Re: Large vehicles

1

Holy pacing, Batman.
No, that's not a reference to the Pope Emeritus.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 7:37 AM
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Yeah, I'm offline from 9:30 am until tonight, basically, so I just figured I'd throw up two quick posts, early, without knowing that Al was writing an actual, real post.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 7:47 AM
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Cars aren't as big around here mostly, but many times when we park our mini in a lot it is completely hidden by adjoining cars until you get quite close, so people think the spot's open. Ha ha, suck it, big cars.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 7:53 AM
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Yeah, in the OP, perhaps I should have written "Texas" instead "the world". This fucking testicle-driven state.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 7:56 AM
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4 is what I was going to suggest. When I lived in Texas, any time I visited back east the overall difference in vehicle size was palpable. I remember flying into Newark one time and in the parking lot having a weird sense that something was just not quite right, and then realized, ah, yes, the cars are all so small, I can actually see across the aisles.

Still notice a pretty big difference in SUV density when I visit Texas these days, though probably not as drastic.


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 8:03 AM
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6

I wonder if drive-up ATMs are scaled differently, geographically, according to what people drive.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 8:05 AM
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6: I can't think of any drive-up ATMs in this state, if that's a clue.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 8:09 AM
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Not even in suburbia?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 8:10 AM
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Well, I don't spend a hell of a lot of time in suburbia, but not even in the parts of suburbia which which I'm familiar, no.

Hm, maybe there was one in my home town at one point? Pretty sure it's not there anymore.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 8:12 AM
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I go by about six drive-thru ATMs on my 12-mile drive to work. Either they are literally outlawed where Sify lives or he is truly in a bubble.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 8:13 AM
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I just googled. My bank has at least nine of them within six miles of me (closest is a couple miles away, and is indeed the one I remember from my hometown). So not to worry.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 8:17 AM
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The one time I used a drive up ATM the curb was far enough out that I had to get out of the car but close enough in that I couldn't open the door all the way.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 8:22 AM
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SUVs are stupid and dangerous as personal vehicles. There are 6,000 pound weight limit roads that have had the limit increased and I doubt the bridges were assessed by an engineer. There's a tax regulation that treats 6,000 plus vehicles favorably, apparently weakened in 2012.

I am thankful that the fashion for tiny little women to have great big cars looks to be passing.

Also, why does anyone pull into parking spots nose first? Backing in lets you see what's coming on pulling out, even when flanked by stompers.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 8:24 AM
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I'm glad that these minor conveniences have improved your life, but on the other hand you're driving a fucking minivan.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 8:28 AM
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15

What's the better option for two adults and three kids in car seats? Will the STS take a roof rack?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 8:30 AM
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When I think Texas, I think Chevy Suburban.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 8:31 AM
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17

A shitty passenger vehicle for a shitty state? That's not nice of you.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 8:32 AM
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18

4 thirded. Drive-up ATMs and pharmacy windows aren't don't exist at all here, no matter what height. And the roads in London aren't even designed for cars, let alone trucks.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 8:34 AM
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Interesting that everyone is talking about SUVs. The vehicle of choice in Texas is actually the huge pickup truck. In other parts of the South the SUV was more common.


Posted by: Kreskin | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 8:35 AM
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16 not meant as a response to 15. With at least two kids in booster seats you could do three across in a Ford Flex, for example. Or really any much larger sedan. I've done two booster seats and a nine year old and two adults in a Honda fit, though I wouldn't recommend it. Or I guess a suburban, that's just kind of differently lame than the minivan but at least you're getting in touch with Texas.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 8:37 AM
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But, really, have fewer kids and better cars. What is wrong with you people?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 8:38 AM
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22

Also, why does anyone pull into parking spots nose first?

Because a lot of people are arseholes.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 8:39 AM
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re: 18

And London is pretty car friendly compared to, say, Oxford.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 8:39 AM
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Because a lot of people are arseholes.

New mouseover?


Posted by: Kreskin | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 8:41 AM
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25

A large number of parking spaces aren't designed to be backed into, either because they're angle spots on one way parking lanes or because the lane isn't big enough to effectively manage the turn. Also, backing into spaces takes longer, which means longer that you're backing things up if you're in a crowded lot. So I think "because a lot of people are arseholes" may actually be 180 degrees removed from the right explanation.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 8:41 AM
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I mean if you're going to have 10 kids you might as well get a fucking church bus but that doesn't mean you should talk about doing so in public. Pagani huayra!!


