Nowadays Americans are asked to put up with nonsense more and more. I can’t speak for the rest of the world, because I don’t live there. I guess you can take this as a semi-bitch session. Hey I’m 64 years old, gives me license to bitch, well just a little. No this isn’t going to whine throughout.
I have to take this over counter medication occasionally. They are little itty bitty pills about the size of womens birth control pills. They are enclosed in a bubble pack tab. In order to get them out, you first have to separate one pill from the rest of them on the tab. They should just tear off evenly because they are serrated on each pill. In reality they don’t tear at all. I think this is because the serrations aren’t deep enough. So I use a small pair of scissors to cut off each pill from the tab. Then you have to take a fingernail or thumbnail and insert it between the bottom of the paper layer and the top of the plastic and pull the bottom paper part off. The trouble with this is that you are holding onto a miniscule triangular tab with just your thumbnail. It takes a lot more force to separate these too that can be generated with just your thumbnail unless you work for the WWF.
You knew this was gonna eventually turn about to a car deal didn’t you? Well dear readers please hang in there I won’t dedicate it entirely to this. I have read tons of car magazines in my day. Most aren’t very informative, at least to me. Okay that sounds arrogant? Well doing this for as long as I have I feel I can honestly say that most of the articles in here are geared for the newbies. I have built lots of engines, most of which have seen drag strip action. None of them have blown up. The cars all ran the numbers they were supposed to so I must be doing something right. Here’s where this is going; I do occasionally read some new car magazines. In them I see how to build good street machines. Remember now the magazine’s main thrust is to sell lots of magazines and have lots of advertisers. That’s the main driving force with these publications,is making money. Never mind how accurate the info is, or useable. This is another reason I don’t bother with them because I see lots of errors in them. Engine building being one of them. If you are going to compare anything, be it apples to oranges or Fords and Chevy’s the base lines have to be as close to each other as possible. I’m not seeing that in these dyno shoot outs they are doing. The other things are recommendations to new people to be very conservative. That’s okay for new people, makes the learning curve a little easier to climb. There are tons of old gear heads out there like me, blowing around like ashes from previous hot rod camp fires decades old. The basics of hot rods remains the same. The physics of what it takes to make a motor that runs good hasn’t changes. The way in which we do that has. Fortunately there are two sides to this structure. Old school, and the new way. Old school is basically much simpler and usually, but not always cheaper. There are sides of the new technology I like too, fuel injection being one of them. It all just depends upon when you were born. That’s it. That’s all it is. Today’s young hot rodders like all the new stuff because it’s timely during their life. I see some youngsters that love the old school way of hot rodding and I love to see it. There so much to learn from this side of the fence. There is so much to learn from the high-tech side also. I have to admit that the denizens on my side of the fence aren’t looking thru the slats into the high-tech yard too much.
Ok so what has this to do with putting up with things? Well if you build your car like the magazines say you should you will have a nice, sedate car that idles fairly well, drinks pump gas with a smile on its face, and has pretty fair performance. The cars usually have what I call the Conestoga Wheels on them. These are the big round dudes of 18-20 inches and up. You can tell I don’t like them no? Well right you are. Just my preference is all. What if you want a little more than the “magazine special”? Raise your hand. That’s me. I usually want way more than these things give you. It comes from my childhood. My parents used to buy me Japanese toys. These things broke the first time you used them, unlike anything from Japan nowadays. Anyway I got a complex from those things that broke and it affected me the rest of my life. I’m actually thankful for it because it impressed me enough to understand quality as a seventh sense. It impressed me enough to break my ass every single time I ever did anything as a mechanic. Seeing something come back into the bay because of something I should have done better is just not acceptable to me. So this also means that I like things on the extreme.
This also means I’m willing to put up with street driven machinery that most people would find down right objectionable. My Oldsmobile would make the worlds worst get away car. Not because it’s slow, but because to get it running takes a series of steps. It resembles more closely cranking up an airplane or helicopter. If these steps aren’t followed it probably wouldn’t start. Why do I put up with this when I don’t have to? Well it has to do with how much asphalt I want to see go underneath the car when I put the loud pedal down. It requires sacrifices in areas of the car’s temperament that bump into the creature comforts of operation. Having raced drag cars I know how they behave. So it’s a no brainer for me to deal with that sort of operation from a car that’s more than a “magazine special.” In fact I’m seriously considering redoing the engine just a bit. I was taking to Tim Posik at Superchargers USA about installing an 8-71 Roots blower on the car with an Enderle Birdcatcher injector hat. Don’t worry about this nomenclature, suffice to say it’s on the radical side for street cars. You can Google 8-71 superchargers and Enderle Birdcatcher fuel injectors if you want to see what they look like. It’s an expensive way to pick up 500-600 hp. Yep that much. If you don’t believe it call me and I’ll explain it to you.
