Gear Heads

The last week has left me questioning myself a lot.

Remember me talking about how excited I was about finally getting my license? Yep, failed that.

This failure has me questioning my “carsculenity,” if you will. I decided that I needed to call in some experts, namely: Bill Hayes, Wells Coafleet, and Gene Reily.

To you these are just names but to me they are the names of my comrades, my brethren, my fellow enthusiasts. These men have been given the task of defining what it is to be a gear head. I will then, in turn, figure out if I can consider myself one.

“I am a gear head, and I take pride in it,” says Gene Reilly. Gene is a man I have come to know through many stories and Cc emails. He is the quintessence of a gear head as are these other men. Gene’s interest spans through the realms of motorcycles and even farm machinery.

Gene stresses the importance of appreciation for all things machinery.

Wells stresses the need to work on it. No matter your skill level he explains you just need to get your hands dirty sometimes.

“One who embraces all things mechanical, but particularly transportation related, and enjoys working on vehicles even if lacking the most rudimentary skills, and enjoys discussing and exchanging ideas and opinions with like minded individuals. A person who pursue mechanical interests with a vigor, who appreciates the sometime subtle beauty and latent sensuousness of sheet metal. A person who never met a horsepower he didn’t like.”

This was a quote shared to me by Bill Hayes, and Gene, Wells and Cooper agree that it is really THE philosophy as far as gear heads go. The man who said it is called Egan and all I know about him is he has created the philosophy that truly sums up a gear head as far as intangible qualifications.

I feel like I can constitute myself as under this definition.

But to many there is an tangible part of being a gear head.

This is where the purpose of the title of my blog comes into play. Here I am, a broke teen, who can’t even evade a cone or two when in a car. This is the struggle, it’d be quite difficult for this unemployed 10th grader to pull together enough money for an Alfa or something like that.

But an Alfa is required, BBC Top Gear, a british show about cars explains that it is necessary for a petrol head (british equivalent) to have owned one at any point in time. Bill Hayes adds any car with lucas electronics, which is essentially a late 20th century british car. These are both things that are incredible to drive (so I’ve been told) but equally incredibly unreliable.

I also need to be sure that I am not a poser. Bill says that it is needed to be able to drive a manual, which is something I can do. In fact that is one of the main reasons I got my Jeep.

Wells explains that a poser is one who talks but does not act. If you do something with the soul purpose of looking like a gear head then you are a poser.

Having worked on cars quite often with the son of Bill, Cooper, I would say that I am not a poser by these words.

All this being said I think I can safely say that at least philosophically I am a gear head, I may not yet be so with my tangible requirements but I think I can also be sure that I am not a poser.

This has reassured my confidence, despite this I will not jinx myself by saying that I will obtain my license on my next try, but I sure hope I do.

The First Step…with my good foot, that is

December is finally here, well it will be on saturday. December is the greatest of months. You have the Maccabees, and the jewish festival of lights, we celebrate the african harvest festival, we remember the birth of christ, and last but not least we experience the celebration of the anniversary of the birth of yours truly.

Now, obviously I could go any way with an introduction like this. I could go on and on about about how I wish Ferraris had the fuel efficiency of a Menorah, I could question what kind of car Jesus would drive upon his return, I could even tell you about the most popular car in Africa, but I have chosen a different route with this post, one that has to do, with me.

What the 16th anniversary of a birth means in the state of Ohio is that a person who has completed the following rather unnecessary list of tasks is eligible to test for their drivers license: 6 months ownership of temporary permit; six 4-hour driving school classes; four 2-hour in car lessons with instructor, 50 recorded and notarized hours of driving with a parent.

I am one of those people and come my birth’s anniversary, I will be testing for my license. Two days after my birthday, that is.

Unfortunately that is the soonest as possible, as well as very far away. Butler county to be specific so desptie missing school, I may be waking up earlier.

