Friday, May 27, 2011

To Be A Busy Bee

Well I haven't written on here in a while and I apologize for that, but I have an excuse...I've been busy. I've had to work because I have a job now (crazy job), I've been doing Young Life stuff (which by the way is awesome, you should definitely find out if there's one near you and get involved in it), I've had to get contacts, do yard work, and buy a pretty hardcore video camera. Yep, I've been a busy bee lately.

I'm gonna have to say I actually enjoy working at Pizza Hut, which is probably more than what a lot of people can say about their jobs. My co-workers are amusing and I get to drive around for a good part of the day, and I get paid well thanks to tips.

In Young Life I'm getting trained to be a leader and I love it! It's a great excuse to not grow up. Even though Club is over for the summer there are plenty of activities that will be happening. We've also started Young Life Alumni which I'm pretty pumped for. I would continue on about Young Life but it's worthy of its very own post so I'm going to continue on about my awesome hardcore video camera.

Over a week ago I went to Best Buy to buy a video camera for Banana's Squared. That's right, it's getting started again! This camera is worth $300 and I got it for $145 thanks to a sweet sale. It's full 1080p HD and is touch screen, has a 10 megapixel still shot camera, image stabilization and 12x optical zoom plus your other usual camera stuff. It's a pretty beasty camera and I hope to make some pretty beasty videos with it.

So get ready for some B^2 awesomeness this summer 'cause it's coming to you soon on Youtube. Booyah!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

To Save On Gas

Gas is murder now. The national average per gallon is over $4 which in turn is draining our bank accounts. Not long ago gas went over $3 a gallon and while that made many people more conscious of spending and driving habits it didn't really cause much of an upheaval in peoples lives as it is now. With gas hitting a new high people are starting to seriously consider different ways of saving on gas. I am one of those people, I've been reading about different ways of saving gas and been implementing these little tricks to my driving.

Many of these little gas saving tips work better with manual cars so if you have an automatic learn stick, sell your automatic, and buy a manual. I'm going to stick with the simple and free changes that will save gas. Things that you can buy to save gas can quite often be really expensive and may not pay themselves back for quite a while, besides, the free changes are probably the best changes.

1-Don't pretend you're a race driver or that your car is a jet. Accelerate slowly and around the speed limit. Now I'll admit, I don't usually stick right on the speed limit, but going 10 and 15 miles/hr over really isn't that necessary, you can use that gas for something else. There are a few cases though that would allow you to go over but I'll get to that later.

2-Most garages that I know of will inflate tires for free, take advantage of that, or if you have your own air pump use it. Well inflated tire make a big difference. It may not feel like a slightly low tire is taking a toll on your gas but it is. You know how hard it is to ride a bike with low tires and how much more energy you use? Well the same happens with a car.

3-Keeping windows up and air conditioning on also helps, but then you run the risk of sweating like a pig. You have to choose between the two based on circumstances. Windows up reduces drag and having the air con off lets the engine focus on just moving your car. Unless its blistering outside I put down the windows a couple  inches. It keeps you cool and it doesn't create so much drag that it turns your car into a forward moving parachute.

4-Coasting is a great way to save gas, but to take advantage of it you have to do it right. Remember, neutral is still a gear, it keeps the car running at idle which means it still uses gas. Best times to use neutral is when you're going to be going down a good amount of hill and not planning to slow down. This is when going over the speed limit makes more sense, it gives you momentum to go a good ways on flat ground or get you over that other hill along the way without hitting the gas. But please drive carefully, don't go so fast that you can't control your car safely and remember that in some states it's illegal to coast in neutral.

5-Another way to coast is in gear. When you coast in gear you don't use any gas! That is if you're driving a manual. Leaving the car in gear while moving but not giving it gas doesn't mean the engine stops moving, it's still going because while in gear the wheels move the engine. The only time it makes sense to do this though is if you're going to slow down. Having the car in gear works like a brake when you're not giving it gas. It would be pointless to be in gear and coasting down a hill to gain speed because then you're not taking full advantage of gravity since something is slowing you down, which in turn means you're not taking full advantage of your gas.

6-Another thing to do that's free is to not brake, avoid braking at all costs. To do this means keeping a good distance between you and other cars to avoid sudden braking. When coming up to a red light or stop sign try to coast up to it so that when you do reach it you've almost come to a stop. The reason to avoid braking is because when you do that it means the momentum you created to get there just got wasted, which means you wasted the gas that created that momentum.

7-Remove all unnecessary items from your car. Extra unneeded weight could really waste gas in the same way that carrying more weight yourself causes you to lose more energy with the more weight you carry.

All these things are free and easy to do and it makes a huge difference with gas mileage. I managed to push my car to about 50 miles/gallon and normal driving on it gets it about 27. It's well worth it to make these changes.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Obama vs. Osama vs. Usama

Unless you live beneath a pile of rocks you've heard that Bin Laden is dead. God Bless America! Now I have a little bet, I'll bet that most people heard about this from Facebook status'. For the past day and a half it's all I see on my Facebook news feed. (Just to add to the fact that it's all people can talk about, I just now heard on the radio that Bin Laden is dead.)

While reading the status' on Facebook I noticed that there seems to be a disagreement on the spelling of Bin Ladens first name. Is it Osama or Usama? I don't really know, and I couldn't care less. What is truly amusing though is when people start to accidentally start misspelling his name by spelling it Obama. Now I know it's easy to make fun of Obama's name, but before you start judging me for doing this, know that this is not what I am doing. I am just stating an observance and find it amusing.

I certainly am glad that this game of hide and seek is over and that we finally got Bin Laden, but I must admit that this doesn't make me feel any safer in terms of terrorism. Al-Qaida is still a threat. I'm not going to hate on Muslims as a people. It's not about the individuals, it's about Islam and what the religion stands for. This is a religion of works and to die for it is a great thing. The death of their lead is wonderful news for people around the world, but let us be warned that this isn't the end. We should be wary of what could possibly, and likely, continue to happen. The war on terrorism is not over.

Non-the-less, thank God Bin Laden is out of the picture now! Thank God that justice has been given to all affected by his acts of terrorism. I pray for those who have been put into positions of affiliation with terrorist groups and pray that they may get out of it safely. No one wins when terrorism is involved.