Friday, April 25, 2008
Gas prices, Spring, eBay, and good friends...
The news is good here this week in Camp Connell, as it always is, though the economic indicators are somewhat less certain. Here are some items to consider:
-- Gas prices hit $4.05 9/10 this past week at the local general store because the tanker arrived.
It appears that the big oil companies, Chevron in this case, set the price at the pump based on some mysterious formula and tell the local sales folks what to charge. Folks at the store this evening tell me they've seen prices as high at $4.29 in the San Francisco area, and the ski resort up the mountain charges more than our local store.
The price of gas doesn't seem like much of a big deal until you consider a long road trip. It was cheaper for Pat and me to fly to and from Mexico, even adding in the cost of an airport motel, than to drive. Next year we are hoping to go to Alaska, but driving seems a unlikely option.
--Weather report: the snow is melting in our front yard.
-- Today (Friday) was my last ski day of this season. The resort up the hill will be open two more days but we will be busy and it really isn't worth it as conditions are not great. The window for decent skiing is so small now, as the sun turns the icy snow into slush by noon, I'm starting to think about hiking at a lower altitude.
One act of faith: I purchased a season ski pass for next year.
-- Spring is officially here at Camp Connell. We have Crocus blooming, dozens of other bulbs fighting their way up into the sunshine -- some coming through patches of snow.
The other sure sign of Spring is that the work has resumed on the garage we were having built for last winter, but didn't quite make it. The site has been cleared of snow and tree debris, and the inspector came by yesterday and gave the go-ahead for pouring concrete on Monday to finish the slab. Then, if rafters and lumber can be found, the walls should start to go up.
Next week I have to arrange to have the snow tires removed from the Subaru. These are REAL snow tires, not your wimpy East Coast type that can stay on the car all summer.
And baseball season is underway for my 11-year-old granddaughter Delaney.
(UPDATE: The forecast calls for some rain mixed with snow in the middle of the week. No matter. It is still Spring.)
-- We have rented our former home in Sacramento after trying unsuccessfully to sell it for four months. As part of the cleaning out, I have vowed to sell off a bunch of small stuff on eBay. Made my first sale this week: a pair of commemorative drinking glasses with Apollo 13 designs. Sold for $1.29 (shipping was over $8, but the buyer in Iowa paid for that). The buyer sent me an email that said, "Say, are you the same LaMont that used to work for the TODAY newspaper in Florida?" Turns out he read the newspaper as a youth, and has been a space buff ever since.
-- Pat and I are back in school now, training the be docents at Calaveras Big Trees State Park. The park is only two miles away, and has over a thousand Sequoia trees, giant redwoods, big trees or -- if you are British -- wellingtonian.. Technically,they are Sequoiadendron Giganteum, and that's the sort of thing we are learning along with how to deal with drunken and rowdy campers (call the ranger). Should be fun this summer.
-- Coincidence, or not? I had a telephone call from Stan Rodimon this past week. Stan was a classmate at Marion Military Institute from 1957-1960, the school I wrote about recently, and then at the University of Alabama where we both graduated before going off into the Army and losing track of each other. He and his wife Linda were struggling married students when we last got together 46 years ago. They were good friends and interesting people. They promise to come see us this summer so we can do a bit of catching up. What a treat!