My first car was a 1931 Chevrolet that I bought for $75. This was in about 1958 or so.

It was a very uncomplicated vehicle. You started it, shifted gears, pressed on the gas and off you went.

You kept an eye on the fuel gauge and the temperature indicator to make certain you had enough gas to go where you wanted and the engine wasn’t running too hot.

It was simple, easy to work on and got me where I wanted to go for a number of years.

Now I drive a big automobile that is smarter than I am. I hate machines that I can’t control.

This morning on the way to the office, I call my best friend.

The Bluetooth disconnects to the car and switches to my hearing aids. I have to pull over, stop and reconfigure them to connect to the car not to my ears. Then when I call my friend, the radio comes on and I can’t get it to turn off without doing the following:

Pull over to the side of the road.

Put vehicle in park.

Switch engine off.

Punch radio to off position.

Open driver door.

Turn engine back on.

Make my phone call.

Is this nuts or what?

How many of us have, at one time or another have been held captive by various pieces of ‘labor saving’ devices? Come-on, raise your hands…I want to count.

I bet all of you have gotten frustrated with the blinking ‘0000’ light on your VCR because you didn’t know how to set it? You had to wait for your kids or grandkids to visit and do it for you, didn’t you?

I certainly did, and I bet so did you.

They tell me that the computer capabilities in my cell phone exceed those of the computers used to put a man on the moon in 1969.

I don’t doubt that one little bit.

I want to use my phone to make phone calls, not play 100’s of games or watch what some celebrity is having for lunch. Why do I care? I don’t.

I will say that computers have gotten better at keeping you from punching some button and destroying whatever you have been working on for a week. In the old days, there was never any warning that says “are you sure you want to delete this?” and you punched some combination of buttons on your keyboard and everything vanished in a heartbeat. You never could figure out where it went did you?

Nope it was gone, gone gone…. probably floating around in the atmosphere somewhere along with trillions of other missing pieces of data possibly blocking out the sun and causing extensive amounts of global warming in some form or fashion. Sounds like a potential item for a governmental research grant, doesn’t it?

How many wrist watches (for those of us who have actually worn one) did you buy or that were given to you that had a 137-page instruction manual that itemized all of the things you could do with your watch?

All I want to do with a watch is to tell me what time of the day it is.

I do not need it to tell me how to start a fire or what time the tides go out or come in.

Just give me the time, maybe the day of month…nothing more.

I also do not need an automobile that has a 250-page instruction manual to operate it.

Thank you very much.

Think about all of the times you have been frustrated or stymied trying to follow the instructions from some computer manufacturing company in Eastern Transpakina that tell you to press button ‘a’ first before doing anything, but you cannot even find button ‘a’, much less press it.

Try calling customer service? Right, let me know how that works for you.

How many items have you thrown away, put on a shelf or given to someone since they were too difficult to use? I could fill a garage with them.

My problem is that I am an impulsive buyer. I rush into buying things and read the detail later.

Custer and I would have been great friends since I tend to ‘charge’ into my purchases rather than sitting back and looking over the item before making up my mind. My first wife would have made a great calvary soldier since her favorite word was ‘charge’.

No, in spite of all of the technology advances of today ….in some cases simple is still better, isn’t it?

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