Let's talk gas
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kwillg6
May 22, 2008
Member since 01/18/2005 🔗
2,036 posts
After hearing reports of gas going over $4 gallon very soon, what's a skier to do? You know there's very little we can do about price. The report I heard this AM suggests that supply will be affected causing possible shortages throughout the U.S.later this summer.
Our lifestyle is changing. It has to out of necessity. What else will change? Thoughts anyone?
Kris
May 22, 2008
Member since 03/15/2005 🔗
248 posts
Its crazy...i figured out how much i pay in gas each year...It'll make you cry if you sit and figure up how much you pay just to go to work. So you can make money to pay for gas to go back to work and so on and so on. Next food prices are going to sky rocket and everything else. (except wages of course) All we can do is wait it out and complain a bit to make us feel better about it...lol
JohnL
May 22, 2008
Member since 01/6/2000 🔗
3,518 posts
Carpool a lot on trips to the slopes next winter. May stay a few days more for some local trips (but maybe make a few less trips.) May be less inclined to make the drive when conditions are marginal.

In addition to the added costs of getting to the slopes, lift ticket prices may increase more than normal given higher energy costs to run the ski areas. I'll bet a lot of electricity is used in snowmaking and running chairlifts. Add in energy costs for operating groomers and heating the lodge, etc.
Roger Z
May 22, 2008
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
DCSki Sponsor: Canaan Valley Resort
jimmy
May 22, 2008
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
2,650 posts
These huge increases in gas prices have as much to do with the weak dollar as supply/demand. I've noticed there is a shortage of gas in the $2.98/gallon range but there remains all you want of the $4/gallon variety.

I think JohnL is right, it's time to start taking four day weekends and carpooling.
Steve
May 22, 2008
Member since 02/15/2006 🔗
160 posts
 Originally Posted By: kwillg6

Our lifestyle is changing. It has to out of necessity. What else will change? Thoughts anyone?


I have a 3 pronged plan to be able to afford gas for the near future:

1) Sell weekend toy mid-life crisis Z28 Convertible
2) Buy Honda Civic/Mazda3
3) Park not yet paid off large SUV except for family vacations

I figure if I can double my mpg's, I'll still be able to afford night trips to Whitetail.

BTW, if I sell my mid-life crisis car, does that mean my mid-life crisis is over?

Steve
JohnL
May 22, 2008
Member since 01/6/2000 🔗
3,518 posts
 Quote:
BTW, if I sell my mid-life crisis car, does that mean my mid-life crisis is over?


No, it just means that you graduated to old-life.
Roger Z
May 22, 2008
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
Nice plan Steve!

Incidentally, that GasBuddy site- the prices are within the last 48 hours but if you zoom in, it will take you right down to the price at each reporting gas station. Ergo, as you plan a trip you can plan to stop at the places that are 2 or 4 cents a gallon cheaper or, conversely, figure out how to hop across states where the price is higher.

Great news over here, I've got a new job and will be starting June 3rd. Bad news over here, it has warped my commute mileage beyond all recognition. So I'm doing an "anti-conservation" commuting program for the time being. So what are my plans?

1) after a few weeks on the job in order to get used to the schedule, start carpooling at least two days a week, preferably three, maybe four if the co-commute can tolerate me working out after work once or twice a week.

2) after Sandra gets up here and gets a job, figure out whether it makes sense to move.

Of course, since Sandra is highly likely to get a job in Kansas City, since that's where most of the architecture firms are, we may not move anywhere. In which case-

3) Diplomatically and politely ask if we could trade vehicles a couple days a week. \:\) She's got a Yaris, I've got a truck.

4) Somewhere 4-5 years from now, after her car is paid off and technology has had a bit more time to come along and I'm nearing the 200,000 mile mark, consider a trade-in or upgrade to something substantially more fuel efficient.

5) Deal with the pain for now by trying that "one beer less a week" philosophy I preached earlier (three years from now it'll be "okay if I drink no beer, and I skip lunch, as well as every third mortgage payment, and turn off the heat in the winter, I should be able to afford to drive to work next week").

The only good news is my truck gets almost 20 mpg on the highway, which for a truck is not bad at all. 68 mph seems to be the ideal speed for gas mileage (seriously, I tried 60 mph but was getting worse gas mileage), and the speed limit is 70, and the roads are empty, so it could be worse.
Steve
May 22, 2008
Member since 02/15/2006 🔗
160 posts

[/quote]

No, it just means that you graduated to old-life. [/quote]

I thought an old-life crisis had something to do with your depends being full. At least I've graduated from something.

Steve
JohnL
May 22, 2008
Member since 01/6/2000 🔗
3,518 posts
How many people here have regular enough hours for their job that they could carpool? Being a technical lead/developer in the tech industry, my hours can be incredibly variable, with issues arising on production systems in an unpredictable manner. Most of the work I can't do from home.
skier219
May 22, 2008
Member since 01/8/2005 🔗
1,318 posts
 Originally Posted By: Steve
 Originally Posted By: kwillg6

Our lifestyle is changing. It has to out of necessity. What else will change? Thoughts anyone?


I have a 3 pronged plan to be able to afford gas for the near future:

1) Sell weekend toy mid-life crisis Z28 Convertible
2) Buy Honda Civic/Mazda3
3) Park not yet paid off large SUV except for family vacations

I figure if I can double my mpg's, I'll still be able to afford night trips to Whitetail.

BTW, if I sell my mid-life crisis car, does that mean my mid-life crisis is over?

Steve


My mid life crisis car was a Honda S2000. It gets 32mpg on my 70 mile (roundtrip) daily commute. That was one of the best dumb decisions I ever made! ;\)
jimmy
May 22, 2008
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
2,650 posts
 Originally Posted By: JohnL
How many people here have regular enough hours for their job that they could carpool? .... my hours can be incredibly variable, ...


The bank that MrsJ works at is about 100 yards away from my business; we both drive to work, no carpool, due to "incredibly variable" work hours. The commute is only 12 miles round trip, 12 x2 x5 =120 miles/20mpg =6 gallons x$4= 24.00 a week for work commute if we carpooled two days a week we'd save $9.60.
Roger Z
May 22, 2008
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
 Quote:
How many people here have regular enough hours for their job that they could carpool?


It won't be every day, in part because the hours will be variable at least once or twice a week, but when you're looking at 20+ miles each way even carpooling a couple days a week can become very beneficial, very quickly.

For instance, if I forego driving just one day a week, it's the equivalent of over a 1% pay increase at four dollars a gallon! Or, in skier lingo, that pays for a four day trip to Utah! So carpooling even one day when you have a long commute can pay off quickly. My goal is to carpool three days a week, and alternate- one week I'd drive twice, the other week the partner would drive twice. But we'll see.

You could also get the same savings, I should note, by increasing your fuel efficiency by about 25%. Interestingly, my fuel efficiency is actually going to go up about 15% from my current route (since it's mostly city traffic), so on a per mileage basis I'm doing much better, it's just that there's a lot more miles to do better across. Oh well.

I also asked about the potential down the road for working from home. Again, it is a very slim chance to be able to do that, but there's zero chance if you don't ask, right?
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
May 22, 2008
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
Wow Roger, thanks for the gasbuddy URL... Now I know I have to fill up in NJ before ending up in CT to see my family, where gas is above 4.10...

I drive approx 3,000 miles a year only to go skiing at Snowshoe and also visit my family in CT. That used to be approx $450 a year. If gas goes to 5 a gallon, it would be $750. A pittance compared to the folks who drive 12K a year but still significant.

I know many folks can't use public transit but I spend zero on the Metro as government and many private sector employees get a transit allowance. I also bicycle to work on many occasions.

Were I to be appointed as the Exhaulter Ruler of the Universe, I'd do like the Pentagon did many years ago. Out of the limited number of parking passes, most are available for carpools. That would be a nice way to incentivize sharing. Slug lines are also a good way to save. And again, for distances less than 10 miles from home, I wouldn't dream of driving when I can take my bicycle.
David
May 22, 2008
Member since 06/28/2004 🔗
2,444 posts
Lou, I wish I was able to get around here on my bike like that. It is a 17 mile drive to work/school every day for me. Not only would the terrain make for a tough ride in itself, you also have to worry about a WV biker's worst enemy: Coal Trucks. Those things are VERY scary when passing by. In fact, I stay off the roads on my bike when they are out. I think that the pre-reqs to be a driver is that you must have failed both high school and your driving test at the DMV.

Oh yeah, the gas topic... I read a good article in the most recent Bicycling Magazine about cities that are taking initiatives to promote bike riding. DC was at the top of the list for the most improved cities. It sounded like they are doing some really cool stuff to get people out of their cars and out getting some exercise while getting from point A to point B. I especially liked the Smartbike program.....
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
May 22, 2008
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
 Originally Posted By: David
Lou, I wish I was able to get around here on my bike like that. It is a 17 mile drive to work/school every day for me. Not only would the terrain make for a tough ride in itself, you also have to worry about a WV biker's worst enemy: Coal Trucks.... I read a good article in the most recent Bicycling Magazine about cities that are taking initiatives to promote bike riding. DC was at the top of the list for the most improved cities. It sounded like they are doing some really cool stuff to get people out of their cars and out getting some exercise while getting from point A to point B. I especially liked the Smartbike program.....


