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The Political and Religious Views of a Not Quite Normal Citizen of the Greatest Country in the World

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Power Up

You know, I wish I could say it this well, but I can't.

The Devil's Panties - 10/22/2012

Being a Heathen as well as have a Masters Degree in engineering, I'm all for as many alternatives for powering my life as possible.  Clean, efficient, reliable power is what we all (I think anyway) want in our lives.  Saving the planet is a great goal, but we can do that and research nuclear, natural gas, coal, wind, hydro, geo and solar power possibilities.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Hybrid Cars – An Unscientific Study

I was able to get to try a hybrid car recently (it was the rental I got when my car was being repaired) and I wanted to share my thoughts.  This is, like the title says, and unscientific study, as I only had one car to compare with my normal car, but I think the results are rather telling.  First, some facts so that we can do a decent comparison.  My normal car is a 2012 Honda Civic, purchased new.  As of this writing, it has just over 16,000 miles on it.  The rental was a 2012 Kia Optima and had just under 3,000 miles on it when returned.  This comparison was done while commuting, which involves 156 miles per day on some combination of the Garden State Parkway, New Jersey Turnpike, US 195 and the Pennsylvania Turnpike, along with a small amount of local roads.  It’s safe to say that this is what you would call “highway” as far as gas mileage is concerned.

Typically I have to fill up the car every 2 days of commuting, and this is just over 10 gallons.  I’m going to just use 10 to make the math easier.  That produces approximately 31.2 mpg for the Civic.  With the Optima, I was able to go 3 days of commuting before filling up.  “That’s great!” you might say, “A 50% increase.”  Nope.  Sorry.  It turns out that the Optima’s gas tank took just over 15 gallons when filled up.  That produces, you guessed it, 31.2 mpg.  Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the EXACT same number.  OK, I rounded, so it’s not exact, but it’s close enough that I feel the hybrid gave me no appreciable gain, at least not enough of one to justify the added purchase price.

How much more would a hybrid cost, you may wonder.  Well, here are the numbers for identically equipped vehicles, purchased new (all prices MSRP from their respective websites):

                                     Standard       Hybrid        Premium for Hybrid
2012 Honda Civic         $15,955        $24,200      $8,245
2012 Kia Optima          $23,950        $26,450      $2,500

Even taking the Kia premium cost of $2,500, it’s too much for no additional performance.  Is this to say that someone with a more “local” commute won’t save anything in gas?  I can’t say.  What I can say, and why this is on the political blog as opposed to the other one, is DO NOT buy a hybrid if you plan on using it mostly for Highway driving.  It just will not pay you back.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Get a G.R.I.P.

It is now officially 5 weeks until the election this year and I, quite frankly, am fed up with politics.  Gone are the times when office holders considered themselves public servants and now all of them, even the ones that seem to be working for us, are just out for their careers.  No, I don’t have any proof for what I say, it is just the feeling I get watching the three ring circus we call government.  So, thanks to Jim Gearhart (the morning host on NJ 101.5), I am fully endorsing G.R.I.P. for this election.  What does it stand for, you ask?  Get Rid of Incumbent Politicians.  How does it work?  You take your sample ballot, mark down who currently holds the office, and vote for someone else.  “But I can never vote for someone with <insert letter> after their name!”  Well, you sir or madam, are part of the problem.  Your blind faith to a group, or worse, blind hatred of the other group, is why we’re on the road to Demolition Man becoming a reality.

So remember when you walk into that voting booth this November, G.R.I.P!  It sure as heck can’t be any worse.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to try and get out of this hand-basket before we get to where we’re going.