I picked up my Tesla on Friday, the 20th. It came much faster than I expected, so I had to scramble a bit to get enough funds liquidated and into my bank account, but everything went smoothly. Daryl took me to the Tesla Delivery and Service Center for my 2:00 appointment. It was a nerve wracking drive home because I was in rush hour traffic and I was afraid someone would hit me. I had had a dream two nights earlier that I got into an accident a mile from the delivery center. I’m happy to say, everyone stayed in their own lanes and I made it without mishap.

Daryl followed me home and went over a lot of features that are accessed through the touch screen. He helped me set up the automatic garage door opener, and a temporary 110v outlet for charging. Over the next few days, he has been a go-to answer guru, and assures me “it’s fun!” and that I’m not bothering him with my barrage of questions. We are having a good time exploring the ins and outs of Tesla ownership together.

I contacted an electrician about installing a 240v outlet in my garage, and he came out and gathered information, taking several pictures. He sent me an estimate later in the day that gave me sticker shock. He wanted $850! Both Daryl and Richard thought that was too high, and Richard said if I can wait until the weather is a little cooler (using the 110v outlet temporarily, or plugging into my dryer outlet for occasional quicker charge), he would be willing to install the outlet for me. He has done a lot of electrical work and knows what is required. That should save me $400-600. I think I’ll have to bake a lot of cookies and brownies to pay him and Daryl for their work! The temporary 110v charging is working for me. I just keep it plugged in whenever I’m home, and I’ve had a full battery every morning.

Maybe I’ll clean up my garage while Richard and Daryl are installing the outlet. ;-)

I still need to get the windows tinted, and Tesla is going to fix three microscopic paint imperfections in a couple of weeks. I’m amazed they are willing to fix something so small. If I don’t have a dozen road dings of my own by then, I’ll be lucky.

    

All in all, I’m thrilled with the car. It was a lot of money, but you can’t put a price on happiness, and it sure makes me happy to zip around in this! And it’s a nice feeling to know I’m helping save the planet. Rides, anyone?

Over two years ago, Tesla announced they would begin building a more affordable model to add to its existing line of premium high-priced all electric cars. In late March of 2016, they posted a website where you could put down a (refundable) $1000 deposit to secure your place in line on the waiting list, with expectation it would be approximately two years before the first Model 3′s would roll off the assembly line and into dealerships. My brother Daryl put his name on the reservation list the last day of March 2016, and got his new Tesla Model 3 on April 28 this year. The next day, he and Gisele took a road trip up to Blue Ridge Ranger Station to show it off to us siblings and give us “test drives” if we wanted them.  I drove it up the road about 5 miles and back, and knew instantly that I wanted one of my own.

I came home from the mountains the next day and put my $1000 down on the reservation wait list. At that time, they estimated a 6-9 month wait for my car. I figured if my interest waned over the months, I could just cancel my reservation and get my money back, but if my interest increased, I would be glad to be in line on the waiting list. I told Daryl what I had done, and after his exclamations of surprise and excitement for me, he and I have been sharing text messages with links, updates and information on the Model 3, Tesla Motors, Elon Musk and electric cars in general. I have had several more rides in his car and more opportunity to drive it and experience the EAP (enhanced auto-pilot) on city streets and the freeway. Each time, I’ve been more convinced this is the car of the future and is exactly what I want in my garage.

I understand not everyone is onboard with electric cars, self driving mode, or the Tesla company, but both of my kids were very excited for me. They all have been pushing me to splurge a little more and not worry so much about saving my nest-egg to leave to them as an inheritance.

Over the past month, deliveries have slowed nearly to a halt in the U.S. and folks have noticed new Model 3′s stockpiling on Tesla factory parking lots. Speculation has been strong that Tesla was nearing 200,000 cars sold, which will trigger the federal government tapering off and ending the $7500 tax credit program. If Tesla could hold off selling its 200,000th EV until July 1, the full tax credit will be in effect until the end of Q4, and cut in half on January 1, 2019. I have been crossing my fingers that would be the case, and I would get my car in time to take advantage of the full amount.

