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View Full Version : My own gas price "protest"



MadScientistMatt
04-13-2008, 06:21 PM
Actually, "protest" might be the wrong word, since I believe the law of supply and demand isn't something that can be persuaded to change with a protest. The way I see it, the appropriate thing to do about high gas prices is to use less gas and demonstrate how you are doing this in case others want to immitate you. However, this project does have an element of protest in it as I've made it a little bit over the top and put in an element of sacrifice, what I'm willing to give up in exchange for spending less on gas. It's also something of a protest against the various ideas people have circulated about how they want to bring the price of gas down without actually buying less gas.

So I've resolved not to use my car for commuting to work in April. At all. Since I've got a 40 mile commute each way and no public transportation, I'm riding to work on a motorcycle regardless of what the weather's doing. I call my effort Motorcycle 4 A Month (http://motorcycle4amonth.blogspot.com/), and I've created a blog to document it. So far I've had to make an exception once, when I had to borrow a work truck to deal with a broken water heater at home. So I've tacked on an extra day of commuting by bike in May to make up for this.

reigningcatsndogs
04-13-2008, 06:30 PM
We hit $1.25/litre here last week, and we're not even past the May long weekend. It will be brutal this summer.

I don't have a motorcycle so we've just stopped all the extra trips and running around... do it all in one trip, and then walk the rest of the time :)

Silver King
04-13-2008, 07:20 PM
That sounds like a great idea except for one thing: You'll be risking your life to save gas. If you are involved in a collision (gawd forbid), the chances of suffering serious injury or death will be far greater than if you were traveling in a car or truck.

Jean Marie
04-13-2008, 08:15 PM
How about an electric bicycle?

I'm contemplating buying one.

I've already cut down on unnecessary trips, and combined errands, which is helping.

*Don't have enough $ for a scooter, or a motorcycle.*

MadScientistMatt
04-13-2008, 11:02 PM
I'm a pretty cautious rider, and I don't ride without head to toe safety gear. I'm aware it's more risky than taking a car, but it's a risk I believe is managable. I've ridden to work a lot before, just not for a solid month.

bluntforcetrauma
04-13-2008, 11:13 PM
I took a test run on one a Night Rod at Mann's. It was love at first sight. My Soft Tail is now for sale.

Maryn
04-13-2008, 11:59 PM
I am once again pleased to have found a home within 4 miles of Mr. Maryn's work, in walking distance to two of the four public schools our kids attended, 4 miles from groceries, and 6 to 10 miles from virtually all other errand running. I probably drive only about 250 miles a month, maybe even less, except when we're transporting assorted offspring to and from various institutions. That's nearing its end, and just in time, too, since my last fill-up cost over $60.

Maryn, who was shocked

MichaelDeVere
04-14-2008, 12:45 AM
Just think of the instantaneous price decrease that would happen if the FEDGOV offered a tax credit to all employers who instituted strong telecommute policies.

Maryn
04-14-2008, 01:08 AM
I think that would be great, an incentive to businesses which increased work-from-home. I know my husband's employer isn't big on it, although those with serious health problems sometimes do it for a few months while they recover. But I can't see a reason why they can't allow a certain portion of the staff to telecommute on certain days, at least, while everyone comes in on other days for matters which need to be handled face to face by the full staff.

Oh well, they didn't ask me, did they? I'll just stand by the road, ready to wave to Matt as he speeds past on the bike. Good for him, eh?

Maryn, finding a good coat and a hat

bluntforcetrauma
04-14-2008, 01:10 AM
How about the backbone workforce of the US? They can't telecommute to the assembly lines.

Joycecwilliams
04-14-2008, 01:18 AM
I have to walk 1 mile to the main road, and then the nearest store is still 5 miles away. Living on a mountain makes bicyles and other modes of transportation, mute... so I have to use my car.

I try to do everything in one trip. And even though I have a Kia Rio which is good on gas, I still spend about $40.00 a week on gas...

bluntforcetrauma
04-14-2008, 01:21 AM
I started asking for receipts at the gas station because the missus thought I was kidding. What does she know? She flies all the time.

Kerr
04-14-2008, 01:28 AM
Funny thing is, just before the gas prices started to climb, we traded our truck for a diesel to help cut gas cost. LOL I was so glad to see the truckers gathering around the White House. The gas companies had the nerve to announce that due to new processing that had to further increase the cost of diesel. Bull! Diesel fuel still comes out four processes before gas. Who are they kidding. They're turning the economy into a tailspin from one end of the country to the other. It's not just what each person spends individually to get to work, it's how much everything increases when it costs so much to get delivered. Soon enough, we won't just be rationing the car for grocery shopping, we'll be rationing the groceries, too.

bluntforcetrauma
04-14-2008, 01:33 AM
Ah...a lean, fit America! What a novel idea!

