Re: AC Slaughter

1

"Hotel California"?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-27-11 12:23 PM
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I'm on hold with the car dealer. They are playing Echo and the Bunnymen.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-27-11 12:34 PM
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I was at a physical therapist's office. They were playing, at one point, "Closer"—uncensored.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-27-11 12:37 PM
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At which point?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-27-11 12:39 PM
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The point at which I was required to exercise my feet using an elastic band.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-27-11 12:44 PM
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"I want you to point your toes like an animal."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-27-11 12:57 PM
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How bad is this, really? I'm looking at this from the energy-consumption point of view; in that sense, he probably started being an asshole when he started driving at all.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 05-27-11 1:08 PM
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I had a convertible sports car until 3 years ago, and used to drive in it with the top down and air conditioner blasting all the time. Felt great, although not quite as good as top down, heat on on cooler days. You can draw your own conclusions.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-27-11 1:22 PM
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Ideally, before selling the convertible, I would have sped by Stanley with the top down, thrown a lizard and a bison steak at him, and told him to stop being such a wuss.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-27-11 1:23 PM
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Felt great
Evil often does.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 05-27-11 1:27 PM
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What kind of Corvette was it? The z06 and, especially, the ZR1 are pretty damn sweet, but I don't think come in convertible versions.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-27-11 1:38 PM
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In all seriousness, what's the objection? Is it that you would get a lower mpg with the A.C. on (not true for heat, btw)?

I do this occasionally - if it's particularly humid but I want the top down.


Posted by: lurking isadora duncan | Link to this comment | 05-27-11 1:41 PM
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The purported objection is that somehow, if you've happened to purchase a convertible, you're not supposed to use a feature that all other drivers use -- even if you're genuinely hot, and even though having a convertible means, in average, you're likely to use that feature less.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-27-11 1:45 PM
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The objection is that it's too hot, so you're creating waste heat -- which using AC will -- and then *throwing some of it away* by spilling the chilled air onto the freeway. Marginal gain of that to others not likely to match marginal loss of additional fuel and Freon use.

It's a convertible, you could put the top up when it's uncomfortably hot.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 05-27-11 2:09 PM
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AC affects fuel consumption, maybe 20% for small-engined cars, probably less for greedy engines.

This raises the interesting issue that (we) lefties scorn jumbo SUVs worse than sports cars, when from a fuel consumption perspective, both are equally bad. I certainly feel this way; driving a fast little car with a big engine is fun. I don't because I already speed routinely, and more horses under the hood would be the actuarial equivalent for me of heavy smoking.

The objection to big cars is, I tell myself, a mixture of the aesthetic and a reasoned environmental objection. But I think that the environmental objection is a fig leaf.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 05-27-11 2:09 PM
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15: Granting you're assumption of equal fuel consumption, there are still reasons to scorn SUVs, as they pose more of a hazard to other vehicles and, I'm guessing, require more energy and raw materials to build.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 05-27-11 2:13 PM
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Older Corvettes, up to about 1968, can be really lovely cars, but they drove off the style cliff in the '70s and haven't climbed back up.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 05-27-11 2:13 PM
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Grant me that you are assumption, lw.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 05-27-11 2:14 PM
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The "throwing it away" objection makes no sense. You're not running the air conditioner cooler with the top down than the top up -- in fact, it's likely to be the reverse.

15 is true, but of course large SUVs are way more common than sports cars. And, aside from engine design, the biggest driver of less efficient cars are safety and comfort features that are pretty standard on most models.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-27-11 2:16 PM
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15, 16: There are more SUVs and SUV-esque vehicles on U.S. roads than sports cars, and more SUVs being driven daily and for long distances.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 05-27-11 2:18 PM
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17 is sort of true, but the new ZR1 is an amazing car, especially for its price, that should make all of us glad the government helped out GM.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-27-11 2:19 PM
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I would have thought the asshole nature derived from the conspicuous luxury. Not only a convertible—not only a top-down convertible—but a top-down convertible with the AC blasting! A sickening display!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-27-11 2:19 PM
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What kind of Corvette was it?

One of the newer ones that looks all douchebaggy. GIS suggests maybe a 2011.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05-27-11 2:20 PM
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22: Neb is not a regular viewer of Top Gear, one hazards.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 05-27-11 2:22 PM
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So, basically, what you're telling us is that you're a resentful asshole who comes up with bogus environmentally-friendly stories as a means of feeling smug about the resentment?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-27-11 2:23 PM
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I didn't write this post, Rob.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-27-11 2:23 PM
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25 was really to 23, but mostly I just wanted to kick the fight up a notch.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-27-11 2:25 PM
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Auto AC since 2000 or so uses R-134A rather than R-12, the newer refrigerant is not ozone depleting.

Sure, SUVs are a traffic hazard, especially when they are driven by tiny little women who are texting. I'm just saying that a measure of how much of the scorn against them is aesthetic rather than environmental is measurable.

I hate SUVs too, but I only sort of buy into ideas about environmental morality of consumer habits. A culture where we throw away old stuff that we're bored with and buy new is IMO pretty hard to improve at the margins.

