Friday, May 23, 2008

Up next: $5 a Gallon!

Ah, the new $5 bill. It's different and colorful. But I'm sure there will be some
"colorful" language used when people have to start shelling out one of these puppies for just one gallon of gas! I was just reading in the news that some analysts predict that in less than three months Americans will see $5 gas. Wow. It'll be interesting to see if that really happens.

I was speaking with my brother recently. He has a 1996 Ford Ranger pick-up truck - it's a year younger than the one I had. He says it costs him $75 to fill it up. When I had my truck just last November, it cost $40 to fill. That's just about double the price! :( People will be spending their economic stimulus check to help keep their tanks full... I spent part of mine on a new digital camera (my other one started to give me trouble). So, thanks Uncle Sam! :)

I also found out last week that Zipcar is running the car donation program again for the remainder of May! Not a whole lot of time for people to find out about it and consider that option. I've told friends and family about it - but some have looked at me and said "You are NOT gonna get me to give up my car!!" Wow. The car habit is definitely a hard one to give up, I know. But if you think about how much money it can save you and how relatively easy it is to live without one. If you have two cars in your household, it's not like you'd be without a car at all. You'd be saving lots of money if you just had ONE car to operate. But I think a lot of people are used to having the "freedom" (at a price!) of having their own car. How long will they hold onto that "freedom" and at what price??

I was at lunch with my bosses the other day. We were talking about the price of gas, and one of them mentioned that he heard that teenagers are having a hard time with the price of gas. Some have minimum wage jobs and don't have the money that it costs to go "cruising" or do a number of activities with their friends.

And here it is, the eve of Memorial Day weekend. The great getaway weekend. A lot of people are going to stay local or just nearby, since it costs too much to drive further. There will be those, however, who don't care how much it costs, they are going to go. And the traffic tie-ups will be bad, I'm sure. Why would you want to sit in traffic, idling your engine, burning costly gas? I guess it's sort of like the die-hard smoker...even if they have emphysema (as my mother did), she felt smoking was her LAST vice, and she wasn't going to give it up. Maybe Americans will be like that with their cars..... :(

Thursday, May 8, 2008

50th Birthday :)

I celebrated my 50th birthday recently. Hard to believe I'm that age - it just doesn't seem to "fit" but I guess in time, it will. :)

I have made it a tradition for many years, to take off my birthday off from work, and this year was no different. :) And you couldn't ask for better weather! Temps in the 70's, sunny & blue skies. :) Of course, I would fit in a bike ride - but also take care of some errands by getting a Zipcar pick-up truck. Last month, I had arranged to donate some furniture to a local organization for their lounge areas for an upcoming art show (Art-O-Matic). However, they were unable to follow through with the pick-up, so I decided to bring some of the furniture over to Goodwill.

But first, I rode my bike to the bike store to get a part installed and an adjustment to my bike. Then I rode to the Zipcar location, a few miles from there. Drove back and piled furniture and other donated goods in the back and dropped them off at Goodwill. Then went to Home Depot and picked up 26 bags of mulch for the yard, and then to some other errands. When I was at Home Depot, I was sharing with the guy loading the mulch, about Zipcar, and told him I don't have to pay for gas or insurance ever again. His eyes lit up like I had told him I had just discovered GOLD! :) :) I agree!! He asked me how old you had to be to join Zipcar - I wasn't sure, but told him to check their website (it turns out you have to be 21). So, maybe it'll work out for him. :)

In my previous posting, I mentioned how people were having gas stolen from when they were at the gas station (leaving their car unattended). I heard on the news this morning where some people are finding that someone has siphoned the gas out of their car while it's in their driveway at night! Some people have purchased locking gas caps, but that hasn't deterred criminals - they have gone under the car and punched a HOLE in their tank and siphoned the gas out! Of course, this is a dangerous situation when the owner of the car starts up the car! :( Things are gonna get a whole lot worse as the price of gas soars unfortunately...