True Speed

Back in October, Andrew from High Riser wrote about the Australian Design Rules. I replied with the following comment.

I will like to mention the most hilarious of the Australian Design Rules – that vehicles may not under-read the speed, but may over-read the speed by anything up to 10% + 4 km/h

This means that if your vehicle’s *actual* speed is 100kmh, the displayed speed is permitted to be anywhere between 100kmh and 114kmh!

I have tested my Volkswagen Polo via several different means, and it is out by 10%. EG at 110km/hr on the speedo, my actual true speed is 100km/hr. Now that I know this, I can drive accordingly. To do 60, I need to do 66. To do 80, I need to do 88. It could be worse, it could be the full 10% *plus* 4km/hr, and I’d forever be doing maths in my car. And I failed maths, quite badly. :)

However, there are a whole bunch of people out there who do not know this, and many of them believe their speedo is supposed to be accurate! These people are likely wondering why people keep overtaking them when they *think* they are doing the speed limit, but they are actually doing less than the speed limit and in the case of 100km/hr, they may be doing less than 90 as a surprise to themselves.

Since making that comment, recently a discussion was held on this topic community Facebook group that I belonged to after someone posted that they were driving at the speed limit and continually being overtaken. Another group member raised the Australian Design Rules and advised the someone to do some tests on their speedo. Theirs was out the full 10% plus 4km/hr.

So, this is my heads up to you. Test your speedometer. There are many smart phone apps you can get to do this. Plus, if you are using a satnav, this will often give you an accurate true speed.

cars, driving

Apollo 13 – Friday the 13th..

Yesterday I took a rare couple of hours off to watch Apollo 13 again – one of my favorite movies. Can you imagine just how disturbing it must be to everyone involved with these early years of the space program that the “America never landed on the moon” conspiracy theories exist? Many of the people involved were working 60-70 hour weeks for years and years, some people for decades. All that work, all that *team* work!

I was going to do a movie review on it. I sat down with my notebook and pen but every bit of this movie is so good it is impossible to pick things out from it to highlight to you. I just love it. If you haven’t seen it, you should.

My copy of the movie has two commentary tracks, one by Ron Howard and one by Jim and Marilyn Lovell. I have listened to both tracks and enjoyed every minute of the commentary. I’m planning to do a movie review soon, now I’m just not sure what movie it will be.

In other news, we picked up the car this morning. You know when you look forward to something and then it happens and it isn’t as good as you hoped? Well, that’s not what happened. If possible it was even better than I’d hoped. I’m counting down the minutes until the other half knocks off work and brings it back here so we can go for a drive. I was tempted to take it for a spin myself while he was at work but that would have been cruel. Pictures, maybe tomorrow..

However given I watched Apollo 13 yesterday, and today is Friday the 13th and we picked up the car.. superstitious anyone?

cars, new car

I left out a link!

Well yesterday I was in a bit of a rush, because my parents called me and said be ready in an hour, and I hadn’t even got out of bed. I didn’t want to leave without wrapping up the week, so I rushed in here, blogged in record time, and ran to get ready. It was only after I got back that I realised, I left out a link I was meaning to put in. So, I’ll post it next week.

Of course when I got to my parents, after rushing, they were still in their PJ’s watching tv. I sat there for an hour and a half waiting for them to get ready! GRRR!

Yesterday we went for a drive in Dad’s car, which I have to say was quite the experience. First, the ride is incredibly comfortable. It’s like driving around in a really comfortable lounge chair. You barely feel any bumps.

Dad chose to be the car sentry while we went shopping. I can see this is going to be an issue! He’s crazy about his car and not once did he leave it for more than a minute.

It turns heads, this car. Everywhere we went, people were looking at it. We pulled up next to this maybe 14 year old kid at the traffic lights and you could see his face light up and the excitement at having spotted this car – of which there were only 200 ever made. But on the other hand, the fear that someone might damage it is really annoying. I sense the Ute will be going a lot of places and the car will be brought out for only special occasions. It’s a shame.