Silver King
04-14-2008, 01:45 AM
I read an article recently on how United Parcel Service cut down its fuel consumption by changing their drivers' routes so the vehicles make more right turns than lefts. This way, the drivers are more likely to join the flow of traffic sooner rather than waiting to make left turns. The savings in gasoline consumption was dramatic, about thirty million gallons! (I'm fairly sure that's the right amount, though I'm going from memory.)

Unfortunately, the savings wasn't passed on to UPS customers, and the cost of shipping keeps going through the roof.

bluntforcetrauma
04-14-2008, 01:47 AM
Are savings ever passed on to the consumer?

Silver King
04-14-2008, 02:08 AM
Are savings ever passed on to the consumer?
Nevah! That's the way of the business world.

I own a small company, and whenever I find ways to save money, I keep it for myself as payment for a job well done. :)

Here's a simple yet interesting illustration of how a consumer's dollars can support a number of businesses. I pay $3 for a leather wallet and wholesale it for $10. The distributor then sells the accessory for $15 to a catalog company that marks the item up threefold. The consumer, hapless buyer that he is, pays $45 for an item that costs less than $3 to produce, and is perfectly happy with his purchase.

And that's nothing compared to the markup that takes place with exotic leather goods, such as ostrich and alligator, where the payoff is in the hundreds and even thousands of dollars.

bluntforcetrauma
04-14-2008, 02:11 AM
My wife has had to increase her fees due to airline costs. Cummins threw a coniption fit like an old lady who finds her prunes are missing. But it was that or nothing. Boeing was easy to deal with.

Joycecwilliams
04-14-2008, 03:03 AM
I started asking for receipts at the gas station because the missus thought I was kidding. What does she know? She flies all the time.

Wow... do her arms ever get sore?

reigningcatsndogs
04-14-2008, 03:14 AM
Funny thing is, just before the gas prices started to climb, we traded our truck for a diesel to help cut gas cost. LOL I was so glad to see the truckers gathering around the White House. The gas companies had the nerve to announce that due to new processing that had to further increase the cost of diesel. Bull! Diesel fuel still comes out four processes before gas. Who are they kidding. They're turning the economy into a tailspin from one end of the country to the other. It's not just what each person spends individually to get to work, it's how much everything increases when it costs so much to get delivered. Soon enough, we won't just be rationing the car for grocery shopping, we'll be rationing the groceries, too.

As the cost of diesel goes up, the expenses for the farmers also goes up, and the cost of shipping produce goes up, and that will come directly to the consumer. We could see the cost of food increasing dramatically over the next few months.

Silver King
04-14-2008, 03:22 AM
...We could see the cost of food increasing dramatically over the next few months.
It's already happening. And the cost for beer and wine is also rising. :cry:

reigningcatsndogs
04-14-2008, 03:27 AM
Yup. And with a house full of teenaged boys, this is why I have a huge veggie garden, a yard full of fruit trees, a giant berry patch, a couple of cows, and am getting some chickens. If I can grow some of my own food, I know what I'm eating, my costs are reduced, and I'm doing that little bit extra because diesel engines don't have to run to feed my family. I know it's not much, but I guess every little bit helps.

(I also have a whole lot of grape vines here! They make great wine! AND I have a new hops patch. A few years ago we made the most incredible honey lager ... and holy doodle did it knock your socks off! :D)

bluntforcetrauma
04-14-2008, 03:29 AM
Wow... do her arms ever get sore?

Not often enough! Those gas conversations are just the best:

"Receipt?"
"Yes. I got one."
"Where is it, then?"
"In my jacket."
"Please."
"Here."
"What's this charge for $3.99 plus tax?"
"Beef jerky."
"Was that necessary?"
"Pumping gas has makes me hungry. Want some?"
"You're daft."

Later that same day...

"I thought you filled the car up."
"I did."
"It was an eigth low when I started it."
"I had to drive home, didn't I?"
"It's not that far."
"I had a lot of jerky to eat."

Good grief! I can't do anything right.

