Friday, June 13, 2008

How My Mind "Works"

As I was walking to the subway today, I saw a tanker truck getting ready to collect the used cooking oil from the basement of one of the restaurants near our apartment. At first, it made me think of this recent Times article I'd read about the new black market for used oil. Then, I began to wonder about how many other restaurants this truck would be hitting today. This thought led me to another that got me irritated: this company is sending a truck around to pick up used oil—a tanker truck, which runs on gasoline, to pick up cooking oil to be converted into biodiesel! 

The more I thought about this, the more irritated I got. What's the point of wasting precious gasoline, polluting the air with the idling engine, to pick up that oil? Shouldn't there be a better way to do this job? I wondered if they might use a truck with an electric engine but dismissed it quickly: I'm sure the oil would be too heavy for an electric engine to be efficient. For all I know, they don't even make electric truck engines. And having each restaurant take their oil to a depot or something would still be expending petroleum to create biodiesel. I was really starting to get ticked off...

Then I realized that a company that is collecting oil to make biodiesel probably uses that same biodiesel in their trucks.

Oh. Right.

My thoughts are like laws and sausages: you might enjoy the end product but the process is painful to watch.

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