A shout-out to NTW, the car place on Concord Pike where I got four new tires installed in a total of 70 minutes. On their website, all you have to do is type in your car's VIN and the computers identifies its year, make and model. (It didn't identify the "trim level," which I had to find in my files. Really, who remembers what trim level your car has once you've used it as a bargaining chip in the showroom? Not me.) With that info the computer gives you a list of recommended tires, with varying prices and features.
I selected my tires (buy three and get the fourth free), booked an appointment online and showed up, prepared to spend the afternoon: I brought a stack of proofreading to do, three days' worth of newspapers to read, some needlework and a bottle of water. But they were so efficient that by the time hey were done I hadn't even gotten halfway through the chapter I was proofreading and hadn't even touched the newspapers, the needlework or the water!
The clerk said making the online appointment really speeds up the process, and it seems she is absolutely right.
(A reader said I should've gotten paid for writing this review, but in a sense I did: in my billable-hours world, time = money.)
Speaking of automotive matters, along with my registration renewal form this year I received some information about a "Mature Driver Improvement Course" that gives us 55-and-ups a break on our car-insurance premium. The course, either online or at a senior center, costs $21.95. I called my insurance agent, P.J. Mullin, and found that my premium would be reduced by a grand total of $26 a year. Hardly seems worth it.