$10 Dollar Gasoline???

In the 70s an unexpected problem arose. The price of gasoline went to over a dollar. Well yes, it was a problem that caused many problems, especially in a world of approximately 30 cent fuel.

Suddenly, people were playing over 3 times as much, when they could find it. But it caused an odd, unexpected problem for those selling it. I remember it first hand. I was there.

Some dealt with the problem by selling gasoline by the liter. Some simply painted a one in front of that portion indicating the price and the cost of the sale.

Of course, now, very few expect $10 gasoline. However, that would only require a little more than doubling. Back in the 1970s, it more than trippled. One day it was 30 cents. 6 or 7 months later, it was 1.10 and climbing.

That was when we could find stuff. With it going up so fast, I suspect some held onto it as an investment comodity. They could not resist holding onto a few thousand gallons knowing the price will go up 3 or 4 percent in a month. In itself, this would drive the prices up.

Those of us buying the gas, dealt with the problem in three basic ways. We drove less. We pumped our own gas and we stayed away from name brands. Before, I bought only Standard and Chevron gas. After, all I looked at was the price.

Then again, frequently, we settled for accessibility. Many stations were out of gas or claimed to be. Some stations had 2 hour lines. Then they’d sell out on the car 2 cars in front of me.

In the long term, we bought smaller cars with smaller less powerful engines. It meant putting up with rougher rides in cramped environments and much less trunk space.

So now, the price of gas flirts with 4 dollars a gallon, we lack these methods we used last time around. I already buy Mapco gas. I pump my own fuel and my little 100 hp motor has problems with steep grades and I can forget toeing even a small trailer. A boat or travel trailer is out of the question. I’m already considering one of those Flintstone cars powered by foot power.

I suspect most of us would prefer that gas stay down perhaps to the 2 dollar range. For that reason, if nothing else, I’d strongly suggest firing all those dems in Congress, House and Senate. Most of them like the thought of 10 dollar gas. They want us to buy the more expensive, smaller electric cars, which do little or nothing to decrease “green gasses.” Actually, they’d prefer we walk, ride bikes, buses or trains while they ride in chauffeured luxury cars or fly around in private jets.

So, unless you like bicycling &+ buying gas by the liter, you might want to vote Republican. You might want to encourage your friends to vote Republican. You might even want to encourage your advisories to vote Republicans.

Paying 10 dollars a gallon is more than crazy. It’s crazy nuts. Then again, $2.50 a liter might sound better, but it won’t help the budget one iota. Indeed, just as I saw in the 70s, the price of everything will go up to match the increase in the cost of energy.

I Knew it Had to Happen!

When they came out with battery powered push mowers, I knew the battery powered rider mower would be next. I even predicted it in one of my posts.

When I visited Lowes this afternoon, I noticed two zero turn machines that had electric mower trademarks on them.

I made a point to check them out on the way in. They had a sign on it that bragged 2 acres on a charge. I actually do have a decent sized yard, but it doesn’t get close to a 1/4 of an acre. Sadly, my yard just doesn’t justify the price tag.

Even so, considering my age, I was still tempted. Maybe I could use it to make money. I could advertise a green friendly way to keep your lawn well manicured. I wonder just how many lawns it would take to justify spending $5500.

Maybe one or two of my readers can figure a way to pretend I need a zero turn rider mower.

Maybe they will come out with a little lawn tractor mower soon. Maybe they will come out with one I can afford. In the meantime, I guess I will trudge behind the one I have. At least it’s electric. That will make those “going green” nuts happy.

Oh. And by the way. I won’t have to pay road tax to cut my grass.

Surprise, Not All Stove Are Hot

It is something, likely, as old as stoves. Most folks quickly learn not to touch hot stoves.

Actually, it is not so important today as it was a couple of centuries ago when ole Ben first started building stoves. Generally speaking, when someone would touch a hot stove, they were not apt to repeat it.

Actually, I suspect it went back even farther than that. Before there were stoves, there were fireplaces. Before fireplaces campfires, or their equivalent.

