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When it comes to putting a cap on gas guzzling, how you drive is almost as important as what you drive. “Fuel economy suffers at speeds higher than 60 and drops like a stone above 70,” says Chris Grundler of the National Vehicle and Fuel Emissions Laboratory, in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Adds Richard Beard, an associate professor at Utah State University who researches fuel efficiency, “Slowing from 70 to 55 can increase your miles per gallon by 15 percent.” Putting the brakes on “jackrabbit starts” (stomping on the gas after a red light) cuts use by 25 percent, says Grundler, and cruise control also saves fuel. Limit use of gas-chugging air conditioners and defrosters, and unload extra junk, since “you lose one mile per gallon or more for each 300 pounds,” notes Beard. Avoid idling, he advises: “One minute of idle is almost equal to starting the car.” Finally, leave the car lot with the best gas hoarder by consulting before you buy.
In the Garage
Inflate those tires. Soft tires slow you down and can cut gas mileage by 10 percent or more, according to the tire-sales and research website www.tirerack.com. Follow the inflation instructions in your owner’s manual or on the decal at the inside edge of the driver’s door. Ignore the numbers on the tire sidewall, as they are more general and not specific to your make of car. Aim to check your tire pressure once a week — at least once a month is crucial. Keeping tires properly inflated will also help you avoid rollover and other tire-related accidents.
Maintain the engine. A reduced air supply or a sluggish ignition can cut into mileage. Change the air filter twice a year and the spark plugs every 50,000 miles. When you change the oil every 6,000 to 7,500 miles, have the mechanic check your cooling system, too. Even cars with computer-controlled engines, which need fewer tune-ups, require these chores.
Take a load off. Extra weight in the car can hurt mileage. Reduce the clutter in your trunk by removing tools, golf clubs, and other weighty and hardly used items.
On the Road
Drive the thriftier car. If your family owns both a sport utility and a sedan, get into the habit of taking the smaller vehicle whenever you can. By driving the Toyota Camry instead of the Ford Expedition to the mall, you are saving about nine miles per gallon in suburban driving. After 20 10-mile trips, you’ll have saved about $11.
Steer away from rush hours. Idling in bumper-to-bumper traffic uses precious gas unnecessarily, and it pollutes more, too. Don’t waste time in lines at the fast-food drive-through; go inside for your Extra Value Meal — and get extra value from your gas.
Before a Road Trip
To calculate what you can expect to spend on gas for a weekend getaway, go to AAA’s www.fuelcostcalculator.com, then type in your starting city, destination, and vehicle make, model, and year. Staying put? Go to www.gasbuddy.com, which will help you find the cheapest gas in your area. Driving those extra few miles to fill up might be well worth it.
Time Your Purchases
At any time, the price of a gallon of gas can vary by as much as 20 cents within a metropolitan area, says Brad Proctor, founder of GasPriceWatch, a consumer-advocacy website. To get the best bargain, avoid buying gas on weekends, when most people travel or run errands and gas stations raise prices accordingly. (Tip: Plan to take care of errands all at once instead of making extra trips.) Also, stay away from stations on toll highways, which charge high prices to their captive customers. If you can stick to pumping once a week, says Proctor, you can often find the best prices on Tuesdays.
Consider a Hybrid
For a real gas saver, consider the Toyota Prius, a hybrid gas-and-electric sedan that gets about 55 miles a gallon, and feels like a car, not a golf cart. The competing two-seat Honda Insight gets more than 60 miles per gallon. “I wave at the people lined up for gas,” says Dan Becker, energy and global-warming director of the Sierra Club who drives a Prius, “and keep right on going.”
I made a trip to my LQS (don’t be mad at me Vicki as once again I ended up there and did not go there!). I have been intrigued by other’s creations by printing on fabric. I bought some pre-cute freezer paper sheets and decided to give it a try.
I used my trusty Google Image Finder to locate some vintage images and then printed them on some light green fabric. I gave one of the camera brooches to my friend Brenda. She is a broochy supporter and an awesome photographer, too. It was super easy to do and the longest part was resizing the images for the 2″ center circle on the brooches.
You may see bits of the felt here and there. I was so anxious to photograph them I forgot to cut them a bit.
If you try printing on fabric let me know. I would like to check it out!
This week’s MAMMA challenge was water. I had a hard time coming up with a concept until I happened upon this sweet little face via a flickr search for holding breath. I knew I had to incorporate that face into my ATC, but was not sure how. The caption read that when he rode the sleigh he held his breath.
Then I thought he was acting a bit coy and the light went on. Coy = Koi = Fish = Water = water themed ATC! His body and fins were made using scrapbook paper. I used some textured paper to make the top and bottom of the card so it looked like ripples in the water. On top of that I added some glitter. The Martha Stewart glitter seems to get everywhere and I believe it multiplies, too! It is now all over the place and every time I turn around I see it shining at me and mocking me!
Oh well, he is a cutie and the trouble with the glitter will not deter me!
I received my cards from last week’s 3 swap. First, from MoCross, there is Three Coins in the Trevi Fountain. And next we have 3 Little Dickie Birdies from Agnes The Red. I have shown it both open and folded.
Thanks, Agne and Mo. They are awesome!
