‘Tis the season for random thoughts

Have you noticed traffic slowing down a bit on the Interstate highway system? I have. Trucks, at least, are not blowing by me at 80 mph anymore. I heard this week that the big three automakers in America?GM, Ford and Chrysler?have been taken by surprise by the trend toward smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles. Duh.

If there is a silver lining around this cloud of $4 gasoline, it is that business has begun to take notice that citizens are rethinking their gas guzzlers. GM has a totally electric car ready to roll by the end of 2010. It looks like a sports car, but hums like an electric razor.

Apparently, trucking gasoline from Wichita on north to Hills?boro is expensive. Regular unleaded (remember when those were two different things?) was 25 cents cheaper than what it costs in our fair city when I bought it in Wichita about a week ago. It?s a good thing nobody around here is sticking it to us.

On a happier note, I found out recently I had accidentally purchased replacement insurance for my house. I?m going to get an $8,000 roof makeover for my $250 deductible. I?m thinking we could put a sign at the city limits proclaiming Hillsboro as the reroofing capital of Kansas. There are almost as many signs for roofing contractors in town as there are county sheriff political placards. Almost.

My wife and I just celebrated our 28th year of wedded bliss a couple of days ago. It?s amazing how time flies. We have a son who?s getting married in October and a daughter who is heading off to college. How did we suddenly get so old?

Lots of things have changed since we were hitched in 1980. During the first few years, I handled all the finances. That soon changed, however, as Kathy discovered that I never met a dollar I didn?t like to spend. She takes care of all of the money now. I even have my paycheck deposited directly into the bank.

Thank goodness I still get my allowance each month. Seriously, though, Kathy is the best thing that ever happened to our marriage.

I was very unhappy with my satellite TV provider last month. My picture was breaking up at regular intervals. I called one morning, and the nice man on the other end of the line asked me if anything had changed. Had the dish been moved, or were there any new obstructions such as tree limbs? I assured him there had not. Until I went outside and looked. I discovered that my trees had begun to encroach on the dish?s space. Since the company refused to move its satellite, I was forced to do some tree trimming and to eat some crow.

Just for the record, it does not take much in the way of obstruction to cause interference. If you are having similar problems, check it out. There?s really not a whole lot else that can go wrong.

I enjoy the Mac vs. PC commercials on TV. I own both types of computers. Each has its limitations. But, in my book, Mac is a clear winner in reliability and stability. It also costs more.

Much to my chagrin, I have discovered that I am allergic to the red sauce at La Cabana restaurant in Hillsboro. Of course, it?s not the restaurant?s fault. I can eat the other sauces, but the red variety requires that I stay within ready distance of a restroom facility. I usually have about 30 minutes before the urgent need arises. Too much information? Sorry.

You have to feel for the astronauts out there on the space station. Their plumbing quit working, and that could be a serious issue. Fortunately, we were able to launch a multibillion-dollar shuttle excursion to fix the problem. I understand the line to the ladies? room is still twice as long as the one for the men?s room.

The grueling race for the Democratic presidential nomination appears to be over. For now. I find it interesting that two people can disagree on almost everything, call each other all sorts of names and then consider teaming up ?for the good of the party.? This is why I refuse to register as a Republican or a Democrat. I want to think for myself.

I believe it was Einstein who said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

If we are going to continue to be a host town for MAYB, the basketball free-for-all that happens each summer, we need to place signs downtown pointing the way to the gym. I have never seen so many confused motorists. I provided directions for several families, a job I actually enjoy doing.

In ?The Great Gatsby,? one of the main characters, Nick, says he no longer felt like a stranger in his new neighborhood once he provided directions to a lost traveler. Perhaps after 28 years in Hillsboro, I have arrived.

Have you noticed some activity on the former McDonald?s building on East D Street? It looks suspiciously like a Wendy?s fa?ade going up. Though I am not a big fan of fast food, our town sorely misses it, and I miss McDonald?s.

Not there is anything wrong with the restaurants we have in town; I would just like a place where I can walk in, order a quick burger and fries and return to my car in mere moments. I?ve never been crazy about talking into a speaker or having to tip a waitress for a fast-food meal. And, a guy can only eat so many sandwiches.

Judging from the overflowing parking lot at Ampride each early morning and late afternoon, the farmers must miss McDonald?s, too.

Remember when the Kansas City Royals were always winning their division and when the Chicago Cubs were bad? As I said earlier, times really do change.