ChrisMaverick dotcom



Day 688 of 365 More.

How much is petrol? 82 million a gallon? Fuck this machine!

I’ve been looking for a new car. For those who don’t know, I drive a 97 Blazer. To be generous, one might say its on its last leg. I have a oil leak problem that no one can figure out. I broke off my passenger side mirror. I’ve had problems with everything from the fuel pump to the transmission. It’s old and it sucks. Also, it get like negative 83 miles to the gallon. And that’s a real problem these days, seeing as how putting twenty dollars in your tank can only almost get you to the next gas station.

Spent this weekend looking at hybrid SUVs. Now I don’t want to hear anyone’s nonsense telling me to get a nice little practical smart car or any shit like that. 1) I am a photographer. I routinely carry a huge amount of equipment and models with me on random trips, and I need the space. 2) I live in Pittsburgh. At the top of a hill. Really, in the 11 months out of the year when we have 18 feet of snow on the ground, one really wants four wheel drive.

Anyway, I’ve recently decided that for my lifestyle the Ford Escape is the perfect vehicle for me. It doesn’t have quite the luggage capacity of my Blazer, but it’s good enough, not to mention, nice and comfy and gets better than twice the gas milage I get right now. I might even be able to drive to the corner store and back for less than $47.

The problem is, a brand new one is like $30,000. Problem number two is that I don’t have $30,000. I’ve never actually owned a new car in my life. It just always seemed kinda silly. What with the "you lose $3000 just driving off the lot" and all. I’ve always been perfectly happy with used cars. The problem is motherfuckers who bought the Ford Escape Hybrid in the last 3 years (the came out in 2005) haven’t traded them back in yet. They’re hard as hell to find, and even when I do, the cheapest I’ve seen is like $19,000. Most people still want like $25000+ for them, and at that rate, I might as well have Ford custom build me one that’s decked out and pefect for like $32,000.

Fuck I hate life. I remember like in 1998 when I was driving a Cavalier Z24 and and less than a dollar a gallon, 20 bucks would fill up my tank and leave me more than enough change for a (much cheaper) pack of smokes and maybe a candy bar or something.

I blame freedom. In a world where I am ruler we would not have these problems. Again, I implore you citizens, in the polls this fall, vote for me. Not just as president, but as sovereign lord of all I survey. We tried the little democracy thing. Gave it over 230 years. Let’s face it. It just isn’t working out. Chalk it up to a lesson learned and appoint me as ruler and I promise a utopian society beyond you’re wildest dreams.

Or at the very least, I promise that you’ll fucking be able to fill up your tank for twenty dollars.

No, well, at the very least could you all pass the hat around and get me some scratch to buy a new vehicle? I swear, $30,000 and I’ll never ask for another thing again.

I’m worth it, right?

365 days

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25 comments for “6-29-08

  1. avatar
    June 30, 2008 at 12:34 am

    …eh…just get a good bike…or maybe a Vespa? You’d look hot cruising on a Vespa.

  2. avatar
    June 30, 2008 at 12:35 am

    A 20 dollar bill? That ain’t gonna get you far!

    This shit sucks! Somethings gotta give. Where does it end? How high will it go? This shit sucks!

  3. avatar
    June 30, 2008 at 12:42 am

    If this begging thing works for you, please let me know… I’m getting a list together!

  4. avatar
    June 30, 2008 at 12:45 am

    I’d seriously love to have a scooter for the spring/summer/fall months… and good days in the winter, even.

  5. avatar
    June 30, 2008 at 12:56 am

    @lacychenault: see the second paragraph about needing to carry stuff and the hills and snow of pittsburgh. 🙂

    @Rockin’ Rob: yeah, like I said, $20 will MAYBE get you to the next gas station these days. *sigh* And I have no idea how high it’s going. Certainly we’re going to hit $5 this summer.

    @lrayholly: will do. You know, if you want to give me a grand or two as starter cash…

    @Sick Little Monkey: you live in Kansas… that’s one of those crazy flat states.

  6. avatar
    June 30, 2008 at 1:10 am

    Yea, may as well just put money down the drain. Sorry you are spending so much!
    The picture is good by the way it made me giggle! 😀

  7. avatar
    June 30, 2008 at 1:26 am

    @paloma cherie: I’ve spent the last several years complaining about not having flying cars. Now I’d just be happy for one that drove on roads for a reasonable price. Glad you like the shot.

