Stop Whining you Ninny!!! Diesel Fuel Is Incredible!

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semi-truck-4I was in college, staying alone for the first time in an apartment.  I loved to fry tortillas in vegetable oil.  And so I did.  But I've always been A-D-D, or as I have always considered myself, MFA - Multi Functionally Advantaged.  I can do many things at once.  The problem is, I would leave the oil on, and set off the smoke detectors.  This one day, I remember quite well.  I was back to writing music, and smoke came billowing out of the kitchen.  As I made it to the stove, I was too late.  Ignition and take-off commenced.  I quickly lifted the burning pan which was nearly reaching the ceiling with the flame.  I was new to burning cooking oil and unsure what to do.  I carried it toward the front door.... no.. turned around and came to the bathtub... no... turned around back to the kitchen under the stove cover, flames almost singing my eyebrows, smoke billowing everywhere, and at last, I set it down, ran to open the sliding glass door to let the smoke out, ran back to the pan, and carried it out the door.  I stood there realizing that my situation wasn't dire.  As long as I kept the grease in the pan, all seemed safe.  I lowered the pan onto the grass in a little flat spot, left it there to burn itself out while I went inside to contemplate a solution.  It wasn't long that the smoke billowing out of my sliding door, the sound of my smoke alarm, and the sight of the flames from the continuing pan blaze through the windows of many apartments had lead everyone to call 911.  

My many years as a mountain boy who had built many many a bonfire with a few gallons of gasoline had given me a comfort level with fire a little more than most.  I understood burn rates of various flash materials.  I had used everything from high flash point nail polish remover(to start a pellet stove) to a can of hair spray (to burn out the black widows) to a can of mousse (as a 7 year old to light a beautiful glowing trail throughout the bathroom, up the walls, across the ceiling, through the shower... the longer the trail, the cooler!)  And many many such instances had given me comfort in the fact that the fire would burn itself out and ruin my pan.  But along came 8 fire trucks to try to hurry the process along for me.  I guess the neighbors weren't too happy with their new young mountaineer having an escapade in their apartment complex. 

So needless to say, diesel burns slowly like the oil in the pan, and gas burns fast.  Diesel engines are powerful, efficient, and durable.  Gas engines run faster at higher rpms, thereby wearing out parts faster.  I was in the freight industry for a while, and have learned that a Diesel truck that gets 6-8 miles per gallon carrying a load of 80,000 pounds, well let's just compare here...   If you drive a 3000 pound car with 40 miles per gallon, let's divide that out... To haul 80,000 pounds of cars, that's about 27 cars.  To drive 27 cars across the country, you would be getting about 1.48 miles per gallon to move 80000 pounds of cars. 

I hear so many people gripe about the Diesel trucks on the road, but the facts are these:  They might piss you off when you drive because there are a lot of them, but remember, they're hauling nectarines for you from Argentina because you bought them in the winter.  They haul cement to your town, because you don't want to dig it out of a mountain in California.  They bring you fried Chicken from Arkansas because you can't handle ringing the neck of a chicken. 

For all of these reasons, and many many more:

1.  We need each other to get the things we need and are not willing to attain for ourselves. 

2.  Going off the grid doesn't have to mean elimination of infrastructure.  But we can use technologies and rural ways to accomplish a life that uses less overall.  And even if we fail, we are figuring out what works for the next generation. 

3.  Love your trucker because his diesel truck is far more efficient than your toyota Preaus, let alone your non hybrid gasoline guzzlers.  And if there was enough bio diesel for everyone, let's just say bio diesel is a good story, but theres not enough to go around.  Those who get to use it are blessed and are paving a pathway toward using up our waste to create energy in as many ways as we can. 

And about those truckers, I've been on the road.  I know that the open roads in Kansas and Oklahoma are amazing with wide open spaces, and you can pull over in an offramp or an onramp to sleep.  But when you enter Southern California, you feel like an outcast.  You get in, and back outta there as fast as you can up to the Grapevine.  Besides that, cars hate trucks because of the traffic.  So do businesses and their parking lots.  I've never felt so unloved.  Truckers are out there living in a truck every day so you an have bananas in the winter and not have to grow them yourself.  Until you achieve complete self sustainability, ya better go hug a trucker every once in a while.  They're here with us too trying to pave a better way for our children.  Let's put our brains on. 

Remember to keep things in perspective.  Horses were messy and everything stank like maneur.  If we had 280 million horses carrying all of us to work... you get my point.  They had illnesses related to feces everwhere, and you had rain and mud and poop without paved roads.  Until we have anti gravity flying cars, paved roads save lives and make life tolerable.  No dust in the air.  The invention of the automobile was considered great partially because it ran clean and didn't poop all over the ground.  It didn't stop to eat or slow us down.  That combined with roads was the beginning of connecting the world in a new way. 

Let's take our past, and understand our history, then take the present and seek advancements that better our ways and simplify our lives.  I think we're well on our way to doing that. 


Also see this article on the Pros and Cons of Diesel and Gasoline


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