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lt has been a month so I figured I’d talk about the new car, give it a review. And then this week was full of NYT and Tesla arguing like internet n00bs (proving, even if you are the NYT and CEO of a medium-sized company, someone on the internet is wrong).
Let’s recap my views on the Tesla… I thought it was silly and expensive. While C likes bleeding edge technology, I’d rather wait until someone else dealt with the bugs before getting mine. Since I write (err, fix) bugs for a living, well, I understand that it just takes awhile before things are solid.
Also, it is an expensive car. Really, really expensive. We could use that money for something else. Something worthwhile. Maybe three normal cars that we juggle in the backyard using our giant robot.
More than a year ago, I tried to get a friend to convince C it was silly to put down the deposit on a car that wouldn’t ship for a year and would be on the gushing bleeding edge. Said so-called friend told us he’d already put down his deposit; my hope for rationality was quashed.
Then it was like a game of chicken. I figured C would use his refundable deposit to have a stake in watching things. It would be amusing to him. And we’d never go through with it. Because, wouldn’t it be better to have a giant car juggling robot? Or something?
In the end, it is much cheaper to buy the car than to put my foot down and have my husband be unhappy. Clearly, I am a pushover for him.
But I wasn’t entirely a pushover for Tesla.
I didn’t like that Tesla isn’t a car company. While I don’t like the car lots or the dealers, I understand the process. Tesla isn’t that and I’m not confident I can navigate the shoals of an up-and-coming car manufacturer. Plus, I saw Tucker. I know how this story can end. (The Tesla has side headlights that come on when you turn, highlighting where you are pointing. It was eerily familiar after the Tucker movie. Also, quite amusing.)
Tesla did not help their case during the decision-making process. We went to one of their test drive extravaganzas, with balloons, soft-serve ice cream, a DJ, and the opportunity for one of us to drive the car on windy roads while the other one tries not to throw up on the super-expensive backseat. I hated the whole event. I was frustrated I couldn’t talk to the salesfolk because the music was so stupidly loud. I declined to ride along as I tend to get car sick and already knew the road they were taking; it wasn’t going to end well for anyone. I generally made my husband unhappy with my complete crankiness. But he still enjoyed test driving the car.
I was worried that we’d get the car and I’d still be cranky: unable to drive it for fear of hurting it, unable to look at it without thinking how many hours we’d have to work to pay it off, unable to ever bond with something that financially irresponsible.
It took two days. Maybe less. We got the car on Saturday, took it for a long drive, had annoying problems (had to stop at a gas station! oh, the chagrin!) and eventually came home with me liking the car but not loving it (also, slightly carsick). I didn’t drive it until Sunday and then only to pop to the library and back: boring, even in a nice car.
The next day, I took friends out to lunch in it. I accelerated outrageously and cornered hard (I <heart> freeway on-ramps). I showed them the frunk (front trunk). They oooh’d and aaaah’d over the utterly ridiculous retracting door handles. We talked about the car always having a full tank when it leaves the house. They played with the sunroof. I showed them the adorable key (vroom, vrooom!).
In showing them the sweetness of the car, I somehow realized I’d fallen for the Tesla.
It’s name is Electron.
C says it is too dirty for a photo shoot, I’ll just take a picture I’ve been thinking about for awhile…
Does anyone have 30-60 hamsters I can borrow? I think that will be even funnier.
Beagles don’t live in the wild and I know why.
The first time we took Zoe to the vet for “gastric distress” due to “dietary indiscretions”, we felt like terrible puppy parents. We should have known. Because she enthusiastically wanted to play ball (even as she was vomiting), we thought she’d just eaten too much grass (which she seems to do because she likes to barf).
When the vet used the term “dietary indiscretion”, it strongly reminded us of the politician who belittled his hypocritical immorality by calling it a “youthful indiscretion”. Both terms have this feeling of joyful breaking of the normal rules. This completely describes our beagle.
And Zoe does like to eat things. Really, anything is fine.
