Thursday, September 01, 2005

Conserving Gas

Gas prices are driving me insane. I believe every business should be profitable, but a business that is attempting to criple this country with it's insane prices is nuts. They know we have to have gas and they know we'll pay whatever they say it's worth and no protesting or internet forwards are going to bring the price down. We're at their mercy...and we shouldn't have to be. So I'm coming up with ways to conserve that won't land me in a Honda (sorry Honda peoples, I'm strictly Mopar). I'm always kidding with my wife about conserving gas. Anytime I'm low I'll tell her that Borland and the guys in the shop said we could stretch it. For the Nascar fans, Matt Borland is Ryan Newmans crew cheif. Last season he won eight races on fuel mileage. It's okay, my wife doesn't think it's funny either. So today I started coming up with ideas on how to conserve fuel other than calling Borland and the guys. My best idea so far is a motorcycle. I think I like this one the best -
I think I'd look alright on this, don't you? Not only that, this baby can get 40 mpg's. When gas is $3 a gallon and will probably be $5 by Christmas, this sounds really good. So, I guess I'm doing a blogger pole. Do I get a British Motorcycle, a Harley, or stick with the 17 mpg's that the Jeep gets?


Jen is way to young to be a widow. Keep the jeep. I'd hate to have to include you in my "those damn motorcycles are gonna get me a manslaughter charge" complaining...
posted by Blogger Jenn at 1:56 PM  
Now who says I would die in a motorcycle? This one is a cruiser even. I could see that if I bought a crotch rocket, but this one is just cool.
posted by Blogger Raul Duke at 2:23 PM  
When gas prices are $10 a gallon maybe we will finally look for alternative fuel sources which we should have done over 50 years ago. They have been dabbling with it for years, but it never seems to be taken seriously. Hydrogen looks promising, but it isn’t that efficient if you think about all the energy it takes to separate the H from the O^2. All our technology and yet we are still so primitave.
posted by Anonymous Interblogger at 3:37 PM  
Sorry, H2 from the O. :)

It has been a long day.
posted by Anonymous Interblogging at 3:41 PM  
Natural gas can be put in to any vehicle on the road today and it wouldn't take much to change gas stations over to it. Problem is, that is still just as high. The technology is there for fuel cells. They could go in to mass production tomorrow. The only problem is that it's not as easy of a conversion. The internal combustion engine that we know and love would cease to be. That transition will have to be mandatory and all at once. Classic muscle cars will be museum pieces and their sounds will only be heard in recordings I probably need to get a motorcycle and enjoy it while I can.
posted by Blogger Raul Duke at 4:40 PM  
You must have read my mind. I was thinking about this topic as well. I've been considering public transportation but I know it would work with my work schedule and school. So that would be my first option if it was good and reliable and I had a schedule that would work. That is since you are anti rice burners (I own 2 of them...and will own more!)

Other suggestions. See if you can get a vespa scooter. I think the wife would go for that...and they get good gas mileage I believe. And for a scooter they are pretty fast!

Worse comes to worse get yourself that bike! :)
posted by Blogger Chris D. at 4:42 PM  
Or how about a diesel and convert it over to using veggie oil? Guy around here said the conversion kit costs about 1K and he's already paid for it with cost savings.
posted by Blogger Chris D. at 4:44 PM  

I had no idea you could do that. That is a great idea. I am surprised that more people do not know about that. Surly more people would know about that if there was a big savings there. I wonder if you can order a custom made car that runs on diesel?

I think in the end Hydrogen will win. It will just take a monster jump in gas prices to get us there. I am guessing $10 a gallon. I think that day will be sooner than we think.

In a hundred years or less cars, like our houses, will be solar powered. The power cells will be so advanced that they will be integrated into the paint and 100X more efficient than the weak solar panels of today. When parked in the garage the house will charge the car until it gets out onto the road.. or whatever replaces roads. :)
posted by Anonymous Interblogger at 9:23 PM  
No offense to the rice burner crowd Christian. Just not for me. I don't care for anything GM makes either and I'm only warming up to Ford because the wife had always wanted a Mustang. If public transportation went my way I'd be all over it. Not too many busses make the 45 minute drive to work that I make so I'm out of luck. I think the wife is trying to axe the motorcycle idea so it's going to take some prodding. The veggie oil would be cool because most places will give it to you. You just can't beat free fuel, especially not when there is a good chance it would smell like French Fries and Hash browns.

