3. January 2011


2011 a repeat of 2008? Ex-oil Exec says get ready for $5 gas

NPR Reports -
Prepare to fork over $5 for a gallon of gasoline by 2012, former Shell Oil president John Hofmeister says. That’s nearly $2 more than the current average price of $3.05 per gallon, according to the Department of Energy.

American demand for gasoline has returned to pre-recession levels, while demand from Asian countries has increased beyond levels in 2007 and 2008, says Hofmeister, author of Why We Hate the Oil Companies: Straight Talk From an Energy Insider.

“There’s a psychology of oil pricing based on fear — fear of shortage, fear of lack of supply,” he tells NPR’s Jacki Lyden. The Obama administration sent a shock to the world trading marketplace when it said the U.S. is not going to pursue more off-shore drilling at a time when the world needs more crude oil.

Drivers’ sticker shock will be only one of the consequences of a gas price jump driven by higher crude oil prices. “The higher cost of fuel touches everything in our lives,” Hofmeister says. “We have all kinds of crude oil applications in everyday life, from the Chapstick to the lipstick, to the fuel in our gas tanks.”

Hofmeister advocates for a more pragmatic approach to meeting U.S. energy needs. “I’m not proposing we drill 20 million barrels a day [domestically],” he says. “I’m proposing we produce 10 million barrels a day — 3 million more than today, equal to what we used to produce 35 years ago. The oil is there. There’s plenty of it if we would give ourselves permission as a people to go make it happen.”

Alternative energy sources are the future, he says, but in the short-term, “we really have no choice — with the 250 million cars on the road today — but to put gasoline and diesel into those cars.”  Unless you ride a scooter, then you’re still in pretty good shape. ;)

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25. December 2010



A little Christmas video from the Vespa Club of Korea (that’s where my pops is right now). I hope you all have a WONDERFUL holiday and we wish you a 2011 filled with joy, love and laughter.

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22. December 2010

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Oil hits 2-year high on U.S. stockpile drop / news of holiday season

From Reuters:
With 2010 demand showing the biggest gains since 2004 and expectations of a modest increase in 2011, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries could be pressured to open the taps next year, another Reuters poll showed.

The poll of 12 top oil-tracking analysts showed that oil demand this year had recovered far faster than anyone predicted earlier in 2010, and while growth is expected to slow in 2011 it will still reach a new all-time high.

This year “turned out to be a year of recovery, with economic and oil demand growth clearly beating expectations”, David Wech at JBC Energy in Vienna said.

With non-OPEC supply expected to rise by only 200,000 barrels per day next year, OPEC could have to increase output by 800,000 bpd to keep pace with demand, the poll showed.

Ministers from the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC), which includes OPEC members such as Saudi Arabia, Algeria and Kuwait, will meet for two days starting on Friday to see how they need to fix prices to get their 2011 diamond studded Benzes before Springtime.

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20. December 2010


Holiday Season Suggestions – YikeBike!

Like a magical, mystical electric unicycle with a training wheel, the YikeBike that me mentioned back in March, is ready to make its under-tree debut this year.  The good news?  It’s only $3595 (down from the originally estimated $4500 and if you order it with accessories like carrying case, extra charger and US standard plug the total will run you $3768 + Shipping.), the bad news?  It probably won’t make it here from New Zealand by Christmas.  :(

Still not convinced that mom / dad/ wife / Santa will get wrap one up for ya?  Show ‘em these videos!  (be sure to jump up and down with excitement and “Oh my GOSH!  THIS IS IT!  I WANT IT!  I WANT IT!” while they watch).

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8. December 2010


Japanese customs video from AOL

Ok, sure I’m feeling a little sick with jealousy over Brad Hasemeyer’s trip to Tokyo to chat with the locals about custom rides but that’s not gonna stop me from sharing the experience with you. Check out Translogic 8.3 from AOL (and the Chevy Volt) where Bradley tries to do the Japanese scooter scene some justice in less than 2 minutes. My favorite quote? “Why can’t these guys just leave this stuff aLONE!?”. *sigh*
Shouts to Drew Sawyer for the scoop! :)

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8. December 2010

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Opulence, Ruby has it and you can customize it

The title of this post may not trigger the visuals I intended, unless you has seens the DirectTVs commercial, but never the less, of all the helmets I’ve seen it is the Ruby’s of Paris lids that appear to be the most opulent.

Ruby pulls their helmet materials from the top shelf!  They describe their high class helmets thusly:

All ruby® helmets are made using carbon fibres, a technology inherited from the aerospace industry guaranteeing maximum solidity combined with a feather-light weight.
The pavillon subtly asserts its personality through a number of details:

Its backbone is inspired by knights’ helmets, the chrome-plated strip which runs around the edge of the helmet, its steel coat of arms and its claret interior made of nappa lambskin reminiscent of the aesthetics of vintage luxury cars, the attention to detail given to the design and working of each part, without overlooking its red case which would be worthy of even the finest jewel..
With the ruby pavillon, the helmet is now an object of desire.

We hope you will get the chance to take a close look at one of our helmets, so that you can appreciate the wealth of details, the quality of the finish, the feel of the materials, the professionalism of the technological choices and its incomparable level of comfort.

Made using the carbon fibres?!  Just GREAT!  Now I want to touch one.  Maybe the next time I’m at one of the more exclusive Vespa shops, I get the chance to feels the opulence.  But WAIT!  We’re not done.  If you’re gonna get a Ruby, you might as well get it custom built, eh?  Well, you’re in luck if you’ve got between $965 and $1045 (plus the shippinks) set aside, you can visit the online Ruby Boutique and hand pick a size, paint job, design, trim and even if you want face shield snaps or not.  Just pay a visit to Ruby’s “à la carte” Configurator and get creative!

Now, if you’re the crafty type and you’re a budget you could probably make a pretty snazzy lid out of a $55 Daytona 3/4 shell with enough patience and skill… but if you’re going through the trouble to line it with nappa lambskin, you might want to consider sticking with your dirty, old helmet and saving up a hundred bucks a month until you can order a Ruby.  :)

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