Sunday, September 30, 2007

Pay at the Pump

We went to an event at Scott Base tonight and I drove
a shuttle van back and forth a few times to take folks
over the hill. On a trip back, I stopped to fill up the
van with gas at the Gasboy. The Gasboy is a set of three
gas pumps (one unleaded and two diesel). It's one of
the old-style pumps that has a dial that turns as it
clicks off the amount you've pumped. You also have to
attach a small metal clip to your vehicle so there isn't
a static charge, igniting the fuel (it's very dry here).
The best part about the Gasboy is that it's free. Yes,
absolutely free to fill your vehicle. Of course it's not
like you're bringing in your car and taking a nice long
road trip. It's a work vehicle and depending on what type
it is, you'll fill with unleaded or diesel. No fancy
choices here such at 93 octane or anything like that.
It's also not "free". Considering how much it costs to
place this fuel on a ship, bring it all the way to
Antarctica and store it for months at a time, it's probably
some of the most expensive fuel on the planet. Ah, your
tax dollars at work!
As the gas was slowly entering the tank, I realized that
the next time I do this, I will be in New Zealand, where
it WON'T be free, and it WILL be expensive. Somehow
paying by the litre makes it seem less expensive somehow,
even though it's more expensive than in the U.S. Then,
when getting back to the U.S., I'll follow everyone else,
numbly filling their tanks at super-high prices because
...hey, what choice do you have...especially in the West.
So I finished my fill-up, returned the cap, and enjoyed
my last few days of free gas.

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