Buy gas when the guage reads 1/4 tank.

Time to fill up!
Time to fill up!


This is not a lesson I learned quickly. In fact, I was known for running out of gas. One of the first times your dad and I went out on a date was when we were in college at Western Carolina University. Since he didn’t have a car at school, I drove. We went to Sylva to see a movie. (I think it was a real classic – You Light Up My Life, but there weren’t a lot of choices in Sylva, NC.) On the way back to campus, I famously ran out of gas. Of course, your dad had no idea this was one of my bad habits.

Fortunately, we were not far from a gas station so we walked down the road, bought some gas, put it in a borrowed container from the station, and then poured it in the tank using a rolled up up road map as a funnel. And off we went – no harm done.

This was a pattern I continued for years. In fact, I’ve run out of gas on my way home from Ocala Springs twice, but not in the last 15 or so years. So take it from one who knows, keep gas in your car! Not only is it inconvenient, embarrassing, and dangerous to run out of gas, it’s also not good for your car. When the gas level gets too low, condensation forms in the tank and you do not want water in your gas since this can do some serious damage to the engine.

While this is always a good idea, it’s even more important during hurricane season since nothing would be more frustrating than

Wonder if Albert ever let the Bat-mobile drop before a 1/4 tank?
Wonder if Albert ever let the Bat-mobile drop below a 1/4 tank?

to be unable to use your car before, during, or after a storm – since stations make lack power or run out of fuel. So make a habit of filling the tank when it reaches the 1/4 level. You’ve got several months to make this a habit before hurricane season rolls around in May. And don’t get frustrated with your dear ole mom when she texts or calls to remind you to fill up due to an approaching storm. If nothing else, I may save you a few bucks since gas stations are notorious for raising prices during times of peak usage.



Follow Bob Costas’ Lead

Two weeks ago, Bob Costas called into question the NFL culture, the gun culture, and the domestic violence culture after the murder suicide of an NFL player and his girlfriend. He took a lot of flak for his comments with some calling for NBC to fire him. They complained he lacked any qualifications to speak about gun control. My question, what qualification do his critics possess? None! In both cases, someone is expressing an opinion. However, if that opinion questions gun laws or gun ownership then it shouldn’t be permitted according to the gun rights bullies in our country.

The NRA and others frequently quote the second amendment in these cases. Apparently, the second amendment is the only one worth quoting or protecting. The first amendment and the right to free speech is squashed by these second amendment intimidators…if you want to discuss gun control, you aren’t qualified to speak. If you support banning assault weapons, you are violating the Constitution. If you favor background checks, you’re invading their privacy. The list goes on and on.

Bob Costas spoke over a week before a gunman opened fire in an Oregon mall and twelve days before dozens of first graders and school personnel were massacred in Connecticut. He started a long overdue conversation. Before this week’s events, a few others spoke up and supported his comments. On Friday, the President finally stopped dancing around the gun control issue in his remarks regarding the school shooting. The words gun control have actually been heard in the news this week…even as some continue to say this is no the time for these discussions.

It’s time. It’s time we stop the bullies. It’s time we who support gun control speak up. Just as those who watch the playground bully without taking action are guilty in their silence, those of us who do not speak out on gun control and equally complaisant.

I will contact my legislators. I will not let other’s speech regarding the need to protect gun rights to go unchallenged. I will sign petitions and research and support organizations such as the Brady Campaign, Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, and Physicians for Social Responsibility, that advocate for gun control. I will follow Bob Costas’s lead. I hope you will too.