Cranky Driver

Trying to Make the Driving World a Little Less Annoying

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Well, Hallo, Deutschland

After months of stress (and weeks more of it to come), I’ve finally arrived in Germany for a two-year assignment. This is my third time living in Germany, and the first with children.

Living out of suitcases for weeks, sleeping on the floor of an empty apartment, getting sick because I seem to be always outside in the cold, dreary German winter, it’s going about as well I had expected. The kids, who are attending German public school, haven’t even mentioned “red rum” in days, which is a relief, considering the trauma we put them through of changing homes, schools, countries, and languages.

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Oil Voodoo That You Do

So I picked up up a new long block engine for my car the other day (more on that later). In the process, I learned something new about motor oils.

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150,000 Is the New 100,000

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.

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Black Hats, White Knuckles

Wired recently published a report about hackers who took over a car, making the radio, climate control, brakes, engine, and steering unresponsive. Now, this isn’t necessarily new. My dad’s 1975 Mercury Monarch had these same issues all the time as well. The difference is that the hackers meant to do this, and weren’t even near the car when it happened.

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iPhone vs the Automobile

One of the world’s most successful company right now is Apple. With yearly profits of around $30 billion, it is the most profitable company, earning more money than even oil companies like ExxonMobile.[1]

A big reason for its success is the iPhone, generating more than half of its revenues. The iPhone is a technological marvel, full of magic and made from the tears of rainbow unicorns. With seemingly an App for everything, there’s almost nothing that it can’t do. It spawned a revolution in smart phones. Billions of iPhones and Android smart phones have been sold in the last few years.

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A Convenient Truth

I recently bought a set of tires[1]. Now, I’ve mention before how much I love tires. I just want to assure my wife everyone that my tire purchase is completely justifiable—one tire was leaking. Buying a new set removes the inconvenience of having to get that leaky tire fixed.

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DFCO One

Things escalated recently. Technical jargons were thrown, tests conducted, graphs plotted, and favorite measurement units disparaged (“MPG or die!” “Viva le liters/100km!”). Yes, things can get ugly with engineers during lunch-time discussions, especially if one of them can speak French.

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Big Hero Loss

I lost one of my heroes last week. Denise McCluggage died on May 6th. She was 88. Through Autoweek, I’ve gotten to know her as a writer and racer. But the more I learned about her, the more she became my inspiration for following one’s passion in life. She was “just doing it” long before sneaker companies made that their mantra. I don’t always follow her lesson, but the fault is strictly my own.

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Happy 150,000 Miles!

My STI turned 150,000 miles today! I just seemed like 2 years and 21 days ago that it was just turning 100,000 miles. It’s amazing how time flies with these little ones.

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Gas Mileage – The Numbers Game

When I bought my Subaru STI a few years ago, I had big plans for it. I would drive it in track events and I would modify it for asphalt-kicking horsepower (insert grunting noises here). Unfortunately, Reality had other plans for my car.

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