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April 16, 2008

Rising Cost of Gasoline

We as Americans have been spoiled. For years we’ve given no thought to driving huge vehicles that consume vast amounts of gasoline in comparison to the miles we achieve from each gallon of gas we pump into our tanks. Now as gas prices steadily climb upwards to the 4 dollar mark and even higher, we are having heart failure over the prices we are paying at the pump.

With OPEC choosing not to open more wells to satisfy our need for more fuel, we are left with a few choices, one: downsize our vehicle to one that is more fuel efficient, two: utilize public transportation, or three: suck it up and pay the exorbitant cost per gallon of gas that we’re being hit with at the pump.

I chose option one, driving what I often call my grocery car, a little Toyota Tercel, I’m able to eek out about 35 mpg city and 40 mpg on the hwy. I commute less than 8 miles each way to work and try not to drive often on weekends, which will allow me to stretch a tank of gas often times for two or three weeks.

In a conversation with a dear friend in the U.K., we were discussing gasoline prices, petrol for you brits, at the time when we did the math they were paying the equivalent of 8 dollars per gallon, it’s no wonder they drive tiny cars, take public modes of transpiration and even on occasion feel the need to hoof it. I would too if I had to pay that kind of money for gas.

I think its fool hearty of us to believe that gas prices will go down. I remember when I paid 99 cents for a gallon of gas in 1987, I thought that it was expensive then, as prices have risen while they might dip back down for a few months they go back up, in effect lining the pockets of the gas companies, those they lobby and those they buy the raw crude from.

It’s time for us as a nation to stop whining about the prices of gasoline and start taking the steps to finding and utilizing alternative fuel sources, lets give the auto makers a reason to build and market vehicles that will in the long run only benefit us as individuals.

Filed under: Life,Money Matters,Politics by Kat at 9:49 am

April 14, 2008

Pool Time

This weekend was one of the hottest in Southern California recent history. With nine cities breaking their records, Anaheim was 102 degrees f tying with Phoenix Az as the hottest city in the world. Sweltering would be a fine word to sum up the feeling.

I finally broke down and hopped in our pool trying to cool down, while the air temperature was hot, the water was freezing. Our pool heats up as we go into summer by absorbing heat from the sun during the day, it takes several days for this to happen. Two days of hot weather does not heat the pool enough to warrant any sane adult jumping in to swim.

I have to laugh, for some reason the kids in my complex are pros at coaxing me from my warm home into the pool, each year they get me to slip into the cold water to swim about with them. I should get the hint that the pool is freezing when a good portion of the kids have lower lips trembling with the shivers, but like an eager beaver I jump in then have a moment of near panic at the freezing temperature. Yes, I agree my sanity should be questioned when it comes to pool time, but there is something so refreshing about sliding into what feels like sub zero water when the air around you feels like the inside of an oven.

As spring turns into summer, I know I’ll be diving into the pool more often than not and I hope as time flies by that the water will heat to near bath water temperatures.

Here’s to hoping!

Have a great Monday!

Kat

Filed under: Life by Kat at 9:45 am

April 8, 2008

Role Reversal

It’s an odd feeling when as the child you know you’re parents are going away for an extended trip, where they will be less likely to communicate with you for a long period of time. It’s funny as I’ve grown up in some respects the roles have changed from parents/child to child parenting the parents.

My sisters and I have often lamented upon the fact that while our parents can’t help but parent us, we as adult children have certain expectations of our parents. When they take a long road trip, we wait for those phone calls letting us know they have arrived at certain points along the way safe and secure, when they fail to call the three of us will call each other and ask, “Have you heard from mom and dad lately?” My youngest sister, to alleviate the worry and stress, added my parents to her cell phone plan, purchased them phones with the understanding they would keep them on. I can hear you chuckling at the fact that you KNOW my parents do not leave their phones on nor will they answer them unless they are expecting our call. It’s very frustrating to say the least.

I recently called to talk to my girlfriend Dianne, and while she was not available, I enjoyed a wonderful conversation with her father. We discussed this whole phenomenon of children now parenting their parents. He said to me more than once, as I mentioned the things that parents do to us kids, such as not answering calls, not checking in, not turning on the cell phones etc, that as he put it “Its hard for us old timers to remember or even figure out these new gadgets.” We had a good laugh as he put things into perspective from the parental aspect for me.

My parents are leaving tomorrow for a three week cruise, going from Florida through the Panama Canal back to Washington with several stops along the way. After spending a week with them visiting me, my sisters and I have made sure they are well prepared for what will happen along the way. From obtaining a preloaded visa card, to making sure they have secure travel pouches for their passports, to making sure my sister Becky has documents, in the off chance someone steals their id, and so on, the parenting skills the three of us girls have learned from them over the years are all popping out.

They fly out tomorrow morning and I’ve already chided my mom for not packing already, to remember her toothbrush and make sure she has a prepaid phone card to call home.

I know they will have a wonderful time on this cruise and they will be stopping in the Los Angeles area, so I’ll have a few hour visit before they continue on, I can’t help worry about their safety. Funny how those tables have turned!

Have a wonderful day!

Kat

Filed under: Life by Kat at 3:36 pm
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