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December 06, 2012

Blogging

Will have some posts up later this morning that I started last night and just need to finish up.

Between Christmas and things going on at the office, this has been a crazy week. Tuesday, the blog princess slipped from betwixt the Marital Sheets at the ungodly hour of 3 am to begin the long slog into Tyson's Corner.

She fired up the WRX only to hear a distressing sound emanating from the front corner of the car, like unto an extremely perturbed cat.
Hoping it was just a bit of construction debris wedged into the brake shoe and not the sound of a really big brake repair job, she tried hitting the brakes hard a few times but the noise continued intermittently.

That night, the spousal unit gallantly offered to take the car in to the shop (up near Baltimore, which is far closer to his office than mine). The mechanic pointed out that this wouldn't be covered under the warranty, which was no surprise.

It turned out to be a rock wedged somewhere in the brake. Again, the mechanic very gingerly pointed out that the bill wouldn't be covered under the warranty. The Spousal Unit replied, "I figured that - if a rock had been thrown up and cracked the windshield, that wouldn't be covered either."

At which point the mechanic heaved a big sigh of relief and said, "Wow. Most people don't understand that."

The Unit left, shaking his head. Not sure whether to attribute the whole thing to DC area pushiness or whether people seriously expect a warranty to behave like insurance (or to cover everything under the sun).

Very weird.

Posted by Cassandra at December 6, 2012 08:37 AM

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Comments

Princess drives a WRX?
On the Beltway?
Very cool.

Posted by: spd rdr at December 6, 2012 11:04 AM

I love it. It's getting so hard to find a car with manual transmission, and it has far better pick up than anything I've ever driven. Shifting is a bit mushy (I've driven stick all my life and am not used to not being sure what gear I'm in), but you get used to it and once you're accelerating you forget all about minor inconveniences.

It corners like a dream, too.

The only thing I don't like so well is the loud engine. It reminds me of the teenaged boys who lived up the street from me in HS - you could always hear when they were leaving or coming back b/c their engines were so loud. But I generally have the radio up loud enough that the engine noise doesn't bother me.

Posted by: Cass - Confirmation Bigot-in-Training at December 6, 2012 11:43 AM

Rip out the radio, open the windows, and bury the pedal. That's not noise. That's music.

Posted by: spd rdr at December 6, 2012 11:57 AM

I hate driving on the Beltway and 270, but there's a fun stretch of road once you get off the highway (we live back in the boondocks).

The road leading back to our neighborhood runs through several farms and there's usually no one else on it. It's got lots of twists and turns. It's my favorite part of the commute :)

Posted by: Cass at December 6, 2012 12:06 PM

The only thing I don't like so well is the loud engine. It reminds me of the teenaged boys who lived up the street from me in HS....

Is this a girl thing? A car should have a loud, throaty rumble in idle and a louder, aggressive scream as it accelerates hard (is there any other way to add speed?). Jet noise (where's my turbine?) is the sound of freedom.

When my wife was just my date, I visited her in her home town. Her parents lived in a small home in a neighborhood of small homes built under the departure end of the city's airport (the airport was there first). The Air National Guard flew Huns at the time (there--I've dated myself). It was not uncommon that flights of four would launch, and they wouldn't come out of reheat until past my...date's...house.

I loved it. Her parents did not. But they were geezers; what did they know?

Unfortunately, today, my wife demands her car, and mine, be "properly" muffled.

Bah. Humbug.

Eric Hines

Posted by: E Hines at December 6, 2012 12:34 PM

Is this a girl thing? A car should have a loud, throaty rumble in idle and a louder, aggressive scream as it accelerates hard (is there any other way to add speed?). Jet noise (where's my turbine?) is the sound of freedom.

Maybe it is a "girl thing". I don't mind the engine noise personally, but I do worry about annoying my neighbors or people in the parking garage where I work.

One of my neighbors' sons has a habit of coming home late at night with the radio blasting so loud that it will wake us up inside our house. Now I like loud music, but I also understand that others may not. So if I have my windows open, I turn down my radio at stoplights.

Posted by: Cass at December 6, 2012 12:50 PM

I feel the need....the need for speed.
0>;~}

Posted by: DL Sly at December 6, 2012 12:55 PM

"It reminds me of the teenaged boys... you could always hear... b/c their engines were so loud. But I generally have the radio up loud enough that the engine noise doesn't bother me."

I'm sure your neighbors appreciate that. :)

Posted by: Grim at December 6, 2012 01:22 PM

I turn the radio down when I turn into my neighborhood.

The cows, goats, and horses on the road are not so lucky :p

Posted by: Cass at December 6, 2012 02:00 PM

I was just making fun unfairly anyway. My motorcycle doubtless makes at least as much noise as your car. :)

Posted by: Grim at December 6, 2012 02:01 PM

" My motorcycle doubtless makes at least as much noise as your car. :)"

Especially after a trip to Bubba Billy's Burrito Barn.
*strolling away through the forest*
0>;~}

Posted by: DL Sly at December 6, 2012 02:41 PM

One of my neighbors' sons has a habit of coming home late at night with the radio blasting so loud....

Well, that's different. We were talking about engine noise, not radio noise. Now my 1812 Overture, with its church bells and brass cannon could get disturbing, were I to play that loudly with my windows down.