David, that has got to be a start only. I was elated some time right after I moved to my new place last year when they closed down 2 lanes on 15th Street NW, north of Florida Avenue, and placed two bike lanes instead. Now the fight is on closing down three lanes south of Florida Avenue in what is normally called "The 15th Street Expressway" and whither 15th Street from 5 lanes down to two.

Arlington has been even more progressive than DC in this respect. Their Urban Village concept, adopted by a superb county board, has the county closing down streets, making roundabouts, and channeling car traffic in a way that it slows it down considerably in residential areas. Unlike in the past, the new paradigm is that streets are for people, not cars.

I can certainly agree that 17 miles one way is too much one way given the terrain and coal trucks. That's when the development of a good intermodal transportation system can make a difference. The Smartbike program will certainly make a difference in DC as it will also have secure storage.

But... Taking it back to skiing, which is the purpose of this post... Some of the ways to ameliorate the impact of high gas prices:

1. Carpooling
2. Resorts subsidizing bus transport to and from the ski areas
3. Public/Private partnerships to enhance leisure among the population
4. Improvements and rapid expansion of train travel

I was aghast at seeing American Airlines now charging for the first checked bag. It is a foregone conclusion that in the future, you will pay for all bags, period. The article I read stated that for a family of four, each with two checked bags, it would be $230 additional for a trip. That, plus the airfare itself will make train travel competitive...
KevR
May 23, 2008
Member since 01/27/2004 🔗
786 posts
By a shear twist of fate my wife and I have been commuting in together for several yrs now. It took me a while to get used to not having a car at my disposal all the time and the need for planning ahead a bit, but once adapted I've found it preferable to the lone commute -- carpooling tends to make the morning drive quite a bit more fun to have some company!

COMMUTING IS FINE -- BUT WHAT ABOUT TELECOMMUNITING!? ANYONE HAVE ANY LUCK WITH GETTING THAT APPROVED ON A REGULAR BASIS? THAT SEEMS LIKE A REAL PATH TO SAVINGS.

Also of interest - I was in Europe very recently for work and was paying 8-10$ US per gallon approx to fill up. A 12 gallon fill up cost me slightly over $100 US (so that's with the conversion to the weak dollar -- around 68 euros total, the per liter price was around 1.50 euros).

Folks still drive there, cars are smaller in general but there are still big cars, minivans and so forth, but overall cars are smaller -- trains and buses are more prevalent and integrated better together -- and folks actually use them but still have cars and still like to drive.

Ok that's all been said really before.
Crush
May 23, 2008
Member since 03/21/2004 🔗
1,026 posts
- actually, since coming back to dc i don't own a car - really! i do either zipcars or just rent one on the weekend if i need to do a lot of stuff. i figure if it costs me $200 a month, i am ahead because basically that amount would cover just the parking costs, not to mention the gas, insurance, maintenance and of course the car itself - and dayum ... i never have to go to the stinkin' dc inspection place and get some dummy who doesn't know how to stop the car on the brake tester pads to fail me a few times ! heh ...
bawalker
May 23, 2008
Member since 12/1/2003 🔗
1,547 posts
Interestingly enough Corridor H has an official bicycling lane, which is the shoulder, but people ARE allowed to ride. I have yet to see anyone actually do that on the open highway parts. When I lived in Wardensville I had flat roadway to drive north on 259 to get to Rt 50 and east to Winchester. Places like Manassas, Martinsburg, and other areas around there were always easy to get too in terms of not spending big chunks of money on gas. I had things figured out pretty well.

Now living in Lost City, I have to travel Corridor H which obviously has upto 8% grades on it, an additional 22 miles just to get to Wardensville. Then instead of taking 259 N, it's quicker to go across Rt 55/North Mountain, down to the Lebanon Church community, turn left on Middle road and enter Winchester that way. Of which I burn tremendously more amounts of gas due to going across the mountains.

Obviously biking for me is only the recreational day away type of activity, getting to work would mean a 1-2 hour bike to Wardensville only, let alone trying to make it to winchester without arriving as a stinking sweaty mess. Working like that in the IT field isn't good. \:\)

Just of note, gas in Wardensville hit $3.99 yesterday and at baker is $4.09. We've officially broken the $4 mark and still climbing.

I can only hope the economy in this area takes a full recession type of hit so the Realtors actually LOWER prices on land and homes rather than keeping them steady. I would actually buy then and start saving on gas.
tromano
May 23, 2008
Member since 12/19/2002 🔗
998 posts
I think you will see more weekend bus rides from DCarea park and rides to Whitetail. Also I think the carpool section of DCski will get some additional play for weekend outings.
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
May 23, 2008
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
Crush, where in town do you live? I'm actually thinking that when my venerable 1996 Jeep Cherokee (I bought brand new) goes to auto-heaven, Zip Car will be my alternative. One of my first action when I was elected as a member of our HOA in our condo was to deal with Zipcar and dedicate one of our guest parking spaces for a Zipcar and nowadays it is barely there, it gets so much use. Actually, the prime reason for me keeping the Jeep is my FEMA paranoia that I need an evacuation vehicle...

As far as telecommuting, this is where my dream of a car-limited society and Roger's suburban vision meet. Telecommuting is a great idea but was derided by policy in the last seven years. It may resurface as a part of the intermodal transportation and living paradigms of the future. Telecommuting may invigorate the development of exurbia, nowadays the prime victim of the real estate crash. It may also invigorate the development of intermodal honeycomb commuting networks in a metropolitan area.

But again, as a ski website... Gas will certainly be a factor in the equation for next ski season.
Roger Z
May 23, 2008
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
Lou, I asked about the potential to telecommute once in a while at my new job, with the caveat that we have to see how the first few months go in order to a) make sure that they realize I would work hard from home (one of the biggest concerns from companies is worker productivity at home) and b) that the job actually allows me to be home once a week, or maybe once every other week. It's meeting-intensive, both within and outside the department, and if we get around to doing some real estate development it may require daily sitework.

It's funny, weren't computers supposed to make us a "paperless" society, too? A quick glance at my cube shows THAT hasn't happened!

Anyway, here was a question I wanted to ask. Especially around DC, I remember at least a few of the larger government contractors had offices EVERYWHERE (SAIC is the one example that comes to mind immediately). Going on with exurbia and telecommuting, isn't setting up satellite offices a "kind-of" telecommuting? You want your office to be convenient to nodes of workers, so you move an office near that location, while keeping your headquarter elsewhere. Or are these offices more of- the government agency we're contracting with is in Leesburg/Hancock/Patuxent, therefore we'll keep a small staff there until the contract expires?

Even if it's the latter, I don't see why the former couldn't be a potential for companies as well.
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
May 23, 2008
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
Actually (and you got me thinking) what you talked about intermodally connected suburban and exurban centers has already happened and will accelerate. I don't think the cities will empty out - as a matter of fact, most major cities in most states (poor 'ole Connecticut excepted) are now being infused by new life and if DC is any example, some parts are becoming over-gentrified and losing the appeal of diversity and tolerance which they once had, as the real estate prices haven't dropped at all.

About telecommuting: On a) people working at home are oftentimes more productive and busier. That's because there is no barrier like we normally have at work. You come in, you eat lunch, you leave. The times I've been working at home, yes, you get to go have a cup of coffee in your kitchen, but then you work straight through lunch, and by 7 PM you realize you are still in your pajamas working on the darn computer. Also b) satellite offices could be construed as telecommuting centers too. Actually, a large government agency has a telecommuting facility near Berryville where the employees living in Purceville, Winchester, and the WV panhandle can work and the facility is literally an alternate location.

Many companies have done that too and although faced with the need to have their Hq in a major city just because of the interface with the decision making spheres, nonetheless it is actually a good idea to decentralize in an age of incertitude. Computers are now able to replicate entire databases whereby you can lose a node in a geographical area and the system continues only with minor glitches, instead of what happened to Wall Street in 911. Same for power grid malfunctions, disasters, ad nauseam... The result is transportation needs that are becoming intermodal, as you stated some time ago. It is a matter of time before there is a metro link between Falls Church and Dulles/Reston/Tysons.
Crush
May 24, 2008
Member since 03/21/2004 🔗
1,026 posts
hey I. -
i live @ foggy bottom next to gwu and there are at least 20 cars around me in a 8 block radius. i love it - i can drive a mini-cooper, a bmw, a matrix, an element, a honda, a pickup truck, a suv, a volvo s40, whatever i please - and all gas and insurance paid for.


if u have to drive more than 3 hours it is better to get a rental car from dca - i use alamo with their deals - i got a nice chrysler pt cruiser for $70 from friday 6 pm to mon 6 pm for $70.

heading out to charlestown race-n-slots for some action now with my g/f hee hee oh right what kind of action let's see oral s, no the cuni- no the goin'-down, the visit-down-town, the-travel-south, the carpet-munch, the pussywillow harvest, painting the fence, licking the button, running-the-canal, doing-the-zipper-line, the-slurpee, zip-zap-n-yip-yap, trolling-for-clams, eat-a-clam, big-muff-pie, moof-n-woof, submarine-sandwich, and yeah -

the-licky-boom-boom-down!

DCSki Sponsor: Canaan Valley Resort
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
May 24, 2008
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
Yo Crush! Thanks for the info. Zip and Flex have really made their mark in DC. There's a Zip and Flex within 50 feet of my door. There are probably 100 Zips within 5 blocks. That's awesome. And the 7 and hour includes gas, as you say... Awesome. Still prefer the bike and Metro but sometimes you have to do the evil thing and drive a car... Oh well.....

