This is just getting out of hand. People are now selling family heirlooms and wedding rings just to buy gas?
To meet higher gas, food and prescription drug bills, they are selling off grandmother's dishes and their own belongings. Some of the household purging has been extremely painful — families forced to part with heirlooms.
"This is not about downsizing. It's about needing gas money," said Nancy Baughman, founder of eBizAuctions, an online auction service she runs out of her garage in Raleigh, N.C. One former affluent customer is now unemployed and had to unload Hermes leather jackets and Versace jeans and silk shirts.
In looking at the chart below, courtsy of MSNBC we see that gas just one year ago, April 2007, looks to be about $3.00/gallon. They are showing that the national average for April 2008 is $3.60.
And according to MSNBC the average miles driven per year in 2007:
Average annual miles per vehicle also declined last year, from 11,946 to 11,856.
Lets do some math shall we?
11,856 miles driven per year (MPY)
.60 cents more per gallon in 2008 (CPG)
average fuel economy 24 mpg (22.2 for trucks & 27.5 for cars, averaged out)
11,856 MPY / 24 MPG = 494 gallons of gas per year (on average) needed.
494 gallons X .60 (CPG) = $296.40 additional dollars for 2008
$296.40 / 52 weeks = $5.70 per week of addtional dollars over last year.
$5.70 equals a Big Mac meal at McDonalds.
There were no doom and gloom stories last year about people going bankrupt and hocking the family jewels to buy gas.
So $5.70 more in gas each week is the number that sends most of america over the edge of not being able to afford gas.
We really are in trouble.
A little boy on girl action, below the fold
This is for Pamibe
No, Not in that way.
The house behind us. The family behind us moved out last July.
The have a un-covered pool
A un-covered GREEN pool.
Last summer it was a mosquito breeding ground, we couldn't even go outside it was that bad.
This year I swore someone would be doing something about that pool.
We called the ordiance officers last week, they came out and Mr Weenie was home when they came so he got to talk to them about it. (We called last year, but nothing was done).
I decided to take matters further and found out which bank owns their mortgage (the wonders of the internet). Just called the bank and told them about the uncovered GREEN pool and a Broken gate (safety issue).
Until last week the door locks on the doorwall were broke, so the former residents juvinille deliquents were coming back and going into the house and busting it up (when the Ordiance officer came out he fixed it so the doorwall couldn't open anymore).
The house is a mess on the inside, the basement is flooded up to the 2nd step (electricity was turned off, we have sub-pumps, no electricity means sub-pump won't work).
Let the bank know that also.
Hopefully something will be done, because people at the police station and bank will begin to hate me in approx 3 weeks if nothing is done by then.
Over the weekend, for the first time ever, I exercised my 2nd amendment rights.
I am now the proud owner of a CCW certificate, which I will take to the Sheriffs office for a CCW permit.
I took a class over the weekend that is offered at the local shooting range, which is owned and taught by current and former police officiers.
Sunday we had to qualify on the range and it was also the first time I ever picked up a gun let alone fire it.
I had to rent a gun because I don't own one, yet. It was a Kahr 9mm.
I was a little freaked out, afraid I would do something wrong and shoot someone. I also had problems with shooting as many rounds as we were suppose to shoot during the class. They wanted us to shoot off 200 rounds, I made it through 100 before they told me it was to painful for them to watch me be in that much pain.
Arthritis and shooting massage amounts of rounds don't mix very well at all.
I only needed 30 rounds shoot for the state requirement and let me tell you a secret, after the first 50 rounds shot I was bored to tears with shooting.
So we will now be looking for a gun to purchase.
The 9mm had one hell of a recoil (?) on it and I think that is what I was causing me the pain in my arms (fingers, wrist and shoulders).
Is there something out there that is semi-automatic but not as much recoil (?) as the Kahr 9mm but has the same or near the same stopping power? Oh and has a smooth grip. The one I had had a textured grip and was causing a blister on my palm (I was gripping it awful hard, practice will cure that).
Dale Earnhardt, one of the greatest drivers in NASCAR history, was born on this day in Kannapolis, North Carolina. Like Richard "The King" Petty, the only man with career credits comparable to Earnhardt's, Dale had racing in his blood. His father, Ralph, was an auto mechanic and champion driver of late-model stock cars. Dale Earnhardt knew from an early age he wanted to follow in his father's footsteps and become a racecar driver and he eventually dropped out of high school to pursue racing.
