It was just after 4:00 a.m. this morning when I got out of bed. I wanted to get a jump on the day. The first matter on the agenda (after pointedly having wound all four mechanical clocks in the house) was to drive my new car to Stittsville. There I would put it through the touch-less car wash for which I have a season’s pass entitling me to 90 days of washes, once a day. Of equal if not more importance than the exterior maintenance of the vehicle was the driving of the machine to “teach”it my personal driving habits. Two days ago the mechanic completely erased the car’s computer transmission memory. While he didn’t say the tactic was hocus-pocus, neither was he adamant that it would correct the winding-down sound which to date has annoyingly punctuated each gear shift. After listening intently to the sound of the engine during my early morning jaunt today, it is fair to say that although the “condition” has not entirely evaporated, it is certainly within the realm of acceptable tolerance (which admittedly has been lately heightened by my constant preoccupation). I am additionally motivated in this result because there are so many other features of this particular automobile which I relish. Having bought another new car exactly like it no less than ten months ago, I can say with some authority that that this number is a fine specimen of the brand. Not surprisingly no two vehicles perform identically, and I know from experience that when one finally gets a good one, it is wise to attach to it. My recent obsession with this car is due in no small measure to having suffered the cost of trading the first new one three months ago because of recurring transmission problems, only to discover that the replacement vehicle was plagued by yet another distortion. It appears that we are now are the end of that line of trouble. Like any new love affair, new cars come with high expectations, and one forgets that they, like lovers, ultimately have their problems. One must adapt to the idiosyncrasies of the candidate.