Saturday, June 21, 2008

Another (Normal) Busy Day

Time is just flying by; later today (5.30pm) we'll celebrate the twins' 3rd Birthday. (It seems like they were born a few weeks ago.) Before that happens, I need to mow (about 4-6 acres), help clean up the house, watch the kids (wife is teaching a piano lesson @ 10.00am), and set up a bunch of chairs for the aforementioned party.

As the month ends (the next 2 weeks), I know a few people that would like some painting & drywall work done. Then the first full week of July (7-11) is VBS. The 2nd week of July our 4th Varmint is due (Tuesday, 15 July). The 3rd week of July (21-25) I'm scheduled to go to Puerto Rico with my Dad and help put a roof on a Christian School. And the last week of July I'm supposed to help start a Mixed Martial Arts Class -- as the teacher! (Never mind the fact that Thursday night was my second ever self-defense class.) Additionally, our new pastor has asked me to train one of our members to take over my Sunday School class (6yo-12yo boys) so that I can begin teaching the teen/college & career class. At least I'm busy enough to stay out of trouble.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Day of "Infamy" (humor)

Today is officially the very first time in my life I've ever made a U-turn to get gasoline because of the low price. (Ironically, notice today's date: Friday the 13th.)

In the past, I've made U-turns for gas after realizing that I'd just passed the last gas station for several miles, or because I couldn't turn into my favorite station directly, or because I was avoiding a Chavez-sponsored station, but on the whole, I don't mind paying a penny or two a gallon more to avoid a line at the pump. I figure, 10 minutes of my time spent in line is worth more than $0.02 per gallon. Our tank only holds 25 gallons, so, at most I'd be saving all of fifty cents.

I still remember, soon after I got my license, when gas broke $1.00 per gallon, and (thankfully) it just seemed to hover around that range for years. I never would have imagined a $3.00 per gallon increase in such a short amount of time.

So, on to the story: I drove my wife's mini-van over to Mear's Automotive to see how they were doing on diagnosing the (myriad) problems plaguing my 87 Cherokee. From there, I took the (expired) tag off of it, and up to the courthouse. There I got the registration straitened out, and headed back to John's shop. (John Mears is not only the owner of the largest independent vehicle repair company in Broward county, but he's also a Believer. Needless to say, for the second reason, he gets all of my car-care business.)

In the course of driving around town... with the needle on the van's gas gauge drawing ever-nearer to the low side of the "E" I saw prices ranging from $4.11 to $4.19 per gallon -- for plain-old regular unleaded gasoline! Knowing I'd eventually have to bite the bullet and pay more than I wanted for the gas, I was holding out until the "Low Gas" idiot light came on. Just before I got back to John's shop, I saw a Marathon gas station I've never seen before. It had no line, and the sign was hard to see, but as I passed it I saw "$3.99" was posted and the station was nearly empty! Of course, the fill-up still cost over $80 dollars, but my quick U-turn and fill-up at that station saved me between $2.80 and $4.60!

I'm glad I don't drive a tractor trailer for a living, but oh for the days of $1-per-gallon gas.

PS -- as I headed home, I turned on a local talk radio station. The host received a call from a Tampa resident that had to get gas in Orlando, and the closest station to the Orlando airport was charging $5.40 for regular unleaded!! I know they're paying $9 in Europe, but $5.40 in the US?? I'm going to have to raise the rates I charge people (to cover the gas I'm using to get to work).