  8. avatar
    June 30, 2008 at 2:52 am

    Think yourself lucky dude.

    In the UK, we pay the equivalent of £6.03 ($12.02!) per gallon of diesel.

    That sucks.

  9. avatar
    June 30, 2008 at 8:47 am

    I knew someone was going to point that out. That doesn’t make us lucky. All that means is that things suck for you more. It’s totally not the same thing. Also, I’ve been to the UK. There’s a huge difference between living there and living here. Your public transportation system is a million times better for instance. Not to mention who knows how many other little differences that make the comparisson unfair. For instance, the pound is, as you pointed out, twice as strong as the dollar. You have more theoretical money than we do. Etc. etc. etc. There’s a huge difference between even Pittsburgh and New York City in the States. The differences are so great once you leave the States that it’s hard to make a comparisson at all.

  10. avatar
    June 30, 2008 at 9:02 am

    Oh for Pete’s sake! just skip over this comment! It’s way too long.

    Mav, you’re going to have to take over all the other oil-producing nations, and imprison or kill off all the commodities speculators, or else introduce a massive government subsidy to bring down the price of oil. The weak dollar also must increase in value — do you know how to do that easily? — because oil is traded worldwide in dollars.

    In 1999, the price of oil was $20 per barrel. It’s now $142, or 7x higher. In 1999, $20 was about 21 Euros. Today, $20 is about 12.7 Euros; currently $142 is about 91 Euros. So incredibly high taxes notwithstanding for Europeans, for those using Euros the price of oil is only — haha, ‘only’ he says! — a bit more than 4x higher. Still a huge blow to them. The British pound has not done quite as well as the Euro in that time against the dollar, so their oil price is up more like 5x since ’99.

    Please remember, Europeans with staggering fuel prices, that we have all structured our economies around our own prices for gas and diesel. For Europe and Japan and other places it has been expensive for decades to subsidize good public transit systems; you’ve structured your lives and budgets around that reality. In the USA it has been dirt cheap till recently, so many of us could afford to be extravagant spendthrifts in other ways, and not have to think about our energy wastefulness. And a lot of poor people who were barely able to scrape by are now in a lot of trouble, even if they were good money managers in the past.

    Now our personal budgets must be restructured. Too many of us who are not poor have no leeway — we have for a long time spent everything we make — or more with unsecured credit — to fuel our lifestyles. We’ve made ourselves poor with spending, much of it unnecessary, but yet a prime driver of our consumer-based economy. The US economy thrives on our materialism.

    The restructuring is and will continue to be very painful. Our own past choices have got too many of us by the throat.

    Especially for people in far-flung suburbs who drive a long way to work. Real estate prices are way down, so a lot of people are stuck, unable to sell houses to move closer to work even if they want to. And their gas-guzzling vehicles are way down in value because nobody wants to buy them, so they may be stuck in that way as well, "upside down" in their houses and cars (owing more money on them than they are worth).

    The weak dollar makes all this worse for the US. The last 7 years have had a lot to do with it — bad fiscal policy and ineffective financial-markets regulation from a government whose political party claims (falsely) in its platform to be fiscally responsible. I’m not sure how effective a "tax and spend" philosophy would be without good spending discipline, but as long as you pay for what you ultimately spend, it will be WAY better than "borrow and spend", which means "cut taxes, borrow money to replace the lost revenue and continue spending freely" to the current executive-branch government and our miserably incompetent President. And add an expensive war of choice in Iraq onto yet another credit card while you’re at it.

    Living on your credit card balance(s) is no way to be productive. This I know….

    EDIT: I was writing while Mav posted.
    EDIT: And I’m one of those extremely annoying people who edits more after I post a comment like this, because I re-read and see a better way to make a point (or a more complete but much more wordy explanation). But I’m done with that now, I promise.

  11. avatar
    June 30, 2008 at 10:33 am

    OK, I should have said less unlucky than us. 😉

    Whilst it may all be relative, it doesn’t hurt any less.

    Our public transport system is excessively expensive and is not as convenient as we would like. My wife has a daily commute to Brentwood (no not the one in CA.) which is 12 miles by car. By public transport that would mean a journey involving a bus to Grays, a train from Grays to Upminster, change for another train from Upminster to Romford and change again for a train from Romford to Brentwood. One and a half hours to do 12 miles. Hardly wonderful.

