Short blog posts, journal entries, and random thoughts. Topics include a mix of personal and the world at large. 

Car OCD strikes again

They say stoic philosophy is life-long practice, and nothing reinforces this truth quite like a bad habit coming back from the supposed dead. You climb back onto the old destructive trains of thought, and your mood reverts to a state you’d thought was put away for good. Once the gap opens, the rabbit hole goes forever deep.

Practicing stoics are taught to detach from situations and to view it from a bigger, macro perspective. It allows us to figure out exactly what we can control, and what we absolutely cannot. After that we only put our thoughts on the things we are able to manipulate, and to not put an ounce of worry towards things we can’t hope to control. The point is, don’t let what you can’t change ruin the pleasure and enjoyment of the present.

Something about old habits being hard to die…

This past Friday evening I took the 911 GT3 out for its weekly mechanical exercise, only to find the rear passenger tire was some 4 PSI lower than the other three. I surmised a small puncture, but lacking in any sort of repair tools (and the fact it was dark), I went to a gas station to fill the faulting tire back up to spec. After driving around for two hours, tire pressures remained constant so I thought maybe it aberration was a fluke.

It’d be nice if I’d just left it at that, but once I got home I immediately went investigating on the Internet for any information concerning tire issues on a GT3. Not sure what good that did other than taking up copious amounts of time I had planned otherwise for more productive activities. With the worst case scenario being a slow puncture - probably an errant nail, it’s not exactly worthy of spending hours of research online. I’ve certainly dealt with such trivial items before: you simply get it plugged, or buy a new tire.

But no, my old habit of car OCD kicked in like a drug - something I did not miss when I went 9 months without a car. Even though I had to wait until the next day to confirm that it’s indeed a slow leak, my mind was so preoccupied with the varying scenarios that I had trouble falling asleep. The appropriate stoic reaction would be to understand that agonizing over the situation isn’t going to help - I can do absolutely nothing about it until Saturday, and getting a good night’s sleep is infinitely more productive.

The Next day it was confirmed the tire was slowly leaking air, having squandered 2 PSI overnight. For the day I had Radwood Sonoma to attend, and seeing that it wasn’t a massive puncture, I topped off the leaky tire and went on my way.

Trouble is, my mind was still preoccupied with the matter during the one hour drive to the event. Once again I was running through the scenarios on how to remedy the problem, from simply plugging the tire with rubber strips, to at worst having to fork over serious money for a new pair of rear Michelins at the dealership. The fact the GT3 is not fitted with an emergency jack, and the wheels are equipped with centerlock lug-nuts meant performing the repair carries an additional layer of complexity and cost. All of that piled on to my anguish, so much so that I couldn’t even enjoy the beautiful rainy drive through wind country.

The sensible thing to do would be to detach from the problem, and be content the punctured tire is still operational, therefore allowing me time to methodically diagnose the problem and fix it properly.

Indeed it seems I’ve still got some residuals of the nasty tendency of wanting my cars to be as perfect as possible, and any faults or blemishes must be handled in great haste, even to the detriment of my mental well-being. In the past I’ve had the tendency to overdo it, and instead of fixing the problem efficiently, I end up spending more money than necessary.

What I need to focus on is not let the condition of the GT3 affect my mood for the rest of the time, nor should I concern with things I cannot do anything about in the present moment. Currently I’ve got on order an emergency jack (off a 996-era 911!), which will allow me to raise the car to better check for exactly where the puncture is. The item won’t be arriving until end of this week, so I’ve got to practice keeping my mind off that until that time arrives; there’s far too much to do still during the week.


Ninjas of the night.