I now have the fear I’m going to feel the same way about our new car. I have to work on this.. I don’t want to feel like we can’t take it anywhere or park it anywhere or leave it alone while we go and do things..

cars, weekly wrap up

Please don’t read my mind, I tell the truth to me.

I’m actually pretty exhausted because I got up early this morning and went off to pick up a ute from 100kms away, then I came home and did a lot of housework. I managed to do all my wiping over jobs in one afternoon! I really feel like taking a nap. This will be a good thing because it means I’m too tired to engage in verbal slanging matches, or eyeball gouging out. ;) I may not be back online tonight but I’ll try to drop back and let you know how it goes. If I don’t fall asleep upon my arrival home.

I now know why guys want utes. Honestly, driving that thing was the most fun I’ve had in ages. I can’t find the cowboy whoo hoo song which accurately describes what it was like to drive it, but this song might give you a clue. It’s a great film clip too. Fun for the whole family! I’ve been meaning to post this one for a while.

Oh, our new car has arrived at the dealer, but we can’t pick it up till next week. I saw it today. It’s beautiful.. ;) Neither The Other Half or I have said anything, it’s going to be a complete surprise..

bitches, cars

What happened today..

You may recall that I said we had a few tasks on the plate today. None of those tasks involved what we ended up doing. We bought ourselves a new car. *SHOCK* it’s not a Toyota Corolla. It’s a


Only not quite that color.

How did this happen? Well when Dad picked up the new car I spotted the current model XR5 in the yard, and I thought it looked cute. We’ve always liked the look of the Focus and it was one of the cars we considered buying, only The Other Half sat in it, and it just didn’t suit him. This version is completely different, the seats sit much lower and OMG they are so comfortable. When we looked at it today I fell in love with it pretty quick but then the other half took it for a drive and that was it for both of us. We did look at the Toyota but it didn’t grab us like this car did.

So a bit of retail therapy and now we’re both sitting here freaking out about it. My opinion is, we’re here for a good time not a long time. Smoke ’em while you got ’em. My Dad is going to be thrilled. ;) He’s such a Ford man..

cars, new car, shopping

Drive it like you stole it..

I got a phone call about 2:30pm. I was actually in the middle of a West Wing episode at the time. The caller said “10 Minutes” and I hung up the phone and raced off to get ready because I knew what that meant. 10 minutes later, my Dad pulled into the driveway for the last time in his old car. Well, not like old, it was only 3 years old. But today was the day it was going back to the dealer, never to be “ours” again.

During the time he had it I had only driven it twice and both times broke speed limits but fortunately for me did not get caught. It was a Ford XR8, and it had the power. That’s why I didn’t drive it more often, because it could have tempted me into being a very bad individual while driving on the back roads. Or any road, really.

Saying goodbye to a car is not an easy thing. The Other Half and I have recently talked about the possibility of saying goodbye to our car, and that car has been many places with us. The side mirror is a very good friend of mine. We’ve only driven 50,000kms in it, over three years, but when I close my eyes I can see images of many travels from the perspective of looking out my side mirror. I feel like I’d want to keep that part of the car. I know that sounds utterly insane. ;)

However, saying hello to a new car is a very easy thing. This new car is *beautiful*. It truly is a work of art. It’s sitting in Dad’s garage as I type this. It is very low to the ground, and the car dealer said to us that it’s inevitable that the front of the body kit will scrape and get cracked. The old one on the XR8 did. He’s got a guy who fixes it easily if you want it fixed, but he figures it’s a fact of life, live with it.

That is the one thing holding me back from saying to the other half yes, let’s get the new car. The person I was when we first got our car wasn’t the nicest of people. I get pretty angry over anyone careless enough to even look at it the wrong way, let alone go near enough to it to scratch it. When they really damaged our side door as I wrote about here (my side door, so each time I get in the car I am reminded) the more I think about it, the more I realize I probably would have really damaged that person who left the dent in my door if I had turned up when they were doing it. It still manages to fill me with such a rage. I’m not sure I’m meant to be such an angry person.

