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8.12.2003

I'll admit it. I speed.

Maybe that's putting it mildly. Perhaps it would be better to say I travel at "decidedly unsafe speeds." For example, my girlfriend and I went down to Key West this past weekend, and I paid over $20 in tolls for the luxury of using the Florida Turnpike, without a doubt the fastest means of travel up and down Florida's length. The speed limit there, barring a few exceptions, is 70 mph, and it is basically the straightest route with little traffic (especially when US-95 is a free road, though it takes longer).

Without admitting my actual speed, let's just say the highway patrol doesn't usually give out tickets on the Turnpike unless you're going well over 100 mph, and I like to push the envelope, so to speak...further than I should (and let me add my thanks here to that unknown officer who was kind enough to flash his headlights at me instead of slamming me with a couple-hundred dollar ticket).

Given some light traffic, a few twists and turns and tolls and the like, it takes the average [speed limit-following] individual 4.5 hours to get from where I live to Florida City, where the Turnpike ends. It took me 3.5 hours to travel almost 300 miles (294, actually). Average mph: 84, including the slower speed limits before getting on and off the Turnpike.

Now, to the point...

It is about 200 miles from the center of Panaca to the center of Las Vegas, according to the online mapping engine I use. That is taking the fastest route. Now if I (an admitted speeder of greater-than-average proportions) could make the 294-mile trip from where I live to Florida City in three-and-a-half hours, then I could probably make the trip from Panaca to Las Vegas in 2.5 to 3 hours. Speeding like the devil, of course, and taking into consideration the fact that the roads are basic US and Interstate highways...no speedway Turnpike. If I knew a few back roads to take some miles off, it still wouldn't be enough to do much more than compensate for the fact that back roads are slower to begin with.

According to the timeline of events, Kirstin Lobato had to make the Panaca-to-Las Vegas drive, there and back, in about 5 hours. Okay, very late at night, speeding with idiotic recklessness like I do, I can certainly see it as possible...barely. But if you throw in the time it would take to locate a specific homeless man I was going to buy drugs from, then murder him in a rather brutal and hands-on fashion (we're not talking bang bang you're dead, now drive away here), then remove all physical evidence so successfully that all the prosecution had to throw at you was a bat you kept in your own car...and even that was eventually shot down as evidence...well...

I have a reputation for doing things well with startling quickness...and that's with 99% of the things I do. I hear "You've done that already??" on almost a daily basis, even from people who should know better by now. I'm the swiftest person I know. But there is no way I could do what the prosecution has claimed Kirstin Lobato did, during the only window of time she could have done it in.

Maybe I'll have another chance to test this speeding thing. I'll be gone on a road trip to San Fran next week and, strangely enough, we'll be going by way of Las Vegas.


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