Just like Enron

Just like the Enron criminals did, it looks like the oil companies may be manipulating the market to make out like bandits, while Americans cut back on “luxuries” like food to fill the gas tank so they can go to work.

Probe of crude oil trading revealed: Examined over 6 months, focus on possible “futures market manipulation.”

Change in driving habits

Maybe high gas prices are already making a difference. The average price for a gallon of regular is now over 4 bucks at every gas station near me.

I just read an article that Americans drove 11 Billion (that’s a B) miles less this March than the previous March. I don’t doubt it — I’m noticing less traffic on the 5 when I drive to and from work everyday.

My car has a nifty feature on the instrument panel — an on-the-fly MPG meter that tells me how I’m doing on the current tank of gas. A couple of months ago, I was averaging 22-23 mpg, not too bad as most of my travel is on the freeway and not so much around town.

But since then I’ve started using my cruise control more and keeping at or below 65 mph… much to the chagrin of drivers behind me. Huge gas-guzzling Hummers whiz past me going 80-85, and I yell at them, “Save some gas for the rest of us, you waste of human flesh!” Must be nice to have that much disposable income.

It’s irritating having all the cars zoom around me — I like speed as much as the next guy — but at least it makes me feel better when I look at my MPG meter and I’ve now got it up to 26.7. Something to do with less wind resistance on your vehicle if you keep it below 65 mph.

I keep my tires inflated, I accelerate smoothly and slowly, and I don’t idle in the Carl’s Jr. drive-thru lane — I park the car and go inside to get my grease on. I’m shooting for 27 mpg.

Not that it’ll make much difference when gas hits $15 a gallon like one gloomy expert is predicting. At that point, I won’t be able to afford to go to work. But then, none of us regular folk will be able to afford food anyway, so it won’t matter.

Anybody got any spare Soylent Green?

Blindsided by hindsight

I was reminiscing about old times with an old acquaintance, and the thought occurred to me:

If I had known back then that this was going to be my future, that my life was going to turn out like it has, I would have driven a lot more recklessly and wore my seatbelt less in those days.