Regarding the reasoned and not emotional or aesthetic scorn for SUVs above: Oh, so Chrysler 300s and Dodge Magnums which have what, 6 liter engines, those are OK? Even with tacky rims and a fat guy with a goatee driving them?


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 05-27-11 2:26 PM
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Sorta on-topic: The other day I was walking around in Uptown, and I saw a bright blue, brand new Porsche Carrera with the vanity license plate "ENNUI". I thought to myself, well, if anybody would know, I guess it would be that guy.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05-27-11 2:26 PM
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30

In any event, there should be a word for the particular snobbery that commends luxury foods while reviling luxury cars.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-27-11 2:27 PM
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"hipster gourmand seeks flaneuse for badinage and repartee"


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 05-27-11 2:28 PM
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Even with tacky rims and a fat guy with a goatee driving them?

Is it Guy Fieri? Because if so, no, not OK.

In any event, there should be a word for the particular snobbery that commends luxury foods while reviling luxury cars.

I think I may have referred to this sort of thing once or twice as "Whitey's latest way of getting a slice of that sweet moral superiority cake," which seems a little harsh to me now.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 05-27-11 2:29 PM
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33

The keen and canny will have noted that 22 doesn't necessarily express any opinion I actually hold on the subject of convertible autos.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-27-11 2:30 PM
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34

32.2: which seems a little harsh to me now.

But it just rolls off the tongue.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-27-11 2:32 PM
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35

34: Whitey's always good for meter.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 05-27-11 2:34 PM
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36

I'd love to hang out and make fun of Halford, but I'm off to swim have dinner with my lovely girlfriend and then to play a rock show.

Have fun, guys!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05-27-11 2:37 PM
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In any event, there should be a word for the particular snobbery that commends luxury foods while reviling luxury cars.

Or commends CrossFit while reviling white soccer players from the suburbs.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-27-11 2:37 PM
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36: You fucking suck.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-27-11 2:38 PM
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39

To the OP: There's a lot of driving behaviors that I find more annoying than that. Jackasses trying to run me over when I've been standing waiting for the WALK sign to come on, and it comes on, but they just HAVE to make that turn, RIGHT NOW, before I walk across the street, they're about 1 million times more irritating than open-convertibles-with-heat-or-ac.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05-27-11 2:40 PM
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Oh, a testable claim! I wouldn't have expected shade + keeping all the chilled air to be more effective than sun + breeze - chilled air spilling out. If it is, though, that's just extravagant hedonism, which bothers me a lot less than intentional waste.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 05-27-11 2:41 PM
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37 -- well played.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-27-11 2:44 PM
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Car noted is an engineering masterpiece , so no resentment.
If you could hear or feel his bass kick while you wear headphones, then resent-on.

Ps. A stimulus shovel ready project that I wanted didn't happen was putting huge ac units in vacant commercial 2nd floor spaces and piping chilled air down to NYC subway platforms, keeping them at a comfortable 58 F yearroud.

LB likes a shower after biking, but many want a shower after subwaying.


Posted by: Econlcious | Link to this comment | 05-27-11 3:05 PM
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19

The "throwing it away" objection makes no sense. You're not running the air conditioner cooler with the top down than the top up -- in fact, it's likely to be the reverse.

I would expect having the top up is more energy efficient. Are you claiming otherwise?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 05-27-11 3:12 PM
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44

Heat (even heating the outdoors in a convertible) doesn't use any extra gas, except possibly a touch to charge the battery after running the fan; it's heat from the engine that has to get dissipated anyhow.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-27-11 3:22 PM
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45

In other news: I was just driving a sweet-ass convertible. No idea if I incurred anybody's judgement.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-27-11 3:25 PM
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46

Ps.

http://www.passiveaggressivenotes.com/2007/06/03/when-phds-get-frustrated/


Posted by: Econolicious | Link to this comment | 05-27-11 3:38 PM
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47

But cooling air using fuel is a net generator of heat, in the worst period of the year. Do cars really not have additional heaters, though? Only in the north, maybe?


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 05-27-11 3:39 PM
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48

I have my s-i-l's convertible for the weekend, and I'm happy about that. Toyota Solara, so I'm not going to be supersexy, but I'll still enjoy driving around with the top down.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 05-27-11 3:59 PM
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I'm almost the Okie hitchhiker in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas when it comes to convertibles. Have hardly driven or ridden in one at all. Not that I'm bitter.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-27-11 4:03 PM
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Re 47

The engine is producing heat anyway. As far as I understand it, hot coolant gets circulated into a wee radiatior and the fan blows it into the car.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05-27-11 4:05 PM
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51

There's a part that radiates WEEEEEEEEEEEE!?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05-27-11 4:07 PM
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52

All the way home!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-27-11 4:34 PM
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Sure, SUVs are a traffic hazard, especially when they are driven by tiny little women who are texting.

So this afternoon, driving down the road and minding my own business, I got hit by a woman in a Lexus SUV pulling out of a parking lot. She was angry at me because the officer gave her a ticket. She said she planned to fight it.

The bumper of the Lexus was badly scratched. I can't open the back door of my little Neon.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 05-27-11 5:00 PM
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54

Are you OK, politicalfootball?


