Spring is just exploding around here at the Ides of March. The tulips across the street are standing at attention. The birds are in May mode. I’m worried a hurricane may blow in. Baseball season hasn’t even started yet but I have a sudden hankering to go on summer vacation. Do NOT share this information but I’ve already switched to white pants and bow ties. Talk about March Madness!

The other day I drove around the Shenandoah Valley talking to people about gas prices. Story should run any day now. I like the old-school journalism in which you go around and talk to people and jot down their quotes in the trusty Reporter’s Notebook. I’m not sure there’s really a business model for this kind of reporting anymore. But it’s always nice to talk to people who aren’t part of a public relations operation and haven’t had media training. And I learned something. I pulled over and talked to a guy who was pumping something out of a rail car into a tanker truck. I assumed he was pumping some kind of fluid, but no: He was pumping tiny plastic pellets. Each pellet was roughly the size of a grain of kosher salt. The plastic pellets came from Texas by rail, to Winchester, and he was transferring the stuff in the tanker truck to a factory where they make plastic bins. Eventually those bins will wind up at Wal-Mart or the Container Store or wherever plastic bins are sold. And I guess I didn’t know plastic could be shipped like that, or pumped.

I need to learn more about how civilization works.

About gas prices, I don’t worry about them, personally, because I have my ingenious system in which I spend precisely $20 when I go to the gas station. This way I never have to pay more for gas. I don’t know why more people don’t try this.