Frantic preparation

I leave for Europe on Sunday, and tomorrow is Jeffrey’s Walkathon (school fundraiser), so time is beginning to feel compressed. 

But I just talked with a friend who was just diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma and who will be starting a six-month course of chemo and radiation treatment next week — that’s a far less gentle way of having your priorities reordered than just needing to prepare for a trip!

Dress Casual

For most of my trip, my daily casual attire is going to be quite adequate (assuming I pack for the dead of winter — it’s going to be twenty degrees cooler there than it is here!), but we are having a dinner at the Mercedes-Benz Museum, for which a jacket is required.  The only jackets I have are part of a suit, and I didn’t really want to drag along suit pants which I wouldn’t wear the rest of the time, so yesterday, Diane and I zipped over to the local branch of the Men’s Wearhouse to buy a blazer.

That was easy and painless — they showed me four, I liked one, and I was done.  Then they asked what shirt I was going to wear with it, and I said “this one” (pointing to my trusty LL Bean buttondown).  They said that I could, of course, wear anything I liked, but suggested that my choice was less-than-optimal and wouldn’t I like to take a look at shirts which might be more consistent with the blazer?

Thirty minutes later, I walked out of the store with two mock turtlenecks, one tie, one shirt to go with the tie, and a receipt for two pairs of slacks and the blazer, to be picked up Saturday after they’d been altered.

I guess I’ll bring a bigger suitcase.

Technology — a fruitful source of new ways for things to go wrong

My Saab 9-5 has a sophisticated anti-theft system built-in, which extends to the special key and the remote opener.  One of our remotes developed a problem, and we were unable to use it to lock the car (the other functions worked fine, so I suspect it was a loose microswitch on the remote), so today, when I brought the car to the dealer, I brought the bad remote, too, and asked them to fix it.

I picked up the car a few hours later and the remote worked fine, so I gave it back to Diane.  Then when we were ready to go to services, I used my key and — the car wouldn’t start.  Instead, there was a message on the display:  “Key not recognized”.  I tried again, with the same result.  And I discovered that my remote was completely ignored, too.  But Diane’s remote and key work fine.  So I guess when the dealer replaced the remote, they also reprogrammed the car and Diane’s key to match the new remote, thereby disenfranchising my key, at least till I get back to the dealer to get it all fixed.

This sort of thing never happened when I owned a Pinto.