Thursday, July 31, 2008

What is U-Haul up to?

I moved - a pain, but not really blog-worthy. Except: I rented a U-Haul truck to carry our belongings across town. One of the big ones, fun to drive, gets 7mpg if going downhill with a tail wind.

There was this mystery box on the side of the cab, below the dash, just next to my left calf. Had a digital readout, two LED digits, that perhaps were tracking time, they went from 70 to 74 while I was using it. I'm remembering vague stories about rental car companies charging a fortune because their secret GPS tracked the guy going 80mph (which is a little amazing itself, my GPS once tracked me doing 150MPH even though I was doing about 60) so I watched my speed.

I asked the guy when I returned it: "so... what's that little box there with the readout". "Oh, it's for the brakes... you know... the brakes on these big trucks". I replied "yes, I know about air brakes, but what's that box *for*"? He's kind of blustery: "it's the brakes, you know... These big truck brakes...". I didn't question further.

I'm pretty sure it isn't for the brakes: it's an add-on box, and brakes are pretty integral. Plus, I don't think a gradually increasing pressure from 70 to 74 would be a good sign.

The question is: what is it? What sneaky data is U-Haul capturing?

And as long as we're on this subject, did you ever notice that Nickelback's song "Leader of Men", when played on the radio, leaves out the half verse that states "Turn your television off, and I will sing a song, and if you happen to have the urge, well you can sing along". It's a conspiracy between the music industry and U-Haul, I tell ya....

I'm going to go make a tin foil hat now.