And what magic did I do, to get my Jeep to get 20 MPG? Did I install all new spark plugs and change the oil and grease everything and do this and that and the other thing?
Nope. I did one thing only: limited my speed to 65 MPH on 294.
In fact I typically go slower than that; I'll get behind a truck that's going maybe 63 MPH indicated, and just follow him. That's a two-fer: not only do I get the benefit of reduced speed but the truck blasts a hole through the atmosphere for me, making it easier for the Jeep to maintain speed.
This is how I drove for years. I only stopped driving like that because the Jeep's front end would try to tear itself apart between 54 and 62 MPH, and every time I tried to go only 65 there'd be some shithead in front of me going 62 and I'd be right back there shaking like a guy with the DTs while a spot big enough opened up for me to pass the guy and get back up over 65.
It was easier just to get into the left lane and go. But since the death shimmy is gone, now I can go 55 MPH again without my front end coming apart.
Drag goes up as a cube of velocity, so even though the engine is only turning maybe 25% faster at 75 MPH (2500 RPM versus around 2000 RPM at 62-ish) the aerodynamic drag is what's sucking gas out of my tank, because that truck has the aerodynamics of a friggin' brick.
What's really cool is that I started with a hair less than half a tank Monday morning, and made it through two round trip commutes on that, and still have enough to get to a gas station tomorrow. Win.
* * *
Yesterday was insane. The last two hours were literally non-stop. Finish one call, another comes in--for two hours, bam-bam-bam, which never happens there. That was literally the busiest time I ever had in this job. When I got home I was exhausted.
...even so, Monday evening I came home and rested a bit, then washed dishes and got on the treadmill for 20 minutes.
Today was considerably more sedate. Still busy, but not as busy as Monday was.
This week is "customer service appreciation week", and today they fed us. Pretty good, too: antipasto, mostaccoli, italian beef and sausage. I stuffed myself--just one serving of each--and it was enough to keep me going until I got home even though I ate at about 11:30 and I usually don't have lunch until 2 PM.
But I've been adding to AV here and there, and not only did I pass 300 pages but I finally figured out where to split the story between part two and part three. About 186,000 words and counting. Yeesh.
...and part three, we get perhaps 3 or 4 pages in and blammo there's a sudden sneak attack by an unidentified ship. Writing this scene I started to go one way, then stopped, cut it, and redid it. The way it was going was NBG and anticlimactic, and I can't do another anticlimax so soon after the big war I'd set up fizzled out. No--this one's got to start out big, and continue big, and be big. Shit blowing up and people staying alive by the skin of their teeth and heroes doing the hero thing. Good old-fashioned promethean space opera.
That's the way to do it.