Thu, Jun 12, 2003
By Cody L. McCormick
Whenever I buy a new car, it usually takes me week
just to figure out how to work the stereo. Generally it takes a
couple of weeks to get comfortable with the vehicle. The worst case
was a '96 Firebird. It took me a solid month to get used to parking
it. With the headlights on, I knew I had about a foot nose beyond
the corners of the headlight housing. With the lights off about
three feet of the front end weren't visible to me, and I'm over six
feet tall. No wonder my wife didn't like driving the car. Her only
indicator of where the front was would have been the windshield
Still, in this day of High-Tech as the norm, when I visit
friends I'm surprised at how many VCRs are still flashing "12:00."
Most people can turn their home stereo on -- and that's about it.
Trying to get the satellite TV to work with the DVD through the VCR
and to the surround system and the digital TV almost requires an
engineering degree. On top of that there are really cools ways to
hook your home computer in to the whole mix.
Needless to say, these people don't get the most out of their
audio/video equipment. These people are the same ones that haven't
spent a few bucks to make a couple of trips around the local race
track to find out what their new vehicle can do. As for the radio,
whatever station the kids left it on is what they listen to.
What about power tools? How many angles can you cut in one pass
with a table saw? How accurate are the spirit-levels on a power
drill? Do they actually mean anything? With laser levels, moisture
meters and metal detector wands even carpentry has gone super
high-tech. Then there are the adhesives… uh, let's not go
So now we have this guy, that can't cut a crown molding corner
in one pass, has his kids turn on the TV, hopes the computer was
left on so he can play "Free Cell;" and has no idea at all what the
"Check Engine" light on his new car means or why it's been lit for
the last two months: he wants to trade his dogged-out VFR
daylight-only '64 Cherokee 140 for a brand new Beech 36 with a full
panel and then some. Think of his sniveling and crying, when
he finds only one insurance company willing to look at him --
and they say, "Factory School and dual only for the rest
of your natural life."
My bet is he will decide to 'self-insure.' I'm absolutely sure
he will look at the TCAS warning the same way he looks at the Check
Engine light. Y'all be careful now, ya hear?
[Cody McCormick is an aircraft insurance underwriter in
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