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I’m Afraid Of My Car. . .But I Have A Good Reason

April 6, 2015

I’m not afraid to admit it. My car can send shivers up my spine. The tiniest hiccup, or stutter or wobble gives me chills. My car is a 1996 Lexus ES300. A couple of weeks ago it rolled over 250,000 miles. They have been hard miles. I got the car about a year ago when it had 231,000 and was dead to the world. 

The car was free. There’s two kinds of free: free like a lunch and Free Like A Puppy. But, we got it running and it certainly got better gas milage than my suburban. 

And yeah, it was sorta cool to drive a lexus. Even one with torn up seats, body damage and nearly a quarter million miles. 



I commute 80 miles four days per week, so I started racking up the miles fairly quickly. And there were bumps and repairs along the way. (Things That Go Bump At 75 MPH.) But, overall I started to trust the car. 

I felt confident enough to take it on an extended road trip a couple of weeks ago to Washington. The trip from Pleasant Grove is about 1900 miles round trip. 

I’ve never really been a car guy. I can change the oil and replace the wiper blades, and I have a garage full of tools. But those belonged to my grandfather. They were my inheritance. I often don’t know exactly what to do with them. 

So, why does my car scare me? 

The same reason that computers or networks scare a lot of people. Lack of knowlege. 

We fear the unknown, what we don’t understand. 

My car could decide to stop at any moment and I have very little idea how to fix it, or even prevent it. 

I’m not afraid of computers. Networks don’t scare me. Sometimes, I get frustrated when my computer won’t do what I want it to, but I’m the master of that domain. At least enough to not be afraid the computer will suddenly stop working and I’ll have no way to fix it, or even prevent it. 

I’ve known a lot of people who feel about computers the way I feel about my car. Sure it’s working fine NOW, but at any moment it might suddenly blow up. It’s interesting that we all use computers and we all use cars. And yet we often don’t have the slightest clue what’s going on under the hood or the cover. 

This week I’m going to tell you the story of some “car troubles” that I had last week. I think the story, and the lesson I learned from it relate very well to computers. So, if you’re a car guy, prepare to laugh at me for the next 4 days. If you have a computer phobia, hopefully my experience can make you a little more comfortable with your PC. (MAC people are already comfortable with their computers.) 

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday at 7:00 AM Mountain Time. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and one grandchild. 
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