Today’s best journal titles: Thorax and Chest, both encountered in the midst of a writing project.
Today’s top concern: Getting everything packed as I get ready to take my slow-motion, long-distance cycling thing on the road (translation: I’m leaving Berkeley for a cross-country road trip today; we’ll wind up in New York, where I’ll get on a plane for Paris-Brest-Paris).
Today’s related concern: Gas mileage. We’re renting a car to drive across the country. I’m bringing too much bike-related crap to do the smart thing and get a small, relatively fuel-efficient car. So I opted for a Subaru Outback, which is actually OK mileage- and emissions-wise. I booked it last week and showed up at the Hertz counter at the Oakland airport today to pick it up. My reserved car wasn’t ready because it turned out they had no Subaru Outbacks; when I complained — mildly, for me, mentioning that it was “weird” that there was no car since I made the reservation last week — I was told that the outlet was expecting an Outback but the current renter hadn’t returned it. Uh huh. It just so happened that they had a not-so-spanking new Toyota Highlander, non-hybrid version, ready to roll. So that’s what we’ve got. Crude oil just hit an all-time high today. Gas prices in the Bay Area are at about $3.10-$3.20 per gallon of regular, ethanol-doctored fuel. Big surprise — we’re going to get murdered on our gasoline bill.