I went thrifting this weekend and lucked upon a real find. A collection of patterns from the 1950’s. There were adult patterns, children’s patters and also an apron pattern. All of the pattern pieces were in the envelopes. They appeared to be very gently used and well cared for.
I love graphics from the 50’s and 60’s so this was a real score for me! I found them at Moments in Time a new consignment shop in the Lakeside section of Richmond. It is packed with treasures so make sure if you’re in the area you check it out!
I also happened upon some old plastic bangles. I wear a bracelet every day and am always on the lookout for bangles as I like them. The ones that I found were pretty banged up and I had seen a tutorial somewhere to dress them up using ribbons. Into my ribbon stash I go…
I applied some Alene’s super tacky craft glue to the end of the ribbon and sealed it to the bangle them held it in place while I wrapped a loop or two of ribbon around it. I then encircled the entire bracelet and then placed more tacky glue on the end to finish it. It took about a yard of ribbon per bracelet.
So next time you find some ugly bangles, buy them! You can always use your ribbon stash to dress them up a bit.
Hope the week has started well for you!
When I was growing up I loved watching the Muppet Show. Robin, the frog was one of my favorites. Enjoy!
Randy, in case you have not heard of him, is the Carnegie Melon professor who had cancer and delivered his last lecture on Achieving Your Childhood Dreams. This is the ENTIRE lecture (1 hour 16 minutes in length). If you have the time it is profound words from a very positive man. There is no pity allowed here!
Randy passed away yesterday and this is his lasting legacy to us all!
“We don’t beat the reaper by living longer, we beat the reaper by living well and living fully” ~Randy Pausch
This past week Mary Jennie, who I sang in the Petersburg Festival Chorus with, passed away after a long battle with Cancer. RIP, Mary Jennie! It made me stop and reflect on how to mark the passing of the people in our lives and how differently my family will mark that event.
My family, when someone passes, has a wake. A wake involves food and drink. Lots of food and LOTS of drink. The length of a person’s life dictates the length of the wake. So some people have a very long send off.
My family has had some infamous wakes. When my Grandmother passed away I was only about 8 or 9. My Grandma lived next to a bar, Big Paul’s. Several times the neighbors were angry with the owner, but Grandma always went to bat for him with the neighbors. To honor her Paul closed his bar and opened it to my family for her wake.
I recall my Dad and my Uncle, Bob, getting quite toasted. At one point they felt that the grandchildren should have a drink in her honor. Big Paul had to put up quite a fight to get my Dad and Uncle to back off. In the end reason won out. Then again when you fight with drunks it is never a fair fight!
The day my dad passed away the family gathered and had a cookout with lots of stories and beer. It was just as Dad would have liked it. Laughter, liquor and burgers. The only thing missing was a sporting event playing in the background.
We shared stories of his life, our upbringing and the moments that shaped our lives. All of this was met with laughter, with a few happy tears and a bit of sadness, too.
I love the way we mark the passing of a life. It is always good to remember, to reflect, to laugh and to give them a rousing send off to the hereafter. It is the measure of a life well lived. But, it may be wrong to have a hangover the next day. Then again, that is how we know that we sent them off well.
They were created using the mini dominos (.75″ X 1.25″). I had to use my computer to resize the images to the domino size. I was thrilled that they came out so well. I have had issues with the ink smearing when I coat them, but Jo told me to be sure to let them get good and dry after printing them. I now let them sit overnight.
Thanks for the help, Jo!
Some of these are for a 1:1 swap with my Mermaid Dotee recipient. I have to decide what I would like from her in trade. I need to drill the holes and add the jump ring, but that will be quick. Jenny creates jewelry so I will be excited to see what she creates with them.
The MAMMA theme this past week was Three. Immediately, my thoughts went to my favorite group of 3, the Three Stooges! I had so much fun watching the old show when I was a little girl. I remember fondly laughing and laughing at their antics. They were three of the funniest people I can remember.
Here are 2 of the ATCS I created.
This one pays homage to Curly’s famous sound effect. They look so preppy in their golfing attire, don’t they?
This card was created using gel medium and transferring the image to the card. I need to perfect this technique a bit more.
Lastly, while I was watching Super Nanny this idea crept into my head. I had to grad my images and papers and create it that evening. It is 3rd Eye. The letters and words are from magazines and the image is from a museum matching game.
The 3rd eye was cut from a magazine picture and placed on the image.
I hope that my partners for this round of the swap like the cards. I have 3 great partners this round and cannot wait to show you the ATCs I will receive.
I am enjoying the weekly themes and meeting artists from around the world.
I did a bit of thrift shopping over the weekend and also checked out the new South of the James farmer’s market in the Forest Hill section of Richmond.
At the South of the James market I found this cute handmade doggy pin. It is made by Cris Pool. You can find her creations in her Etsy shop. There were a lot of great vendors there and the place was packed. I had to walk a mile to get to the booths, but the walk was worth it.
Then it was off to the thrift shops and antique shops I passed on the way to the market. There are a few on the way so if you go check them out.
I found 2 pattern books one a McCall’s book from August of 1941. It has great pictures of the latest patterns that were offered in 1941. The second is the collection of Le Grand Chic from 1982. It has some great images in it also, but they are sketches of the clothing.
At the same shop I found a few pelican picks, green bamboo buttons, a vintage picture, and a vintage card.
It was a very good day!