Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Flying, motorcycling, and Jeeps


After retirement, I planned to buy a Jeep Cherokee.  I never considered the Wrangler inasmuch as at the time it had a canvas top and was too open to leave at trail heads while I took my dogs hiking.  But in 2002 when I was in a position to buy a Jeep, the Cherokee had been replaced by the Liberty.  In Europe this replacement was called the new Cherokee model, but here in the U.S. for a reason I can't recall, the name was changed to "Liberty." 

Earlier, in Aerospace, there was a new management technique in play.  Those of us on the C-17 were sequestered (not the right word since it was a huge facility) with our own assembly-line and told to make a success out of the C-17 or fail, lose our jobs, and have our plant put up for sale. 

Subsequently, the same technique was used on the Liberty.  Engineers and workers were inspired to do their very best.  The 2002 model was the result, and after all these years it has behaved almost flawlessly.  It is built well enough, if one has added all the off-road options (and I did that) to tackle the most difficult Jeep trails.   

The C-17, as well, has behaved flawlessly, taking troops to and from more battle-fields than the trailheads I've taken my Jeep to.

But I did considered a new Jeep when my son's 2003 Chevy Trailblazer which has 150,000 miles on it developed a few problems beyond his means to repair.  I considered giving him my Jeep and buying a new one for myself.  However, after much anguish I backed away from that plan and decided I would have my local mechanic fix his Trailblazer's problems and keep my old Jeep.  Whatever the cost it would be less than buying a new jeep, and it would enable me to avoid any befuddlement caused by a new Jeep's features. 

As to your motorcycling and its proverbial dangers.  I have over the years had many friends and relatives ask me whether I thought they should buy a motorcycle.  The key consideration I told them was their "accident-proneness."  They knew whether they were accident-prone or not.  If they were, they shouldn't buy a motorcycle.  They had to have excellent reflexes and believe that they could ride day in and day out and never make a serious mistake.  Also, they should never insist that they had the right-of-way -- regardless of what the motor-vehicle brochure told them.

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