I do not want the Twilight Zone in which all threads are reified.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 05-27-11 5:27 PM
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53: Eek. Yes, hope you're okay. Gotta keep a close eye on the SUVs when you drive a little car.

I had a teensy Subaru Justy for 5 years or so, 3 cylinders, yet 5-speed manual, 4 wheel drive -- zippy! and fun to drive. Zoom, zoom, little cardboard box of a car. But man, driving alongside certain SUVs, or god forbid 18-wheelers, was a little unsettling: okay, my head is at the level of the top of your wheel well. If you hit me in any way, I am crushed like a bug. I can only hope I can outmaneuver your barge-like tank of a vehicle.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-27-11 5:54 PM
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56

I had a Neon that suffered damage because of a collision with something much larger. Stupid pillar in the parking garage.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-27-11 6:17 PM
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This raises the interesting issue that (we) lefties scorn jumbo SUVs worse than sports cars, when from a fuel consumption perspective, both are equally bad.

They are? I didn't think sports cars were actually that bad. Asshole/terrible drivers will gun the motor of any car and ruin the gas mileage.

I don't have any issues with sports cars, but they're not very popular around these parts. Reasons I hate SUVs:
- block my visibility
- instill fears in me of being smushed by them on the highway
- terrible gas mileage and reflects investment by the car industry in promoting fucking SUVs when it was well understood that, as a country, it might be a good idea to move towards something sustainable.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-27-11 6:31 PM
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57 makes me think there might be an interesting secondary benefit to a car culture which prizes sports cars as the epitome of performance; sports cars need to be small and light, so "small and light" are valorized as car-features, even for regular cars.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-27-11 6:34 PM
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59

I'm fine; thanks for the concern. I wasn't hit hard enough to have much effect on my forward momentum, so no whiplash or anything. And my car was still drivable, even.

The incident did do some damage to my regard for humanity. The other driver seemed like a nice enough person, but she just couldn't get it through her head that she had erred. I figured I'd wait for the police officer to arrive, and he could explain it to her.

When the cop was done, and I was pretty sure he had given her a ticket, I went over to ask for her insurance information - I figured I'd save myself a little trouble. But no, in 45 years, she tells me, she'd never had an accident (she looked about 45 years old) and she didn't appreciate that I had told the officer she had driven carelessly. I told her (truthfully) that I had not said that to the officer. She told me she would fight the ticket.

But the striking thing was her sincerity. She'd come out of a parking lot and hit a moving car in the side-rear. It seems she didn't lie to the officer about it. How is she able to come up with a narrative that makes this potentially my fault?


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 05-27-11 6:39 PM
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59: In 45 years she had never had any accident, and then you came along.


Posted by: Jimmy Pongo | Link to this comment | 05-27-11 6:44 PM
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she just couldn't get it through her head that she had erred.

This may get at my main objection to SUVs: the vehicles are large enough, and move slowly enough (due to weight, slower to accelerate and to brake, and invariably automatic shifts), that drivers move into another zone of awareness whereby they're comparatively insulated from the surrounding environment. That's been my impression, anyway; and since I'm now actually driving an SUV (inherited), I think I can sense the difference in my own driving style. It invites a sort of zone-out.

Drivers of the old-style Cadillacs and similar, from the 70s and 80s, may have the same problem. I am driving a boat! I have trouble seeing you rowboats!


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-27-11 6:53 PM
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She'd come out of a parking lot and hit a moving car in the side-rear

That happened to me. She yelled, "Where did you come from?" I yelled, "Right down the fucking street." The she gave me her insurance card and I got $300 that I used to apply to graduate schools.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-27-11 6:57 PM
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63

61.last: Those fucking ruled.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-27-11 7:05 PM
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64

As long as you didn't have to turn our stop, they just floated down the road. And the glove compartment could hold a whole six pack and make a nice little table as the airbag wasn't in the way.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-27-11 7:12 PM
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63: All I can say is that everyone I've known who favored that type of vehicle had a tendency to drift, across lanes, absent-mindedly. Lazy driving.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-27-11 7:13 PM
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66

Or, what 64 said, I see.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-27-11 7:15 PM
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67

I said they ruled, not that they were a boon to society. Like all rulers, it sucked if you went against them.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-27-11 7:16 PM
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68

I got $300 that I used to apply to graduate schools.

Ah yes. I remember the days when accidents were financial windfalls. I would have been thrilled with this particular accident 25 years ago. The car has serious body damage, but still runs fine. I ought to be getting a pretty heft check from the insurer.

At this stage in my life, though, I might actually get the damn thing fixed.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 05-27-11 7:18 PM
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69

||

NMM to Gil-Scott Heron.

Ain't that a kick in the teeth.

|>


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-27-11 7:20 PM
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70

Was just about to post 69. Very sad.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 05-27-11 7:50 PM
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71

Poignant recent work, especially the part from about 3:45 in.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-27-11 8:09 PM
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72

Suv s also such for taking up a space and a half in the parking lot.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 05-27-11 9:06 PM
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73

I only see a convertible about every three weeks, so you better believe I'll think someone is an asshole who's speeding in one while blasting AC that's detectable ten feet away.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05-27-11 9:38 PM
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74

I didn't say he was speeding, nyptic Cred.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05-27-11 10:33 PM
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75

When the cop was done, and I was pretty sure he had given her a ticket, I went over to ask for her insurance information

Why aren't they using exchange forms? We have these forms we have the parties fill out that generate two copies. Time, date, case number, and location along with driver, vehicle, and insurance info. That way you leave with a copy you can keep for your records and a copy you can hand your insurance agent.

