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

How dare you pass me!

Ego is a heck of a thing.

Even as I mature into my thirties and give less and less care about what other people think; even though I drive a six-figure car that’s easily in the fastest top 1% of all the vehicles on the road - therefore no reason be self-conscious at all, certain moments can still momentarily awaken those base and rabid emotions.

Case in point this past weekend when I was doing my usual drive on the mountain roads in the GT3, going at a reasonable clip: not enough for jail time, but definitely faster than the posted speed limits. Suddenly I noticed in the back mirror two cars coming up rather quickly onto my tail, and soon I became a mobile roadblock to their desires to go faster. Had it been my younger years in a similar class of machinery (an impossibility, but indulge me), I would have eagerly taken the challenge and sped up into pseudo race against them. Me at 31, highly cognizant of my mortality, cannot be tempted such foolishness.

So I kept to my pace, and at the earliest passing opportunity (thank goodness these guys weren’t assholes who pass over a double-yellow line or in a blind corner) allowed them to by. The leading car was what looked to be highly-modified Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X, while the follower is a current-generation Chevy Camaro. No harm no foul: if they want to go triple digits on these mountain roads, I’m not about to play citizen police. I’ve encountered those sorts of people too, and they are I would say equally as dangerous as those who overtake illegally.

I was ready to move on my merry way, but for some reason, feelings of embarrassment and anger started to well up from within. Those guys must be laughing their asses off thinking I’m some chump who can’t pilot a 911 GT3 to its best ability: “Look at this guy, all money and no skill!” (the no skill part is very true) In turn, I was seething over their audacity to pass me with their lowly cars that are not only slower on spec than the GT3, but when combined is still worth less than my German sports car.

Needless to say, my ego took over; I had brief thoughts of chasing these guy down, though thankfully those feelings were indeed fleeting, and I was able to detach from the situation and calm myself down. The fact of the matter is the two drivers wanted to go faster than me, and they passed me in an objectively very safe manner. There’s really nothing to fume about, but something about the ego’s inability to accept slights, especially those pertaining to manhood like who can go faster in a car.

I’d thought owning one of the best driver’s car ever produced would alleviate such juvenile tendencies; there’d be no need for comparisons and battles. It seems it may in fact exacerbate situations: last thing anyone wants is to look utterly stupid inside an expensive car. The ego probably wouldn’t have reared its head had I been driving a Honda Fit.

As always, a work in progress.

I’m just running in the 90s.

Going backwards on technology

It’s interesting how we get used to certain new features in cars, and when that gets taken away, it’s a bit jarring and uncomfortable. Case in point, plenty of new cars have this feature called ‘keyless go’, in which the key remains forever in the driver’s pocket, and utilizing sensors and buttons, doors can be locked and unlocked, and the engine can be turned on with the push of a button. It’s all very clever in allowing freedom from fumbling with keys, and you get super used to simply opening the door and pushing the engine start button.

My first exposure to the keyless go technology was rather reluctantly. It was a few years back during my search for a Mazda MX-5, and due to less fortunate financial capabilities compared to the present, I was cornered into finding the most striped-out, poverty-spec example possible. The new ND generation of the Miata have only just been released, so not many cars were actually yet on dealership lots. After some searching, I was able locate a base sample that was actually en route to the dealer, but there was a problem: the car had the keyless go option fitted, for the princely price of $150 dollars.

Which is to say it was cheap enough for me to overlook it. I’m sure the likes of Porsche charges many times more for that same feature in their cars. So my Miata ended up with keyless go, and indeed it was pleasant and convenient to not have to ever take out the key to operate the car. The only way it could’ve been better would be if the car also locked itself once it detects I’m a certain distance away from it; seems like a natural extension of that particular feature set.

Anyways, fast-forward to this January when I bought the 911 GT3, a six-figure car of 2015 vintage that doesn’t have keyless go; I’m not sure it was even an option available on the GT3 trim. You can imagine the confusion of my muscle memory the first few times driving it: I’d approach the car with the key still in my pocket, expecting to able to simply press a button on the door handle to open, only to be jolted out of rhythm with the realization that I do in fact need the physical key. It’s like returning to using paper maps after years of benefiting from the convenience of Google Maps.

Complicating things further is the fact other cars in our family all have keyless go, so often times operating the GT3 feels like a throwback to an arcane era. Of course, I’d forget about that as soon as I turn the engine over and that atmospheric flat-six starts making its melodious noise.

Physical key.