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 8:41 AM
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re: 25

Backing into spaces is almost always easier and quicker, unless you can't drive very well or are driving a vehicle with a huge turning circle. If you can do it going in forwards, you can definitely do it going in backwards. In fact, if a lane is tight, I'd almost always try if possible to get into a position where I could reverse in.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 8:43 AM
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28

25.2 was what I was thinking. Backing in would cause parking-lot rage, at least around here.


Posted by: Kreskin | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 8:43 AM
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29

And it doesn't take longer.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 8:44 AM
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30

27, 29: wait, are you thinking of parallel parking? I'm talking about perpendicular spots in parking lots.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 8:45 AM
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I was somewhat shocked when I went to a bank in [new town that needs a clever nickname] which is basically down town and the only ATM was a drive through. I had to walk outside the bank and walk up to the drive through ATM to get money. That wouldn't have surprised me a little ways out of town, but where they are is totally walkable.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 8:45 AM
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I think it's all a matter of default norms. If someone is blocking my path to take forever backing into a space, I'm going to assume he's an asshole because that's not the norm. If someone is backing out of a space, I'll give them room. I don't know that it needs to be that way but that's the way it is so don't be the dick who is taking forever backing in to a nose first space.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 8:45 AM
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33

Possible resolution: "huge turning circle" describes many vehicles in the US, and not as many in the UK.


Posted by: Kreskin | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 8:46 AM
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34

Forklifts have rear wheel steering, for example, because it allows for a tighter turning circle. Ditto reversing a car.

re: 30

So am I. Unless the space is very wide, it's always easier to reverse in.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 8:47 AM
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35

Although, speaking of parallel parking and LA people will totally pull up right behind you and honk if you pull ahead of a (parallel) parking spot and go to back in (that is, you try to park correctly) (okay, not everywhere. But on some roads).


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 8:48 AM
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36

UK perpendicular parking spaces are pretty narrow. You wouldn't be able to get into a lot of them going in forwards without overlapping the spaces to either side, or parking at an angle. Which a lot of people do, because they are arseholes.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 8:48 AM
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37

32. My legs work, so I don't park in the crowded part of the lot, mostly so that I can avoid people like you.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 8:48 AM
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re: 35

I've stopped and gotten out when people do that. They tend to fuck off.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 8:48 AM
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34: well, it definitely doesn't apply to angled parking. It also doesn't apply to regular parking lot spots in this country, but I have not fully worked out what I believe the difference to be.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 8:50 AM
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40

I get the prevailing norms part. If spaces are very wide, there's no great reason to reverse in, as long as you can get in and not overlap the spaces to either side. It's just that 90% of the time, when I see people going frontways into a normal space in a normal or larger sized car, they park in ways that inconvenience everyone else.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 8:50 AM
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41

38: in LA?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 8:50 AM
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re: 41

In London. And elsewhere.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 8:50 AM
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43

Backing into spaces is almost always easier and quicker

This makes absolutely no sense at all to me.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 8:51 AM
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44

40: you know, I think it may well be possible that parking spaces are generally much wider in this country. Certainly when I drove in Italy there were spots that I had to back into because there was just no plausible way I could have gotten into them going forwards. (I don't remember if there were spots that I pulled forwards into. Probably not. I didn't spend much time in Italian parking lots, all things considered.)


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 8:52 AM
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re: 41

I'm sure I wouldn't actually get into a fight with someone over a parking space. But people do seem to get a whole lot less confident about bullying when you stop being an anonymous shape inside a car.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 8:52 AM
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42: well, okay. I'm not saying that it wouldn't work in LA, but you would definitely confuse the hell out of people and possibly they would pepper spray you or try to drive over you.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 8:53 AM
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re: 43

Narrow spaces, and smaller cars, maybe? Also, lots of practice. Just like driving 'stick', I suppose. If you do it all the time, you don't notice that it's supposedly more difficult.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 8:53 AM
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48

The vehicle of choice in Texas is actually the huge pickup truck.

That was my observation the last time I visited (probably about 15 years ago). True story:

We hit a traffic jam on the way into Austin, and after about one minute of waiting, 3 (three) pick-ups on the highway in front of us just pulled off the road, all at once, and drove across this flat, grassy area to an access road that happened to be running parallel to the highway about half a mile to the left.


