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BlueWolf's Howl

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October 01, 2002

The Top Half

My math teacher (years ago - when I was in high school) told me about her daughter running out of gas. The daughter was new to driving and she would constantly drive on the bottom half of the tank. She'd get all the way down to the E and then *finally* put a few dollars of gas in the tank. Normally, she would only have enough to fill the tank halfway until her next paycheck/allowance.

My teacher's point was...there is an equal amount of gas/mileage from Full to Half as there is from Half to Empty. If you're going to ride on half a tank, it would be better to ride on the top half instead of the bottom half. That way, when you're hitting the "other" empty point, you'll still have a half tank of gas to get you to the gas station.

Often I've thought of this lesson when I fill my tank. I promise myself that I'll ride on the top half. As the gas lessens, so does my resolve. And then I find myself almost on empty on my way to work in the morning. There's no time to stop, so I cross my fingers and spend the last part of the trip cruising into the parking lot on fumes. Or I'll be even closer to empty and *have to* stop for gas on my way to work -- dang, why didn't I listen? (Note: this never happens when I'm early or on time...only when I'm already running behind schedule.)

So I had another one of *those* mornings today. I had to stop and fill the tank on my way to work. On my way home this evening, I noticed that I was already down a quarter of a tank. (Yes, it's a long ride to work.) I thought of that math teacher and the top half of the tank. I made a mental promise to train myself to get gas on the way home instead of when I need it. New habits are so hard to start, but once the task becomes a habit, it's no longer a chore.

I hope after all these years, I finally get this lesson...

Posted by BlueWolf on October 1, 2002 09:48 PM