A Boy’s Love Affair with Tonka Trucks

No that is not the real story here today. It does give a perspective on why so many too big, too fast, and too often vehicles are eating up limited supplies of gasoline and oil. However, what is being missed is we are not buying more oil for the Strategic Oil Reserve.

Although, I am recalling our younger days when for Christmas the boys (meaning my brothers and I) would get “metal” Tonka pickup trucks and other versions of the same brand. Not a black mark on Tonka for sure. We were kids then and this was our play. Grandpa from Jeff’s Collie had a (yellow[?]) pickup (see below) to haul hay or other things around.

Probably an inline six Ford V8 for an engine and lower to the ground than today’s beasts which never haul much and are never dirty. Even if you have a “work” vehicle, why opt for a yuge engine and rear end gearing for speed off of the line. Keep your money and spend wisely.

It seems we passed the truck love affair on to our kids. Every other vehicle on the road is a jacked-up, pickup with the big mud tires and mufflers allowing for vroom-vroom, the vrooms we would make as kids to simulate an actual pickup truck. Mind you, we had our GTOs, Mustangs, Roadrunners in our teens (Little GTO You’re really lookin’ fine). Gasoline then was 25 to 30 cents a gallon. Much of the gasoline pricing today is driven by supply constraints and fear. Three bucks was a lot of gasoline and cruising in the late sixties.

I would opt for keeping gasoline prices per gallon at what we are experiencing right now in AZ. $4.99 per gallon can drive a lot of future innovation beyond a 1400 -1800 pound battery in the manly pickup. An update . . .

“Gas prices could fall to $3.25 by Halloween as oil plunges,” CNN Business, Matt Egan

After spiking to alarming levels last week, oil prices are suddenly in free-fall mode. The dramatic reversal should bring relief to drivers (and nervous central bankers) very soon. US oil prices plunged by 5.6% to $84.22 a barrel on Wednesday, marking the biggest one-day decline in a year. Crude dropped even further Thursday, sinking as low as $82.24 a barrel, a five-week low.

This is quite the U-turn, even for the notoriously boom-to-bust oil market. As recently as last week, US crude briefly touched $95 a barrel and Wall Street banks were predicting $100 or higher amid Saudi Arabia and Russia’s aggressive supply cuts. Cuts of 1 million barrels by the Saudis and 300 thousand barrels by Russia. Maybe RJS can clue us in as to the cuts.

Now, gas prices are already starting to retreat and experts predict sharper drops to come.

The national average for regular gas dipped to $3.77 a gallon on Thursday, according to AAA. That’s 11 cents below the 2023 peak set last month when gas prices experienced an unusual post-Labor Day jump.

‘Gas prices will tumble to nearly $3.50 a gallon nationally over the next few weeks according to Andy Lipow, president of consulting firm Lipow Oil Associates (CNN) .

Gobal head of energy analysis at the Oil Price Information Service’s Tom Kloza: “Enjoy the next four or five months and then be prepared for the roller coaster to go back up next spring.”


Back to Angry Bear. A good policy would leave gasoline prices high forcing people to conserve, drive less, slower, and safely. Certainly $5 dollar a gallon gasoline is not deterring people’s driving or how they drive today. These facts minimizing people driving are missing when you get out on the roads in AZ. The roads are of tailgating vehicles.

Another issue here is the oil reserve we slugged away which gave us a reprieve in 2021. Biden pull from it (32 million barrels initially in 2021) to offset the shortages. It appears Middle East countries can not or will not supplicant global needs during a global crisis. We have to secure our safety ourselves. Use the excess we pay for gasoline to restock the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

In AZ, people get angry when government can not immediately add another highway lane. I read one government official commentary misuse of the term intermodal which is the use of two or more different modes of transportation. He claimed differently which confuses the already baffled constituency as to what to do. As I pointed out, intermodal involves two or more different modes of transportation and not just pickup trucks and cars and an additional highway lane. People resist the concept or the use of trains and buses for transportation in favor of tailgate(ing) to tailgate means of getting to work snaking down the highway.

We have a long way to go to be self-sufficient. My thoughts . . . Yours?

New Model Oversized Cars are ridiculously Large, Angry Bear

‘Autobesity’ on course to worsen air pollution caused by motoring, Pollution | The Guardian, Gary Fuller