Thursday, 15 March 2012

Woe is me: computers and cars

Technology is our bosom friend and most frightful foe. Well, most blasted irritating. I have mentioned before that my PC is too outdated for me to send Hotmail messages, use MSN (or whatever) Chat, post comments on Facebook, &c, &c. Currently, some technological wizardry is stopping me from commenting on blogs, too. So don't blame me, blame something with microchips in. Speaking of blaming microchips, I find my car eminently useful, but its utility is decreasing as its age increases. The engine warning light has been on since about 2005 or 2006. It goes off when I get a service, which I put down to the car's computer being reset or told to stop being silly by a firm-voiced mechanic with a magic wand. The little yellow light comes on as I drive away. Cheeky!

The air-conditioning died this winter, about which I have been in denial for months. I am greatly perturbed at the thought of relying again on leaving the windows fully open, as it's deafening at high speeds and near-useless at low ones. Don't even suggest the expense of repairing it: I'm too alarmed even to look into what that could cost! There's a little light that tells me when the front passenger airbag is on, and these days its certainty varies every time I start the car. The other day I tried repeatedly to start the car, and nothing happened. So I left it for two days and just as Dad was about to hep me charge the battery, I gave it another go. Bob's your uncle: it worked fine. There's no good reason for that.

A few weeks ago the oil warning light started up. I checked it out, and all was well. It kept going on and off, so I asked a friend who understands cars, and he double-checked it. Apparently, his snazzy car even has a warning light to apprise him when his dashboard warning lights are malfunctioning. I could do with one of those! Lest you think I exaggerate when I say I don't understand cars, here's a salutary story of my ignorance. For perhaps as long as I've owned this car (2004, I think) the rear passenger doors have been stiff and creaky. I just assumed this to be an insurmountable technical problem. Then in Wales the other week my friend, Kev, noticed this, popped into his house, and returned with WD-40, which he applied with miraculous results. Nobody had ever suggested that before, though whether this was out of ignorance comparable to mine or a desire to spare my thinking myself an idiot with automobiles, I don't dare say!

Inconsequentiality is generally the theme of these little rambling asides, so let it be forever. The big questions of the day tend to cause disagreement rather than good cheer. Nonetheless, I intend to introduce a somewhat serious topic next time, so if you prefer your Pete rambling to be wholly light-hearted, be warned. It won't be controversial, mind you. As something of a segue to that topic, I'll recount something not so heavy, but still somewhat serious to which I was lately a distant party. Last Sunday I was supposed to see a friend, but she rang and cancelled. While out cycling, she had been obliged to leap from her bicycle and rescue some poor child, who had fallen into a canal. Needless to say, being rather soggy and less than fragrant, my heroic friend felt a bit indisposed. So we rescheduled for tonight. The silly dear has been far too British - one doesn't go to the doctor's for no reason, and we regard anything short of near death as "no reason" - so was feeling too under the weather for tonight's meeting.

Happily, I have prevailed on her to see a doctor tonight and get pumped full of antibiotics so she will be up to rescuing small children again this weekend! Every hero/heroine needs an Alfred to whisper in their ear, "Look behind you, remember you are only a man" or somesuch. ;-) Next time more serious matters and some quite remarkable courage, but for now, so long folks!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...