IB, I think you're right. I think by Christmas we'll see $5 as the norm on gas prices. We should have alternate fuels available even if it's only to drop down these insane gas prices. I can't believe if we see a gas price under $3 we think it's a good deal now. It's just sick. Hey, just curious IB - where is your wife?
posted by Blogger Raul Duke at 10:00 PM  
Nahh, Hydrogen is WAAAYYY off in the future. Like 20+ years at least. The technology just isn't there yet. Probably lots longer.

Did you read about the EE guy in California that modded his Toyota Prius by putting batteries in the trunk? He's getting 250/gallon. Here's the link:

I think hybrids are the answer for the near future.
posted by Anonymous Rob at 8:43 AM  
Actually Rob, I think the technology is there. I did a research paper on them years ago and all the major manufacturers had them and were already testing them. Chrysler had a Grand Cherokee, Ford had the Taurus and GM had some pile of junk but the technology is there. Someone will just have to make it mandatory, and produce a good source of hydrogen. I'll check out your link though, but you're not helping me win the arguement for a motorcycle.
posted by Blogger Raul Duke at 9:08 AM  
This is worth a look if you want better milage. Let us know if you try it.
posted by Anonymous Grasshopper at 12:14 PM  
Ok, I know you do not want to hear this, but I really think that a motorcycle is a bad idea. For several reasons, which I will not go into here. But I am surprised at how many response you have had to this post. Including how many agree with me. Maybe I am right after all.
posted by Blogger Jen at 12:33 PM  

I'm all for motorcycles. I'm driving a 2003 Ram, and am considering getting one myself.

Has the issues of storage and fueling been solved with the hydrogen vehicles? I know that BMW has had a fleet touring around Berlin since 1998.

The problem is those pesky collisions. Hydrogen vehicles just seem to explode! And figuring out a way for Bubba to fuel his hydrogen vehicle while smoking a cigarette was also a problem.
posted by Anonymous Rob at 12:46 PM  
lol at Rob, and Jen I am totally on your side.

We're looking at a Hybrid. Im just concerned now with the cost to fix them. Apparently its a nightmare.

Im not putting Ella in a Hydrogen vehicle.... (remembering the Hindenburg--or however you spell it)
posted by Blogger Jenn at 2:15 PM  

We shouldn't use Hydrogen because it is explosive, but we should continue to use gasoline? Gasoline is at least as explosive if not more than Hydrogen.

Hydrogen has a very high dispersion coefficient which means that it is almost impossible to cause a hydrogen explosion in an open area.

People just think it is more dangerous because of the Hindenburg.
posted by Anonymous Interblogger at 5:14 PM  
Yeah, hydrogen has that stigma as IB mentioned but I don't think it would be as much of a problem as everyone thinks. I think the fueling on them is much different than the gas pumps we have now so it would be millions of dollars in converting and I don't think Bubba would be allowed to smoke a cigarette while he fueled. If I remember correctly I read that they'd be fueled by technicians so you'd see less bubba's at gas stations than you do now.

Rob, there is a triumph dealer on Dayton Blvd in Red Bank. I've already picked out a matching jacket so you can't get the same one...that would just be weird. My Dad has an 03 Hemi Ram and he's not happy with the gas situation right now either. Just last week I almost had the wife convinced on a new SRT-10 Ram, then gas goes through the roof. Damn it.
posted by Blogger Raul Duke at 11:59 PM  
SRT-10 Ram, the one you took 140 mph? Cause yeah that's safe :-P

Love ya Patrick!
posted by Blogger Jenn at 11:09 AM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
posted by Blogger Jen at 5:04 PM  
Hey the guy said "we need someone that isn't scared to push the envelope because we don't have the balls to do it." I was just happy to help. Sadly, I think that thing gets better mileage than my Jeep. We did get to go look at motorcycles today and Jen liked the Triumph pretty well.
posted by Blogger Raul Duke at 5:05 PM  
Wow. 20 Comments. Im impressed. Say something else...
posted by Blogger Jenn at 4:31 PM  
"You just can't beat free fuel, especially not when there is a good chance it would smell like French Fries and Hash browns."

