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Have lower gas prices affected your travel habits?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on September 28, 2006

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Photo of Amy Bing

“I travel a lot with the KU Water Ski Team. We would be traveling anyway, but it makes it a lot easier on us. It’s also easier to practice because we have to pay for boat gas, too.”

Photo of Travis Miller

“Not really, but I’m certainly happy to see that it’s under $2.”

Photo of Michele Longhurst

“No, they haven’t. I live and work downtown, and I have a very economical car, so it doesn’t affect me that much.”

Photo of Alec Hansen

“No. I have a scooter and it gets about 100 miles to the gallon. I only spend maybe $10 a month on gas anyway.”

Comments

Linda Endicott 7 years, 6 months ago

No, the gas prices haven't changed my driving habits. I still go where I need to, and not much of anywhere else. But it's nice to be able to do that cheaper.

They dropped pretty fast for awhile, and now they seem stuck right above $2 a gallon here. Are they afraid of what will happen if it drops below $2 again?

I've got an old car, a 1989, and I don't even know if 10% ethanol would work in it, which is why I haven't tried it. They're not too clear on what cars can run on it properly. And it costs more than regular. Besides, if I ever used a gasoline that cleaned the carbon out of my engine, I'm afraid I'd suddenly develop 10,000 leaks. The carbon is probably the only thing holding my engine together!

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Multidisciplinary 7 years, 6 months ago

killjoy..have you also been talking to RI's spouse?

(I'm now so glad I went back and read yesterday's,that was too good to resist)

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beatrice 7 years, 6 months ago

pr: "its funny how ku people act so ritch but complain about pety things like gas prices... k-staters don't seem to worrie about silly things the way you peeple do"

So I guess there is an advantage to still getting about on horse and buggy -- no worries about gas prices.

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Tychoman 7 years, 6 months ago

Change your name to creepylonelyguy.

No it hasn't affected my travel habits, and no I didn't complain when gas prices climbed because until they reach $5 a gallon (this time next year, I predict) we're not even close to Europe, developed as a society as independent and wanting our own cars, so we have no room to complain. I'm more concerned about electricity and energy, not what runs my car.

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killjoy 7 years, 6 months ago

MD

PF Flyers were fast, but Red Ball Jets were springity sprongity.

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sunflower_sue 7 years, 6 months ago

sgt, I can teach you how to make your own biodiesel. 'Course it does you no good unless you actually have a diesel engine to fill. With all that glycerin you'll be producing as a byproduct, you can sell it to Pleather Bob for use in his...well, whatever he does while in pleather mode. ;)

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RETICENT_IRREVERENT 7 years, 6 months ago

Blue,

Fan. Short for fanatic [fuh-nat-ik] 1. a person with an extreme and uncritical enthusiasm or zeal, as in religion, politics or college sports.

You paid for that flimsy sheet of paper with those faux signatures of several authorities on the hill in Lawrence.

I would say (stealing TOB's equations), blue73harley=Jayhawk.

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acg 7 years, 6 months ago

I was thinking the same thing, blueharley. LOL. We're not all KU people purplereign, but most of us can spell basic words like rich, petty, worry and people. Maybe you should head back to Manhattan and demand your money back.

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The_Original_Bob 7 years, 6 months ago

Purplereign sounds like what the doctor told me I had after I got back from Tijuana.

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Chicago_JHawk 7 years, 6 months ago

crohan - I hadn't read an article that stated anything about the earth creating additional oil - I saw one that simply stated what's available now. I would certainly hope that Chevron wasn't getting excited about 1.5 years worth of crude!

purplereign - Your spelling is cute.

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blue73harley 7 years, 6 months ago

Hey purplereign - do NOT assume all posters here are "ku people"! Your stereotyping and spelling are rather embarrassing to a certain K-State fan.

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Ceallach 7 years, 6 months ago

sgt, big difference. Apparently Coke is U of Mich's vendor. Here, Coke is KU's "daddy."

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lonelyguy 7 years, 6 months ago

Wow! Amy sure is one very pretty blonde! Is she single, I wonder?

Anybody here know Amy personally? I'm just curious! Thanks!

