Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of your earlier posts that they might never have seen? Or remind your long term followers of posts that they might not remember? Each Friday I will publish a post I wrote on this exact date in a previous year.
How about you? Why don’t you reach back into your own archives and highlight a post that you wrote on this very date in a previous year? You can repost your Friday Flashback post on your blog and pingback to this post. Or you can just write a comment below with a link to the post you selected.
If you’ve been blogging for less than a year, go ahead and choose a post that you previously published on this day (the 22nd) of any month within the past year and link to that post in a comment.
This was originally posted on my old blog on January 22, 2011.
I’m a car guy and I pretty much always have been. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not an auto mechanic or a car fanatic. I can change a tire if I absolutely have to. I can add fluid to the windshield washer reservoir. I can even top off the antifreeze in the radiator. But that’s about it. Anything beyond that and it’s time to hire some grease monkey.
(If anyone reading this happens to be a grease monkey, please don’t take offense. I hold you and your mechanical skills, which skills I could never come close to replicating, in very high regard. On the other hand, when it comes to paying your outrageous bill for a minor adjustment of my car’s doohickey joint or replacement of the framis bearing, I hold nothing but animosity toward you. No offense.)
As a car guy, when given my choice for mode of transportation, I will almost always choose to travel from point A to point B and back by car. Of course, sometimes it could take too long or be too far to drive, so I’ll fly. Or perhaps there may be some physical barrier, like an ocean, between where I am and where I want or need to be, so I’ll fly. But if there is sufficient time, reasonable distance, and a lack of water hazards, I will almost always opt to drive my car.
This was not always the case. There was a time, before I was old enough to drive, when I depended upon my bicycle and public transportation to get around. But then I got my driver’s license and a few years later, when I was about 18, my parents handed down to me their 1961 Corvair Monza.I believe they gave it to me right about the same time that consumer advocate Ralph Nader first published his book, “Unsafe at Any Speed,” a book that basically condemned the Corvair as a death trap. Hmmm.
In any event, once I got my own car, I wouldn’t have been caught dead taking a city bus. Seriously, is there anything more opposite of “cool” than taking a bus? It was so uncool that in the more than 40 years that have elapsed since I first got access to a car, I had not again boarded a city bus. Until last year. When my wife and I bought our condo in San Francisco.
Yes, we do have a car here in San Francisco and we do have a garage under our condo in which to park our car. But parked in the garage is pretty much where it remains unless we have to head out of the city or we need it to pick up things too large or heavy or bulky — like multiple bags of groceries or furnishings for the condo — to make walking or taking public transportation feasible. In fact, in the seven weeks since we arrived in San Francisco, our car has been out of the garage maybe only three or four times!
San Francisco’s MUNI system of city buses provides a great alternative to driving, especially given the price of gas these days and the challenges of driving the hilly streets of San Francisco in a car with a manual transmission. Taking the bus is simply too convenient to pass up. There are at least four MUNI bus routes within several blocks of our condo, and we can easily catch both east/west and north/south routes. That pretty much enables us to get virtually anywhere within the entire city with relative ease.
And, oh yes. I’m doing a lot of walking, too. Within a few blocks of our condo, in virtually any direction, are dozens of shops, restaurants, and even movie theaters. Between the buses and the places we can walk to, who needs a car?
For a car guy like me, how’s that for behavior modification?
P. S. My wife and I took the car out of the garage today. It’s January 22nd and we put the top down on the MiniCooper convertible and drove across the San Francisco Bay to Berkeley. It was sunny and temperatures were in the mid-sixties. How sweet it is!
Last year around this time, my wife and I moved to a suburb around 35 miles east of San Francisco. Hence, our primary mode of transportation has reverted back to the automobile. Oh well, it was great while it lasted.