Last week, while I was in class, my husband sent me a dog shaming photo of Zoe. If you haven’t seen dog shaming before, you really should follow the link. Dogs are terrible creatures. And putting signs around their neck has really made their bad behavior a lot easier to take. I wrote a post-it note for Bear a few days ago (my first) and it made his annoying behavior humorous. Which them made it easier to deal with, which is to say, distract them from the badness, interest them in something non-destructive.
So, while we’re read the site for awhile, we’re new to actually shaming the dogs. I think this was C’s first attempt.
One important thing, though… like they used to say on America’s Funniest Home Videos, if someone is actually in danger, put down the camera and help.
Sugarless gum is poisonous to dogs. It is the Xylitol sweetener. Oh, and before I go on… Zoe is fine. Bear is fine. But it was a harrowing time.
After taking the picture and then perusing the internet, C rushed both dogs to the emergency vet. Where Zoe got to barf, probably even more than she liked. Bear also participated in that part but all evidence suggests he didn’t eat the gum (poor Bear, punished but not even an accomplice).
Zoe did show some of the poisoning signs (low blood sugar) and was in the hospital for 48 hours. However, thanks to C’s fast action, she was out of the woods pretty quickly and doesn’t show signs of liver damage (yay!). While in the hospital, she wiggled when she shouldn’t have and they broke a needle in her so there is a quarter inch of 30 gauge wire floating around. While that sounds horrible, it is probably not going to harm her.
Harrowing times… but all dogs are home and happy. They haven’t even deserved shaming today. Yet.
George was a good pet. He ate a lot but took us all over. Here is George, munching.
C and I spent a lot of time in him. Let’s just say it was about 100 hours (7102 miles, we didn’t go 90mph always… there was the occasional construction and some traffic and that hideous 40 minute drive to go 4 miles in Boston).
This is what C looked like for most of that time. (Though this is Donner Pass, toward the end of the trip.)
George had a decent sound system so we listened to music and books. He also heated seats (really only useful in Boston) and separate driver/passenger temperature controls (normally set to the same temperature but the first twenty minutes of being in the car were always different so separate controls is a new high-want feature for future cars). We normally put the back seats down but left the front seats up, filled with backpacks, jackets, shoes, small ice chest, snack bag, trash bag, and box of kleenex.
When we had our brother- and sister-in-law in Boston and their travel cases (larger than ours though they were only in Boston for a weekend, I will be teasing someone about that), it was a tight squeeze. But we did all fit ok, probably could have fit one more (small) person (but not their luggage).
We could have slept in George but we never needed to. It was nice to have the backup option. I don’t think we could have slept *comfortably* but that is ok, it was like backup plan S.
With 17 mpg city and 24 mpg highway, George could have been slightly hungrier. Or we could have driven slower to get the highway number more consistently. It is a far cry from our normal Prius milage. Actually, going back to the Prius has been a bit jarring. It is more than ten years old and while a decent non-luxurious car, it doesn’t have much pickup (comparatively, no acceleration) and the cloth seats feel cheap. Of course, it is dusty and needs a tune up (two lights on the dash are on!). And it doesn’t even have a name. Sad.
At the zoo? Yes! Chicago was awesome in lots of ways but this is was the best. And if you are going to skip this post, go down to the bottom and watch the video. I promise, totally worth it.
Anyway, we stayed across the street from Lincoln Park in Chicago, a huge lakeside park, filled with ponds, wildlife, a conservatory, a farm, a large number of dogs and a zoo. We walked around last night, saw lots of things in the ponds and the sun falling on the skyline. The zoo was closed, of course, so was the conservatory and somehow we circumnavigated the farm without ever seeing it (well, C mentioned seeing a red barn but I figured that was a restaurant). We walked through the Lily Pad garden, visiting a family of ducks, worried they’d close the wrought iron gates on us since we were a little after the posted closing time (they didn’t).
So I got up for my morning walkies this morning. It was bright, really bright. But my sunglasses were far and the elevators a bit slow. At 6:30am, it wasn’t that bad. And I was groggy since I haven’t adjusted to the new time zone (Central). Sun was going to be a good thing.