She told me she would fight the ticket.

Everybody, fight your tickets! (hooray overtime). My SOP is to not ticket if the party is honest about their degree of fault and will document that in the little "statement" area on the back of the exchange form. Being crazy and intractable like that lady practically guarantees a ticket because there's no way I'm going let that nut drag the other party through insurance hell.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 05-27-11 11:49 PM
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There's also that pretty-good Malcolm Gladwell piece from a while back in which he takes a Blazer and a Boxster for a test drive and annihilates an elementary school's worth of traffic cones in the Blazer.

Most of us think that S.U.V.s are much safer than sports cars. If you asked the young parents of America whether they would rather strap their infant child in the back seat of the TrailBlazer or the passenger seat of the Boxster, they would choose the TrailBlazer. We feel that way because in the TrailBlazer our chances of surviving a collision with a hypothetical tractor-trailer in the other lane are greater than they are in the Porsche. What we forget, though, is that in the TrailBlazer you're also much more likely to hit the tractor-trailer because you can't get out of the way in time. In the parlance of the automobile world, the TrailBlazer is better at "passive safety. " The Boxster is better when it comes to "active safety," which is every bit as important.

Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 12:30 AM
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Why aren't they using exchange forms?

I was instructed to pick up the police report next week, both by the officer and my insurer, so this appears to be SOP in N.J.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 2:57 AM
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re: 69/70

Gah, that sucks. The remixes of 'I'm New Here' (aka 'We're New Here' with Jamie XX) are good, too.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 3:16 AM
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his raises the interesting issue that (we) lefties scorn jumbo SUVs worse than sports cars, when from a fuel consumption perspective, both are equally bad.

Speak for yourself. I hate them both with a passion. To be fair, though, my spectrum of autophilia begins with "dislike".


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 4:11 AM
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Now that I think about it, autophilia probably doesn't really mean what I meant it to mean.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 4:12 AM
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78: yeah they are.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 4:24 AM
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I find it hard to think of someone driving a Mazda MX5, say, as being quite as egregious as someone driving a BMW X6, or Range Rover Sport, tbh. The latter have more than double the fuel consumption, and serve no practical purpose that isn't symptomatic of being a dick.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 4:29 AM
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||
No more masturbating to Gil Scott-Heron.
|>


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 4:54 AM
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84

Maybe I should read six comments higher. And go drink some coffee.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 5:16 AM
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85

I'd always heard of cold showers, but that could work.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 5:37 AM
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84: at least you got the hyphen right.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 7:05 AM
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Would it be adding value to report that George Clinton is in the hospital with a staph infection in his leg? I know this from Bootsy Collins' Facebook feed.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 7:16 AM
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OMG Cheetos for breakfast. WHEEZE THE JUICE.


Posted by: Pauly Shore | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 7:31 AM
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This line from that Gladwell piece k-sky linked is totally baffling:

Even four-wheel drive, seemingly the most beneficial feature of the S.U.V., serves to reinforce this isolation. Having the engine provide power to all four wheels, safety experts point out, does nothing to improve braking, although many S.U.V. owners erroneously believe this to be the case.

People think four-wheel drive means better braking? Christ, people are dumb.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 8:35 AM
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90

I was in Durham for the giant ass snow of 2000. So many 4x4s in the ditch. Most people in the north do know.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 8:41 AM
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91

I went on about it at the time, but during the big snowfall we had before Christmas, my small French front-wheel drive car was cruising past most rear-wheel drive saloons [which were completely buggered in the snow] _and_ a reasonable number of 4x4s. I can only assume the latter was largely bad driving, rather than inadequacies of the cars themselves in the snow.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 8:43 AM
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92

Unless there is a hill or very deep snow our sheet ice, front wheel drive isn't much worse down the highway than 4x4.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 8:50 AM
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93

S/b "or sheet ice"


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 8:51 AM
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94

Regardless of your vehicle, if you're sheeting ice, you should consult medical assistance immediately.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 8:52 AM
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95

re: 92

I suppose, yeah. With a light touch on the accelerator and careful use of the clutch I was fine going up fairly steep hills in 8 inches or so of snow [deep enough that the underside of the car was dragging in it]. I'd imagine a 4x4 could have gone faster, though.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 8:55 AM
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This raises the interesting issue that (we) lefties scorn jumbo SUVs worse than sports cars, when from a fuel consumption perspective, both are equally bad. I certainly feel this way; driving a fast little car with a big engine is fun.