I will have to try the car deals. Actually can be cheaper than driving the SUV, since it's only me and my 12-yr young Black Lab Thunder, and sometimes my BF from Phila. The prices are Awesome.
Steve
May 27, 2008
Member since 02/15/2006 🔗
160 posts
 Originally Posted By: bawalker
Obviously biking for me is only the recreational day away type of activity, getting to work would mean a 1-2 hour bike to Wardensville only, let alone trying to make it to winchester without arriving as a stinking sweaty mess. Working like that in the IT field isn't good. :).


Couldn't you get a pine scented pocket protector?

When I worked in upper NW, it was easy to drop the kids at daycare and ride the rest of the way in, about 10 miles each way. Gets your day started off with a different perspective. Now my commute is either too long (27 mi each way) or too dangerous (it's why we need an intercouty connector). Maybe when all the roadwork is done, I'll be able to manage it safely. I have the same problem with Metro's hub and spoke system, if you don't live and work near the spokes, the whole thing is irrelevant.

Telecommuting is a great option which I have used in a couple of assignments. The first requirement is work that doesn't require access to paper files or face to face meetings. Right now, its not an option. Hope that changes soon.

Steve
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
May 27, 2008
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
Steve, that's ok. After the Revolution, there won't be 27 mile commutes \:\)

I encourage telecommuting among my staff. It can be a way to increase effectiveness if done and monitored properly. With the price of gas above $4 already and going higher, no solution is beyond consideration except ANWR. I can see more metro lines in the not too distant future.
langleyskier
May 30, 2008
Member since 12/7/2004 🔗
824 posts
well i have been absent yet again for a while, but I have really been pondering this issue a ton since prices started rising. Not only is the rising cost of gas going to take a large chunk out of our pockets and all other skiers pockets but i almost fear more for the resorts themselves. Even diehard skiers will most likely cut back on their skiing if gas prices remain as high as they are for the coming year. The fact that 90% of the vehicles parked at a resort are trucks/suv's and the average drive to a resort is anywhere from 80-250 miles (one way) cupeled with the high prices of lift tickets/food/ could deter many families/individuals from the sport all together or attempting the sport for the first time. Also, as others have already said, the operating costs may soar for resorts next season. Taken as a whole, fewer customers and higher operation costs could mean a poor year for the resorts. That said, with many families cutting back on vacationing, its possible that local resorts will see more action from people who otherwise would travel out west.
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
May 30, 2008
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
Langley, IMHO the price of gas is going to keep on rising for another year. Wouldn't surprise me to see $6.00 a gallon before it stabilizes as Americans cut demand to affect supply.

The good thing for nearby resorts from Snowshoe on down is that with the price of airfares skyrocketing and now the airlines charging for everything from ski bags to clothes bags to the .01 oz of stale pretzels they throw at your face, people may likely opt to get somewhere closer.

I hope the resorts get creative and get some communal transportation going. If they tie it in with lodging, lift passes etc., they may get a captive audience. Who knows, they could watch Warren Miller flicks on the way up. Buses, trains, you name it.
kennedy
May 30, 2008
Member since 12/8/2001 🔗
792 posts
Bad as gas is why is diesel almost $5/gallon. I was all set to make my next car a diesel. I knew that Nissan as planning on bringing in a few diesel cars, as was toyota and others. While a rough quick calc still shows a diesel car with improved mpg over gas, theoretically at least, is cheaper/mile than gas I still don't get why the fuel is almost $0.60/gal more expensive than premium.

On the plus side right now I drive a Mazda 3 hatch and it's reasonably affordable. I still have my Volvo which is mostly my biking/snowboarding car but other than that sits around a lot. My wife rides metro and takes the bus to the station on days that I don't bring her. Metro is getting more expensive but as long as we don't pay for parking it's still cheaper and easier than driving into DC everyday.
JohnL
May 30, 2008
Member since 01/6/2000 🔗
3,518 posts
Gas prices will most likely continue to rise as they traditionally have during the summer driving season. After that, who knows?

 Quote:
Langley, IMHO the price of gas is going to keep on rising for another year. Wouldn't surprise me to see $6.00 a gallon before it stabilizes as Americans cut demand to affect supply.


Plenty more than U.S. demand that is relevant here. (I haven't seen anyone credibly argue that increased U.S. demand caused the run-up.) Other relevant factors: slowdown in U.S. and other Western economies causing a severe slowdown (or reversal) in the growing economies of China, India, etc. Strength of the dollar. Impact of speculation on oil and other commodity prices. Stability in the Middle East and other oil-producing regions. Continued success of cartels to manipulate prices (rarely have they been able to hold ranks for extended periods.)

Maybe as important to the economic health of ski areas is the impact of rising inflation (food, health care, gas, core inflation, etc.) and the need to pay down existing debt. There may be a lot less dollars available for recreation in the near future. Plus, employment worries may also be important. Dang, I'm sounding like an economist!
kwillg6
May 30, 2008
Member since 01/18/2005 🔗
2,036 posts
At what point do you think people will change their MO relating to getting to places, residence, and recreational habits? I have not see a real change in most. Traffic hasn't reduced like it did during the gas shortages of the 70s. What will be the breaking point for the average person to where it causes real changes in their lifestyles and the auto?
langleyskier
May 30, 2008
Member since 12/7/2004 🔗
824 posts
 Originally Posted By: JohnL
Impact of speculation on oil and other commodity prices. Stability in the Middle East and other oil-producing regions. Continued success of cartels to manipulate prices (rarely have they been able to hold ranks for extended periods.)


John, completely agree, speculation seems to be the greatest factor in the recent run up of oil prices. Something really needs to be done about this artificial inflation of crude prices considering the drastic effect it is having on the world economy.

here is an article from the post about the recent gov probe into price inflation that i thought was pretty interesting. How great would it be if this turned out to be true and a week from now oil is trading for $60 a barrel!
Roger Z
May 30, 2008
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
 Quote:
How great would it be if this turned out to be true and a week from now oil is trading for $60 a barrel


I think that would suck. I say that as a gas-guzzling truck driver. We're in the midst of a market-driven demand-destruction phase, and suddenly people want $60 a barrel oil back... why, exactly. Weren't we all agreed last year that gas was too inexpensive and destroying the world with global warming and blah blah blah? Now gas is too expensive and it's destroying the world too, blah blah blah? I don't get it. You can say gas is too cheap, you can say it's too expensive, but you can't say both.

High prices are a signal to induce investment. Investment is occurring, supply is coming online (too slowly) and people are becoming more energy conscious much more quickly than market watchers thought possible. If you basically cap oil prices you will wipe that all out, in no time flat. And given that there is no difference between supply and capacity to service the supply right now, we will be looking at gas shortages within a few years time. If prices won't force a change in people's and investor's current behavior, one of the few remaining alternatives will be gas rationing. Anyone want to debate whether gas rationing or higher gas prices are going to have a bigger effect on the ski industry?

Incidentally, what is speculation? It's another one of those amorphous terms, like "sprawl," that seems to mean "something I don't like." You can say that hedge funds are parking capital in commodities as coverage against inflation, you can say that the weak dollar is driving commodity values higher, but SAY SOMETHING. If by "speculation" you mean that people are investing in a product on a bet that the price will be higher tomorrow, you are basically accusing everyone who has ever bought a stock of being a speculator (at least, I don't buy stocks with the idea that their value is going to decrease, maybe you do). And if by "speculation" you mean people investing in a product without checking the "fundamentals," you're opening another can of worms because you're pitting different investment strategies against one another (and basically accusing everyone who has ever bought a mutual fund of being a speculator, too).

As it is, hedge funds have, according to some studies, have run up commodity prices (and remember folks, this is a commodity issue. Oil isn't the only product trading at or near record highs right now) by 20-30%. But again, so what. Prices are a signal. Investors are the messenger. Read the message, don't shoot the messenger.
JohnL
May 30, 2008
Member since 01/6/2000 🔗
3,518 posts
 Quote:
Prices are a signal. Investors are the messenger.


In perfectly competitive markets with no barriers to entry and perfect information possessed by all parties, that is true. With no collusion among parties. But as a recent counter example, look at how the Enron traders manipulated the energy markets to eff up the state of California. Pearlstein in the Wash Post has written several columns about that.

I dunno how much "speculation" is causing this run up in oil and other commodity prices, but I do have some healthy suspicions.

 Quote:
And if by "speculation" you mean people investing in a product without checking the "fundamentals," you're opening another can of worms because you're pitting different investment strategies against one another (and basically accusing everyone who has ever bought a mutual fund of being a speculator, too).


Well, I guess I'm opening up another can of worms. I consider collusion and market manipulation to be bad, but the general term speculation is neither good nor bad to me, it just is. One man's speculation could be termed another man's investments.

The bottom line question is, how much is the market structure influencing the price of oil and other commodities? In addition to supply and demand. The supply part of the oil market is clearly not a competitive market, since it is dominated by very few entities.
JohnL
May 30, 2008
Member since 01/6/2000 🔗
3,518 posts
 Quote:
At what point do you think people will change their MO relating to getting to places, residence, and recreational habits? I have not see a real change in most. Traffic hasn't reduced like it did during the gas shortages of the 70s. What will be the breaking point for the average person to where it causes real changes in their lifestyles and the auto?