Wait a minute--church bells, big guns.... That's two groups to offend with one CD. Hmm....

Eric Hines

Posted by: E Hines at December 6, 2012 04:39 PM

My son has had two Subarus, and my wife is getting one soon, but not a WRX.
Great cars, but they don't sound like the cars I drove a lifetime ago....

Posted by: tomg51 at December 6, 2012 04:56 PM

Glass packs. Teenage boys. Rock music and girls.

*thud*

Posted by: Cricket at December 6, 2012 07:43 PM

Glass packs

...are for dilettante wannabes. Just take out most of the baffles and slap the thing back together. And retune for the lowered back pressure.

And I hope I never grow up.

Eric Hines

Posted by: E Hines at December 6, 2012 09:02 PM

I'm chuckling over the idea of a warranty covering a rock that smashes up into the brakes. I don't think I've ever heard of that happening. I'll bet it made an interesting noise!

That reminds me of an old commune-mate who was a car mechanic. Someone brought him a fancy performance car that had been cleaned, for some reason, with something like WD-40 in inappropriate areas. My friend asked, "Did your engine make any interesting noises before it blew up?" You don't want your car to make interesting noises, unless they're in the form of guns and church bells coming out of the speakers.

Posted by: Texan99 at December 7, 2012 08:55 AM

It was kind of embarrassing :p

I don't normally drive in to work on Tuesdays, but one of my team was in town so I wanted to take everyone to lunch that day. So we pile into my car and it's making this horrific noise as we drive to the restaurant.

Classy.

Posted by: Cass at December 7, 2012 09:16 AM

My son has had two Subarus, and my wife is getting one soon, but not a WRX.

We had planned on buying an Outback, but when we got into it for the test drive I just wasn't feeling the love.

We got back to the parking lot of the car dealer and I saw an STI parked out front. They didn't have any WRXs (at the time, they were selling the day they hit the lot and sometimes even before) so we got on the Net and found one up near Baltimore.

We had a Subaru station wagon years ago - white, reliable, very boring. But it was a good car. I tend to like Mazdas because they're very reliable, fairly sporty, and have a lot of features for the price.

We loved our RX8 - if it had been easier to drive in the snow we'd still have it. Our other car is a Mazda and it has been trouble free.

Posted by: Cass at December 7, 2012 09:20 AM

My old '82 911 has a *cough* "performance" exhaust system that sounds ferocious. Good thing, too, because the WRX puts out about 33% more horsepower from its computer-controlled 2.5 liter 4-banger than I get from my decidedly analog 3.0 six. According to The Internet, the WRX would leave me more than a second behind in a 1/4 mile dash, even though the WRX carries a extra-piggy 500 pounds. Really amazing what they can do with cars these days.

And, yuh, I can talk about cars all day long.

Posted by: spd rdr at December 7, 2012 10:36 AM

...the WRX would leave me more than a second behind in a 1/4 mile dash, even though the WRX carries a extra-piggy 500 pounds.

[SOB!!!]

You big meanie! I do *not* weigh that much!

Posted by: Miss Piggy [sniff!] at December 7, 2012 10:46 AM

Seriously, the engine is the best thing (other than the cornering) about the WRX.

We live off a very busy 2 lane road where the speed limit is 50 but everyone drives 60-65. To make things worse, there's a hill just shy of the road I use to get there, so you can't see oncoming traffic until they're right on top of you, going a gazillion miles per hour.

Pulling out onto that is a real bear in the Mazda suv, but it's downright fun in the Suburu :)

Posted by: Cass at December 7, 2012 10:52 AM

*looks at the 3 carseats across the backseat*

*mutters:* One day.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at December 7, 2012 11:44 AM

Wonder if a doppler detector would help you 'see' them coming over the hill.

Posted by: Cricket at December 7, 2012 12:15 PM

*mutters:* One day.

If it helps, we never had a fun car until our kids left home and even then, it took us several years to realize, "We can do that!"

A big reason we bought the Mazda CX7 was safety and thoughts about fitting car seats for the grandkids into the back :)

Posted by: Cass at December 7, 2012 03:43 PM

While we are still raising our family, we also realized that the Offspring needed to learn to drive.

After the last couple of years, we have determined that Jeeps are a safe option. No, not the off-road ones, but the SUV types with a hatch in the back. The roll cage is worth it. Not only that, the insurance isn't bad.

Posted by: Cricket at December 8, 2012 11:31 AM

My daughter learned to drive on a stick--a Mazda GLC. Her mother taught her; her father did the Stan/Eval bit. When she took Driver's Ed, for the insurance break, she nailed the course.

When I learned to drive, it was with a tank of a Ford Customline, automatic transmission. 0-60 by tomorrow, with a tail wind. Dad was both teacher and evaluator. I didn't pass until I could corner without tipping over a glass milk bottle filled to brimming with water that was sitting on the floor in front of the passenger front seat. Driver's Ed was a piece of cake for me, too.

Eric Hines

Posted by: E Hines at December 8, 2012 11:56 AM

HAH! Fords. Gotta love 'em. My dad taught me to drive a 3-on-the-tree Econoline pickup. That was my default car. It was not a kewl car, but learning to drive a stick was worth it.

Posted by: Cricket at December 10, 2012 10:21 AM

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