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Old 05-23-2008, 08:05 AM   #21
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I'm thinking that Barbarus should get the cunning linguist of the week award. Brahmins and scalawags in one post, the bar for insults has been raised way above Avocado and Harvest Gold.

I was among the many unwashed and uncouth WalMartians that moved to what was then the country so I could have a nice house in a picturesque setting. Back then I had to drive to w*rk every day, but the city provided the car and the gas. Now, twenty years later, the free gas is gone, but so is the commute, and I'm surrounded by just about everything I need within a radius of no more than five miles. The price of gas, other than whatever I feel in the cost of food and deliveries, well, it's just not a big thing. There are even two WalMarts within that distance.

Genius or dumb-luck? That question is at the core of my ER.

BTW, it should read: "(Expletive deleted) Mr. Lamarr, you use your tongue prettier than a twenty dollar whore." The good people of Kansas City are off the hook now.
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Old 05-23-2008, 08:43 AM   #22
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Don't insult Ha like that...

Yeah, I think the Kansas City part was from this scene...

"Camptown ladies sing this song, do-da, do-da..."
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Old 05-23-2008, 08:54 AM   #23
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Don't insult Ha like that...
I corrected just before you posted.
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Old 05-23-2008, 08:58 AM   #24
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I dunno about the rest of you, but I am setting up my ER so that I don't have to drive much at all. When I move to my ER home, I will be looking for a house within 1/2 mile of a grocery store and other businesses.

The objective is not gas savings, but driving less and walking more (to stay fit) as I get older. I also may get a bicycle. Who wants to spend their ER behind the wheel and/or fighting traffic? Not me. It may not be exactly glamorous, but I am thinking that I could transport my groceries and stuff in one of those wire carts that old ladies drag behind them.

Of course, this is not a solution for everyone. For example those ER's with school aged children may have to live further from civilization than I do, in order to be in a good school district.
I am going to exactly as you describe when we ER to save gas, reduce emissions and for the exercise. And I am fortunate to live about 9 miles from where I work. I have ridden my bike to work in summer some, this year I expect to ride to work more than ever...YMMV.
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Old 05-23-2008, 11:40 AM   #25
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I'd like to point out that the original post in this thread asks what "retired farts" would do about expensive gas. So it's no surprise that nobody responded with comments about working people.

I bought the house that I'm living in during the last "energy crisis" in 1981. I specifically wanted to cut my commute. I was thinking about both gas and time. In those days, lots of people were doing things to decrease energy consumption. In fact, US per capita oil consumption dropped from 30 barrels per year to 25 barrels per year in a fairly short period.

With high oil prices, we'll do things that accomodate the prices in ways that are least distasteful to each of us (assuming the gov't doesn't mandate some change that we all have to make). Personally, I'll trade into a more efficient car, combine trips, bike, and may do a little less travel. Retirees who are "on the edge" to begin with could have a problem. But I'm guessing that most of them haven't been driving much with "cheap" gas. They are more likely to get hit by food prices.
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Old 05-23-2008, 01:12 PM   #26
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I have no idea, though, what any politician is actually going to be able to do about it.

What I do see is that people here have addressed $12 gas in terms of their personal mobility and community transportation and planning. That's just the tip of the iceberg. Look around you, and try to identify any object or service in your life that is not petroleum/fossil-fuel-dependent. There are few. In my cluttered office with tons of stuff I can't find a single item, except a clamshell and a piece of driftwood.
Lately, I have been reading a lot about peak oil, and it's been a black cloud at the back of my mind as it pertains to retirement. With less and less oil, how will the economy grow? I think life will be harder just when I am getting older.

Personally, I will keep saving for retirement, but I will also try to learn new skills with things that are shall I say, not high on the attraction list to me, like gardening for food (permaculture, etc.) and canning and food preservation. I even thought I would "intern" in some CSA farm close by someday to learn the food-growing skills. When I get better at it, I will hook up with other food gardeners and try to be involved with community planning that promotes a healthy local food supply system.