Excellent questions. Who knows? I think it is more a function of the duration of relatively high prices than how high the prices get. It will take time for people to replace cars, houses, change where they live, and for new products, services and infrastructure to be produced/built.
Roger Z
May 30, 2008
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
People are changing their behavior. The FHA is estimating, for example, that there was something to the effect of a 5% drop in road miles travelled over Memorial Day Weekend, and the Eisenhower Tunnel in Colorado saw a 7% drop in traffic.

The catch with things like gas demand is you have a large, fixed supply base that takes time to adjust. People aren't just going to run out and buy new cars en masse... but that said, purchasing behavior has been changing for at least four years now. Believe it or not, demand for larger SUVs began falling 3-4 years ago as people shifted to smaller SUVs, and I think late in 2007 car sales outpaced the sales of SUVs and trucks for the first time in something like 20 years. Gas demand is down over 1% this year, which for a product as inelastic as gas is pretty phenomenal- on a per person basis that is about 3 years worth of demand destruction. Airline consumption of fuel has fallen two years in a row, and with the additional cuts in flights and slackening demand, it isn't likely to start going up anytime soon.

I do think, though, that if prices for oil went screeching back to $50-$60 a barrel in the next year because of non-market interventions, a lot of these necessary changes would just stop. Probably if demand destruction continues and new supplies come online, we'll see oil prices migrate back toward the marginal supply cost, but that will almost certainly be higher than it was in the late 1990s, unless of course an international recession occurs.

It's interesting you brought up Enron, John, I knew someone would. There could be someone trying to manipulate the market, but oil is a much larger market and much more fungible than the California energy market was- and Enron controlled crucial elements in the supply of energy to that limited market that people in the oil futures market generally don't. It's possible, but given the broad run in commodities over the last 18 months, I'm skeptical that much will come out of this investigation. I think your summary of the situation earlier was pretty much what they'll find. I like the greater transparency in commodity trading that they're pursuing though.
langleyskier
May 30, 2008
Member since 12/7/2004 🔗
824 posts
Just fyi, this oil increase may be seen as a great thing by some and will most likely be a driving force that leads to a decrease in our planet's reliance on fossil fuels. However, in the meantime, prices of all the basics (food, transportation, ect) are skyrocketing and leading many peoples in poorer areas and nations to the brink of starvation. It is easy for us to sit here and say that the increase of gas prices is a great thing because it will give and incentive to change our wasteful habits but in reality it is going to mean that tens of millions of people are going to go hungry and that even in this country the poor will struggle to just afford the basics.

Many of the issues you stated as "progress" (decreased air travel, memorial day travel) may seem like a step in the right direction to you but will most likely be a disaster for the travel industry if the trend continues throughout the summer and into the ski season. I really dont see progress as people having to cancel a yearly vacation due to lack of money.

For the record, I do agree that the US NEEDS to take action and invest in greener technologies but see no reason why this cannot happen as a result of gov subsidies rather than skyrocketing oil prices. Also, i see no possible reason why oil prices have risen 30% as a result of "increased demand" in under 6 months, which is why I brought up this article
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
May 30, 2008
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,369 posts
From what I understand, the current, short term increase in prices is caused by:
1) the value of the US Dollar...sinking fast
2) investors moving money out of poor performing areas such as real estate into commodities, thus driving up prices.
3) increased demand from China and India's thriving, American style materialistic culture
4) higher cost for finding and obtaining crude oil.

Assuming the supply is there, sooner or later,the increases will reduce demand enough to cause the price to collapse and stabilize. Again, assuming plentiful supplies. Various preditions have 'peak oil' situation occuring soon. Then we'll be in deep doo-doo.
fishnski
May 30, 2008
Member since 03/27/2005 🔗
3,530 posts
I went back & checked out all the posts on this subject & can see where all your heads are at.Same reason there was very little support for MPC being Dev is the same mentality that will sink our economy. As Cuba drills off the Florida coast & Brazil is gearing up to have the 3rd highest oil production in the world by drilling off thier coast & Russia plans to tap into the arctic fields we just sit around & scratch our heads....Friggin DRILL!!!...Its all around us!....we can do it safe & clean..Geeeezz..
fishnski
May 30, 2008
Member since 03/27/2005 🔗
3,530 posts
Can we at least get together & fake the world out & just Threaten to Drill?? That alone will drive this ridiculus speculating oil Market down.
David
May 30, 2008
Member since 06/28/2004 🔗
2,444 posts
 Originally Posted By: fishnski
Can we at least get together & fake the world out & just Threaten to Drill?? That alone will drive this ridiculus speculating oil Market down.


Hey that's a pretty good idea......
The Colonel - DCSki Supporter
May 30, 2008
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
3,107 posts
Lots of speculation here about how the rising cost of gas may or may not impact our favorite sport, SKIING and RIDING.
What if there is a real Catch22. High gas prices drives down customers and drives up costs at the resorts for everything, especially energy for snowmaking and long distance delivery of food, etc. So do the resorts then raise prices higher (fewer customers - fixed costs), or do they cut back on their commodity, snow. Make less, this keeps prices down but would negatively influence those customers still able to afford to travel and stay at the resorts; again fewer customers willing to pay more for less, and the spiral continues. Resorts like Alta and other high snowfall areas have an advantage here since their snow comes from the sky and is free. Yes grooming will cost more, running lifts will cost more, etc. but these cost increases will probably pale compared to the cost of making snow here in the east and mid-A. So it will cost you more to fly, but less to ski. What are your thoughts on the impact of rising energy costs.
The Colonel \:\)
Roger Z
May 31, 2008
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
Langley, I disagree about the cause and effect in your statement. It's not higher oil prices I see as the primary driver of higher food prices, but rather the same conditions that are driving the price of oil higher are driving commodity prices higher- investments into commodities, the weakening dollar, supply shortages, and for food there have been weather considerations as well (such as the freeze in the Plains states last year that affected the wheat crops adversely).

More to the point, the only reason I see the high oil prices as good is because we are at a point where the ability to get oil out of the ground and global demand for it are almost in balance, so there is no spare capacity. Either there needs to be an increase in production capacity, a decrease in demand, or both. I think there is an "inflation" of sorts taking place in commodity prices for macroeconomic reasons, but almost certainly underlying oil prices is a potential crunch on the supply and demand as well.

Now, let's say for a minute that I agree with you, that high oil prices are driving food prices higher too. Okay, even if true, that doesn't change the supply-demand situation in oil. Further, if oil prices are reduced quickly right now, my contention is that you'll see less investment, less energy conservation, and as a result exacerbate the problem longer than it might otherwise last.

So even if you're right that oil is driving food, doing something to reduce oil prices might actually make things worse in the long run, not better. If we have to provide a subsidy for something, it's better to do something direct than indirect: send more food to countries that are in dire need right now, pay for that, instead of trying to build subsidies for green energy or oil drilling or what not in the hopes that through a daisy chain you have a positive effect on food prices as a result.
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
June 5, 2008
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
 Originally Posted By: JohnL
How many people here have regular enough hours for their job that they could carpool? Being a technical lead/developer in the tech industry, my hours can be incredibly variable,


The new realities will force an adaptation of both industry and workers. My brother in CT, where the gas prices have been above $4.00 for a long time, supports the Wall Street techie world. The instant replication of data through different places, means that maintenance on the software can be made in different geo areas. Obviously there must be hardware qualified people to take care of the machines.

In Government, DoD employees have been carpooling for eons. In my first out of two assignments at the five-sided puzzle palace (89-93) it was common to see generals postpone meetings as they literally ran breathless to their carpools. Systems adapt. Many other government agencies will adapt too, and the private world will too. And they need to become responsive to new realities.

JohL, time is on your side. Perhaps now, but soon.
Roger Z
June 7, 2008
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
There's some small talk at my new place of employment about shifting to a four day work week. Given the nature of the work, for a lot of employees it's simply not feasible (they need to be on call 24-7, so you've always got to have a critical mass of employees in the office, which given budget cuts is pretty much where things are right now anyway). I mentioned when I was accepting the offer of possibly working from home once a week or once every other week somewhere down the road. I think for some of us it might be possible, though it wouldn't do much to save gas for most employees and there might be equity issues- why should one group of employees get to save on their gas money when other employees can't because of the nature of their job?

Potentially, I might rent a place out near where I'm working now. I really dig the area A LOT and some friends I know are interested in renting, could be a good combo until Sandra gets here!
JohnL
June 8, 2008
Member since 01/6/2000 🔗
3,518 posts
 Quote:
The new realities will force an adaptation of both industry and workers.


I agree that that is the general trend, but there are plenty of obstacles in the way which are likely to take decades to surmount.

Let's take telecommuting. First of all, it is only really possible for office-type service work. Construction, janitorial, manufacturing, mechanics, the subset of doctors/nurses that need to be at the patient's side, most of retail, bars/restaurants, breweries!!!, vineyards!!!, hookers!!!, ski areas!!!, etc., require physical presence at the work site. You get the general point.

Even for a lot of office work, it is much more efficient to be co-located with the people you need to make decisions with. The trend is for most work to be done by teams, not individuals. The current state of video/tele conferencing can't even come close to replicating face to face interaction. That may change in the future, but IMHO we are decades away from that. Plus consider how cable providers such as Comcast are limiting bandwith to heavy users...

