Diatribe

Your car is not a beauty salon

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DRIVER'S SIDE DIATRIBE
By Al Vinikour 

This may come as a shock to you but there are a lot of things that irk me. One of them is the amount of people who wait until they’re in their car driving to their jobs before they work on their appearance. I’m going to give these people the benefit of the doubt and presume they’ve gone #1 and #2, taken baths or showers and gotten dressed before leaving home. However, when they close the door of their cars and turn on their own local version of “Morning Zoo Radio” they might as well put a barber pole or clever salon sign outside their vehicles.

There's nothing more pathetic than a mid-life crisis

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DRIVER'S SIDE DIATRIBE
By Al Vinikour  
al@motorwayamerica.com

Just like the ball dropping in Time’s Square to celebrate the New Year and robins marking the first signs of spring, so too are there tell-tale signs that designate the presence of a man mounting a mid-life crisis. Among the clues are: a bad toupee, dressing in the modern version of disco clothes, the presence of a buxom blonde barely out of high school and attending rock concerts and dancing with all the grace of Elaine Benes on Seinfeld. But the single, most visible indication of a mid-life crisis is what kind of vehicle he drives.

Victims may be closer than they appear

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DRIVER'S SIDE DIATRIBE
By Al Vinikour   

Several years ago manufacturers came up with a safety device called a “ground illuminating mirror.” When putting the gearshift lever in reverse the outside rearview mirrors tilt downward. Its purpose is to make it easier to see if any small children or pets might be looming below the driver’s sight line.

You drink... you drive... you die!!

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DRIVER'S SIDE DIATRIBE
By Al Vinikour 


On last night’s news there was a film clip about the first anniversary of the death of four teenagers who were going out to get a pizza before each went home to do their homework. On the way they were smashed into by a drunk driver…and all four of the kids were killed.
Not the drunken slob who killed them, however.

The state of plates

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DRIVER'S SIDE DIATRIBE
By Al Vinikour  


Other than the times I’m in a vehicle stopped on the shoulder of a road with both my hands on the steering wheel pleading my case, I’ve always held great respect for all police department personnel. I recently wrote a rant about people whose windows are so heavily tinted that an approaching policeman (or anyone else for that matter) can’t see inside — causing the police officer to fear for his safety. As I was driving on the freeway this morning I saw another infraction that seems the driver is thumbing his (or her) nose at law enforcement — license plates whose information is partially — or completely obliterated.

You can go blind from it

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DRIVER'S SIDE DIATRIBE
By Al Vinikor

How many times have you been driving at night when all of a sudden you’re cursing the guy headed your way who has his bright lights on? You figure you’ll show this illegitimate son of someone who the boss is so you prepare to “fire a shot across his hood” with your own bright lights.

Seeing people in the dark

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DRIVER'S SIDE DIATRIBE
By Al Vinikour  

Usually my rants involve vehicles, driving characteristics and generally irksome things that make me want to turn Rambo. However, this week I’m writing something different; something most of us can relate to other than my usual desire to see people who don’t use their turn signals flogged to death with a cat-o-nine tails. It’s about pedestrians who must think we all have infrared vision to be able to see clearly in the dark.

'Decontenting' cars — Do it right Mr. Bean Counter

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DRIVER'S SIDE DIATRIBE
By Al Vinikour    
 
One thing you can always count on when you see a new model car hit the showroom floor; during its engineering and development stage it contained a lot more content. However, when the bean counters/pencil pushers/purchasing departments have their say there are a lot of things that are eliminated – or “decontented” in auto industry-speak. 

Winter’s coming…break out the chains

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DRIVER'S SIDE DIATRIBE
By Al Vinikour           al@motorwayamerica.com
 
With the bad economic times the world has faced this year it seems there’s a nostalgic feeling about traditions, rituals, habits, what have you. For instance, freshmen attending a university wait the time they can pledge a fraternity that will in some ways be a rite of passage from academia as leaving home was to go to college in the first place.
 
All these things are fine, but when it comes to auto-related tradition few examples carry more nostalgia than tire chains.

Nice flying Master Luke!

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DRIVER'S SIDE DIATRIBE
By Al Vinikour  

Like millions of others I’m a fan of the Star Wars series. And as an aviation aficionado I was always bedazzled by the X-Wing Fighters. Their maneuverability was impressive and since I’m generally prone to motion sickness I stood in awe of those who could fly an aircraft with such rapid movement without having a windscreen full of peanut butter and jelly capsules. Lately, however, I’ve noticed that training areas for X-Wing Flight School seems to be the interstate highway system.