Slice of life

I walked past a 90s Buick. It had a broken rear bumper, the side trim was ripped off at the front, one of the tires was flat, one wheel had been replaced with the spare, one of the tail lights was broken, and there were patches of rust on the bodywork. The alarm was sounding loudly. Wouldn’t want anyone to steal it, after all.

Rite of passage

Last night, the spouse hit a kerb. Didn’t think anything of it. This afternoon, she went to drive to the museum, and discovered we had a flat tire. I tried re-inflating it to see how badly punctured it was. Once the pressure reached around 10psi there was an audible hissing noise, and the tire went flat in about 5 minutes. So, no going anywhere on that. Hence, I have just changed a tire on a car, for the first time in my life.

My assimilation is complete

I just rinsed, washed, dried and waxed the car, lovingly, by hand. Of course, there are three reasons to wax a car: To make it easier to clean later. To help protect it from acid rain, chemicals in puddles, and other hazards of fall driving. To make it really, really shiny. At least two of these seem to be legitimate reasons to spend time waxing a big metal toy, if one is about to drive several thousand miles in it.

Now it can be told

My Prius arrived! Three days ahead of the most optimistic estimate! Now it’s purchased, time to tell the whole story… I started the search on September 16th. Calling the local Massachusetts Toyota dealers quickly established that they all had ridiculous wait lists; the best wait time I was quoted was a year. However, the situation wasn’t completely hopeless—according to the online forums like and, dealers often get cars that are a color or a package that nobody on their wait list wants, or nobody on the list who wants the car can get financed at that particular moment in time.

Tension mounts

There’s a Prius being shipped from Japan to New Hampshire that has my name on it.


Greg Buell, inventor of the electric windmill car, is single. Apparently his last girlfriend left him, on orders from a mysterious General Orwell, and for some reason he hasn’t found a new girlfriend yet. Most of his web site consists of what appears to be poetry of some kind, with titles like Mother Teresa’s Super Computer and No Hospital Ship Aircraft Carriers Ever Never Ever Never. The curious thing is the lucidity of his vacation diary…