Archive for December, 2008

I’m a little late to the party on this.  Spiney has been somewhere between depression, exhaustion, busy, and malaise. As anyone who drives has noticed the price of gas has dropped very steadily for a high during the Summer and Political Primary season of about $4.10 here in Eastern PA to a current $1.60 and dropping.  I know the gas and oil futures continue to drop and many experts are predicting gas to go back to $1.00 a gallon.  This would bring it down to where it was in the early 80’s. I’ve already seen more ads for the Hummer H3 on TV.  If history repeats itself anyone who sold their big SUV or 4wd Truck at a big loss to buy onto the Prius waiting list will be kicking themselves pretty hard any day now.  There will also be less interest in building greener cars, smaller more practical vehicles, and the brakes will be hit on Solar, Wind-Power, and other alternative plans that were all the rage at $4 a gallon gas.  I lived through the first big “Oil Crises”  I was a new driver, was really into alternative energy back then, around 1977. I sat in long lines to get my allotted gallons of gas on my odd or even day that I could get gas in my 68 mustang. I saw gas go from $0.35 up to $1.50 almost overnight.  We swore then that we would become energy independent from OPEC. Back then the Prius of the day was the Volkswagen Rabbit Diesel.  There was a waiting line and claims of 50 MPG.  They sold so many that Volkswagen built a plant in Western PA just to meet demand.  Then for some reason, gas dropped down to about $0.75 / gallon and we were all relieved.  We thanked God for giving us back relatively cheap gas, those who sold their Muscle-Cars or Big cruisers like Chevy Impalas, or Cadillacs and were now wedged into a Rabbit, kicked themselves and we got stupid again.  The Solar panels put on the White house roof were taken down. Solar, Wind, etc were left to the outback people who read “Mother Earth News”  I was one of them. America got on the first Van craze where everyone had to have a tricked out Van with shag carpet, fat tires, 8 track stereo. MPG be damned.  I hope and pray that President Obama will stick to his guns about energy independence.  Because I believe what was said by CNBC money madman Jim Cramer the other day.  He said that oil has dropped low on purpose by the Saudi’s so we will forget about alternative energy and becoming independent. Gas will go back up, once the excitement is gone, and the plug is pulled for all of the government funded and mandated energy programs.  It will go back up.  Not back to $4 /gallon.  It will go to about $2.50 – $2.75.  And we will be so glad we are not paying $4 /gallon that we will thin we dodged that bullet.  All the while the OPEC nations, many who HATE us such as Iran, Venezuela, Putin of the former and soon to be again Soviet Union.  They all have come to rely on oil money to fund their militarys, pay for their socialist programs, and pad their pockets.  So they will play with supply and demand until they are making $80 a barrel again.  Last Week it hit a low of $33 and in July of 2008 it hit a high of about $148.   Do yourself and your Country, your children, and your Earth a favor. Act as if gas is $4 a gallon.  Demand advances in alternative energy. Demand the electric car.  The car company’s are all in Washington begging for money because they got greedy and stupid. They had 2 energy crises before to see the writing on the wall, but they continued to build bigger and bigger vehicles, and convinced the public that they didn’t really love their family unless they put them in an Urban Assault Vehicle aka a Hummer.  GM built and killed the electric car in the 90’s but now 10 years later they need time and money to build what? an electric car!  And they helped with the economic crises because maybe you can’t afford to buy a Hummer or Escalade, or Eddie Bauer edition Bronco, but we can lease one to you.  So your driveway of the house you can’t afford looks as successful as your neighbor, who by the way can’t afford his either.   Hell GMAC the financing arm of General Motors, GM even gave you the Mortgage you can’t afford.

