Monday, November 13, 2006

November 13, 2006 Gary's Great Adventure


Consider This for November 13, 2006—Gary’s Great Adventure


Ding dong the witch is dead. The wicked witch is dead. And that is all I am going to say about the election. Oh yeah. Thanks again for voting regardless of what or who you voted for. Now complain away.

The very good news is that I have actually found gasoline for $1.80 a gallon. The very bad news is that it is located about 750 miles east of here in Carroll, Iowa.

I try to limit my trips to my birthplace in Iowa to once every ten years or every five years whichever it the furthest away. I was there in 2000 for my fortieth high school reunion and then again last year for my forty- fifth high school reunion. We decided to hold them every five years because so many of our classmates were dying.

I made a major exception this year to spend some time with my sister who was recovering from hip surgery.

There are no large medical facilities in Rockwell City so you have to travel to Fort Dodge or Carroll to get the big stuff done. That is what my sister had to do.

An aside about the Iowa election. The politicians (and I are one) are just as stupid there as in Colorado. In fact the negative TV ads were exactly the same as ours with different candidates. The words were exactly the same. Makes you wonder who writes these things. More stupid people. Maybe I should have stayed in the legislature and passed a bill banning stupidity.

Anyway, back to gas prices.

From Summit County to Carroll the prices were about the same. I found gas in Golden for $2.11 a gallon and on the interstate it averaged around $2.19 a gallon. If I got off the main road I could find it for $2.14 most of the time.

I was very impressed with the number of trains going through Carroll. I timed them and there was one long train about every twenty minutes. These were not coal trains but trains loaded with containers.

I wondered if the motor carriers felt they were competing with the railroads but based on the high number of semis on the interstate that must not be true. I have never seen so much truck traffic all the way through Colorado, Nebraska and Iowa.

I was also reminded that the average diesel price was around $2.54 a gallon. That makes the average fill- up for a trucker $700 to $1000 each time he stops. Imagine how that would make you feel if you had to pay that for your personal vehicle?

My 2004 Honda Accord averaged 32 miles to the gallon. I had to get gas once between here and Carroll. It cost me around $36 a tank. I probably spent around $75 for gas the entire trip.

A plane ticket from Denver to Omaha was $290. I am also considering going to New York to see my kids and grandkids and a plane ticket to Syracuse was $230. Now why does it cost less to travel four times farther? If I drove I am sure that my fuel costs would not be less. Stop. Before you write your letter to the editor I am aware that plane tickets are based on how many people fly to Omaha versus flying to Syracuse.

I remember a few years ago when you could buy a ticket from Denver to London for $400 round trip and a round trip ticket to Salt Lake City was $450. Now where would your really like to go?

Another development on the gas price front is that a couple of gas retailers in Montrose sued City Market, King Soopers and Safeway for selling gas for less than cost. The stores use it as a loss leader to get people to buy groceries. The court ruled that it was illegal for the stores to sell gas for less than cost because it created unfair competition with the convenience stores who sell gas.

Maybe convenience stores should sell their gas for less than cost to convince all of us to buy all of our groceries there. How many frozen burritos can you eat? Just kidding.

I still think that the record numbers in the stock market and the record recent gas price reductions (everywhere but in the mountains) were part of getting us to feel good about our federal administration prior to the elections.

If that is true it sure did bomb.

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