I just don’t understand it, beer and milk are cheaper than gas-but I don’t drink beer anymore since my active-duty days as a U.S. Army soldier spoiled me, when I was stationed in Germany, for the taste of Hefeweizen. Milk is no different, as a kid I drank it by the gallon, but with age, as with many people, I became lactose intolerant. So I’m stuck to driving usually with an occasional Red Bull or Vitamin Water in hand and like most Americans, I just don’t understand why gas is so expensive.

I’ve heard it all, from the fact that the dollar is weak against the Euro and other currencies to the government rules and regulations that impede drilling and refining here at home, thus making us more dependant on overseas oil–yet the petroleum companies are making record-breaking, billion-dollar profits. Sadly I’m starting to look at the whole U.S. way of life as a big conspiracy by the credit card companies, the petroleum industry, the pharmaceutical companies and the financial institutions to eliminate the middle-class.

A friend of mine in Atlanta, huge in commercial real estate, told me a month ago that the residential housing foreclosures are the worst he’s seen in 50-years and that commercial real estate is next and it scares him. That scares me too. I’ve been in contact with many friends in various industries and businesses, they all agree, we are in the beginning of a recession that is not getting any better–I feel it too like most Americans. Life gets tougher, but the best thing of it all, I don’t feel Americans have lost faith in the fact it will get better-though most realize the worst is yet to come.

One thing I’ve heard before, when things are down in the economy, people tend to watch more movies and read more-I’m proof of that, as this past Sunday was the first time I went to a movie theatre in probably ten years, I think it was the most inexpensive outing I’ve done this year, and it felt good. It took me away from the shrinking middle-class conspiracy for a couple of hours and it felt great. Thank goodness the theater was not too far and I didn’t eat up in gas the price of admission, though I think the buttered popcorn was cheaper than driving there.

I do my best to make my drive times shorter now, planning more than I ever would for less gas-consuming trips, especially since I drive a 4-wheel drive truck (in Texas you drive a truck or you’ll get hit by one). I used to drive slower and longer routes just so I could consume one of my favorite, non-alcoholic drinks and now I find myself exiting my Chevy Silverado Z-71 truck with a half can of Red Bull or half a bottle of Vitamin Water instead of trash that needs disposing. Maybe that’s the bright side, the floorboard of my truck stays cleaner now. That’s it, don’t forget our troops, their families and friends, God Bless, rg sends!

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