The mid-summer gas crisis is over

There, it’s on the internet, so it must be true.

Srsly – besides the obvious news pundits, economic indicators, oil futures, and Middle east politics… Beyond the local gas price surveys, and the raft of traditional discount gas stations in the mid to low 4.0x’s. Beyond the breaking of the weather from miserably hot with too much air conditioning, to miserably humid and rainy – it’s not just that running your wipers uses less energy.

No, it’s finally noticing that the Shield Mini Mart in Summvile just inbound of Ball Sq is now listing regular for $3.95/gallon. Of course their “3” is half-broken, so it ruins the symmetry of the sign a tad, but as a discount station I’ll forgive them.

But $3.95 is a real indicator – unlike the numerous $3.99 places we’ve seen on and off the past two weeks. Pricing at $3.99 is just playing the psychology of 3 versus 4; of an at-first-glance 25% savings from your $4.05 or $4.13 competitor down the street. Pricing at $3.97 – which I saw last week – could be used by a desperate discount place to compete against the lucky name brand gas that could dip to $3.99 for a few days due to a good contract. But pricing at $3.95? That’s a clear shot across the bows of high prices, a definite signal that the peak has passed! Yay! Good times ahead! Make those vacation plans, and book your hotels now! Enjoy!

BMW for sale; E36 wanted

For the non-BMW cognoscenti, yes, that means I’m selling my beloved BMW, and I want to buy a new (used) BMW of the same model. While it may seem silly to buy the same kind of car that you already have – presuming yours is in good shape, which it is – I really want to get an E36 in really good shape before they all start rusting or get too beat up on the track.

(Waves at all my new Universal Hub readers!)

I will not run alloy wheels in winter. I will not ..

.. run alloy wheels when it’s snowing. I will not run alloy wheels during pothole season, especially in New England. I will not ignore the advice of my mechanic, my body shop, my car friend: to never run alloy wheels in the winter. I will not let vanity get the best of me; I will be content with plain black fixable steel rims in the winter.

Oh great gods of winter; of snow; of New England; of potholes; of wheels and tires and cars; I beg you to forgive me my vanity; nay, my hubris, of running my (previously four in number), very pretty and light 5 open spoke O.Z. Racing alloy 15in wheels for the past two winters.

I have heard your clarion call, er, thunk, as I pass over your signs: potholes, frost heaves, uneven pavement, gravel in the road. I have felt the soft squishy drive of a flat tire. I have suffered the shakes, shimmies, and shudders of wheels that are no longer round, nay, of wheels that are ovals. I have dreaded being late for everything as I see the bulge of a slowly leaking tire.

I hear and feel your call; now I understand. I am but human: vanity is in my nature; hubris is my kind’s unavoidable curse. I beg to be forgiven my past transgressions. I pray that my remaining three Blizzaks – wondrous tires of snow – shall be allowed to serve me again for the next winter. I acknowledge and pledge that I will install them onto wheels of steel in the future.

After I buy a new fourth tire, of course.

For Sale: one O.Z. Racing 15in rim, round. Open 5 spoke design; spokes have a smoothly rounded face and a slight taper. Silver paint finish (original). Slight curb gouge on edge.

For Sale: two O.Z. Racing 15in rims, oval. Open 5 spoke design; spokes have a smoothly rounded face and a slight taper. Silver paint finish (original). One good condition; one with slight curb rash. Not recommended for daily driver. Or any driving at all, actually.