I even heard a tale of one of the big wigs at Levi learning not to kneel next to campfires…first time. It was then that they decided to remove one or two of the rivets from the area just below the fly of their famous canvas trousers.

The one thing brought away from the first experience was the probability of pain, sometimes a little embarrassment too. However, here’s the news. Not all stoves are hot. Not all rivets are hot. It just is that once exposed to these experiences we mostly come away thinking they are, or at least can be. It is referred to as inductive reasoning. Because the first stove we touch is hot, we assume all stoves are hot.

What if the reverse is true. What if the first stove you touch is ambient temperature? Do we then assume that all stoves are cool to the touch. If we do this, we expose ourselves to many painful experiences. This is called inductive reasoning.

While it is useful, it can easily lead to errors. For instance, if we see a brown Labrador retriever, it would be wrong to assume that all dogs are brown and weigh eighty pounds. Indeed, it would be wrong to assume that all Labs are brown. Oddly there are some that are black.

On the other hand, suppose we touch a hundred cool stoves. Can we then assume are stoves are cool? If we see a hundred brown Labs, are we to assume that all labs are brown.

You see, even though we see a large number of examples, we cannot truly assume anything.

Until we see a large enough number of examples, we cannot positively say that we know all labs are brown and that all stoves are cool. Even when working with large numbers, inductive reasoning can lead us astray.

I wish that kids in the eighth grade were required to spend a few hours learning about inductive and deductive reasoning. I am convinced the concept is extremely important in so many parts of life.

Let’s take for instance, the woman that is robbed by an African American. Is it right for her to be afraid of all African Americans? Of course, not. Yet, it may take her years to get over the experience. Our fears are not always founded on good logic. Indeed, her fear might keep her from many good friendships.

The somewhat opposite of inductive reasoning is deductive reasoning. In deductive reasoning, we draw conclusions from many, perhaps exhaustive numbers of examples. It is best that these examples are at random. It is the way that medical research is done. I suppose we can say that statistics and deductive reasoning are interrelated. The more the examples and the more random, the more accurate will be the stats deductive reasoning that depends on the stats.

If we have a random selection of a million dogs, it is likely that only a few will be Labs and we will likely see a few black dogs, white dogs and even a few multi-color dogs. Therefore, we can have a more accurate idea of the coloring of dogs. If we take a random measurement of a million stoves, we might actually find that only 30% are hot enough to cause pain, or even discomfort. (only a wild guess, not am actual statistic)

I’m not going to try to create an equivalent example with the thievery. It’s far too complex and there are too many ways it can go wrong with my imaginary statistics. Moreover, I am not going to suggest that a woman should get robbed a million times. Two or three maybe, but no more. Still, the principles remain firm. With a larger number of examples, we would be able to draw more accurate deductions.

However, we need to be careful about drawing snap conclusions. When we go from the millions of examples and try to derive a single situation from millions of examples, we can still be wrong. For instance, if I may. It would not indicate that a thief is of any ethnicity, and it would be wrong to make any such suggestion.

Yet, every day, I see some people blame Black men because of individual as well as vast statistical data. Those methods just don’t work. And, by the way, the methods don’t work on Caucasian policemen, again, regardless of past inductive or deductive reasoning. You cannot convict a policeman based on past experience just as the woman cannot convict based on past thieves.

Perhaps the most horrible example of inductive reasoning is when the person says, “Single parent families are just as good as two-parent families.” Then they go about calling out two, three or four examples of good kids brough up by single parents. That logic has two holes. First, it is based on a very small count of examples. Second, there is the probability that, if there is a second parent, the child would likely have turned out better. The statistics back it up. We are talking millions of examples not just two or three.

On the other side of the coin, I see people say that a particular person turned out good or bad because of his parent(s). The stats prove that some good kids come from bad or broken homes and bad kids come from homes with good parents.

In this case, the inductive logic gets us nowhere and the deductive logic only shows trends. The trend shows overwhelmingly that two parent homes are better. But logic tells us that it is only true if they are good parents. Abusive and or alcoholic parents rarely qualify as good parents. Yet, again, some good kids come from homes with abusive parents. Sorry. I have no explanation for that. I’m not sure there is one.

