Sunday, September 22, 2013

A surprisingly big step...

Things have been humming along quite rapidly of late. The LA's work schedule has been interesting, and for one reason and another she's currently not driving much if at all. Since my car is currently on limited service pending the replacement of the tailpipe (which, having been bent by backing into a kerb by the previous owner, was always going to fail first) which began shedding chunks the other day, her lack of driving isn't a major imposition; it merely means I'm driving her car, a Prius v. The Prius is a perfectly sensible car, and frankly rather boring; it never does anything hoon-worthy, and being front-wheel-drive, is less than wonderful in twisty bits. My favourite freeway exit is less amusing in the Prius than the Volvo, since the Volvo allows me to steer using my right foot; the Prius is boringly stuck to the road.

Anyway, things have been going along at such a clip that merely ferrying the LA back and forth to work has been accounting for many spoons (essentially, two commutes daily; another reason to drive the Prius, especially since I've developed the ability to exceed the EPA-listed fuel economy in just about any car I drive) and such things as washing the cars have been pushed to the back burner. Yesterday, though, it rained, for the morning, and that resulted in two things; first, I cleaned out the problem gutter, it having been left uncleaned since last year. It turns out that I can confidently state there were about 5 years' worth of autumns in there before; it was MUCH less clogged this year, and I left it as sparkling as was possible given its internal rust. We shall have to replace it at some point, and make sure the replacement is properly painted internally. The second result of the rain was to wash off the dust and pollen from our cars, and while they're not squeaky clean, they ARE now mostly clean.

And that led to the LA deciding to put the Baby On Board magnet into the Prius. She also had me fit the base into which the car seat clips; this was very simple, since I'd actually read the instructions. Set the correct angle, clip the LATCH connectors onto the hardpoints (for those of you in Europe, that corresponds mostly to ISOFIX; they're not exactly identical, but they are largely compatible) and then set a knee on it, force it into the seat, and haul on the tightening strap as though you're hoisting the mainsail. It's solidly connected, which means our impending daughter does have at least one safe transport option once she arrives. She's still due on the LA's birthday (one day before my mother's birthday; what is it with me and women with late-November births?) but if she shows up a little early, we can at least bring her home in safety.

We've also begun packing our hospital bag. The usual toiletries, changes of clothes, device chargers, and so on. We've figured out how best to drive to the hospital, which routes to take and how hard I can get away with hammering the loud pedal at each stage; for that journey, fuel economy will be a non-issue. I've decided to make sure both cars have plenty of fuel at all times, so there's one less thing to worry about.

Going back to the status of my car, the replacement tailpipe is on its way from a warehouse on the other side of the country, since Volvo USA have decided that exhaust parts for cars old enough to vote aren't worth selling. Given my prejudices' incompatibility with the range of Volvos available in the US currently (I dislike turbochargers, front-wheel-drive, and the practice of lifting the suspension of a car six inches and covering half of the bodywork with plastic in order to pretend it's an SUV; Volvo don't sell a damned thing without a turbo, they're effectively all front-wheel-drive, and the only estate they sell now has been lifted and clad) I suspect they're trying to lose me as a customer. Such is life; I shall look for a well-paying job, as the vehicle which most closely matches my preferences on the US market right now is a BMW.

1 comment:

  1. Well, congratulations to you both!

    I only just found your blog many years after UserFriendly and discover you're expecting - great news!

    And good luck finding a sane car in the US. The market over there is, odd.


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