Friday, March 29, 2013

Day 1200

Since it was a nice day, I thought I'd try to refurbish the gravel pathways in the back yard. What the hell. Since the grass and vegetation look so nice now, it seems a shame not to go the whole nine yards and get everything looking nice. I needed some small white rocks, so I strapped a big black bucket to the back of the Defender and headed for the rock store. It's a bit intimidating going to the rock store, since there aren't many people like me there. The place is a huge field with giant piles of every kind of rock imaginable. There aren't many small cars there. Most of the people getting rocks have huge 18-wheelers that are constantly loading and unloading tons of rocks at a time. I'm always nervous that one of these vehicles will dump a big load of rocks on top of my car and bury me.

To buy rocks, you first weigh your car on a giant scale, fill it with rocks, and then weigh it again. By subtracting the second weight from the first, they determine how many rocks you've bought. I bought 500 pounds of small white pebbles that looked like a good match for the pebbles that I'd already used to make the existing paths in the back yard. My 500 pounds of rocks was probably the rock store's smallest sale of the day.

When I got back to the house, I discovered that my white rocks didn't cover nearly as many bare spots along the path as I had hoped. In fact, my 500 pounds of rocks didn't go very far at all. Judging from the length of pathway my rocks covered, I must have bought 3000 pounds of rocks the first time I tried this. I was younger then of course, and I think rocks must have been lighter too.

I think the waiters at my breakfast restaurant have discovered marketing. I noticed this morning that whenever someone, including myself, ordered anything vaguely healthy, a waiter would say "Would you like to substitute freshly cut fruit for the potatoes?" Most of the people, including myself, said yes. What you didn't realize until they brought the check at the end of your meal is that the freshly cut fruit added three dollars to your bill. Pretty sneaky. Of course, car dealers do the same thing. "Would you like to substitute a Sat-Nav package for that radio," they say. "Wouldn't you like to substitute some nice 21 inch rims for those 19 inch stock wheels?" Happens all the time. It was just a bit unnerving to see a waiter get you to upgrade your breakfast with such ease.

I ended up talking to one of the roofers today. I asked him why roofing prices had gone up so dramatically. He told me that in the late 90's, refiners discovered how to extract more gasoline from crude oil, resulting in fewer petroleum by-products like asphalt. This supposedly cause the prices of roofing materials to double in a single year. Of course, the guy didn't explain why my own roof bid was so high, especially when the company wasn't planning on using any asphalt materials in my new roof at all.

Elliott is today's Dalmatian of the Day
Watch of the Day