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Old 04-16-2011, 10:43 PM   #121
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I own oil company stocks. Generally, as prices at the pump go up, so does the stock price. Its like a natural hedge. I have made more money on the oil stocks than what I have spent at the pump, so it really doesnt matter to me.
I'd prefer to own the stock and not pay at the pump.
Most people just won't do anything to lower their gasoline use, so it seems like a good buy.
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Old 04-16-2011, 10:56 PM   #122
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I would be willing to use the bus exclusively for in city travel, but it really is not possible, and it is getting worse because Metro's response to rising costs is to cut back on route frequency.

I live on a good route, and can get downtown easily and with little waiting Also to University District and Queen Ann/Seattle Center. But today I wanted to go to the Apple store, probably only 4 miles away at most, and it would have taken 3 buses to get there.

Last night I took the bus to see GF, coming back I had to time my departure pretty well or it would have meant an hour standing on the corner.

As usual, government is doing everything wrong.

Ha
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Old 04-16-2011, 11:39 PM   #123
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Last night I took the bus to see GF, coming back I had to time my departure pretty well or it would have meant an hour standing on the corner.
Ha
I hope it is not freezing cold. The weather is pretty chilly where I live now - 31 degree F with wind gusting to 21 mph.
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Old 04-17-2011, 02:34 AM   #124
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One has to look at the guys who have ridden 300k miles without a scratch. What do they do differently than than the ones who become organ donors? They pay attention to traffic, they are meticulous about maintenance, they stay sober (even at age 17 I knew that!), and they essentially avoid placing themselves in harm's way and stay out of predictably hazardous circumstances. In short, they drive like everyone is "out to get them". Which isn't a bad position to take for anyone.
Agree with this. I rode for about 7 years and while one or two non-serious spills might have happened even with careful riding, the 2 serious accidents I had, though both technically not my fault, could have been avoided by more careful riding. Even so, after the second one I freaked out and bought a Volvo.
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Old 04-17-2011, 06:38 AM   #125
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I drive very little on a daily basis, taking the commuter train for most of my very lengthy commute. When we blow the most gas is towing in the summer, but since most of our trips are for 3 days we generally don't go much more than 2 hours away from home.
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Old 04-17-2011, 10:53 AM   #126
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I don't drive a lot on a daily basis, probably 15 mis. I live in the country and go to town to pick up things. I do think that there is no shortage of oil and that the hedge funds and pension funds are pushing the commodity markets on oil for a big profit. they are not looking to the future and the government should do something to stop this speculation before it ruins our economy altogether.
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Old 04-17-2011, 11:13 AM   #127
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I don't drive at all, a bicycle and public transport having been my sole mode of transportation for the last 9 years. However, I am considering living in an RV in the next few years and gas prices will figure quite heavily in my cost of living calculations. I'll probably be wandering around slowly, getting to know each place a little. My current plans call for a total of about 500 miles a month.
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Old 04-17-2011, 11:53 AM   #128
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There is a downside to diesels.... (maybe it is not as bad today... but it was bad 10 years ago).... the soot.... when I was living in London I would get a lot of black soot in my nose... you could see it when you blew your nose!!! Mabye it was something else... but I did see it in a lot of other countires in Europe...
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The new diesels are low sulfur, not much black smoke at all anymore..........
I would say no black smoke at all with clean burning diesel.

We bought a Prius 4 years ago when they were still on sale and with tax rebates as a further encouragement.

Now that we are ER'ed we drive very little.

This last month and for the next 6 months we are managing quite nicely on foot, bus and train while here in England. We fully expected to hire a car on special occaisions but find the buses and trains are convenient very regular and very affordable.
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Old 04-17-2011, 12:19 PM   #129
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I don't drive at all, a bicycle and public transport having been my sole mode of transportation for the last 9 years. However, I am considering living in an RV in the next few years and gas prices will figure quite heavily in my cost of living calculations. I'll probably be wandering around slowly, getting to know each place a little. My current plans call for a total of about 500 miles a month.
I just found a blog of another RV full-timer who is 41 yr-old. He is a wood-wind musician, but also makes a living composing and writing music arrangements for the movie and TV industries in LA. He has been traveling for less than two years, working from his RV, and has recently upgraded from his first older class B+ to a used but newer and larger class C Chinook (some would still call it a B+ as it appears to lack the overcab bed). Search for "To Simplify", and you will see his blog. I remember he posted his expenses at $900/month.