Silver King
04-14-2008, 03:32 AM
...(I also have a whole lot of grape vines here! They make great wine! AND I have a new hops patch. A few years ago we made the most incredible honey lager ... and holy doodle did it knock your socks off! :D)
Can I help tend the fields? I'm a good worker. I'd labor for free if I can partake in the harvest. :)

reigningcatsndogs
04-14-2008, 03:36 AM
Can I help tend the fields? I'm a good worker. I'd labor for free if I can partake in the harvest. :)

LOL! All hands are welcome... the making of the beer and wine usually requires much testing for quality control... ;)

I have to say it's a lot of work, but a lot of fun, and the results are well worth it. I go grocery shopping about once every three weeks, other than for milk for the grubs. It saves a ton of money!

reigningcatsndogs
04-14-2008, 03:37 AM
About the only thing I can't get here all the time is good fish to eat.

bluntforcetrauma
04-14-2008, 03:37 AM
I make beer four times a year, but I never drink anymore. I give it to friends. Come on over.

Joycecwilliams
04-14-2008, 03:38 AM
It's already happening. And the cost for beer and wine is also rising. :cry:

Whine doesn't cost anything... :)

Appalachian Writer
04-14-2008, 03:47 AM
I like your idea, only I don't know how to ride a motorcycle, I don't have a motorcycle, and I've got a 70 minute commute on mostly interstate, a bad place to learn to ride a motorcycle. I do, however, have a way of using less gas. I do all necessary side trips on my way to and from work. I don't go out after work or have a social life (not necessarily a positive thing, but it works.) My vehicle is parked on Friday afternoons and doesn't start up again until Monday morning. I waddle (with my cane it's really hard to say I walk) as many places as possible. I never volunteer my vehicle as a possible transport for others who want to say "go out to lunch." It may seem that I'm inhospitable, but I am working hard at spending as little on gas as humanly possible, just enough to get to work and back.

I like the fact that you're documenting the change in your pattern. I guess I've developed a pattern that has become a way of life. It takes at least 5 gallons of gas to get to work. At $3.30/gal, that means I MUST spend at least $16.50/day just to get to work. Without going out of my way very far, having to sit in traffic, or making ANY weekend trips (always a possibility), I spend around $390.00/month just to work. Needless to say, I'm hoping to find a job closer to home and possibly set up a car pool with other workers who are like-minded. I'd like to document my struggle, but alas, I'm too busy pinching pennies to spend much time at it.

Joycecwilliams
04-14-2008, 03:49 AM
Not often enough! Those gas conversations are just the best:

"Receipt?"
"Yes. I got one."
"Where is it, then?"
"In my jacket."
"Please."
"Here."
"What's this charge for $3.99 plus tax?"
"Beef jerky."
"Was that necessary?"
"Pumping gas has makes me hungry. Want some?"
"You're daft."

Later that same day...

"I thought you filled the car up."
"I did."
"It was an eigth low when I started it."
"I had to drive home, didn't I?"
"It's not that far."
"I had a lot of jerky to eat."

Good grief! I can't do anything right.

But maybe she is grumpy from all that flying and her arms are sore.. :)

Jean Marie
04-14-2008, 04:47 AM
How about an electric bicycle?

I'm contemplating buying one.

I've already cut down on unnecessary trips, and combined errands, which is helping.

*Don't have enough $ for a scooter, or a motorcycle.*
Just to see if anyone notices that I quoted myself.

Much less the fact that anyone responded to what I said...

Silver King
04-14-2008, 04:52 AM
Has anyone seen Jean Marie lately? I was thinking about her earlier and wondered where she's been. The last I heard, she got on her bike and hauled ass. :D

SpookyWriter
04-14-2008, 04:58 AM
Has anyone seen Jean Marie lately? I was thinking about her earlier and wondered where she's been. The last I heard, she got on her bike and hauled ass. :DWhere's she bean?

Jean Marie
04-14-2008, 05:02 AM
Has anyone seen Jean Marie lately? I was thinking about her earlier and wondered where she's been. The last I heard, she got on her bike and hauled ass. :D
Beats the sheet outta me.

Most of the time, I feel...oh say it ain't so...invisible 'round this joint.

Used to be easier to join in on conversations. Uh, better watch myself :)

Joycecwilliams
04-14-2008, 07:56 PM
Beats the sheet outta me.

Most of the time, I feel...oh say it ain't so...invisible 'round this joint.

Used to be easier to join in on conversations. Uh, better watch myself :)

don't feel like that..

