Recovery Day

Following the reunion excesses of yesterday evening, at least one member of our party wasn’t feeling quite a hundred percent when morning came knocking. Unfortunately, Bets’s cleaner was also due to come knocking at about 8:30 AM so slacking was not an option. Getting out of bed and donning some clothes was necessary. Aren’t vacuum cleaners loud after a night on the sauce?

Other than moving around the house to make way for cleaning efforts, Keith drove me into Tomales, mainly to pick up the mail but also to see just how small it really is.

Keith and Marlene have a new car, a Buick Lucerne. It may not be battery powered and, being a chunky V8, it may not seem to care greatly about burning a reasonable amount of fossil fuel, but, like the Camry hybrid, it does has a disturbing amount of technology. Naturally there is a satellite navigation system. Most people couldn’t find their own backside without one, these days. Not only does it have heated seats (which I personally don’t particularly like them ‘cos they make you feel as if you’ve wet yourself) but this car’s seats are also air-conditioned. Once again, I’d like to live in a country that feels that car seats need to be cooled. It comes with General Motor’s Onstar roadside assistance system which seems to give one-touch warm body assistance whenever required; a sort of personalised, private AA or RAC. If you are unlucky enough to be involved in an accident, Onstar knows and, knowing your GPS coordinates, dispatches the emergency services. This seems like grand use of technology.

Start the Buick Lucerne from teh comfort of your own living room The car has a trick I’ve never seen anywhere else: while the car is locked, you can start it remotely. Now there’s useful. Apparently the car will sit there burbling happily to itself, as V8s tend to do, and, depending upon temperature, will fire up the air-conditioning or heating, together with seat temperature adjustment to make things comfortable for you. Once having started it, however, you cannot remotely stop it. It is necessary to open the car, get in and use the key that you didn’t use to start it to turn it off. Weird! Why can’t I turn it off remotely, too?

We didn’t remotely fire up the new Buick but left it to rest after its arduous cross-country journey. Instead we took the hybrid Camry for a relaxing trip down Tomales Bay to let Keith and Marlene visit Point Reyes Station. We had a reviving lunch in an open-air cafe after which, the member of our party that did not feel on top form early in the morning, felt much better.

I must say, Keith and Marlene’s car is very impressively clean for one that has just been driven from Virginia to California. I wonder if the car cleans itself, too. We have self-cleaning ovens; self-cleaning cars would be a real bonus.

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