Posted by: Sheila | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 8:54 AM
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49

45: this isn't a fight over a parking space, though; they aren't doing it because they want the spot. They're doing it because they want to continue driving and you're stopped in the middle of the road. It confused the hell out of me at first. Like, I'm trying to get out of your way except you aren't letting me back up. Why are you so weird, person?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 8:54 AM
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50

Narrow spaces

This must be the relevant difference.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 8:56 AM
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51

It's because there are a decent number of streets in LA that, particularly at rush hour, shouldn't have on-street parking but do. Make a right turn and go onto a side street and park there and stop holding up 5000 people!


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 8:56 AM
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51: see, when you say it like that it sort of makes sense, in a way, but it's much more difficult to understand when you say it "HOOOOONK! HOOOONK!"

Also, Melrose at 2PM is not one of those streets, and one person is not five thousand peiople. But that's neither here nor there.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 8:59 AM
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53

There is a reason to back into even a wide spot. Pulling out is hazardous because of the other drivers, more so if a big car pulls into the next spot. Backing is slightly slower than going forwards, but pulling in and out will involve one step of backing.

Many people are uncertain about their car's size and unfamiliar with using their side mirrors, which is a problem for tight spots.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 8:59 AM
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54

Also also, in some (many) parts of town those side streets are resident parking, no?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 9:00 AM
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re: 49

I'm not really thinking of rivalry for the same space, either. Although I've seen that happen, I can't remember getting into that sort of thing myself. But I do remember someone coming up behind me while I was letting someone else out of a space, and leaning on their horn. And a few similar incidents where I was parallel parking. I don't mean to give the impression I'm hopping out of cars all the time, all aggressive like. I'm talking a few times in a decade.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 9:04 AM
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I've never been in a car that backed into a perpendicular parking spot, but I look around at the parking lot and maybe a quarter of the cars are parked that way, so someone must do it. It would certainly take a long time and be unsafe if I tried to learn how to do it.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 9:05 AM
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57

Some of those cars may have pulled through rather than backed up.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 9:06 AM
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58

Also, my interaction with Halford right there seems, to me, like a perfect example of the inevitable clusterfucks that come from being both car-centric and dense; people who use Melrose as a trunk road (which, why wouldn't they? The speed limit is 40 and it goes useful places) feel, quite sensible, like people shouldn't be stopping to park in the middle of a fast, busy four lane street. Retailers, quite sensibly, want to have shops on Melrose, because it has enough density that you will get spillover traffic from people going to neighboring stores; this makes it much easier to have things like boutiques that sell a few, expensive, impulse buy-ish things. The residents of side streets, would prefer, quite sensibly, to have some chance of ever parking somewhere near the front of their houses -- and even more, since most people have parking, would like to be able to occasionally entertain guests at their home. The city, quite sensibly, is unwilling to raze big parts of the vibrant shopping district to make room for surface parking, and real estate is too dear for a big lot, which brings its own problems in any case. So, again, very sensibly, they prefer to keep the existing on-street parking. So there, everybody's being sensible, and they're at each other's throats.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 9:11 AM
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59

58 -- right. Welcome to the big city.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 9:21 AM
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60

Welcome to the big city without parking garages or apartment buildings or trains, I guess.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 9:23 AM
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59: well, yes and no. Driving is just as shitty in New York (or in my neighborhood here, for that matter), but there's an alternative solution (really, alternative solutions) available.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 9:24 AM
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62

There's a drive-up ATM near me that I occasionally use as a walk-up ATM. It did seem a little high the one time I did drive through it.

And 3 is an annoying problem regardless of what size car *you* are driving. I'm also driving a small car and I can't see if the space is open!


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 9:25 AM
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63

I can see the argument for parking in backwards so you can more safely pull out frontwards, but I can't see at all how backing in would be easier than going in forwards. I'm driving forwards. I see a spot. I drive into it. How is driving past, then looking over my shoulder and backing around in a tight turn easier?

And no, I especially don't want people who have more trouble seeing out the back (including but not limited to short people in tall vehicles) backing in to a space next to my car.