For those who are not truly familiar with the terms inductive and deductive reasoning, may I suggest you take an hour or two and look into it on the net. Most will find it far more complex than most of us realize. For instance, one thing that must accurately be determined in inductive reasoning is an accurate correlation. For instance, that dance by that Voo-do doctor likely has nothing to do with that solar eclipse. On the other hand, all that rain I dumped on my lawn the other day likely had nothing to do with the thunderstorm we got the next day, though it did seem a little coincidental. If we collected enough data, it is likely to be proved that the one thing had nothing to do with the other.

What Happens When the Lights Go Out?

It’s one of those frequently asked questions, especially after the lights go out.

In the home, it means we break out the flashlights 🔦. If it goes on too long, it means we start looking for somewhere to plug in the cell phones.

In hospitals, the question becomes, how long will the generator hold up?

On the other hand some will be looking for a place to plug in their vehicles. For sure, with the load they put on the grid, they just might be the reason for the sudden darkness.

It sounds like a good reason to add to the grid, both in generating power and distribution. I mean, you just might want to get out of Dodge before your neighbors find out the grid went down when you plugged in your brand new Tesla, especially if it is in the middle of the Super Bowl.

I Have Decided to Do My Part

According to those in the Biden WH, we should do our part to save on energy usage. My first thought was “Forget it!”

Then I had second thoughts. I have a fantastic idea on how I can do my part. All I need do is go out and buy a horse and buggy. Being as I am retired, I could use it for 80 to 90% of my travel and my use the car for the rest.

Actually, better yet, I could sell my car and just rent an auto when I need it. It might save me a dollar or two.

Wait a minute. What am I thinking of? I can’t get a horse. I think they have laws against that sort of thing here in the city.

Oh, well. Guess I’ll have to settle on my car, at least until they change the law. And I would really like to get a horse. I like horses . It’s maybe better anyway. I’ve kinda gotten used to air conditioning and I don’t think I can put one on a buggy. The extension cord would be too long.

My Dream Vehicle

Back in the 60’s I had to put my car in to have the engine rebuilt.  The place provided a loaner, a van.  Ever since, I wanted a big window van.  The one they provided was a Dodge with a V8 mounted between the two front seats.  To me it looked like the perfect van.  But, alas, every time my wages went up, the cost of the van went up even more.  It would seem I was not the only one that decided the van was a really nice vehicle.

I was always a person who preferred utility over appearance, but the van wasn’t that bad looking.  More important, 8 or nine could fit comfortably in it.  Or, If I wanted, I could put a lot of stuff in it.

To this day, if I could have such a van, I would really like it.  However, nowadays, they don’t build vans like that.  There are a few that are close, but even they are out of my price range.  I mean, I am living on social security.  I don’t know if I can even afford the insurance.

However, if we are going to talk dream vehicles, let’s put an electric motor on each wheel, making it a four wheel drive with very good traction.  Let’s replace the engine with a turbine and put it in the back.  By using generator and electric motors, the turbine engine could run at a constant RPM.  Then we could add some battery power to provide extra power for short durations.  It likely wouldn’t need it, but it is a dream vehicle.

Because of the turbine, the intakes would need to be high and on the side, to keep it from ingesting to much dirt and debris.  The exhaust would be through twin pipes at the back and on the sides.  Naturally, some defusing should take place.  Most jet exhaust is at least 900 degrees.  That is a little too much to allow directly into any overhanging trees.

The neat thing is that it would run on almost anything.  That just might make the green people happy.

Noise it not a problem.  With proper baffling, a jet engine makes less noise than almost any type of motor when it is designed to run at one RPM.

One added advantage, such a vehicle warms instantly.  That means, even on the coldest day, the heater would produce nice warm heat right after the engine is started.  That is especially nice for an old 72 year old man who grew up in southern California.

Now, I wonder.  Just how much would I have to pay for my dream vehicle.  Guess I’ll just have to wait till Volkswagen comes out with their electric van and be satisfied with that, if I will be able to afford that.

