Automatic vs Stick was Re: [DWJ] Minnow's mention

Otter Perry ottertee at
Thu Mar 29 10:54:28 EDT 2007

On Mar 28, 2007, at 7:03 PM, Juliette Curtis wrote:

> And as for manual gears (aka stick), I refuse to drive anything else. I
> enjoy driving and the manual gears mean I am more involved in managing 
> the
> engine and determining the car's performance in specific situations, 
> which
> makes the driving more fun and more interesting. Automatic is boring - 
> like
> driving a bumper car. When I am shopping for a car, I won't even test 
> drive
> an automatic. There's no point - I'm definitely not going to buy one. 
> I also
> think it's better to learn to drive in a manual so that one will be
> competent in both automatics and manuals. So take heart, all you manual
> student drivers, you'll get the hang of it soon. The trick is to 
> listen to
> the engine because its sound will tell you when to change gears.

That's until you decide to buy a Toyota Prius, that wonderful little
hybrid car.  It has a CVT - Continuously Variable Transmission.
As it happens, I've never learned to properly drive a manual
transmission.  But when I bought the Prius, it would have been
all for nought anyway.

It's a car you absolutely can't drive by ear.  You have to leave
all the decisions about what the internal combustion engine
and the electric motor are going to do about splitting the
driving up to all the amazing little computers that make the
whole thing possible.  As well as the transmission that doesn't
exactly _have_ gears.

But it's the most flat-out wonderful car I ever owned, and we've
been together for 6 1/2 years now.

Every so often I rue the fact I can't drive a manual transmission
and maybe I'll get around to learning one of these days.  After
all, I'll be 60 this year, and maybe it's time I started.

As for long boring drives -- crossing Illinois, Iowa, and Nebraska
on I-80 springs to mind -- I got the optional 6 CD changer and
listen to Terry Pratchett books.  Or whatever.

Returning to Maree, I remember her car as being badly in need
of service, which, due to her dire poverty, she couldn't afford to
give it.


I found a letter to my sister the other day that I
had forgotten to mail.  It just needed a little
updating to send.  After "the baby is ..." I
crossed out "toilet trained" and wrote in
"graduating from high school this month."

                                        - Erma Bombeck

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