May 17th, 2008


The Waiting Is Over

As I Drove To Work On Tuesday...

... just as I was passing through Allendale MI, and noting that gas prices for regular were $3.78.9 in town, WOOD-AM radio was reporting a twenty-one cent jump and that gas stations all over Grand Rapids were spiking up to $3.99.9/gal. It wasn't a morning to get gas, so I didn't want to take the time just to get half a tank. By evening, every gas station I passed was at $3.99.9 except for the Admiral in Allendale which was $3.98.9 . For once, they weren't flooded by West Michigan's thrifty, who'd probably filled up in the morning anyway.

Wednesday is my day off this Summer-I session, so Thursday was the next gas fill-up for me. Prices across the board were $3.97.9 / $4.06.9 / $4.15.9 for the three grades. About the time that premium got above $3.50/gal, Mrs. Dr. Phil and I began to substitute midgrade for the premium. Last time I put regular in any of the old Blazers, they knocked, so I stuck with the midgrade option and officially exceeded the BLOODY FOUR DOLLAR A BLOODY GALLON limit. There. Got that off my chest.

A New Experiment

Ever since gas started streaking upward from $3.50 towards $4.00, I've definitely noticed cohorts of truckers and cars which have been reducing speed on the freeways. Some of the area trucking companies, who've been paying over $4.50/gal for diesel, have been giving customers a choice of adding some time to their delivery contract schedules or paying a fuel surcharge -- and the customers have been graciously adding time.

So I had vowed to experiment with reduced speeds once gas got up to the four bucko level. I'd planned to drop from my stopwatched checked 70 mph in the 70 mph zones to 60 mph, but on Thursday I found it comfortable to stick with a line of cars and trucks making 65 mph. Interesting that it's more than just a number. The road noise and "feel" at 65 mph does seem slower. And anyways, even at 70 mph there's always plenty of drivers to pass me.

After a couple of tanks, I'll see if there's an adjustment in the actual gas mileage. There should be, of course, and there are limiting and safety concerns. And voluntary slowdowns are so much more polite than the forced and hated 55 mph speed limit of the Nixon Administration during the 70s. But we'll see if we can cancel a bit of the pain for now.

Time is money, they say.

Technically Speaking

Since the price spike on Tuesday, gas prices have been dropping slowly at the stations I pass. Today on Saturday, the price in Allendale is $3.91.9/gal for regular. "They" have been saying for several months that we'd have four dollar gasoline by Memorial Day, or at least by the Fourth of July. So technically we didn't reach $4.00.0/gal for regular a dozen days before Memorial Day (Observed).


The real goal may be to make us yearn for, and be grateful for, $3.60/gal gasoline. (evil-grin)

Dr. Phil
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