Splish, splash, etc.

They said it would rain, and they did not lie.

We’ve gotten 0.38 inch since o-dark-thirty this morning, and while the Big Spigot seems to have been turned off for the moment, it’s due to open right back up this afternoon. Meanwhile, the wind is working overtime, trying to dry everything up again.

To absolutely no one’s surprise, wisdom remains elusive. I thought I was on the ball yesterday, slipping out for a short trail run in the late morning before the weather turned. But the afternoon proved dry and delightfully cool, ideal for cycling. And today is as you see, perfect for … for … well, for staying indoors, is what.

A smart fella would’ve ridden yesterday and run today. But as we all know, I will never be smart.

For instance, I fail to appreciate the brilliance of a gas-tax “holiday,” though Prez Joe clearly thinks it’s a swell idea.

Blast from the past.

First, there’s no guarantee that Big Oil won’t snatch up any newfound savings for itself as demand increases but supply does not. Second, it would mean less money in the Highway Trust Fund for Infrastructure Week, whenever that comes around. And third — it’s chump change.

As business economist Garrett Golding at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas told The New York Times: “It sounds like something is being done to lower gas prices, but there’s not a whole lot of there there.”

Mind you, I drive almost not at all, filling up the old rice rocket more or less quarterly. I don’t have a job to go to, or kids to ferry around and about. Your mileage may vary.

But as anyone who rides a bicycle knows, no matter how much the go-juice costs, there is an awful lot of automobile traffic on the roads at all hours of the day and night. These trips can’t all be mandatory; there’s plenty of elective driving going on there too.

Maybe instead of rifling the federal couch cushions for loose change and pretending it’s buried treasure, we should be reducing demand, which is the only real way to cut prices. Is your trip necessary?

Tags: ,

20 Responses to “Saturation”

  1. khal spencer Says:

    Yep. Its all politics. Make the masses think Uncle Sam is doing them a favor. Well, until those potholes don’t get filled and the bridges keep falling down.

  2. Pat O'Brien Says:

    Nice pic! We got 1/2 inch yesterday according to my neighbor’s rain gauge. I will put my practicing luddite analog gauge out today since the rest of the week looks real juicy.

    Unfortunately, COVID paid a visit to our house, and subjective evidence points to a surge right here in our little burg.

    The federal gas tax holiday, 90 days long would get us past all primary elections. Coincidence?

    We use about 10 gallons a month. Like Dylan said, “You ain’t going nowhere.”

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Oh, shoot, you guys got a Visitation? Dammit all anyway. As I noted earlier, I don’t think any of us is gonna get away without being tagged. We’re on Red Alert here in Dog Country, and just waiting our turn. Get better soon, y’all.

    • JD Says:

      Sorry to hear that PO’B! Best wishes to you and yours for a full and speedy recovery! My better half and I got COVID about 5 weeks ago … fully vaccinated and boosted …. then got Paxlovid prescribed. Both of us had head congestion, sore throats, upper respiratory congestion and FATIGUE. My bride of 52 years then got the post-Paxlovid “rebound” for several more days.
      Plenty of fluids and rest, mi amigo.
      Re the gas tax holiday, agree it’s a symbolic, relatively ineffective gesture timed to show concern and “doing something”, especially with primaries coming up and mid-terms to follow; but if I were advising I’d be hard pressed to recommend anything else that might actually have a practical near-term impact on the supply/demand differential. No good implementable options?
      Would would you folks recommend if in such a position?

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        JD, glad to hear that you and yours are on the rebound from El Buggo. Stay well.

        As regards the gas prices, I’m not optimistic. When the car companies all started going electric you could see the End Was Nigh for the dinosaur-wine party. But we have had a history of wanting what we want when we want it and thinking that this constitutes a Natural Law. Live a long ways from work, schools, and/or shopping; buy a ridiculous Land Yacht to sail the asphalt sea; pitch a bitch when high fuel prices gnaw a hole in your wallet.

        We want a silver bullet or a magic bean for this kind of predicament, but there ain’t one. The way we live is simply not sustainable, in my view. We tsk-tsk at dope fiends, but we get a little twitchy our own selves when it’s time to score our gas fix. An addict is an addict.

      • Pat O’Brien Says:

        Thanks JD and Patrick. Patrick, glad you have dodged the bullet to date. JD, glad you got through it OK. I am OK and tested negative this morning.

        The president really can’t do much about gas prices. I’m thinking the Ukraine war with subsequent ban on Russian oil imports, OPEC, commodity markets, and greed are the main reasons for high gas prices. That and oil companies anticipating lowering demand. Electric cars are not the silver bullet because power grids in the Southwest are already stressed by them and other increased demand. Patrick is right. We should just drive less.

        If I was president, I would form the MCAPAC. Mexican American Canadian Petroleum Advisory Council and start sticking it to OPEC.

        • Herb from Michigan Says:

          Not fair!! Only the non vaxers should get Covid damnit! Hope you stay negative POB as I’m seeing friends with lingering issues who played by the rules yet caught it somewhere/somehow. As for the power shortage. We have a hard time understanding back here why the southwest isn’t going mega with solar and wind generation.

          • Pat O’Brien Says:

            Thanks Bruce. Vaxxed and boosted yet here we are. Our co-op power company was late to the renewable game though there is a shitpot of solar on roof tops here. Record heat has a lot to do with the demand. Plus California no longer sells power out of state.

