Wednesday, June 25, 2008

My Big Fat SUV


Four dollar a gallon gas along with reducing my carbon footprint, has got me thinking about my own carbon footprint sins—I own a Big Fat SUV, a 1992 Chevy Suburban. I did some calculating this morning as I considered full repentance for my sins. Here are my notes:

800 miles driven per year—all in-town
11 miles per gallon in town mileage
72 gallons of gas used per year
@ $4.20 per gallon gas
$302 annual cost of gas

Really, shouldn’t a person with pro-environment leanings drive around town in a Toyota Prius like my nifty colleagues Steve Lennox and Todd Voss do? Better yet maybe I ought to get one of those cool plug-ins and disconnect forever from middle eastern oil.

So I calculated a trade. I paid $10,000 for the used Suburban when it had about 100,000 miles on it. I could now get maybe $5,500 if I sell it outright—I could put that toward a lower emission car maybe. So I checked the cost of the cheapest used Prius within 500 miles of my home. I found a “clunker” for just over $17,000. (A true plug-in was far more than that so I dropped the plug-in idea altogether.) So if I sell my Suburban for five grand and add just $12,000 to that money, I too could be a cool low-carbon guy. How much would that investment of twelve grand save me on gas?

800 miles driven per year—all in-town
44 miles per gallon (in town mileage)
18 gallons of gas used per year
@ $4.20 per gallon gas
$226 annual savings in gas

In short, if I fork out just $12,000 extra for the used Prius, I could save $226 every year at the gas pump and “it would pay for itself” in just 53 years—in time for my 115th birthday.

I need a quicker payback.

So I guess for a while yet, you’ll still see me running around town in “my Big Fat SUV.”

(Of course more commonly you’ll see be around town on my bicycle).

Friday, June 20, 2008

Ready for Fall semester

All week I have been preparing for Fall semester and my last syllabus is now done and all the first week's classes are prepared. My office is all packed up and in boxes for the move back into the newly renovated CM building August 1--but I'll be long gone so I will come back at the end of August for classes with these boxes all moved into my new I had to prepare for fall early this year.

Now I'm thinking about the rest of summer.

I have three weeks here in Marion to
-Pack for the rest of the summer, and
-Do all the little chores professors say "I'll do that this summer."
...Today I'm painting kitchen cabinets and hardware
...cutting grass and caring for the garden-I-won't-be-here-to- harvest
...just being summer-lazy a bit
...I've got a bunch of other little things to repair, fix, organize, and throw away
...visiting with my local grandkids..

To be honest I'm blogging here just to delay finishing the kitchen painting.

I leave July 13 for the rest of the summer...
--Hiking in Wyoming with Paul & Brooke Kind
--Wandering Wyoming three extra weeks with Sharon
--returning in August just time to leave the next day for Colorado with Kerry Kind, Dave Ward and Phil Woodbury for an end-of-summer hike on the CT.

OK I better get back to painting before Sharon comes home to find me having done nothing at all today...

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Family Reunion @ General Conference

Perhaps the best highlight of the Wesleyan General Conference for me personally was the reunion of all my family.
Left to right are
-David, Kathy, (College church ex pastor)
-Sharon and me, (IWU)
-Amanda and John, (Princeton)
-my late brother Elmer's son Scott & Elizabeth (World Hope) whom I consider like a son
All are members of my own denomination (Wesleyan), Dave, John and Amanda are ordained, and Scott is pursuing it now.
We all sat together on the front seat of the observers section and whispered, chuckled, sighed, cheered and grunted through every minute of every session. We do not claim to have a perfect denomination but we are all in this one and it is ours and we love it.
In 1988 at the General Conference I made a big bet on a family/career decision.
At this General Conference, twenty years later it reminded me that it paid off in spades.
--Keith Drury June 17, 2008

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Back Home from General Conference

We flew back from Orlando last night and I’m in General Conference detox now. It was a GREAT conference and I loved every moment. Here are a few personal notes the morning-after.

- I shaved off my beard for this week. Most of the folk at CG know me clean-shaven and I didn’t want every single interchange with people to start with remarks about my beard or the “have you become Amish?” question. The only folk who mentioned facial hair were people I already see every week—and that didn’t matter since I merely explained the above to them and they understood. The beard starts growing back today.