Yesterday, Tesla suddenly, and without any announcement, opened the configuration website to everyone on the waiting list. Daryl saw it on the Forum and notified me. Since I wasn’t expecting that quite so soon, I gulped … then jumped off the diving board! Yes, I configured my car and put down my (NON-refundable) $2500! My estimated delivery window is Sept-Nov 2018.

My car will be almost exactly like Daryl’s configuration except I chose white (to his silver) and I pre-paid for the FSD (full self driving). FSD is not implemented yet, and not yet legal, but the car is physically built for it and it can be enabled through software updates in the future. It is $3000 if you pay for it when ordering, but the price jumps to $5000 to add it in the future. That’s an increase from the contract Daryl is under, as he will only pay $4000 for after-purchase add-on.

Now, I wait. My excitement and anticipation is coupled with anxiety that I may not get it in time for the full tax benefit. But I’m nearly assured I will get at least the $3750 credit. Meanwhile, I’ve become obsessed with following Elon Musk on Twitter (he’s an “interesting” fellow) and the Forums with owner chatter about personal experiences. No one (that I’ve seen) who has gotten their car has been sorry; the overwhelming majority are even more impressed afterwards. Daryl states that’s his experience as well. Can’t wait!!

My four siblings and I took Mom’s ashes back to New York last week to bury them in Obi Cemetery beside Dad. It was a bittersweet trip, rekindling the grief of her death, but also bringing much joy as we spent special time together remembering her life, as well as our early years in western New York. We were joined on the journey by two spouses (Dianna and Gisele), and Heather. One of the best parts of the trip was getting to spend time with Dale’s three kids and their families. Karen and Damon, Jen and Louie and their three kids, and Dave and Lisa with their three daughters came to the rental house for the weekend to share food, fun, conversation, and lots of love.

Dianna, Karen & Carmen

Lily, Lucy & Harper

Jen & Louie

Dale with Olivia

Damon & Dave

We rented a beautiful house on Cuba Lake, and it was the perfect spot for our large crew. Ten of us slept there, and at one time following the burial, we even accommodated 25 adults and children eating pizza, laughing, crying, chatting and playing. If the weather had been better (it rained or snowed every day), we might have enjoyed being right on the lake even more. Here are pictures of the burial and gathering afterwards. (Some of these are Heather’s.)

Five siblings placing Mom’s ashes into the grave. (pc: Heather)

Mom’s beloved cousin Barb (on the couch on the left) and her family, who drove up from Pennsylvania

Sharing eulogies

We spent three additional days driving around exploring and rediscovering the area where all five of us were born and lived until 1958, and also to take in some local sights. Thankfully, we had Richard with us, as he remembers EVERYTHING, and was an excellent tour guide. He took us all over Cuba and Rushford, pointing out all the different places Mom, Dad and we had lived, gone to school, played, worked, worshiped, and bought our cheese (a very important part of our childhood history).

We were all born here

The house Dad built

The house where Mom grew up

An old abandoned lock on Oil Creek near Cuba

Cuba Lake

On Tuesday, we went to Olean and visited the Cutco Knife Factory and the Zippo Lighter Museum. Both were interesting and we enjoyed the day. On Wednesday, we drove to Corning to tour the Corning Glass Works and Museum. Part of the museum is filled with beautiful glass artwork, and we participated in a guided tour of that. There are also demonstration areas where we could watch glass blowing, glass scultpure and a very interesting presentation on optical fiber. We wandered around an “exploratorium” that had hands-on attractions, all related to glass and it’s amazing impact on, not only our daily lives, but the scientific world as well.

Flag made of Zippo lighters

One of the awesome lighters in the flag (Go Cards!)

Zippo lighters have had a myriad of design choices

The very first Zippo lighter

Beautiful glass

Stained glass window

Carved glass (I could not get rid of the glare from the glass case)

Guided tour

Our last evening, we stopped back at the cemetery to lay flowers on Mom’s grave and take a few pictures. Then we went on to Sprague’s Maple Farm restaurant for a delicious dinner of meatloaf with maple glaze (yes, we ALL got the evening’s special!)

