Peter Jennings, the legendary ABC News anchor, was Canadian. One time, he confessed that he failed to give a particular snow storm enough coverage because winter weather is so common back in Canada: it wasn't newsworthy.
Pete is my only shred of dignity down here in St Louis.
The last years of Herbie (the Miata) were shameful in winter: many pushes, bummed rides, and general embarrassment as our hero, a Canadian, was stuck in 3-4 inches of snow while the Americans drove around freely.
Though the Miata is not a great winter car, one notes that St Louis does not have Great Winters: they are generally tame with the occasional bluster. The problem was a lack of 'Tire Awareness' on the part of the owner.
Tire awareness is roughly defined as knowing the current state of one's tires, both in terms of wear and their rating for snow & ice. It is perhaps my greatest weakness as a driver.
Alas, the story continues: a lack of tire awareness currently has the new car (Rowdy, a Honda) stuck at a gas station. Actually, it is tire negligence since I knew that the new ride had performance tires geared for dry, if not summer, conditions.
I tried to venture out to a birthday party last night. About 4 inches (10 cm) of snow had fallen... Not good. I made it about a mile away until stopped at an intersection with a slight incline. I've come to hate inclines. For a spell in 2005, I would plan entire routes based on favorable inclines.
No accidents or damage (I think) but the requisite push at an intersection and the Walk of Shame back to the apartment. Plus I nailed a couple of curbs.
A subtext here is the handling characteristics of a front-wheel drive car versus a rear-wheel drive car. I know the difference quite well, but it is astounding to see it in action. Essentially, rear-wheel drive cars are finicky but predictable. Front-wheel drive cars are stable until they ain't, and then, as Dad says "you go in a straight-line until you hit something". Fun!
And so after a blissful 6 months with no vehicular stress, we now face the prospect of buying all-season tires under duress, and the questions about what to do with the car in the mean time. After all, it is parked at a gas station, where the attendants don't really speak English and may soon believe that the car is a gift for their lackluster service.
Good times! Oh, and I'm flying home in 4 days. LOL. I may bring back some tires.
ps. That Subaru WRX STi is looking better and better. Perhaps the 15 MPG and hearing loss would have been worth it.