          • Patrick O'Grady Says:

            Storage and capacity are roadblocks too, right? Got to have someplace to park all that power.

            The Kit Carson co-op in Taos is 100 percent solar during the daytime now. It’d be interesting to learn more about that. It’s billed as cheaper and getting more so over time.

        • Patrick O'Grady Says:

          For reals. It reminds me of the time in ’73 when a couple hippies did The Nasty in my bed when I was out of town and I contracted a case of crabs courtesy of their antics. I got the damn bloomer bunnies and didn’t get to have any of the fun! Unless you count explaining a case of crotch crickets to my girlfriend. Now that was fun.

          • Shawn Says:

            Wow. Now that’s something you don’t read about every day. Hmmm? I didn’t know.

          • Pat O’Brien Says:

            Too much info.
            We got a flyer in our bill this month from our electric co-op to explain increased fuel surcharges. They used to buy power, of all kinds, from California companies but no more. That has left our grid stressed. California’s grid is stressed from record temps and electric car charging at night. So, it seems a hybrid or very high mileage car with reduced driving is the answer. Good luck with that in the general population.

            By the way, I tested positive this morning and are in COVID jail for the next 5 days.

          • Patrick O'Grady Says:

            O shoot. Both of yis have it now? Weird how this thing works — Hal and his kid got it at about the same time, but Mary didn’t; then Mary caught v2.0 and was sicker than both of them, but the boys didn’t get that variant.

            Rest up, stay hydrated, mebbe have a mess of chicken soup delivered if you don’t have the fixins. That and a couple of comic books always did the trick for me.

            Here in The Duck! City we see a lot of Priuses. Occasionally a Nissan Leaf, and rarely a Honda Insight. Teslas are starting to appear in quantity; there’s a dealership up north on Nambé Pueblo. But most of what you see around here is the typical gas-swilling shitbox, the bigger the better.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        I bring a screwy perspective to the conversation. I didn’t really get into the car thing for real until 1977, when I graduated from college and my parents gave me a used Datsun pickup (and the State of Colorado returned the driver’s license it yanked in 1974). I did a lot of walking or cycling whenever I couldn’t mooch a ride off one of my bros.

        When I got into the newspaper game I was often able to walk or cycle to work in towns like Corvallis and Fanta Se. I did so occasionally in B-burg, Pueblo, and Denver, too. Never in Tucson, where I had a really evil urban commute from Orange Grove and Oracle on the north side to the Daily Star office on the south side.

        And once I went freelance in 1991 I didn’t have to drive to work ever. Thirty years without a daily commute of any kind. Now this I can recommend.

        Weirdcliffe was probably the low point. Everything involved driving. Just getting to town was something of a chore, and if I wanted proper groceries, automotive service, a meal out, or a bike race/bike shop, I was looking at round trips of 110 miles minimum. This I cannot recommend. Herself was getting her masters at DU about this time and driving as much, if not more, than I was. Gasoline was a huge part of our budget.

        But it was a choice we made. We wanted to live in the mountains, and it was part of the cost of doing bidness in that neighborhood. I doubt we’d do it again, not so much because of the cost of gas, but because driving is just not fun anymore. Too many angry loons on the highways and byways these days.

  3. Herb from Michigan Says:

    Regarding electric cars and the “magic bullet”. There is serious work on having auto and building glass that are in essence solar panels that will charge your car whilst in the parking lots or driveways. GM ain’t talking about it but they have engineering teams working now on hood and roof applications. Commercial vehicles can collect and store serious amounts of energy so expect to see every semi trailer sporting this technology. How soon? I’m betting by 2025 you’ll see the first rollout. Remember – the “experts” gave e-cars no chance until @ 2030 but by jingo they are here and multiplying like spring rabbits.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      We’re off and running, to be sure, but there’s a long way to go yet. Motor Trend, citing Reuters, notes that of all cars sold in 2021, “just 5 percent were hybrids, and 3 percent EVs.” That’s 1.2 million “green” vehicles sold, most of them hybrids. For perspective, notes MT: “The best-selling Ford F-Series pickup alone moved 726,004 units alone in 2021.”

      A basic Prius is $25,075. Not bad, and good MPG, too. An F-150 starts at $30,870 and gets shit for mileage, but with the right lift kit, flag, and bumper stickers, you can use it to scare hippies, vegans, and Democrats. But I repeat myself.

    • B Lester Says:

      Nice! Putting generating panels all over the place sounds like the way to go. ‘Round these parts, solar farms are going up over prime farmland. Seems like a rather poor choice. There are lots of warehouse rooftops ripe for the picking.

      I’ve got a Ford C-Max hybrid. Coolest car I’ve ever had, and I’ve had many, starting with a 62 Dodge Dart with a push button transmission.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        A Dart with buttons? Now that’s cool.

        My sis is driving a Toyota RAV4 hybrid and likes it just fine. She said it took longer for the salesperson to explain all the dashboard widgets than it did to sell her the vehicle.

        The coolest auto I’ve had to date was my 1983 Toyota SR5 pick-’em-up truck. The 22R engine, buckets, five-speed manual — basically a two-door sedan with a box on the back. My second vehicle (also my first new one), and I drove the wheels off that thing. Plenty of git-up-and-go, decent MPG, and with the topper on I could kip in the back with my gear and the dogs.

      • Pat O’Brien Says:

        I want a Corolla Hatchback, but the are hard to find in the color and interior (gray) that I want. Our 2017 Rav 4 is doing just fine for now so no hurry.

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