My (very old) Toyota Carolla

I finally got around to replacing my battery in my 1990 Toyota Corolla. Sometime a month or two ago, I had noticed that the battery had died, but since that I had recently gotten a new young vixen in my life (a 2004 Lexus ES 330), I had been neglecting my faithful companion for the past 14 years. Anyway, $39.95 and a battery from Cosco later, my Corolla is working again, and for the first time in about five months, I took my poor neglected Corolla out for a spin.

Some observations: First of all, the Corolla is definitely much, much lounder; there’s much less road noise in the Lexus. Secondly, I really miss driving stick shift. There’s definitely something really nice about having low-level control over the car that you just don’t have when you drive automatic. I guess it shows that deep down, I really am a kernel programmer. At the same time, it is nice to occasionally not have to worry about driving stick shift. I guess my perfect car would at the very least have a clutch, so I can more easily put the car in neutral and just coast when the road is going downhill, or when I’m coasting a long in start and stop traffic. (I’ve noticed that shifting my car in neutral when I need to coast will buy me an extra 2 MPG on the Lexus ES). Even better would be if the car had automatic transmission, but with a stick-shift override that would allow me to take over when I want to indulge my desire to be in control. Finally, it definitely is nice to have a machine with the cargo capacity of the station wagon.

I’m thinking that it would be useful to keep the Corolla around, just for when I need to haul things around. It also gets much, much better city mileage than the Lexus, so I think I’m going to keep it around for short errands around time.