Friday, May 29, 2009

A/C Gas Math

Once upon a time, I did an experiment with my car and determined that it didn't really matter if I blew my a/c on high or low, it all came out about the same: using the lowest setting would only save me about 90 cents a year. I think I can afford that.

Lately I have experimented to see the difference between using the a/c versus not, as in, turning it off completely and rolling down the windows, or using just the fan. I only did the experiment for the duration of one tank of gas (it's really not enjoyable to go without air conditioning in Utah at this time of year), so there's obviously going to be a huge margin of error, but it's still interesting.

The first four months of this year I drove approximately 2,229.4 miles. Rounding to 2,230, I assumed a total-year mileage of 6690.

The average gas mileage for those first four months was 27.44 mpg. At that rate, I would need 243.80 gallons for the entire year, which, at a cost of $2.459 per gallon, would total $599.50.

The average gas mileage while using no a/c was 30.97 mpg. At that rate, I would need 216.02 gallons for the entire year, which, at a cost of $2.459 per gallon, would total $531.19.

Thus, I would save 27.78 gallons (my approximate milk consumption for nine weeks), and $68.31. That sounds pretty good, but then consider how that breaks down: I'm really only saving $5.69 a month. And that's for driving with NO air conditioning.

I think my comfort is worth $5.69 a month. Sorry to any environmentalists out there. I do kind of enjoy the fresh air at night or when it's cool, so at those times I may shut off the a/c to save some gas, and of course I'm still trying to cut down my car use entirely by using public transportation instead, but when I'm hot and I'm driving my car, I'm going to use the air conditioning. That is my conclusion.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Date Explosion

As of a month ago, the number of dates I'd had in the past three years: 0.

Number of dates I've had in the past month: 8.


Friday, May 22, 2009

Star Trek

Yes, I saw it. It was my very first Star Trek movie or tv show or anything ever (excluding that one time I tried to watch a Star Trek movie and failed miserably), and I knew right from the beginning I was going to like it because it started with a horn solo that ended in a fantastic rip. Yahoo! There were some other good horn parts throughout the movie and credits, and the low brass got their moments in during the credits as well.

As far as the movie itself went, I liked it. I thought the one spaceship looked absolutely ridiculous--who makes a giant spaceship to look like an ugly metal squid?--but oh well. I thought the battle scenes involving lasers and guns looked a bit ridiculous too, but I don't know that there's any other way they could have looked. I found myself laughing a lot throughout the movie, and I like movies that make me laugh. Spock is an interesting character. As a writer, I found myself most interested in him and his story.

Conclusion: no, I am not a Trekkie. I would, however, like to try to watch an older movie now, and see if I enjoy that too.

The end.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

This is a Test

Today while playing around with Word I decided to click on the "New Blog Post" option. I've always opened new documents in Word and seen the option to open a new blog post, but I never really knew what it was. Today I actually clicked on it, and I am writing this blog post from Microsoft Word. We shall see what happens.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Anya in Sink

Anya has always enjoyed lounging in the sink. It's pretty funny for me, not only because it's the sink, but also because I can turn on the water just a tiny tiny bit, and watch as it puddles on her fur. Queen Tuffet and I used to like to see how much water would pool on her before she realized she was getting wet. Sometimes it took quite a while.

She's frequented more sinks than I have pictures of, alas.

Generally Anya accesses the sink via the toilet, that is, she jumps up on the toilet, then on to the sink. When she was very young, she was tearing through the house one day and dashed into the bathroom to jump up on the sink--I think I might have been brushing my teeth or something. Unfortunately for her, the toilet lid was up.

Have you ever seen a cat change direction mid-air? It's pretty amazing. She didn't manage to do it, however, without still getting one paw in the toilet. My, cats are amusing. She's never done that since. I guess she learned her lesson.

This one is more recent, and was taken on a camera phone, so sorry for the fuzziness:

Anya also enjoys squeezing herself into whatever else she can fit. She loves open drawers, cabinets, doors, closets, etc. Here she is prowling around in my nylons:

Maybe that's why they all have runs...

And, of course, she likes to think she's going wherever I'm going, so here she is trying to pack herself away for a trip:

Ok, just kidding, she just likes going in suitcases too. Fun times.

Man, I really need to get some new topics to blog about...

Sunday, May 10, 2009


I've never known what to answer when people ask what color my cat is. When she was little she looked like a Siamese cat, but now... well, she's just a mess. But I finally figured it out. My cat is carpet-colored. Perfect adaptation to her natural habitat. You can barely tell she's there:

Unfortunately, this means I have to be careful not to step on her, especially in the dark.

Anya has always liked to hide. She likes to go in small enclosed spaces, the types of places that would make me hyperventilate from claustrophobia. This picture is from a few years ago, and was taken with my camera phone, so it's a bit fuzzy, but it's Anya in my gig bag:

Can you find the cat among the mess of junk under the bed? I think her glowing eyes kind of give it away. And yes, that's my green sock-clad toe in the picture.

This one is a good one. Find Anya (and, um... just ignore the mess):

Yes, if you look closely, that is her in the apple box. It was closed and she snuck in through the slit in the top.

Stay tuned for further episodes about Anya's exploits.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Pet Peeve: Doctor's Office Paperwork

You know how when you go to visit a doctor you have to fill out a bunch of paperwork? You have to fill out the reason you're seeing the doctor, whatever medications you're on, and your entire family history of medical conditions, going back four generations. Or something like that.

THEN, however, when the nurse brings you back to the little room and you're sitting on the lovely examination counter, s/he asks you those same exact questions.

The problem is, I'm always too timid to make a smart remark, or even a not so smart remark like, "I can't really remember. What did I say on that paper you're holding?", since the nurse has the upper hand, and I don't know the consequences of putting the nurse in a bad mood.

I was quite glad, recently, to see my doctor actually look at the paperwork I'd filled out when I went to visit her. She, at least, knows how to read.

The end.

PS. I considered whether to use "she" or "he" when referring to the nurse. I could have used "she", but then someone could claim that I'm being sexist by inferring that all nurses are women, or that nursing is a typically female profession. I could have used "he", but then someone could complain that I'm automatically using "he" when there's a case of gender neutrality, which is also sexist. So I used s/he, which I dislike. Yahoo.