I found a bargain at my neighborhood station.

The gas is mostly $4.19 in these parts, up from $3.59 a week or so ago.

Still not nearly enough. But it’s a start.

Based on what I could glean from a brief, unscientific survey this morning, the rising prices haven’t stopped Burqueños from speeding, running red lights, or idling away a few minutes (and gallons) in various fast-food drive-through lines.

This last is why I restrict my motor trips to grocery-shopping. Once you bring home the bacon, you don’t gotta go nowhere else, watching your fuel and patience needles march toward “E” as you endure some faux redneck’s loudly farting diesel. You cook it up and eat it.

And once the weather settles down, who knows? I may leave ol’ Sue Baroo in the garage even more than I already do, invest a portion of my beans and rice in getting more beans and rice. There seems to be a lot of bicycles around here for some reason.

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31 Responses to “Pumped”

  1. khal spencer Says:

    It was $4.09 yesterday and I expected $4.19 today but it was still $4.09. Just like the old Beach Boys song.

    Just got off the bikey-bike and yep, people still driving like assholes around here. And shooting and killing each other.


  2. Pat O’Brien Says:

  3. Patrick O'Grady Says:

  4. carl duellman Says:

    i filled up saturday at $4 a gallon. now it’s $4.25.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Remember the good old days, when gas was 50 cents a gallon? Of course, back then I was driving a $300 car (1964 Chevy Biscayne), paying $75 a month to rent a house in a sketchy Bibleburg ’hood — one tiny bedroom, kitchen with gas range, small fenced yard, detached one-car garage — and making $65 a week as a copy boy at the Colorado Springs Sun.

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        “The good old days weren’t always good, tomorrow ain’t as bad as it seems.” So sayeth Billie Joel. Or, some such shit. But, you were living lean back then for sure.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        It actually wasn’t half bad, Paddy me lad. I was between colleges, mostly off drugs, and hanging around with some smart, interesting people from the newspaper, learning a trade. I had been circling the bowl for a while and that first newspaper job threw me a lifeline.

        When I came back from round two of college three years later and went to work for the Gazette, I was bringing home a whopping $123! Fat city! Stay in school, kids!

        Meanwhile, behold the Soma Fuel Saver. Returned road tires, rear rack and panniers, and fenders to the Double Cross. Our Motto: Burn Groceries to Get Groceries.

        The Soma Fuel Saver

        • Click here for a larger image.

      • SAO' Says:

        I’m a couple or three years younger than you, but I remember 25¢ gas. It only lasted one week, and it was part of a gas war between two competing stations in the middle of nowhere outside Henderson, KY. All the locals knew it was the cheapest gas in the state, so folks would drive ten miles to fill up and maybe grab a bag of Andy Capp Hot Fries.

        My $300 car was a ’74 Plymouth Fury III. Not sure who they thought they were fooling with that “III” moniker. Because of a hole in the gas tank and rusted mounts that made it sag if you put more than 5 gallons in it, I was never really sure what my mileage in that thing was. Maybe 8 mpg? I could ride a Tern for the rest of my life and not undo the carbon footprint damage I did in the six months I owned that hoopty.

        • Pat O’Brien Says:

          Hole in the gas tank that had rusty mounts? Sounds like it wanted to be a Pinto.

          • SAO Says:

            Four times the size of a Pinto, with four times as many problems.

            I remember not being able to get it started one rainy night, and a tow truck happened to pull into the same lot. Dude got out and helped me trouble shoot it, kept telling me to crank it while he was jiggling wires. Third or fourth try, his hair stood up on end when I turned the key, but instead of freaking out, he just said, “I think we’re getting close!” Next try his hair stood up and his feet lifted 3-4 inches of the ground, and he yelled, “Almost got it!” Finally, I turned the key and there was a blue arc leaving his elbow, looping around and reconnecting on his opposite shoulder, and he hollered “yea-haw!” as the Fury sputtered to a asthmatic rumble.

            Yeah, no idea what the mileage on that thing was, but I do know it went through a can of ether every week.