We live in the city close to where we work, and we don't drive very much. (We get free bus passes from my city employment and BF bikes almost everywhere or does a bus-bike combo.) So, the big price increase of gasoline has not affected us much. But as ladelfina says, everything in our industrialized society is dependent on oil, so as it gets scarcer, prices will go up--food, clothing, transportation, medicine, etc.

I am also worried about my relatives abroad because life will be even harder for them. I hope the time does not come when I feel that I can't give them any more financial help.
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Old 05-23-2008, 01:15 PM   #27
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i already live in florida, a few blocks walk to the supermarket for dinner items and at least six gay bars to pick up a dinner date. but at $15/gal, driving and heating a home is gonna be the least of your worries.

as for that carbon-footprint-free bicycle, you better make sure it's light enough yet heavy enough so that you can throw it and do some damage to the thieves who are gonna be trying to break into your smart, carbon-convenient, urban dwelling unit.
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Old 05-23-2008, 02:01 PM   #28
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the "Walmart people" are being importuned by the current economy.
Well, I had to look up "importuned," anyone else?
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Old 05-23-2008, 02:48 PM   #29
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Well, I had to look up "importuned," anyone else?
Sounds like a sign above an Import Car Mechanics Shop
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Old 05-23-2008, 03:04 PM   #30
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"orgy of desperate intrusive pathetic legislation to pacify the masses."

Remember bread and circuses? Now it's called Amereican Idol and cheap carbs (fast food, chips, pasta, bagels). As long as cheap beer doesn't spike above 4 dollars a gallon, I'll be quiet.
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Old 05-23-2008, 03:50 PM   #31
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Remember bread and circuses? Now it's called Amereican Idol and cheap carbs (fast food, chips, pasta, bagels). As long as cheap beer doesn't spike above 4 dollars a gallon, I'll be quiet.
Oh hush, I love American Idol especially David Archuleta! Does that make me just another Wal-martian?
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Old 05-23-2008, 05:42 PM   #32
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We (humans and the market) have an amazing ability to adapt to our circumstances - I have no doubt that will happen if the cost of oil continues to escalate. No need to predict doom & gloom (unless you enjoy living that way).

I too am using my bicycle for shorter trips. Fits in my financial and fitness plan!
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Old 05-23-2008, 05:47 PM   #33
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Well, let's see, I guess the groceries and all the other consumer goods we'll need will be delivered by bicycle, ox cart, or super-efficient internal combustion engines? I doubt it. Read Kunstler's "The Long Emergency" for a good scare, if the fact (?) that (current) net household wealth is $70K, against unfunded Federal liabilities of about $500K per household, doesn't make you have to change your Depends. Most of that imaginary money is for the retired farts -- that's you and me, folks! As the Mogambo says, "We're freaking doomed!"
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Old 05-23-2008, 06:41 PM   #34
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ok, ok lay off idol. I love david cook. I do worry about peak oil stuff, but am a firm believer in the ingenuity of entrepreneurs and the market. (compressed air, anyone?)Well unless they get squashed by big business, like the electric car did by its' own company. Don't you think they're kicking themselves? We'd probably be so much better off. Lots of speculative directions to take there, I think. Maybe even no 9/11 if we weren't so oil hungry.

Back to the ot. We had this discussion in the last 2 days. We aren't sure if it'll affect where we move. But really the housing market when we sell will have more of an effect. We have cut back on driving already to live on this fixed retirement income. I hate having to cut back and track my mileage. I'm a go-er, so it cramps my style. We'll just keep cutting back. Neither of us want to go to work to make up the difference. And yes, our energy funds are our biggest gainer. I recognize the irony of being outraged by the gas companies and their high profits while at the same time enjoying the profits myself in the fund.
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Old 05-23-2008, 10:24 PM   #35
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I do worry about peak oil stuff, but am a firm believer in the ingenuity of entrepreneurs and the market. (compressed air, anyone?)Well unless they get squashed by big business, like the electric car did by its' own company. Don't you think they're kicking themselves? We'd probably be so much better off.
Careful what you wish for. Air compressor cars waste energy. It is more efficient to just burn fossil fuel in the car, than it is to burn it to compress the air, and then use that air to move the car. Do you really want to waste energy?

