longer it will be around, which is as good of an excuse as any to visit.

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