My town is experimenting with back-in angle spots on some streets -- for safer pulling out. Why is it said to be safer? Because you can see 10 times better looking forwards.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 9:26 AM
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64

The problem is that we too easily conceptualize Los Angeles as a human city, whereas in fact it's a loose federation of freeways. The human-freeway relationship is symbiotic, with the humans providing some grooming, restoration, and construction work, but it's clear who wears the pants.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 9:29 AM
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I think it was in the NYTimes recently, in discussing the city's decision to take down "No Honking" (or similar) signs, they had requested readers to submit haiku poems about (traffic/driving/honking... can't recall). My favorite was:

HONK HONK HONK HONK HONK
HONK HONK HONK HONK HONK HONK HONK
HONK HONK HONK HONK HONK


Posted by: Rance | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 9:30 AM
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66

62.2: true. I maintain it's not my problem, though.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 9:30 AM
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67

50 to 63.

So if I go to Britain, not only will I be unable to drive a car because they are all stick shifts, I will be unable to get on a road without crashing because the traffic is going the wrong way, and then when I get to my destination I will be unable to park because the spaces are too narrow!


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 9:30 AM
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68

64: the convicts with rakes are a form of tribute?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 9:31 AM
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69

One big difference between the driver's test I took in Botswana and the one I took in Oregon is that the former had lots of emphasis on low speed maneuvering. I was really surprised at what a joke the Oregon test was, basically anyone who knows a brake from an accelerator and has basic situational awareness could pass. The Botswana test had parallel parking and both head in and reverse in parking, with inconveniently placed traffic cones to make the whole thing more challenging. People there drive like they believe in reincarnation but they park perfectly.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 9:33 AM
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67: Good thing we have ttaM as the official chauffeur for Yankee Unfoggers in Britain!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 9:33 AM
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71

And then there's the roundabouts!


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 9:35 AM
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I know "I don't even own an X" is deprecated, but still, this thread is making me glad that I don't even own an X.

44
you know, I think it may well be possible that parking spaces are generally much wider in this country.

I'm sure they are, but I still have a hard time imagining how it would help to back into a perpendicular parking space. Any advantage you gain in lining it up better can't possibly be enough to make up for the reduced visibility and awkwardness of backing up. I'm sure practice with this particular maneuver makes a difference, but still. (And when SUVs and vans aren't the norm, visibility is better and turns are tighter, aren't they.)

As for drive-up ATMs, though, I'll bet they're just easy to not notice if you don't use them. I know they were all over the place in Vermont.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 9:37 AM
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re: 67

Yes. To all of those.

re: 63

If the space isn't wide, and the road/lane you are turning into the space from large enough to allow for a wide turning circle, reversing will be easier. Obviously I'm largely driving on narrower streets, and parking in narrower spaces, but it does generally hold true that it's easier to get into a narrower space by reversing.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 9:37 AM
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re: 69

UK tests involve parallel parking, reversing around a corner, hill starts (driving 'stick'), and similar low speed manoeuvres. Although I think the modern test now involves a random selection of these rather than all of them.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 9:39 AM
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75

Bring cab fare, ned.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 9:40 AM
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76

I'm familiar with drive-up ATMs, but not pharmacy windows. Would this be to pick up prescriptions or something?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 9:40 AM
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re: 75

Cabs are horrifically expensive, naturally. As is petrol in general. I drive a small car, and the 55 mile or so drive to work costs around 14 USD each way.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 9:42 AM
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You get used to stuff. After a few years of living in places where I didn't have to parallel park that often, our new street is very narrow and you can only parallel park with difficulty. When I lived in Glasgow, I was good at quick parallel parking in small spaces. Now, it turns out, I'm crap at it. I expect in a month or two more, I won't be as bad.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 9:52 AM
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The after hours drop off box at the library is now 9' high. Fuck that. SUV and giant pickup truck* owners will just have to learn to return their damn books on time.

*There are definitely more giant pickup trucks -- the Ford 150s and such, several of which have special Texas editions -- than SUVs.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 10:07 AM
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I always wondered what was different about the "Texas Edition," other than the prominent nameplate.


Posted by: Kreskin | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 10:11 AM
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||

Ogged (PBUH) sighting in the current CT thread on having children

|>


Posted by: Kreskin | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 10:17 AM
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82

I started to get used to parallel parking when I was in SF but I tried not to drive more than once or twice per week. My car has a terrible turning radius and I've definitely given up on some spaces.

