Sour Grapes: Driving and Picking

By Jim Magdefrau

Technology still amazes and confuses me.

It’s our neighborhood code to help out when we can. The favor this time was to shuttle two neighbors to the airport in Cedar Rapids so they could fly to California to see their new granddaughter.

I received quick instructions on how to operate their new van. After they unloaded the van, I warned them I might still be sitting there when they flew back to Iowa.

Buttons! There’s a button to push while tapping the brake to start the car. That was easy. Now, to make the van move. There’s a shifter, with a few buttons and a diagram on how to go from “P” to “D” without hitting “R.”

It seemed like hours, but in a few seconds I found the sweet spot and was rolling forward. I stopped at the stop sign and the engine turned off. This couldn’t be good. Then I remembered I was told that this is what the van does. It will start right up again when I tap the gas.

The van made it back and was put away. Upon their return, I think I’ll take my vehicle. I know where “R” is on that.

* * *

Guitar talk. My main instrument lately has been a parlor acoustic. It has a nice pickup and has a compact gig bag. But lately, I’ve been having buzzing problems on the 13th fret of the first string. The first question that comes to mind is what the heck am I doing playing above the 12th fret? I’m Jim. Not Jimi.

That led to the purchase of a truss rod adjuster. I have no idea what it does. It seems to work slightly better now, but I’ll leave the actual neck and fret adjusting to a pro. Meanwhile, the fifth fret is as high as I’m going.

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