In other news, today is the first day of the school holidays, and please can everyone pray for rain for the next 2 weeks so those people across the road won’t interrupt my peace. This afternoon the kids across the road started up with a soccer ball on the road in front of my house and I have just realized, it’s two weeks of school holidays with them constantly out there making noise, and I’m still stuck in this house. I had hoped we would have moved by now.

The idea of watching one West Wing each day was dead in the water on day one, as the first episode meant the second had to be watched, and the second definitely meant the third had to be watched. I was in the middle of Episode 3, and I’m going to finish it now, and then off to bed. ;)

cars, moving on, The West Wing

What have I been up to today?

Regular readers of this blog are aware that I have taken up art.
You may remember this painting I did recently, which I totally fell in love with.
I loved it so much that I decided I want to make several versions of it with different colors as the background. I’m doing 5 at once and as you see here four of them already have painted backgrounds, there is a white one you can see off to the side which is going to be red or pink, depending on how the paint mix turns out.

Five at once may sound excessive but it’s not – once each canvas has been painted the background color it is then time for the cardboard dragging. The last time I did that I had a lot of left over paint from the colors I mixed up so this time I want to try and make sure that does not happen so much. If I have 5 backgrounds ready to paint it is more likely I will have somewhere to put any excess paint. Given that I am not using cheap paints anymore I really want to be careful not to waste any.

The little pale green canvas you can see is not going to have paint dragged on it, it’s a new thing I wanted to try which is sticking a lot of sequins onto a canvas. It might turn out well. It might turn out to be a nightmare. We’ll see I guess. ;)
Oh, these arrived during last week – this is what I got in return for The Other Half’s laptop coming to me as a surprise. I just got up to season 4 in my rewatching of the West Wing and I am going to keep watching them in order until I get to season 6. It may be a few weeks before I can unwrap the crispy plastic from these DVD’s to watch them. I want to watch the Desperate Housewives *after* Season 6 of the West Wing.

Hopefully after I am done with all that DVD watching Season 7 will be out. The fabulous news is the release date for season 7 will be August the 8th so it seems my time plan will work out pretty well, I think. As long as I don’t watch most of Desperate Housewives in one day like what happened last time.

Also, we went to my parents house to make pizza and discussed the soon to be arrival of my Dad’s new car. He is very excited. I won’t lie to ya’all – I’m terrified about it. Firstly because it is a collectors type of car, there’s a limited amount of them being made, they are worth a lot of money to begin with and with this kind of car the worth will go up providing it is in excellent condition. If anything happens to the vehicle the likelihood of getting another one is pretty much zero. He’s been lucky to get this one. It has not even been made yet, by the way – it is due to be made sometime in the next two weeks.

Secondly, there has been a recent spate of car jackings in Sydney, so my Mum tells me. I believe this might be due to that STUPID tv show on fox 8 called “Dangerous” where they glamorised this kind of thing. So there’s going to be arguments on whether or not he can drive it there. I’d rather he did not and so would Mum.

Thirdly, you can’t just take this car to the shopping centre and park it there. Someone would ding it or scratch it or damage it in some way and that would be very irritating. So really I’m not sure where he’s going in this car, if anywhere at all.

Fourthly, both Mum and I think he should install some extreme form of car alarm. Preferably something that shouts “F*CK OFF” loudly if anyone walks within two metres of it. Ok, maybe that’s not likely to be on the market (but what a market there would be for it!) but you can get ones that tell people to step away from the vehicle. It might do more harm than good, though. So instead you’d want to install a gps tracker with a kill switch or something.

It’s a shame that when you get something nice, people want to take it away from you, or damage it in some way. I personally think he should hire an armed security guard to drive around in it with him and stand watch over the car wherever he leaves it but that could be because I want to kill, maim, and generally harm the person who put a dent in my door – I wrote this post about it back in November. I thought I was over it, but apparently not. ;(

cars, desperate housewives, Snoskred Art, The West Wing

Out in the country.

One of the major differences between city and country is petrol stations. That’s gas stations, for our US readers. We have two in the town itself, and another two near to it on the highway. Going to get petrol/gas is like a major ordeal. And here’s the reasons why.

1. Not enough pumps.
There are four at the one we go to most often. They have one pump each side, so you can have 8 cars filling up at once.

