Friday, August 19, 2011 08:00
This is what you get when you never watch NASCAR or the Dukes of Hazzard. And, we suspect, eat Ben and Jerry’s straight from the container. According to the Beaver (Pa.) County Times, when a car parked so close to Rebecca Karen Beatty’s that she couldn’t get behind the wheel, Beatty told her six-year-old niece to back the car out of the space. The young driver hit two cars and pushed one of those into a third. Had she been a NASCAR or Dukes fan, Beatty would’ve known to climb in through the open driver’s side window. This assumes she’d fit.
If you’re lost, asking a police officer for directions is not a bad idea. Unless, that is, you’re driving a stolen car. That’s exactly what 20-year-old Brentyn Mitchell did in Palm Springs, Calif., according to a report on the website of KPSP television. Mitchell was already on probation. That tells you something. More...
Tuesday, August 9, 2011 08:00
You don’t intend to, but you frequently put yourself, your passengers, and heavy truck drivers in severe danger. You cruise alongside big rigs. You pass 18-wheelers on the right in the city. You pass them on an uphill and block them on the downhill.
In heavy traffic, you dart into the space the big-rig driver has allowed to avoid rear-ending the car in front. You fail to allow the big-rig driver to change lanes on the Interstate. Without intending to, you are being a dangerous knucklehead. I have a Commercial Driver’s License. I’ve driven 80,000-pound rigs across country. I’ve dealt with my share of scheiskopfs.
Here’s a great article from the perspective of those inside the trucking industry. Coincidentally with my CDL training, my kids were getting their auto licenses. I told them several things:
- Never hang out alongside a truck. At the worst, a tire could blow, slicing your car—and you—open.
- If you’re passing an 18-wheeler and the driver turns on his left turn signal, push hard on either the gas or the brake. Either accelerate by him immediately or back off and let him in. The driver may really need your lane. Perhaps there’s an accident ahead or a motorhome with a blown tire going 20 mph in his lane. If I really need a lane, I will really take it. I’d rather put you off on the shoulder than kill the people in the motorhome.
- Never pass a big rig on the right in the city. To keep from running over fire hydrants with his 53-foot trailer, the driver may have to swing into the left lane to make a right turn. One of my biggest fears was hitting one particularly poorly placed fire hydrant. You bet I took all of the left lane to make sure I didn’t hit it. If I made you wait or scared you, tough.
- A big-rig driver has to watch about a dozen mirrors, some of which vibrate to the point that the driver can barely discern they contain a car, much less how close it is or how fast it’s going. Just because you think I should see you doesn’t mean I do. And if you can’t see my face, I for sure can’t see you.
- If you pass an 18-wheeler on an uphill, watch in your rearview mirror. If the big rig begins catching you on the downhill, accelerate. Yes, even if it means breaking the speed limit—by a lot.
- Don’t pull in front of a big rig and slam on the brakes. It takes quite a bit longer to stop an 80,000-pound big-rig than a 3,300-pound car.
Give big-rig drivers a break. They’re trying to earn a living and you’re headed to the lake or a ball game, or are late for school or work, which is your own fault. Besides, it’s stupid to pick a fight with someone who out-weighs you by more than 20 times.
Monday, August 8, 2011 15:36
Picture this: A group of NFL offensive linemen approach their quarterback, who makes many times their combined salaries. They tell him that he needs to work on releasing the ball a hair quicker when he passes. The linemen say they just can’t protect him if he doesn’t throw the ball sooner. In response, the quarterback goes off on a profanity-laced tirade, which is just what Juan Pablo Montoya did (and maybe regularly does) to his team.
In my NFL example, here’s what would happen: The linemen would whisper the plays to the defensive linemen. They’d tell them they’re going to trip or otherwise miss their block. And they’d end with, “Let's get that fool.” Maybe the quarterback wouldn’t be replaced or injured, but after five or six sacks, he’d sure be a hurtin’ puppy on Monday. Maybe the linemen would be benched and, if they’re lucky, traded. But the next group would soon learn about this quarterback and the cycle would be repeated. No matter what happens, the team’s not going to make the playoffs with this QB. More...
Friday, August 5, 2011 08:00
Unless the new owners of GoDaddy.com boot founder and majority owner Bob Parsons, or Michael Andretti’s lawyers make leaving too painful, it’s a near certainty Danica will abandon the Izod IndyCar Series for NASCAR. (Ms. Patrick, who is also Mrs. Hospenthal, has become a single-name phenomenon like Cher, Madonna and Junior. Down south, she may become “Miss Danica.” We’re just that way down here, bless our hearts.)
The GoDaddy girl is moving to Lake Norman, N.C. (or nearby...it’s where most Cup drivers live) to run a full schedule in the NASCAR Nationwide Series for Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s JR Motorsports and a handful of NASCAR Sprint Cup races for Tony Stewart’s Stewart-Haas Racing. Junior doesn’t currently have a Cup operation and Stewart is associated with Hendrick Motorsport, which boasts GoDaddy as a sponsor.
Danica is more than qualified for Nationwide and Cup, thanks largely to GoDaddy’s billions. For 2011, even Jeff Gordon doesn’t have a full-season sponsor. So, teams are eager for skilled drivers that can bring big money. The focus is more on “big money” than “skilled.” As they say in IndyCar, Formula 1 and just about every other form of racing: “Show me the money and I’ll show you the seat.” (Paul Menard wasn’t the first “rent-a-rider” to win a Cup race.)
The issues that remain up in the air are: More...
Thursday, July 21, 2011 01:57
Jerry Maestas must have thought he had the ideal road-trip girlfriend: She could go for days without demanding a potty break, didn’t bother him with non-stop chattiness (or any talking at all), didn’t mind how fast or slow he drove, never demanded Maestas stop for directions even though he appeared to be driving aimlessly, and didn’t care that Maestas was drinking heavily. There was only one slight problem. Girlfriend Amy Marquez was dead, according to a report by George Mathis in the Atlanta Journal Constitution and a video report on ABC News. Key sentences: “Maestas pulled into a Espanola, N.M., hospital and...(police said) observant folks immediately noticed an overpowering stench, a horde of flies and the decomposing body of Marquez.”
And you wonder how some crashes happen. A New Zealand schoolteacher wrecked while brushing her teeth with the cruise control set on 60 mph (which is something like 100 hectares per hour in the metric system employed there), according to a report in the Marlborough Express as relayed by news.au.com. Perhaps urgent dental hygiene came to the mind of 65-year Cherie Margaret Davis because her blood-alcohol level was twice the legal limit.
We’re pretty sure this technique has been described many times in Hot Rod, Car Craft and Chevy High Performance magazines, but we’ll link to it anyway. According to a report in the Kingman (Ariz.) Miner, Lauriano Lawrence Lovato got angry that his old Camaro wouldn’t start, so he shot it twice. Prior to the incident, Lovato had consumed a cocktail or 13. Since the Kingman cops (Motto: “When seconds matter, we’re less than a day away.”) didn’t show up until the next morning, Lovato was charged with unlawful discharge of a firearm and sentenced to 90 days in jail. Previous articles from Guns & Ammo magazine recommended shooting Camaros with at least a 7mm Remington Magnum rifle, rather than the handgun employed by Lovato.