Thursday, September 22, 2005


Lovely Rita, Meter Maid, has just raised the price for parking in our United States.

It's unfathomable so much destruction has Gulf communities in it's grip this year, as has never before occurred. It's horrific to be sitting here hundreds of miles away momentarily safe, watching and knowing we're all always at the mercy of our planet's natural power.
Most people who've known me realize I've had a forboding gloom over me about this loud fact in my mind ever since the Tsunami hit December 26, 2005. Nature is on the rampage this year, temperature warming, species changing food sources, species dissapearing, polar ice flows melting, and the axis shifted one degree off normal, these are just a few changes this planet is adapting too.
In an attempt to lighten up I've been writing a silly song about moving to the mountains and then building a house up on stilts, and hoping it's high enough. But of course it turns out that it isin't safe from nature's fury either, because the top of the mountain becomes a volcano and blows off in a rain of molten magma. There's just no more feeling safe for us all. The message I hear in it is futility. It's the same story learned in my old fav folk tunes in my youth, like the maid who keeps trying to sweep the waves back into the sea.
... "Oh life is a toil and love is a trouble, beauties they fade and riches they flee. Pleasures they dwindle and prices they double, and nothing is what I would wish it to be!"
There's no brushing off Rita, the second category 5 in the Gulf of Mexico in less than a month, stalking the next door neighbors of the last victims because we haven't been hurt enough yet, never mind adding on the violent sins of fellows in our midst.
I periodically read a blog by a talented young lass photographer who was recently traveling the world. Until just a few entries ago, when she touched base, I didn't know her home town was in Northern Ireland. Last week, she posted about a recent bombing as a witness to driving past damage in Belfast.
I've spent a little research time trying to clarify some commentary items, so I can better understand. Maybe this will help us spoiled Americans not be so angry about the prices we're about to pay for our fuel...

excerps from: "an illumination from glances" Esther's blog
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Quote:
"Thursday, September 15, 2005
casually dressed and deep in conversation.

in conversation with santa caterina yesterday:

yes because while the rest of the uk gears up for petrol price hikes and fuel protests and whatnot, northern irish people COLLECT PETROL IN BOTTLES, SET FIRE TO IT AND THROW THESE AT EACH OTHER. or the police.
clearly they have no idea how stupid this looks to the rest of the world.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ comments
zeb said... Don't forget the wearing of balaklavas. I've told Catherine before, to the world this in the uniform of Northern Ireland. Probably with combats as well. You're not really from NI unless you've got a balaklava and a petrol bomb.

10:23 AM
zeb said...
Actually, it's a bit like northerners with flatcaps and whippets.

10:25 AM
esther said...
hehehehe but middle class girls such as catherine and myself do not possess such things! besides, i am probably allergic to combats. definitely allergic to petrol bombs.

4:45 PM
Snaggle Tooth said...
At the moment I don't remember what balaklavas is... My brother-in-law from Wales would know... But I'll tell ya, if ya stood on the street corner in the USA and sold those bottles of petrol, you'd be rich in no time!The thought of wasting it at these prices does indeed seem silly!

12:44 AM
zeb said... traditional dress, inc balaklavas. (this is what google is for.)

Consider that ptrol costs 5x more in the UK than the US before you complain about your prices there (£1 a litre in Oxford). You don't know you're born, as they say around here."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Unquote

2:43 PM
Snaggle Tooth said...
Reply ... many days later...
Zeb, thank you for the answer to my comment, and showing me a good picture example. You got me off on a fact finding quest.
some google search information I found:
"Unit Regulations
Balaklavas or Knitted Hoods Scarves Mittens Wristers. Knitted articles were generally provided..."

"16 Reasons To Wear a Helmet
In cold weather, wear ear warmers or thin cloth hoods (called balaklavas) under your helmet for warmth. “Helmets are uncomfortable.” ..."
I bet they are! I'm allergic to dust mites which must be washed from all garments I wear a minimum interval of every two weeks or else I'll swell like a balloon! Used to think it was the wool, then was tested and found out the items just hadn't been washed correctly... (need hot water) I have MANY allergies. I also detest violence against others, unless used in self-defense, What I'd call "unnecessary harm."
I guess "knit garments" explains the term balaklavas...

How educational it was to research all this information! I just found out that a gallon in the UK is larger than a gallon in the US!
1 gallon = 4.546 09 litres *But not according to this stated UK and US difference*
I therefore am not certain about the validity of this "standard weights and measures" chart info found online...
1 litre = 1.761 pints = 0.881 quarts = 0.220 gallons; 1 pint = 0.568 litres = 1/2 quart = ect...

