Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Peace, Peace, but there is no Peace

Well, I was amazed. 3 hours of ceasefire. Maybe Nicky Sarkozy has the magic touch after all. We'll see how it shakes out. Nature abhors a vacuum and since we're in a government transition, the EU gets to jump in and try to broker a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel. Meanwhile gasoline prices have jumped nearly 20 cents a gallon. The rally may not last. Oil prices took an almost six dollar dip. The Russians are flexing their energy muscles and causing jitters, but the main force driving the price down is the worsening economy. Less consumption means more supply.
Meanwhile, I understand my esteemed employer is feeling the economic pinch so salary reduction may continue after the end of June. Maybe close early on Fridays and save electricity, too. It's a thought. Our governor has all the answers, I'm sure. If he's smart, he'll be first in line for a stimulus package when the candy store opens January 21st. We can hope.
I remember the oil embargo back in the 1970's. I got my first car on the road in 1975. Gas was around 50 cents or so a gallon. I went to New York City the following year and was aghast at 75 cent a gallon gas. Boy, talk about the good old days. I can remember when I was a kid and gas was about a quarter a gallon down at the little country store at the end of what is now labeled Fitzbounds Road and Polks Road. My cousin's great grandmother Miss Julie, ran it. The official name was Smith Grocery. Then Getty took over and the price went to 33 cents a gallon. I thought that was terrible, too. I was always too broke to get a new car, and I was driving a station wagon (a big Plymouth with a 400 engine) during a lot of the Iranian crisis. Paying $1.65 a gallon was awful. I was driving to Ocean City six nights a week from Mt. Vernon. I think I had to fill up every three days.
I finally got my first new car in 1986. It was a Plymouth Colt. It got 33 miles per gallon. Boy, that was great. About that time everybody was driving more efficient cars and the price of gas fell back to a dollar a gallon. It jacked up again during the first Gulf War, I recall. This last jump really hit me hard. I had a Grand Am getting 30mpg, but it died after 165,000 miles and I was driving a Toyota Van getting 18mpg at best. Our other vehicle was a Trailblazer which gets worse mileage. As soon as possible, I sold the van (it had 265,000 miles on it, but I figured high gas was here to stay) and got a nice little Sebring. It gets better than 30 if I avoid city driving and the weather is nice, so I am doing my part to support the US auto industry and save gas. Wotta guy!
OK, enough ramble or now. I guess I could take requests if anybody has something they want to talk about. I was happy to get a new commentator in Upsy Daisy there. I'll probably never generate as much traffic as Joe Albero's blog, but he knows how to generate visitors. I just sit back and spin off stuff. I started an interesting series called the Nephilim by Lyn Marzulli. Its pretty clever, and gave me some food for thought. I am working on a Doomsday thriller myself. We'll see how it goes. I loaded some pictures of my books on my Daily Times persona (ShoreScribe), so check me out. See you all tomorrow!

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