Let's take my field, software development, as an example of a job which an outsider would think could easily be done by telecommuting. You are correct that I don't need to be at the same location as the computers hosting the software, but it is currently more effective to be at the same physical location as my development teammates and, ideally, the end users. I am a strong proponent of Agile software development, one whose main principles is small, interactive, co-located development teams. Constant verbal communication among teammates and immediate stand-up meetings to resolve problems are key. No waiting until a day or so to schedule a meeting time, no time for that. I've found it to be a cost-effective technique for the customer.

Another big problem with telecommuting for the Gov-types in the DC area is security. (This trend may reverse the telecommuting trend over the next few years.) This rules out a lot of DoD, Intel and DHS work for telecommuting, unless you are at a remote telecommunication hub for that agency. Less obvious is security for agencies which handle sensitive personal information - think of the missing VA laptop as a classic example. For very good reasons, the Fed Gov is becoming a lot more restrictive about what data is not physically at the agency site or agency data centers. Plus about controlling the configuration of those external devices. Laptops, memory sticks, Blackberries, etc. have some pretty severe security risks. I hope that the teleworking that your team does is on Gov-configured, maintained, regularly scanned, encrypted (which can be broken) devices using secure communication channels... Technology and improved process will overcome a lot of these issues, but you know how fast the Fed Gov moves.

 Quote:
it was common to see generals postpone meetings as they literally ran breathless to their carpools.


I've encountered that in the past, and frankly, it was a huge hit to productivity. But hey, as long as the Fed $$$ flowed to my company and I still had a job. A lot of times decisions needed to be made later on in the day, and because of a key decision maker dashing off, the decisions were postponed, often for weeks. Plus, I seriously doubt that those generals got to be generals by running breathless to their carpools during most of their career.

Long post, but it is still too hot and humid for me to poke my head outside.
Crush
June 8, 2008
Member since 03/21/2004 🔗
1,026 posts
- no $hit JohnL - unfortunately at work on fri. i got the bad news that the company i work for wants to promote me to Dir. of Software Development, which screws my chance to telecommute Feb-April next year when i planned to spend 3 months @ my home in park city and work remote -something i could have done as a services-developer but not this job.

it's easy to say "telecommuting" but in reality it doesn't work if you are anything that has to do with interfacing with people.

sorry folks, but large-scale telecommuting with virtual offices will happen shortly after the average chinese worker is pulling 47K/year and getting their clothes from nordstrom rack.
JohnL
June 8, 2008
Member since 01/6/2000 🔗
3,518 posts
El Crush,

Congrats and condolences.

We'll have to have to hook up some time in the next year for some tech talk and some DH turns. At a Memorial Day party a few weeks ago, one of my buds wuz talkin about some heli skiing in Valdez next April... Not sure I could handle it, but what the hey. Too late to leave a good-looking corpse, but I'd prolly be well preserved in Alaska. Until the grizzlies found me or I end up in some crab pot.
Crush
June 8, 2008
Member since 03/21/2004 🔗
1,026 posts
- eh - valdez sounds pretty easy if we both take it head-on .. so how much does that cost? crap - i figure i'll have the dough for the first time in my life - i'm in if you are ... i'm that guy that believes in stickin' the undertaker with my debit anyway ; i'll leave the good looking corpes' to the pliates-lot. me -heh- like metallica said - f&k-em all - and let the rest go to hell-i-skiing straight to hell!
Tucker
June 9, 2008
Member since 03/14/2005 🔗
893 posts
...wasn't it kill em all...
jimmy
June 9, 2008
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
2,650 posts
crush is a lover, not a fighter
kwillg6
June 9, 2008
Member since 01/18/2005 🔗
2,036 posts
Tucker, did you make the concerts up at t-line this weekend? I went over for the more "local" band with the two female singers. They kicked some a$$. By the time the second group set up it was almost my bed time :(. Couldn't sleep though cuz it was real loud. Had to drink a few more to fall asleep.
Crush
June 9, 2008
Member since 03/21/2004 🔗
1,026 posts
 Originally Posted By: jimmy
crush is a lover, not a fighter


- heh yeah JZ - i've always been better at fuc .. errright u get the idea ... ;\)
Roger Z
June 9, 2008
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
Ironic, ain't it, about how a topic on gas ends up about skiing in Valdez, Alaska? Well that and Crush's anatomical triumphs, but many conversations seem to veer off into the netherworld of Crush/Jimmydom if they go on long enough. \:\) It's as if a force is strong in this website, seeking out and smiting any foes that linger too long in the aloof and abstract. Whatever could it be????
Tucker
June 10, 2008
Member since 03/14/2005 🔗
893 posts
No I didn't make it over there...But wow...the female singers kicked a$$..I know that place is infamous for big late night fights but I've never seen the band get involved in the fight let alone women fighting...well never mind I've seen women fighting there...
jimmy
June 10, 2008
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
2,650 posts
Ya RogerZ maybe you are right...... I came into this world without any starz and if i leave with none SOWUT? Now that i have picked up the pieces of my broken life it is time to get back on the subject at hand, GAS.

One of my favorite restaurants here in wheeling just came out with a new menu; one of the burgers is called the Olympus. It's a 1/2 pounder but it has ground lamb mixed in with the beef, feta cheese and it's dressed with that cucumber sauce they put on GYROS........ anyways You want to talk about gas ;\) ?? Thatt thing damnear killed me, i think it's the cucumber it was ground up so fine it got into my blood stream u wanna talk about having gas, the pain bordered on angina......plop plop fizz fizz........PLOP PLOP FIZZ FIZZ.........

While we wait for someone to tell us more about this Valdez trip i'd like someone to explain to me why drilling for oil domestically speaking is such an environmental nightmare and that we should avoid exploration and new supply at all costs?
Crush
June 10, 2008
Member since 03/21/2004 🔗
1,026 posts
J-man : the burger sounds great i'll have to risk the consequences later - but actually i am ok with drilling domestically as i suspect that i might be actually able to drill a small oil well myself. i think i might be sitting over an oil deposit!

i noticed for the longest time some kinda thick oil would seep from the ground just under where i use to park my car. i would wipe it away and it would be there the next day again. it seems like it is very good quality oil when compared to other crude i've seen - it probably would take very little refining.

it seems to have stopped seeping out ever since i stopped owning a car, but i think if i just drill a little down ....
jimmy
June 10, 2008
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
2,650 posts
Hey man you are on your way to personal energy independence, your very own oil well! All u need now is about, i don't know maybe a 15 or 20kw wind turban for voltage and you can thumb your nose at the princes of power.

Who was the prez that promised a chicken in every pot? Vote for me and we'll have a oil well in every yard and a wind turban on every roof.
kwillg6
June 10, 2008
Member since 01/18/2005 🔗
2,036 posts
Uh, I thought that was some pot with every chicken and u vote 4 me we will have turbans selling oil with a woof in every yard. Talk about the american dream....
kwillg6
June 10, 2008
Member since 01/18/2005 🔗
2,036 posts
Jimmy, speaking of gas, u ever have a brat and kraut grinder? I stopped at a "sub and bub" place my last time driving to Chicago. Give thanks the skyway or whatever the throughway is called is elevated. Twas a green haze over Gary .
jimmy
June 10, 2008
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
2,650 posts
Chicken pot pie??
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
June 11, 2008
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
 Originally Posted By: jimmy
Ya RogerZ maybe you are right...... I came into this world without any starz and if i leave with none SOWUT? Now that i have picked up the pieces of my broken life it is time to get back on the subject at hand, GAS.

One of my favorite restaurants here in wheeling just came out with a new menu; one of the burgers is called the Olympus. It's a 1/2 pounder but it has ground lamb mixed in with the beef, feta cheese and it's dressed with that cucumber sauce they put on GYROS........


Jimmy, can't help you with stars, you've got 5 from me...

As far as your Tzatziki, you tickled my brain. Last night I fixed Buffalo burgers and because of the lean texture of the meat, they need some fat added. So I tried Gorgonzola. Then coated the stuff with Tzatziki. Ohmygod! My condo looked like a scene from Cheers. Guests coming out of the most weird places...

Last time I was in Wheeling was after hurricane Ivan and the island was under water and there was massive flooding in the streams above the city, all the way from Pittsburgh to Huntington on the Ohio. Actually, had about one of the nicest moments in my civilian career in Wellsburg, just north of you, a little lady just decided that I should be hugged in front of the cameras...

One thing: Don't want to start a war here but the ANWR oil wouldn't be able to affect supply for at least 10 years and with best forecasting, has the capacity of a less-than 2 year supply of oil, so any exploration there is only a "feel-good" activity. IMHO, let the moose run free.
jimmy
June 11, 2008
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
2,650 posts
Is your brain, and your friends' the only thing the Tzatziki Tickled \:\) ? HA i made myself laugh \:D , did u hear me??

Tzatziki Ticklers, makeum with a 1.75 oz patty on a small bunn with garlic butter and toasted, some mashed up kalamata olives, bite size you know, make a nice hor dourve along with a tray of panikopita, maybe with shots of ouzo...... although i KNOW i am not worthy, i'm considering challenging you to a cook off.
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
June 11, 2008
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
 Originally Posted By: jimmy
Is your brain, and your friends' the only thing the Tzatziki Tickled \:\) ? HA i made myself laugh \:D , did u hear me??

