Not All Work

A curious car-centric day.

First, I had an idea that the battery life on my wife's Infinity FX was coming to an end. I recently had to jump it, but wasn't sure if it was an anomoly, or what. After sitting idle for a week, it became clear. So, the day began with me going down and pulling the thing, which isn't like your father's car. Significant amounts of engine-compartment cowling had to be dissasembled just to access it. But then, it was quick work taking the core over to Kragen, getting a new one and getting it back together. Total time of operation: about an hour or so.

Then I got back to the paperwork shuffle and catch up, review of outstanding issues, and then it was over to Provanta for the monthly Board of Director's meeting, in which I undertake the role of Chairman.

After that, more car stuff. My fellow director Chris just turned in his S-Type Jaguar (now discontinued) and got a new XK. Yowzer! So, this is what I've been "test" driving for the last bit.

Jaguar

It has the paddle shifters right conveniently located on the back of the steering wheel; right for up, left for down, six speeds. Takes a bit of getting used to, but I can definitely see the performance advantages, particularly on winding roads that require a lot of quick reversal steering. My BMW X5 has a 6-speed auto/semi-auto transmission, so I'm already well versed in the impressive advantages of close ratios for performance. Hint: you drive the tachometer, not the speedometer. That may sound like a "Duh" to people who've driven a high-performance 4-speed, but let me just say that's it's way far easier to stay right in a very short power band, and particularly so with semi-auto shifting, by which I mean that you control the execution, the car controls the fundamental procedure (i.e., no clutch or necessity of letting the engine revs dive).

Having said that, if I was to have a pure sports car, such as my '86 Vette, I'd definitely get a standard 6-speed. Oh, speaking of Vettes, a nice late-model red one pulled up alongside on the freeway. First time in a long time I didn't feel a pang of longing envy.


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