From:         Patrick Crispen 
Subject:      TOURBUS - 16 Aug 2005 - Gas Prices


The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2239
Copyright © Bob Rankin and Patrick Crispen - All rights reserved

Howdy, y'all, and greetings once again from deep behind the orange curtain in beautiful Irvine, California, America's number one selling pretzel.

Cheap Gas Audience: Anyone in America with an Automobile

Now that a barrel of oil is almost [but not quite] as expensive as a barrel of printer ink, today's post is going to show you some ways to save money the next time you fill up your gas tank in the United States. Obviously, the easiest way to save money during this energy crisis [or "price instability" or whatever we're calling it this week] is to stop using private transportation altogether. Most municipalities have wonderful mass transit systems that are both efficient and cheap. Just do a Google search for the name of your city plus the words "mass transit" for more information about all of the public transportation options that are available to you.



However, living in Southern California where the automobile is a part of our culture, giving up my automobile just isn't feasible. [Try mapping a bus route from John Wayne Airport to Cal State Long Beach, a distance of only 20 miles, and you'll see what I mean.] For us crazy Californians -- and I'm willing to bet the same is true for most Americans -- what we really need is a way to comparison shop for gasoline, to find the cheapest gas prices before we get in the car and head to the pumps.

Fortunately, there are a BUNCH of gasoline price comparison sites on the internet. The biggest is the American Automobile Association's "AAA Fuel Price Finder" at

Key in your state and city or your zip code, choose a search area radius of three, five, or ten miles, and click on the "Search" button and the site shows you a list of gas stations in your area and the prices they are charging for regular, mid-grade, and premium gasoline.

The American Automobile Association compiles their pricing data

from credit card transactions at more than 85,000 outlets around the country as well as direct feeds from individual chains. The site displays the last price received over the past 7 days at each location...


Here in Irvine, self-serve regular ranges from ~$2.72 to ~$2.88 per gallon. That doesn't sound like too much of a price difference, but by going to the cheapest gas station instead of the most expensive I can save almost $2.40 each and every time I fill up.

While the American Automobile Association gets its pricing information directly from the source, several new sites have popped up recently that get their pricing data directly from consumers like you and me. These sites include, in alphabetical order:

To be completely honest, none of these sites knock my socks off. Someone recently combined with Google Maps to create

but even that isn't as accurate as the AAA Fuel Price Finder. But that's just my opinion.

Another source for up-to-date gasoline price information is your local media. With gasoline prices skyrocketing recently, most local television stations, radio stations, and newspapers regularly compile lists of the cheapest local gasoline prices. Just head on over to

and search for the name of your town and the word "media." At the very top of the search results page, under the words "Related Directory Categories," click on the "News and Media" link for your hometown. This shows you links to all of the media outlets, and one of them probably has gasoline prices posted on their website.

I hope this helps!

Windows Update Audience: All Windows Users

Microsoft normally releases critical updates on the second Tuesday of each month, and this past Tuesday's update was a doozie. In fact, there is already a worm making its way through the Internet looking for systems that don't have one of Tuesday's patches [see ]


Fortunately, patching your system is pretty easy: Just run Windows Update. [In Internet Explorer, go to Tools > Windows Update and follow the on-screen prompts.] Be prepared to restart your computer once all of the patches are installed. [Hey, I told you it was a doozie.]

That's it for today. Have a safe and happy week, and we'll talk again soon.

.~~~. )) (\__/) .' ) )) Patrick Douglas Crispen /o o \/ .~ {o_, \ { / , , ) \ `~ -' \ } )) AOL Instant Messenger: Squirrel2K _( ( )_.' ---..{____} Warning: squirrels.

The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2239
Copyright © Bob Rankin and Patrick Crispen - All rights reserved
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