Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Tanks 117/118 - 29 May 07

Courtney took the mighty Corolla on a trip over the weekend. It really messed up my mileage calculations and days between tanks averages. She filled 5.073 gallons and reset "A" odometer and presumably left "B" odometer to keep rolling. I filled up totally this morning with 6.196 gallons. But, her tally of miles gone when she filled with 5.073 gallons, when added to the 108.8 miles on odometer "A", does not total the 438.1 miles that were on odometer "B" that presumably she didn't touch!

So we're looking at either 38.30 MPG or 38.88 MPG, depending on what odometer reading is right.

This is what I get for letting someone else drive my car.

118 tanks, and three of them are now messed up and miscalculated because one of my wives decides to save a few pennies per gallon and only fill up half way!

It's going to take weeks for me to get this statistical anomaly out of my system.

But an odd discovery is that, either way you measure, I have traveled about 150 fewer miles in the first 19 tanks of 2007 than I did during the same number of tanks in 2006. And at a cheaper cost, too! But I expect gas will be more this summer, as I payed about 27 cents more per gallon than at the same time last year.

Still, the gas prices have not apparently caused many drivers to actually change their driving habits. They say you can increase your fuel economy 10% just by driving more sanely. I can't get much better than 38 MG, but I will keep trying all summer.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Tank 116 - 23 May 2007

Today was odd in that when I got to Costco, the pumps were programmed wrong, and charging the wrong price for gas. It was $7.777 a gallon!

A guy with a three-wheel motorcycle had just finished pumping $100 into his tank at that price, and a woman warned me to not pump anything, because she hit $60 before noticing the trouble.

The station attendant was on the phone trying to sort things out. This must have been hard at 6:30 in the morning.

So I went to Wawa and got 2.996 gallons and made it to work, where I filled the remaining tank with 8.816 gallons, for a total of 11.812 gallons on 450.3 miles for this tank. Mileage was pretty good at 38.12 MPG.

My "low fuel" light did not turn on until I passed 404 miles this tank, which was nice.

I have spent $415.37 so far this year on gas, at an average price of $2.312 per gallon.

Last year after the same number of tanks, I had spent $421.23 on gas, at an average price of $2.384 per gallon.

But this year I have travelled 6567.3 miles on 17 tanks, while last year I made it only 6376.9 miles on the first 17 tanks.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Capzasin alert!

So I heard of this stuff "capzasin," a balm of sorts that can be rubbed
on achy joints to ease the pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis or
other muscle aches. It's made of the same stuff (capzasin, go figure!)
that makes hot chili peppers hot.

It now comes in a convenient rub-on applicator, like a bingo card
marker. I thought it would be a nice thing to buy some for Courtney to
see if it would help with her symptoms. So I got a tube yesterday
afternoon and tested it on my knuckles after work. My knuckles were,
for the sake of this true story, aching from a long day of typing emails
and other work-related projects.

So I rub it on the knuckles of both hands around 4:20. I feel nothing
after about 15 minutes, so I do it again. Stuff like Icy Hot you can
feel immediately, so I thought I didn't put on enough.

That is when I chose to read the instructions. The first line says DO
NOT APPLY TO HANDS. WASH HANDS IMMEDIATELY AFTER CONTACT.

Oh boy. There's no water in the car so I think "how bad can it be, I
don't feel anything right now." But just to be safe, I try avoiding
touching my eyes or nose or pretty much anything else.

After dinner, my hands are totally burning, like a bad bad sunburn, or
like I put my hands too close to the grill for too long. Constant
irritation and stinging, like my hands just ate a hot pepper!

But I can't tell Courtney because she'll ask what was I thinking in the
first place and I must avoid that embarrassment.

And then I go to bed at 10:00 and my eye starts burning. I must have
touched my eye at some point. Not a good night's sleep for me.

And even as I drove to work this morning, more than 14 hours after
putting that crap on my hands, the backs of my fingers are still
sensitive and irritated.

Those Capzasin people weren't joking when they said not to get it on
your hands, man!

Yet after this, I am strangely drawn towards further experiments. I
think this afternoon I might rub it on my.... hamstring muscle that
feels all tight after I go jogging, just to see what will happen there.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Yesterday I was driving around a corner, and a guy had just parked his
car on the side of the road and whipped his door open all the way so he
could exit his car. I turn the corner and see this car door whipping
open, but I can't go into the other lane because another car is there
coming towards me in that lane. I try to slow down even more and the
guy still is stepping out of his car and he sees me in my big green
commode right near where he's getting out his car.

