Not To Be Trusted With Knives











{October 15, 2007}   Al Gore Would Be Ashamed of Me

I have a confession to make. I like driving cars. I want to be good to the environment and I don’t even own a car, but I really like driving! As you know, I joined the car co-op so that I can get to my hockey games out in Coquitlam. Well, for today’s hockey game, I booked a 2007 Mazda 5. When I booked it, I had in my head a Mazda 3. I like the Mazda 3. The Mazda 5, however, is pretty much a station wagon1. Boo! But the cool thing about the Mazda 5 is that it has a feature where you can drive the car as a clutch-less manual. Like with the Tiptronic™ transmission of my beloved Smart Car, you can drive this car like a manual, but without having to step on a clutch. I like to call it “idiot-proof manual,” because if you don’t shift correctly, the car will eventually shift for you. The system for shifting is a little wack – you put the gear selector2 into “M” for “manual”, a position from which you can then shift up and down by pushing the stick down or up. Ya, you read that correctly – to shift up, you push the stick down and vice versa. Shifting up shifts down, shifting down shifts up, people wear hats on their feet and hamburgers eat people3. Driving idiot-proof manual really reminded me how much I love driving a car with a manual transmission. The first car I ever owned, a 1989 Honda Civic, was manual and I loved that car. Interestingly4, I learned how to drive manual on that car and it didn’t have a tachometer. Fortunately, it also didn’t have its muffler properly attached most of the time, so I learned to shift gears based on the sound of the engine. Driving this 5 today was trickly as the engine is so quiet, you can barely hear it and I’m not used to looking at a tach to know when to shift.

Another point of note from my trip in the Mazda 5 is that the car has way too many cup holders. And if I, the woman whose only concerns when car shopping are “will my hockey gear fit into it” and “does it have a cup holder?”, am saying that, well, you just know it must be true. Seriously, there are no fewer than FIVE cup holders accessible from the front seats. FIVE!! Granted, hockey and various other weekend activities may leave one somewhat dehydrated, but how many beverages am I expected to consume in a 45 minute car ride?

Oh ya, and in case you don’t believe that I love to drive, here’s the odometer reading on my old Honda Civic the day she died, some 7 years after I bought her for $2000. When I bought her, I believe she had about 150,000 km on her.

Civic Odometer

RIP, little buddy. I miss you.

1on Wikipedia they refer to it as a “minimini van” because it’s not as big as a minivan, but it has sliding doors and seats 6. But it felt like a station wagon to me! Ick!
2For the record, I had to look that term up. I usually just call it the “stick,” but that feels like it’s more for a manual than an automatic.
310 points to the first person who correctly identifies where I stole that line from.
4If you don’t think this is interesting, try learning to drive stick with a tachometer!

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Darren Barefoot says:

Is this in celebration or defiance of Blog Action Day (http://blogactionday.org/)? Or possibly neither?



Anonymous says:

The Simpsons, Bart vs. Australia.

Is 10 points enough for the Cuisinart blender?

AOM



Beth says:

Darren – Actually, I didn’t know about Blog Action Day until after I posted that. I think it’s a testament to my psychic abilities. Or possibly just a coincidence.

AOM – Good work! Unfortunately, 10 points is not enough for the Cuisinart blender, especially in the light of the fact that I have not yet ascertained exactly what these points I’m giving out are actually for.



Tod Maffin says:

I hate driving. We would get along very well. Just a hunch. 😉



Sarah says:

You didn’t like the 5? I LOVE station wagon cars. If they are still making it when we buy a new car, then that is what we will get. I wasn’t a fan of the 3, and I wish that they were still making our Protege5, which we still love.

In other news, I am alive. Work and life are kicking my ass, but I am alive.



Beth says:

Sarah! You are alive! Cool! I figured that if you weren’t, Dave would have changed his facebook status to “widowed” though, so I wasn’t too worried.

And ewww! You like station wagon cars? What a waste of space! Why would I need 6 seats for lil ole me and my lil ole hockey bag? And parallel parking in a beast like that? Ick!

Anyhoo, call me sometime!



JB says:

I bought *my* (1986) Honda Civic 18 months ago for $100. It has 320,000 km on it and it’s still going strong. It’s been the best deal I’ve gotten outside of the grey box.



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