The American gallon has 8 pints as does the UK gallon, but the measure is different:
The American pint has 16 fluid ounces
...... the UK pint has 20 fluid ounces
US = 473.176473 ml
UK = 568.26125 ml

US = 3.785411784 Litres
UK = 4.54609 Litres
This may not seem important until you realise that internationally we trade in barrels of oil, defined in the US as 42 US gallons, a difference of 32 litres that has to be accounted for! Metric measurements in the UK and US are the same.

------- Federal Reserve / Exchange Commission
FOREIGN EXCHANGE RATES / Statistical Release 08/31/05
Currency units per U.S. dollar $1
....... August 2005
£1 = $ 1.7944

------- Now I'm wondering if British and Irish pounds are equal???
** In the US we have to buy fuel by the Gallon...
1 gal = 3.785 ltr US and 1 gal = 128 fl oz US
1 gal = 4.546 ltr UK and 1 gal = 160 fl oz UK

Assuming the £1 per liter price given is currently accurate,converting to gallon price, UK cost per different unit sizes:
1.794 x 3.785 US Gallon = US $ 6.790
1.794 x 4.546 UK Gallon = US $ 8.155

**So you're paying the US $ equivalent of approx. $8.15 price per gallon, but your gallons are 32 more fluid ounces than ours! If it were the same US ounces it would be the approx. $ 6.80 price per gallon!

on 09/20 I paid $ 2.959 per US gallon
on 09/08 it was $ 3.349 per US gallon (I didn't buy it)
divide by 3.785 litre per US Gallon:
09/20, 1 litre = $ 0.78 US difference $ 1.01 US
09/08, 1 litre = $ 0.88 US difference $ 0.91 US
(approx. .5 £1)

**According to this calculation, you're paying from close to 2 times through 2.3 times what we are for the same amount!

I still need to clarify if there are any producing local oil fields or refineries in NI, or if all petrol goods are imported refined, perhaps accounting for why the price is higher.

In the US glass beverage bottles are worth $.05 cent cash deposit refund.
Cost to fill a small bottle with 12 ounces petrol:
6.79 / 128 US = 0.053 per oz
8.155 / 160 UK = .05 per oz x 12 = .611
It would cost about US $0.60, plus deposit, plus the wick. Or approx 29% of £1.
OK, now, one could argue that petrol-B's could be a fairly cheap baboom! Point clarified!

Now back to the States Lovely cat-5 hurricane "Rita" on the first day of Autumn, '05. Our country's local oil producing Gulf platforms and refineries are again closed down, second time in a month. We are being told on the Tele-news to expect prices US $ 5.00 to $ 6.00 per gallon in the next few weeks. Here we are, catching right up to your cost! Imagine how easy that was. Of course now UK prices may keep pace ahead of US prices.

Time to get a local job, a bike, open a rik-shaw business, or switch back to horse and carriage!


At 10:39 PM, Blogger Milk Brain said...

wow mom.... you really had your brain working for you tonight.. and let me tell you that was way too many numbers for my brain at 10:30 pm, having just returned from class.

we're thinking of topping of our gas tanks tomorrow before the prices skyrocket, and hopefully we won't have to fill up again until they start to dwindle again...

we were lucky last time.. filled up when gas was $2.99 and it soared to $3.50 something and was down to $3.29 or so before we had to get gas again... now the cheap station out here are at $2.93, and probably going up before noon, which mean i'll probably go out early in the morning and try to beat the bullet... we'll see who wins

At 10:57 PM, Blogger Snaggle Tooth said...

Ya, hear ya, me too - trying to fill it soon. I'm just worried about the 2-tank trip I'm taking to northern New Hamphire for a wedding in 3 weeks!
See what Hess says in the am...

At 7:21 PM, Blogger Neo said...

Snaggle - Yeah it's sad. I don't think nature is finished with us just yet either. The season ends in November, so we're not out of the woods yet.

I'm sure they'll hike the gas in the next couple of days.


At 3:54 PM, Blogger Snaggle Tooth said...

Hi Neo,
thanx for stopping by and having the patience to wade through this very long post! Usually I'm shorter winded...

At 10:50 AM, Blogger Neo said...

Snaggle - Not a problem. I got lots of time.

Now if I could get my images to upload I'd be a happy camper.


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