Congrats to Crucis on a bunch o’ things…..new Tahoe, birthday, anniversary…..all the good things! The Tahoe is a beaut and simply shouts ROAD TRIP! If it were me, I’d be planning one of those in a celebratory mood for the birthday and the anniversary….or some other excuse.
Perhaps it’s because I’m the daughter of what used to be known as a ‘traveling salesman’. My father was a manufacturers’ rep for electronics stuff and did business in the central Midwest. I enjoyed hearing about his trips and what he saw along the way.
After The Boys reached a manageable age I began short outings with my traveling pal, first only to northeast Missouri to a festival over Labor Day weekends. We’d figure out a way to make that short trek take an entire day….weaving and winding our way there, checking out cemeteries, small towns, rivers, covered bridges, Amish communities….arriving at our destination just in time to set up our wares in readiness for the weekend. It’s really pretty amazing what can be found between one side of the state and the other. We eventually added an annual trip to Colorado in June, leading us to more ‘expeditions’ across Kansas and Nebraska on our way there. I know people who can drive from here to there in one day. We always allowed at least two (preferably three) days to get there so that we could find new and exciting things and have even more ‘adventures’. Then….we added a trip back east, flying to either Baltimore or Washington, renting a car, and exploring Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland before and after a weekend event where we’d visit with old friends and ‘shop’. Granted, these were no trips to Alaska, or the trips from Canada to the south tip of South America, but they were fun and have provided lots of laughter in recalling them.
Sadly, I can’t see much more of this type of travel for us. The days of saying ‘ooooh, that looks interesting….let’s take that road and see where it goes!’ are likely long gone. Now I lay out a route for my weekend errands so’s I don’t waste the $3.35 gas and can continue to afford commuting to my job during the week.
And it’s not like there can’t be reasonably-priced gas (and food, and clothing, and tools….) it’s because those who produce the gas are not allowed to do so. It’s truly a diabolical plan to drive us into the ground and it’s hard to understand why….unless it is the collaboration of the government and the now government-owned car companies to force us into their cars and onto their government-run railroads. [It’s easier for them to keep track of us when we’re on the trains and tethered to their charging stations than when we’re able to wander off on our own in our own cars. OK, OK…….I’ll take off the tinfoil hat!]
This story on the Chevy Volt on Forbes’ website by Patrick Michaels is pretty damning:
The Chevrolet Volt is beginning to look like it was manufactured by Atlas Shrugged Motors, where the government mandates everything politically correct, rewards its cronies and produces junk steel.
This is the car that subsidies built. General Motors lobbied for a $7,500 tax refund for all buyers, under the shaky (if not false) promise that it was producing the first all-electric mass-production vehicle.
….It turns out that the premium-fuel fired engine does drive the wheels–when the battery is very low or when the vehicle is at most freeway speeds. So the Volt really isn’t a pure electric car after all. I’m sure that the people who designed the car knew how it ran, and so did their managers.
Why then the need to keep this so quiet? It’s doubtful that GM would have gotten such a subsidy if it had been revealed that the car would do much of its freeway cruising with a gas engine powering the wheels. While the Volt is more complicated than the Prius, and has a longer battery-only range, a hybrid is a hybrid, and the Prius no longer qualifies for a tax credit.
In other words, GM was desperate for customers for what they perceived would be an unpopular vehicle before one even hit the road. It had hoped to lure more if buyers subtracted the $7,500 from the $41,000 sticker price. Instead, as Consumer Reports found out, the car was very pricey. The version they tested cost $43,700 plus a $5,000 dealer markup (“Don’t worry,” I can hear the salesperson saying, “you’ll get more than that back in your tax credit!”), or a whopping $48,700 minus the credit.
This is one reason that Volt sales are anemic: 326 in December, 321 in January, and 281 in February. GM announced a production run of 100,000 in the first two years. Who is going to buy all these cars?
….It will be interesting to see what the range is on a hot, traffic-jammed summer day, when the air conditioner will really tax the batteries. When the gas engine came on, Consumer Reports got about 30 miles to the gallon of premium fuel; which, in terms of additional cost of high-test gas, drives the effective mileage closer to 27 mpg. A conventional Honda Accord, which seats 5 (instead of the Volt’s 4), gets 34 mpg on the highway, and costs less than half of what CR paid, even with the tax break.
Recently, President Obama selected General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt to chair his Economic Advisory Board. GE is awash in windmills waiting to be subsidized so they can provide unreliable, expensive power.
Consequently, and soon after his appointment, Immelt announced that GE will buy 50,000 Volts in the next two years, or half the total produced. Assuming the corporation qualifies for the same tax credit, we (you and me) just shelled out $375,000,000 to a company to buy cars that no one else wants so that GM will not tank and produce even more cars that no one wants. And this guy is the chair of Obama’s Economic Advisory Board?
Fortunately, it’s not quite as easy as the academics assumed it would be–getting us to all get in line and acquiesce to their central-planning dreams. Most of us [the great unwashed] still prefer our free will, our freedom to go where we want and when we want….basically the underlying premise of the United States….and will resist as long as possible their ideas of how we should live, what we should drive, what we should eat, how we should rear our children, which doctor to see, how long we should live….and on and on.
So, after that defiant rant I think I’ll head out on my Saturday errands in my mid-sized gas-guzzler and try to find some food that isn’t contaminated from radiation from Japan (think I should get a Geiger counter while I’m at it?) and I may even stray off my route and waste a little gas. That’ll show ’em!