saw Patrick K. for the first time in years, or at least recognized him, as I pass lots of people I know without realizing it until later, which leads me to believe I probably pass by hundreds more people I know without ever realizing it.

then later on today I undertook the dreaded task of refilling the old-style gas can from which I fill my Coleman camp stove. I say "dreaded" because not only is it tedious walking almost a mile each way to the gas station, I didn't know how to pump it. sure, I can pump gas into a car, but for some reason the pumps don't dispense gas into these short, squat cans unless you know the secret. well, today I learned it.

first, I paid my $4 inside, then went out to pump #1 outside the Shell station at Washington and Howard. just as I thought, it wouldn't pump. I went back inside and asked for help from the cashier. it wasn't the Mexican woman today, it was a young Asian lady. she couldn't get it to work either. finally she went and got the owner or manager, a guy about my age who was apparently wondering how someone like me can manage to survive without knowing such a basic requirement of civilization. anyway, he told me to "pull up on it", which I did, but still no joy. he said "no, not like that", and I said "OK, show me", and he did. he pulled up tight on the flexible rubber part (vapor recovery hood or "foreskin"), and magically the gasoline started to flow. then I said "OK, let me try", and I was able to finish getting my $4 worth (about a gallon at bay area California prices). so now I know the secret. maybe I'll remember next year when it's time to refill again. I should be good for the rest of the summer.

Back to blog or home page

last updated 2019-09-15 19:19:07. served from tektonic.jcomeau.com