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purplereign 7 years, 6 months ago

its funny how ku people act so ritch but complain about pety things like gas prices... k-staters don't seem to worrie about silly things the way you peeple do

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Multidisciplinary 7 years, 6 months ago

Bring back PF Flyers, solves yesterday and todays issue, man, you could really run in those things, not these flat bottomed heavy monsters they make now!

Also..today's classic roundabout story. Crossgate, the odd shape one close to 24th street. I'm coming from the south, an officer is coming from the west. A VERY small car has barely already entered the roundabout from the north, but when she looks up and sees the officer, she slows to a dead stop in the roundabout..apparently in fear of not knowing what to do, since he has now stopped waiting for her to go on and she's worried she will error. I also stop, (although I could have entered and gone on) because I was laughing out loud, and I knew the officer was sitting in his car thinking, "Just GO LADY" to the woman in the little car. He could see me laughing, it was too funny. She finally continued, then he went..and hit the gas when he finally got her out of his way (people can be SO frustrating can't they ?) and I got a good laugh thinking how so many of you would have loved to have seen that!

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lonely_guy 7 years, 6 months ago

Wow! Amy sure is one very pretty blonde! Is she single, I wonder? Does anyone here know her? I'm just curious! Thanks!

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avoice 7 years, 6 months ago

The problem lies with the question. LJW seems to assume that we all whine about gas prices because it's curtailing our trips cross-country in the fam van. Far from the reality we live when gas prices are so high. How about asking whether we're better able to afford to make that daily commute to our low-paying jobs? Or do we think maybe grocery store and Wally World prices will come down to any degree, having gone up so tremendously in the past year or so? All due to skyrocketing gas prices. The price of gas, to the average American Joe, isn't about driving around aimlessly. We quit doing that a couple generations ago. It's about survival today. Get real.

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sgtwolverine 7 years, 6 months ago

R_I, I guess you forgot to refrain at least once before...

Ceal, that is one poorly-stocked vending machine. Diet Coke is cruel and unusual.

Although here at U of Michigan, for a while they weren't stocking any Coke anywhere. Some students got all mad about Coke's dealings in other countries or something, and they made enough noise that the U cut off its Coke purchases until the issue was resolved to their satisfaction. Fortunately, the Coke is back.

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Ceallach 7 years, 6 months ago

Lonely guy must have retired. I thought sure Ms. Amy would bring him back!

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Ceallach 7 years, 6 months ago

sgt, I did not make my gripe clear enough, the only lime coke offered in our vending machines is diet. I park close enough it's pure laziness that I don't smuggle in my own supply. I am always trying to give up my caffeine runs, but alas, one more bad habit that hasn't changed:)

sue, don't even get me started on my "our campus has been prostituted" rant.

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davisnin 7 years, 6 months ago

Ethanol would at least be something that could assist in getting the US off of foreign oil. Flex fuel is an easy conversion, it's really just about the seals, yet unless they are forced the manufacturers won't do it. The Ford Focus has an available FF engine, but is only offered in CA and MA where it is required by law.
Instead of raising prices to 5 or 10 dollars, an amount that would instantly break the lower class, they should implement HUGE luxury and gas-guzzler taxes. The people who buy the huge cars, for the most part, aren't affected by the increased price at the pump. Hybrids aren't much of an answer, with their limited life and energy expenditures to make those batteries.
Solar-derived hydrogen really seems like the best option. If Lawrence really wanted to be as progressive as it acts it would require all new home construction to have at least 50% of roofing square footage in solar shingles. 100% in any new commercial construction. Also The City of West Lawrence should be turned into a wind farm. http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/knowhow/hometech/article/0,16417,1205726,00.html

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Multidisciplinary 7 years, 6 months ago

Is Amy any relation to Chandler?

Bada Bing! (with a Klondike bar)

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RETICENT_IRREVERENT 7 years, 6 months ago

sgt,

When someone says "repeat after me", usually some long term binding agreement is associated.

I will refrain.

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sgtwolverine 7 years, 6 months ago

Hybrids are, at best, transitional technology. They're fossil-fuel engines with a supplementary electric engine. They are not the future. Repeat after me: they are not the future.