If this is true, I'd think it was more ignorance than anything else (or perhaps differing definitions of 'sports car'. I'm sort of mentally including anything smallish and fastish -- if you restricted 'sports car' to only ultra-expensive wildly high-powered two-seaters, I'd think negatively about them as well just because they're expensive wasteful toys.) If you're including anything that could plausibly serve the same family-car purpose as an SUV in the category 'sports car', I'd tend to assume that, driven sensibly, a little car, even with a biggish engine, probably doesn't get terrible mileage. I could be wrong about that, but if I am my reaction is driven by an error of fact, not by esthetic (as opposed to practical) disapproval of the hugeness of SUVs.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 8:56 AM
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95: Yes, I did the same in a Neon, but it is much easier in a Jeep. Plus, you can parallel park


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 9:03 AM
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re: 96

Yeah. I'd guess the really big 'German' fast saloons are up there with an SUV, but googling the mpg for a lot of standard non-exotic 2-seater or 2+2 coup├ęs, they get double or even 3-times the mileage of an SUV.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 9:05 AM
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Thundersnow just had two friends come through town who are biking across the country. They had set out from NYC, so we caught them in the first week, but thinking about their trip I was wondering how cycling vs. walking vs. driving (compact car) stacked up efficiency-wise, particularly on hills vs. flat terrain.

But that's not even really a do-able comparison, because the fuel for cycling and walking isn't the same fuel used in driving. You'd need some kind of peanut-butter-to-petrol ratio.

Still, I was trying to imagine a graph.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 9:05 AM
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97: The time we got a car stolen while playing a show, it was a late-90s Jeep Cherokee. Since this was in DC right after one of the Snowpocalypi, we assumed the car was targeted by some ne'er-do-wells who wanted to tool around in the snow with 4WD. (The car turned up, no worse for the wear, a few days later in some abandoned lot.)


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 9:09 AM
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There was a stat going around purporting to compare biking and driving and calling biking less efficient in terms of carbon output that seemed to be bullshit -- IIRC it assumed that all calories expended biking were replaced by eating more, and that all additional calories were consumed in the form of conventionally raised meat.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 9:11 AM
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Anyway, we get about 22 mpg in our old Jeep. Apparently the new ones, even the smallest, get worse milage because our engine doesn't meet current pollution standards. But, I can go through any kind of snow with no worries about getting stuck.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 9:12 AM
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"Unconventionally raised meat" wouldn't be a very good brand strategy.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 9:22 AM
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100: Was it repainted? The ones that look nice get stolen first.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 9:22 AM
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My parents had a non SUV 4WD for many years. The thing was amazing at going uphill on snowy mountain roads. Not as good as chains, but those are a pain to put on.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 9:22 AM
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reasons to hate SUVs: to abundant entitlement of drivers thereof, who tend to park so that they overlap into a second space, making parking in that second space impossible for other vehicles. except mine, which is really small. hah!

reasons to hate convertibles: UNG bought one in the middle of our divorce. and tbh, i don't even hate convertibles, i just have contempt for them as impractical ego-bling for insecure twits. (Rory loved the convertible at first. every time she told me so, I told her how I would have gotten a fun car, too, but realized I needed to be responsible...)

i got rear-ended by an SUV once. driven by an insurance adjuster who promptly admitted fault. damage was purely cosmetic, so i just let it go.


Posted by: di kotimy | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 9:23 AM
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reasons to hate SUVs: to abundant entitlement of drivers thereof, who tend to park so that they overlap into a second space, making parking in that second space impossible for other vehicles. except mine, which is really small. hah!

reasons to hate convertibles: UNG bought one in the middle of our divorce. and tbh, i don't even hate convertibles, i just have contempt for them as impractical ego-bling for insecure twits. (Rory loved the convertible at first. every time she told me so, I told her how I would have gotten a fun car, too, but realized I needed to be responsible...)

i got rear-ended by an SUV once. driven by an insurance adjuster who promptly admitted fault. damage was purely cosmetic, so i just let it go.


Posted by: di kotimy | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 9:23 AM
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"Unconventionally raised meat" wouldn't be a very good brand strategy.

Refusing to tell the butcher if it's a boar or a sow?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 9:30 AM
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Stanley is cooler than being cool. ICE COLD!


Posted by: Pauly Shore | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 9:30 AM
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100: At a Sebedoh show I saw years and years ago, Lou Barlow disappeared from the stage for like a half hour, leaving the other two guys to jam and alienating most of the audience. When Barlow returned, he announced their van had been stolen. The crowd did not respond to this news in any way, which upset Barlow greatly.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 9:31 AM
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re: 105

Yeah, we drove out to Kutna Hora at New Year, with some friends, and he had a 4wd saloon (Subaru, I think). He was tanking it along some uncleared backroads, with no problems. I can't imagine there'd have been much, except really rough off-road stuff (which a lot of 'lifestyle' SUVs are shit at anyway), that you could have done in an SUV that you couldn't have happily done in that.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 9:52 AM
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It was a Subaru. The one advantage of SUV's is raised suspension which comes in handy over really rocky terrain. We once hired a rancher to drive us to a trailhead in Wyoming in a pickup over a 'road' which alternated between cattle trail and rocky mountain stream. Any normal car would have had its guts ripped out. This was before the SUV craze and I suspect if we were doing it now we'd try to rent an off-road capable SUV with a friendly damage policy.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 10:13 AM
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The Range Rover Sport makes me ashamed to be British. If you haven't met it - it's a large, luxurious SUV that was originally designed to be highly mobile off the roads (i.e. a Range Rover), but was carefully optimised for the idiot market by fitting a much bigger engine, changing the gear ratios, splattering all sorts of rococo trim over it, and *lowering the ground clearance*.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 10:22 AM
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Actually, this is an opportunity to use the word "pessimised".