Tzatziki Ticklers, makeum with a 1.75 oz patty on a small bunn with garlic butter and toasted, some mashed up kalamata olives, bite size you know, make a nice hor dourve along with a tray of panikopita, maybe with shots of ouzo...... although i KNOW i am not worthy, i'm considering challenging you to a cook off.



A cookoff? Any day my friend... Although I have to say at my gastric age I keep the capsaicin compounds at a minimum to prevent the unpleasant tickling in other parts of the body corresponding to the end of the digestive process...

However, I've been infusing my parent's old Cuban recipes with American ingredients and I've been making some really good grub.
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
June 11, 2008
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
And Ouzo... The worst and one of the last scenes of inebriation in my life happened in Athens, friend of mind took me to one of the many Ouzerias near Glifada when I was sort of living there for about 6 months. I remember waking up two days later... I still can't pass the smell of anis, even in Colombian aguardiente
jimmy
June 11, 2008
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
2,650 posts
 Originally Posted By: lbotta
One thing: Don't want to start a war here but the ANWR oil wouldn't be able to affect supply for at least 10 years and with best forecasting, has the capacity of a less-than 2 year supply of oil, so any exploration there is only a "feel-good" activity. IMHO, let the moose run free.


Lou I thought this thread was about eating good food and drinking then waking up with a big head the next day at the crack of ten and skiing packed pow under a blue sky. I'd share the recipe for the bacon bean and bowtie pasta soup i made last night but now that i realize what kind of gas kwillg6 is talking about i think i'll save it for the appropriate thread, never been one to hijack u no. btw, do you have a recipe for moose?
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
June 11, 2008
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
Jimmy, sorry... We have no moose in Cuba, and even if I grew up in New England and have sort of a yankee accent sometimes, moose were the big-as@ animals you stayed well away from... They're known for not being friendly.

Now, as far as your bacon bean and bowtie pasta... Any relation to the old Senator Simon who used to wear bowties? Or perhaps Tucker Carlson?
jimmy
June 11, 2008
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
2,650 posts
Hey Lou don't worry i found that moose recipe. Looks more like deserrt to me.
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
June 12, 2008
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
 Originally Posted By: jimmy
Hey Lou don't worry i found that moose recipe. Looks more like deserrt to me.


Oh you mean Mousse! \:\) The roadkill variety isn't usually available... a car against a moose usually results in reverse roadkill. And cannibalism is illegal except probably in Cheney's household
SCWVA
June 12, 2008
Member since 07/13/2004 🔗
1,051 posts
Went to the gas station this am. The pump stopped at $100 and wouldn't let me pump anymore. I didn't even get a full tank.

Gas rationing already?
JohnL
June 12, 2008
Member since 01/6/2000 🔗
3,518 posts
 Quote:
The pump stopped at $100 and wouldn't let me pump anymore. I didn't even get a full tank.


Most likely limit on credit card pre-authorization. Someone had told me the limit was $75; this may vary by credit card network or may have been recently increased.

When you swipe your card prior to filling up, a pre-auth is made for a fixed amount since it is not known in advance how much gas you'll buy. Hotels and rental cars often did a pre-auth above the expected purchase price to cover possible dammages (not sure how common this still is.)

With the pre-auth, your account is not billed, but you can't use that available balance. As soon as the real transaction is processed, the pre-auth is cancelled.
David
June 12, 2008
Member since 06/28/2004 🔗
2,444 posts
 Originally Posted By: SCWVA
Went to the gas station this am. The pump stopped at $100 and wouldn't let me pump anymore. I didn't even get a full tank.

Gas rationing already?



Wow, over $100!! I thought $46 in my little car was bad.......
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
June 12, 2008
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
This is normal. In many stations in urban areas, the merchant only allows $50.00 programmed into their computers. Then you have to go inside and present your driver's license, blood type, passport, retinal print, and an affidavit signed by the entire State of Arizona.

With the rise of gas prices, there has been a corresponding increase in the fraud cases. As a result, many merchants are trying to play an uneasy game between customer trust and realism. Consider that with the increasing overhead, there's not much profit for the merchant. Having said that, $50 limit is ridiculous and $100 limit is an anachronism.

Time for a DC-Davis-Snowshoe rail
JohnL
June 12, 2008
Member since 01/6/2000 🔗
3,518 posts
 Quote:
One thing: Don't want to start a war here but the ANWR oil wouldn't be able to affect supply for at least 10 years and with best forecasting, has the capacity of a less-than 2 year supply of oil, so any exploration there is only a "feel-good" activity. IMHO, let the moose run free.


2 years annual supply ~= 12 years of our current import levels from Saudi Arabia. I wouldn't mind being able to tell the Saudis FU for over a decade.

 Quote:
Time for a DC-Davis-Snowshoe rail


I think a DC-Davis-Snowshoe bus line makes a lot of sense and could be set up/run with relatively little added cost using existing roads (paid for mostly by gas taxes, BTW.) Do you really think there will ever be enough ridership travel to even come remotely close to justifying laying fixed rail to Snowshoe and Davis? I'm all for more fixed rail from densely populated to densely populated regions, but let's spend our money wisely. No pipe dreams please, not using my money. You're welcome to set up your own ski area rail line. Set up a private venture.
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
June 12, 2008
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
 Originally Posted By: JohnL
2 years annual supply ~= 12 years of our current import levels from Saudi Arabia. I wouldn't mind being able to tell the Saudis FU for over a decade.


Not so fast... Using your same vernacular, no pipe dreams, please. We may tell the Saudis to pound sand, but they were deeply in, in crafting our domestic energy policy and we're literally giving them nuclear technology FOR FREE, even when we threaten to invade other countries for the same reason... http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121305642257659301.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

Then we have the issue that if we tell the Saudis to pound sand, we then become more dependent on despots like Hugo Chavez Frias from Venezuela, who is in the process of taking down one of the most advanced countries in the continent a la Zimbabwe and turning it into another Cuba.

My point is that the answer is to change paradigms. In the 10 years that it would take to get a drop of oil from ANWR at the expense of mutilating the earth forever for our children, we can get our country less dependent on oil from any and all sourcess so we don't need either source. The paradigm of the single person car driver has to go. Also to go is the paradigm of the truck as the main means of transport and opening the possibility of rail transportation enhancements to get rid of our dependence on long-haul trucks.

AS to a DC-Davis-Snowshoe: That could be a part of an established rail route to the Mid West. Transportation to areas which provide the bulk of a State's employment base are as valid as transportation to any urban area. This conceptual rail would yes, be a great convenience for DC/Baltimore folks, but would be a boon for West Virginia. No different than the Amtrak Montrealer or Ethan Allen routes now run by Amtrak with specific Congressional funding, that serve Stowe, Sugarbush, MRG, Kton, Bromley, etc. etc. etc.
JohnL
June 12, 2008
Member since 01/6/2000 🔗
3,518 posts
 Quote:
Then we have the issue that if we tell the Saudis to pound sand, we then become more dependent on despots like Hugo Chavez Frias from Venezuela, who is in the process of taking down one of the most advanced countries in the continent a la Zimbabwe and turning it into another Cuba.


We'd be no less dependent on Chavez than we currently are.

If you don't like telling the Saudis to pound sand, choose Chavez instead. At least we'd have more of a choice than we currently do.
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
June 12, 2008
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
My point is that we shouldn't be dependent on either. And that requires as deep a change in our paradigms of transportation as the transition from the horse and buggy to the Model T was.

We should treat the Saudis like the despots that they are. We should treat Chavez as the despot that he is. No reason to choose which despot we like the best.

Start by taking 15 percent of all the gas tax and putting it into mass transit. This isn't a pipe dream, it can and needs to be done. And make it a known as a part of our national interest and subsequent national transportation policy that the privately owned automobile is no longer the center of our national transportation network.
Tucker
June 12, 2008
Member since 03/14/2005 🔗
893 posts
I am builder/residential designer in the Canaan Valley area and work primarily in the Canaan valley area usually less than ten miles from my house. I usually make a trip to Lowes in Buckhannon once a week for materials. I am now averaging about 200 dollars a week in fuel, thats about 800 bones a month. That is some chunky overhead. $4.25 at CVS stores for regular gas, 10 dollars a six pack for bottled beer. something has got to give...
Snowshoeskier
June 12, 2008
Member since 04/20/2006 🔗
17 posts
Only the beginning, my friend. Good 'Ole Bud is about to become a branch of a Belgian beer company. The Chrysler Bldg in NYC is being bought by Abu Dahbi. Even the new USAF tanker is gonna be made by Airbus. We've been living a pipe dream of cheap oil and an unrealistic standard of living. Now the dollar is headed to the toilet, oil price through the roof, and folks are still wanting to live like oil is 35 cents a gallon. And we're living with the energy policy manufactured by Exxon and Cheny. And Big Oil is paying zilch taxes because they wrote the rules, as our jobs go overseas and the move is financed by our taxes.

I wonder when Shoe will become an Arabian ski center.
SCWVA
June 12, 2008
Member since 07/13/2004 🔗
1,051 posts
Tucker - I feel your pain.

