Thursday, May 01, 2008

...until you pull up to your local gas station, that is...

Gas prices are getting to the place where a whole lot of people's lives are gonna begin changing really fast, if that hasn't happened to them already. In years past, I'm always seeing "survey" articles in the noozpaper, in which some research firm somewhere has said that "even though gas prices are rising, people haven't curtailed their driving habits", or something similar. Well, I kinda think that's-a-gonna change. I read somewhere this week that an automaker was laying off the entirety of one shift (throwing a lotta folks outta work) and cutting back on their production of SUV's and Obnoxious Big Pickup Trucks. The DODGE RAM comes immediately to mind here. Less Dodge Ram Pickups on the road would highly serve the "common good". Somehow I think Dodge Ram drivers would behave differently if they were driving Geo Metro's or dilapidated Volkswagen Beetles around. Dodge Ram drivers, EVERY SINGLE LAST ONE OF THEM, are the most obnoxious drivers on the road, even beating out Long-Haul Truckers! (Hmmm...wonder how many people I've offended with that last remark? Gosh, sometimes Blogging Is Fun...)

Anyway, today I pulled into a convenience store in a little harbor town south of me here on the Oregon Coast, and I saw someone putting gas in a car...I wondered how high gas was gonna be, at a little podunk gas pump in a small town, several miles away from Any Other filling station. When I asked the guy how much gas was, he said, "$3.85 a gallon". SAY WHAT????? So anyway, I was glad I didn't have to buy gas THERE. I'm already paying upwards of $3.60 a gallon at my REGULAR gas station...

Judging from the prices on the sign, I'd surmise that this cartoon is just a wee bit outdated...

So, anyway, I went into the little store for some chocolate milk and an egg-salad sandwich...and while I was standing at the counter waiting to buy my stuff, two guys in line ahead of me were talking to each other, and one said, "oh yeah, one gas station in Bandon (a town 30-odd miles south of me) marked their gas clear down to $3.42 a gallon!", which caused me to think, "has it come to this? Did we ever think we'd see the day when we were happy to pay ONLY $3.42 a gallon?" Which is probably what the fuel industry's objective is anyway. I imagine Exxon's CEO and his major stockholders are thinking, "oh yeah, let's continue to profit madly from the gas we're selling by keeping prices WAY UP, and then we'll lower them to an amount which is still significantly more than we were charging last year, and the buying public will be SO HAPPY TO THINK THEY'RE SAVING MONEY." They've just gotta be thinking that, right? If not, why, then, do I keep hearing about record profits in the fuel industry? All I know is, someone's just gotta be making money, SOMEWHERE.


You gotta hand it to 'em for being innovative: The SEATTLE MARINERS keep amazing me by finding new, novel, and original ways to LOSE BASEBALL GAMES! They were playing the Cleveland Indians this evening; for most of the game, the M's were behind 1 to 0...and then Ichiro got aboard, and STOLE THIRD BASE, and then the Cleveland catcher threw it away and Ichiro scampered home. Which is why you want Ichiro on base as much as possible. In the next inning, Richie Sexson hit his 300th home run...way to go, Richie! He's been criticized a lot for not hitting well, but he landed into a fastball and, in the immortal words of Dave Niehaus, broadcaster, "FLY AWAY!!!!" The score at that point was 2 to 1.

Ah, but the game wasn't over...Cleveland came to bat in the bottom of the ninth, and not content with being ahead, Seattle did all it could to LOSE the game. Closer J.J. Putz proceeded to WALK IN THE TYING RUN. This is the M's CLOSER. He's SUPPOSED to WIN GAMES. You know, "seal the deal". HAH! Finally, the side was retired with the game tied 2-2, and the game went into Extra Innings. In the 11th inning, another M's pitcher was pitching, and "doink", a strategically placed line drive with runners aboard insured that Cleveland would prevail. Once again, the Seattle Mariners snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. Ain't it amazing how the M's keep finding New Ways To Lose? Ah, baseball.

I'm kinda thinking that if I was Ichiro, I'd feel like someone short-sheeted my bed. Ichiro keeps a lot inside, but I'm sure he's gotta be thinking, "I get all of these hits, I make all these great catches, I keep stealing bases, but WHAT FOR if my team's gonna keep LOSING?" Something of an existential crisis brewing within him, perhaps. Mark my words...someday we'll see Ichiro in pinstripes. I'm pretty sure he's sick of playing on a losing team. Meanwhile, the New York Yankees are lickin' their chops...the first game of the Mariners-Yankees series begins tomorrow. Will Ichiro Defect to the Yankees? Since he's under contract, probably "NO", but I'll bet it's crossed his mind. It's next to impossible for the Mariners to win at Yankee Stadium in a GOOD season. Rumor has it that the M's Mariner Moose Mascot will replaced by a LAMB for this upcoming series. Baaaaa.......


Ah, but today wasn't a total washout...after realizing (again) that Gas Prices weren't coming down anytime soon, and after experiencing the M's implode once more, at least the day wasn't a total loss. That Egg Salad Sandwich I bought turned out to be a wrongly-labeled, pricier TUNA sandwich. A true victory for the little guy. Yaaay! The money I saved in that deal means, more money to buy (less) gas with. Fill 'er up Halfway!


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