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 10:23 AM
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The Range Rover Sport makes me ashamed to be British.

On the other hand, don't let yourself feel bad about British Knights footwear. They're not even really British.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 10:27 AM
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SUVs (or, more precisely, jeeps with raised suspensions that served as the platforms for the original SUVs) are great at going offroad. The objections are that (a) they aren't good at much of anything else, which is 99% of what people who are driving them are doing and (b) many current SUVs aren't even good at going off road; on real dirt and rocks, you're better off in a 1981 jeep than a BMW x6.

One of the things that galls me about the rise of the SUVs is that it largely replaced a much better technology for doing the same thing (hauling a family, lots of stuff and a dog with room to spare) namely, the station wagon, which drive and handle better and have better fuel efficiency and keep you closer to the road than an SUV.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 10:37 AM
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On sports cars, while it's true that fuel efficiency is low, LB gets it right that this is generally true only for cars that have a tiny percentage of the market. The world supply of, say, the Corvette ZR1 mentioned upthread is probably 1000 cars at most -- hardly enough to make any real difference with oil prices or environmental impact, and building sports cars to be lighter and faster has trickle down improvements in efficiency for mass market cars. The problem with SUVs is that they became a mass market phenomenon.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 10:41 AM
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People driving battered Landrover Defenders, Toyota Hiluxes and the like, I'm assuming they have a good reason for driving that sort of vehicle. Not including those people who really need an SUV,* as far as I can tell the only reason to have many of the modern ones is the bully factor. It's precisely the fact that they are ungainly behemoths that's attractive to their target audience. You only have to look at the styling of shit-heaps like the X6 and the Audi Q7 to see that.

re: 117

That only really applies to massively-engined muscle-car type sports cars and big supercars, I assume? The more compact 'european' style roadster -- small Lotuses, Miatas, Alfas, and so on -- are all 30mpg+ cars. In some cases 40mpg+ cars.

* a friend of mine lives in a remote-ish bit of the Peak District and does sometimes get cut off by snow in winter. I don't really grudge him his Freelander (although I expect he'd do just as well with a 4wd estate/station-wagon).


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 10:48 AM
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I have made my peace with my in-laws' SUVs by borrowing them when it's convenient. (Sadly, they haven't ever loaned us the hybrid.)


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 10:52 AM
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Right, 118.2 was the point I was trying to make. "Supercars" aren't efficient, but also aren't remotely common enough to be in any meaningful sense environmental problems, and often the technology pioneered in high end sports cars has effects down the line.

Even the mass market Mustang (muscle car) is way more efficient than, say, an Expedition (I'm saying that from memory, but am 90% sure that's true), and miatas and the like do fine on fuel economy.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 10:57 AM
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I knew somebody who had to commute across the Peak District in all weathers and she did fine in a smallish Hyundai 4wd. Chelsea tractors are so called for a reason.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 10:59 AM
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Friends of mine live up a dirt track on the edge of the moors between Huddersfield and Manchester (as in the Moors Murders) and a year or so ago they changed their Freelander for something more mundane. Which then meant they had to walk up their track for a few weeks this winter.

Do you mean the BMW X5 not 6? Or am I thinking of something else? About half the X5s I see have personalised plates.

I drive something big enough to load up like this. I usually hope its complete lack of poseability outweighs people's potentially negative feelings about its size.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 10:59 AM
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The law enforcement rangers at Chaco use Chevy Tahoes, which is really weird because that's precisely the sort of low-clearance luxury SUV that makes absolutely no sense at all in a context where 4WD is sometimes useful but high clearance is often essential.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 11:00 AM
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When I worked out there I had a GMC Jimmy, which is a more reasonable type of SUV with high clearance. Even then I scraped bottom a couple of times on some of the rougher roads.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 11:02 AM
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re: 122

The X6 is the sportier looking one, the one that really embraces the contradictions. It's huge, high sided, and yet about as useful as a chocolate teapot.

http://www.blogcdn.com/uk.autoblog.com/media/2009/04/x6mnylive_02_450uk.jpg

re: 121

Yeah. He has a real need for a car that can handle bad weather and hills, but as you say, it needn't actually be an SUV, it could be any decent 4wd car.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 11:06 AM
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Ooooh, yes, I meant the x5. Whoops.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 11:09 AM
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Don't worry, X5s are twats cars, too.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 11:13 AM
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One "sporty" car that I can't possibly take seriously is the Subaru Impreza WRX. Just today I was passed by one that was sporting a grapefruit-shooter muffler; it was driven by a 40-ish-looking dude. Honestly? You look like a child.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 11:18 AM
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arent't they more or less bringing the station wagon back, just calling them crossovers?


Posted by: di kotimy | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 11:19 AM
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Do BMW still make anything that isn't a twat car?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 11:21 AM
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130: Twat motorcycles?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 11:23 AM
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129 -- yes, absolutely. E.g. the Ford Flex, which is a good car.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 11:28 AM
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I like the Toyota Venza -- got one as a loaner when i had my Scion serviced. But I've never owned a car that gets less than 30 mpg. So I'll keep waiting, I guess.