Now, if you paired ethanol fuel with the hybrid system...

Seriously, diesel vehicles are capable of getting superb gas mileage. For fossil fuels, let's go with the existing proven technology (high-efficiency diesel engines) and work toward something not based on fossil fuels.

Also, if we continue to generate electricity with fossil fuels, then the car thing is just a small solution.

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RETICENT_IRREVERENT 7 years, 6 months ago

Sunflower_sue,

Cellulose based ethanol?

Are there enough liposuction clinics to actually create a large enough supply?

What if the FDA shuts them all down?

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crohan1978 7 years, 6 months ago

Chicago Jhawk, that is not what Chevron stated, they stated that they believe their may be evidence that the earth is constantly producing oil, specifically in the location they found. That oil supply would increase the US supply by 50% they said.

Ethanol does not get good gas mileage at all, and the only reason it is being pushed is because it runs cleaner than regular fuel. If we're paying more for a fuel that is less efficient, but cleaner, are we really gaining anything? Seriously. I think it would be better served to develop technology, i.e. hybrid cars, that get much better efficiency than relying on a fuel such as ethanol

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RETICENT_IRREVERENT 7 years, 6 months ago

Bunny,

It's a club.

They do silly things like getting towed behind a big-block prop boat, standing on a 1/2" of fiberglass, jumping off a ramp.

I bet they tank up on e40.

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sunflower_sue 7 years, 6 months ago

TOB, you lazy man! You should have read it all. It sounds positive for cellulose based ethanol. I'm intrigued. :)

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bucks1 7 years, 6 months ago

no they are not bunny...they pay dues and receive money from KU recreation services

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bunnyhawk 7 years, 6 months ago

are my tax dollars supporting a WATER SKI team??????

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sgtwolverine 7 years, 6 months ago

Glad to have an ally on the Vanilla Coke issue, ceal. But only diet lime Coke? I am perplexed. Just this past weekend I went to the grocery store and bought a 12 pack of regular lime Coke.

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Esq2eB 7 years, 6 months ago

I drive from KC to Topeka everyday for work, and I love the fact it is dropping. Driving everyday sucks, even more so when it costs $125 a week in gas!

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The_Original_Bob 7 years, 6 months ago

Being the lazy man I am I skipped ahead to the conclusion (pg 22).

That's basically what I have always heard on Ethanol. Transferring of one energy source to another with no greenhouse benefits and barely any net energy gain.

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staff04 7 years, 6 months ago

A source for information on ethanol that is as far from bias as you can probably find:

http://www.opencrs.com/rpts/RL33290_20060303.pdf

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jonas 7 years, 6 months ago

What in the world did I say that was worthy of deletion? It was something about being migratory animals, and having the urge to go south.

Hmmmm. . . . go south.

Get your mind out of the gutter, LJWorld staff!!!!!!

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sunflower_sue 7 years, 6 months ago

Ceal, how much of a kickback does KU get for only selling Coke products? Maybe if we only sold Coke at gas stations, it would get us to less than $2/gallon...not far to go. (You could still smuggle your Pepsi through the pumps...just don't get caught w/ an open container!):)

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Ceallach 7 years, 6 months ago

I will gladly vote for Vanilla Coke, sgt! I loved it. Another Coke gripe . . . the lime cokes are only available as diet. Aspertame is the devil, as related to migraines, so I have to pass.

For those of you who do not know . . . only Coke products are sold on campus. Although, many with a frig available to them smuggle in their Pepsi products. But if you need a caffeine fix mid-day it's coke or coke, whichever you prefer.

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Chicago_JHawk 7 years, 6 months ago

EDIT...read "limitless rate", not "limited rare". Sorry.

OMB - I was not screaming bloody murder when fuel passed $3 a gallon.

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Chicago_JHawk 7 years, 6 months ago

The oil field discovered by Chevron in the Gulf of Mexico is said to contain 3-15 billion barrels of oil. Assuming it contains 15 billion, and could be tapped at a limitless rare, it would provide all the oil the US relies on...for 750 days.

Not much of a supply if you ask me.

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Ceallach 7 years, 6 months ago

The only negative I have noticed about using 10% is that my engine no longer makes music for my driving enjoyment (especially on an incline).

