Port Angeles II, day 2


Last night I didn’t sleep very well because of asthma issues due to the fabric softener the AirBnB host used. So this morning I did a load of laundry and sent a suggestion to the host about not using fragrant fabric softener; she apologized for it and said that normally she gets fragrance-free but her wife had picked up the wrong stuff and she didn’t want to waste it. Not a huge deal, at least.

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Fully-introduced to the Leaf now


When my Leaf arrived, the front camera wasn’t working, meaning the self-driving functionality was nonfunctional. Today I took it to the nearest Nissan dealership to get it looked at, and fortunately it was just that the camera had gotten disconnected somehow. 5 hours and $280 later (most of which will be reimbursed by Carvana) I have a car with level 2 self driving.

And holy moly, level 2 self-driving is weird, in a good way. It can’t handle all driving even in its limited situation (nor should it) but it does an amazing job of maintaining speed and safe following distance and position within the lane. And it always errs on the side of caution; if it doesn’t have a clear view of the lane markers, it turns off (and lets you know!), and goes into lane-keep alert mode instead.

There’s a bunch of road on the way home which has had construction going on for as long as I’ve lived here, and the lanes are all weird. When driving there, the lane-keep alert made sure I was aware I was drifting between lanes, but used a perfect level of tactile notification, which made perfect sense. And when lane keeping became available again, it was so surreal (but cool) to feel the steering wheel automatically turn for me.

It’s a really cool experience, and I feel like it’s implemented in a safe way that’s not likely to have the Tesla problem of just like, you know, randomly swerving into trucks/medians/oncoming traffic.

It handles all of the parts of driving that make me anxious.

Also having the full wraparound camera makes parking much easier.

So anyway. Yeah. I like it.

Changing cars


I’ve had my current car, a Mazda3, for nearly 6 years. It’s a great car. I like it a lot.

But, there’s a few things I’ve gotten somewhat fed up with on it:

  • It doesn’t have all the safety features I want (especially lane departure notifications and collision avoidance)
  • It costs a lot to maintain given how little I drive it
  • Its cargo space isn’t very flexible (since I have the sedan version)

For a while I’ve been thinking about getting an electric vehicle, and recently I got the idea planted in my head that it would be worth switching to a Nissan Leaf.

Anyway, on Carvana, I found a 2018 Leaf SL with all of the safety features I want, and also it still has around 135 miles of range (supposedly) and its battery is still well under warranty, and the cost was only a little bit more than what Carvana said the trade-in value on my Mazda3 was.

So maybe a bit impulsively, I bought it. It will arrive on Friday.

My cost after trade-in is around $1000, and it only raises my insurance premiums by around $8/month. So, yay.

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