Friday, May 1, 2015

Thank You Ford

Since I have had an influx of page views in the past month, it has motivated me to write more often. So, thank you for being here whether it is curiosity, boredom, or interest, I appreciate the audience. Also, thank you to my semi-famous brother for sending traffic this way. However, today, I am diverging from news updates on my brother...

It is no secret that I wish I was a race car driver. Mostly, it is just me dreaming and pretending, but come on, we all have dreams.

My interest in cars has been around for the majority of my able-to-remember life. Ask my parents how much anger it gave me riding in my mom's mini-vans or dad's 15+yr old cars. Although I am quite the diva, my anger was prompted by a passion, I guess you could call it.

Fast & Furious was my favorite movie series before the hype of Paul Walker...RIP. I remember the numerous times I watched the series in middle school, in my friends' basement, with the surround sound cranked. I now realize that was my first exposure to the Skyline (now GT-R) which remains the car I lust after.

Regardless, somewhere around that time, my dad bought a Porsche 924, which only enabled my need for speed and nice cars. (I might add here that my father actually got the car really cheap and had a friend restore it, although I like to pretend it was a million dollar car, his career doesn't really lend itself to buying over-the-top things such as a Porsche.) I was also the instigator in my brother getting his first speeding ticket in that car. (I'm sorry, Isaiah, it should have been me.) Also a major reason my 16th birthday didn't come quick enough. I even took special driving lessons, from my instructor, on how to drive stick so I could prove to my dad I was good enough to drive his car. Whatever the case, a little piece of me died when he sold the "Por-shuh", knowing full-well Wisconsin is not conducive to owning a nice sports car. I still cringe when I see people out in their sports cars less than "2 rains after the last snow".

February, 2013 was a great month in my book. My high school car, 1997 Nissan Sentra, broke down in the middle of an intersection and was beyond feasible repair, so I bought my first car. MY first car. For the first time in my life, I have a car I am proud of. It is far from my dream car, but a nice present to myself. Within 2 months of owning it, I was pulled over for speeding for my first time ever, but let off with a warning. I have surprisingly never had a speeding ticket or been in a major accident...I thank God regularly.

That leads me into another subject: types of drivers. I like to classify drivers into 2 categories; proactive and reactive. I'd say reactive drivers make up 95% of drivers. Symptoms are; not checking mirrors, not turning to look in blind spot, and thinking that everyone else on the road is attentive and good at driving. Proactive drivers are the opposite. Not trusting other drivers, constantly checking their surroundings, conscious of all cars around them and the speed they are moving, aware of near-by cars drifting or people on their phones not able to stop as quick, etc. I'm not condoning speeding (although faster speeds are allowed in Europe) however, I think speeding, to an extent, is safer when you are a proactive driver than reactive, but that is just my two cents.

Lastly, in the subject of cars and driving, I must talk about traffic patterns. I have been driving the same stretch of a major highway, in Milwaukee, for over 4 years. It intrigues me, immensely, trying to understand traffic patterns, which not to mention, varies from city to city across the globe. Looking at the smaller upper-midwest region of the US is plenty to try and understand. Things like on-ramps and why the person on the highway inevitably slows down for the person entering. Do you realize that causes the person behind you to slow down and so on until 10 cars back is braking and starts rush hour? If you keep going and cause the person on the on-ramp to slow down or stop, they can find a break in traffic that won't cause everyone to slow down. My favorite; people driving slow in the FAST lane. When I drove in Italy, it was awesome. It was essentially like frogger where the fast lane was a moving log you could only stay in for a second. If I pass you on your right, get the hint, MOVE OVER. And if you are going to pass someone, don't pass them going 1MPH more than them. I end up weaving through traffic because it is easier for me to criss-coss 4 lanes of traffic to pass 1 car, than build my anger and frustration waiting for a slow car in the FAST lane. I am frustrated just thinking about it. It also annoys me when people turn left when there is a no-left turn sign. (Although I do it occasionally, hear me out.) Those signs are 1- for your safety and 2- for traffic flow. If you are trying to turn left during peak hours, there probably won't be a break in traffic for you to do so and the 20 cars behind you are stuck when they are trying to go straight. Some guy actually YELLED at me for honking at him for trying to do that saying he was from out of town. Would you let an 18yr old drink at your bar if they said they were from Canada? My examples could go on for days, so if you ever want to hear me rant, ask about it.

Thanks for stopping by!

And for the record, I am not a Ford fan, but he did make the first publicly available car, so for that, I thank the Ford family.

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