Errands

Today was an atypically busy day that got going rather early.  And, typically, since I can never seem to get to bed early when I have things to do the next day, I didn’t go to bed until 12:30 this morning (that’s AM for those of you keeping score).

With the Coronavirus going on, the state where I live has been very kind in letting lapsed car inspections go unnoticed (and unticketed) by the various police agencies.  But since that’s not likely to be a situation that’s going to go on forever, I thought it was time to get the vehicle inspected, and on the right side of the law.  I could have had it done a multitude of places, but figured since it was the first time since we leased it last year, I’d get it done at the same ‘flavor’ of dealer where it was gotten (it’s a Nissan, so it needed in my mind to be inspected at a Nissan dealership).

Too, it’s been over a year since we leased it, and we’ve driven it a little under 6000 miles so it was time for an oil change as well.  In theory, it probably should have gotten it a thousand miles ago, but that was over 90 days ago, and coronavirus so, it got pushed back.  Since it is lubricated by synthetic oil, I figure there wasn’t much (if any) problem with waiting for another 800-900 miles, and as it turned out, there wasn’t any mention made at the dealership about the time frame.

Needless to say, when I called last month to get an appointment, I honestly didn’t think they were going to schedule me two freaking weeks ahead.  And of course (timing) it just so happened to be on the day we were needing to go to the chiropractor.  Fortunately, they had an appointment as soon as they opened the doors (8 am) so that’s what I snapped up, since I was going to have to drive 25 miles to get there.  And I’m rather used to being up that early anyway.  So it all worked out.

Usually with this particular dealer, their service department takes it’s sweet time getting things done.  Even relatively straightforward things like oil changes and state inspections.  But with the current situation, there are fewer people around, and less time for doing other things other than work, so I was in and out in just about 30 minutes.  Certainly a record.  And since their labor cost is an ungodly $135.00/hr, I can’t complain about that either.  I was actually back home in under two hours, even with a stop at my local McDonald’s for breakfast.

Round two was going to the chiropractor, in another county up the road.  The route we take is quite scenic, KLWT-map-2020-wineries-only 6meandering up along the east side of Keuka Lake, one of the New York Fingers.  Seeing as I was antsy about being back home in time to collect the wife to get to our appointment, it just so happened to turn out that we had approximately an hour or so between the time I got back, and the time that we had to be leaving.  It’s about a 40 minute drive there, and as it’s summertime, there’s bound to be some construction of some sort on the roads, so we always leave a bit of leeway in travel time.  As with any doctor, there’s bound to be some waiting time, but the way that we manage things, our wait time is never more than 5-10 minutes.  Which is pretty sweet.  Needless to say, since my birthday had been a little while ago, I was due for what they call a ‘scan’, which is a computerized image of my spine, though non-invasive.  I’ve been having them since I started with this chiropractor and they’re a good tool for him to use over the course of the following year to see how well he’s doing with his adjustments, and how well I am doing with my progress in getting better with his assistance.  It doesn’t hurt that my insurance through my union pays some of the cost of the therapy, so all in all, I’d call it a win-win.  Though I’m not terribly sure what I’m going to do when he retires!

Finally, I had a call from the service that my union utilizes for medical issues, that I have to have every month.  Last month I wasn’t able to have the call, since there was a conflict, so it had been rescheduled for 7 in the evening, which wasn’t terribly convenient, but sometimes you just have to do what you can with what’s available.  Beth has been calling pretty promptly, and we’ve developed a rapport over the past 7-8 months we’ve been talking to one another.  I like her style, in that she seems interested in getting me along with the program, not just reading from the book in front of her; she takes notes and follows along with my progress, asking me pointed questions and not just doing things by rote.  With her assistance I’ve managed to lose about 15 lbs, and I look forward to talking to her in the future, and she’s not judgmental.  She understands that there are peaks and valleys, there’s going to be times when I’m not losing weight, or hitting a plateau or whatever, and she’s ok with that.

All in all, it was a pretty full day.  I managed to get to bed at a decent hour, since I needed to be to work the next morning at 8.

Testing out the new equipment

This would be the third dash-cam that I’ve purchased since they became a ‘thing’ several years ago.  The two others I had, died almost immediately after being installed in our various vehicles, they were (for the most part) basic pieces of junk with extremely basic capabilities, but were priced as if they had more ‘oomph’ than they actually did when used in the manner to which they had been advertised.

My wife asked me a couple of months ago if I was interested in getting a dash-cam.  After regaling her with the stories about my previous attempts, she was unswayed so she went ahead and purchased one that was touted to have ‘4K’ video capability, and could use a 128GB micro SD card for storage, allowing about 10 hours of video time either in 3, 5, or 10 minute increments.

Naturally once it had arrived and I went to put it to use, I discovered it really didn’t have the touted 4K capability, it’s a simulated 4K on playback, the guts of the camera can’t produce that quality.  So basically it’s false advertising, but sending it back would mean incurring a shipping fee (they’re going to get you coming or going) so it was better just to make it work and wait a year or so until a new one comes out that actually does have that capability, though I don’t honestly think we need one.