In 2007, I put 30,000 miles on my car. This doesn't include the miles associated with family trips to WV, VT, NY, & NC. I use to drive 40k miles per year. \:o

So when the price of gas went from $3.25/gal to $4.25/gal, its costing me an additional $1,500 per year or an extra $125/month.

How much does the price of gas affect the average person?

I read somewhere that the average person drives about 11,000 miles per year. So if this person drives a car that gets 20 mpg, the increase in the price of gas from $3.25 to $4.25 will cost the average person additional $550/yr or 45.83/mo.

An extra $45/mo doesn't seem like much, compared to the recent increase in health insurance premiums. Health insurance premiums have risen over 20% recently. This equates to about $225/mo or $2,700/yr. This is a huge increase and is probably a larger burden for small businesses and the self employed then is the price of gas.

But don't worry, Mr. Obama will take of all of healthcare & gas issues as soon as he becomes President.
Roger Z
June 12, 2008
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
Dangit, I leave this site for three days on accident and I miss Jimmy finding moose recipes and Lou saying he no longer likes the smell of "anis" (???? ;\) ), only to come back on time to see us discussing ANWR again.

You know, we don't need ANWR. The estimates are up to 80 billion barrels of oil off our shores, 90% of so right now we're unable to reach because of political drilling restrictions. The Canadian tar sands have made Canada the second largest holder of proven oil reserves in the world behind Saudi Arabia. AND, our oil consumption (in the United States) actually fell slightly from 2004 to 2007. I can only imagine what is happening this year.

We are becoming more energy independent, but this isn't a revolutionary shift, it may be at some point in the future but that will be if a new, more efficient technology emerges. And we've still got the growing global markets to worry about.

This isn't an either-or question. We need more oil, we need more refining, and by "we" I don't mean the United States I mean the world. This is probably going to remain the case for at least a generation, if not two.

And yes, we are doing more to research alternative sources of energy (Brazil with sugar cane ethanol, flex-fuel cars here in the U.S., electric cars, and so forth) and maybe we should devote more research to that, but it doesn't negate the fact that unless we stop global economic growth, there's going to be more demand for oil, to the tune of 500K-1,000,000 barrels a day, per year, for the next 10-20 years. And, incidentally, getting more oil into the market doesn't mean going back to cheap oil- extraction costs are getting higher (for now, maybe technology will push it back down, who knows).

We don't have the capacity to meet that demand now, and there are plenty of opportunities outside of Alaska at the moment so if it would help move things along, I'd be happy to say no drilling in ANWR we've got plenty of other resources to look into.
Tucker
June 12, 2008
Member since 03/14/2005 🔗
893 posts
It's all a downward spiral...anybody listen to any Tool...probably not..but Swim...learn how to swim...and ski pow while you can...
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
June 12, 2008
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
Hey Roger! How are the storms treating you? The videoconferences look grim in the MidWest. In a sense I'm glad I'm no longer at my old 100 percent travel, but I kinda miss the fracas of the disaster response and all the stuff that came with it... Hope you're safe with your family.
Roger Z
June 12, 2008
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
Things are okay over here, thanks for asking Lou. As soon as the sirens go off (twice this spring), I flip on the TV. Last week they were interspersing the NBA championship game with storm tracks of the severe thunderstorms (that was two rounds of severe thunderstorms ago), and I think we were paying more attention to the storms than anything. If you're in the path of one of those monsters, it gets your attention. If you're not in the path, they're pretty amazing to watch.

Tonight I was keeping an eye on one that tracked about six miles north of here. There were some scattered "funnel clouds" (I did not know this until moving out here, but a "tornado" is NOT a "tornado" unless it touches ground. Until it does so, it's just a "funnel cloud." A weatherman tonight apologized for calling a funnel cloud a tornado) that occasionally touched in the metro area, but nothing was on the ground more than a couple seconds. You know you're in the midwest when the weatherman says "don't worry about these little tornadoes, as long as you're in an interior room you'll be fine... unless a tree falls on your house." Ah, Kansas.

There have been a helluva lot of storms this spring, but none nearly as devestating as last spring. Mostly smaller actions, and except for the poor boy scouts in western Iowa yet few fatalities. Drowning has been the bigger problem this spring. My gosh we've gotten rain out here. They are really struggling with the corn crop (there's my tie in to gas, obliquely), because you grow corn in the wet fields and good portions of the wet fields are still underwater.

And yes, out here, you measure the progress of the seasons by the success of the crop. A couple weeks ago I had an animated conversation with a bartender in a high-class restaurant in Lincoln, Nebraska about soybeans and corn and thank-goodness-the-wheat-crop-didn't-get-another-late-freeze. And worse, he started it!

Next time you're in a bar in DC, make a comment to the bartender about the tobacco crop this year and see what kind of look you get! \:\)
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
June 12, 2008
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
Good to hear you're doing well. My baptism as an Emergency Manager was in Parsons Kansas, after the April 19, 2000 F-3 tornado that took down 800 homes, 300 businesses and hundreds of cars. I got there the day after and was amazed at the immense destruction. I gained a new respect for Mother Nature... And on top of that, there were floods in that plain too...

Yep, the soybeans and corn prices were then as I'm sure they are now, key to their survival. Parsons survived and is doing better than before. Very resilient bunch.

As far as the tobacco comment, if it is at Georgia Brown's bar, I'd get an earful that would last for ages...

Glad to see you're well.
Roger Z
June 13, 2008
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
 Quote:
As far as the tobacco comment, if it is at Georgia Brown's bar, I'd get an earful that would last for ages


You're probably right!

When we were in DC on business last, I took the whole department to Georgia Brown's (we went dutch, of course). These corncobbers had never had such delicacies before, forsooth! The food was good, but I've never had much luck with the service there, that was no exception. Oh well.
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
June 13, 2008
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
You're absolutely correct and that's why I said their BAR not their restaurant. Having said that, their food makes me salivate just thinking about it. They have a great bar, great chefs, incredibly location, and yet their service is a giant vacuum cleaner. It is a very good restaurant but IF they trained their service staff better, could be a truly outstanding restaurant.
David
June 14, 2008
Member since 06/28/2004 🔗
2,444 posts
 Originally Posted By: lbotta
My baptism as an Emergency Manager was in Parsons Kansas, after the April 19, 2000 F-3 tornado that took down 800 homes, 300 businesses and hundreds of cars.


Parsons Kansas huh? I once heard a good story about how the fine folks of Parsons, KS provided lots of aid to everyone in Parsons, WV after the big flood of 85. The reason I heard about the story was because 15 years later in 2000 the fine folks of Parsons, WV returned the favor and came to the aid of the victims in Parsons, KS. I thought it was a real neat situation. It is funny that you mention it because I haven't heard about that in over 8 years...

There is everyone's feel-good story.....continue with the gas talk.
Roger Z
June 14, 2008
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
So when I'm back in DC I'll be sure to stop by their BAR then... the food is worth the service, but if I can avoid the service then the food is worth Paris, or something like that! \:\)

Dang Lou we just reached our quota for agreeing for the summer, and it's not even summer yet!

Glad to hear the two Parsons helped each other out. Lemme guess, Parson Kansas sent lots of Bibles, and Parsons WV repaid the favor by sending lots of Natty Lite? Har har har... (just kidding, David ;\) )
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
June 14, 2008
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
Wish I had some pix of the tornado devastation. It was my first time heading a federal operation and when drove into town, I had a lump in my throat. You get sort of jaded in emergency management and learn that it is a job. But this was the first and the total destruction of what was a town did get to me. The tornado went literally down Main Street, down an 1850s street of unreinforced masonry and for a half a mile became a vortex of bricks that dominoed down the path of the funnel. Then it lifted and there was a wall of bricks at the end of the street, as if someone had played with a Tonka Truck and left the product of the backhoe at the end of the street.
Roger Z
June 15, 2008
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
The photos out of Greensburg from last year were stunning. The town was a mile long, the F5 tornado that hit it was a mile and a half long. I know they're trying to rebuild it as a "green" town so it has received national publicity, but there was some controversy- particularly the amount of money the state committed- as to whether it should have ever been rebuilt at all. There's a lot of dying towns in western Kansas, and some people (like myself) saw it as an opportunity to move people into other communities and prolong those towns for another 10 or 20 years. I know the emotion that comes with where you've lived all your life, so that's almost an impossible policy to implement, but I don't think it was unreasonable.

So, this gas thing. I went for a long walk yesterday and got to noodling about mowing lawns, and when I came back home I did some research. Turns out that we could reduce our national gas demand by as much as 1% (over 2% in the summer months, 1% annually) if we did two simple things:

1) mowed our lawns in one day longer cycles (for instance, if you mow your lawn every seven days, mow it every eight days instead); and

2) find a way to reduce your mowing time by five minutes (through gardening, letting part of your lawn revert to being woods, etc).

Lawnmowers are also a helluva source of pollution, but the numbers I found on the web are all over the board, and I mean ALL. OVER. The board. One study cited showed that lawnmowers produce as much pollution as driving a car 95 miles, another said 500 miles, a third said 1,300 miles, another said 25,000 miles, then I saw one that said 550,000 miles. So honestly I don't know what to believe, except that lawnmowers are much more polluting than cars.

Also, that 2% reduction is dependent not just on reducing lawnmowing but reducing edging, trimming, all the yardwork in a word where you use a gas-powered machine to assist.

