Category Archives: Reality

The Gas War

Well, I finally bought a new car. I have a long commute to work with no possibility of public transportation, so I spent some time looking for a car that was dependable, was comfortable for me, and had good gas mileage.
I didn’t get a Prius because I spend most of my driving time on the highway, and the fuel efficiency of the Prius on the highway is not much better than the car I bought. It charges its electric system when you use the brake, and I don’t hit the brake too often between the entrance ramp and the exit ramp. I don’t speed, but I am a steady driver and you just don’t brake much on the highway. The second day I drove my new car a groundhog ran across the highway in front of me, and I would have generated some electricity then if I had been driving a Prius. But ordinarily the groundhogs just wave as I go by, they don’t run into the road. So I don’t brake much. So I didn’t buy a Prius.
But I did think about one. I thought about how I might spring for the extra money if it could charge its battery on the highway.
People who know me know that I am a little wierd when I start thinking about how some little ordinary thing might be done with what we have at hand. I have been that way a long time, and I can’t help it. Some things work and some do not.
One invention that did work came from watching my little one try to drink from his Evenflo bottle while riding in a car seat. He could hold the bottle, but he looked really uncomfortable tipping his head back to get the liquid to the nipple. I thought about this problem for a day or two, then I cut a big hole in the nipple, inverted it in the bottle, screwed on the ring, and pushed a drinking straw through the hole. The straw fitted snugly, the bottle was spill-proof, and the child could sit up and drink. I credit this early version of the sports bottle/squeezer with helping my children learn to read (books not being printed on ceilings, ordinarily), and it did turn heads in restaurants. I didn’t patent the thing, but my children and the children of my friends who caught the idea had squeezers long before the first one was on the market.
Now I’m thinking about how to charge the electric motor in that Prius. I figure it needs a little spoiler on the back end with some little windmills built into it and linked to a small generator. I don’t know why that wouldn’t work. Put your window down at 60 mph and see how much wind you have out there. Or maybe the little windmills could hide behind the grille or be built around the headlights. Or my son says you might be able to add little ramscoops to the sides.
I don’t know why that wouldn’t work.

Not holding my breath

Well, in the next couple of days I will try to find a picture of my cat to put up here. And I am keeping the Kerry bumper sticker on my car so that people will know that it isn’t my fault. I tried.
We who were unpatriotic for reading newspapers and questioning George W. Bush are now expected to forgive and forget, to find common ground, to work with the people who deceived their way to power. And because we are Democrats, we will probably try to do that. If we were Republicans, we would be gearing up our slander machine and looking for something we could use to hire a special prosecutor.
The Vote for John Kerry and John Edwards Reason of the Day will remain available as “The Well-if-I-had-known-that Archive.” Visit it if you wish.
And for the record, none of those “values voters” has shown up to apologize for stealing my yard signs. I am not holding my breath.