OK, I been sluffin’ off, probly even sleepin’ on the job… So another turkey roast is overdue. And gawd, in my absence, have these turkeys been multiplying… In this target rich environment, where do I start?

Smart phones on wheels: Back in the not so bad old days we judged a vehicle by it’s performance, comfort, and economy. Then some too clever product planner decided that we wanted to take calls from telemarketers while driving and bluetoothed our cell phones into their speakers and added a mic which makes for all sorts of future automaker snooping mischief.  It gets worse…

Just in case you refuse to connect your smartphone to your car, the automakers then proceeded to put a cheap cell phone in your car. In most cases they couldn’t resist the possibility of a continuing source of revenue and service reminders and thankfully charge to turn it on, thus mine is off. It gets even worse…

If a cell phone in the car is good, surely a touch screen tablet would be even better? Well, no, especially when you hog a square foot of dashboard turf with it. We drivers like nice big gauges in front of us with the heating controls, radio, etc. in the center with controls we can work by feel. In contrast a “touchscreen” strangely has no feel… Which means you need to take your eyes off the road during all of driving’s challenges to see what bit of the screen to touch to turn on defrost. It gets even way worse…

So here we are, veering from fog line to fog line trying to turn on defrost, and probably about to crash. The automakers solution? Automated cars! Yes, the automakers who brought us all of the above cyber stupidity will drive us, directed by the google that can’t even find my house!

Time for some 2 wheeled relief…

So you wander into the nearest motorcycle dealer, which most likely is a Harley dealer. It’s filled to the brim with what look like 1960s motorcycles and clothes and just about everything else you can fit a Harley logo on, and it’s all over priced. Harley’s best years were a century ago, then they got lucky and the boomers bought them. But the boomers are more likely shopping for wheelchairs than 2 wheelers now. So you try the next dealer, which turns out to have similar wares to Harley but for some half hidden overhead cams and maybe some forlorn Victories and a dusty crashed Slingshot waiting months for parts. ‘Merican motorcycle industry, lose the cruisers… There time was a century ago, they were dated by the ’50s, and unsalable now!

Hungry now, you stop by the truck stop for some voluminous grub. You get to taking with a young lady that’s running an aero Mack with a single drive axle that cruises at 1100 RPM and gets 9 MPG loaded, or talk to her at least when she’s not being interrupted by the guys bragging about their juiced up long nose Petes and KWs with the huge bull bars. And when they’re not bragging, they’re complaining about the 5 MPG their blunt nose trucks get and how they’re not making any money. Guys, trucking is a business… Lose your “road warrior” aerodynamic disaster area on 18 wheels.

Got my limit o’ turkeys, so the Porsche SUVs and outa warranty BMW’s will have to wait for next year. No problem, given the current rate of vehicular devolution, I’m sure we’ll have plenty more turkeys to roast next year!

 

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