Long-time lurker, first-time posting something original: an introduction. I figured I would phrase my introduction in some sort of unique way, so here goes.
(FULL DISCLOSURE: Kenaft's parents wanted to have kids so badly (or maybe... ooops? I don't know, I don't ask the questions around the house) that this kid was born in Canada four years after his parents married, lived in Toronto, Mississippi, and now lives in Metro Detroit, toted around on their dime and budget by plane or car.)
Walking up to Kenaft and his 2006 Saturn Vue for the first time, you might be mistaken in thinking "Here's another kid, with a boring crossover." But if you look closer at the car, you'll see the 5-speed manual and the "I am the Stig" rear window sticker. Meanwhile, if you engage the kid - say, mention a Stryker-gen Viper, or begin speaking of the virtues of a screaming flat-12 Testarossa... you'll see there's more under his skin.
This kid is average height, average build, maybe the littlist bit pudgey - but he's been beginning to lift weights more this summer. His hair is wornlonger (sort of like old-school Justin Beiber, before this spiked hair/Flo crap), and he'll typically be seen in a plain V-neck, or some sort of graphic tee about electronic music, cars, or the University of Michigan (where he is, I am told, studying computer engineering), or a FIRST Robotics Competition-related t-shirt. In winter, some sort of nerdy hoodie, although next year's model is rumored to be sporting a bomber jacket - depending on popular demand.
Bottoms are either colorful shorts (red, black, looking to expand into blue) or dark-wash jeans, and beaten-up sneakers. The Kenaft spokesperson told me he's trying to "keep it classy".
It's clear that this kid mean business, but let's be honest - he probably should look more fit and not wear as many graphic tees. The nice thing is that the university has some nice workout facilities. But graphic tees - really? How old is he? Twelve?
What's inside reflects what a person puts in, right? Kenaft's parents told me he eat decently at home, and could eat better outside of that - but he is in the routine of bringing his own lunch to work/school, eating lots of non-salad veggies, and doesn't have any big health problems.
A clean bill of health, there (which is likely better then average in America, as we all know).
In quick parking lot sprints, Kenaft appears to be slower then his more athletic friends, but has the higher-BMI kids well beat. Average. Like oatmeal.
It's odd - with the current tuning and weight parameters, any sort of panic stop seems to result in multiple body parts contacting the ground (which can get expensive when that is concrete). Controlled slow stops do work well, though. I suspect that for real, hardcore track use there will be a lot of tuning and weight loss required.
That's where Kenaft's lack of time in the gym comes into play. In instrumented testing, he can lift others up to about 150 lbs. and carry them on his back - not the highest loads, but the test subjects report having a lot of fun and not being too jostled around.
I am also told that in pool chicken fights - a crucial test of load handling capabilities in an unfamiliar environment - he is undefeated.
This is where Kenaft appears to enter his element. When working to maneuver and fight through traffic - whether on the bus, on the sidewalk, or in a mad game of capture the flag - he seems to know where he is going, and makes clipping the apexes and juking opponents seem easy. Competent in traffic, yet able to jump into open lanes when prompted with just enough power.
Only downfalls are occassional stumbles - sometimes against others - when particularily rushed and critical fluids running low. Recovery, through clever footwork, is typically possible, but occassionally the same symptoms seen under panic braking: multiple body parts contacting the ground, sometimes with injuries serious enough to require minor repairing (which can typically be performed by a capable DiY , no dealership or mechanic required).
I was only informed that Kenaft is equipped with a stick, but I was not allowed to experience or see that in action. The spokesperson told me that no one has, after a previous person broke his head gasket, damaging his
beating heart engine.
As a computer engineering student, Kenaft has no lack of exciting technology and gadgets. Given access to his room, it appears his most well-used machines are a 15" MacBook Pro, Sony MDR-7506 headphones, a Nexus 4 for worldwide connectivity, and a (new for this model year) used mid-2011 MacBook Air - which I'm told was a $430 option, and can only be purchased through a sketchy friend on a remote Craigslist.
There are a few other fun gadgets with large nostalgic value Kenaft has to play with - an old iPod Mini, classic routers (AirPort, Linksys WRT54GL), but not a lot of dead weight. A limited, lightweight number of useful everyday devices.
Unfortunately, more expensive options - like a piece of real estate, a vehicle with his name on the title, a desk with his nameplate on it - are not slated to be offered for several years.
Kenaft's sound? Somewhere inbetween normal adult male and squeaky preteen boy. I've been told this improves with time, and that it's gotten better since the squeaky days, but honestly - it's still kinda terrible. And please don't ask for the falsetto option - for the good of the world and all within audible earshot, PLEASE DO NOT.
What is interesting is his music equipment and selection. The progressive house (deadmau5, Audien) and nu-disco (Madeon, Oliver) genres are both somewhat typical and out of left field for the average pot-smoking, drunk kid his age - essentially, a much better alternative then the highly common rap and hip-hop, or pop-country, commonly heard among this demographic. If you haven't, I suggest giving both of them a try sometime when you're looking for something new.
What else do you want from a teenager-near twenty-year-old? Kenaft is somewhat athletic, kinda smart, has a car, has had relationships, and plays too many video games.
But, Kenaft loves cars just like the rest of us. He doesn't have a clear-cut favorite like $kaycog or Stef, or K-Roll. Maybe one day (when he can afford to buy and cherish it). But, as became evident during my test, Kenaft does love secret, concept cars, flying cars, vintage cars, tricked-out cars, red cars, black cars, blonde cars and sometimes, cars just because of the curve of a hood*.
Here's a picture of the Saturn in good measure (which will deserve it's own article later).
*That last one is a good story for another time. I wish I had pictures...