DWSTXS
04-14-2008, 08:48 PM
I live a mile and a half from the office, and sometimes, in the summer when it's good and hot, I will walk.

writerterri
04-14-2008, 08:56 PM
I put 18.00 in my tank yesterday and my needle almost reached half a tank.

I hate gas prices!

It can only go so high before it crashes. So, I say the faster the better. Bring it up and let the prices do its thang so some one can come and fix it. Why kill us slowly?

do it!

DWSTXS
04-14-2008, 09:38 PM
I put 18.00 in my tank yesterday and my needle almost reached half a tank.

I hate gas prices!

It can only go so high before it crashes. So, I say the faster the better. Bring it up and let the prices do its thang so some one can come and fix it. Why kill us slowly?

do it!


I disagree. The prices will continue to go up and up. Why would it crash? WE've shown that we will pay and pay and pay.

I think that prices would have to hit $10 per gallon before there will be any appreciable revolt, and even then, I don't think it would help. We're too dependent and too meek to do anything about it. we will just keep on taking it like we have been.
They don't care. Do you think the Saudi's really care if your bills are being put off becuase you're paying for gas instead of being caught up on your Visa and Mastercard? They laugh at us. and that's okay, that's their right. As long as we buy their product they can do what ever they want.

What pisses me off is our government being a part of it all, while telling us that they care, that they want to do something about it.

Jean Marie
04-14-2008, 10:43 PM
And, during Congressional hearings, the big oil companies were asked w/ their big profits, if they'd be interested in giving some of that money back to the us, the consumers. They flatly responded, NO.

So, it's not our government that's so much to blame. It would be the lousy oil companies who're making the profits.

It is, however, the government's fault in continuing to provide tax breaks for these thieves. That needs to end, now.

The fact that we're seeming to drive a bit less, is beginning to make somewhat of a dent in their collective pockets. It's not enough, though, we need to drive even less to hit them harder. To drive those profits way down.

MadScientistMatt
04-15-2008, 03:34 AM
How about an electric bicycle?

I'm contemplating buying one.

I've already cut down on unnecessary trips, and combined errands, which is helping.

*Don't have enough $ for a scooter, or a motorcycle.*

It wouldn't fit my commute as it doesn't have the range and speed to cover 80 miles in a day. Might be a possibility if it fits your needs, though. They've got a very low running cost and would work for short range trips. I already had a motorcycle, it gets around 55 mpg, and there weren't many other car alternatives I could see using.

Jean Marie
04-15-2008, 03:40 AM
It wouldn't fit my commute as it doesn't have the range and speed to cover 80 miles in a day. Might be a possibility if it fits your needs, though. They've got a very low running cost and would work for short range trips. I already had a motorcycle, it gets around 55 mpg, and there weren't many other car alternatives I could see using.
See, you've already taken the lessons for a motorcycle, too, Matt. Learning curve there, plus a special license for them. I don't have as far to travel as you, either.

Could you see me on one w/ a sidecar for my pup :) I remember someone, from way back when, who had one of those.

I'd be afraid to learn to ride one, I think. I dunno. Riding on the back is completely different than driving one.

W/ gas prices going up, motorcycles are going to become more prevalent, though. Makes sense.

bluntforcetrauma
04-15-2008, 03:43 AM
I get my NIGHT ROD tomorrow! Can you believe they called it that?

Jean Marie
04-15-2008, 03:48 AM
It's a strange name, to be sure.

bluntforcetrauma
04-15-2008, 03:51 AM
It's a strange name, to be sure.


Oh but it's a real beauty.

Jean Marie
04-15-2008, 04:06 AM
Oh but it's a real beauty.
If it's the same as what I Googled, than it's gorgeous.

bluntforcetrauma
04-15-2008, 04:07 AM
If it's the same as what I Googled, than it's gorgeous.

Sleek black. Heck my Soft Tail is worth more, so when it's sold, I'm making a few bob.

Jean Marie
04-15-2008, 04:23 AM
Sleek black. Heck my Soft Tail is worth more, so when it's sold, I'm making a few bob.
See, it's the same as what I saw a pic of.

Whoa, it's a beaut all right. And Soft Tails are nothing to sneeze at, either. They're beautiful, too. I know several peeps who've had those. They're worth a lot.

You're gonna have a blast riding this summer.

Bmwhtly
04-15-2008, 04:11 PM
I came across this news story (http://qi.com/news/item.php?id=668)and thought this'd be the best place to share it.

Not least because this thread was started by a Mad Scientist.