Thursday, December 02, 2004
Last night was a pretty bland evening. The kids ate well and the fire burnt hot. Since it was windy and we were loosing a lot of BTU, I turned on heat to bring the manor up to 61 ... just to boot-strap the stove. Of course, I set it up so it would be 51 at night and week days and 61 on weekends, weekday mornings and evenings. I hate to do that, but it has been getting consistently chilly of late. I guess winter is really here, more or less.
The Mrs got her car back yesterday, the inspection, oil change and emissions check cost us a Benjamin even with the AAA 5% discount. Chris, my mechanic, went through the effort to change the air filter, but it was still good and he left it in. Apparently, you only need to change those every 30K or so. I feel stupid now, I thought it was 3K. Decimal points are important. Speaking of decimal points, I can still get gas at USA Wash for $1.959 a gallon. Now the odd thing about this is that the price has not changed in nearly 2 months. All the other petrol vendors in the area have fluctuated between 2.16 and 1.96 but they are rock solid at their lowest price. Hess is usually the same price, but it is more than a mile up the road. Not only is the price right, it is next to the Child Detention Center. It does not have a POS CC capability, but they do take cards so I'm ok with that. It does sting a bit when I put 10 gallons in the tank on Wednesday and have to shell out nearly 20$. This, on top of the 11$ for Tpk Tolls. That adds up to nearly 1550$ a year in commute expenses. Then we have Auto Insurance, Inspection, Registration, Oil and Filter replacement. Oh, and the annual 1000$ repair bill. I need to get a job closer to home.
The windy conditions left a lot of downed branches in the back 50, which I promptly collected and stuffed in the wood stove. This is one of the reasons I like the cold weather, lawn waste can be disposed of in a way that benefits me immediately. Burning wood == heat == no gas use == no money to OPEC. Yeah, I'm bitter. I spent the remainder of the evening doing the usual kid dinner/play/bath/bed routine. I myself, mucked around online till 2330 while the Mrs fretted over the reports from our Central Asia Expeditionary Force that indicated our operatives in the Haupertonian World Conquest Effort had run into problems. Apparently, the local tribes wont turn in their Yak Jerky for Beef Jerky. Hmmm, I guess we will have to reconsider our global currency exchange initiative, edible currency just is not cutting it.
In my effort to get to bed before midnight, I had neglected to turn on my wake-up alarm. Yeah, the one that goes off at 0515 and is ignored till 0615. My post is not late because I got up late, that is because I am lazy and actually have work to do. I woke up anyways at 0620 with that slight migraine still dogging me. I got out of bed and the Mrs was incidentally woken by my clumsy efforts to get out of the mile wide waterbed. She believed it to be the middle of the night and asked what was wrong. I let her know it was already 0620 and it was time to get up. She was extremely disappointed that she could not go back to sleep. She really enjoys my alarm going off at 5am, it means she can go back to sleep for another hour. I go check on the kids, they are still blissfully dreaming of Trains and Puppys and Grandparents, so I let them lie. The dogs are dancing about downstairs so I take care of them first. There is still a large clump of glowing embers left in the fireplace. It is still warm, but not warm enough to keep the furnace from kicking on. I did stock the fireplace with wood at 2300, it just is not big enough to last the night and there is no way I am going to get up in the middle of the night in my underwear just to cram a bunch of wood into a searing hot metal box. I've got enough burn scars on my hands and arms to keep me from fulfilling that urge. On an up note, Alexis was very cooperative today when I changed her. No screaming, hissing, clawing fit to keep me from taking off her pj, changing her diaper or putting her day clothes on. Count your blessings where you can find them.