In a scene right out of Mad Max, some places are now charging $5.90 a gallon for unleaded. The premium fuel has actually hit six bucks.
SIX DOLLARS! A GALLON!
Where is this? Some remote whaling village in Norway? No, it’s right here in the USA.
Here’s a snapshot of the sign out in front of the Chevron station in Shoshone, California — which is located close to Death Valley. Admittedly, this is a tough place to reach. So, gas is going to cost a little more in out-of-the-way places where it simply costs more money to transport fuel from the producer to the consumer.
But a 50 percent markup from the national average of just under $4 a gallon? (Note: This sign and price was not unusual — other stations in the area had similar prices per gallon).
Might this be a conspiracy?
Let’s agree that it costs significantly more to truck gasoline to remote parts of the country, such as Death Valley. I’m not sure precisely how much more it takes to drive a tanker from a fuel hub such as Los Angeles, which is 200 miles west. But let’s concede that it costs more.
I wonder — does it cost any more to transport fuel out to the desert than, let’s say, to a small town in the hills of Tennessee, where the same gallon of unleaded gas now costs $3,89 a gallon?
Someone please explain this to me. $5.90 a gallon in Shoshone….$3.89 a gallon in Gatlinburg.
Roughly the same geography from refineries and tankers, and the same reliance on overland transport. Shouldn’t the high dessert in California and the Smokey Mountains in Tennessee have roughly the same gas prices?
Again, please educate me.
Moreover, Id like to know that if indeed it’s more difficult to move goods to the consumer to a place like Shoshone, then why aren’t the other products also marked up significantly? A coke that costs $1 in Los Angeles is not priced at $1.50 in Shoshone. In fact, it’s the same $1. A candy bar that costs 60 cents elsewhere is also 60 cents here. Same with just about everything — except gasoline.
When people in one part of the country are forced to pay a 50 percent markup on a product that is widely available in similar regions at a substantially lower cost, something is very wrong.
I have a solution: I hope the day comes when this nation nationalizes the oil industry. Seize them all. Acquire all their assets. Take them over in the public interest and damn all the greedy shareholders who are caught holding an empty bag.
But all this pales in comparison to my final inquiry. Alas, I’ve saved the biggest question for last. Take a close look at that sign again. Look carefully.
I wonder — can’t the idiot who runs the Chevron gas station afford some legitimate signage, rather than using black electrician’s tape? I mean, the criminal oil company and the service station are raping consumers to the tune of $6 a gallon. And the sign looks like a fucking lemonade stand?
Be on the lookout for a sick pervert in the habit of trolling women’s restrooms.
He was recently photographed on Thursday at noon in the tiny desert town of Shoshone, California at a Chevron gas station. The perverted man appeared shocked just as he was caught in the act of leaving a women’s restroom. Check out the look on his face. This disgusting man is clearly guilty of immoral acts, and perhaps worse.
This man is a danger to society. He remains at large and was last seen headed in the direction of Las Vegas.
I average approximately three laptops per year. What this means is — I somehow manage to lose or destroy about three laptops every 12 months. Given those dismal odds, I started buying refurbished laptops a few years ago — which refers to discounted merchandise that went through hell and was returned to the store usually by some lying scumbag who pretty much did a war dance on the keyboard and then blamed the computer for suddenly “not working.”
Things got so bad for awhile, that I resorted to buying used laptops off of Craig’s List — which is really scrapping the bottom of the barrel. I figure — why spend $795 paying retail at the store when you can fork over $250 for a used machine from some thief that will probably last just as long?
You’ve already read what happened to my new Acer while visiting France. I bought that machine at Costco for $695. It lasted only a month before some punk walked into my hotel and stole it. Read the story here: WHERE’S INSPECTOR CLOUSEAU WHEN YOU NEED HIM?
So this week, as soon as I got back home, I returned to Costco again and bought the same Acer model that had been pilfered in Cannes.
This one lasted a day.
Even worse, I somehow managed to destroy my backup HP mini-laptop — the one I use in case of emergencies. You know, such as when something goes wrong with the primary laptop.
How this happened is a marvel not to be believed. Here it goes:
Wednesday afternoon I was busy installing files onto both laptops — the new 16-inch Acer and the older 12-inch HP. The laptops were plugged into the wall and sat on the floor beneath my office desk.
Marieta usually makes me a tumbler full of some kind of cocktail during the late afternoon. The tumbler is actually a stainless steel mixer that’s commonly used as a shaker by bartenders. At home, I prefer my cocktails served in a giant tumbler which stays colder longer because its made of metal rather than glass.
I have absolutely no idea how the following happened. But we do own two cats — Alex and Faro — and they’re both now serious suspects. I sat the 20-ounce tumbler down on top of the desk and walked away. Meanwhile, the two computers beneath the desk were downloading new programs.
When I returned a few minutes later, I saw a horrifying sight. The empty tumbler was laying on its side. Liquid was spilled all over the desk and was dripping down onto the two laptops beneath. The carpeting was SOAKED. Both laptops were open and had a puddles of liquid and ice cubes all over both keyboards.
It was not a pretty sight.
No big deal, I thought.
I grabbed a towel and padded down both laptops, hoping to soak up what remained of what would have been a delicious Rum Runner. To my amazement, the Acer keyboard no longer worked. Worse, the HP showed a black screen. After rebooting both laptops several times, I feared the worst — an accidental spill had wiped out not just one, but two laptops — one of them not even 24 hours new out of the box.
A hectic web search on my wife’s desktop (she usually forbids me to touch her computer, for some reason) found one possible fix — holding a hair dryer over the keyboard and blowing hot air into the motherboard. Supposedly, this dries out the liquid trapped inside. I tried that. It didn’t work.
I allowed the laptops to rest and dry out overnight; but when both laptops were turned on this morning, the results were exactly the same. The bottom line was — two laptops had been destroyed in my faux home happy hour.
The HP appears to be fried. Ruined. Gone. Oh well — no big loss. I bought that unit for $140 off Craig’s List a year ago.
But the Acer was more problematic. I’m not exactly sure what the warranty says about spilling cocktails onto the keyboard and the liability thereof, but I decided to chance it and try and return the laptop to Costco, hoping for an exchange. This afternoon, I returned the Acer with the keyboard that mysteriously no longer works, with no questions asked. For those out there in the market for a refurbished laptop, you may want to avoid a silver Acer if you lean over the keyboard and get a heavy whiff of Bacardi.
So, for those keeping score — that’s four computers destroyed in 2012. And, I still have nearly three months left to go.
What you’re reading now is my first post on a brand new Acer, bought (you guessed it) at Costco. In a few minutes, Marieta will be bringing me a Tennessee Highball, encased in my beloved silver tumbler.
If you don’t see me updating my blog for the next few days, you can pretty much guess what happened. And keep those cats out of the office.