LOL That is hillarious! :)

I have mixed feelings about cycles really - obviously prefer bicycles but that's hardly realistic for getting to work on time without road scum tossed up onto your clothes.

I do think motorcycles are more dangerous than cars, but then again, that's probably because people tend to focus on the negatives over the positives. The news certainly isn't going to report all the money people have saved by riding a motorcyle, or talk about the amount of fresh air one's consumed over the A/C'd air (given you're riding on non busy/non interstate-highway roads). They aren't going to report how many cyclists make it to their destination safely with all the proper safety gear on etc etc...because people give better ratings to hear about the disasters and crashes.

But, I guess because of all the horror stories I've heard - I wouldn't want my own husband riding one. Not so much for his own driving safety, but because people driving big cars and suvs (and my gawd some of the suvs out there are just far too big to even be on the road...totally unneeded) don't drive safely and might crunch him flat into a thin Swedish pancake leaving me widowed with two children.

In addition to the safety risks and the haunting news stories - you'd have to really make sure you live in a climate that supports riding a motorcycle. Riding a motorcycle in the rain would simply STINK. And if it was really raining, well you'd be in a situation of carpooling - hitching a ride to work bc you can't ride it in a downpour or when the roads are icy or snowy etc. Or, what's happened to several of my cyclist friends - being at work having ridden in on your bike and then while at work, it started raining and then they have to bum a ride home. Which then means they have to bum a ride back in to work the next morning, etc etc.

My sister-in-law and her husband seemed to have worked out a plan where they do a combo driving plan of sorts to save money since gas is so expensive.

They ride together in the morning to a public transportation station which cuts down on the long bus commute, and then each hop on to their respective bus route.

Other friends of ours take the public metra train.

And while it does seem to take a bit longer getting there, they leave a little earlier - do business in route since they don't have to watch the road, and/or enjoy coffee/listen to music/fiddle on their laptop/catch up on phone call returns.

I personally, would rather live in an area where I could walk and not have to drive. Since we've moved I am not lucky in that sense any more. I used to be able to walk to everything I needed to maintain the house and to fulfill all my entertainment needs. Now, driving (or catching the bus) is my only option.

Another friend of mine has a hybrid Ford suv. He adores it. Me, personally, would rather go broke with gas prices than to invest in another Ford. I've had a Mustang. I've had an Explorer. I won't ever own another Ford as long as I live. Ever.

Good luck!

Insanity Infusion
posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 4:47 AM  
No more fords huh? I've got a rule like that on Saturns, and anything made by GM so I know what you mean. Too many SUV's on the road, even here. We looked at the motorcycle this weekend and it didn't sound as impressive as I'd hoped so I'll continue the search but it looks like gas prices came down a bit over the weekend. Glad to see you floating around the blogs again.
posted by Blogger Raul Duke at 11:30 AM  
Yes gas does seem to be coming down! My issue with the metro is you're never sure if your car will still be there when you get back. Granted my little sentra isn't going to inspire anyone to knock it off, but still. Those lots are just begging for crime. And that's what we hear on our news.
posted by Blogger Jenn at 12:12 PM  
Yeah, those are somewhat asking for trouble but no more trouble than a mall parking lot. One day someone will figure that out, but hopefully they won't because as you said - some cars are just not stealable.
posted by Blogger Raul Duke at 12:35 PM  
Fuel cells? hybrids that anyone gives a damn about? gas going away any time soon? God you people are unrealistic. Just buy some ExxonMobile stock and ENJOY it.

Get the bike Patrick. Ignore all these candyasses and get it so we can go riding.
posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 9:11 AM  

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