Oh.  One more thing.  I would make sure all lights could be changed with in five minutes with nothing more than a screwdriver. I just noticed the other day that my headlight went out and that will cost me a bundle.  The light costs 50 dollars and it is another 50 to install it.  (Well, it might be more than that now.  It’s been a few years since the last time I had it done and you know about inflation.)

Sometimes, I Get it Right

A short time after I suggested electric car races, they started having them. I don’t think I had anything to do with it. It was sort of inevitable, which was what I was thinking of as a title for this post. I mean, it just had to be. It wasn’t so much that I suggested it as I just saw it coming.

To be sure, I don’t think electric cars will be used in the Indianapolis speedway tomorrow, but soon. By the way, if that green new deal group had anything to do with it, it would be the day after tomorrow. The only reason they would consider that long is that it does take a while to come up with the cars.

A couple of years ago, I bought an electric mower. I really like it to this day. My front lawn was covered with leaves a day ago. I ran the mower over it and now all the leaves are in plastic bags. Well, maybe I exaggerate. The mower did leave some leaves behind. And those pine needles; only thing that will get those things up is a rake. Even blowers won’t work on them. It takes sort of a two man team. One rakes to set them up while the other goes over them with the mower. That will get about 80% of them.

At the time I got the mower, I suggested in one of my post that they make electric riding mowers. For quite a while, I got the impression that no one was listening. Maybe they did, but no one did anything about it.

Now they will have to. It is inevitable. It will have to come to be. California is outlawing gas powered mowers. Now that might work for those who have manageable sized lawns like me, but some of these mansions have a lot of lawn. Walk behind mowers just won’t get it. Many of those with big lots will be up in arms, so to speak. On the other hand, they just might do a lot of paving instead.

Then too, there are golf courses. Can you imagine trying to maintain an eighteen hole golf course with electric push mowers. Sorry, the gov just won’t allow gas powered ones, the type that speed around an acre in minutes, not days.

Then too, we might be underestimating the new green deal outfit. They just might want us to go back to the old mechanical push mowers. That will keep those gardeners in shape. On the other hand, it might cause a run on AstroTurf.

In the meantime, while they still allow electric mowers, I think there just might be a few of those engineers that will figure our how to drive those rider mowers with electricity. Who knows? Just maybe they will figure out a way to power them with nuclear energy.

Now that is ridiculous. Then again, who would have ever thought about having to mow the golf courses with with electricity. Incidentally, my battery on my mower last about an hour. If you plan on mowing eight hours a day, you will need 8 batteries, which will be far bigger than mine. And, of course, they will all have to be recharged daily. Maybe people could just recharge them with gasoline powered generators. Somehow, I don’t think the current electrical grid in California would provide that much power. The California grid is having trouble handling the load now.

Pipelines and Electric Cars

It has come to my attention that there are many that suggest that electric cars are the answer to pipeline problems. After all they don’t need gas. I have heard, though I was unable to confirm it, that among them was the energy secretary, Jennifer Granholm.

If Granholm was among them, she should be fired. She is supposed to have some working knowledge of energy. Here’s an alert for all who have thought EVs are the solution to pipeline problems. Almost all electricity originates from oil or natural gas. If the oil line stayed down for too long, they would have had to start shutting down parts of the electric grid, then eventually all of it.

Then where will you go to charge your electric vehicle?

As a side note, Granholm has allegedly invested heavily into an electric car company. There are two things I have to say about that. First, it is a dumb investment at this time. It will take decades before EVs will be practical. Second, it would appear as if it was not ethical. She ought not be invested in anything involved in energy or she should resign her post immediately. I think they call that sort of thing a conflict of interest.

Then again, she does have a D after her name. She will be able to get away with it.

Revisiting the E-car

I say E-car because someone apparently took my advice and started racing them. I saw the other day that they raced SUV s through the Arabian deserts. Then, a few days ago, they were racing cars that weren’t that different than the Indy cars, of course, with the exception that they were powered electrically.

It was a little odd to watch them while the only noise they made was from the transmissions and I think they were amplifying that. The noise was not a rumble or roar but a buzzing, sort like the toy cars. I do wonder what the on-watchers thought of that.

