Sunday, April 12, 2009

Gas and How I Struck Out a Professional Athlete

     Okay, my last post was about the manipulative pricing policies in the pizza industry.  Now it's time to talk about the ridiculousness of pricing in the gas industry.  And no, I'm not talking about overpricing, monopolies or any of that usual whining you hear about the price of gas.  I'm talking about how silly the price of gas is.  

     Why is gas priced to the tenth of a cent?  Today gas in my area is 96.9 cents per litre.  If it was 97 cents a litre then it would cost exactly five cents more to fill up a 50 litre tank than at 96.9 cents.  We are so obsessed with the price of gas and the big signs that it is displayed on that we're worrying about tenths of cents.  Most people could care less about a nickel, but for some reason 96.9 is better than 97.  Silly, silly, silly.  You don't see apples on sale for 78.6 cents a pound.  It would be pretty funny if you did though.  Why gas?

     Meanwhile people are driving out of their way sometimes to save a few cents a litre on gas.  If you save three cents a litre by going somewhere else, then on a 50 litre tank you save $1.50.  That's worthwhile if it is not out of your way, but let me ask you this.  Do you make a special effort to find your bank to withdraw money or do you just use a convenient cash machine and swallow the $1.50 charge?   We need to get over our obsession with the price of gas.

     Enough about gas, did I ever tell you about the time I struck out former Vancouver Canuck Greg Adams?  Mr. Adams was playing for the Bear Mountain slo-pitch team and we faced them in a tournament.  The field had a fence, which is unusual for slo-pitch, and the rule was that if you hit it over the fence it was a dead ball and was called a strike.  Given that our team was not known for its power we were quite happy with the rule.  Mr. Adams was a pretty big guy and probably pumped some iron in his time, so he was quite capable of hitting the ball over the fence.  In fact as it turns out it was difficult for him not to.

     The unlucky ex-Canuck hit the first pitch I threw him over the fence for strike one.  I grooved him another one and he hit that out as well.  Of course being a savvy veteran, Adams tried to take the third pitch to opposite field to keep it in the park.  No such luck for him and it was strike three as the ball sailed over the fence for the third time in as many pitches.  And that is how I struck out Greg Adams.  It's true and it happened in sports.

15 comments:

  1. Striking out "Gus Adams" probably one of the nicest Canucks ever, shame on you Jack, well actually good on him, he went down striking! My daughter always said he was the nicest of that group of guys who first bought into Bear Mtn. Go Canucks, xelA.

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  2. Isn't that sorta like being the kindest Nazi in the room?

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  3. Oh, Jack. It's not always about the money. I doubt anyone drives out of their way to save a nickel, but if you're not running on fumes, and you think the gas may be cheaper somewhere else, and you happen to be going somewhere, why not see if you can get it cheaper? A nickel saved is a nickel earned, afterall.

    But the bigger issue for me is not about saving a nickel but about screwing the station that isn't competitive with the others. Why should we patronize stations that are brazenly charging higher prices for a product?

    As for Greg "Gus" Adams, he always struck me as a really nice guy. A really dumb, but really nice guy.

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  4. Then there's the Costco Syndrome. Several of my parents' friends in Qualicum boast to my parents that they saved .19 per can on tinned tomatoes, or .49 on flotsam [insert miniscule savings here] by shopping at Costco in Nanaimo--at least $10 worth of gas away. So not only have they NOT shopped locally, but they've ended up spending more by going out of their way to chase down a "deal". The new math, indeed!

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  5. Are you REALLY rolling on the floor laughing, Lisa? Don't tease me now. I've had enough disappointments in this life...

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  6. Guy, my point is not that you shouldn't save money when you can, but that people seem to put way more emphasis on this with gas than other things. Are the same people who go out of their way to save $1.50 (the nickel was about the tenth of cent pricing not the difference between stations) on gas just using the nearest bank machine instead of saving $1.50 by going to their own bank's machine?

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  7. Little Jackie Showers, how about Lisa's post? It seems that people are indeed going out of their way to save tiny amounts on other things, too. (Although she lost me with the mind-numbingly eco-trendy nonsense about shopping locally.)

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  8. That's a relief.

    As for the eco-trendy nonsense about shopping locally, it makes sense both economically (keeping the money in the community instead of handing it over to American multinational corporations and their shareholders) and ecologically (you leave smaller carbon footprint if you don't have to transport your dinner halfway around the globe.)

    Are you saying two rights make a wrong, Guy?

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  9. Dan, you lost me with your eco-trendy lingo like "carbon footprint". But I'll respond anyway. Canada is a big country. More than 100 miles long! So one could conceivably eat outside of the artificial 100 mile radius without handing over your precious Canadian dollars to American multinational corporations. And you don't necessarily have to transport your dinner halfway around the globe, either. It's 250 miles to Kamloops, for example. What if I want some apples from the interior?

    But even if it did help American multinationals, don't we need our neighbour's economy to pick up in order to help ours and the rest of the world's?

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  10. Forget eco-trends for a minute. Something's not right. The time stamp on Guy's post is 8:48 a.m. "A.M."? Guy, I thought you had Louis trained to let you sleep until at least 11:00!

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  11. That's 11 EST. Those were the good old days when he'd sleep till 11 PST. But it's been a few years now that he gets up at the crack of 7ish. I've got him trained to read the clock. When it says 8, that's when he can get me up.

    It's fun hijacking Jack's blog! Hi Jack!

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  12. I consider food bought from Kamloops to be locally purchased.

    Fuck the Yanqui economy. Let it sink in the sand.

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  13. Out of sight, out of mind, I suppose, but you teachers have pension plans and guess what? You own a substantial share of those 'American' corporations you hate so much.

    I've got a wild hunch you won't be refusing to accept your pension as a result, so you might want to temper your do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do rhetoric just a touch.

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