I nearly got boxed in at a hotel parking lot last year and had to do something like a 20 point turn to get out. It wouldn't have been a problem had I backed in but the angles meant backing in was more difficult and no one told me that the hotel had an unmarked spot behind me that people use when the lot fills. Judging by the painted lines, no one should have been there.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 10:17 AM
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Lots of people backed in to spaces in Vancouver and it definitely took longer to wait for them. But it was common for it to take more than one try to line up right. The majority of drivers went in forwards.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 10:21 AM
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Ogged (PBUH) sighting in the current CT thread on having children

I was thinking of putting up a post about that paper! Should I?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 10:22 AM
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85

As was I. Which means someone should, and you'll get to it before I will.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 10:27 AM
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86

you'll get to it before I will.

I'm not sure what evidence could possibly back this assertion.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 10:33 AM
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87

In some ways similar to the question dealt with in the paper.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 10:34 AM
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nosflow will wait you out. LB. Winning arguments is all he has.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 10:41 AM
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I feel like a dick bringing this up, because who has time to read everything, but it does bug me that Edna Ullman-Margalit's paper from a few years back, on this precise subject, which is to say, big decisions that mess with standard decision-theory precisely because they transform the person you are, with 'having a child' one of the examples, isn't even cited. I'm trying to figure out why it gets to me--I mean, Ullman-Margalit's dead, it's not like she can feel slighted about it--and I think it's just that I'm feeling very grumpy.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 10:44 AM
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Backing into spaces is almost always easier and quicker, unless you can't drive very well or are driving a vehicle with a huge turning circle.

1. Unless it's street parking
2. Or angled parking.

(Austin has launched a whole lot of "You must back into these angled, street parking spots." I'm not sure how I feel about them.

Mostly it's a lot safer for bikers, so that's good. OTOH, if you're backing in to an angled spot on a busy road, people will mindlessly drive behind you and block your path. I don't drive in Austin very much so I don't know how the learning curve goes.)

Probably pwned.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 10:51 AM
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I was thinking of putting up a post about that paper! Should I?

Heh. For the record, I've argued vehemently in the past that having kids isn't necessarily as mind-boggling transformative as the haves would have you believe - and I'm prepared to argue that again.

So sure, post. OTOH, I'm not really around today.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 11:00 AM
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Heh. For the record, I've argued vehemently in the past that having kids isn't necessarily as mind-boggling transformative as the haves would have you believe - and I'm prepared to argue that again.

This is extremely culture-dependent. Most of my friends and I interact with children nearly never. The idea of adding one to my life is frightening. This could fall into the list of "WEIRD" sociological things.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 11:10 AM
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I once got a ticket for `parking cattywampus'. I parked outside the courtroom window when I appealed it, so I could wave a hand at my tiny French teapot car when explaining that I could use the painted spots as angle parking without ever crossing a line. Appeal successful.

I agree that backing into right-angle spots makes sense; you'll be backing up for half the total operation*, and it's better to have better visibility when moving into moving traffic. Haters gonna honk.

*Excluding pull-throughs, which are rare except when parking is so plentiful that all this is moot. Now, pull-throughs with septic hookups: that's the New World.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 11:48 AM
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I wasn't around kids or babies at all before becoming a parent. I also found it frightening, and tremendously difficult, especially for the first few months. And then also very tiring.

My life is very different, but predictably so. I just don't find it particularly surprising or transformative.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 11:49 AM
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94: maybe it's so much of an informational singularity that you can't remember how transformative you actually found it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 11:51 AM
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You'll see. YOU'LL SEE. You couldn't possibly understand how non-transformative it will be from your unenlightened position as a non-parent.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 11:54 AM
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74: I have to take the test soon. I'll let you know what it includes. (Gah, I so very much do not want to do it.)

I notice that reversing into spots is much more common in the UK than the US, but I can't really see how it is more polite -- if you park straight and within the lines,* you're taking up the same amount of space either way. I'm also terrible at backing up - despite being a decent driver otherwise - so perhaps this is just self-serving.

*Something people parking either way seem to have a lot of trouble with, myself included.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 11:54 AM
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It's not intrinsically more polite, except to the extent that people going in forwards (poss. more specific to UK sized spaces) tend to go more for the 45 degrees and abandoned approach. If not, no matter either way.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 12:02 PM
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Huh, I don't know where I got the more polite thing from, since it seems to have not been mentioned in the least upon a quick backwards skim. Strange.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 12:04 PM
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99: You might have thought that was the implication of 22.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 12:06 PM
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I guess I'm still not getting it. If a space is narrow -- and I've parked in plenty of narrow spaces -- it's all the more important to see your way in clearly. Going out, you just have to go straight back until it's time to turn, and then watch out for the cars next to you, which are, again, right out your side windows.