Best of all, you'd be reducing gas demand during peak gas season, so I suspect it might have a larger impact on gas prices than would be the case if the reduction in demand was distributed throughout the year.

So let's add up all the benefits: less gas consumed, less air pollution, more time to sit and drink beer on a summer afternoon. Let's here it for hippie lawns!!! \:\)

ps- I've changed my mowing from about once every seven-eight days last year (and the year before) to once every ten days this year. It's a pain with the job and having to mow on Wednesdays and things like that, but so far I've been pretty good at sticking to that schedule.
Steve
June 15, 2008
Member since 02/15/2006 🔗
160 posts
 Originally Posted By: Roger Z

So, this gas thing. I went for a long walk yesterday and got to noodling about mowing lawns, and when I came back home I did some research. Turns out that we could reduce our national gas demand by as much as 1% (over 2% in the summer months, 1% annually) if we did two simple things:

1) mowed our lawns in one day longer cycles (for instance, if you mow your lawn every seven days, mow it every eight days instead); and

2) find a way to reduce your mowing time by five minutes (through gardening, letting part of your lawn revert to being woods, etc).

Also, that 2% reduction is dependent not just on reducing lawnmowing but reducing edging, trimming, all the yardwork in a word where you use a gas-powered machine to assist.

Best of all, you'd be reducing gas demand during peak gas season, so I suspect it might have a larger impact on gas prices than would be the case if the reduction in demand was distributed throughout the year.


Roger,

Interesting thought. But I probably don't use 4 gallons all summer long. Some of that I buy in April. So, the impact on peak gas season is probably not that much. Also, in a hot dry summer like last year, I didn't mow between the middle of July and the middle of August once. And what I don't use just stays in the can till the next time.

Mind you, letting our lawns revert to a more natural state would have another benefit, a lot less fertilizer being washed into the Chesapeake Bay. But then, power boat use on the bay might go up since we'd have all that free time not mowing the lawn totally offsetting any gas savings.

I'm afraid that people will eventually get used to $4 gas. When that happens, our usage will go back up.

People, let's face it, we seem to be the dumbest country on Earth. How many of us sat in gas lines back in the 70's and now own SUV's? (Duh, that would be me.) We've had almost 40 years to put in place an energy policy that doesn't leave us beholden to Venezuela, Russia, or the Middle East . Instead we've been pumping out 300 HP cars and trucks like candy. My Z28 was a fast car in 1996, now its a joke.

We need a long term solution that starts by stopping selling cars that get 8 mpg's. In fact, stopping selling cars that get less than 25 mpg's. Then we have to wait till all of our Tahoes and Sequoia's reach the end of their useful lives. Say 10 years?

Am I a pessimist or what?

Happy Fathers day!

Steve
The Colonel - DCSki Supporter
June 15, 2008
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
3,107 posts
Anybody know what a goat or a sheep costs?
The Colonel \:\)
JohnL
June 15, 2008
Member since 01/6/2000 🔗
3,518 posts
 Quote:
Interesting thought. But I probably don't use 4 gallons all summer long. Some of that I buy in April. So, the impact on peak gas season is probably not that much. Also, in a hot dry summer like last year, I didn't mow between the middle of July and the middle of August once. And what I don't use just stays in the can till the next time.


I'm with Steve on this one. Once the dog days of July/August hit, I'll maybe mow my lawn once every two weeks, even if it is not a dry summer like the summer last. And that is basically to chop down the weeds, not the grass. DC summers are tough on lawns.

I've heard similar things as Roger Z. stated about the pollution from lawnmowers. Two stroke engines with, I believe, no catalytic converters. Not a nice combo.

Some other tips to add to conserve resources/minimize pollution:
- Don't mow on code Red/Orange days.
- Mow early or late in the day to minimize gasoline evaporation. Also a good way to beat the heat.
- Set the cutting height higher during the warmer months.
- Water infrequently, but thoroughly when you do to promote deep root growth. Works for grass, shrubs and trees. Obviously, not an issue for the Mid-West this year.
- Minimize the amount of lawn you have. I'm getting tired of the time it takes to mow my lawn, so I've been adding mulch areas and hardscape. Still wasting too much #@$!!#$&* time. At times, I wished I bought a condo.
JohnL
June 15, 2008
Member since 01/6/2000 🔗
3,518 posts
 Quote:
letting part of your lawn revert to being woods


Sounds nice, unless you live in my neighborhood. Woods = Poison Oak and other less noxious vines in my town. I'm constantly battling the fun stuff that grows into my yard from the "nursery" the borders my property.

Vines and cockroaches will eventually take over the planet.
scootertig
June 15, 2008
Member since 02/19/2006 🔗
365 posts
I've got a reel mower (the old-fashioned kind, like on the old Dennis the Menace show). It's the lowest pollution option short of letting it grow (even sheep would emit methane, right?).

Of course, I'm lucky to have a small townhouse yard, but I'd be willing to use it even on a normal house-sized yard. The trickiest part is making sure I mow often enough, because it doesn't do so well with some stuff that a gas-powered mower could just chew through.

I do like the idea of no cars with less than 25 MPG ratings, though. I've always thought it was ridiculous the way that the current rules are written, which basically require an average MPG across a manufacturer's entire line. That means that they just have to come up with some little econobox to balance out their gas-guzzlers to meet the letter (and not the spirit) of the law.

I've thought that it would be interesting to price gas on an inversely proportional basis per "potential mile" based on avg fuel economy. So, the more "potential miles" you get out of a gallon, the less you pay - meaning someone getting 15 mpg would pay more per gallon than someone getting 30 mpg.

Sure, there are a ton of logistical issues that would be introduced, but it would be a neat way to do it...


aaron
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
June 16, 2008
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
Has anyone tried converting a part of the suburban back yards into vegetable gardens?
JimK - DCSki Columnist
June 16, 2008
Member since 01/14/2004 🔗
2,728 posts
Look how former ski entrepreneur Les Otten is going to fight the energy crisis with wood pellets: http://www.mainebiz.biz/story.html?story_id=1141
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
June 16, 2008
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
CNN today... Just short of $140 a barrel for oil. And $4.08 for gas, that could be $4.10 by the end of today.
Murphy
June 16, 2008
Member since 09/13/2004 🔗
618 posts
 Originally Posted By: lbotta
Has anyone tried converting a part of the suburban back yards into vegetable gardens?


Our neighborhood recently converted a portion of an empty field into a community garden. We currently have over 30 16'x16' plots, half a dozen communal plots and lots of green space for picnics and such. It's been a great way to get to know the neighbors...not to mention a good source of fresh veggies.
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
June 16, 2008
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
 Originally Posted By: Murphy

Our neighborhood recently converted a portion of an empty field into a community garden. We currently have over 30 16'x16' plots, half a dozen communal plots and lots of green space for picnics and such. It's been a great way to get to know the neighbors...not to mention a good source of fresh veggies.


And you don't have to worry about Salmonella, Cloriform bacteria or any other cooties from Mexico. We had them close to my old place in Arlington, wish they had more in DC.
Murphy
June 16, 2008
Member since 09/13/2004 🔗
618 posts
 Originally Posted By: lbotta
 Originally Posted By: Murphy

Our neighborhood recently converted a portion of an empty field into a community garden. We currently have over 30 16'x16' plots, half a dozen communal plots and lots of green space for picnics and such. It's been a great way to get to know the neighbors...not to mention a good source of fresh veggies.


And you don't have to worry about Salmonella, Cloriform bacteria or any other cooties from Mexico. We had them close to my old place in Arlington, wish they had more in DC.


Nope, it's pretty much a pick and eat garden. Lots of stuff is coming up right now too. No tomotoes though so we still have to take our chances with the Mexican cooties.
Roger Z
June 16, 2008
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
See, that's the thing. From an individual perspective it doesn't make a big difference at all. It's what happens when you add up individual changes across the entire country.

In 2005 there was 2.7 billion gallons of gas consumed for lawn mowing. I probably use a gallon all summer, so changing my mowing to once every eight days instead of seven might save, what, a tenth of a gallon? But with over 100 million lawns to be mowed in the United States, each person saving a tenth of a gallon adds up.

The thing is, it's these very small changes that make a big difference in the long run. People want to see something earth shattering, but that's a heckuva lot less likely to happen than just doing one small thing differently.

Oh, yes, I don't mow much in mid-August or July either. But on the other hand, when I was doing my calculations I acted as if no lawns get mowed north of North Carolina after mid September, too, so I think it balances out. On the fact that people purchase gas for their lawn mowers in April... good point.

ps- John poison oak is awesome! It's way better than poison ivy. I used to measure how good my summer was by how many times I got poison oak or poison ivy. If I didn't get at least three outbreaks, that was an indication I wasn't spending enough time in the woods. Poison oak comes on faster and leaves quicker than poison ivy, and doesn't itch quite as badly. If you want torture, try ticks and chiggers, of which there are legions lurking in the prairie tallgrass. Chigger bites are surely used as a punishment in Hell.
kwillg6
June 17, 2008
Member since 01/18/2005 🔗
2,036 posts
What about sheep? They can graze on grass and make it as smooth as a putting surface, not to mention side benefits such as wooly sweaters, and.... won't go there. Goats are too messy and if you have cows, then there's the side of methane production for energy production. Besides, they do all the work leaving you with more time to play with your energy eating toys!
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