Sunday, December 15, 2013

Check Eng

What a surprise it was- after loading my car, locking the dwelling, and driving up the hill to deposit a bag of garbage into the assigned dumpster, with intent of then traveling back down the hill and eventually to florida--when the CHECK ENG light illuminated as I descended the hill.  What to do?

All packed up and can't go?  I was not happy with this turn of events.  Was my car telling me to check my English?  If so, was its suggestion in the context of language, or perhaps billiards?  Have I always been so confused and out of the loop?

I chose the best option. Turn off the car at the bottom of the hill.  Get out and look under the hood for something telling; errors in grammar or other obvious clues which may have generated this alarming warning.  Then I decided to casually walk around in circles>  Ignore this unknown problem and it will surely go away.

Finally I disconnected the battery, removed and replaced the gas cap, then mustered the courage to start the car after reconnecting the battery.  Disconnecting a battery is known to temporarily clear the Check Eng light.  Last time I did this the light returned in less than a minute, eventually leading to moderately expensive repair of the seals around the spark plug guides---not found on all engine designs.

This time the light remained off.  I drove ten miles to Alpine.  Still off.  I bought ice for my cooler of food.  Still off.  I drove east to the scenic view point.   I checked the oil, kicked the tires.  Still off.

So, here I am in Benson, AZ.  No check eng light so far.  I tried to watch my language all the way here.  I almost lost my temper at the border patrol, sniffing-dog roadblock on the way here.  "Are you a U.S. citizen?"  Yes.

"Where are you coming from?"  San Diego.  "Oh. Do you live there?"  Nearby.  "Where are you going?"  Florida!  "That's a long way"  Yes, a long way.  "So, why are you going there?"  Geez! Why would you even ask me that?   "It' a simple question, sir."  I'm going because I want to!!!  "Have a nice day".  (inaudible)@#$%^&* @#$%^&*!!!!!  And I didn't trust the look on that dog's face.  He was just waiting for cues.  I don't think he could sniff out a skunk without prompting.

I hate roadblocks.  I hate proving innocence regarding crimes of which there is absolutely no reason to believe I am guilty, and which have not even been named, and have not occurred.  Those of us who see armed state agents as a possibly necessary evil, see the minimization of the evil aspects as desirable.

I'll won't argue against the necessity of government, neither will I argue for it.  I see the accepted forms of authority--human over human--as highly prone to trouble, abuse, and amorality.  Detention without cause has become a generally accepted tactic, though not by me.

I'll continue to check my English when in the presence of unwelcome armed inquisitors whose job is base upon the following model:  this person is not armed or employed by the State.  Criminals are allegedly not armed or employed by the state therefore this person could be a criminal.  We will treat him as such until he proves his innocence.  We will decide what constitutes innocent.

That's the only sense I make of this warning light.

The roadblocks are my number one complaint about the west.  It was a serious, dangerous, destructive turning point in our culture when the idea of warrant-less search became the everyday approach to controlling the citizens.  It is one of the big steps toward the decay of our country.

I hope to make it to the Keys without incident.

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Ballistic Mountain, CA, United States
Like spring on a summer's day


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