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Re: Valentine 1

   My practice is to [...] generally use the handbrake to slow down (no
   tell-tail tail-lights!) in a more relaxed manner.

   Very dangerous to do it at speed in traffic. A spin-off may result.
   That's what rally drivers use for those rooster-tail hairpin U-turns.
   I myself do it in snow or ice for U-turning the car in a narrow street.

   If you want to slow down the car without the cop seeing your brake
   lights, why don't you double-declutch and downshift two gears? Works
   very well for me. 

Maybe I should have emphasixed "relaxed" more -- not in heavy traffic,
not on ice/snow-covered corners at warp speed, just a way to shave off
5 or 10 mph a little faster than simply coasting down.

If I'm in a "playful" mood, I'll play the double-clutch-downshift
game.  Of course, if I'm in a *playful* mood, I'll already *know* that
there is no traffic anywhere near me, and will have already pre-
plotted a bunchcha high-g manuveurs for all contingencies, and I'll
engage the one flagged OSSN (Oh S**t Stop Now, as opposed to Oh S**t
Slalom Now) to try to outbrake the radar/laser. Hmmm . . . I wonder if
wildly slaloming across three lanes of interstate would confuse the
REA (Revenue Enhancement Agent)? Honest, officer, I was just trying to
avoid your laser canon! (Playing too much Doom, eh?)

Is it Friday yet?