As of this writing (4/17/11) he is not too far from my 2nd home (in the boonies)!

Dang! Soon, the whole world will live on wheels!

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Old 04-17-2011, 12:29 PM   #130
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Gas prices locally...almost up to $4 per gallon.

Lowest $3.93
Highest $3.97

Even with keeping our driving primarily under 20 miles RT in the most gas efficient car, Mr B and I spent $315 in gas between March 16 and April 9.
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Old 04-17-2011, 12:46 PM   #131
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I just found a blog of another RV fulll-timer who is 41 yr-old. He is a wood-wind musician, but also makes a living composing and writing music arrangements for the movie and TV industries in LA. He has been traveling for less than two years, working from his RV, and has recently upgraded from his first older class B+ to a used but newer and larger class C (some would still call it a B+ as it appears to lack the overcab bed). Search for "To Simplify", and you will see his blog. I remember he posted his expenses at $900/month.

As of this writing (4/17/11) he is not too far from my 2nd home (in the boonies)!

Dang! Soon, the whole world will live on wheels!
He was even featured in the LA times. Cool!

I bet that $900/month figure doesn't include an estimate for maintenance, or factor in the cost of the vehicle though. I've trimmed my living expenses so far down that to live in a small RV will involve an increase in spending - though the cost will still be very reasonable. If I'm being honest, my current low-cost lifestyle isn't doing much to increase my experience and enjoyment of the world. An RV lifestyle should cure that without breaking the bank.

I just discovered a program called Harvest Hosts. For $30/year you get a list of wineries and farms around the US that will let you boon-dock on their land for free. Staying free at a winery sounds like a perfect match for the RV lifestyle (unless you're teetotal of course )
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Old 04-17-2011, 12:55 PM   #132
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I bet that $900/month figure doesn't include an estimate for maintenance, or factor in the cost of the vehicle though.
That's correct. However, as I remember, it included all regular recurring charges, even his health insurance at $85/month (where the heck he got one that cheap). He appears to not lack anything, still going to coffee shops for a latte, or to bars to drink.

Quote:
I've trimmed my living expenses so far down that to live in a small RV will involve an increase in spending - though the cost will still be very reasonable. If I'm being honest, my current low-cost lifestyle isn't doing much to increase my experience and enjoyment of the world. An RV lifestyle should cure that without breaking the bank.
Yep! One may have to spend a bit more to enjoy life.

Quote:
I just discovered a program called Harvest Hosts. For $30/year you get a list of wineries and farms around the US that will let you boon-dock on their land for free. Staying free at a winery sounds like a perfect match for the RV lifestyle (unless you're teetotal of course )
I remember reading about that program. It sounds good for full-timers who camp in one place for a week or a few days.
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Old 04-17-2011, 01:33 PM   #133
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Just filled up at COSTCO's. I do that if I have half a tank or less remaining. Price there was $3.739 and with my additional discount of 3% with AMEX card, brought price down to $3.626. $0.113/gal savings. Would love to find a card with 5% discount. Know of one?
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Old 04-18-2011, 11:18 PM   #134
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Yes, coefficient of friction is the same for all vehicles. Learned that in EVOC (Emergency Vehicle Operator's Class). It was beaten into us by the Court Certified Accident reconstruction expert PA State Police instructor.

And demonstrated with various tire segments on a variety of pavements.

Now if the vehicle, say a tractor trailer is moving at some speed at the time of using a stationary Prius for a bumping post the mass becomes relevant. The Tractor trailer's non-impact stopping distance remains the same.

For further info see: Engineering Physics for Lawyers. http://www.e-z.net/~ts/physics.htm
Assuming the static coefficient of friction is equal for all vehicles isn't bad for a first order approximation. On the other hand, it's simply not correct.

Although I don't have any sources on hand, I recall numbers ranging from maybe around 0.5-0.9 for different tires on the same type of pavement (e.g. race slicks vs worn touring tires).

Let's think about the problem in two slightly more extreme manners. Let's start out with one surface - our road. We'll then place 2 vehicles with different tires on top of this surface: one with wheels of glass, one with wheels of rubber. It's pretty clear that the vehicle with wheels of glass will have a lower coefficient of friction than the vehicle with wheels of rubber.