But there is one problem. You see, among my many talents are things like: academic excellence, immaculate automotive knowledge, superb blog posts, journalistic perfection, vast knowledge of adjectives with good connotations, and the ability to use a thesaurus. But one of my many fields of expertise has crippled me. That would be my incomparable athleticism. During the last week of football season a player

That there is the conflict, its my air boot, but I believe that I have defeated it.

from Taylor–who had obviously read this blog–went for my clutch foot, so he could prevent my ability to drive my manual Jeep.

Despite my broken ankle, my magnificent doctor, Dr. Langendurfer, has decided that a air-boot cast is the way to heal this injury. The boot is compact, sleek, stylish, and mobile. It can work a clutch, possibly with more ease than my foot can by itself, because in the boot I do not need to use the muscles in the lower half of my leg.

So seeing as Taylor and the state of Ohio have been defeated, now the only thing to lie in the path to my license is time itself, and when I have defeated that, well, watch out road-goers, there is a new kid behind the wheel.

The evil, evil gas pump

It finally happened, Cooper and I’s blissful glimpse of freedom and independence has been brought down to earth. Our feet are back to the ground thanks to the element of evil that we know as: The Gas Pump.

It is a terrible evil that we have come to face. It was a very sad moment for me when reality set into my head Cooper and I came to the realization what would actually be our primary worry financially for driving, not food, not the new activities we will do, no, its the fuel to get us to those places.

This is simply bad, my sheltered mind has never really thought this problem all the way through. Cooper bought a little more than 5 gallons and he payed almost 20 dollars, it swallowed up the entirety of his gas card.

I remember watching the price fly up as the amount put it meandered slowly its way up and hearing my friend exclaim “S***.” When I can drive I’m going to have to refrain from filling up all the way just to stay sane!!!!!!!!!

What could the possible solution be? Yes, electricity works wooo hybrids (sarcasm!) at least from my perspective cars like that are essentially, I don’t want to say neutering but more taking away the manliness of cars, their piece de resistance, the part of them that makes a gear-head say “hey lets just go drive,” the engine at work, combustion, pumping pistons, exhaust notes, torque, horsepower, a lot of the best parts of cars will be minimized, or eliminated.

I am not in support of endless greenhouse gases being omitted until we have to go live underground, the underground which no longer contains a drop of oil souly because of cars, but I do believe that gasoline cars need an alternative to extinction.

I’m already brainstorming for future campaign slogans, I wonder if they’ll let two 19 year olds run…maybe we can just run libertarian.

SULLIVAN HAYES 2016: RESERVE ALL EARTHS OIL FOR AUTOMOTIVE USE ONLY, POWER ALL OTHER ENERGY NEEDING DEVICES WITH ALTERNATIVES.

That doesn’t sound too bad right guys? At least until I’m gone and in heaven where I’m sure there will be plenty of cheap gas. 

Coming of Age

No, I can’t drive, yes as the description describes I do love cars. That’s why the next few months will be some of the hardest of my life. In the beginning of december, finally, after the long wait, I will be on the road. No parent or legal guardian, me on the road no others enjoying the experience of driving in my good ol’ Jeep Wrangler. For a motor enthusiast like myself this is a big part of a life. I’ve been told by many that the first drive won’t be forgotten, ever. But there has been alot of steps I have taken in order to get where I am.

I felt it was very important to bite the bullet, drive in my dads horrific VW Beetle, and learn to drive a stick. As much as it pains me to say it, I didn’t have a bad time. My fathers model is the 1.4L turbo I believe which had a little kick to it. Enough kick to help me mentally block the built in flower vase on the dash.  My dad along with a friend of mines dad (whom I enjoyed driving with for he chose to teach in his classic BMW 3.0 cs from the 70’s) wisely taught me the ways of the clutch. Currently, although in the back of my mind I know I’m not, I consider myself a master, rarely stalling and reduced my roll back distance to mere inches.

This skill will be very helpful for me and my Wrang, it being a 6 speed itself, as we take our first journey together and take a big step towards complete independence.