I’ve seen and heard a few things on the news over the last few days about gas prices. Now before you start to mentally skip ahead, this isn’t another post from a Brit about how Americans don’t know the meaning of expensive gas, when I was a lad we had to dig for oil by hand, etc. Though we did, and pay the oilfield owner for the privilege.

No, this is an entirely different sanctimonious whine. I think I’m starting to hear the first murmurings of a new message in the current reports, which is simply ‘get used to it’. It’s not uncommon for that to be mentioned whenever prices go up, but in the past it has been a temporary measure, pending new refining capacity, or a change in formulation for the winter, or some other future relief. But this time, I think, some people are realizing that this is a long-term reality.

That doesn’t mean that we’re stuck with $3 per gallon for the next decade. Prices could be higher than that, or lower, and will surely fluctuate. But the seemingly hard-wired expectation of something in the low $1 range (which is what it was when we got here 6 years ago) seems to be a forlorn hope. For all the additional capacity that exists, however much that may be, there exists even more demand from China, and to a lesser extent India, that could in time dwarf the US’s consumption.

Anything could happen in the next decade, of course, from the arrival of the much-touted hydrogen economy to the discovery that oil is generated inside the earth magically and can never run out. But based on what we know, I’d rather be a Prius dealership than a Hummer one at the moment.

Chipmunk update

I know you’ve been worrying, so the good news is that the chipmunk is gone. I’m afraid I took the coward’s way out and let it die before disposing of it, while not leaving it long enough to get stiff or anything.

Somewhat disturbingly, while clearing out the pipe I found the body of another one that had clearly died a long time ago. I don’t know if it was from the fist batch we had (I took two out, but there could well have been a third, or yet another incident. We hadn’t noticed any smell, so it’s hard to say what happened.

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I’ld like to introduce you to the best damn site on the internet – Go Fug Yourself. As if pictures of stars in laughable outfits wasn’t enough, as if incredibly well done bitchy sarcasm wasn’t the icing on the ridicule cake, they’re also brave enough to admit defeat, and to acknowledge that sometimes you have to put your coal-black heart to one side and bow down before greatnes:

Salma Hayek is hot, people. Super hot. And sometimes, God help us, the hot just wins.

True greatness comes not just from doing something well, but from knowing when to stop.

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The day after my entry on recumbent bikes I saw three ‘bents on my commute. Fully two thirds of the riders were blessed with ‘bent beards*, in one case of a particularly fulsome nature, and accompanied by a matching ‘bent belly. Given that the rider without the beard was female, I’d say that’s a pretty high hit rate.

*’Bent beard – tendency for recumbent cyclists to develop luxuriant, often gray, beards. Some speculate that the reduced wind resistance afforded by ‘bents causes less abrasion to the hair ends, allowing for a fuller, more splendid growth.