Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Michaelangelo's David Returns to Italy

Sometimes one picture is worth a thousand pounds!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Gas Lines in New Jersey? - Only At COSTCO

I have been to CostCo for gas and other things coast to coast. One of the things I always enjoyed was the exclusivity of going there; quite simply put, I paid to be a member, so I paid for the enjoyment of the discount. Sounds smug right; good it is supposed to.

Apparently the legislature in New Jersey does not think along the same lines. The discount clubs in this particular state are not permitted by law, to discount gasoline to members only, despite the fact that you are paying for that privilege. The gasoline must be sold to everyone at the same price, regardless of membership status.

A recent trip down Rt70 in Brick Township showed a small mob at the local CostCo. Regular gas was selling for $3.62 per gallon. Holy vapors Batman, we better get on line before it's gone!

You have to keep in mind that gas was selling down the road about a mile, in both directions, for $3.71 per gallon. A whopping 9 cents a gallon difference. One dollar and thirty-five cents on an average 15 gallon fill.

Now, you may say, why did I pick 15 gallons as the average. I was curious and decided to ask the gas jockey. Yes, in New Jersey (Oregon also) citizens are thought of as being too stupid to fill up their own tank. But I digress. The gas jockey says a great majority of the people filling up here, are waiting ten to fifteen minutes to gas up depending on the size of the line (that is queue for you Brits). Once at the pump the average sale is about 15 gallons of gas.

Okay... here's the bottom line of the story. You go to this CostCo gas station because you think you are saving money. You pull in and wait the 10-15 minutes. Waiting with the engine running and the air conditioning on, burns approximately 1/4 to 1/2 gallon of gas depending on the gas guzzler you own. At the $3.62 per gasllon you are about to spend, you just spent approximately $1.80 waiting to buy the gas. You could have driven, or maybe it was on the way, to the other station and paid the $3.71 a gallon.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Have An Accident? - Pay For The Response

Accident in Howell Twp. - Route 33 & Colts Neck Road

The accident that is played out in the video shown above, courtesy of the Asbury Park Press, is a common occurrence in any region of the USA. There are dozens of accidents nationally everyday, sometimes dozens just in one municipality. In this time of budget crunches in most of these municipalities, the following may prove to be a cash cow.

The time has finally come to have motorists pay directly for the emergency response to an accident. Yep, that's right, bill them directly. No insurance company, bill directly. If the motorist does not pay, garnish wages, or place a lean on their house if they own one.

Emergency service organizations and municipalities need to put a price tag on the cost of police, fire, EMS, and road crews, responding to the scene of an accident. Let's peg those costs directly to the drivers of the vehicles involved. If it's a three car accident, divide the cost of the response by three.

Let the insurance companies sort it out between them. I'm sure that the insurance industry will welcome this on two fronts. One, they may be able to sell optional Response Insurance to motorists. Secondly, this could actually have a significant impact on the accident rate. Maybe, just maybe, drivers may slow down, they may actually stop at a stop sign, they may actually signal a turn, they may actually yield to traffic, they may actually retract that middle finger and smile.