The paint color on the dining room walls is growing me. Houseplants help. Still not ready to put up photos.
Bienvenido, Zenil family – thanks for the great Christmas visit! And au revoir, 2011!
The boot rack is functional, and assembly was easy. However, it looks quite a bit more like an upside-down side table than I expected it to.
Also, I’m going to disable comments from here on out. I literally have to sort through hundreds of spam messages for every single legitimate comment. I love you guys, but it’s not worth it. I also use marykennon as my Gmail handle. Most if not all of you have my phone number. Send me a comment on paper, and I might just retype it into the site that way. But I’ve given my last minute to the genuine imitation Rolex people.
I have a new DIY project – a boot rack. I’d hoped to have before and after pictures to put up, but the stain on the sundry pieces hasn’t dried yet, so I’m holding off on final assembly. The idea is to set dowels in a base so that the shafts can hang straight, and top them with finials to keep the heels shaped. We’ll see.
I’ve really felt the days getting shorter this month. Or maybe it’s just that I’ve been busy…
So a few weeks back, I got a new car, a 2011 Nissan Altima:
Up until this week, I’ve had nothing but good things to say about it. I have, however, discovered a serious design flaw. Like all late-model Nissans, it starts with an electronic key. There’s a manual key hidden inside that you can use to lock the glove box when you hand the main key off to the valet, but you can’t actually start the car with it. Instead, you put the electronic key in your purse or briefcase or what-have-you, where it communicates wirelessly with the car’s computer. The upside is that you don’t have to drag it out to unlock the doors or start the car.
The downside is that if any one of about a dozen links in the chain fails, you can’t start the car. Worse, you can’t even tell which link is the broken one. At least, that was the case for me this past Wednesday. I had a court appearance the next county over, about half an hour from home base. When I came back out to the parking lot, the little key recognition tell-tale didn’t light, and the car wouldn’t start. There’s a backup slot where you can plug the key in if the battery is weak, but that didn’t help. Still, it seemed like the battery was the most likely (and most fixable) fail point, so I got a spare at the next-door drug store. Still no go.
My next thought was that the key itself was damaged. A strong enough magnetic field, or a hot enough day, or an errant bead of condensation would do it. My spare house key had gone missing, so I got an office secretary to come out and pick me up so that I could unlock my house and get the spare car key, then take me back. Still no go. At that point, there was no alternative but to call the dealer, arrange a tow, and thank heavens I was still under warranty.
The dealer concluded that the computer had locked up, and so did a hard restart, the kind where they disconnect the backup power supply and you lose everything from your trip meter to your radio presets. Nissan central says that this is a known problem with this model, and although they don’t know what causes it, “nobody has ever reported it twice.” That’s not encouraging; the 2011 model years haven’t been out long enough for any kind of meaningful history to have accrued. The next time this happens could very well be some dark and stormy night, two hours from home and out from under warranty.
So, Nissan engineers, the lessons are this (1) if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, and (2) if it’s a really critical system, provide an emergency override.
I’m 30. I must say, I kinda like it so far. Thanks, friends and family.
If Sleep and Death be truly one,
And every spirit’s folded bloom
Thro’ all its intervital gloom
In some long trance should slumber on;
Unconscious of the sliding hour,
Bare of the body, might it last,
And silent traces of the past
Be all the colour of the flower:
So then were nothing lost to man;
So that still garden of the souls
In many a figured leaf enrolls
The total world since life began;
And love will last as pure and whole
As when he loved me here in Time,
And at the spiritual prime
Rewaken with the dawning soul.
Thy voice is on the rolling air;
I hear thee where the waters run;
Thou standest in the rising sun,
And in the setting thou art fair.
What art thou then? I cannot guess;
But tho’ I seem in star and flower
To feel thee some diffusive power,
I do not therefore love thee less:
My love involves the love before;
My love is vaster passion now;
Tho’ mix’d with God and Nature thou,
I seem to love thee more and more.
Far off thou art, but ever nigh;
I have thee still, and I rejoice;
I prosper, circled with thy voice;
I shall not lose thee tho’ I die.
- Alfred Lord Tennyson, “In Memoriam A.H.H.”, XLIII, CXXX