For the second extreme, we'll use a vehicle with 1" wide tires that are inflated to 150psi and a second vehicle with 30" wide tires inflated to 25psi. When both vehicles slam on the brakes, it's again pretty clear that the vehicle with 1" wide tires isn't going to stop anywhere near as quickly.

This same result, although not as extreme, will be found with different tires that have different rubber compounds (softer and harder) and contact areas.

Again, the assumption that coefficient of friction is constant for all tires and all vehicles isn't bad for a scenario as fraught with measurement uncertainty as a vehicle accident. But it's kind of like using Newton's theories of mechanics to try to describe the complete motion of planetary bodies: it works until it's wrong.
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Old 04-19-2011, 07:18 AM   #135
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I would say no black smoke at all with clean burning diesel.
My 2011 diesel truck has no black smoke - no visible tailpipe emissions at all.

In the US, not only has low-sulfur fuel helped cut diesel soot/emissions, beginning in 2010/11 new "clean diesel" engines have even lower emissions due to the injecting of a urea-based diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) into the exhaust. Yes, having to keep the DEF reservoir refilled does add to the cost of driving - looks like it will be around $0.10 per mile gallon in my case. But using this exhaust fluid also allows the engine to be tuned differently to provide better power and mileage. If I can believe the manufacturer, the improved mileage using DEF more than offsets the added cost.
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Old 04-19-2011, 09:04 AM   #136
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Yes, having to keep the DEF reservoir refilled does add to the cost of driving - looks like it will be around $0.10 per mile gallon in my case. But using this exhaust fluid also allows the engine to be tuned differently to provide better power and mileage. If I can believe the manufacturer, the improved mileage using DEF more than offsets the added cost.
$0.10 per mile??
Is that a typo? 10 cents a mile is the cost of gas for a vehicle that gets 38mpg (at a gas cost of $3.80/gallon).
Even if you have an inefficient vehicle that only gets 13 mpg, you would be going from about 30 cents/mile to 40 cents/mile.

I'd be very surprised at a 33% improvement in mpg. Very pleased, but very surprised
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Old 04-19-2011, 09:25 AM   #137
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This last month and for the next 6 months we are managing quite nicely on foot, bus and train while here in England. We fully expected to hire a car on special occaisions but find the buses and trains are convenient very regular and very affordable.
Mass transit has always made sense in places like England, and Europe as a whole. The countries are much smaller than a lot of states are. In the US, there's a LOT of open space, so mass transit does not work very well except in heavily concentrated metro areas. I would have to drive 10 miles to catch a bus, which would drop me off a mile from work. The nearest train I can catch is 22 miles away............
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Old 04-19-2011, 09:41 AM   #138
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$0.10 per mile??
Is that a typo? 10 cents a mile is the cost of gas for a vehicle that gets 38mpg (at a gas cost of $3.80/gallon).
Even if you have an inefficient vehicle that only gets 13 mpg, you would be going from about 30 cents/mile to 40 cents/mile.

I'd be very surprised at a 33% improvement in mpg. Very pleased, but very surprised
Yep a typo. Corrected to $0.10 per mile.
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Old 04-19-2011, 09:45 AM   #139
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(snip) I live on a good route, and can get downtown easily and with little waiting Also to University District and Queen Ann/Seattle Center. But today I wanted to go to the Apple store, probably only 4 miles away at most, and it would have taken 3 buses to get there.(snip)
Ha
Yeah, getting to U Village on the bus is not the easiest thing in the world. I also take a car if the bus route requires 2 changes each way—there's too much chance to miss a connection. You might think about going to the Apple store in Bellevue Square next time. Wouldn't that be a 2-bus trip, one from your home to downtown Seattle, one from downtown Seattle to Bellevue Transit Center, and then a short walk to the mall? It may also be only two buses to other Apple Stores—isn't there one in Alderwood Mall in Lynnwood and another down near Southcenter? Or The Mac Store (on I think 45th, a block east of the freeway) should be easy to get to since the U District is an easy trip.

You're a Mac user—you gotta think outside the box Just 'cos the U Village Apple store is the closest to where you live doesn't necessarily mean it's the fastest one to get to on the bus.
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Old 04-19-2011, 02:13 PM   #140
 
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We bought gas a few days ago and paid $4/gal This is in the NYC suburbs.
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