Evan's Eyes

Web Log Entry #0064, Wednesday, April 23, 2003: Day 156

Anchorage Sunrise: 6:15am Sunset: 9:41pm High Temp: 58° Low Temp: 35°

Today I saw Alaska license plate "CGJ 750". Most of you may be thinking "Well, BFD 000!" Allow me to explain: During a more ignorant, blissful time in my life, I thought to amuse myself during commute time by playing a license-plate-spotting game. I would start with '001,' (like "PDX 001", but the letters don't matter), and then looking for a plate ending with '002', and so on. Simple, no? That does mean spotting a thousand license plates in order, but I was driving from SE Portland to Vancouver, WA and back five days a week, and it felt like I was seeing a thousand cars EVERY DAY, so how long could it take? That was almost fifteen years ago. Several homes, jobs, and a marriage have come and gone, but the game goes on. Like a millstone around my albatross, I can't let it go. Sometimes I wish I could be as obsessive about useful things; if I had such diligence in growing my retirement accounts, I'd be on a beach in Aruba by now.

It's not like I'm trying really hard, though, I'm sure I could have finished if I worked at it. I've never trolled through mall parking lots or spent Saturday afternoons by the freeway checking plates (although if I had, I could have held a sign asking for donations and boosted my retirement funds substantially). There's no real reward in completing this quest, and it's almost embarrassing to say that it's been going on so long, but I can't let it go. It just seems wrong to spend so many years, then quit (but I'm not going to examine at whether it's silly to keep going). So I'm only 250 license plates from being done. At this rate, I'll finish in 2008. I don't think I'll play twice.

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© 2003 Evan M. Nichols