Monthly Archives: October 2005

On a couple of occasions, Barry and I have discussed the gas price hikes during hurricane season. For the most part I came to the defense of big oil, explaining that there really were reasons why gas prices would climb so quickly other than the obvious profit motive. The short argument is we have inadequate refining capacity huddled right down hurricane alley. In fact, I am relatively sure that a fair number of gas stations were actually selling it at a loss. There was a flattening of prices for a while, with name gas stations charging only a few cents more than the discounters and only a few cents difference between Delosa (where oil is generally cheap) and Deseret (where it is not so cheap). That’s usually indicative of gas prices running up against an artificial barrier (in this case, the $3 mark. The same thing happened when it hit $2). Gas stations by and large make their money through the convenience stores they’re attached to, and I am guessing that some of them were willing to lose a bit on gas to get people to come in to their stores. Or at least willing to forego much of any profit.

But that’s over now.

I believe my earlier position to be sound, but the situation has changed. The Washington Times outlines it all quite nicely. With the uncertainty gone, the prices should have dropped almost as quickly as they rose. The damage was less than feared (and fear was one of the big things driving the prices upward).

Even our oil-friendly Congress are getting a bit anxious about the prices, and concerns about record profits by the oil companies. I try to avoid getting too political on this site, but it seems to me some assurances of cooperation might have been a good thing to get before the Energy Bill that they got through that was very, very generous to those they are worried about being associated with.

Category: Road

Me: Lesson of the day: Even if a fit of frustration, it’s a bad idea to name a query “GODDAMMIT”… it gets tedious repointing all the other queries when you cool down and give it a more proper name.

Tony: You should see what the engineers name blocks they use in drawings.

Category: Server Room

First, it pertains to daily life in a way that everyone can relate to. Kate the Peon tends to bear all in her posts, which is one of the things I really like about her. Today she posted on an encounter over last weekend where she shared a bed with an acquaintance.

In a former life I’d been in situations of that sort. On one hand it gets my heart thumping a bit just reading it, and on the other hand it makes me quite glad that I don’t have to worry about such things anymore. I wasn’t built for the single life. Even when I was single. If I hadn’t had a girlfreind throughout most of my college tenure, I probably would have exploded.

My nigh-extant coworker Marc was telling me the other day about this woman that he was interested in. This was significant because Marc rarely talked about such things. It turns out that it’s not a privacy issue so much as it is an issue of a lackluster romantic life. It’s odd because Marc is extremely charismatic and attractive enough for the movies. Turns out that he’s just really picky and a girl of interest only pops up into his life every year or two, but rarely more frequently than that.

Anyway, so he was talking about this love interest that he dated a while back. She emailed him out of the blue and they started talking again. His interest was piquing, but she unbeknownst to him she was about to get married. Somewhat uneducated in the ways of women, he was educated by a couple of his chatty peers. They said that it’s not uncommon for someone to dip their toe in the water before making a big commitment. He was actually somewhat delighted to be considered “Plan-B.”

Ahh well, in another year or two someone else will come around for him.

I’ve never had a high tolerance for ambiguity. Both Kate’s and Marc’s story exemplifies everything that I hated about being single. There was a lot of excitement, but the “excitement” came from the ambiguity that I hated. That moment when you don’t know if she likes you as much as you like her (or him, obviously). Exciting, I guess, but terrifying. Ideally I like there to be meaning in the world, and most of my downtime between stable relationships was spent on meaningless things.

It’s interesting how I get further and further away from being involved in that lifestyle even second-hand. If I look at my five closest male peers from my high school and college years, three are married, one cohabitating, and one dead. My three most serious exes are a bit of a different story, but you have to keep in mind that they had to be screwed up enough in the head to date me to begin with.

When Julie and I were dating back in college, it was something of a novelty that I was in a serious relationship. None of the above were in a serious relationship nor had even had a serious one. It was in many ways decidedly inc0nvenient. Partially because she didn’t get along with any of them, but also because I was out of that entire race. I was, it seemed, fixed for life. I couldn’t go skirt-chasing and if I was flirting it wasn’t cool but rather a controversy.

The tide on that turned within a year of Julie and I parting ways. Suddenly I was making friends with people decidedly older and more settled down than myself. They were in relationships and instead of having an inconvenient appendage, I was a third or fifth wheel. Intermittently there was Evangeline, but the more presence she had in her life the more lonely I felt. It’s odd and hard to describe. Even in a relationship, I was unhappy. It didn’t count.

Then, in the same year that I met Clancy, three of the five friends met their either wives or practically-wives. Unbeknownst to us, we were all working on a pretty similar timeline. We were all ready to leave that phase of our life behind. The ambiguity, anyway.

There have been times when my relationship, engagement, and marriage to Clancy have been less than ideal. There have even been times when I wasn’t sure if we were going to make it and I’ve had to look very seriously at the prospect of being single again. When I had similar thoughts with Julie years ago, part of me really lamented the fact that I wouldn’t be able to see what else is out there. Then I found out.

A wise man once said that nothing is ever so consistently overestimated as the opportunity cost of being married.

Category: Coffeehouse