In 1979 Earnhardt was named Winston Cup Rookie of the Year. The following year he won the first of his seven Winston Cup Series championships. Driving the black No.3 Chevrolet, perhaps the most recognizable stock car of all time, Earnhardt earned his nickname, "The Intimidator," as a result of his tough, uncompromising driving style. He become a legend in the sport and racked up a career total of 76 victories.
Earnhardt's life was cut short on February 18, 2001, when he was fatally injured in a last-lap crash at the Daytona 500. Earnhardt, age 49, died instantly of head injuries. He left behind a wife, Teresa, four children, and legions of fans. Earnhardt's two sons are racecar drivers and his younger son, Dale Jr., has established himself as a star in the sport.
Hattip: History Channel
All over the news yesterday was reports of Kirk Kerkorian buying up massage amounts of Ford stock.
Kerkorian is known for buying up auto stocks and then trying to take over the company.
So the media is all in a frenzy about Kerkorian eventually trying to take over Ford.
If they did just a little research they would have found that it will be nearly impossible for that to happen
Henry Ford's heirs own 4 percent of the company, but their 70.9 million super-voting Class B shares give them 40 percent of the voting rights.
The Ford family heirs always vote in unison.
Their controlling interest in Ford would make it difficult -- if not impossible -- for Kerkorian and York to affect any change without the family's consent.
So all you media people can go back into your holes, Ford will not be taken over by some 90 year old auto executive wanna be.
A group of 10 automobile manufacturers including Cadillac, Northern, Thomas, and Pope joined the Association of Licensed Automobile Manufacturers (ALAM). Eighteen other firms including Winton, Pierce-Arrow, and Packard had signed on March 5.
The addition of the 10 new companies made the ALAM a nearly comprehensive list of automobile producers intent on protecting their own patent rights and standardizing the industry's production systems. ALAM formed in response to the suits resulting from U.S. Patent No. 549,160 granted to Geroge Selden and referring to his possession of the right to royalties on any hydrocarbon gas engine built for the purpose of propelling road cars and horseless carriages. The patent was seen as ridiculous by some, as Selden never produced a car, but its legitimacy was upheld in federal court most notably against the likes of the Duryea brothers, Alexander Winton, and Ransom Olds.
ALAM was an attempt to organize negotiations with the Electric Vehicle Company, which had purchased the partial rights to Selden's patent. On March 5, 30 automobile manufacturers met to consider Electric Vehicle President George Day's proposal that they form an association of manufacturers licensed to use the Selden patent. The parties eventually agreed that each member of the association would pay 1.25% on each car's catalogue price. One-fifth of the money went directly to Selden, two-fifths to Electric Vehicle, and the remaining two-fifths were paid to the association.
After April 28, there were 28 members of ALAM. The Association used its revenue to standardize the production of nuts, bolts, screw threads, spark plugs, etc. The branch also maintained a research laboratory in Hartford, Connecticut.
ALAM only lasted until a court ruled in 1911 that Selden's patent applied only to the out-of-date 2-cycle engine that was no longer in use. In spite of its relatively short lifetime ALAM was the first organization of car manufacturers and was heavily responsible for the standardization of automobile parts that allowed the industry to grow so quickly and to produce so heavily in the following decades.
Hattip: History Channel
The big digital conversion is happening next year and all along they have been saying if you have an analog TV but have cable you have no worries.
According to a report by the Associated Press, cable customers may face additional charges due to the DTV transition. Those with set-top boxes don't need to worry too much, but the over 28 million who plug their cable wires straight into the back of their TVs may have to pay for converter boxes. Check with your provider to determine your situation.
Crap, we plug through the DVD into the TV. I better call our cable people to see if we will be ok or if we need a convertor box.
Nice that they tell us this, I think most people don't know this and will be awfully pissed next February when they can't watch TV.
Lee Ann mentioned that she thought her pupper Darla has OCD over squirrels.
HA, Darla's hasn't got anything on Maggies OCD or OLD as we call it.
That would be Obessive Licking Disorder
Maggie must lick, MUST lick each and every day and at bedtime for a specific (only known to her) time.
I mean there is no stopping her, and if you do she must start over. She stops licking when she says, not when you say.
Oh, it's not herself she licks, it must be humans.
For Mr Weenie and I it's very specific body parts that she will only lick.