Pulling out frontwards is better for bicycles. Which are going past me once in every thousand times I pull out of a parking spot. As opposed to the cars parked closely in adjoining spaces which are more like 850 times out of 1,000.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 12:12 PM
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Moving cars, and bicycles, in the streets have the option of evasive action. My car, parked between the lines, while some person in a behemoth is trying to back into the adjoining space, can't do anything.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 12:16 PM
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Ikea effect! When something is more work, like dealing extensively with your own kid instead of occasionally dealing with someone else's, you take more of a sense of ownership. So even if you screwed your kid's leg on crookedly, you'll still like it better than that hand-crafted kid you could buy at the artsy furniture store.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 12:19 PM
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We could solve this by making cars anteroposteriorly symmetric.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 12:24 PM
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101. You also have to watch for the people in the parking lot driving down the aisles while texting, or the pedestrians strolling three abreast having a discusssion with each other and surprised that a moving car does not notice them.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 12:25 PM
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104: The Dodge Pushmepullyou.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 12:26 PM
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You might object that this would make it difficult to tell if traffic was incoming or outgoing, but note that brake lights would now indicate the direction of acceleration, giving a vital clue.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 12:26 PM
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Like so.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 12:27 PM
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Isn't part of it, which seems to have only sort of come up in ttaM's comment in 34, that only the front set of wheels turns, which means that making a turn is simply not a symmetric operation backwards and forwards? Suppose I wish to park in a perpendicular spot that is currently on my right. If I go past it, and then back into it, the front of my car will swing left, taking up more leftward space in the lane than would have been the case if I'd go in frontwise--but if I'd taken it frontways, there would need to be space between the two framing cars for the front of my vehicle to make that swinging motion between them. (I'm thinking of how buses have to pull wide in order to not hit people on sidewalk corners when turning.)

I'm not making any sense. There must be a nice graphical demonstration of this somewhere online.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 12:31 PM
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Years ago I had a stretch where I frequently traveled to one of my employer's facilities located in Outer East Redneckia. There was a large gravel lot where almost all of the workers parked their pickup trucks (very few cars), and almost universally by backing in fast--sometimes several of them side-by-side at once during shift changes. No lines since it was gravel, but they generally maintained relatively tight spacing and straight lines. Although there was a practical aspect (they could leave faster at the end of the day). it was something of a macho ritual. The question I got to answer as a shiny pants-seated visitor from corporate was how to participate in my anodyne rental car. The answer was to back in, but to avoid arriving at shift changes.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 12:31 PM
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I suspect part of the reason ttaM and the Americans are talking past each other is that the Americans are thinking about parking lots, where Brits instinctively think of parking on street, which they do a lot more of, even at home.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 12:33 PM
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"Going out, you just have to go straight back until it's time to turn, and then watch out for the cars next to you, which are, again, right out your side windows."

... Not until you're several feet into the moving lane, squeal, crash, bang.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 12:35 PM
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I do a lot of parking on street, but parallel parking. Absolutely never perpendicular spaces. Maybe it's more common in other parts of the US.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 12:36 PM
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111: that's what I was trying to get at in 30, but ttaM claimed no?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 12:37 PM
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For anyone who hasn't seen the Neapolitan parking party: failure to multi-point out of tight curb parking blocks the street, a Seussian number of other events come along to be inconvenienced, we get shaky-cam as the observer -- like all the neighbors -- pop down to the street to confab.