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sgtwolverine 7 years, 6 months ago

...typical efficiency of an E85 vehicle seems to be about 25% less than a standard fuel vehicle. I like the benefits of ethanol, but that's not a small difference.

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sgtwolverine 7 years, 6 months ago

Sue, I'm not referring to 10%E -- I'm referring to GM's big campaign with E85. That's the big push now.

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sunflower_sue 7 years, 6 months ago

sgt, I'm confused about your mileage ratings. I get about 30 more miles from a fill-up of 10%E than the reg. and my mail carrier swears he does much better than that (and he keeps log books). I've had others tell me similar stories (hearsay) so I'm just curious.

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sunflower_sue 7 years, 6 months ago

TOB, your algebraic equation lacks proof.

sgt, yes, I understand that it looks biased, but if you read the second link I posted, they do put statistical data in there (not all of it is flattering) and you can form your own opinion. I'll agree that 10%E is not the BEST option (actually I like biodiesel better but my car just won't eat that), but it IS better for our environment and it does lead us down another path as a country that should be concerned about the use of fossil fuels, where we spend our money, and what our children breathe.

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crohan1978 7 years, 6 months ago

Did anyone read about the large oil field discovery in the Carribbean about a month ago by Chevron? Didn't you hear, they think there may be proof that oil is not a limited resource and the earth may be continuously reproducing it far below the earth's surface?

Ethanol is still very expensive, and now the tree huggers, which I'm sure there a plenty of in Lawrence, are already fighting the construction of ethanol plants. Will we ever win? C'mon people!

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sgtwolverine 7 years, 6 months ago

I would like to advocate the return of Vanilla Coke. Not Black Cherry Vanilla Coke (a.k.a. Rebranded Dr. Pepper), but Vanilla Coke.

Sorry. That was off-topic.

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one_more_bob 7 years, 6 months ago

Are the people who are advocating $5 gas the same ones who were crying bloody murder when gas was $3?

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sgtwolverine 7 years, 6 months ago

I should note that I am not against the idea of ethanol; I just don't think it's really that great as a fuel. Usable, but not great. It'll be a very hard sell until either ethanol prices are low enough or until ethanol-powered vehicles achieve good enough mileage ratings.

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sgtwolverine 7 years, 6 months ago

Sue, not to say ethanol.org is an inaccurate site, but:

"ACE is a national, non-profit organization of more than 1200 members in 45 states, including ethanol producers, farmers, investors, commodity organizations, businesses supplying goods and services to the industry, rural electric cooperatives, and others supportive of the increased production and use of ethanol across America."

The ACE supplying information on ethanol sounds like the tobacco industry supplying information on the health effects of tobacco. It's not necessarily wrong, but it's too easy to look biased.

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The_Original_Bob 7 years, 6 months ago

Sue -

True. True. I will check those sites out. I have read a quite a bit about it and to me it seems like it is being promoted as much more beneficial than it actually is. But, I'll agree it's better than the regular.

But Sue, I believe RI. RI>Sue. :)

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sunflower_sue 7 years, 6 months ago

RI, so is that what's really in those "Evian" bottles I always see in your hand? It's all becomming so clear. So Ever-Clear!

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RETICENT_IRREVERENT 7 years, 6 months ago

S.S.,

I say the only way you should buy ethanol is in a bottle.

You can't drink gasoline, save the C2H6O for fun.

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mom_of_three 7 years, 6 months ago

I am glad the prices went down, as the hubby commutes to KC every day. I wish the prices had dropped in the summer, before my vacation, but then, that wouldn't have made the big companies any money.
For those who wish the prices would have stayed higher to support different causes etc., it would put too much of a strain on a majority of American's wallets. I would really feel for those who work at minimum wage, or just higher than. Heck, I even wonder where we came up with the extra gas money.

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sunflower_sue 7 years, 6 months ago

sgt & TOB, I guess it's what you find important and who you ask: http://www.ethanol.org/environment.html

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beatrice 7 years, 6 months ago

I personally equate automobile use with dancing with the devil. He is a major jerk, but the guy can cut a mean tango.