2. One pump is always broken.
The other half thinks it is on purpose to get people to use the more expensive fuel. But it doesn’t work and often that’s one space without a car in it.

3. People in the country never just fill up their cars.
They have jerry cans and containers and all kinds of fuel containers which they pull out of seemingly nowhere once they have finished filling up the car. So you’re sitting there thinking.. they’re done, yay – and they end up taking another 20 minutes filling things up.

4. The place where you pay is some kind of black hole.
People go in there, and they seem to vanish for a long time. There is only one person taking money and most people do not pay cash.

5. There is nowhere for people to put their cars while they pay.
So the cars stay right in front of the pumps, leaving everyone else to sit in their cars waiting for the black hole to open up and spit out the people in front of them.

6. The people at the back pumps have nowhere to go if the people at the front aren’t ready to go.
There’s no spare room for cars to get past, there’s always cars queuing behind the cars at the back pump and if the car in front isn’t done, nobody can go anywhere.

7. People in the country often tow things behind them.
This can include boats, caravans, trailers full of all kinds of odd things. Horse floats are another wonderful item you often find on the towbar of the car in front of you.

So in general, a trip to the petrol/gas station takes roughly 30 minutes from when you drive into their driveway. You sit there and watch the goings on, which are either amusing or horrifying. Usually this is when the in car mp3 player chooses to play the best songs available on its little memory card and these are the songs I wanted it to play when we were actually driving so I could sing along to them.

Aussie Culture, cars, country life

Violence – almost

In order to tell you about this I have to go back in time. Back to May 2004, when we purchased a brand new car. And she’s gorgeous. Seriously. For the first few months, it was difficult to leave her in a carpark. I was always terrified someone would dent it. If someone just *looked* at my car the wrong way I wanted to rip off their head and shit down their neck. I was always giving people the evil eye.

By the start of 2005, I’d begun to relax about it a bit. The other half reversed it into things twice and we got the bumper bar replaced under insurance. In February of 2005 we drove the car on a big across Australia trip, from Adelaide to Canberra to Batemans Bay to Sydney to Tamworth to Dubbo to Cobar and back home. While in Sydney, we parked the car in a carpark for *15* minutes. When we came back, there was this HUGE dent in the passenger (my) door.

It was a shitty feeling. It still is a shitty feeling, because fixing it would cost a shitload for such a cosmetic thing and we haven’t done it and so every time I get in the car, I am faced with it. If I could find the person who did it, I do not know what I would do, but I know it wouldn’t be anything nice.

So today we went to get a gas bottle for the bbq. We parked the car and when I got out there was a huge flash of lightning so I got straight back in the car. I have a fear of lightning at petrol (gas for the American readers) stations. Yes, crazy I know. I was sitting there waiting and this car pulls up next to us. The chick in the front seat opens her door and bangs it into my car. I look at her, mouth open, look of shock on my face. The driver of the car sees me. The woman sees me. The woman proceeds to bang her door into my car a *second* time. I am horrified! I can’t believe she would do such a thing.

I get out of my car and walk around to look if she made a dent – by pure luck, she had not. She’s got out of the car by now and she says to me “We didn’t hit your car” I said “Yes, you did hit it, with your door, and you did it twice!” She waves a hand at me, sort of like talk to the hand, and walks off. I just stood there, absolutely fuming. If she had made a dent, I would probably have chased her and yelled at her, a lot. I may have even punched her. I’m not a violent person but SHOW SOME RESPECT FOR OTHERS PROPERTY, BIATCH!

I have never actually punched someone in anger. Unless you count pummelling my sister when we were growing up, but that was done with love. ;) So I don’t think it counts. But I seem to be getting more and more angry when I see stuff like this happen. Some people would say it’s just a car, don’t worry about it, it’s not worth it, but damn, I kinda think it is.

The other half saw the whole thing from inside the petrol station and he really thought we were going to get into a fight. I’m surprised though, normally he would have stormed out there and let her have a piece of his mind. I think maybe with couples if one of us is angry the other one tends to be calm.

Angry Snoskred, cars, Who Is Snoskred