Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Ramblings on the way back from the beach

Of course, I’m not writing about everything that happened at the beach. I realized that I didn’t write anything about how my daughter, as soon as I would come out of the water, would entice me back in. “Come on, Daddy,” she’d yell, standing in the edge of the surf. And I’d obey. Hence, I only read about half of what I was hoping to read, but I had a good time in the water. Last summer I wrote a piece on body surfing, a favorite activity of mine on the beach. If you’d like to read about it, click here.

Tidbit # 7 (Tips on solving the energy crisis): Driving nearly a thousand miles in each direction, I burned up plenty of gas. This gave plenty of time to come up with suggestions for beating the energy crisis. I have two. First of all, restaurants should be required to close their drive thru lanes. I can’t imagine how much gas is spent waiting in line and it is even worst when you have to wait at two different restaurants because two of your passengers won’t eat the same thing. I could care less. Ralph, a friend of mine, has always maintained that if you have to eat in a car, you’re not living right. He’s got a point. If we stopped cars from sitting and sipping gas while creating extra emissions, we’ll do something for the energy crisis and for pollution control. A secondary advantage is that by forcing people out of their vehicles, they’ll get a bit of exercise to offset the extra calories that come in a standard fast food sandwich. And who knows, we might even force people to deal with other folks face to face, which would be a baby step toward building a safer and more peaceful world.

My second suggestion is that hotels be required to use the same kind of mixing valves in their bathroom. I wonder just how much water is wasted in trying to figure out just how the contraption works. At home, I can set the water, wait a few seconds, and get in. In hotels, I’ve been known to spend 10 minutes trying to get the water where it is warm but not scalding.

For your information, the cheapest gas I found was in Ohio. Findlay offered the best deal at $2.63. Next cheapest was Wytheville, Virginia with gas being $2.69. Not surprisingly, the most expensive was along the West Virginia turnpike, but if you fill up in Ohio, you shouldn’t have to buy gas there.

Tidbit #8 (For mature audiences): One of the advantages of driving a truck is that you get to be a bit higher than everyone else. As I was driving up I-77, on that long grade that snakes up into the Virginia highlands, I got caught behind a line of slower moving vehicles. I started to pull out when I saw a vehicle in my rear view mirror pull out and give it gas. I hesitated, noticing that the guy speeding up quickly. Then as he got closer, he pulled the women who was riding shotgun over next to him and pushed her head down into his lap. As this red Subaru station wagon made its way around the line of cars, you could see her head bobbing up and down. The car had West Virginia plates on the back. "Almost Heaven, West Virginia," came to mind and
I laughed, although I’m not sure that was what John Denver had in mind. When asked why I was laughing, I made up a lame excuse. I was glad my daughter was in the back seat on the other side of the truck. The girl in the Subaru may have just been giving a show for the line of cars they were passing. After all, he was doing at least 80 and I can’t imagine how he kept the car in his lane as the highway twisted back and forth. I gave him plenty of extra room just in case. If I am ever in the market for a used red Subaru station wagon, I’ll make sure the one I’m considering has never been registered in West Virginia.

And finally, for those who believe that the media is liberal, just read this column by Eric Boehlert. What would it take to have a media that is neither conservative nor liberal, just truthful and fair?


  1. When I have a moment, I'm going to write a rebuttal entry to #7 and the closing of restaurant drive thrus and how that is suppose to bring a safer, more peaceful world.

    As for #8, unless you saw 'it', they were probably playing with you since you were in a much higher vehicle. The act wasn't actually happening. No comment on how I know. *insert angelic look here*

    You weren't wearing a Speedo while playing in the ocean were ya? Did you have a hat on to protect that scalp?

  2. In my younger days, I used to eat at drive throughs to make "good time." I normally went at off hours so that I avoided the rush and got fresher food and I suppose didn't burdern our oil economy too much. Now that I am older, I realize that there is more to life than making "good time" on the road. Such as discovering a cafe in some small town that serves cinnamon rolls the size of a dinner plate.

    About the other...ahem... tidbit, I can vouch that a lot of that is going on in our roadways. First, my parents were First Responders who arrived at accident scenes normally a full half hour before our rural hospitals could get an ambulance there. Many a time, the crash victim(s) were found with their pants around their ankles and the car buried in somebodies living room or tree out near the road. Second, I've ridden in many a semi taking grain down to the river for resale. Although I never saw the act you described, I saw more people than I ever imagined driving in the buff.

  3. Murf, I'm sure you have a rebuttal about fast food restaurants and your Wendy's friend. Angelic is one thing I've never associated with you. And yes, I have a pair of Speedos, but not the kind you are thinking of, they're regular "baggies" as we called 'em down on the SE Coast.

    Ed, When I travel by myself, I generally seek out the small town diners. There was a semi a few cars ahead of us, so I'm sure the driver got even a better look.

  4. Actually the Wendy's guy wasn't going to be involved but just for you, I will include him.

  5. Love it whenever you talk about your daughter :-)

    Hate shower heads in motels--but that's one of the pleasures of coming home.

    A truthful and fair media? Surely you jest.

    The Times lost it when they decided to become the national newspaper. Their so called prestige went to their head--and they just flaunted their power

    Problem is there isn't a good city paper to take its place

  6. Our gas here costs about the same as it does in Wytheville, or close. Yes, you where so close! I love your ideas for saving gas.

  7. Seriously, driving in the buff?
    As far as the media, the problem is that everyone (including me) has a bias, and that naturally comes out. I wish that instead of toting themselves as unbiased, and rather than even wishing for that standard, that we would just be honest and say, "Here's my bias, and here's how I see the story."
    Question: do you order your Honduran coffee online? I would love to look into that.

  8. Thanks Murf

    Pia, maybe you should start getting the Boston Globe (you can trade your pinstrips for red socks too). In jest, of course.

    Colleen, I go up and down that road a couple times a year.

    Heather, I don't know of any online sources, I brought mine in Honduras or have people from Honduras coming here bring it to me.

  9. Ahem. I've been one of those girls involved in extra-driving escapades.

    Not smart but very exciting. It's an adrenaline rush. ;-)