Thoughts post Uranquiny trip…..thinking out side the box.

We rode up after work, Amy came with me. It was fantastic riding at night. I was pleased as to how the bike as a whole has come together. Nothing was too much trouble, nothing struck me as a gimmick, I found myself wishing for nothing new (other than whats already on my to-do list). It was a fantastic feeling to be riding at night, the view can not distract you, for once it’s about the destination not the journey. You just want to get to where you are going as smoothly and safely as you can, you cant see anything, so there is little point in thinking about looking or stopping. Hour after hour riding the cone of light that is blazing from the front of the bike, nothing else matters, there is nothing else (once off the Hume Freeway that is). It was a really enjoyable night. I would do it all again tomorrow if I could, or needed to.

We had a great time (as usual) up there, all over far to quick. The last thing I want to talk about is not Goldwing related at all. It has to do with something I have been noticing more and more…..

Im not a super tech, I”m not really good at electronics (been out of the loop for too long), I’m barely a geek, no where near a nerd, and yet I can still fix things, but I’m finding more and more that the generations behind me cant.
One example; While in Uranqunity, Lizzi (Amanda’s  sister) asked if I could come and look at a Symbol bar code scanner at the servo where she works. They had the POS (Point of sale) guy in, and he could not get it going. I dropped down the morning we were leaving to have a quick look. I explained that I knew nothing about POS, and thus would only have a quick look.
The scanner was in parallel with the PS2 keyboard, but they were using a USB keyboard. Even though it was a dos application, it was running under XP. I felt that when XP booted up, since it did not find any devices on the PS2 port, it ‘shut it down’. Sure enough, putting a PS2 keyboard in the scanner adapter and rebooting the computer got it all working.
Lizzi was very happy, I left shaking my head. I’m thinking of documenting more of these situations. Not to big note myself, but to show the difference, to try and highlight it, between us 38+ techs and those behind us. My uncle Brian and my friend Terry have touched on this in the past. They came at it from other angles. They think its related to my generation reading and listening, and the younger looking only. I have noticed this with my son, he only looks at the pictures on the Net, he hardly ever reads the web sites.
Sure, there is a tendency now to swap parts, not to fix the parts as we used to do (I still remember hand aligning single sided 360kB floppy disk drives and putting them back into service), but that alone does not give any insight to why problem solving skills are so light on the ground.
Are people not taught to work though problems any more? I notice it a lot at work with the younger tradesman. I am not an electrician, or a plumber, and yet, they get stumped when asked to do something out of the norm. They look at me and ask what I would do. I just walk them though the process and they are right from there, they have the mechanical skills then to do the job, but thinking out side the box is not something that comes easy for them.
I noticed this just the past month when my son and I bought a movement sensor light for our toilet. I let him unwrap it and put the batteries in. Which he did with no problem, but when he switched it on and it did not light up, he pronounced it dead. I am trying to get him thinking, so I asked him what the manual said. He correctly replied that there was none. Wanting to prod him a little more, I wanted to know from him what conditions needed to exist for it to work. He said power and movement. No amount of prodding would get any more out of him. Perhaps I was being a little hard on him, but as I have said, I have seen this sort of thing time and time again, and so I was in a bit of a panic that my very son might be falling into the same frame of mind….anyway, he gave up, and stuck with the notion that it was broken. At that point I took him and the ‘busted’ light and crawled into his cubbie under his bed, it was nice and DARK there, and with a little movement past the front of the light, we could see in his cubbie for the first time (gota love LED lights). He understood the bit that he was missing, no point in having a light come on in the day, but he totally missed that written on the front of the packaging. Again, looking at the pictures, but not even getting the full information from it (the photo was taken at night!).
I don’t think we are going to be able to turn things around except on a case by case basis. I am working on my son. Terry is working on his grandson. I’m sure there are teachers and lectures all over the planet doing what they can to teach their students to think….. forget about thinking out side the box, lets just get them thinking!

Anyway, please don’t mistake this as a rant, its not, its a melancholy reflection on something that I am seeing way too often. If you see it, take some time to address it. Don’t get mad, don’t push them out the way, just do what you can to teach them. It will take more than once, but I hope they will listen to us old guys. We still have something to say.