Fair Warning: This edition of Mullings has little to recommend it. I suggest you take a bite of your morning bagel and move along to something else.
Now that gasoline has hit a gazillion dollars per gallon, I have been riding the Skippy Scooter into town to save money.
As I was weaving in and out of traffic and irritating drivers of vehicles weighing 20 times more than the SS, I wondered just how much am I saving?
Ok. Again, with the usual warning that my arithmetic skills are somewhat lacking here are the calculations:
Nationally, the average price of a gallon of regular gasoline is $3.07. Using the rule of thumb that the grades go up by ten-cents-per-gallon, let's say the price of a gallon of mid-grade is $3.17 - which is what I put in the Mullmobile.
The Mullmobile is a 1999 Land Rover Discovery with about 113,000 miles. It gets about 15 miles per gallon, which means, since I've owned it I have purchased some 7,333 gallons of fuel but that's not the point of this exercise.
From my house to my office is about nine miles. As luck would have it that means I use exactly six-tenths of a mile of gasoline to get to work. $3.17 times .6 equals about $1.90 in fuel costs. As I generally drive to work and then home again, that equals $3.80 for the round trip.
Now, the Skippy Scooter. It gets about 70 miles per gallon. That means the 18-mile round trip to and from work uses a little over a quarter of a gallon or about 80 cents worth of fuel.
That is a savings of $3.00 per day by driving my scooter.
My scooter cost about $2,300. If I drive it to work every day - rain or shine, summer or winter - it will take about three years to break even - sometime in May or June of 2010.
Not that good a deal because that assumes I drive to downtown Washington, DC five days a week, 52 weeks year which I will not do because I also have to fly 125,000 miles per year to keep Delta from sliding back into bankruptcy.
I was worrying about this as I drove to work this morning in the SUV. I stopped at the local Starbucks for my regular skim-no-whip-grande-mocha with two Splendas.
My regular s-n-w-g-m costs about four dollars.
Waiiiiitttt just a minute! When I drive the Mullmobile I stop for a s-n-w-g-m. Every time.
Inasmuch as driving the Skippy Scooter takes most of my eye-to-hand coordination, all of my concentration, and both hands I can't very well hold a cup of Starbucks while driving.
That means I'm not saving $3 per day when I take the scooter. I'm saving SEVEN DOLLARS per round trip.
I won't have to wait until May of 2010 to break even. I'll get there some time near the end of June of next year!
Say, if I buy one of those Segway things …
While I was dealing with these important matters, the House Democrats were continuing to bow to the pressure from the Left Wing of their party by bringing a bill to the floor which would have required a total withdrawal from Iraq within nine months.
It lost by a wide margin, but Speaker Nancy Pelosi admitted that the Democratic leadership needed to give the Left Wingers a vote on that bill so they would vote for their latest version of an Iraq funding bill which passed 221-205.
The funding bill, which the President has threatened to veto, releases half the money immediately, but requires another vote late in July before deciding to release the other half.
Senate Democrats are publicly saying they are losing patience with their House colleagues exclusive focus on the war funding issue to the exclusion of any domestic agenda.
This is what happens when you become a wholly owned subsidiary of the extreme wing of your Party. The only difference between the current situation and the early days of Republican control of the House is: The press give a great deal of attention to the Christian Coaltion.
It is ignoring the dangerous influence of MoveOn.org.
On a the Secret Decoder Ring page today: A link to the WashPost coverage of the House votes; a Mullfoto showing a very suspicious inspection sticker, and a Catchy Caption of the Day.