I’ve been meaning to post two episodes per week — obviously, that didn’t happen last week. I might try doing three this week to make it up.
Monday, August 13, 2012
That was… interesting. The DoE must have had everything lined up in advance for the rationing announcement. How they kept it under wraps is anyone’s guess.
But if you didn’t need to get gas today, and you haven’t had the radio on, give yourself a couple extra minutes when you do go to get gas. You’ll have to go inside and show them your driver’s license, they punch in the number and out pops a temporary ration card with 20 gallons on it. That’s supposed to last you at least through the end of the month, so don’t use it up right away. People who planned on some advance warning, so they could stockpile gas, are gonna be pissed. A couple of co-workers were pretty agitated… I think one of them forgot his wallet, so he wouldn’t have been able to get gas anyway.
I just had to catch some talk radio to hear what the double-digit IQ brigade is being told to think about it. Shotgun Sam had one of the Planet Georgia congresscritters on this evening; I didn’t catch which one. Could have been mine, for all I know or care. Pretty much what I expected, oh boo hoo hoo, free market, boo hoo hoo, warnings about “playing politics” with allocations (right wing-speak for “we want more than our fair share”), boo hoo hoo, etc.
(I was going to delete this part, but it’s sort of related, so…) The spew-bots earn their pay by stirring up their listeners; threats and actual attempts on government officials make the news more often than not these days. Figures: conservatives have always been willing to use force when they can’t trick enough idiots into voting for them (and except for places like Planet Georgia, fewer and fewer are falling for the lies). It probably didn’t help when the NRA got designated a “terrorist-sympathetic” organization last year; wingers hate getting their faces rubbed in reality. To them, terrorists are the brown people with turbans who want to kill us, not the goober looking to settle an imagined score with the gubmint.
But anyway, the NFRD site (the URL is printed on the temporary cards, hard to miss actually) is actually well-done, and they gave it enough bandwidth — it probably helps that half the country is blacked out at any given moment. Check it out, you can fill out a little questionnaire and get a pretty good idea of what your weekly allotment is going to be. Oh, if you haven’t figured it out, when you use your new (not the temporary) ration card the first time, it will dock your purchases from the temporary card and invalidate the temp card. Again, don’t go nuts with your temporary! It turns out that since Mrs. Fetched works on a farm, we’ll get a little extra gas per week. Living in a rural area got us a little more, but having an “office job” took most of it back — I’m supposed to telecommute more, I guess (which suits me just fine). 10 gallons a week doesn’t sound like much, but I use less than 3 for my twice-weekly commute, and I can pick up some groceries on the way home. Mrs. Fetched isn’t thrilled, but two trips for shopping a week won’t use more than another 2-1/2. So if we’re careful, we can get by with half our allocation and make a little extra money selling what’s left over on the exchange. But we’ll probably build up a cushion first, in case we have any problems.
Speaking of the exchange, I saw where eBay is threatening to sue the DoE, saying Yahoo had some kind of inside track to getting the contract to manage the NFRD “exchange” site (think auction with fairly tight controls). Yahoo’s response amounted to “sore loser, nyah nyah,” which I suppose is the only real way to respond in a situation like this. Either eBay can prove something, in which case the bids should be re-negotiated, or they can’t and should just shut up. I wonder how much energy they’ll waste on that.