I walked around the nature boardwalk. I casually snuck up on a dog owner with a beagle and gave it a quick cuddle (happy it was a friendly one instead of some aloof ones I could name, it was totally a good one). But the nature walk went on and one, paralleling and crossing over a stream. I got to a point there I wasn’t sure which was I should go so I went through some wrought iron gates, they were open and maybe led to a new garden.
Not so much. Instead it led to animals! I kept thinking someone would kick me out but joggers kept jogging by, unconcerned. So I stopped my furtive picture taking and started to really enjoy the zoo. The free zoo. The free zoo nearly devoid of people and full of animals enjoying the early morning sunshine.
Ok, so I saw some white lipped deer, a giant goat (takin), some trumpter swans, and some camels. Also, a ton of ducks, geese, squirrels, sparrows, and robins.
And then there were kangaroos. Bouncing kangaroos. Oh my goodness, they look ridiculous. And somehow I recorded them upsidedown? Ok, I’ll leave it here, turn your head or something…
One jogger stopped, kind of suddenly, and said, “I lived in Australia for six months and I never saw a kangaroo hop.”
That made me feel a little better when the ‘roos were eating and rolling on their backs, showing their fuzzy tummies, when I got C (but I spent more than an hour before I met up with him).
There were plenty of exhibits that weren’t open or had animals that weren’t visit. The zebras were a bit of a disappointment because I could see one’s back end in the doorway at the back of the enclosure. It surprised me when I continued to walk, and there were a bunch more. The funny thing was when C came and we re-covered the ground, nearly the same thing happened to him.
As he was admiring the stripey-ness, I looked around and saw something dark, in a display I hadn’t even noticed in my earlier tour. OMG, a great apt! I actually clapped my hands and giggled in excitement. It took awhile to get a good picture but I loved watching him move around, surveying his territory.
He was so close. Though there was a thick window between us. Chris showed me an article about giving ipads to apes to help them communicate and how incredibly effective it was, especially for the younger, tech savvy animals. I was flabbergasted until I got to the line about the zookeeper “letting the orangutans use iPads last summer, based on the suggestion of someone who had used the devices with dolphins”. Whaaaaat?!? That is so very cool. But how to the dolphins keep the ipad dry? And what is in their Netflix queue? The questions are endless.
Ok, back before C got there, I had seen the lion. He was so cool. I mean, really, really cool. Alpha predators are just energizing, you know? When C got there, he was mostly asleep. But one thing we both noticed, the lion moves and acts like a cat. I mean, like our house cats. The tail flick, the glare of derision, the plotting to kill you right after this nap, it was all there. I could see how people forget they are dangerous animals who could eat you as a snack.
C also missed the wolves. They were in the kids area. Which was empty, except for me and the wolves. They were behind a fence so the pics aren’t very good. Like the lion, though, they reminded me very strongly of the the pets. One of them scritched behind its ear with precisely the same canine enjoyment that Bear (the 8lb malti-poo). And the sign’s puppy made me think of Zoe when she howled along with me as I sang Happy Birthday to C one year.
Some of the animals seem to have escaped their cages. I don’t think this belonged right outside one of the bear exhibits. Whascally Whabbit!
C didn’t get to see the wolves but I almost didn’t walk by the rhinos again. But I would have been wrong. The rhinos had just gotten fed!
Ok, I’m almost done, I won’t show you all the other pictures of duckie families, the OCD leopard, the seals, the puma that made C say he never wanted to hike the Santa Cruz mountains ever again. C found all the other big cats, I had missed so much on the first pass. I could go every morning for a week. We almost spent our extra-Yellowstone-day and stayed in Chicago. I mean, I didn’t even tell you about the food (fantastic), the architecture (I knew it would be great but we didn’t actually get to look at it much), or the hotel (book Hotel Lincoln now before everyone else figures out it is the best).
However, I promised one final, better than everything else video. This it the lion roaring (and it is right side up!). Watch it. Well, let it cue up and then watch it.
Yes, the background sound you hear is an exercise class being held in front of the lion cage. I’d roar too, if I was the lion. Think how motivating that would be.