On Mr Weenie it's either knees, arms, hands or the balding area on his head.
On me it's hands or feet with an occasional knee or face thrown in for variety.
And what is funny when she licks my feet (both tops and bottoms) she refuses to lick where my surgery scar is on my foot. She will lick all around it, but will not directly lick any part of the scar.
We have found that it is just easier to give in to her, because it's extremely hard to get her to not lick. She is obessively driven to lick, she will not be denyed.
When the mood strikes her and we are not convinent to lick she will lick Lance, usually just the head but her favorite lick spot on Lance is his ears. Lance loves it, he has this look of pure extasy on his face.
I love it when the greenies get got!
The goberment passed a fuel economy bill in which automakers have to have a fleet wide fuel economy of 31.6 mpg by 2015.
The greenies were dancing in the streets, excited that they were getting what they wanted, for everyone to drive tiny hybrid vehicles.
They shouldn't have counted their chickens before they hatched, they didn't read the fine print.
Tucked deep into a 417-page "Notice of Proposed Rulemaking" was language by the Transportation Department stating that more stringent limits on tailpipe emissions embraced by California and 17 other states are "an obstacle to the accomplishment" of the new federal standards and are "expressly and impliedly preempted" by federal law.
Which means that states can not set their own fuel economy rules as California and 17 other states were trying to do.
Nancy Pelosi is now wetting her panties because she supported and helped push the bill through congress.
Pelosi, who pushed the fuel economy bill through the House, praised the Transportation Department for taking the first step of implementing the new federal rules. But she chastised the agency for trying to undermine tougher state regulations.
Guess you should learn to read a document Nancy, not just skim the first page.
The Goberment is pushing harder to drive the american auto companies out of business and forcing everyone to drive a Prius.
Detroit automakers face an estimated bill of $30.5 billion over five years to meet the fuel economy increases unveiled Tuesday by federal regulators -- roughly two-thirds of its entire $47-billion price tag, and far more than their Asian rivals.
The goberment and greenies still do not realize that most americans don't want to drive small vehicles, the american auto companies are producing vehicles that people want to buy. They are not producting big vehicles and forcing people to buy them.
The plan by the Bush administration boosts fuel economy regulations 25% between 2011 and 2015 to a target of 31.6 m.p.g. for cars and trucks combined, a more rapid increase than many automakers and environmentalists expected en route to the 35 m.p.g. standard by 2020.
The goberment is setting unrealistic expectations, expectations that they know that the american auto companies will have to spend large amounts of money to try to meet. That is large amounts of their OWN money to meet, while the Japanese companies are being given money by their goberment.
"This proposal is historically ambitious, yet achievable," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary Peters, who announced the new proposal at a federal highway research center here. "Our goal is to save fuel, not to endanger jobs."
And how the hell do they if it's achieveable, they never asked input from the auto companies or even engineers. They just pulled a number out of their asses that appeased the greenies.
Democrats and environmentalists offered a fair amount of praise.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi commended the yearly increases, though she took issue with a provision that would seek to preempt California and other states from imposing their own tougher tailpipe emissions limits.
Yep, gotta make sure the dumocrats and greenies are happy to drive companies out of business.
Under one NHTSA scenario, total vehicle sales would decline 145,000 in model year 2011, increasing to a 563,000-vehicle decline in model year 2015.
A decline in sales, do they not know that it will mean a reduction in jobs.
The american auto industry's new slogan "Were the new tabacco company"
I am having a painting done of Lance and Maggie. The artist is on a couple of the doggie forums I am on and saw a painting she did of some Italian Greyhounds in a VW Bug. I loved it.
So I enquired if she could do one of Lance and Maggie in a 65 Ford Mustang.
She has started the painting and here are a couple of the beginning shots.
Company leaders figured out that sitting in traffic, waiting to make a left, burns way too much fuel. So they zapped as many left turns as they could from 100,000 truck routes a day.
That is right, UPS doesn't make left turns on routes unless absolutely unavoidable.
According to the company, this simple technique saves an eye-popping amount of gasoline. "In the last year alone," a UPS release stated, "this system has shaved nearly 30 million miles off UPS's delivery routes, saved 3 million gallons of gas, and reduced emissions by 32,000 metric tons of CO2 - the equivalent of removing 5,300 passenger cars off the road for an entire year."(emphasis mine)
Holy Crap Batman, 3 million gallons of gas!