It's such a tiny car that I think the first group inconvenienced should have just picked it up and rotated it.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 12:43 PM
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111, 113: Agreed, I don't know if I've ever seen on-street perpendicular parking. Parallel and diagonal on-street, definitely, and I've seen perpendicular and diagonal parking lots, but can't think of perpendicular on-street parking. Weird.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 12:47 PM
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One of the things I love about Seoul is that you leave your parking brake off when you park your car in a garage, so that other people can push your car around in order to squeeze into little spots, like a sliding tile game.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 12:50 PM
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On-street perpendicular parking. Actually, angled.
Drive-through ATM in the city.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 12:56 PM
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118: angled isn't perpendicular, Riemann.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 12:57 PM
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It's perpendicular to something, just not the street.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 12:57 PM
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On street perpendicular and angled parking, living side by side in harmony.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 12:59 PM
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119: If you're driving fast enough it is.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 1:00 PM
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If you time it right you can take advantage of Lorentz contraction to fit into smaller spots, temporarily.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 1:02 PM
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There's variation, but it looks like most of the people in 118 and 121 parked nose-first, not backing in. FWIW.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 1:04 PM
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Speaking of parking, here's a protip from a brief period years ago when I pretended that I was studying urban planning. When you first build your mall make the parking spaces wide so the customers can park easily and the parking lot looks full with fewer cars. Once you've got the hook set, re-paint the lines so you can jam them in.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 1:17 PM
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I do not like perpendicular parking. Angles 4eva.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 1:35 PM
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The angled parking on the left and top left of 121 used to also be perpendicular but they fixed that about 20 years ago.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 1:55 PM
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re: 111

I was thinking a bit of both. But in terms of reversing in (and not parallel parking), I was thinking of car parks/lots, and of the parking spaces in front of the building I used to live in. Most of the ones I know near me, with the exception of a big out of town Tesco, have pretty narrow spaces. Narrow enough that you can't really swing in front first in a single move and end up parallel to the space unless the spaces either side are empty. Narrow enough that people driving SUV type cars are butting up against the sides even if they aren't parking like an idiot. The spaces in front of our old flat often had a couple of unusable spaces because someone in a Mercedes SUV was occupying 3. All of one, and the corners of 2 more.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 3:38 PM
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128: well it is tough to park a car like that-you know, without air in the tires, and all those keymarks on every panel...


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 5:23 PM
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I suspect that on this side of the Atlantic not just spaces but also aisles are narrower, such that the tighter turning of reversing is really needed to make it into the space at all without endless back and forth in tiny increments. Thus quicker and more efficient to drive past and reverse into it in one go.


Posted by: emir | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 5:29 PM
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re: 130

Yes. You made the point clearer than I did, too.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 5:40 PM
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Way back at 89, re: the CT thread: it does bug me that Edna Ullman-Margalit's paper from a few years back, on this precise subject, which is to say, big decisions that mess with standard decision-theory precisely because they transform the person you are, with 'having a child' one of the examples, isn't even cited. I'm trying to figure out why it gets to me

Because it should be cited? Because there is notable precedent for this line of thinking? Because it means the CT paper/post isn't ground-breakingly new? I think you should mention it in the CT thread.

Does the Ullman-Margalit paper address the point raised in comment 2 of the CT thread:

I'm having a hard time seeing what's non-trivial about this result -- why it doesn't equally apply to every other major life decision (getting married, joining the Army, moving to Istanbul, joining a cult, giving up drinking, coming out of the closet).

Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 6:41 PM
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I am acquainted with a (U.S.-based) Fortune 500 company where the employees are required by corporate policy to back into parking spaces for safety reasons. I was going to post a google satellite image of the headquarters parking lot for your amusement, but the photo was apparently taken during the off hours, because the lot is mostly empty.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 7:12 PM
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When I was driving across the country, I saw a lot of longer pickups backing in to parking spaces in lots and given turning radius and visibility, that actually made a lot of sense to me.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 8:00 PM
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Survey coming out of the parking garage today (saw more cars than usual since I got there late and left early). About 15% backed in. And those mostly grouped in spaces where due to turns you can shoot straight out and not turn 90° when leaving. I do notice that I tend to back into those but don't tend to bother on the "regular" ones.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 8:13 PM
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A friend in HS tried to convince me that he once got a $5 ticket for pulling through and parking nose-out in a McD parking lot. We always thought he was lying about it- I've never heard of a private lot giving tickets, they can tow or not but that's about it.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 8:42 PM
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Private lots run by universities or other organizations with institutional law enforcement agencies excluded.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 8:42 PM
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Don't underestimate how dumb some parking enforcement people are. We had a vehicle get two parking tickets with a fucking dead body inside. And not like under a blanket or anything, he'd shot himself.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 8:49 PM
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133: If the company (*cough* Delaware *cough*) is the one I thought of (and I found conflicting info on the web whether it really does require it or not), I looked at some of their other facilities and at a couple there seemed to nearly exclusively be angle in parking.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 8:58 PM
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In Alaska people pull in nose-first because the plug's in the front.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-28-13 9:38 PM
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138. Tempted to say pics or it didn't happen, but with parking enforcement I can just about believe it.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 3:09 AM
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138 !!