Posted by: di kotimy | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 11:33 AM
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Isn't your scion a little young for that?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 11:42 AM
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One "sporty" car that I can't possibly take seriously is the Subaru Impreza WRX.

Pretty hard to beat though for the price if you're looking for fast and easy access to aftermarket parts. Civics are cheaper but Civics aren't sporting stock engines with 265 hp.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 11:44 AM
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I just got, as part of my retail therapy, a G37S. Next are some gold chains and a shirt open to the waist. (I can hear the DE spinning as I type this)

The fuel consumption is awful in city driving but goosing the thing around Granny or an SUV is fun. Stanley's problems are not at all mine.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 11:46 AM
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129: Yes, although the trend has for the most part in the other direction. For instance, the Subaru Outback which you can say if you scroll down through the pictures of the 1st to 4th generations. I had a 2nd generation which was still definitely more station wagon-y. (And which although it got OK mileage ended up sucking in many other ways and for the time being ended my long relationship with Subaru.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 12:00 PM
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I miss having a fast car, but I never drive, and having a tiny car with a standard transmission is fun too. Plus, I should get plenty of opportunities to drive the (hell of douchey!) convertible mentioned upthread.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 12:02 PM
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... and our tiny car gets 40mpg highway, so.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 12:03 PM
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Kid carseats take up so much goddamn room. I don't think you can fit three along most backseats.

At some point we're going to have to buy some minivan-type thing. I'm leaning towards the ones that look like the extra-mini-minivans.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 12:12 PM
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the extra-mini-minivans


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 12:15 PM
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140: Two kids, friendless until they hit 80 pounds, is all you get without a minivan or SUV.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 12:16 PM
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Yeah. We'd like to have more than two, too.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 12:17 PM
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And you want to take them out of the house all at once?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 12:20 PM
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I want Jammies to be able to.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 12:22 PM
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You can get 3 booster seats across a regular backseat w/out much difficulty. Infant car seats, not so much.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 12:23 PM
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It'll be awhile before the last of our not-yet-conceived kids is in a booster seat.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 12:25 PM
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"Infant" seats are now in use until the kid can write "Fuck Ralph Nader."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 12:27 PM
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Goddamn I've got a lot of tiring days and sleepless nights and diapers ahead of me. My goal is to be done with diapers before age 40.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 12:27 PM
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My goal is to be done with diapers before age 40.

Depends.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 12:29 PM
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namely, the station wagon,

My dream car! I've wanted one since I was 5 and my babysitter would let us ride in the rear-facing seat of her Taurus station wagon. God, so much fun - and they seem so practical as an adult, too!


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 12:35 PM
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You could get a crossover on a station wagon platform, like the Mazda5 or above-mentioned Flex. No need to go full minivan.

I've been thinking about switching to the booster seat from the forward facing infant seat for my three year old, but it's not really a big deal w/1 kid and enough room in the back. Rear facing seats are hellacious for all involved, though.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 12:36 PM
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The charts here are pretty good at illustrating the difference in what knocks down fuel efficiency in "sports" cars versus SUVs. They show EPA test results mapped with one axis being miles/kwh (mostly weight and aerodyamics) and kwh/gallon* (powertrain efficiency) which results in mpg contours going from lower right to upper left (Here is the chart for compacts.)

Sporty cars tend to fall a little lower on the vertical axis (in part because they tend to operate over the less efficient ranges of their engines) but that effect is generally small compared to the mile/kwh degradation for the heavier SUVs and pickups. Small sporty cars are categorized in either two-seaters or minis.

*This is also the axis along which hybrids differentiate themselves.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 12:41 PM
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You could get a crossover on a station wagon platform, like the Mazda5 or above-mentioned Flex. No need to go full minivan.

These are what I have in mind by "mini-minivan".


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 12:46 PM
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151: I've wanted one since I was 5 and my babysitter would let us ride in the rear-facing seat of her Taurus station wagon

We had one and the kids somewhat liked it when they were young. However, the seat belt in the back had a way of slowly tightening over time (at least on ours)--tempered their enthusiasm a bit.

And it was much less "practical" than the minivan which succeeded it, although we all hated everything about the mini-van except for its practicality. Maybe modern ones are better.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 12:47 PM
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We had a Pontiac Catalina station wagon with a rear facing third seat we never used because it opened only 80 degrees or so. Then we got a full size van.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 12:53 PM
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We had a Ford station wagon with rear-facing seat when I was a little kid. That's where I first learned what F.O.R.D. stands for.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 12:56 PM
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What does F.O.R.D. stand for?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 1:00 PM
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Found On Roadside Dead.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 1:25 PM
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Fiat stands for Fix It Anthony T.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 1:32 PM
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What does N.A.S.A. stand for?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 1:35 PM
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Need Anthony S. A.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 1:39 PM
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Neuticles are seemingly asinine.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 1:53 PM
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I'm pretty sure that "what does Pontiac stand for" was the first racist joke I ever heard, at age 10 or so. I remember being pretty shocked.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 1:58 PM
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160: I heard this as "Fix It Again, Tony."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 2:02 PM
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165: I was joking.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 2:04 PM
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I've wanted one since I was 5 and my babysitter would let us ride in the rear-facing seat of her Taurus station wagon.

