Silly Point

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Sunday, February 15, 2009

What I love about Katie

I first heard the whirring sound of the 5 liter engine before I caught the white Mustang in my side view mirror. It was going all the way in the left lane and soon had caught up to me and we were neck and neck. It is this moment that I love most. I performed the obligatory cop check, which is much more than just checking the mirrors and looking out towards the horizon. You also have to look for unmarked cars. Every Ford Crown Victoria or Dodge Charger could potentially have a cop inside. Now it was time to show the punks in the Mustang that their car wasn't all that and being inside that car did not make them cool.

This is the moment that Katie comes alive. Her appearances are very deceptive. She looks agile, nifty and one that could squeeze through tight spaces. This is all true, but it also gives her a more delicate look. She doesn't look like a large growling beast and moves along gently without making much noise. Most believe that she is all looks and no real substance, nothing could be further from the truth.

I switched the transmission to manual and shifted down two gears as the engine roared in to a new life. That is one of the best things about Katie, she can be quiet and gentle and nifty during everyday driving but once you push the pedal to the metal, she transforms into a roaring beast and growls much louder than most. The most special part of Katie is her unique heart. It is different than all others, it is a rotary engine. A 'Wankel', named after her designer. Instead of pistons moving up and down, there are two rotors that move in a circular direction. These rotors are in essence rounded triangles sitting inside a circle thus creating three chambers for gasoline to be combusted in. There is no conversion of up and down motion of the pistons to a circular motion of the cam shaft. The motion is circular from the beginning in a rotary engine. What this really means is that there are only three moving parts and the engine can achieve very high RPMs without that much strain on it. The RX8 has the red line at 9,000 RPMs. Without the bulky cylinders, the engine size is also reduced, totaling a mere 1.3 liter displacement. The RX8 truly shows that size doesn't matter, delivering up to 238 horsepower from the baby sized engine.

Since the RX8 can achieve high RPMs, and most of the torque is at the higher end, it has to be driven a little differently. As I was in 6th gear cruising close to 70mph with the RPM at just 2,000, I could shift down to 4th and use the higher RPMs to get a sudden surge of power. I get pushed back in my seat and the engine sound rises many decibels and within a few seconds I get up to 90. I am able to match the speed of the faster moving Mustang with ease which signals to them that I want to play a bit. The Mustang also increases its speed but now traffic comes in to play. This reminds me of my days in high school where once I raced a Mustang in my old, family minivan, and weaving in and out of traffic, I was able to beat it across the finish line. Since that day I was known in school as "The Minivan Racer".

As a slower car ahead of me approaches closer and closer, I quickly move to the right lane, squeezing in a tight but safe enough gap. The Mustang does the same but amongst a barrage of horns and screeching brakes, there is just not enough room. This is the most dangerous thing about racing on the highway. Racers are not considerate to the other drivers and make sudden and sharp lane charges causing other drivers to panic. The first rule of changing lanes safely, even in high speeds is to signal for it. Make sure the gap is big enough. Move in slowly in to the lane, make sure the other drivers are aware that you are moving in to the lane. Even if the gap is not big enough, you can squeeze through safely if you maintain your speed. Most accidents are caused by drivers cutting off in front of others and then slamming on their brakes causing the drivers behind them to panic. If you feel that you will have to hit the brakes as soon as you change lanes, don't do it. Wait a little longer and another lane will open up soon enough.

Katie is very smooth when it comes to maneuvering at high speeds. Since her engine is small, the weight distribution is a perfect 50-50 on both the axles. She also has a very tight turning radius of just 17.4 ft. As we both approach the ramp, I am able to accelerate on the curve while the Mustang keeps on pressing the brakes to slow down. As I exit the curve, I am at full throttle and am able to pass away. All the horses under the Mustang's hood are not enough at that moment and it is a while before it can catch me again. By this time, I have slowed down, my exit is here. I take the on-ramp at speed and love the handling as Katie hugs the corner with such finesse. I hit the apex of the curve and then speed out. The light ahead turns red and the 16 inch disc brakes bring me to a swift but smooth halt. It is time to open the sunroof and soak in the sun. I can't help but have a smile on my face, there is just so much pleasure in driving this beauty. I respect the great thought that has been put in designing her and I love her soul and spirit. She has so much character. That is why she has a name. Katie.

Note: Racing on streets and highways are dangerous. It does not matter what vehicle you drive or how much experience you have. Reckless driving is a leading cause of death. Obey the speed limit.

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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Reasons why no one reads my blog!

The top 5 reasons why no one reads my blog are:
  1. The URL is too hard to remember. Seriously, what was I thinking? mcmlkjhgfdsi? Who can remember that? I should go for something simple like
  2. There were no new posts for 2 years! Why would I expect people to visit my blog when I never put up any new content? If you write it, they will come.
  3. The posts are not that interesting. If there was anything of value on my blog then it would pop up somewhere in someone's search results and get an accidental click here or there. I blog about useless stuff that no one else has any interest in.
  4. My writing is crap! Admittedly if there was anything in my writing that the readers would enjoy then they would continue to come back and read it. My posts don't contain interesting ideas, logical organization, appropriate tone, fluency or humour. Also, British spellings tend to creep up time and time again.
  5. I don't have any friends. If I did, at least I would have a handful of people who would visit and leave comments.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Return of the Blog!

And so the blog returns ...

Just 7 days short of 2 years since I wrote something on my blog, I felt the need to resume writing again. so much has happened in the last 2 years but I had been too busy to go online and publish a post. Now however, I have fallen victim to the plunging economy and an unemployed person seems to find too much time than he has use for. So here I am, writing this post out of shear boredom.

There were so many interesting things that happened in the last two years that I should have blogged about. Here are the top 10 potential topics I could have written about but now it seems a little too late.
  1. Switching jobs (September 2007)
  2. Black Friday 2007: I was the first person in line outside of a Circuity City where I stood from 6:30 PM on thanksgiving day till 5:00 AM the next morning. It was a freezing cold night and I don't plan on repeating it again in the future. I did get a sweet deal on this TV for just $1,299!
  3. Getting a pal for Katie to hang out with. She is much older but loves the cold weather where as Katie can't go two feet when it is snowing. I call her Vicki though she is more elegant and prefers her full name of Victoria.
  4. Building a new computer. I was going to make this a step by step guide on how to assemble a machine and write a guide of which parts to procure. I even took pictures for this but never got the time to write a blog entry.
  5. Going Whitewater Rafting.
  6. The Election
  7. Katie getting disfigured by a punk kid and looking like this right in front of the house. Fortunately she is all fixed and pretty now and I can sleep at nights again.
  8. Trip to Abu Dhabi and Pakistan.
  9. Getting laid off.
  10. Getting the T-Mobile G1 (Google's Android) Phone.
Now when I look back at this list, it portrays me as a little too materialistic only mentioning new possessions and other "shiny" stuff. To be frank, anything else would not really be worth writing about as nothing much happens in my life. As it is, not many people read my blog, I wouldn't want to bore people with my philosophies of life. Hopefully this time around my posts will be a little more interesting.