Thursday, July 14, 2005

widget schmidget

DC has been using his newest "gas price" widget in Tiger to try to find cheap gas. You type in your zip code and it gives you the five lowest prices and their locations. So far he has been chasing phantoms; when he finds the gas station the price is no lower than it is elsewhere. He was going to try again yesterday on his way home from work. It's hard to believe someone's selling it for $1.80 when I can't see any for less than $2.19. I felt a small piece of luck fell my way on Tuesday when I filled my tank for $2.21 a gallon while I watched a tanker truck replenishing the station's supply. When I passed the same station in the wee hours following work the price had increased to $2.23.

Ed & I saw two possums last night near a pond we hadn't noticed before. We were just checking out a small stand of junipers and were crossing a soupy swath of turf when we saw the first possum. It seemed awfully scraggly and small - not fat like the other one we saw a few weeks back. Then we saw there was a large pond beyond the slight ridge we were climbing. Ed joked about alligators and suddenly there was something swimming in the dark water! I thought "cottonmouth"! We trained our flashlights on it and it came closer a few times but not close enough to see clearly. We could tell it was some kind of mammal, so we guessed "possum". We heard but did not see half a dozen or more turtles plopping into the water. We crossed the street and waded through some more watery muck to one of the canals and spotted a huge bird flying silently over the water. In the dark it looked as large as an egret, but was most likely an owl. Was it a barn owl or a great horned owl? Do opossums swim? Do skunks swim? Our night walks are giving my brain as well as my legs exercise as I try to research these creatures of the night.

We've decided 11-11:15pm isn't a good time for wildlife viewing because the tractor-trailer rigs are finishing their last run of the day and there's too much noise. Last night we realized 12:30am isn't good, either. There was so much traffic around the warehouse it must be when the shift changes. The pond was far enough from the road you didn't notice the cars much but our circuit around the warehouse was positively dangerous as we had to avoid 6 or 8 speeding cars. We only saw one skunk on the premises.

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