No fond memories of riding around in the back of a station wagon with no seats at all? I remember loving that when friends' parents would drive me places. Pretty sure it isn't legal anymore.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 3:16 PM
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Similarly, I have fond memories of riding my bike without a helmet. Or at least I would, if the asphalt hadn't knocked them out of my skull.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 3:47 PM
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167: Sure, back in the day when station wagons were capacious and tended to look like this (Family Truckster Ford Country Squire LTD).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 3:50 PM
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168 I occasionally wonder if skiing is going the way biking did. Through the end of the eighties nobody wore helmets, even little kids. By the end of the nineties most preteen kids did, but few people older than that. This winter I noticed a significant minority of adults wearing them. I've never worn one for on piste skiing.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 4:05 PM
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I think I may have mentioned this before, but my dad's reaction to his first car with a seat belt warning buzzer was to cut off the seat belt. We used to bounce around the back and dad was smoking Winston in the front. My neighbor used to give us kids (up to six at a time) rides home in a standard cab pickup truck while letting the youngest steer.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 4:11 PM
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In fairness to your dad, didn't you grow up in some desolate, flat area where one could let go of the steering wheel and take a nap without hitting anything?
Also, I'm sure Winston was hot.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 4:42 PM
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171: Yeah -- one of the funnest times I've had recently (well, at least notable) was after a late-night breaking down of a band's set, with equipment piled in the back of the van, a drunken 20-something sprawled in back on top of the equipment, 6 or 7 of us crammed into the front and middle, and one last person who really really needed a ride, please please please, lying on top of the front hood calling out "Slower, slower! I can see the stars! Don't turn fast, turn slowly, slowly!"

Hilarious, but, you know, a somewhat country-ish winding road through the woods where going 15 mph with some fool hanging on for dear life on the hood was doable.

Maybe it's just that in many places these days, roads are made for moving along briskly, so that messing around with bouncing kids or people really is inadvisable. Also, cops.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 4:46 PM
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Yes. Also, I didn't start wearing seat belts all the time until I broke a windshield with my head.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 4:49 PM
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That was only the second hardest blow to the head I've taken.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 4:51 PM
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||

I just saw the news reported in 69/70.

I feel surprisingly sad, but addition is something that hits an emotional nerve for me.

|>


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 4:53 PM
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Would going for a ride on the hood of a car help cheer you? Because I kind of regret that I haven't.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 5:00 PM
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You have to be pretty good at calling out instructions when you ride on the hood of a car. In particular, say: "Okay, I can get off here now! Can you hear me?! I can get off here now! It's only a little way to the campground now! Are you stopping? Thank you, thanks man, I'll see you at the co-op tomorrow probably, this was great, let me know if you need any help unloading the van, and, um, wow the stars were fantastic, thanks, see you, and we should talk about that other thing some time."

Then everyone else laughs and smiles and says, "Who was that guy?" Oh, that was Andre. (I don't remember his name.)


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 5:19 PM
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I just got back from a ride on a car hood three and a half mile run and I feel much better.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 6:25 PM
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in the comment "

||
No more masturbating to Gil Scott-Heron.
|>


"

what does the pipes and greaterthan symbols mean?


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 9:25 PM
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Pipes mean pause, pipe and greater than means play. A la a VCR.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-28-11 9:31 PM
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179: Piker, Stanley can do both at the same time.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-29-11 5:10 AM
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Longer ago than I care to remember I went to a festival with a friend who had a London black taxi. On the second day we drove into the village to see if there was anything left in the shops (there wasn't), and on the way back to the site we picked up a ton of hitch hikers, ending up with one guy on the hood and three on the roof. As we approached the site we we pulled over by a cop, and we thought, "Shit, this is a ticket no question, hope he doesn't decide to search us." But he just stuck his head in the window and said, "Could you slow down a bit, the people on top are looking a bit green." We realised we'd been doing about 20 mph and they had no handholds.

Cops like that are all dead now.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 05-29-11 5:24 AM
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Heh. We got caught by a cop like that on our way to our 3rd or 4th year school dance [so about 14, I think]; with a load of bottles of wine and beer.

"School dance tonight, lads?"

[controlled bedlam as people tried to stash their carry-out where he wouldn't see it]

"Just make sure youse put the empties in a bin, yeah? And keep the noise down later."


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05-29-11 6:05 AM
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stash their carry-out

Stash an open beer?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05-29-11 5:57 PM
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I keep track of all the expenses of driving my sports car; it gets about one half of an MPG worse mileage in the summer with the A/C turned on.


Posted by: W. Kiernan | Link to this comment | 05-31-11 4:06 PM
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186: Yes, but, per the OP, is there whooshing involved?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05-31-11 8:06 PM
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is it a convertible with the top down?


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 05-31-11 8:18 PM
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Do you pick up your car phone to perpetrate like you are talking?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-31-11 8:26 PM
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And "Hotel California" or no? These are all very important questions, W.K., if we're going to be properly judgmental here.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05-31-11 8:29 PM
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