The first week of Advent. The first Advent tree, put up and powered by the Geneva Shore Report, is now lit between the hours of four p.m. in the afternoon and four a.m. in the morning at the intersection of Willow Road and South Lake Shore Drive right across from Louie's Pizza. The tree is there for you and for us. It is about good news. It is about celebration. It is about hope. It is about a bright future. Drive by and smile, as you are intended to. Do something good and think some great pleasant thoughts. That is what Christmas is all about. Nothing more and nothing less. A second tree will light up next Sunday, to begin the second week of Advent. Merry Christmas! If you are a Christian then reflect on the New Testament. If you're not a Christian, then just go along for the ride. It's a great one.
Gasoline. We have reported on our newly discovered fact that regular, middle grade and premium gasoline has gone the way of the dodo bird.
You get all premium now (91 octane, not 93, even when it is so marked). You get plus or minus three to five percent of a gallon in volume, depending on how close the retailer wants to shade things. Usually, you get just a bit less than a gallon. It's sort of like how a two by four-inch piece of lumber is really one and two-thirds inches by three and half. It's still a '2X4' in everyone's terminology. It's still a 'gallon' of gas using the same mindset.
Ethanol. Ethanol is much cheaper to purchase on a wholesale basis than pure gasoline. Wisconsin allows for the use of up to ten percent ethanol in most gasoline. Ethanol has less energy than pure gasoline so your fuel economy will go down about five percent if you operate your vehicles on gasoline with an ethanol mix. Fifteen percent ethanol is the most common mix for gas retailers to use, as modern engines adjust for ethanol very effectively with computers and highly technical intake systems.
Most gas stations advertising one of their fuels available without ethanol are usually not being truthful. They know that your engine will adjust for this small white lie, unless you must run one of the old motors that will be damaged by an ethanol mix. The damage that old motor suffers will almost never be traceable back to the bogus fuel it ingested.
Now add this to your gasoline mix. There are 247,728 retail outlets selling gasoline and/or diesel across America. Less than two percent of the gas stations buy anything from brand names that they advertise. Less than two percent! A Phillips 66 station, or a BP station or a Chevron station sells whatever it buys from wholesale gasoline operations with names you have never heard of. Valero, Alon and Sunoco are three names you probably don't know about. You are also probably buying your gas from a retailer (the brand name the retailer is using has nothing to do with either the ownership of the station or the gasoline being sold!) using one of those three 'top tier' gasoline wholesalers. The next time you see a gasoline tanker parked at a gas station, pay close attention. You probably won't see any name at all on the side of that tanker. You are getting one grade of gasoline, in amounts less than advertised, from distributors you've never heard of.