Sorry for the relatively long hiatus, my free time has been otherwise occupied with my latest non-fossil fuel-burning addiction, Fifa 13. So I thought this would be a good time to address a couple of questions I’ve been getting about me and the blog.
How did you come up with the name?
Acceleration Therapy is a bit of an odd name. For me, the idea embodies that relief we get from that pent up need within us to not only go fast, but push ourselves. It’s not necessarily about speed outright, it’s about two separate entities, man and machine, becoming one to improve both; it’s a form of symbiosis where speed is a byproduct and not an end goal. Of course, you can have this enjoyment without insane speed; that’s why small, simple, and light cars like the Mazda MX-5 have not only endured, but resurrected the small sports car market. But when exactly did the name Acceleration Therapy pop into my head?
Well, that’s a bit of a story. A few years ago, I started to get frequent migraines. They range from quite unpleasant to debilitating, and on this specific day, it was debilitating. It was right at the beginning, so it was a new sensation to me; a pain so intense it felt like my brain was staging a revolution in my skull caused me to get up from my desk, clutching my head, and tell my boss that I had to leave the fluorescent-lit prison of the office. I left in the dead of winter, driving with the air conditioning blasting on my head to try to cool it down. As I drove, I cracked the window and stuck my bare fingers into the cold until they went numb from the low temperature and then I would put them on my forehead to try and get some sort of relief from the pain. Since it was the middle of the day and I was driving through Philadelphia, of course I ran into construction. Stopped and already in a foul mood, when I finally got to the head of the queue to be released on a now-empty stretch of highway, I tore down, trying to make up as much time as possible.
Tires squealing, I chirped going into second and again into third, and I noticed that for the first time in hours, my head felt a little bit better. I don’t know what it was about the hard acceleration, but it lessened the pain. And that’s when the words came into my mind.
What are your other interests?
Contrary to the criticisms I’ve received from countless teachers, my parents, and one random preacher who yelled at me through a megaphone in college, I don’t actually have a one track mind. There are other things that interest me besides cars.
Watches, for example, can be in some ways as awe-inspiring as cars. I like to think of a mechanical watch as something much akin to a car; inside beats a mechanical heart that is built to exacting specifications and powers something that marries form and function, albeit on a much smaller scale than a car. There are also dozens upon dozens of racing themed watches out there and a strong link between actors, like my favorite, Steve McQueen, and racing movies and watches as well. The watch that McQueen wore in LeMans, for example, a Heuer Monaco, inspired my favorite watch of all time, the Tag Heuer Monaco Vintage, which I'm lucky enough to have. I've got this great photo of it resting on the shift knob of my old Jetta Wolfsburg. And lots more companies make racing themed watches, such as Christopher Ward, BRM, Oris (who sponsors an F1 team), Seiko, and of course, the aforementioned Tag Heuer, with the F1, Monaco, and Carrera, as well as past models like the Monza and Silverstone. I do tend to find a lot of overlap between other car and watch lovers as well, and the place I go to learn and interact with other watch lovers is http://www.watchuseek.com/. If you have any interest in the subject, it’s a great place to find out lots of stuff you really never need to know about the things fewer and fewer people use to tell time. Tomes of knowledge and lots of friendly people--they even let me in, that's how nice they are.
I am also a big fan of music, movies, and television. I don’t have one specific type of music I listen to, but I do tend towards rock—I know that’s a broad category, but some examples of bands I love to listen to would be Soundgarden, Rage Against the Machine, Spoon, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, The Black Keys, The Black Angels, and I’m sure other bands with “black” in the name or named after kitchen utensils—and underground rap artists, like Aesop Rock, El-P, Atmosphere, and Jedi Mind Tricks (before they started to be terrible). I listen to everything though, including trip hop (I love Massive Attack and Portishead) alt rock, some stuff that I can’t accurately categorize like Lana Del Rey and St. Vincent, even a little country, and some jazz as well. I’ve also recently tried out dubstep; I might be getting old, but I can’t really tell the difference between electronica, techno, house, and dubstep. Most recently, I’ve been switching between the new Mumford & Sons album and Aesop Rock’s latest, Skelethon. Suffice it to say, the aborted auxiliary input installation was a quite a blow. Being stuck listening to radio, with its endless lack of variety has been a torturous exercise. I actually burned a few CDs, like it was 2002 again. I need to have iPod connectivity in my car again soon or I may lose my mind.
I could write an encyclopedia on movies worth watching, but suffice it to say that the time I spent watching Looper this weekend was well spent—I haven’t been this impressed by a movie in a long, long time. Television, much like the automotive market, is often dwindling and has suffered since the loss of gems like Arrested Development and Terriers, but there’s good TV out there. I can’t miss New Girl or Justified, for example. There are others.
And then there’s the thing that’s been keeping me from all of you: video games. I honestly don’t play that much anymore, not usually anyway. Since finishing college, I found that the Call of Duty franchise is definitely under the purview of people with far more free time than I have, and spending $60 on a 4 hour single player experience was just not cutting it. I have a Playstation and an Xbox, and recently jumped ship from the Gran Turismo franchise to Forza, where you’re not penalized for just wanting to play a game to have some fun and unwind after work. I’m not a huge sports guy, but I do love soccer (particularly the English Premier League—I’m a Liverpool supporter), so every time a new Fifa game comes out, I pay attention.
Technology. For those following the Twitter feed (@accelerationdoc), you’ll know that I recently upgraded to the iPhone 5. I’m very excited about trying out the new camera and seeing how many more shots are going to be usable for the blog. I’m one man with three laptops, three tablets, and an iPhone. For those of you who are on the fence about tablets, I highly recommend checking out the Google/Asus Nexus 7; I find the form factor of a 7” tablet easier to use for longer periods of time, and the portability is a big plus as well—it doesn’t hurt that the Nexus 7 is well built, has the latest version of Android, and is relatively inexpensive. Unlike many, I don’t subscribe to the single OS solution; I run both Windows and Mac (I have an aging, dying dinosaur of a Sony Vaio, an MSI Wind—remember netbooks?—and a MacBook Pro) and iOS and Android. Each one has something to offer. I love having choices.
So, that’s a bit of me, nutshelled. Stay tuned, I’ll get back to talking about cars soon enough. And yes, I did lift the title of this post from a Futurama episode.