Car lights and cloudy days

A calling

gray carMy wife and I were going to meet a couple of friends on Labor Day for ice cream at a local emporium. But her hybrid vehicle’s car failed to start. Why it didn’t is a bit of a mystery. If she had left the car lights on or failed to turn off the vehicle – much easier to do than with the cars I grew up with – the car would have “told” her.

In any case, our friends came to our house, armed with cups of frozen desserts. We sat and watched the AAA fellow recharge the vehicle. I keep forgetting that they now carry portable chargers rather than having to jump it using another car.

My wife with one of our friends drove off to make sure the car’s charge held. The other friend and I sat on the porch. The situation reminded me of something I used to do in Binghamton, NY growing up in the 1960s.

Binghamton is cloudy and sometimes rainy. So a lot of people would accidentally leave their car lights when they parked. I took it upon myself to open the driver’s side door and turn off the lights. I must have done this over a thousand times in my life. One day coming home from high school, I  turned off at least a dozen lights.

The open-door policy

Obviously, all of these cars were unlocked because that was the norm at the time. The number of cars I could not open because the door was locked was at most one in 20.

I don’t know what possessed me to do this. It was a calling, a mission. I’d cross the street to do it. Maybe my parents left their car lights on. But I have no specific memory of that. I even tried to do this in Jamaica, Queens in 1977, but the guy came back and thought I was trying to steal his car. Only rarely have I tried that since mostly because almost no one keeps their cars unlocked.

BTW, my friend had never done this. Have any of you?

Speaking of car lights, one of the things my wife and I agree upon is visibility. When it’s gray and overcast or raining, cars without their lights are difficult to see. But the ones that are silver/gray are the worst.

Everything takes longer than I think

dancing snowman

snowmanExcept for the fortnightly link post, I’ve all but stopped blogging in the past couple weeks. There are several reasons for this:

UNO. I’ve started to do genealogical research. It’s very interesting, but it is a massive time suck. In addition to Ancestry.com, I’ve gotten my results from 23andMe. These have lead me onto some fascinating journeys. I’ve since gotten trials with Archives.com and Newspapers.com, and tripped over more things.

The curse when you find one piece of information is that it’s difficult to decide which one to pursue next. Something about high, low road, and Scotland. Do you go for depth or breadth in a certain area?

I wrote a blog post about my findings. I’m going to have to rewrite that one and create another one, or two.

DOS. I had end of the year financial insurance stuff to do. It’s stuff where frankly, MEGO. This, in particular, is the source of the title Everything takes longer than I think.

TRES. I’ve had technological problems. It generated a “well, stuff happens” post. But then one of them became a major snafu. One element is that I’m unable to print from my copier, which has made the first two items on this list incrementally more difficult. So I need to rewrite TWO more posts.

CUATRO. The holidays. It’s hard for me to write when there are people I love in the house. Blogging is a solitary task, and I don’t want to be up in the office when the family is up and about.

This post, BTW, I wrote after I woke up at 3 a.m. Thank goodness for my vaunted writing ahead. About a month ago, I had 55 completed posts. Now I have, ostensibly, 42, and probably fewer since I’ll have to recreate a few. This is not a complaint, just a fact.

A legitimate use of Q-Tips

So expect a lot of movies reviews in the beginning of 2020, four movies I saw in December I haven’t even had time to evaluate.

Lest this entirely become navel-gazing, I want to point out Arthur’s solution to a corrosive problem: “I worked out that one of the batteries had leaked, and, I thought, that was that: I’d have to replace the unit.

“But then I decided to Google it to see if there was a way to clean the contacts, and there is: White vinegar or lemon juice removes the battery gunge from the contact—or so the Internet told me. And, it actually did. I put the batteries in again, and the unit worked perfectly.”

I did exactly the same thing with my daughter’s dancing snowman that she loved as a child. Fortunately, she didn’t play 14 times in a row, the way she used to.