So he gives me a nasty look and waves his hands like "what the heck are
you doing? I'm getting out my car heeeeah!"

Now I am wondering about when did it become acceptable, accepted, or
expected that the people who are clearly in the wrong or acting
dangerously now are the victims to be pitied when their actions put them
directly in harm's way?

What was I supposed to do? Weave into the oncoming car and run that
other car off the road because this dumb guy didn't look for oncoming
traffic when he whipped open his car door?

Why did I get the nasty look of doing something wrong WHEN I WAS SLOWING
DOWN TO AVOID HITTING THIS PERSON AND THE ONCOMING CAR?

Why is it that stupidity and carelessness must be treated like it takes
precedence over common sense?

Maybe it's the whole "I was tripped, but he just fell because he's an
idiot" mentality of mine, but I really think he was the guy who messed
up by whipping open his car door without looking.

But whatever.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Tank 115 - 14 May 2007

Filled up again at my local Costco with 10.578 gallons. After going 384.0 miles, that worked out to just 36.30 MPG. This was disappointing and the worst mileage in a month. But coming off of a great mileage of near 39 with my last tank, it evened out a little bit.

It appears that, although my pumping style is the same each fill-up -- pump until the first click, count to ten and pump again until the second click -- the amount of gas between the first and second click is sometimes a lot, maybe half a gallon, and sometimes a little, less than a quarter gallon.

With a small gas tank like mine, this difference can affect mileage by half-a-mile-per-gallon.

Overall, the mighty Corolla has returned overall mileage of 36.23 MPG, and averaging 36.68 MPG in 2007.

Interestingly, with all the news of record high gas prices, at $2.789/gallon, gas is just three cents more this May than last May, and well below the highest I have ever paid for gas, $2.959.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

59 Minutes on 5/9

In addition to tracking my fuel economy in great detail, I also have
been tracking my evening commute times.

On Wednesday, my trip home was two minutes longer than average, but this
morning I noticed that 59 minutes on 5/9 looks pretty neat!

Not quite as awesome as the 02:03:04 o5/06/07 we had last weekend, I
suppose, but a small piece of cheer nonetheless!

Friday, May 4, 2007

Tank 114 - 4 May 2007

This morning I was first in line at Costco. I got there right as it opened up at 6:00 a.m. It turned out to be a good thing, because 10.635 gallons later I saw that my 412.6 miles worked out to be 38.80 miles per gallon.

I went nine days between tanks.

This is the third highest mileage figure this year, bringing my average mileage for 2007 up to 36.70 miles per gallon.

It is also the sixth consecutive tank of over 400 miles. I noticed this time that I actually went 406 miles before the reminder light even came on.

I suspect this spike in fuel economy may be due to the tire that was leaking that I had replaced. Proper tire pressure really counts!

If my next tank is also close to 38 MPG, it should remove any doubt that this tank had high mileage due to putting in less gas than normal. But I did run the pump until the third shutoff click because I wasn't expecting it to turn off in the 10 gallon range.

A nice tank overall.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

News Anchor Late to Work

Yesterday morning one of the two anchors on the early morning news show
I watch as I eat my Pop Tarts was LATE. She showed up in the middle of
the broadcast and the weathermen (yes, two weathermen at 5:30 in the
morning!) were picking on this girl for being late!

They come back from commercials and you see her rolling fast up to her
spot behind the desk and stopping suddenly at her spot next to Doug,
reaching for a pencil or something off camera, a huge smile on her face,
her hair whipping around as she hurries to her post and she says
something like "welcome back to ABC 7 news. Time for traffic and
weather, let's go to Adam Caskey who's out in the field with StormChaser
7..."

And Adam starts his little weather eye report and throws it back to
Brian in the studio:

ADAM: So Brian, did you get a good night's sleep last night?

BRIAN: Why, yes, Adam, I sure did. And you?

ADAM: Oh yeah, Brian! And I got here all ready to be on my live remote
with StormChaser 7 on time this morning!

BRIAN: That's Awesome, Adam! Hey Alison, how did you sleep last night?

ALISON: Brian, I have three alarm clocks and none of them worked!

BRIAN and ADAM: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

...or something like that.

If you saw this on Washington DC's channel 7, please let me know if I
have the story right. It seemed like they all had a fun little time
picking on Alison and I hope nothing bad happened to her because she
overslept.