27 September 2008

Today's Public Service: Gas Prices Widget

If you look in my sidebar below my Meez, you will see that I have added a live gas prices widget. I did this partly for myself, but also for my readers who are local to me who may want to know where to go for the cheapest gas.

Between the shortages and the rising prices, all of our phone conversations around here have been about gas. As soon as someone spots a station with cheap gas or ANY gas, they get on the phone and start calling everyone else. It reminds me of those phone trees where everyone is assigned to call two other people in case of an emergency. The situation is just as bad in GA. My sister K called me while she was on the road to see if there was a website that could help find a station that still had gas. I couldn't find a site, but there is a topic set up on Twitter where people are reporting what they have been seeing at different gas stations around Atlanta.

I read an article yesterday where a rep in the GA governor's office suggested that the situation would get back to normal if people would stop topping off their tanks. I can't speak for what people are doing in the ATL, but we don't have much of a choice here. For weeks, ABM has been putting just enough gas in his tank to get by. He only fills up if he finds a station that has a really good price. When the shortages started, the van was already close to empty. He had no choice but to get in line. Even then, he wasn't greedy; he only filled up to half a tank so that the person behind him would have a chance to get some gas.

This is the first time since I was a kid that we've had to plan activities around whether there was gas in the car. When I was younger, I spent more time than I care to remember on the side of the road in a car that had run out of gas. One of the things that impressed me about ABM was that he always managed to keep his car filled up, and it has been that way for almost 20 years. He has never said that we can't go somewhere because it would cost too much to fill up the car -- until now. Luckily, we are adept at entertaining ourselves at home. As long as we have plenty of food and electricity, we're good!

What's the gas situation like in your area? Are you experiencing lines or shortages? Let me know what the highest price is where you are. I'm interested in finding out whether the gas craziness is extending across the country.
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