Monday, June 30, 2008

CNG Video from MSN

Closing the Barn Door

Unfortunately, the cows already got out. To be more specific, I installed an electric fence past weekend. It started a few weeks ago, our goats learned to escape the fence. As a solution, we bought an electric fence charger and accessories. It sat in the utility room for a week, waiting for the weekend. We've had escapes in the past, but it was never a concern, as they stayed nearby. The biggest disaster was that they ate Raine's rosebush.

Imagine the regret when I opened the door saturday morning to see a goat standing on the hood of the car... and it's a borrowed car at that. Chased him off the hood only to turn around in time to watch another one jump up there. I don't know what it is about a Ford Escort that makes it appealing to climb on, but none of the other vehicles made the attraction. Needless to say, Dad's hood is a bit scuffed up, but I think rubbing compound will take care of it.

The electric fence works good and the goats aren't even considering the fence as an escape route anymore.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

I bought an alternative fuel vehicle

It was a hot wednesday afternoon, and gasoline was $3.79 per gallon, so I bought a CNG Ford F-150. It's a 2002 model, and I bought it on eBay. Here's the auction. I'm not sure how long the link will actually work, but it's here for now.

Actually, this is something that we've been looking at for some time, and as gasoline prices continue to skyrocket, it seems more and more like the right decision. Currently, CNG is $0.91 (that's right, ninety-one cents) per gallon.

With a 42.5 mile one-way commute, my Saturn Vue was using 3.4 gallons of gas per day minimum. That's $12.89 per day or $65 per week. The truck will use less than $25 per week. That's a savings of over $2000.00 per year! This will pay for the additional cost of the CNG system in very short order.

Did I mention the truck is in Phoenix, Az? We're jumping on a plane on 7/12 and flying out to pick it up. We're going to turn it into a regular vacation extravaganza. :) From Phoenix, we're going to head west to Anaheim. We'll spend the night sightseeing, and the following morning (Sunday), it's off to Disneyland for the day. We'll spend a 2nd night there and depart the following morning for Las Vegas. A night on the town there, probably just walking the strip and seeing the sights, and taking advantage of the cheap meals.

The next morning (tuesday), it's off to Hoover Dam for a quick look-see. Once we know it's a bunch of concrete and water (that will be WAY cool to see), it's back to Phoenix as our base of operations. We'll visit the Grand Canyon on wednesday and whatever else suits our fancy while we are there. Once we're Phoenix'd out, it's time to tank up the CNG and head east. Did I mention I'm glad the truck is a bi-fuel? That means when I run out of CNG (nearly 1000 miles of desert with no CNG coming up), I just flip a switch on the dash and I'm burning regular gasoline until Oklahoma.

Next stop, Winslow, Az. How can we pass up the chance to stand on the street corner. Maybe a girl in a flatbed ford will slow down to take a look at us. A few photos and it's off to run as far as our rear-ends can stand. Once we hit Albuquerque, we know it's just over 10 hours till home. We'll go as far as we can after that and find a hotel. Friday morning (7/18), it's time to make the last leg home.

So begins the mighty CNG adventure...

to be continued

A map of our proposed trip