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banana4monkey

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I was sitting in class wondering if I should go out to the bar that night when the professor handed me back my lab report. I scanned the front page for my grade but only saw "see me" written on the bottom of the page. This came as no surprise to me and after the bell rang I approached the professor who was wearing one of those sweater vests. "I thought we talked about this?" I replied "yes we did but I don't think you understand". He looked at me through those stereotypical professor glasses and said "I don't think YOU understand - you are going to have to learn how to use computers - it is the future". The issue was that I was still handwriting my lab reports on engineering paper. It wasn't that I didn't like the computer itself it was that the computer was letting me down. This was Alfred State College in 1997. I didn't have my own computer so I had to use the computer lab that was full of people that seemed to be doing everything but schoolwork. The computers the college provided had issues with saving and printing my work and after losing all of my work after spending multiple hours on it I used the old tried and true method of pen and paper.

I have always been reluctant to change. I have never bought a cell phone, currently don't have cable or satellite TV, and up until this week never had a facebook page. (note I created the page mostly to promote this forum).

When it comes to most things with a motor I am also reluctant to change and I don't know if that is a good or bad thing. I am used to carburetors with chokes, manual clutches, distributors, and kick starters. I am starting to think that over the past few years being reluctant to change has limited my perspective. One example I have is motorcycles - Harleys in particular. Back when I was in college (good ole Alfred State) I rode a 1972 Harley Davidson XLCH 1000 Sportster that was kick start only. This was a good bike for me at the time. It was very simple and easy to work on and sounded great. It did let me down mechanically on a few occasions despite practicing a good maintenance routine. I sold that bike after I bought my house and it was a few years before I was back on another Harley. In 2006 I ordered a new Harley Davidson Night Train. This bike did not have a kickstarter and I had an option of choosing fuel injection  (throttle body) or a carburetor. It took me awhile to decide on the injection. I read reviews and articles and played all the scenarios in my head. Relying on a an electrical system and a small 12 volt battery to start my bike was a leap of faith for me. I went with the injection thinking that I can always stick a carb on it if things go bad but they never did or not yet. The bike has over 30,000 miles on it and I've had no issue with the electrical system. The bike is way more comfortable and reliable as compared to the Sportster. When I changed the air cleaner and the exhaust on the Night Train I altered the air/fuel mixture ratio pressing  a button on a module mounted under the seat. No removing the carb, changing the jets, and putting the carb back on. This was a nice new experience I was missing out on. I never thought it would feel good to do it the easy way with computers.

I am still reluctant to change but I have a much wider perspective on newer trends. With LS motors going into classic muscle cars that put out over 500 HP and get as good of gas mileage as my 1998 Ford Ranger I may be missing out on something great by being so reluctant to change.

Sportster.jpg  Old photo of my 1972 Harley XLCH 1000 Sportster in my Dad's garage before leaving for a trip back to Alfred State College. This was my first Harley that I bought when I was 20 years old. Do I miss it - Only sometimes.



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