So once again, let your neighbor who’s ego is many times the size of his or her…brain fall back into the Bigger is better trap.  This is your chance to be ready to laugh at them all when heating oil hits $3 gallon plus, or the same for gasoline. You will take the smarter path less traveled in your Hybrid to your affordable house with the solar panels on the roof, and the community windmill on the hill.  That’s my goal.  What say you?   Spiney

Conspiracy Theory or How GWB added a quick couple of billion to his retirement account

PS there is one thing I would be amiss not to say.  Mrs. Spiney has a theory about the quick spike we recently went through with Gas and Oil.  It’s a conspiracy theory but a good logical one.  President Bush, his family, and many of his friends are former, current, or future oil people. Knowing his eight year reign was quickly coming to an end, he wanted to make sure he was set for life.  Being a multi-millionaire  isn’t enough these days, you’ve got to be in the Billionaire Boys Club if you really want to play.  So what better way to pad your war chest and impress your friends than to manipulate the oil market to make record breaking profits, money never before heard of. While your at it, you even are silly enough to get yourself videotaped doing “The Sword Dance” with the Prince of Saudi Arabia.  Then to help the little guy, us, and to protect your friend from the new regimes promise of energy independence you throttle back oil prices. Just days after the election.  Think about it and connect the dots.  I think she’s onto something here!!  That’s why I married her.  Beauty and Brains.


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To use and update a Bruce Springsteen’s song we have 357 channels and nothings on.  Bruce’s original was 57 channels and nothins on, an ode to cable TV.  We we don’t get out much here at the Spiney household so we invest in digital cable which gets us many channels, but not alas any of the subscription ones, or the one that has the movie or show that looks interesting.  Tonight we had a little age regression in the Spiney House.  The Mrs. and the Mother-in-Law both worked today after having travelled or had a busy day yesterday.  Spiney, yours truly did a little traveling today.  While it was a beautiful 60 + degrees, it was very foggy.  Also I had travelled much both before, during and after Christmas, so my pain threshold was low, my pain was high, and we were all tired.  Well when your a kid, someone tells you when to go to bed, and you resent them.  When your an adult, there is no one to be the voice of reason.  Your tired, your cranky, and on top of that you just had a very late supper of take out Chinese.  A bad setup indeed.  You then feel, somewhat justified that you deserve a little entertainment before you give in, even though you are tired and cranky.  A check of the regular suspects ABC, CBS, and NBC shows re-runs, or Sports, or the Sound of Music.  Personally I could have lulled into the alive hills full of musical sounds, but it was on until 11pm, and lights out was 10pm.  So I suggested we watch Mama Mia, light, airy, no-brainer.  I was shot down, the girls weren’t into a musical.  I then saw Paladia had Christina Aguillera concert on.  Looked good to me, “No Music was the cry of the land”, but I wanted to see it so I hit record on the DVR.  We had 20 things on the DVR that someone wanted to see bad enough at one time, so that they taped them.  But noooooo, no one wanted to watch those.  So disgusted, I turned the entertainment selection over to Mrs Spiney.  She was tired, cranky, wanted to watch something, but like a cranky toddler, nothing suited.  Then to top it off, we get a phone call from someone who wanted to talk, probably needed to talk.  But when your tired, cranky, and miserable the last thing you want to do is talk.  I tried, but gave up after 10 minutes.  Finally after wasting probably an hour the voice of reason called off the hounds, turned off the TV and said lets go to bed.  This made Spiney think about the origins of two great little numbers.  The previously mentioned “57 Channels and nothins on” by Bruce and “I want to be sedated” by the Ramones.  I could relate to both.  Why when we are fully emancipated adults do we not know when to quit?  Why do I hear so often I’m so tired at say 3:00 in the afternoon on a day off.  I reply, lets take a nap.  Not some convoluted ploy to get Mrs Spiney in Bed, just a simple let’s take a nap.  I can’t I hear, it’s my day off and I need to do something.  The Mexicans, or anyone else that is wise enough to take a siesta, my hat or sombrerro is off to you my Amigo.  You are smart enough and man enough to say Whens when.  And what is wrong with silence, music, read the paper, or talk?  I love entertainment, but if there is truly nothing on, why then keep searching, or worse watch a re-run, just to watch something.  Thank God cooler heads prevailed and we pulled the big plug and called it a day before I had to be sedated.  Can you relate?  If so drop us a note of how you and yours doesn’t know when to quit and call it a day.  Thanks,  Spiney

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