Faithful Steed

We’ve had our Acura SUV for a long time now.  I think it’s a 2011 model, and we bought it new.  We’ve carefully maintained it in conformity with the manufacturer’s instructions, have complied with all dealer notices of needed servicing, have gone through several sets of new tires, and have avoided any major mishaps or accidents aside from a few tiny side door dings.

It’s been a good, reliable car, one that we’ve driven across the country — to Maine and back, and down the east coast, and on a dog delivery trip to Texas, and on other long road trips.  It’s always gotten us to where we want to go, and we use it with confidence.  We’ve gotten attached to it, as people often do with cars.  We haven’t named it, but I’ve enjoyed driving it and how it handles, and I also like the fact that, when I approach the car from the front and see the grillwork, it always looks happy to see me.

But . . . it’s time.  The car has more than 150,000 miles on it, the air conditioning system is on the fritz — which would be a concern if spring and summer ever actually arrive in central Ohio, which admittedly seems unlikely at this point — and when we’ve driven new rental cars we’ve noticed that advances in car technology have left the poor old Acura in the dust.  Whether it’s rear-facing cameras, dashboard computers, or other high-tech gizmos they’re putting into vehicles these days, car companies have made some significant improvements in the last eight years, and we don’t have any of them.

So, it’s time.  Today, we’ll go car shopping for the first time in almost a decade, and take a look at what the auto manufacturers have to offer.  If we find something that strikes our fancy we may trade in Acura for a new model.  But before we do, I want to acknowledge and salute the faithful service of our faithful steed.

That New Copier Smell

Yesterday I went into the combination mailroom/copier room on my floor at the firm to drop off an interoffice envelope.  As I turned the corner, I was happily hit with that indescribable, yet immediately identifiable, new car smell.

IMG_1248There was no new automobile wedged into the little cubbyhole with the mail slots for the people on our floor, of course.  Instead, it was a pristine copier.  Nevertheless, it had that delectable new car smell.  I took a deep whiff and savored the sensation.

What, exactly, makes up the new car smell?  It’s freshly molded plastic, of course, with maybe a little hint of vinyl thrown in.  Whatever it is, precisely, this machine was radiating the delicious perfume that every new car owner relishes and wants to preserve for as long as possible.  It smelled great.  Who doesn’t want to be reminded of the last time they bought a new car, straight from the factory?

Soon the copier will lose that heady aroma, just as new cars do, and will go back to having no smell at all.  Until then, I’m guessing that the copier room will be a very popular spot for the people on our floor.  In fact, now that I think of it, I’m going to have to drop off a few more of the those interoffice envelopes.

Getting To Know Our New iMac

After a few weeks of trying to make do with just Richard’s old laptop, I broke down today and bought a new iMac.  I was just afraid that Richard’s laptop, which already has no battery power and is somewhat battered, was going to break down.  Given that computers have become my main informational resource, I thought we just couldn’t do without one.

I’m enjoying the wireless keyboard and the magic mouse, which are big improvements in my book.  The screen is a bit bigger, which is nice for my aging eyeballs.  There are some weird new icons on the desktop, though, and I can’t yet figure out how to access the stuff that was on the hard drive of our old computer.  That will just have to be a new project.

There’s a kind of “getting to know you” period when you get a new computer, even if it is just a newer model of the kind of computer you had before.  (In our case, a much newer model.)  It’s like getting a new car.  For a while you have to figure out where the windshield wipers are, and how to program the radio to your favorite stations.  The things fall into place and the car, or the computer, become as familiar and comfortable as an old shoe.