Thoughts On A Sunday

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I was amazed at how quickly the temperature dropped last night, going from 35°F to 7°F in a couple of hours. We escaped the snowfall forecast for yesterday, something that does not bother me in the least. At least the cold temps over the next couple of days will help the ice on the lake thicken a little more.

This is definitely one of those mild winters we get now and then up this way.

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The trusty F150 went into the shop this past Friday for its annual safety/emissions inspection.

It failed.

The only issue with safety was that three of the four tires were just above minimum tread. So today I went out and got 4 new tires for the truck, something I hoped I wouldn't have to do until late next fall.

The 'Check Engine' light came on just as they were pulling it into the work bay, something that happened last year when it was in for inspection. And like last time it was an O2 sensor code, something the mechanic says happens a lot more often during the cold weather months because of the ethanol in the gasoline (his claim, not mine...but it wouldn't surprise me in the least). And like last time, they reset the code and said I should drive it a couple of hundred miles and then bring it back to see if it's the same issue as last time. If the light doesn't come back on then, the F150 will be good to go for another year.

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Here are two post dealing with the declining demand for gasoline and other petroleum derived fuels here in the US. Both posts show the demand over the past few decades and indicate both boom times and recessions. What's particularly troubling is the rapid falloff since 2007, when the Democrats took control of Congress and the recession started rearing its ugly head.

Both posts state that increased fuel efficiencies cannot adequately explain the falloff in demand, particularly in light of the average age of cars and light trucks on the road is now almost 11 years. Instead, these falloffs are indicators of a deepening recession, contrary to what the Obama Administration has claiming.

I can certainly see that being the case. Looking over the log book in the trusty F150, I can see I've cut back on the miles traveled quite a bit. The first 12 months we had the F150 I put just under 10000 miles on the odometer (9872, to be exact). The next 12 months, which just passed this weekend, I've put just over 8000 miles on the odometer (8098), 1774 less miles than the previous year. That's an 18% drop year to year. Also looking over the log book, I can see that I've been filling the tank an average of every 2.3 weeks this past year rather than every 2 weeks the previous year. Some of that decrease has been because there are some places I no longer need to go, but that's only been the case since last November which means there were about 160 miles I haven't driven since then. It doesn't explain the balance of the decreased miles driven.

Some might be explained by erratic gas prices. I know I carefully think about any trip I take, particularly in light of the F150 having a fuel economy of 17 mpg. When ever the gas prices start edging upwards, particularly just over the past 6 weeks or so, I start thinking about combining trips. The one thing I hate seeing is the total on the gas pump approaching $100 when I fill up the tank on the F150 (it holds 30 gallons of fuel). And with gas prices expected to be around $4/gallon by this summer, you better bet I'll think twice before hopping into the truck to run some errand.

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We didn't win the big $325 million jackpot for PowerBall last night. I guess I've got to show up for work tomorrow morning.

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Eric The Viking explains why he hates the main stream media. I hate them too for the same reason.

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I have to agree with Sarah Palin on this one.

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin didn't come to CPAC to endorse any of the GOP presidential hopefuls, but to encourage that the nomination contest continue as long as necessary to pick the right guy.

She chastised those who panned the process as dragging out too long, "as if competition weakens our nominee ...and yet in America we believe competition strengthens us."

Palin expressed confidence that a nominating contest without an end currently in sight "will lead us to victory in 2012."

She cautioned against the fight turning too dirty, though. "Let's make sure this competition brings out the best in our party," she said.

Unfortunately the best candidate isn't even running this time around, but I don't blame her one bit.

(H/T Pirate's Cove)

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Also by way of Cap'n Teach is this green who's found out the hard way that living the green life ain't easy. So in order to meet her goal of offsetting the 1858 pounds of carbon dioxide created when she went to visit Texas, she plans to force her neighbors to help her offset the balance from her trip.

Spoken like a true watermelon. (No, this is not a racist term. It is a term used to describe 'greens' who are really red on the inside.)

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By way of Maggie's Farm comes this post from Coyote Blog, which finds that Young People Are Being Forced To Work To Support Themselves!

First, this study is great evidence of my "what is normal" fail. There is no baseline. OK, 24% moved back in with their parents. How many did this in good times? How much worse is this?

But the real eye-catcher to me is that somehow I am supposed to be shocked that people have to find a job to pay the bills. Even a job that, gasp, they really didn't want. I have a clue for you. A lot of jobs 22-year-olds have to take are not that compelling. Mine were not. Despite what colleges seem to be telling them, the world does not offer up a lot of really cool jobs to inexperienced young adults. Long before you are closing deals with CEO's, you are probably writing sales literature in some cubicle.

OMG!!

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And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the ice has been getting thicker over the pats couple of days, the annual Ice Fishing Derby was held, and where once again Monday has appeared all too soon.

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