Open the pod bay doors, Hal ...
For quite some time now, our aging Ford Expedition has been having problems. Mostly these have been little quirky things, like insisting that a door is open when they're all solidly shut, or randomly turning pieces of the instrument panel (gauges, lights) on or off.
According to the owner's manual, this vehicle has a fairly sophisticated brain. It even does such things as monitoring driving habits so as to be able to adjust engine settings to maximize fuel efficiency given the way the vehicle's regular drivers drive. When we first bought the truck, Pat commented that it sounded like the Expedition was smarter than he was.
But lately, the brain has been slipping, and this evening, it had its biggest slip yet -- as we were on our way to the lake for the Rio Grande Sailing Club's Desert Classic Regatta, as well as a club board meeting and a club general meeting and a potluck dinner, the antilock brakes decided that the truck was NOT going to move. Amid fumes of burning brakes, we found ourselves stranded on the shoulder of the interstate.
The way the truck's brain has been slowly going insane reminds me rather much of HAL, the supercomputer controlling the space ship in the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, which started out with minor lapses and gradually became worse, eventually to the point of killing off nearly all of the crew (and trying very hard to kill the last one).
We used to call the Expedition Babe (as in the big blue ox); I'm tempted to rename it HAL.
Labels: cars, geeks, sailing, travel