Don't let the greenies find this out, otherwise we will never be making a left hand turn again.
The answer is that Toyota isn't making any money -- despite the company's insistence otherwise -- and that the company is so rich it doesn't care. Toyota's profit plans are mapped out for a decade or more in advance, and when Toyota executives insist the Prius is profitable, they mean it's on track to eventually make a lot of money.
But with an estimated 25 billion dollars it took to develop the hybrid system how can Toyota be making a profit on the Prius already?
I just couldn't make the math work to cover the cost of developing the car, plus the proprietary equipment that goes into it, such as the pricey battery pack and the electric drive motor.
But Toyota insists that the technology they used in the Prius will also be used in other hybrids, so the R&D costs will be spread out over the other vehicles, thus they say the Prius is making a profit.
But are they really?
In an interview with Business Week, Chrysler President and Vice Chairman Jim Press said, "The Japanese government paid for 100 percent of the development of the battery and hybrid system that went into the Toyota Prius."
Press, during the development of the Prius, was the top American executive at Toyota, and he was the first non-Japanese board member. He worked for Toyota for 37 years before leaving last September to help run Chrysler. So he should know, right?
Of course Toyota is denying this. There has been talk for quite a long time in the auto industry that Japan subsidizes their automotive companies. Now we here the same thing from a previous Toyota executive.
So you have to wonder: If the government financed Toyota's hybrid development, might they not have done the same for Honda? And what might Ford, GM and Chrysler have done with a $25 billion gift from our government to develop hybrids?
If our government financed out automotive industry you have to wonder where we would be in technology advancements.
And everyone wonders why the Big 3 isn't as advanced as the Japanese. The Big 3 are financing all their technology on their own while the Japanese are getting all their technology paid for by their government.
A fire caused by the San Francisco earthquake destroyed the production facilities of the fledgling Sunset Automobile Company in San Francisco, California.
Production of the Sunset never resumed, and the firm was legally dissolved in 1909. Throughout the history of American automobile production no company ever succeeded on the West Coast, a fact that supports the theory that car production was originally an extension of Manifest Destiny and the thirst for Westward expansion.
Hattip: History Channel
I received another "memo" from Senator Levin (unfortuantely my Senator, the one who never listens to his constituents).
This one is about Credit Card Reform legislation.
I wrote to him about passing "tough" legislation to "protect" consumers about "unfair" credit card pratices.
My stance was that responsible people don't need legislation to protect them from something that dosen't exisit for responsible people.
Excerts from his "memo"
In my continued effort to gain support in Congress for credit card reform legislation, I testified today at a House of Representatives hearing regarding a bill introduced by Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) that would stop unfair credit card practices and improve consumer protections. At the hearing of the Financial Services Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit, I described specific examples of credit card abuses uncovered by the ongoing investigation into credit card practices I have initiated as the Chairman of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.
I would think that Congress has a lot more pressing issues to handle then looking into Credit Card rates and fees for people who are unresponsible.
Ford introduced the Ford Mustang on the first day of the New York World's Fair in Flushing, Queens.
The Mustang had been the brainchild of Lee Iacocca and his production team. The car was essentially a Ford Falcon with a new frame and body.
The Mustang was so successfully marketed, thanks in part to its introduction at the World's Fair, that it became one of Ford's best-selling models of all time. Ford profits soared after the release of the Mustang.
Another of Iacocca's Mustang-related innovations was a new strategy of marketing upgrade packages for the car. On this day in 1965, a year into the Mustang's lifetime, Ford introduced the GT Equipment Group as an option on the Mustang, creating the first Mustang GT. Iacocca commented on the success of the package, "People want economy so badly they don't care how much they pay for it."
The base price for the Mustang was a skinny $2,368, but buyers purchased an average of $1,000 worth of options
Hattip: History Channel
The first Oakland car was sold to a private owner. Oakland Car Company was the creation of Edward Murphy, the founder of the Pontiac Buggy Company. Murphy was one of the most respected designers in the carriage industry.
He decided to enter the car industry, and he invited Alanson Brush, the designer of the Brush Runabout to join him. Brush had been a chief engineer at Cadillac. His contract with Cadillac included a no-competition clause that had just ended when he met Murphy.
Anxious to get back into the design race, Brush built a car for Murphy that was ready in 1908. Oakland ran independently for less than a year before it was purchased by William C. Durant and absorbed into Durant's holding company, General Motors (GM).