Honestly, the lower prices haven't changed my driving habits at all -- I still drive where and when I need to at a comfortable, steady pace. I stopped speeding and driving agressively a long time ago (stopped listening to news on the radio since it is consistanly bad and now only listen to music when driving) and my vehicle gets pretty good gas mileage. Whether it is $75 or $50 a month, neither will break the bank, although of course I prefer to pay less.

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sunflower_sue 7 years, 6 months ago

Ceal, since I'm prone to "word vomit," "don't ask" is seldom my approach.

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The_Original_Bob 7 years, 6 months ago

The Pitch is doing a two parter on Ethanol.

http://www.pitch.com/Issues/2006-09-21/news/feature.html

Not exactly all it's cracked up to be for sure.

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sgtwolverine 7 years, 6 months ago

Sue, ethanol is actually less efficient than standard fuel. So it'll make you feel better, but it won't last as long. This is the down side to GM's big push for flex-fuel vehicles.

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Ceallach 7 years, 6 months ago

sue: did you forget about . . don't ask . . don't tell?

My travel habits like so many of my habits (good or bad:) never seem to change. When prices rise I may grumble and groan as I fill up the tank, but that's about the only change.

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RETICENT_IRREVERENT 7 years, 6 months ago

On a totally different tack,

This morning, while looking for the weather forecast on the tube, I have a new channel, channel 15, the gospel music channel.

Looks like MTV to me.

So now they are selling Christ with sex?

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The_Original_Bob 7 years, 6 months ago

We always used to give a friend crap because he drove a Subaru Outback.

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The_Original_Bob 7 years, 6 months ago

Gas prices are lower but they still too high for me to make 3-4 ski trips a year. Ahh, the good 'ol $1.25 days.

Back when I was going to KU I lived in a dorm with a couple KU Water Ski dudes. It is a club sport and I think they practiced on that man made lake off K-10. This was 14 years ago. Needless to say, had an Amy Bing been on the KU Water Ski team I would have probably paid more attentive.

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bobberboy 7 years, 6 months ago

You Bet !! I own a HUMMER (gets 6 miles/gallon) which is why everyone thinks I'm so COOL - Hec with gas at only 2.00/gallon I think I'll p!ss away as much gas as I can while the going is good. Oh yea and if the rest of you think I'm wasting energy that's tough Sh!t. Too Bad ! Besides I own tons of stock in a number of petroleum companys and I'll be danged if I'm going to let biodeisel take over.

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blue73harley 7 years, 6 months ago

R_I - too funny! I'm really glad I didn't buy that hybrid. My "regular" Escape gets about 24 mpg at 79.9999mph as I travel down K-10 every stinkin' day. It is a 2wd with the 200hp V6. The four cylinder Escape does a little better but you can't tow anything with it. And everyone with a Harley needs a tow vehicle (just kidding...but I thought I might as well say it before someone else did!)

Riding my old '73 shovelhead in 80 mph commuter traffic is not much fun!

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sunflower_sue 7 years, 6 months ago

RI, just curious...how does one find a site like gaywheels.com?

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sunflower_sue 7 years, 6 months ago

Nope. I still buy the ethanol where I see it posted. Problem is, the govt hasn't decided to make it mandatory to post the fact that the pump might contain ethanol. For some odd reason, it seems as though they don't want us to be able to choose. Oddly, too, that the price of my ethanol (that used to be cheaper than the reg) has now gone higher since the whole oil crunch thing. You'd almost think they didn't want me to buy it. Why would that be? I still fill up in Tongie where they post 10% ethanol and the hubby still fills up w/ 20% biodiesel (wherever it is that he gets that). Our travel habits have not changed.

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RETICENT_IRREVERENT 7 years, 6 months ago

Blue73,

An Escape? http://gaywheels.com/new/ford/2006/escape-hybrid/

I figured you would ride a manly blue 1973 Harley to work everyday.

Go figure.

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Gootsie 7 years, 6 months ago

The gas drop has saved me about $100 a month for my commute. I wish I could make close to the same wages in Lawrence. Even with the overhead, it's more profitable to drive to KC. And I agree - they will most likely climb rapidly in time for Thanksgiving.