Still, they had other limits. Mostly the range. While the Indianapolis has the three hundred, it appears that the e-cars will never go beyond the E-100. What is it? I’m not sure, the La mans 500? I’m not a big car racing fanatic. Still, it would appear that it would be limited to the E-La mans 100.

I do have some solutions for them, that is if they will listen to me, the one without any letters after my name. First they need interchangeable batteries. Instead of charging the batteries, they would change them out during pit stops. Perhaps it could be done with a small crane or maybe they could simply drive the E-auto under a building with the appropriate equipment. The exhausted battery would be pulled out and a fully charged one could be dropped in. It might take about the same time as to replace tires. Perhaps the one part that would take the longest would be attaching the terminals. I don’t know. It sounds to me as if some experiments are needed. I don’t have the money for the research but I would guess to make sure of the connection, nuts and bolts would be needed. The battery pack would have to be fastened in too. You would not want one of those things flying around after an accident.

Then, who knows, maybe we could have thousand mile races, for those willing to endure them, both for the drivers and spectators. The nice thing is that what they could learn during the races. They might put it to use in the private E-autos.

For instance. Instead of driving into a service station and saying, “Fill it up,” we would say, “Replace the battery pack.” Sorry, there would be no self service stations. Too dangerous.

I wish I had thought of the idea but I didn’t. Someone else thought of it first. The advantages are many. First, the owner of the car doesn’t own the batteries. That drastically reduces the price of the car. Instead, they are leased. Each car would have a power meter and the owner would pay the price of the electricity as we pay our electric bill now. Instead of the car having a limit of 300 miles, it could go clean across country and back again, clean; without emitting so much as a puff of smoke in any form.

There are two problems remaining: cost and service stations that will stock enough batteries to get the job done. Oh. there is one more problem. We don’t have the electric grid to support the idea.

So. We need a drastic change to the cars, a drastic change to the service stations, and a big beefing up to the grid. I’m sure we can deal with it. We can get on it right away, except no one seems to have a clue, especially the ones with all the letters after their names.

Electric Car Range

I heard a spokesman for Volkswagen the the other day talking about an electric car they will soon produce and sell for 30,000. I get it. Everyone is climbing on the bandwagon. Moreover they have hopes of letting the feds help pay for the car.

However, I wish I had been there to challenge one of his statements. I can’t remember exactly, but I think he said the car would have a range of 250 miles, although it might have been 300. He cited the idea that most people don’t drive more than 50 miles each way to work. It seems they did some research on it and that makes it so.

I disagree with him in two respects. There are thousands, perhaps tens of thousands who drive over 100 miles each way to work. On a hot day where such a person would have to use his air-conditioning, he might be cutting things a little close, especially if he spends an hour or so traveling at a snail’s pace in traffic. If he is impeded by a traffic accident, he might end up having to pull over a call a tow truck after running out of electricity.

But it is far more than that, People do go on vacations from time to time. In order to do so, they might drive 500-700 miles in one day. With the electric car, they would have to plan on 250 miles at a time. On the other hand, they could go down to the rental agency and get a car that can go the extra mileage.

Then there is the person who uses his car in his work. While I was repairing computers, it was quite common for me to drive 500 miles in one day. That does not include 60 miles to and from home. I would suspect that a car like this would not be good for certain people in sales. I can’t think of any other such things but I would suspect there are many who can.

It is just the sort of thing that happens when people make decisions and don’t have to answer for them. Of course the spokesman is convinced it is good range. He doesn’t have to drive the car. If I buy the car, he is not the one who gets stuck without juice. That would be me.

I assure you, if he had to drive such a car, he would have an entirely different attitude. On the other hand, he might already realize the stupidity of the statement and is just saying what the company told him to say. To be sure, there are people around who have no difficulty in doing such things. Why not? It’s no skin off their nose.

Electric cars or fine for those who can afford such a second car. At this point, that does not include me. Get the range up to 600 miles and I might consider it. And, oh yes. They are going to have to get that price down some too. I can’t afford 30,000, even if it is quiet.