I think it’s China where the curse “May your life always be interesting” originated… I’ve been blessed with a rather bland past few months, which is why I haven’t had too much to write about.

I’ve been trying to avoid the obvious rant on gas, because frankly, I’m very lucky. My commute to work is short, and there’s not a whole lot of reason to do a lot of driving where I live now. I know I have lots of friends that aren’t so lucky and I feel terrible for it.

The short version of my take on the whole situation is, when does violence become an acceptable answer? Will the march on Washington happen before or after we can’t afford the gas to go there?

Just a thought, don’t act on it.

Events of the past few weeks that I can think of? Building a workstation with a 3d card in it, and making the 3d card work to a point where I’m playing around with a project called TORCS (www.torcs.org), which is a kind of homebrew version of Gran Turismo…

I finally decided to buy myself Kakuro/Sudoku stuff to play with during slow time at work. It has an astounding effect; it actually makes me feel more energetic and awake, in a much healthier way than coffee… It makes me think that I’ve let my mind be lazy too long.

…and on that note, if you own a Nintendo DS, I recommend a cheap game called Brain Age (or Training for Adults: Work Your Brain), an oddballish game where you solve very simple math, reading, and recognition puzzles often by writing with the stylus, but you are expected to answer as quickly as possible! It’s one of those kinds of things you can find completely stupid and eccentric at a glance (speed solving elementary school problems, shouting the colors of words that spell different colors to mess with your head, etc) but once you start playing it a little a day, you get drawn into it quite a bit.

The Training For Adults series is a commuter salaryman’s fad in Japan, go figure.

The USA soccer team will be the only team at the World Cup in Germany that doesn’t have a flag painted on the bus. This was supposed to be for security purposes, but unfortunately, all the terrorists and hooligans know to go after the unpainted bus. Is it Nike that made up the TV commercial showing USA soccer being jeered to the tune of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”? Good stuff. USA are power ranked #4 in the world, imagine that…

During someone’s complaining, it occurred to me that I’m now so accustomed to living as I do that as long as I can afford to go to work every day, the actual amount of money I make at the end of the week has very little effect on me. This is a very scary thought, since it implies that even if I suddenly had a multi-million dollar salary, I would still end up living with my brother or some other similar arrangement. What does it say about our culture if there’s truth to the statement? I guess the only way to know for sure would be for it to happen someday…

I hope everyone is safe.

I guess I should quickly add some tips for anyone concerned with saving gas-

Keep your car clean. Don’t put anything in the car that doesn’t have a good reason to be there, and wash the outside too. Caked-on dirt is dead weight too. Clean filters (air, oil, and fuel) avoid blockage and improve efficiency.

Plan your trips carefully and deliberately. I also have the good fortune of having all the stores worth visiting between me and work, so if I go shopping every afternoon, I don’t notice it in the fuel guage. Once you get where you’re going, don’t go out again.

Don’t drive like a dick. Throttle-to-brake action messes with traffic -and- wastes gas.

Finally, run the air conditioner sparingly. The compressor saps a lot of energy from the motor; yet, make sure you -do- run the air conditioner once a month or it will seize and ruin a belt or two, and possibly your motor.

(Hypocritically brought to you by an owner of a utility subcompact that inexcusably gets lest than 30 mpg.)

See you next time.



  1. I did some tweaking on my van, and with some carefull driving I can keep it above 19mpg, usually over 20. That’s with the K&N filter I just put in there, and a replaced PCV valve (old one was leaking)Another thing to check is your actual AC vs Windows efficiency, on some vehicals the air-drag of the open windows is actually less efficient than running the AC. When it gets warmer, I’ll find out.Did you get my email?


  2. ORANGE!  Thank gosh the gas is going down.  I can’t compare with your not complaining much though.  Even though I pretty much drive 5 to the mall and 5 back a day for work, I also don’t get enough money in to pay for gas and have enough left over to be productive in other stuff.  Where’s that damn electric car when you need it!?  ORANGE!


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