Harley, maybe we see each other every day! I go on the turnpike.

KU ski team! I hope they don't practice on the Kaw. eww

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Chicago_JHawk 7 years, 6 months ago

I should explain that I don't watch my own driving or adjust my habits when prices rise (I live in Chicago and admittedly don't drive much, but even with gas at $3.69 a gallon a few weeks back, I didn't reduce it any more). Also, I don't really care about the environment, but rather our dependence on foreign oil (we import 12M barrels a day) that seems to lead to conflict. It'd be nice to be able to live primarily on our OWN sources of energy and tell the rest of the world to shut it. That's why I think we should arbitrarily set gas prices at a high rate, to FORCE people to do something about it.

My disdain is for folks who complain about paying $3 for gas while buying a 12 oz bottle of water for $1.25. Where's the logic in that?

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trinity 7 years, 6 months ago

nope, even with lower fuel prices-i still seem to be broke all the time&can't afford to go anywhere! :(

po'lil' ol' me! ;)

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RETICENT_IRREVERENT 7 years, 6 months ago

bmwjhawk,

Though Potter lake is fine for everyonce in a while floating the odd corpse in, I think putting your Ski Nautique or Mastercraft ski-boat in would be no fun.

I'd say try the KU ski pond, on K-10.

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blue73harley 7 years, 6 months ago

sgt - I try my best to refrain from any kind of name-calling. But it just infuriates me when some people equate automobile use with dancing with the devil. I hate my commute. But my job relocated and I have no alternative for many reasons. When technology advances where electrics, hybrids, hydrogen, etc. are economically practical...sure I will use them. I even considered getting an Escape hybrid ( I drive a regular Escape). But they really don't do that much better to justify the extra cost. Until the technology improves, we are stuck with what we have. And for most everybody, cheap gas is a good thing.

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Chicago_JHawk 7 years, 6 months ago

Fuel should be priced at $5 per gallon, forcing people to find ways to use less fuel (smaller cars, fewer unnecessary trips). The extra revenue could be split three ways - alternative fuel research, education, and transportation infrastructure improvements, including public transportation funding.

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sgtwolverine 7 years, 6 months ago

Wait, low oil prices are gay-bashing?

Blue, that was an impressive way to add "you twit" without being deleted.

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jayhawktownie 7 years, 6 months ago

it hasn't changed my travel habits.

this decline is simply the oil industry's way of ensuring an oil-friendly congress for at least 2 more years.

this is probably an even more effective campaign strategy than gay-bashing.

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bmwjhawk 7 years, 6 months ago

Where can I watch the KU waterski team ski? I'm intrigued.

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inmate 7 years, 6 months ago

No change here.

Thanks for asking.

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blue73harley 7 years, 6 months ago

ruette - (relatively) inexpensive oil prices also enables us to get to work to feed our families and put a roof over our heads. Is that irresponsible? Is that immediate gratification? (I would like to add "you twit" but that might get me deleted)

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armyguy 7 years, 6 months ago

They will go back up in early Nov. just after the elections.

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ruette 7 years, 6 months ago

The best thing for our country would be to double or triple the gas prices and use the profits to find and develop alternative energy sources. Inexpensive oil prices only encourage the irresponsible squandering of this limited resource. How about looking at the long-term effects, folks, instead of immediate gratification?

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RETICENT_IRREVERENT 7 years, 6 months ago

Of course,

I'm drafting less, leading the pack more, and seeing less gestures.

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blue73harley 7 years, 6 months ago

Wow Jonas! I think you get the prize for earliest deletion ever.

I have to commute so I am just happy that the price has gone down. I might be able to afford to switch from Evan Williams Green to Black.

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KS 7 years, 6 months ago

Anyone using gas, regardless of how much (scooter or car) has to be pleased with such a reduction. I drive a lot and it makes a big difference to me.

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Nikki May 7 years, 6 months ago

I didn't know there was a KU water ski team.

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jonas 7 years, 6 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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Bone777 7 years, 6 months ago

Wow!! This was early. No. They are still way too high and with the volatility of the market, I followed through with my plan to stay close to home and blog.

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