Durant's purchase of Oakland is often regarded as mysterious, considering the company had enjoyed little success and had produced less than a 1,000 cars at the time Durant purchased it. Often accused of "intuitive" business practices, Durant claimed that his purchase of Oakland, while exhausting his cash flow, provided GM with a more impressive portfolio on which to base their stock interest. Nevertheless, his decision to purchase Oakland, later called Pontiac, forced Durant out of control of GM.
Hattip: History Channel
3 years ago today we picked Lance up from the breeders.
Little did I know how much the little guy curled up on my lap at the moment would change our lives.
Lance on his first day at home.
Happy Gotcha Day Lancey Fancy Pants, we love you!
Rand McNally released its first comprehensive road atlas on this day in 1924. Today Rand McNally is the world's largest maker of atlases in print and electronic media.
Lance and Maggie were enjoying, immensely, the sunshine last weekend.
see more crazy cat pics
Hattip: Mike the Marine
Senator Levin is one of Michigans senators (both are dumcrats, how unlucky can one get).
I have emailed him several times about issues and all I ever get back is a form letter expressing the opposite support for what I emailed about.
I have somehow gotten on his email list and he emails out his opinions on things, like his show at the hearings yesterday.
He really is full of himself. I am going to cherry pick some "good" parts from his self love email.
The committee heard testimony from General Petreaus and Ambassador Crocker regarding the current situation in Iraq. The surge, along with other factors, appeared to have achieved some success in reducing the violence in Iraq. But recent attacks on the Green Zone, heightened attacks on our forces, and the violent events in Basra and Baghdad, have raised questions about the military success of the surge. More significantly, the stated purpose of the surge has not been achieved.
Of course there had to be a but in there since he said there appeared to be some success.
But instead of forcefully pressing for political progress, President Bush has failed to hold the Maliki government to their promises, showering them instead with praise that they are bold and strong.
He slams President Bush much more throughout the entire email.
In addition to spending tens of billions of U.S. dollars on reconstruction, American taxpayers are also paying three to four dollars a gallon on gas here at home, much of which originates in the Middle East, including Iraq.
The war was about OOOOOIIIILLLLLL
There is consensus among the Presidents supporters and critics alike that there is no military solution to this conflict, and that there will be no end to it unless the Iraqi political leaders take responsibility for their countryâ€™s future. An announcement of an open-ended pause in troop reductions starting in July would send the wrong message to the Iraqi leaders. The best hope for a successful outcome in Iraq is to shift responsibility for Iraqis future -- politically, economically and militarily -- to the Iraqis by adopting a reasonable timetable for the redeployment of most of our troops.
It's Vietnam, we must
lose pull everyone out now. Because even the presidents supports know it's a quagmire.
Senator Levin is a complete Ass.
He never listens to his consitituents, he does what he wants. Every time I have written about opposing his views he writes back thanking me for supporting his views.
Levin fully supports losing this war because of his hatred for President Bush.
There is one great thing about living in Michigan ...
Even the Michigan Goberment agrees with it's citizens.
Just last year Michigan's Goberment passed laws making it harder to prosicute guns owners that have used their guns in self-defense in their homes.
So this comes as no surprise,
Garrison is among those who support a three-bill House package that would allow Michigan residents with concealed-weapon permits to carry a Taser, instead of a gun, as a less-than-lethal option for self-defense.
And it's the good kind of Tasers too
The law would allow Michigan residents to buy single-shot civilian Tasers that use compressed nitrogen to shoot wired darts 15 feet, delivering a painful electrical charge that incapacitates a person's muscles and limbs.
I just got notice from my contract firm that Ford is mandating a summer shut-down for all R&E & PD employees the first week of July.
Looks like they are following in Chryslers foot steps.
I had already planned my vacation for that week, so no skin off me. But other contract people that planned their vacation time for other weeks are now going to get soaked with another week of unpaid vacation.
I would be pissed.
It's Friday, so it's doggie blogging day!
First up is Maggie with a squarrel from their hide a squarrel.
And here is Lance, love this picture. He looks like he is in some deep thinking
The Crazy Dog Lady does!
There is one advantage to
living working in cubical world.
Listening in on personal phone calls* that are fights between husband and wife.
The guy next to me is being quite a jackass to his wife right now.
* I really try not to but some times people make it impossible not to listen, as in they talk extremely loud or yell.