Gas prices… relevant to sewing a little

Okay, this is a bit relevant, as I need transport to get supplies.

I’m using kick board in the summer time, but there is only so much weight you can put on your backpack. So I may need to get a car one day, but at the moment I’ve borrowed, my dad likes to drive motorcycles in the summer so I usually get his car, but now he needs it and mom is on sick leave so I got hers instead.

city car kick board

my city car, the kick board

Gas prices.

This hit me really hard now that I had to borrow my mom’s wannabe-minivan instead of my dad’s little car. At first I was happy, it’s quite new car, big, comfortable, it has AC and all these cool accessories. While dad’s car is getting old, heater/cooler has only two working settings, there is always hay and mud and suspicious looking stuff in there. Basically, the reason dad bought the car was because it consumes little, has short axle so it’s easy to manouver in tight places, but even if small, it’s roomy to carry even big machinery and tools – sort of bigger on the inside (omg it’s actually tardis blue too!) has high ground clearance to accommodate more rough terrain driving, and best of all, was cheap so it’s not so bad if it gets dirty and dented…
I do think it’s a cute car, and excellent city vehicle as it parks any tight spot, and would love to own one, it wouldn’t be so embarrassing if it were kept clean and tidy…

Anyway, mom has the better car as she drives more. It has 7 seats, and if you turn them down, you could probably fit a rhino in there. The sound system is rather nice too x)

But, I won’t be using AC or anything extra to try to thrift on gas as much as I can… This darn thing consumes nearly twice as much than the smaller car!

I’ve seen many US citizens complaining the gas being really high. Over $3 per gallon, nearing $4.

Guess what.
Our gas is nearing $9 per gallon. And that is the diluted version, the purer that many cars require is over $9 Diesel isn’t so far behind anymore, and if you want to use it, add a Diesel tax on top. I have no clue how much is bio gas, but there isn’t many stations that offer it yet thus not many private cars running on it either. And don’t even get me started on electric cars. That’s a whole different rant.

When hearing those complains about gas just half the price we have, I feel a little… angry.
Or not real anger, just, disappointment maybe.

But I do know the public transport is very poor in many areas in the US (but to be honest, it is no better in many rural areas here either), and many huge residential areas are built miles off town, and do not even have grocery stores within walking distance!

It is very hard to understand, when here the town and residential area planning is made so that there is at least grocery store, maybe a restaurant, post, daycare, school… integrated already in the planning stage, all within walking distance of any bigger suburb.

I always think at first that why don’t you do something about gas consumption instead of complaining about prices,  ditch those ridiculous SUVs for smaller ones and reduce your gas consumption and pollution at once!

But unfortunately rising gas prices will always hit hardest the poor, students, young families… that are having it hard to start with. And there are always egomaniacs who might rather get in debt over their gas than to switch to a car more fitted to their current financial status.

I wish affordable transport to everyone, but it is time to realize that gas price will only run higher and higher, it might at times drop a little (just to satisfy customers for a while, until it rises even more) basically because eventually oil will run out.
I am one of those people who do not wish to see natural parks ruined because there *might* be enough oil underneath to  supply for few more years… We can live without black oil, we did that tens of thousands of years, but we can’t live without nature.

Time to start thinking alternatives, and start campaigning for better, safer public transport and more humane residential area structure, despite motor and oil company lobbyists trying to hush things.

—–

Huh. I didn’t mean this to turn this into an environmentalist rant, but I guess this is just one of my favorite subjects, mostly because I am so biased that I can’t seem to have a strick opinion about it, but often find myself leaning one way or another. It’s quite amusing arguing with yourself.

I LOVE cars and driving. I even have a truck driving licence (though it does not meet new requirements for driving semis but I have no need to update atm)
And to make it worse, I love OLD cars… I love the design, the sound, the seat of the pants driving without traction control, abs and actually having to focus on driving instead of modern car’s computer driving you (which results in people gettin overly confident in their driving skills, fiddling with mobiles while at it, and having a false feel of safety because their car is an airbag fortress – great tell that to the pedestrian you just killed)

And, I’m sure, if they made a hybrid in the shape of ´65 Mustang, with added soundbox for V8/12 engine instead of those ugly shapeless eggs that run in silence, more people might buy them.

But at the same time, I would LOVE to reduce private driving. Yet, that is something that can only be done by offering reasonable alternatives, NOT by putting taxes on it or tickets. As long as the bus or train ticket costs as much as gas to drive your car, while not offering enough flexibility in time tables or destination choice, I bet you would rather drive a car!

I guess in my dream world, no one would need to drive to work, or school or groceries… but just for a hobby sometimes…
I don’t know how that may collide with my other utopia, where people take horse carriages to the town, while long distance travel is done by ultra-high-speed underground trains.
Hee, I have lots of ideas, not good ideas or functional ideas, but I have ideas… if you have writer’s block on your sci-fi novel, just ring me up.


Mun auto EI ole kirppu... photo Kuva153_c.jpg
[ I thought my old nissan micra (R.I.P.) was tiny – until an old mini parked next to it]

Back to that Hungry Hippo I’m driving for the week.
Hungry for gas, Hippo for stiff steering – you have to make a 4-point turn in a space that my R.I.P. Nissan Micra would easily turn in a swift pirouette with no points at all. While at best conditions, it could run over 60miles with just a gallon of gas!
You can mock small cars Europeans drive all you want, but I dare you come over with your big truck, pay $9 a gallon for gas and try to park – or even fit – in center of any old European city with streets that are over 300 years old and originally fitted for one horse carriages.

The Hungry Hippo does have one advantage. When I had the tiny car, I freaked out every time I went out and didn’t see it on the parking lot that someone must have stolen it! False alarm, it’s just hiding behind other cars… While this hippo is easy to spot. It is the tallest car in our residence lot, if you don’t count the truck head someone stores in the corner.

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