Enough car stuff; I promised to make this open to everyone. Here’s another deal to think about. Unless you are a computer engineer, you probably don’t understand why there are so many different codecs and audio file extensions do you? Well neither do I. Let’s see, on audio files there is .wav, .wma, .mp3, .mp4, and aac files for Macs. I know there’s lots more. I burned a CD that contained .wav files and guess what? My stereo wouldn’t play them! Imagine that? So I had to screw around and download a free converter to convert them to something the stereo machine liked. I could devote an entire blog article to all the Mickey Mouse crap connected with PCs.
When I went down to renew my driver’s license I was told that I needed a copy of my birth certificate, and a couple other pieces of ID. So why have your picture on the driver’s license then? If the jerk off behind the counter at DMV can’t tell from the picture on it that it’s you then why have the pictures on the damn things in the first place? They all make us looks like we just killed our parents with their shitty, straight from the decommissioned penitentiary, ID camera. So I had to get a copy of my birth certificate with my expired drivers license. It’s a good thing the people who issue those were a bit lenient with me because it says you are supposed to show them or prove to them that you have a valid driver’s license. If they hadn’t accepted mine I would be in a grand catch 22 wouldn’t I?
All the new gadgets we get are designed by people who are really smart. Their intelligence uses up all or most of their hard disk space so there’s no partition labeled “common sense.” So when they write software or design firmware that makes a Blu-ray player what it is, and a flat screen LCD Or LED whatever you have, look like someone is really standing in your living room, it has the common sense factored out of the owner’s manual. You have to assume way too much. Most manuals are ambiguous at best and most are woefully inadequate. Then there are some glitches in the stuff we just bought that defy the trouble-shooting section in the manual. I have a Samsung LCD TV. I have a Bose sound system hooked up to it via the video port on the back of the TV. I have a Panasonic Blu-Ray machine hooked up to the TV via a HDMI cable. So when you turn on the Blu-Ray machine it turns on the TV. If you don’t do some sequence just right you will have no sound out of the sound system. It’s like the computer part of the TV didn’t detect the Bose link when it scanned the ports and didn’t load any sound drivers. I don’t know if the damn TV works this way or not. It sure as hell isn’t in the manual.
In every section of every owners manual that I have ever read I have NEVER had a problem covered in the FAQ sections. I’ve never had a problem shown in the “Trouble Shooting” sections of these manuals either. You know what I think? I think some geek sits around and dreams up problems that are most unlikely to happen. Then they publish them in the owner’s manual along with the Spanish section, Portuguese, German, and French section that makes at first glance what you think is an informative manual due to its many foreign dialect sections tacked on. What a joke. During the great techno civil war in 2013 a justice finding body was formed. It consists of a police force dedicated to all the above mentioned defugealties, and a court. Guess who the judge is? If you think it’s me your wrong. It’s you and all the rest of the American people who every day have to put up with the same sort of horsecrap! We get to question to our hearts content why someone would print a manual no one understands except an engineer, or worse yet why someone would write a program as vast and complex as Photo Shop is and sell it without a manual? Hey let me ask this question please!
Were in court now, the judge asks “prosecutor you may question the defendant now. ” “Hello Mr. Smith, my name is Dave Proffitt. ” I’m a special prosecutor for the Consumer’s Justice League, do you know what we do?”
Def. “Yes I do.”
“Alright so you are one of the soft ware leading engineers for Adobe Photo Shop correct?” Def. “yes”. “Well why wasn’t a manual included with the program? I mean after all the program is over six hundred dollars.” Def. “The manual is available on-line in a .pdf format.” “Is it really? is this manual referenced during the installation process of the program so we know where to down load it?” Def. “No it isn’t.” “Well don’t you think that would be a good idea?” Def. ” I can’t comment on that.” “And why not?” Def. “the program is for advanced users of Adobe Photo Shop, so we felt that the transition to the newer version would not be difficult to most users accustomed to the program.” “What about users that are new to it? Are we supposed to think they are just “shit out of luck?” “Do you really think that not including a users manual is saving the company lots of money? After all it retails for over six hundred dollars, don’t you think you could have thrown in a manual for that amount of money?” Def. “I can’t comment on that.”
Well the judge got disgusted and sentenced him to write a manual for Photo Shop. It has to be re-written until everyone in the United States can understand it. So he’ll be at it for a long time.