Tuesday, July 21, 2009


I've been meaning to call "Click" and "Clack" from "Car Talk" on NPR for a while now. You see, "my" 2005 Honda Pilot mysteriously won't start every once in a while. Yes, it has been to the Honda dealer-numerous times. Each time they either say there is nothing wrong with it that they can find, or they decide to order expensive and distant parts such as a new relay system, or in another visit, a new VTM-Lock thingy. Well, I am pretty sure that was the technical term.

Whether we use technical terms or not, the bottom line is, the car is NOT reliable. Not only does it not start, but on two occasions, it stalled out on my while driving along. For anyone who has experienced this, including the accompanying obscene hand gestures and glares from motorists who are forced to go around the dead car with me in it, you can relate.

It got so bad that the last time it went into "the shop" (now I think I know why they call it that, while you are awaiting to reclaim your clunker for the umpteenth time, you start thinking of buying one of the shiny new working cars on the floor so you don't have to spend as much time in the dealership), I told my husband that either we got me a different car, or else I took the other car for all time and "the next time it breaks down, we sell it, no argument."

So, wouldn't you know, yesterday, after playing tennis at a public park which was 1.5 miles away (sure, Mapquest says 1.37, but that is in the middle of the park and the tennis courts are of course, farther) we got into the steamy vehicle only to have it not start. We waited. I tried again, it didn't start. Hubby has a theory that the key immobilizer has something to do with it not starting, so, in desperation, I tried locking and unlocking it. A few times. No dice. Finally I called him and asked him what he proposed I do. I could call AAA to tow it, but to where? The last four or five times it was towed to the dealer, didn't seem to do much for its record of reliability. So, we had words, and I told him that I (ok, "we", Thing 2 had a friend over) were just going to walk back home-uphill most of the way...

Sure enough, later that night, I dropped Hubby off to "deal with the car." Wouldn't you know it started right up? Undeterred, I stood my ground and said I had pint-sized witnesses. Hubby blamed my paranoid habit of locking the car doors, for why the car hadn't started earlier. I countered that in fact, it was the one time I hadn't locked the car because it was literally in front of the court we were playing on. Rather than get in it with him, I agreed to drive the unreliable car home so he could get gas in his car, and I told him that if the car died on the way home I would be serving him with divorce papers. Luckily for him and me, I made it home and have the other car in my possession now. I won't be lulled into the fact that the car seems to be working fine for a month or two to make me take it back. I am sticking to my "guns."

How many of you think that Hubby should give in and get rid of this clunker like I do? Never mind my calling "Click" and "Clack" because I won't even trust what they say either now.

Thursday, July 9, 2009


Like a gazillion other folks, I just purchased the new Iphone 3GS. It is my first experience in the world of Iphone. I have to say, so far, I am pretty 'appy.'

That's right. My Iphone finally arrived on Monday morning. It was actually really easy to set up-even I could do it without assistance from Tech support (i.e., The Hubby, who, I think was disappointed to be so dispensible-he kept claiming I shouldn't get the Iphone since he doesn't have one and therefore doesn't know how it works and thus, couldn't help with my inevitable 52 million questions). So far, I have downloaded 12 additional apps. All but two of them were free and the two I paid for were ninety nine cents each. The first one is called Newspapers and allows me access to the top 50 newspapers in the world, constantly updated, all for a onetime fee of ninety nine cents. No wonder all those newspapers are going out of business. I told Hubby I was going to download it, though it cost ninety nine cents. He said "why don't you think about it overnight and decide in the morning?" I said, too late I already downloaded it!" I almost instantaneously started chuckling at all of the Brit Wit I had missed reading from The Guardian's Life & Style page (we lived in The UK for three years).

Today, after reading the New York Times Personal Technology section (yes out of the actual paper I subscribe to, though I now see why the temptation to cancel it abounds...) I read about Grocery IQ which helps you manage and customize a shopping list, including ordering it to reflect the order of products in your local store (as if I only shop at one store for all things, ha!). Of course, I immediately decided I needed to invest the ninety nine cents to get that app. Don't worry, I decided to sleep on the Cardsmart app (or some similar name) that allows you to scan pictures of your store discount cards and then scan your iphone at the store, avoiding carrying a million store discount cards. The sad truth is that I am used to carrying them around on my keychain now, and based on my ability to somehow have a cellphone that dies because I didn't think to charge it, with my luck, my Iphone would die before I got to the register and then no card, no discount...

I even found a free app that supposedly makes a sound that mosquitos don't like but we can't hear. I don't know if it will work, but hey it is free, might as well try it. I will have to remember to make sure that my phone is fully charged. I wouldn't want it to die, leaving me to be a mosquito buffet due to poor planning on my part. That is, if I ever dine out side this summer. So far, the chances have been few and far between. Cold and rainy appears to be here to stay, oh well, I will stay in and play-with my Iphone.