the danish outpost
updated when time and inspiration allow. latest and greatest always in the blog.
mechanical

18.12.2001

feeling kinda how a girl feels

i should have mentioned something about driving in my last entry. but i didn't. there's a good reason for that... i didn't get around to writing until i'd had my driving lesson, and dinner, and glass of wine or two, in that order. (that last bit should have been patently obvious from the general loopiness of the entry. *g*)

so, driving. remember the car that i bought by accident? yeah. well, it's been a slow process, but i'm getting there. i'm better friends with my clutch that i was before. i don't hyperventilate when trying to make a left hand turn. most reactions are become automatic, so to speak.

last night's lesson was a workout, for sure. see, it had been snishing all day. you know, that mix of 'i might be sleet, but i want to be snow when i grow up, except maybe i'll just pout and be rain for a while' snish.

my driving buddy and i have had a hard time catching up recently, what with one thing and another. given that, and the snish, he thought i was going to bow out of the lesson, and was pleased when i said 'what time?'.

here's my reasoning: this is New England. until i move south, the shit doesn't go away, so i'll have to get used to driving in it sooner or later, preferably sooner. bite the bullet, as it were. and it was as tough as i had expected. dark, rainy (which makes it seem darker), slippery, icy in some places... made for a short and stressful lesson. but! but i did okay, and i didn't hyperventilate (see above). i drove for a while, and then decided it was enough. only stalled out twice, at the top of a steep wet hill, and that's not so bad.

things i've learned about my car:

* when in doubt, check the inexpensive repair first. the defogger wire thingies on the rear window weren't doing their job. i groused about having to drop more money into Penny. dad suggested checking the fuse. duh. here's hoping it's an 89 cent repair.

* scraper thingies are hard to find if you wait until you need one before buying one. i looked up and down all the seasonal and home aisles in the store. no scraper thingie for my windows. guess i'll have to fall back on the time trusted 'wet mitten' method for now. :)

* torque is what makes the car go. we like torque. torque is good. torque is necessary on steep hills. low gear = lotsa torque.

this last i learned after deciding to take a spontaneous turn up a 30 hill to get some practice at stopping and starting. about halfway up, i was doing 2 miles an hour. in second gear. this was not good. earl didn't think to say 'downshift' at the moment. i was convinced the car was going to slide backwards, and patted the dashboard to make her go. next time, i'll try first gear.

* if you need to check the tread on your tires, use a penny. seriously. i think i mentioned this once before, but it's so nifty i'll repeat it. dad told me to take a penny and stick it in the tread head first. if you can still see Lincoln's head, you'll want to start looking at new tires.

i'm starting to like this driving thing, and am reasonably confident about soloing soon. for now, tho, i still want someone in the car with me. not so much to teach now, but more so someone can yell 'heyHeyHEY!' to keep me from pulling out in front of someone while checking the other direction. (sidenote: ever notice how you have to yell things like that three times? otherwise it doesn't work.)

yesterday :: tomorrow

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