One of the few benefits of being a graduate student is being able to disappear from "work" at random times of the day. I have no clock to punch. Well, the clock got punched a few years ago and is continuing to tick away, which if I was paid by the hour would be great. But I'm not.
But sometimes the fringe benefits are worth it. I can take off and go skiing at the drop of a hat without worrying about a boss or co-worker. The problem then becomes that I have to get to where I can ski. In Laramie this is not too hard and one of the few benefits of living here as we have a great little cross-country area less than 10 miles to the East. Yet it still requires me to drive. I still drive a 1986 Saab which is pretty low on the environmentally friendly vehicle list. It gets pretty good mileage yet. (About 30MPG on the highway) The issue is that when I sneak away to go ski I am :
a) driving by myself (and the dog)
b) adding a higher amount of emissions to the atmosphere than if I were to sell the Saab and buy a newer car.
The Saab actually is for sale ($500 OBO) but so far I have had no takers. And I do have access to another, cleaner car (Amy's new VW). But I am never certain if Amy will need that car and I like driving the old one. I would like to see, should it not sell, if there are ways of reducing the emissions from it. This is something I will begin to investigate in the next few weeks.
Problem "a" comes from the fact that this is rather spontaneous in nature. I would like to be able to car pool but most people I know actually have jobs or our few obligations do not match up. Hence I will fly solo. I have always thought that a bus service up the interstate to the ski area would be a great thing. But it probably would not be cost effective and of course there is something about being the only one on the trails.