I’ve just come back from watching a local dance company’s annual performance. As usual, the only people in attendance are relatives and friends of the dancers along with a small handful of pedophiles who, apparently, are the ones who keep … Continue reading
Sammy Hagar famously professed an inability to maintain a driving speed of 55 miles per hour. According to Mr. Hagar,
When I drive that slow, you know it’s hard to steer
And I can’t get my car out of second gear
What used to take two hours now takes all day
Huh, it took me sixteen hours, get to L.A.
I think that Mr. Hagar’s difficulty relegating himself to a speed under a-mile-a-minute is rooted in math. Some years ago, I found myself mired in a daily commute of about 85 miles each way. Luckily, traffic wasn’t bad during my travel times and almost all of the driving was on the highway, so I found that I could make the trip in about 90 minutes or less. My old car came with a feature that allowed me to get various mileage-related readouts. I found that I got about 20 miles per gallon if I drove quickly but could get about 25 mpg if I drove under 60 miles an hour. But when I bought a Smart Car, I decided that I’d do my best to get the best mileage possible.
My trip includes almost exactly 75 miles of highway driving. If I do that part of the drive at the never-ticketed speed of 74 mph, then the highway stretch takes just over an hour. Driving that part at 60 mph adds 15 minutes to the trip, but it saves a tremendous amount of gasoline. If you make that trip five days a week, as I do, then the increased miles-per-gallon quickly add up. Even tho my car is rated for 41 mpg on the highway, I’ve been able to average 46.1 mpg since I got the car (I’ve kept track of every tankful since Day 1). During the course of a year, and at about $4 per gallon, this means that I’m saving about $350 if I can drive 10% more efficiently and about $700 if I can drive 20% more efficiently.
In the three-plus years I’ve had the car, that means I’ve saved nearly $3,000 on gas. I’ve also spewed that many fewer gallons of gasoline into the environment. Yes, I can definitely drive 55. (Actually, I try to average about 53 miles per hour. It’s also a lot safer.)
My brother and I came up with the two-year rule when we were kids: Anything horrendous that we did — and there wasn’t much, thankfully — we could tell our mom two years later with no repercussions. After all, anything … Continue reading
My Gosh in Heaven: It’s been over a week since my last blogfession.
It suddenly occurred to me: Where do we atheists turn when it’s time to confess?
The Catholics set the bar high, of course, with their confessionals. What a lovely way to remove from your heart the burthen of guilt for your sins. Members of other religions have their spiritual advisors, too, offering people the choice of speaking with priests, reverends, imams, ministers, and rabbis. So where do atheists go when it’s time to fess up?
Put it into the ether, and you’re as good as saved. No need to speak in tongues; just speak in http.
Atheists don’t worry about sin. We have guilt. Then we try to examine it and move on, careful to avoid the same pitfalls and obstacles (or at least to hit them harder so that maybe they’ll fall over this time).
There’s a time and a place and an order for everything. When and where you decide to teach your kids about cursing is up to you. Some parents will mistakenly attempt to keep their kids from ever hearing certain words … Continue reading
A few days ago, my younger daughter, a cool kid of nearly 8, was sent to ‘the office’ at school. This marked the first time any of our kids had ever been sent to the office in a total of … Continue reading
As you already know, I’m a Scrabble maven. I’m not particularly good at crossword puzzles (they require specialized knowledge and have many non-Scrabble answers, like Djibouti). And I’ve never been a big follower of pop culture. Yet somehow, I have … Continue reading