- I am in relational detox now. Crowds recharge some people’s batteries (most of my family); constant relationships exhaust me so I must plan alone-time to recharge my batteries. I love so many people I saw this week, yet I get exhausted “relating” from 7 AM to midnight every day without alone time.

- I was reminded how much I love these guys. Man do I have great friends in this church. I skipped “The Gathering” last January due to a wedding (one that never happened it turned out) and regretted it. I’ll not skip the next one—or general Conference either. I got to see bunches of former students and youth workers.

- The highlight for me was being able to sit with my two sons in the front seat of the observer’s section and comment to each other on things like those guys on Mystery Theater or the guys in the Muppets. I represented the old folk and they the younger ones.

- I was suprised at how many 20-30somethings care about General Conference and showed up at their own expense. The boomers like to pretend it is all irrelevant. They are out of sync with the coming generation who really cares about stuff like this.

- I blogged real-time from my cell phone live reports on the conference…they are here.

- NEXT FOR ME: After resting up with alone time a while I am making all my Fall semester syllabi before leaving for the rest of the summer in 3 weeks.

-- Keith Drury June 12, 2008

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Sharon's new pack

Sharon got a new pack--Golite's LiteSpeed

It weighs a bit over 2 pounds which is too much so we are adapting it now (removing the alum stays etc) to get it under 2# but it is a sweet pack.

She is "moving beyond" her trusty Golite "Breeze" 15 oz pack because she wanted 1) waist straps, and 2) a cooler looking pack ;-)

Sharon has endlessly long legs but is short-waisted so she actually fits a woman's small pack--her pack holds about 2000 cubit (cubic). inches which will be enough for about any long distance hike as a lite-packer.

I think this may be a revision of the old "speed" pack that Paul Kind (and maybe Mark Schmerse) used once... she liked that one so I think she'll like this one too

Ok gotta go register freshman... just wanted to report a new pack in the family ;-)

Monday, June 02, 2008

Finished 500 miles of Applachian Trail

On Thursday at nine o'clock we rolled into Damascus, Virginia... about 500 miles from our starting point at Springer Mountain Georgia on the Appalachian Trail. I had only hoped for 350 miles at the best but we rolled along quite nicely with light packs and long walks. In the final week we were doing 20-even 25--miles a day....

In Damascus we went out for supper with a half dozen other hikers we've been running with for the last week or so... they are celebrating our finish and their entry into the second quarter of the trail for themselves....

Ethan Lennox was my partner for the whole hike--all 500 miles. he is faster than I am but I can walk long. We were counting up and discovered we passed more then 150 long distance hikers (thru hikers going to Maine or those hiking 500+ miles).... only two have passed us which was quite a feat for someone who has never backpacked before the first night on Springer mountain (Ethan) and an old guy in his 60's... (me). Light packs and long walking were the secret. Burt Webb joined us for two weeks and Phil Woodbury for Three weeks of this hike

We got back to Marion by Midnight Friday and I had a "normal" weekend here at home preparing to leave for General Conference.

I am now experiencing PTTSS.... "Post Trail Traumatic Stress Syndrome"... my mind won't settle back into noisy town life... it seems like I don't belong here but have snuck away from where I "belong." Happens every year.... and I am exausted...I think I'll go back to bed and sleep until August!

Actually I head to general conference Friday, then I will start planning for the Continential Divide hike in July... Sharon will join me in the Wind River Mountains where we're be double-date-hiking with Paul & Brooke Kind... that will be great...a bit slower pace and more beautiful mountains..(and since Sharon is going) we'll take one of those "jet boil" stoves and make coffee daily!!!! After that hike Sharon and I will stay out in the Tetons and in Yellowstone for three more weeks before returning here to marion the day or so before I leave with Kerry Kind, Dave Ward, Phil Woodbury (& maybe Chris Bounds too) for our annual before-faculty-retreat hike on the Colorado Trail--this year form Creede to Durango...

I love summers!

--Keith Drury 6/2/08