One last look

At the cemetery on Sunday, I looked around at the hills to see a beautiful splendor of fall colors, and knew Mom would have been so pleased that we laid her to rest during her favorite season in her favorite place — autumn in New York. For all that she gave us over the years, I’m glad we could give her that one last gift. Rest in peace, Mom. We love and miss you so much.

10. May 2017 · 2 comments · Categories: 10 Things, Blog

About once a year, I take a quick gander through the spam comments that Aksimet has caught on my blog. It does a really good job, and spam almost never gets through. Occasionally, a real comment will get spammed. That’s why I take a peek now and then to see if I’ve missed anything. If I were the gullible type, I might learn a thing or two from the comments that hit my blog. Such as:

  1. I have the best blog ever written anywhere on the internet!
  2. Many, many people have unbeatable prices on all sorts of anatomical medication, including cialis, viagra and celebrex.
  3. I could buy fake passports for any country in the world.
  4. I could buy replica Rolex watches.
  5. Some people think I can help them figure out their own blog and browser problems.
  6. Some people want to share my blog on their Facebook page.
  7. I actually helped someone with their university paper.
  8. Lots of people make lots of typos. Some even let their cats type for them.
  9. Some people apparently think I’m a man.
  10. Here’s the most unusual (and my favorite) one: “The next time I read a blog, I hope that it doesn’t disappoint me as much as this one. I mean, I know it was my choice to read, but I actually thought you’d have something interesting to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something that you could fix if you weren’t too busy looking for attention.”

Does anyone actually fall for this type of garbage? They must or it wouldn’t continue to be so prevalent.

We took a trip to Disneyland the last week of February. Brian went with us this time, as well as Kris, one of Lauren’s providers. The day we arrived, it was raining pretty good, so Kris stayed at the hotel with Lauren while the rest of us braved the elements and went to the parks. We thought the crowds would thin out with the rain, but I guess everyone thought the same thing because it was pretty crowded. We stayed until about 6:00. On the way back to the hotel, Carrie tripped in the crowded Downtown area and fell flat on her face, hands and knees. She scratched both glasses lenses, cut her nose and bruised her hands and knees.

We hoped for lighter crowds on Monday, as it was still very cloudy and sprinkling much of the day, but, like us, everyone trudged on. We found many of the rides down, some for scheduled refurbishment and some that were just out of order. We got Fast Passes for the Frozen show and got in out of the weather for a while. Late in the afternoon, as we were about to get on Toy Story, Lauren went into a seizure. We had no oxygen because the travel tank had accidentally drained during the trip. So Carrie gave her seizure meds and after a bit, she came out of it. That sure put a damper on the day, more than the rain had. After a long rest and some dinner, Kris took Lauren back to the hotel and Brian, Carrie and the boys and I stayed to watch the Electric Light Parade, which recently returned to Disneyland after a 21 year absence.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls, Disney’s Main Street Electrical Parade!

Tuesday brought some sunshine, but unfortunately, we still found many rides out of order. In fact, Disneyland even had a power outage in part of the park that morning and most of the rides in Adventureland, Frontierland and Critter Country were down for a few hours. We found other things to do to make a fun day, and then Brian had to leave to catch a flight home that evening. Kris took Lauren back to the hotel while Carrie and the boys and I stayed in California Adventure to do the Bug’s Land rides at night. That’s become a tradition for Nathan and me. We love that little land after dark with the twinkling lights and buzzy sounds, and (best of all) no LINES!!

Lauren enjoying the Jungle Cruise

In the Tiki-Tiki-Tiki-Tiki Tiki Room

Our last morning was a beautiful spring day, but by then, the boys had had enough disruption and they were full of monkeyshines. We spent a good part of the day dealing with behavior issues, and I almost had to use my “mean voice”, which the boys do NOT like at all! At the end of the day, Carrie had to take Andrew back to the hotel with Kris. Nathan and I rode a couple Bug’s Land rides and headed back ourselves. Everyone was ready for bed and home.

As I drove home, I thought, “I have had my fill of Disneyland for a while”. But then I remembered what it was like to get up every day and go to work. And I realized every moment of each harrowing day was so much more fun than working, and within a week, I was ready to return!

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