We’ve just gotten back from vacation, and I was testing it out on the road, so to speak.  The first storage card I had for some reason didn’t work, even after I formatted it several times both on my computer and through the unit itself.  For whatever reason once it was used by the unit it was unreadable, so I endeavored to get a new card before we left to go visit family in the Hudson Valley of New York, where I grew up.  Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to get one until we’d been in Poughkeepsie for a day, so I missed out on some decent opportunities to record video of places that were familiar to me, and yes I’m still kicking myself about that.  Too, when I finally did get the card and inserted it into the camera, I completely forgot about formatting the card, and even if I had, I never plugged the unit in so it wouldn’t have recorded anyway.  Took me a few tries before I actually got it to work, and was able to confirm that it was recording by removing the storage card and attaching it through a reader to my smartphone, which was easily able to transcribe the video and play it. vlcsnap-2019-11-18 This is a shot of us going over the Mid-Hudson Bridge (the locals call it that, and always have.  In 1994 it was renamed the ‘Franklin D. Roosevelt Mid-Hudson Bridge‘ in honor of FDR, but like the Tappan Zee downstate being renamed after former Governor Mario Cuomo, it’s still referred to by its old name by anyone local) yesterday morning.  It’s a pretty crisp and clear snapshot from the video, and I doubt anyone could tell the difference between a HD image and a 4K from this vantage point.  I certainly can’t.

I expect it’s going to take a little more trial and error before I’m completely comfortable with having it in the car.  I expect also I’m not going to be recording video daily, although I believe the intent of dashcams is having it on all the time in case something does happen, as one isn’t likely to turn it on just before something unfortunate occurs.  Better safe than sorry, right?  And in the event of an accident, even if it ended up being my fault (anything is possible) it’s better to have evidence just in case something could be seen another way.  So for the time being, it’ll stay in the car.  At least to justify the 10 minutes it took me to install the long power cord along the visor and around the interior in order to hook it into the car’s power system.

Murano (Part 3)

[Heh, I promise this is the last part.]

At any rate, she was unaware of the two distinctions as Doug had not made it clear it was a replacement, not a new vehicle.  She then said that she’d be getting a new card faxed or emailed down to the dealership and in my mind that set off a red flag.  Why did we need a new card immediately if we’re picking up the vehicle in 2 days?  Perhaps Doug had not made it clear to the sales manager that was the case, and that was the reason for all the rush to getting everything ready today.  With that in mind, I told my wife I was going to find the sales manager and set the record straight.  Getting up, I immediately spotted him in his white shirt, with several of the sales guys crowded around him, and set off to the office on my mission.

I approached the office, knocked on the door and inquired if they were prepping the vehicle to be driven home today.  He said yes, and why not?  At that point I saw Doug’s face and he knew he’d forgotten to mention this important point.  Before Doug could say anything, I explained that we’d not been looking to drive the vehicle home, we were interesting in leasing and getting everything nailed down today, and then pick it up in a couple of days on our schedule, not theirs.  The sales manager said that was fine, though I could easily tell from his tone of voice that it wasn’t completely fine, he’d been doing a lot of work in a small amount of time laboring under a misconception.  I told him that it was our fault for not making this more clear, trying to spare Doug a bit of a talking to by someone a bit higher up the food chain, though I expect he still got a little reminder that he needed to be more up front with important information like that.  Again, he’s new, he’ll learn in time about what to communicate and what not to, selling cars like anything is a learning process, so I don’t fault him for a misstep.  Omelettes and breaking eggs,

Having finished with that, we repaired back to Doug’s desk and he apologized profusely for his error and I honestly told him not to worry about it, things happen, and to me it didn’t make a difference much at all.  He’s still got our business, he’s going to make a decent commission (I didn’t mention that, but it’s the truth) and it will all work out in the end.  At that point the sales manager came over with the paperwork and admittedly it’s gotten a bit more streamlined over the last few years.  When we leased the Edge, there was this really long agreement to be signed, along with several other pieces of paper, but this time it was just about five or six pages, along with a form for getting the registration changed, the credit company waiver and so on.  Didn’t take all that long to get it all signed, and then he asked how we were going to handle the down payment.  My wife, without missing a beat, handed him her Discover card.  For the points.

He ran the card back in his office and came back with the receipt, she signed it and we were basically good to go.  The sales manager left and Doug asked me if it was acceptable to get a little doodad that he was planning to send us as a small ‘thank-you’ for our business.  Apparently he’s trying to come up with a unique trinket that he can give to his future customers, as a reminder of the business transaction etc, he explained it was going to be a keychain/bottle opener thing, with the Nissan logo and I think his name on it.  I said that was fine, we’d be happy to accept it.  Not that we were going to probably use it, since the Murano, like the Edge doesn’t have a key, just a fob that’s electronically recognized by the car’s computer, that confirms whoever has the fob has access to control the car’s functions.  And I already have my own keychain that I normally use, so I’ll just be transferring one fob for another, and go on my merry way.  But we have a place to put an extra keychain, and should my current one break or become old, its nice to have another just in case.  So why not?

We left and Doug followed us out to the Edge.  We wished him a good rest of his day, and went on to (finally!) get dinner at Red Lobster.  We’re going to be picking up the new ride on Friday, and that will be a new adventure.