    Our ‘theoretical’ surplus is being sucked away from us by the rising cost of food, fuel, gas & electric in home and inadequate wage rises. The credit crunch as ignited by unscrupulous lenders Stateside is hitting us too – banks are becoming more reluctant to lend. People are not cutting back overtly on spending yet, but that is the likely next move. If people start saving rather than spending then a recession is a’coming.

    Long winded but hitting the nail on the head, sir.

    I have recently given up work to become a househusband – things are going to get tough for us before they get better.

  12. avatar
    June 30, 2008 at 10:40 am

    I assume you saw/heard this article last week. Even a small improvement in MPG can yield a large improvement in $/month, when you’re at the far end of the efficiency scale.

  13. avatar
    June 30, 2008 at 10:48 am

    Thanks, DavidStorey. In general, I hate sound bites because they are too simplistic. But it’s hard to give a good explanation of complicated topics even in my many paragraphs above, let alone a few words.

  14. avatar
    June 30, 2008 at 2:20 pm

    How about a Vespa with a sidecar and a couple of saddlebags? Throw in the helmet and a couple of straps for your monopod and you are in business for a single model shoot even with distance travel….. and you haven’t quite spent ten grand.

    Naaahhh, I know that won’t work, but running SUVs is getting more prohibitive by the day. A $20 bill doesn’t buy five gallons and that barely means a quarter of a tank.

    But I guess if $7 a gallon is a good guess within 18 months, then $30 thousand for an Escape Hybrid seems almost practical. The savings is a reasonable payout over maybe 48 months.

    I’d get a Yaris (rented one not long ago for some regional travel) but I can’t get past the egg shape.

  15. avatar
    June 30, 2008 at 2:30 pm

    Love your picture. So true. EEEEKKK. I hate it!

    Seen in my contacts’ photos. (?)

  16. avatar
    June 30, 2008 at 3:20 pm

    I feel your pain brotha.

  17. avatar
    June 30, 2008 at 4:15 pm

    well I liked the picture =D umm oh and I vote Mav for president on the proviso he makes me lord of the united kingdom (a small island somewhere in europe) oooh and I want a jetpack…that s a MUST!

  18. avatar
    July 1, 2008 at 7:17 pm

    Hi – I’m your neighbour in the 365 more pool. This is a great way of illustrating the rising cost of fuel.

    I see quite a few pictures – and groups – where folk in the US bemoan the high price of car fuel. Over here in the UK I paid £1.20 a litre last week. That’s about $8.64 a US gallon. Diesel is more expensive.
    So forget that $20 bill stick a $50 in instead 🙂

  19. avatar
    July 2, 2008 at 3:12 pm

    @phlewght: all much better said than I did. But… uh… yeah! 🙂

    @DavidStorey: well, my point was just that there is a public transit system. Where I live, there is one, but there are simply too many places where it can’t take you. Or if it can, not in a timely manner.

    @SchultzLabs: nope, but I am familiar with the argument. I’ll have to check the article out.

    @DeHoll: I don’t much like the Yaris either. I’m pretty sure the Escape is what I want. It’s just getting the money together and finding one.

    @blueroan2000: thanks.

    @angryblackguy: sadly, we all do.

    @disco~stu: it’s a deal.

    @GeorgieR: as we were saying above, it really isn’t a fair comparisson. There are too many difference between like in the US and the UK to mark it down to just gas per dollar. I mean, I’m not saying it doesn’t suck for you. I’m just saying it sucks for us too.

  20. avatar
    July 3, 2008 at 6:41 pm

    You are of course absolutely right. Traditionally US cars have not been so fuel efficient but I guess that’s changing. The big difference for many Americans is the distances they have to drive. I can’t imagine how one manages when there are tens of miles to the nearest shop or the next small town.

  21. avatar
    July 9, 2008 at 9:26 am

    george summed it up quite well.

    i DO LOVE this photo…and hate it at the same time.

    why not just reinvent the public transportation system in your area to meet your needs?! I mean, THIS seems to be the most logical and affordable way to get around ;-P

  22. avatar
    July 10, 2008 at 4:46 pm

    consider your self appointed as
    ‘Sovereign Lord of all He Surveys’

  23. avatar
    July 21, 2008 at 4:10 pm

    @pi c’s: well, they are working on it. But I’m deathly afraid of buses, so I’ll always be limited a little bit in this area.

    @Crystal Chroma: thank you. We appreciate your support.

  24. avatar
    May 24, 2009 at 2:42 am


  25. avatar
    May 24, 2009 at 5:28 pm

    breatmaster: uh… ok

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