Cranky Driver

Trying to Make the Driving World a Little Less Annoying

Easy Peasy

My 1989 Porsche 944 Turbo was immobilized for over a year after I decided to work on one of the most critical components of a car—the radio. Without a radio, a car is not driveable.

This could have been a good pandemic project, but I actually started back in the summer of 2018 and didn’t finish until the end of summer 2019—over a year later. This was supposed to be an easy winter project, but on an old Porsche, no project is ever easy or straightforward.

Tires, Tires, Tires

My favorite purchase for a car is tires. I’ve written about this often. And I was reminded of this as I read an article on AutoWeek about getting Yokohama tires for a VW Golf GTI. In the article, it mentions the Yokohama Advan A008, the tire (A008P) that Porsche 911s used back in the 1980s. That was the first tire I was excited to get when I got a set for my 944 Turbo.

Driving in the Time of COVID-19

I’ve lost all track of time. My children have turned feral after hours of unsupervised screen time. I’ve been banished to the basement while working from home. And we’ve been so desperate for streaming content we’ve even subscribed to Apple TV+.1 But none of that really bothers me.

What I really miss is driving.

Subaru Winter Experience

I attended a two-day program of the 2020 Subaru Winter Experience and did unnatural, unspeakable things with cars. It was both a hoot and a holler.

Pizza Delivery, German-Style

“Do you think we should pick up some pizza for my dad?”

We were on our way to visit my wife’s parents. Her father had been taking care of her mom in the nursing home and hadn’t had much time for himself.

“Sure, that’s a good idea.”

My wife looked up pizza places in town and started calling. Our kids, lacking internet connection, were in the back seat staring out the window.

“Could you slow down a bit? It’s hard to hear.”

I dropped the Subaru down below 100 mph.

Specialty Car

As I had previously threatened, I bought a new car, but I’m not excited about it. I traded in my Subaru WRX STI for a VW Golf R, and the loss of my old car overwhelms any excitement of a new car, probably because I’m a hoarder I can’t let go.

2019 Detroit Auto Show

I attended the 2019 Detroit auto show (NAIAS) last January, but unlike other years, it was for work. I spent most of my time in the basement pretending to be interested in autonomous vehicle stuff. It’s a section called AutoMobili-D, and you may have seen it if you got lost looking for the bathrooms.2

If I Had My Rutters

Years ago my sister told me what a “rutter” was after she had read James Clavell’s Shōgun. A rutter was what the pilots and navigators used as guides as they sailed around the world. Countries such as Portugal guarded these rutters (roteiros) as national secrets to prevent others from finding their trade routes.

Inspired by these rutters (but not by the colonialism that accompanied them), I decided to keep a roteiro for my own journeys. I think in old-timey English this translates to “trip logbook.”

The Weight Is Over

I’ve had many flimsy excuses over the years as to why I’ve had a writing hiatus on this blog. Typical ones include being lazy, tired, or stressed. My new excuse is dieting, which makes me lazy, tired, and stressed.

The Die Was Cast Years Ago

I was going to write about highfalutin stuff and things like machine learning and autonomous vehicles, but I got distracted by something more important: toys metal diecast models.

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