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 3:30 AM
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We could solve this by making cars anteroposteriorly symmetric.

These actually exist. Things like this : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sp%C3%A4hpanzer_Luchs

The idea is that reconnaissance vehicles might be driving forwards and then suddenly want to go backwards in a hurry (looking for enemy armour.... FOUND IT!) so you have a driver at each end, and the one at the rear spends most of his life being bored.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 5:18 AM
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Every time I bike past a parking enforcement person I have to suppress the desire to sing lovely Rita meter maid.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 5:31 AM
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143: Huh. Clever name for a reconnaissance vehicle ("Luchs" = "lynx").


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 5:42 AM
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Mammal names for armoured vehicles are a big German thing. Luchs, Marder, Leopard, Fuchs, Tiger, Panther, Wiesel, Elefant, Jaguar, Fennec... The Brits have C-names for tanks (Churchill, Centurion, Chieftain, Challenger) and S-names for lighter AFVs (Scimitar, Spartan, Saladin, Sabre, Sultan, Samaritan) and, until recently, religious names for self-propelled artillery (Sexton, Priest, Abbot).


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 6:44 AM
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Helicopters are all over the place, though. Some predatory cats (Lynx, Puma), a herbivorous ungulate (Gazelle), and, um, Merlin and Sea King.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 7:15 AM
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146: the Ferret is British, though, isn't it?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 7:17 AM
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148: well, obviously the British rule has random exceptions to it (Ferret, AS90) - that's how you can tell it's British.

Naval missiles are a laugh a minute. Sea Dart, Sea Viper, Sea Wolf - all kind of OK. Sea Cat - OK, slightly odd. But Sea Slug? Seriously?

(The first Google result for that last one is "BBC News - Sea slug's 'disposable penis' surprises". Well, it would.)


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 7:42 AM
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Are US tanks all generals, or is that just the first two I can think of?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 7:45 AM
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A little different situation, as we only field one tank now. But, yeah. Abrams, Patton, Pershing.


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 7:52 AM
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149 I'm still holding out for the "Sea Cucumber"


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 7:56 AM
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150: I think it's something they took over from the British, actually. The M4 was just the M4 until the British bought it and called it the Sherman (rather to the irritation of quite a lot of US soldiers). Similarly the M3 was just the M3 to the US Army, but the British called it either the Lee or the Grant depending on the turret type. After the war you get the Patton, the Sheridan, the Abrams, the Bradley IFV...

I'm still holding out for the "Sea Cucumber"

It has an improved seeker allowing it to engage particularly low-hanging fruit.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 8:04 AM
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My favorite military hardware name has always been the Warthog. Yes, that is a perfect name for an airplane!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 8:05 AM
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||I'm oddly disappointed that Saiselgy is terrible at the Slate quiz. For some unknown reason I expected he'd be pretty good.|>


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 8:09 AM
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154: definitely beaten by this one: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Gay_Bruiser_%28P1044%29


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 8:14 AM
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Wikipedia:

The Gay class were a class of twelve fast patrol boats that served with the Royal Navy from the early 1950s. All were named after types of soldiers or military or related figures, prefixed with 'Gay'. The class could be fitted as either motor gun boats or motor torpedo boats, depending on the type of armament they carried.

They made that up, didn't they?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 8:22 AM
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143: obviously the British version of this would have to be called the Polychrest.


Posted by: emir | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 8:23 AM
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The class could be fitted as either motor gun boats or motor torpedo boats, depending on the type of armament they carried.

Sounds more like they should have been called the Bi Class. Guns or torpedoes, baby. Happy either way.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 8:27 AM
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Going back to the Germans, let's not forget that they had a self-propelled artillery gun named after the bumblebee.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 8:33 AM
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143: Triremes also had to be able to reverse, especially to free their rams. The reënactment crew practicing this claims to have nearly sunk a couple of cruise boats that insisted on coming inside the warning floats.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 4:30 PM
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154: I've always been fond of the Brewster Buffalo. Such an unfortunate name for a plane.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 4:40 PM
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