Buicks & computers

That's a good observation. I never had really thought of it like that.

It's kind of like cars. I used to drive a 1937 Buick Special, with two spare tires, one in each fender in it''s own case. It was a heck of a lot better than only one spare tire because you weren''t out of tires if you got a flat.

It also had a running board and a heavy duty body. One time I was driving down one of those hog-back roads down in the Brazos Bottom just after a rain storm. They were shaped that way so that the water ran off and you didn't get a lot of splashy puddles to muddy up your car. But the soil contained a loot of clay, so in this area, when the road got wet it also got slick as owl shit. As I came around a curve at about sixty mph, just before a cattle guard one of those things that cows won''t walk across because their feet fall through the cracks the car began to slew aroung, and I went across the cattle guard sideways and took out the white wooden structure on both sides of the cattle guard.

I managed to regain control, straightened out the car and parked to get a look at the damage. The cattle guard was demolished, but that Buick was built like they don't build them anymore, and had nary a dent in it. Just a few scratches in the paint which I was able to fix with a little can of paint I got from the Buick dealer.

It also had an engine that was uncomplicated and I didn't have to get a Master's Degree in Automotive to tune up. No mystery whatisits under the hood at all. And as a matter of fact, if I wanted to get at the engine, I could take the entire hood cover off and lay it on the grass while I worked. You could also put in a whole different engine if you wanted to. I remember I used to have a little sports car, a Triumph TR3. It was a mechanical nightmare. You want to drive a hundred miles, you better take your wrenches with you and your little survival kit of spare parts. I saw a nice red one one time, years later, and asked the guy who owned it if he had much mechanical trouble with it. He said, "Not since I put a Volvo engine and transmission in it."

You had choices back then, by golly.

I look under the hood of my modern car and am not sure whaat in heck a lot of the black boxes are, and there are wires an hoses and stuff that do I have no clue about running all over the place and it has got a goddam computer in it that requires some fancy expensive contraption that only a fully equipped shop can manage, if the "check engine" light comes on.

Now that I think of it, when I had that Buick, there wasn't a computer on the whole damned planet. Life was simpler for it, too. In fact, that Buick was my first car. Before that, I rode a horse. He wasn't as fast as the car, but I loved him and he loved me, and he knew his way home and would come to me when I whistled.

I think the trouble with the world now is that there are too many fancy complicated contraptions that are not compatible with each other, not compatible with people, don't love us, and won't come to us when we whistle.

And computers? Give me a break. Why should I have a brand new Mac Pro 12 Core with all its fancy geegaws and it's fancy design? I'll bet you are right. Apple is just making these things to get our money and they don''t give a damn about whether we like what they will do for us. All these fools that buy Apple products are just nincompoops.

In fact, why should I have a computer at all?