Who 'squashed' the electric car? That conspiracy theory does not hold up, makes no sense. If electric cars were sooooo in demand by the public, then why hasn't Toyota, or Honda, or Nissan, or Daimler, or some start-up produced one and sold it if it was so easy. Like Toyota is just going to turn down all that business?

The Tesla electric costs over $100,000. Before you say 'oh, but it's a high performance sports car, that's why'.... it's a bit of a chicken-egg thing. To get >200 mile range, you need lots of expensive lithium batteries. Once you have enough of those batteries for >200 mile range, you also have enough burst power for 0-60 in 4 seconds. They go hand in hand. Since those batteries are so expensive, the only way they can get people to buy them is to wrap a sports car around it so they can show off all that power. So that is what they are doing.

Someday, hopefully soon, (I want one, if I can get it at a good price!) we will have affordable electrics (but need a source for cheap non-polluting electricity). But that day is not today, and it was not back in the day of the EV-1.


Read up on the CARB requirements of the day, and you will see that GM was forced to lease those cars to do business in CA. They never could have sold them and made a profit, they leased them to contain their costs and maintain control of the product.

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Old 05-23-2008, 11:02 PM   #36
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Well, I had to look up "importuned," anyone else?
No. But I have no idea what 'Wal-mart people' means.
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Old 05-23-2008, 11:30 PM   #37
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[I] The price of gas, other than whatever I feel in the cost of food and deliveries, well, it's just not a big thing. There are even two WalMarts within that distance.
Ah, but with the effects of gas prices and other petroleum based products impacting the cost of doing business, it's entirely likely that one or even both of those WalMarts might close down. Pulling back to urban locations of high population density, may finally regenerate the downtown areas that have been struggling for many years. The 'burbs may close down the infrastructure support that was nearby, forcing even longer commutes to the stores in the main urban areas.
Here in my area, we have experienced many restaurants and grocery stores closing over the last ten years due to thin margins, and difficulty of meeting competition. If the gas costs drive up their costs for labor, product, and support services over their current level, even the remaining successful ones, are likely to close down and pull back to higher volume lower delivery cost areas. If that happens, even your current plans for bicycle accessible stores may see some problems.
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Old 05-24-2008, 04:24 AM   #38
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The US may need to develop a better (high speed) rail system for travelers.

I agree that technology will curb demand for oil... we will use alternatives. My money is on the electric motor driving the vehicle.

  • Start with hybrids using conventional gas, ethanol (mix), and diesel.
  • Then on to hybrids with conventional fuel along with plug-in (once battery tech is more viable)
  • Move on to Hydrogen hybrids or fuel cell.

Plus, Auto manufactures will work on reducing the weights of vehicles... probably using carbon fiber or fiberglass or other. But that may be a few years off.

The easy way to reduce weight is to reduce the size of the vehicle. That will happen also... people will be buying fewer trucks, SUVs, and Mini-Vans. If gas goes to $7/gal... you will see many people in a financial bind. Transportation habits will change for most people.

If these technologies become viable, then demand for oil will begin to drop... I suspect that most countries will adopt the most prevalent technology of the time.
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Old 05-24-2008, 09:51 AM   #39
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Two problems that aren't technological exist for the acceptance of battery-power cars. For local driving, it's not really a necessity to have a 200-mile range. Additionally, most people want some good old Detroit iron surrounding them. The teensy-weensy cars that would be ideal for local and commuter use have a distinct disadvantage in an accident with a Hummer or an F350.

Probably 99% of my vehicle use is trips to Walmart and/or Lowe's (about five miles roundtrip), and my commute to the new j*b (about twenty miles roundtrip). Usually, there's only one occupant, and speeds rarely exceed 45mph...
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Old 05-24-2008, 10:01 AM   #40
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Although it will vary greatly by a number of factors (hourly wage, length of commute, alternate transportation availability, etc.), I wonder at what price point it will begin to be more expensive to commute to work than to not have a job at all? Especially for the second wage earner in a family and/or part time workers.

I think Al said it first - interesting times ahead...
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