Save on gas – coast!

Aha! My friends make fun of me for barreling up a hill, then taking my foot off the gas and coasting down the other side. It confuses the heck out of people following me, but hey – gasoline is more expensive than prime rib these days. Now I see that some expert recommends that very thing..

Here are a few quick tips to help you conserve on fuel

Tips to help you save on gas

  1. Walk more to save on gas. Well duh, sometimes we overlook the obvious;
  2. Car pool to save on gas. Don’t think this needs much explanation;
  3. Get an oil change to save on gas. Your engine will run more efficiently;
  4. Turn off the air conditioner to save on gas. Most cars will gain at least 2 to 3 miles per gallon if the A/C is turned off. Don’t try that if you live in the south, or you’ll be toast!
  5. Properly inflate your tires to save on gas. Tires that aren’t inflated properly cause poor gas mileage
  6. Fill your car in the morning to save on gas. Gas expands as it gets warm so less fits in the tank in the warmer parts of the day. Well, I never heard of that;
  7. Coast to save on gas. Old technique that still works. When you can coast instead of using the accelerator, do so. See?! Makes sense to me.

Today I bought gas at $3.55 a gallon. I’m driving to Nashville for the weekend and I’m wondering if it wouldn’t be cheaper to fly!  It’s going to be a long, hot trip!

Early Light: How’s salmagundi sound for lunch?

Salmagundi Stew

Today is April 30, 2008. Our delicious word for the day is “salmagundi” – pronounced sal-muh-GUHN-dee. It is a noun meaning:
1. A salad plate usually consisting of chopped meat, anchovies, eggs, and onions, served with oil and vinegar.
2. Any mixture or assortment; a medley; a potpourri; a miscellany.

I’d rather go out and shoot songbirds than stay inside and watch the dismal salmagundi of reality shows that dominate the air waves. “Salmagundi” – sounds like a great name for a restaurant, doesn’t it?

Role reversal is humbling

I remember teaching him to tie his shoes.

“Look son, the lace goes through the eyelet, then you loop it around your finger like this.” I was wise and patient, while he was confused by the term “lace” and had never heard of an eyelet.

We went over it once more, and before I knew what was happening, he tied the other shoe and rushed off to a soccer game. I never had to show him again.

Now 30 years later, he’s the one trying to teach me new tricks with not so much luck. He comes over to help me do something foreign on the computer and I rarely get it. I don’t know the difference in the World Wide Web and a spider web. Continue reading

Shock and awe: Day Two at the gym

I’m walking along on the treadmill, bored to tears, counting ceiling tiles to entertain myself when what to my wondering eyes should hop up on the machine beside me but an alien from outer space !

I’m serious, that’s what I thought at first when a guy wearing some kind of shiny suit and a crazy face mask cranked up the Precor next to mine. A mugger? Someone with a lung condition? My mind couldn’t compute what he might be up to.

He spoke to me, but coming through that mask with a snout coming out of his face, he sounded like someone who had just taken a hit of helium.

I jumped off my moving sidewalk for the second day in a row – I’ve got to get someone to show me how to turn that thing off so I don’t have to bale out each day. Continue reading

Early Light – Count your gimcracks

Here are some examples of gimcracks lurking around my house.

I love words…especially quirky, little used words that often sound like gibberish. I’ve selected “gimcrack” for the word of the day on this 29th day of April, 2008. If I can use it seven times it will become part of my vocabulary – or so they say.

So here goes: I have placed so many useless, but blatantly showy objects in my garden, that it looks like gimcrack heaven. I also have an overabundance of gimcracks in my home. In fact you might call me a “gimcrack addict.” Today I will remove three gimcracks and give them to charity.

gimcrack \JIM-krak\, noun:
1. A showy but useless or worthless object; a gewgaw.

1. Tastelessly showy; cheap; gaudy.

The origin of gimcrack is uncertain. It is perhaps an alteration of Middle English gibecrake, “a slight or flimsy ornament.”