Diatribe

Save T-bones for the grill, not for a Buick

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DRIVER'S SIDE DIATRIBE
By Al Vinikour  

This may come as a shock to many of you but there are a lot of things that make me angry. Those who have followed my columns for the last several years have only read a small pittance of events that tend to drive me up a wall — everything from failure of drivers to use turn signals to poking along on a freeway’s left lane and leaving a trail of cars that resemble photos of contrails from a mission of B-17s on their way to ruin the mood of residents living in German neighborhoods.

Don't smoke 'em if you've got 'em

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DRIVER'S SIDE DIATRIBE
By Al Vinikour   

Today I’m going to revisit a topic I haven’t done in quite a while but I feel it’s something that needs “re-scussing” as we used to say in my beloved home state of Indiana. The subject is people who smoke in cars when there are kids inside, and even worse, infants.

Benches aren't just for judges

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DRIVER'S SIDE DIATRIBE
By Al Vinikour    

The last front bench seat in a Chevrolet came in 2013. Most other brands stopped offering bench seats about the same time. Although a good deal of our population hasn’t known anything but bucket seats there are a lot of us dinosaur-dodgers who look back fondly at the comfort and convenience of bench seats as we went through our formative years.

You're putting your accent on the wrong si-lah'-bul

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DRIVER'S SIDE DIATRIBE
By Al Vinikour  

I love navigation systems that have become part of so many vehicles no matter what segment they’re found in. I’m talking about factory-installed systems, not Tom-Toms or Garmin’s or any other brand of aftermarket system. There’s something comforting about heading to a new destination, no matter how far from home it is, and knowing the chances of getting lost are about as great as seeing the Loch Ness monster (providing you generally don’t drink).

Top down, windows up — no, no, no

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DRIVER'S SIDE DIATRIBE
By Al Vinikour 

It has long been my contention that people driving a convertible with the top down and the windows up are crying out for help and nobody is listening. (Similar to people driving a Mercedes or BMW with whitewalls). By definition a convertible is a vehicle whose top can be lowered to create an open-air environment.

It’s snowing! The world is coming to an end!

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DRIVER'S SIDE DIATRIBE
By Al Vinikour           
 
This is the time of year when peoples’ spirits are perhaps at their best — that period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. For all the hustle and bustle there still doesn’t seem to be the angst there usually is when times are just ordinarily busy.
 
However, for all the frivolity that’s prevalent during these too-few weeks there’s also a period of stress, when one little thing could rotate the earth on a different axis and we’re liable to find ourselves headed towards Uranus. I’m of course referring to the infamous first snow of the season, and the resultant breakout of steering wheel Alzheimer’s.

Subjecting us to a thumb tax

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DRIVER'S SIDE DIATRIBE
By Al Vinikour     

One of the better ideas in the auto industry has been the advent of what I refer to as “intelligent steering wheels.” Defined it means steering wheels with controls for the audio system, cruise control, vehicle information, etc. The concept is to put needed adjustments to the aforementioned goodies in the hands of the driver who doesn’t have to go on a treasure hunt to find them somewhere else in the vehicle cockpit while taking his or her eyes off the road.

No more 'dashing' to the nearest forehead

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DRIVER'S SIDE DIATRIBE
By Al Vinikour  

I’m always looking for things that might be fodder for my next column. Generally it’s some jackass weaving in and out of traffic like sewing machine operators at a sweat shop in downtown Bangladesh. Other times its apparent amputees who don’t have a free hand to operate their turn signals.

Nickeling and diming the customer

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DRIVER'S SIDE DIATRIBE
By Al Vinikour

Since I generally drive a different car every week, I get the opportunity to peruse a lot of Monroney labels. (For those from rural Vermont, Monroney labels are the price sheets you have to scrape off the rear side window when you purchase a new vehicle.) Lately, I’ve witnessed a phenomenon that I do not care for whatsoever. A lot of manufacturers are listing charges for such items as “paint.” You heard me right…charging for paint!

Tire tread equals money — who knew?

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DRIVER'S SIDE DIATRIBE
By Al Vinikour   

When I was younger and I used to have to clean brontosaurus crap off my shoes before I came into the house, how cool you were depended on what kind of “ride” you had. If your parents drove you everywhere you went, including dates (if you were ever able to buy any) you were nothing.