It’s November 11 — Veterans’ Day.
Thank you to all veterans for your commitment, for your dedication, and for your service. You have manned the trenches, scrambled onto the bloody beaches, piloted the planes through anti-aircraft fire, driven the tanks, tended the grievously wounded, and done the other terrible but necessary things that have kept our country safe and free. All Americans — and all peoples who have been freed from tyranny through your efforts — deeply appreciate the sacrifices our veterans have endured, and grieve at the losses that the families of all who have served in the military have suffered.
Freedom doesn’t come cheaply. It is our soldiers and our veterans who have paid the steepest price for our liberty. For that, we are forever grateful.
Why is it that we can (or could, at least), land a man on the moon, but can’t invent a gas station hose that doesn’t loop around?
When I was a kid, gas stations were staffed by guys in clean uniforms who would run out, fill your tank, clean your windshield, check your fluids, and send you on your way with a cheery wave. (Of course, my memories might be a mixture of reality and Texaco TV commercials.) I never got to trust my car with the man who wore the star, however. By the time I started driving, the uniformed guys had vanished, and every filling station was self-serve. Just an early example of how businesses have adopted models that cut employment costs by requiring the consumer to shoulder part of the workload, but I digress.
I don’t mind pumping my own gas if it means I pay a lower price. But can’t the oil companies at least sink some of their money into developing a gas pump hose that doesn’t immediately become twisted? If I’ve got to put up with that gaggy gasoline smell and a surly employee behind a plexiglas shield barking at me over a cheap loudspeaker, is that too much to ask?
It’s always sad when a killer frost does its dirty work and our patio flowers die — but even after they go to the Great Garden In The Sky, the blooms can retain a certain subtle beauty. This fall, our dead yellow zinnias have a distinctly impressionistic feel, as they cling to the last drop of their once vivid colors.