Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Learning New Tricks by Andy Scheer

Good thing I'm not an old dog.

This weekend I found myself trying to learn two new tricks – on opposite ends of the technology spectrum.

On one end of the spectrum there's a 1930 Ford Model A Town Sedan. My father-in-law has recruited me to serve as co-driver for a cross-country trip next month. This means I not only have to reacquaint myself with a three-speed, manual transmission, I also have to master the art of double-clutching, especially when downshifting from third to second.

I look forward to the trip, so I've been motivated to learn that largely lost art. Yesterday I found myself behind the wheel for nearly an hour, driving the 83-year-old car in traffic on country roads at fifty miles an hour.

At least we think we were going fifty. The Model A's speedometer isn't reliable.

That's the reason I'm having to learn some new technology. To keep accurate track of the Model A's speed, my father-in-law just bought a GPS receiver. He's never used one. Neither have I – preferring maps from the Motor Club or online printouts.

As the designated navigator, it's my job to figure out how to use the GPS, then show my father-in-law. I don't expect it will be hard to learn.

There's nothing like a little motivation – and a little bit of patience – if you're no longer a pup.


Anonymous said...

How are you going to plug in your GPS. Does a Model A have a cigarette lighter? I don't know if you can change the batteries often. I am very curious how you are going to merge the two technologies.

Andy Scheer, Hartline Literary said...

Some adaptation needed. My father-in-law, with his electrical engineering background, has wired in an outlet, taking into account the Ford's six-volt, positive ground electrical system.