Wednesday, October 11, 2006

A Day in the Life

On the way home from my gym tonight I thought it might be fun to show some of the features of my drive home. I go this way almost every day. It's usually the fastest route, and there is almost always something interesting to see. Today it was almost sundown, so the light is not great. Summer is over and the time of driving back and forth to work in the dark is nearly here.

The highway shot demonstrates why I don't like driving anywhere else. Our traffic here is not crazy 24-7 like it is a lot of other places. This level of traffic is what I usually experience. I am at work before rush hour, and leave after rush hour. As an additional benefit, I am always going the opposite way from the bulk of the traffic. I do run into the odd traffic jam. but I am lucky enough to be able to say it's rare.

As you can see from the 7-11 sign, gasoline prices have come down. Do you wonder why? Why, it's an increase in exports from the Saudis and a release of oil from the Strategic Reserve, something that the shortages after Katrina were not enough to effect. November 7 is a looming emergency of unprecedented importance. Be sure to fill up your tank on the way home from the polls, 'cause this is an artificial low.

Next we have the restaurant I always call "Gas Station Chinese" . I think it was probably a hamburger drive-in style restaurant when it was built, but it's been a Chinese take out for years and years - at least 12 that I know of. There is a reason why it's been able to stay in business so long. The food is good, cooked to order, and fabulously cheap. It's one of Alex's favorites - he loves a good bargain. It's obviously family owned, and the family works it themselves. One of the ladies does not speak great English - she sounds like Margaret Cho's impression of her mother. Also. she does NOT like special requests. Especially "No Onions". She'll say "No Onions" after you about 4 times at increasing volume before she turns your order in. Of course one reason why we like to visit the Gas Station Chinese is that it is locally owned and all profits stay in the community.

The Old Orchard has been featured here before. Like the Gas Station Chinese it is locally owned and the food is plentiful and cheap. I think it must be an OK place to work because they don't seem to have a big turnover in waitresses. They do a Land Office business early in the morning, a good lunch, and an OK dinner. They feature a good burger and a very respectable pot roast. There has been some remodeling this year - the city passed a smoking ban unless the business has a separately vented room. When that passed they were closed for several days to paint, change out all of the ceiling tiles, and wash everything down. Used to be the main room would choke you to death. They are continuing the improvements with some new tabletops which should be installed in a few weeks. When Jennifer is in town she meets up with us for breakfast.

This is our house from the back, as I see it when I come home. I'm always glad to see it, and the end of my busy day. When I pull in Roxy is usually at the kitchen window barking. By the time I get out of the car she is already at the front door jumping up and down. As you can see, I am too lazy to pull my trash bins into the back yard.

This is my car. It's pretty basic, but exactly what I need right now. The gas mileage is good, and although the car is small it can carry a bicycle in the trunk because the back seat lays forward and extends the trunk. We'll find out this week if I can put a bike rack on the outside, because I am taking it down to the campgrounds myself on Friday. I'll have to take most of the gear, as Shana is not coming down until Saturday morning. If I want to have a bike there on Friday it will have to go on the outside. Alex borrows my car if he drives to Tulsa - and it looks like a clown car when all the boys unfold themselves to get out.

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