Car Alarms

I’m going to put this right out there. Car alarms are worse than useless. Being worse than useless is pretty bad. I’ve had experience with car alarms, as most of us probably have, and I can tell you they are the most annoying thing ever invented. Most if not all new cars now have alarms on them. I did a little research and I’ve found that they are not an actual safety feature. Which means that you can legally disconnect them. In fact there are many You Tube videos showing you how to do that. But just wait. Someone, sitting behind a desk, somewhere in a big office building with nothing to do except look for things to do will one day decide that an alarm on your car is a safety feature and it will become illegal to disconnect it. Why? Money. That’s why. If they can make money off it, they will. Just like the air pressure sensors in your tires. You know, the little sensors that tell you on your dash board how much tire pressure you have. Did you know they are considered a safety feature? Oh yes they are. Which means that whenever you buy new tires you also have to put in a new sensor because they are almost always bad. And they cost $50 to $75 dollars each. Mmm Hmm.

Have you ever been in a parking lot when a car alarm goes off? I did an experiment once. I stood by my car and push the alarm button on my key. Or at least it’s called a key. You know, the giant black thing they give you when you buy a car now days with buttons all over it and a key sticking out of the end? Yeah, that thing. The thing that’s too big to fit in your pocket. I pushed the alarm button, and waited. While I was waiting I looked around. No one came to my rescue. No one helped, no one came to see if I was in distress, or if I was being killed or robbed. Not even one person turned their head to look in my direction. Even though the button on my key thing says PANIC, in large, unfriendly letters, no one panicked. Why? Because no one cared about what was happening. Now this says a lot about human nature, which I won’t get into, which is odd for me because I love to talk Philosophy, but I’m staying on topic here. No one came.

Car alarms are worse than useless because they are the most irritating sound in the world. I Googled, “the most irritating sound in the world” and found videos from the movie, “Dumb and Dumber.” The Jim Carrey character asks the other character (Jeff Daniels) if he wants to hear the most irritating sound in the world. Then he makes the sound. I have to admit, the sound he made was pretty irritating but car alarms are worse. Just about every time one goes off, the owner of the car is nowhere to be found. Which means the alarm just keep going with that incessant beeping for what seems like forever. Eventually, the alarms quit on their own, I’m told. The car manufacturers probably did a little research of their own to determine how long it would take for you to be robbed or killed and then timed the alarms to shut off shortly after that. I mean, once you’re robbed or dead, there’s no more reason for the alarm right? No sense wasting the battery on someone who’s dead.

The second most annoying thing ever invented is the thing that makes your horn beep when ever you use the lock/unlock feature on your key thing. You have to work early in the morning. You go out and unlock your car and BEEP!!! you wake up the whole neighborhood. I mean, why not, right? If you have to get up before God, why not everyone else? I disconnected that stupid little thing. Ha! Power to the people! I shake my fist at car manufacturers. I’m taking back my life, I say. I disconnected your stupid little gadget! Let them just try to make it a safety feature. Let them try.


Modern Technology

Today I had the fun adventure of getting new tires on my car. It seems that just about anything you do these days is an adventure. Because of modern technology, nothing is simple anymore. A few years ago when you needed tires, you went to your tire dealer, picked out some tires, and they put them on your car. Not any more. Because of modern technology, you know, the technology that’s supposed to improve things, make things easier and better? Because of that, getting new tires is not a simple process any longer.

I had the money to put on some really nice tires. $500 dollars for the four of them and an 80,000 mile warranty. Great! let’s do it! So I’m waiting for the shop guys to put them on and one guy comes to me and says, “I’m afraid I have some bad news.” It seems two of my tire’s valve stems were somehow pinched and they couldn’t reuse them. I had been losing air in those tires and this was the reason why. This is where modern technology plays a role. Inside each of your modern car tires, attached to the valve stem is a sensor that relays tire pressure information to your car’s dashboard computer. So you can look at the dash and see the air pressure in each tire. Great idea, right? So you don’t have to get your lazy ass out with a tire gauge and check the pressure any more. And for this modern convenience you have to pay anywhere from $50 to $75 dollars per sensor. And someone, somewhere behind a desk decided that this is a safety feature and so by law, you have to have them in your tires. And this means that my $500 dollar tires now cost $640 dollars.

Isn’t that great? I love technology! It makes everything better! Easier! I say this as I’m using my computer. Some technology is great. Like computers. And the internet. And some, like tire sensors, is just expensive and needless. And someone makes a law that says you have to have it. So you have to pay for it. It’s not bad enough that a set of tires costs $500 dollars! The sensors round it up nicely, don’t you think?

Somewhere along the way, someone decided that we work too hard. So people started inventing things to make life easier. Now some ideas are great. Like putting a water wheel in the river to turn your grist mill. Now you don’t have to use donkeys or horses or cows and feed them and take care of them to make flour. That was a great idea. Saves time and money. The television remote to change to one of 500 channels with nothing on them was questionable. Now your lazy ass can get lazier and you can be even more bored than you were before you turned the TV on. My dad had a saying. “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.” A lot of these things we’ve invented to make life simpler and easier are really just making things more complicated and expensive. I know how to use a tire gauge. I have one in my car. But since I have expensive tire sensors in my tires, I guess I really don’t need the gauge anymore. If I take it out of the car, maybe I can get better mileage because the car will be a couple ounces lighter. And instead of doing the math to figure out my mileage I can just look at my handy mileage counter on my dashboard computer. No more math for me! What a great idea.