May 21, 2008

Disturbing sights and sounds

Driving to a meeting then to work, I passed 6 gas stations. The first 5 had a price of $3.99 for regular unleaded, bumping up against the dreaded $4.00 mark. The last one, across the street from a $3.99 station was charging $4.09. I've always wondered how this strategy works. It is one thing if you are in a prime location, with little competition, but why wouldn't people cross the street to save $.10. Are people convinced Shell's gas is better than Chevron's?

On a break from work, I walked up to the bank to deposit a check. First I want to say I really appreciate our new office location where I can walk to the bank, post office, lunch, coffee shop and bookstore. Second, I walked by a office window with smoky glass and gold stenciling describing their services. The first one I saw was "divorce planning". Rather jarring. Before you spring it on your spouse, talk to a financial planner.

I stopped by the local Starbucks. I have a coupon that gets me a free cup of coffee every Wednesday this month. I sat down with a cup to read Total Immersion, a book to help improve swimming technique. It has been pretty helpful so far.

I'm finding swimming technique similar to a golf swing in some ways. There are lots of little things that need to go right, lots of thoughts going through my head. I struggle at times, feeling like I am thrashing rather than gliding through the water, but my speed has improved. At least with swimming, if I don't get all those little things just right, I just go slower. With golf, over thinking generally leads to disaster. With both, every so often everything goes right, and that feeling keeps you coming back.

I used to be able to tune out my surroundings and read in restaurants and coffee shops. I don't seem to have the same level of concentration any more. It didn't help that there were a couple of junior high girls saying whatever crossed their minds one seat over. Their segues were non-existent. They were also reading aloud the texting they were doing simultaneously. One guy working on his laptop got up to get out of range of conversation, and he had headphones on. I tried my best to tune them out, to limited success (there were no other chairs available).

The girls apparently had a friend going through a break up. Some guy slept with her (her first time) then broke up with her. She found out they were broken up by hearing it from a friend. They were far too young to be going through any of this. Too lacking in a filter to talk about their friend in private. It can't be easy to be a teenage girl (or a parent of one I imagine).


Holly said...

Good post! The title really says it...and you're scaring me btw!

Anonymous said...

There, but by the grace of God, go I (as the parent of one of those little teenage girls).

I agree with hb, SCARY!