Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Gas Sucks

So... Unless you've been living in a cave, you know that gas is expensive.

Where I currently live, gas is around $3.70-3.80USD/gal. And unless you've been living under a rock, you also know that people are trying to save money, by shopping at the cheapest gas stations. I haven't played with the figures before, so for your joy and education, I'll explain several figures and numbers.

First off, let's figure out some statistics. This fall I will be traveling at least 40 miles a day, 5 days a week. I may be doing more, so lets go with 240 miles a week. My car gets about 20 mpg.

Today, I purchased gas for $3.74, instead of $3.88 at the highest station I saw. According to my calculations, (assuming 240 gallons), I would have paid $44.99, rather than $46.67, coming to a savings of a whopping $1.68. I suppose I could have bought something at the dollar store or off a dollar menu at a fast food joint for that much.

On a yearly basis (52 weeks - though I don't drive 240 each week, so this won't even be accurate), that would mean I would save a total of $87.36. If I continually managed to save $.14/gallon. That is a fairly substantial annual savings, however usually the prices are less.

What does it look like if we average $.05 per gallon savings, for a whole year, at 240 miles? That's 60₵ per week, or $31.20 a year.

So we've been looking at a weekly average of 240 miles. What if you average less, say around 100 miles per week, with a 5₵ savings in gas. That's 25₵ per week, or $13 per year. Not as substantial, although for $13 you can almost go see a movie with two people. Once a year. With your gasoline savings.

So, in some cases it makes a lot of sense to find the cheapest gas, in others, it doesn't. If you'd like to experiment with your own data, this program allows you to change the gas prices, mpg, and miles driven. It then computes monthly and annual savings.

It's written in python, if you don't have python, you'll have to download it here.


1 # Wayne Werner
2 # Copyright July, 2008
3 # This code may be distributed and modified for personal or non-commercial
4 # use only.
5 # Gas Savings Calculator
6 # Used for calculating weekly, monthly, and yearly gas savings
8 from decimal import Decimal
9 from os import system
10 clear = system('clear') # Change 'clear' to 'cls' on a Windows machine
12 # Retrieves information from user, converting it to decimal type
13 gasA = Decimal(raw_input('Lower Gas Price: $'))
14 gasB = Decimal(raw_input('Higher Gas Price: $'))
15 mpg = Decimal(raw_input('Miles per gallon: '))
16 miles = Decimal(raw_input('Miles Traveled: '))
19 clear # Clears the screen
21 # Creates a list of miles, by 10, up to the miles traveled, to show
22 # what the savings would be for lesser miles traveled
23 24 my_range = range(10, miles, 10)
25 if my_range[-1] != miles:
26 my_range.append(int(miles))
28 # Prints column headers
29 print "%6s %7s %7s %11s\n" % \
30 ('Miles', 'Price A', 'Price B', 'Difference')
32 # Loops over the values in my_range, computing the total price for
33 # each price of gasoline.
34 for x in my_range:
35 if x == my_range[-1]: # Linebreak before the final values
36 print "\n",
37 priceA = (x/mpg) * gasA
38 priceB = (x/mpg) * gasB
39 diff = priceB - priceA
40 print "%6i $%6.2f $%6.2f $%4.2f" % (x, priceA, priceB, diff)
42 # Computes yearly and monthly savings, based on the difference
43 annual_savings = 52 * diff
44 monthly_savings = 4 * diff
45 print "\nAt an average weekly savings of $%.02f, your monthly savings will b
e $%.02f.\nYour annual savings will be $%.02f." \
46 % (diff, monthly_savings, annual_savings)

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Monday, July 28, 2008


So, I forgot to write in my journal last night, so I decided I'd at least write in here so I don't feel like a complete slacker!

Right now I'm on my favourite seat in the house, probably until I leave for work. Yesterday was pretty awesomesauce, because I got to fast with my geekheart. It was wonderful, and I look forward to the next time we can. And of course each and every subsequent time.

This morning I got to talk to her, and she sent me a pic. As usual, just thinking about her makes me feel so fuzzy, it's ridiculous. And awesome.

The next time we'll get time in person is after my birthday when she comes out here. I'm rather excited for that. I mean, duh! lol.

I'll be working on my art today, doing some studies in anatomy, via Riven Phoenix's ''the structure of man'' tutorials. If you're aspiring to draw any art at all, I highly suggest it!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Town Square

Here in Poteau Oklahoma they have this town square. I really like it... as you may be able to see, there are several benches with tables, there's a nice fountain, a mural, and some greenery. So far, every time I've been here it's been empty... of course it has been 8 am. Still, it's a nice little nook in the center of town. More cities should have this sort of thing. It also appears that they have decent lighting... and now that I look around a bit more, they have a stage, too. I'm seriously impressed. So if you're in Poteau, Oklahoma, check out town square.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


ok, so it's his own house, and he keeps walking in and out all day long... but hey, at least it's not made up!


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I Void Warranties

I want this shirt. I like to make my own things, and fix that which breaks. NPR has an interview with Mr. Jalopy. The interview is really rather interesting. There's an artist, Nemo Gould, who says
A lot of average suburban men would have a metal lathe in their garage. That's something you can't even conceive of today. But it was sort of common. ... 'Oh, well, if my lawn mower breaks, I'll want to fix it, won't I?'

That's the kinda guy I want to be.

Mr. Jalopy is part of the Maker movement. Basically people who want to feel like they actually *own* their own stuff. Do you really own something that you can't take apart and fix, upgrade, or modify? Or are you just renting the thing? Mr. Jalopy feels that the ability to perform such actions on the things you purchase is what really defines ownership. I think I'd have to agree.

Take the example of my car. It's a 1995 Nissan Maxima. Not so recently, the key I had broke off in the lock. And since the key doesn't work in the passenger door (for some strange reason) my only option was to leave my doors unlocked so I could actually get back in it. Or pay some extreme price to have the door fixed. Since I wasn't too fond of that option, I decided to take the trim off and see if I could fix it myself. I had to do a lot of work on it, but with very little problems, I was able to take the door off and figure out how to fix it.

Not because of the inherent design, but because I've had quite a bit of experience now with making repairs I'm not supposed to.

Actually, I'd like that shirt better as a hat, so I could wear it when I'm voiding warranties.

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