Saturday, August 30, 2008

a nation on speed

okay, gas has dropped below four dollars a gallon (in britain it costs twenty-seven dollars a gallon) and we may feel relieved. not me. i know it will go back up. already, sixty dollars to fill the tank of my ranger xt.

this led to a lot of research on the internet. people have invented and marketed all kinds of gadgets supposed to save gas: voltage regulators, tornados in the air line, instruments that allow you to run on half gas, half water. what should i buy, i thought? maybe those platinum bosch sparkplugs. they sound pretty cool.

of course, all the evidence indicates most of these gas-savers bogus. if the object is to save money, sixty dollars for new sparkplugs doesn't sound so good.

then there are the advocates of driving habits. coast to stop signs, catch all the green lights, don't sit and idle, start slowly, let yourself slow down going up hill (it's natural). the advice i liked the most: "drive in your socks and be gentle." then i read, it takes 30% more gas to go seventy-five than it does fifty-five. this made all the gadgets in the world moot.

so around town and on the way back to the lookout it tried this out. and i must say i enjoy driving at fifty-five. even forty-five in the canyon seemed relaxing. somehow not pushing it brought a kind of sanity.

my mother told me when i was about three my new tricycle got stuck off the sidewalk. i wailed and gnashed my teeth cause it wouldn't come loose. that tends to be the story of my life. i've hurried through everything, afraid to miss anything. for example, installing more ram in my computer i couldn't get the stick to fit. i sweated. i cursed. i got more impatient. finally...

and speaking of the computer, i've always felt mine too slow. so i installed a 64 bit vista on a new drive, upped my ram to four gigs, and have begun using safari to browse. what a difference. it's a pleasure to play around with art again (i did it all day yesterday.) speed does have a place, but not on the road or in the arm. and i've heard that farmers survive by keeping a steady, slow pace they can keep up all day long.

slowly, adding to the summer's pictures: