Friday, December 28, 2007


Quote o' the Day

"We would like to return to work with our writers. If we cannot, we would like to express our ambivalence, but without our writers we are unable to express something as nuanced as ambivalence."
Steven Colbert and John Stuart announced that their shows would be returning to production without their striking writers. What pained me was CNN reporting that statement as if it was just another press release, not as the punchline it was. Then again, I suppose that's why the reporters are at CNN, not Comedy Central.


Math Works...Sometimes

Driving back from my hometown with my wife and daughter on Christmas Eve, the Prius started reporting that it was low on gas. I wasn't too worried about it because I knew that the Prius has a 10 gallon gas tank and the car was reporting that it was getting about 45 miles per gallon since I'd filled up. That should've meant that I could go 450 miles on that tank of gas. I knew that I only needed to travel a total of 415 miles to get home. My wife trusted me and we made it home safely to dream of sugar plums.

We stayed home on Christmas and the following day.

By the 27th, we needed to go out for groceries. It was basically 10 miles to the store we needed to go to. No problem: the math says that we should have another 35 miles on that tank of gas. We headed out on the interstate and a few miles in ran out of gas, which was a first for me in any vehicle.

The 2004-2008 Prius has a bladder in its fuel tank to reduce evaporative fuel loss. In cold weather, it's reported to allow less than a full 10-gallon fill.

Thankfully, one of our friends was just returning from the store. We called them when they were about 2 miles from us headed the other direction on the interstate. I ran across traffic, jumped in with them, got a ride home, grabbed the lawn mower's gas can, and drove our other car off to the rescue.

To my wife's enduring credit, she did not make fun of me and my misplaced faith in math. All of her laughter was directed at the irony of situation. Moments before the car dropped out of cruise control and started flashing lights at us, I had said, "I'm pretty sure there's one more notch to go on the gas gauge."

I'm extremely thankful that we ran out when we did. Had we run out a few miles earlier, we would've been stranded on the interstate on very nasty roads on Christmas Eve. She may not have been so kind.

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