        • Patrick O'Grady Says:

          I recall 29-cent gas at the Vickers station at Academy and LaSalle back in the Sixties, before I was driving. My friends were, though, and passing the hat to fill the tank took a much smaller hat than it would today. More money for Coors and ditch weed, don’t you know.

      • khal spencer Says:

        I recall seeing gas for about $0.30 per gallon in Buffalo circa 1960. Inflation adjusted, that would be about 3 bucks today. Bread at Loblaws, albeit squishy white bread, was 5 loaves for a buck. So life was a little cheaper. Explains how my parents were livin’ the dream on his Chevy salary.

        And my LHT is looking a bit like your Soma right now, for the same reasons.

      • Shawn Says:

        I’m a few days prettier than some of you so the lowest price I paid was about $0.50 a gallon (Texas). I had a Rabbit so I could fill up with $5.00 and roar around all night. If I could buy that car new now, exactly as it was then, I’d be down shopping for one.

        I think the “III” in the Fury meant that it had more crap (ie: weight) on it. They had to add a new bill or whistle to keep the buyers coming back to buy the next years model. Windows incorporated that philosophy with their os’s.

  5. Herb from Michigan Says:

    Yup I recall 25 cent gas. But what got me involved with cycling was my first American shitmobile – a 62 Chevy Impala. I got it for $500 in 1969 and it was already whipped. Burning oil, rusted floor pan, balky transmission. I put up with it for 9 months and said screw it and bought a used Varsity. It got me around and later in college I often commuted 50 miles round trip to work on a Bottecchia – in the summer thank Zeus. I know this sounds terrible on the heels of the pandemic but these high fuel prices are what it will take to get some people off the oil tit. I do feel bad for those with kids who are holding down jobs they have to drive to and also having to shuttle the kidlings all over.

    • Pat O’Brien Says:

      I hear you Herb, and hope you are right about waking folks up to climate change. Today, Lebanon, KY, will have a high temp of 69. Tomorrow, it will have a high of 28 with 3 to 5 inches of snow. You would think freak weather like this, and tornadoes in December, that has been going on for years would wake people up. Nope, still buying pick ups and blaming Uncle Joe for high gas prices. Completely ignorant how the world oil market works and the strangle hold OPEC and Russia have on world energy markets.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        “A man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest,” as Simon and Garfunkel have taught us. Most people think you dig potatoes out of gravy. A few think you can paint Chinese flags on American aircraft and “bomb the shit” out of Russia and watch as hilarity ensues. Yeah, that’ll fool ’em.

        In Heaven, meanwhile, God shakes His head and Jesus giggles. “You picked the wrong monkeys, old man. You owe me big time. You can send the Holy Ghost next time ’cause I ain’t goin’ back. Not for these eejits.”

        • JD Says:

          I believe the behavioral scientists call it “confirmation bias”. We choose the data or sources that reinforce/support our subjective beliefs/opinions.
          Everyone does it … so, again I must ask: “Is it from arrogance or egotism that we call ourselves homo SAPIENS?”

        • Patrick O'Grady Says:

          Occasionally one wonders whether homo Bozo might be more appropriate.

          • khal spencer Says:

            Homo pendejo

          • Shawn Says:

            It’s an evolution:
            Homo Sapiens = Homo Ignoramous, which leads to Homo Denialus, which leads to Homo Apatheticus, and then finally Homo Extinctus.

            I think though that pen and dejo sum it up quite well.

            On a sad calculative note, based on a generalized value that the US buys 3% of it’s oil from Russia, I contributed about $0.41 to Russia’s annihilation of Ukraine yesterday. I’ll have to see that I donate a large multiple of that number to the Ukrainian defense today.

            Does anybody else wonder why Russia would want to emulate the swastika and use the “Z” symbol? I mean it’s so much easier to just sketch a big penis instead.

      • Herb from Michigan Says:

        NPR surmised that only 3% of US consumption has anything remotely connected to Soviet oil/gas. It would seem POB that the rest of the world along with the Gas Weasels here in ‘America are for sure porking us. Dontcha just love how the fossil fuel criminals jack prices if the wind blows from the wrong direction or some guy gets constipated in Boise? All the more reason for alternative energy to get rolling. But I’m not seeing mass transit getting to the top of anyone’s list.

        • khal spencer Says:

          Last I looked, 92% of U.S. gas consumption is just private vehicles puttering around. If we actually had expensive gas, those vehicles would look like the ones in Europe rather than the Chevy Subdivision or Lincoln Navigator XXXXXL.

        • Pat O’Brien Says:

          To add insult to injury, Toyota and Honda dropped the Yaris and Fit from US distribution. I had a used 2009 Yaris SE hatchback a few years ago that was a hoot to drive and that got me 33 mpg in town and 42-45 on the highway. We were thinking a buying a new one, but no can do. As Khal said we should be driving what they drive in Europe to wave the middle finger at fossil fuel powered dictators like pooty and mbs.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Hee, and also haw. As all y’all know, my trajectory was much like Herb’s, but mine interrupted a long association with the bicycle.

      I didn’t get my driver’s license until near the end of my first year in college, then almost immediately bought the ’64 Biscayne from my girlfriend’s brother. Unlike Herb’s Impala, it was a fine ride until I drove it into a train one day on the way to my gig at the Sun. It developed a few mechanical issues afterward, chief among them immobility.

      For some reason the State insisted that I relinquish my driver’s license — hey, wasn’t it enough that I no longer had a car? — and boom, I was back to the Varsity, or the Continental, whichever Schwinn I had been driving since high school. This vehicular condition persisted until I went back to and graduated from college in ’77, because nobody would insure me and the State refused to license me without insurance.

      But finally the Authorities relented, I got insured and licensed, and my parents gave me the ’74 Datsun pickup as a present for (finally!) graduating college. But I kept the Schwinn. There are a lot of trains in this world.

    • khal spencer Says:

      I didn’t get into adult bicycling until grad school. My parents never let me drive a car–to their credit, I suppose. So it was a Sears bicycle of some sort all through fifth grade through high school. I think that was my stepdad’s revenge for inheriting me along with my mom. The good news was that between pedaling my ass everywhere and throwing hay bales on a good friend’s farm during summers when I managed to escape home life, the bullies decided to back off as I suddenly looked mean enough to kill them. So bicycling was good.

      I went off to college and couldn’t wait to leave it all behind, bicycle and stepdad included. I immediately went about buying a motorcycle the spring of my freshman year as at that time I was on a full NROTC ride and had money to burn for motorcycles, gas, beer, and organic chemistry experiments on my brain.

      Senior year of college I was living off campus with Girlfriend, ver. 1 and traded my parents a box of donuts and a bottle of wine for a ’69 Mustang held together with duct tape and bailing wire. By then my old man and I had buried the hatchet, and not in each other’s heads. That little ride lasted a couple of years before one of the front wheels was literally ready to fall off the chassis. My father in law used the car when he was teaching Auto Shop at the local high school.

      My Ph.D. qualifying exams coincided with the 1979 oil crisis on the East Coast. Rather than sit in odd/even gas lines, we bought bicycles and were riding 24 miles R/T to campus from Miller Place to Stony Brook. Of course, I hadn’t had that bike for more than a couple weeks and was hit by a car. I think I kept riding because some day I wanted to get even and hit a car with my bicycle. Besides, full time bicycle commuting meant I actually looked like a human again rather than the fat slob I was becoming. I was almost down to my high school track weight.

      Bicycling is good.Not just for saving gas, either.

  6. khal spencer Says:

    That whole discussion about who could remember the cheapest gas reminded me of this:

  7. khal spencer Says:

    This discussion got my evil mind working.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Well done, sir. Now, me, I have been known to ride on a burrito made using a locally produced flour tortilla slathered with organic MaraNatha almond butter (crunchy) and St. Dalfour Red Raspberry fruit spread. I don’t even look at the price; I just snatch ’em off the shelf. It’s my high-octane PB&J.

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