Monday, January 8, 2018

Oregonians Are Freaking Out

January 1, 2018, was a monumental day in the state of Oregon as a brand new state law went into effect: for the first time, Oregonians are allowed to pump their own gas in counties with fewer than 40,000 people (take a moment to process that if you need to). Oregon didn’t pump its own gas and it still won’t in major counties. The only other state that doesn’t allow you to pump your own gas is New Jersey. So what’s is complicated about pumping your own fuel? At least several Oregonians are freaking out about the new law. A local TV Station in Medford, OR, took it upon themselves to put up a Facebook poll asking followers if Oregon should allow self-serve gas stations statewide. Some of their responses were quite concerning:

  • “Not a good idea, there are lots of reason to have an attendant helping, one is they need a job too. Many people are not capable of knowing how to pump gas and the hazards of not doing it correctly. Besides I don’t want to go to work smelling of gas when I get it on my hands or clothes. I agree Very bad idea.”
  • “I don’t even know HOW to pump gas and I am 62, native Oregonian…..I say NO THANKS! I don’t want to smell like gasoline!”
  • “I’ve lived in this state all my life and I REFUSE to pump my own gas. I had to do it once in California while visiting my brother and almost died doing it. This a service only qualified people should perform. I will literally park at the pump and wait until someone pumps my gas. I can’t even”

(KENS 5 News)


For Those In Oregon…

Here’s a handy guide on how to pump your own gas. You just need to follow these 13 simple steps to become an expert in filling your tank:

  1. Put out your cigarette/cigar/pipe/joint/blunt/other thing you may be smoking before you get to the station. Fire and gas are bad together!
  2. Park with your fuel filler cap facing the pump. You can determine which side your filler is on from the little arrow on your fuel gauge.
  3. Pop the fuel filler door, either by unlocking your doors or with a release switch or button in your car. You know how to do this, as you’ve done it for an attendant for years. Now you’re doing it for yourself.
  4. Exit your car. To do this, you open the door and step out, just like you would any other time you get out of the car, be it at home or the store.
  5. If you’re paying with a credit card, just walk on up to the pump and stick that sucker in. You’ll likely need to enter your zip code too. If you’re paying with cash, walk inside and talk to the cashier, tell them you want $XX on Pump #XX (the number is usually on the top of the pump), and they’ll activate that for you.
  6. Remove the nozzle and put it in the fuel filler. If you have a cap on your filler (some cars don’t!), turn it left to loosen (lefty loosey) and remove it. Most cars have a spot on the fuel filler door to put your cap.
  7. Choose your fuel grade. You’ve been telling the attendant what you want for years, so if it helps, say something to yourself like “fill it with regular” and then push the button that says 87 on it. 
  8. Pull the lever on the nozzle to start the flow of fuel. On some older pumps, you may need to flip up the nozzle’s holder to tell the pump you’re ready for the sweet, sweet flow of gas to start.
  9. Hold the lever fully on. It’ll stop when full and pop. If it doesn’t stay on at the start, try less pressure. You can feel the resistance in the lever to tell you when the tank is full. Some stations have a clip that will keep the pump on until the tank is full, which is convenient when it’s freezing, but it’s not everywhere and doesn’t always work. Don’t try to top off your tank after it stops, as this is how you spill fuel on yourself, the ground, and the car.
  10. Carefully remove the nozzle and put it back in its spot at the pump. If you rotate it as you remove it so the open end faces up, you avoid getting any gas on your car which may damage the paint.
  11. Put your gas cap back on. Twist it to the right (righty tighty).
  12. Take your receipt, if you want a receipt.
  13. Enjoy your car until it needs a fill up.

See? It’s not that hard! If high schoolers have been doing it for decades without entire generations going extinct, then you can do it too. Yes, it is less convenient to get out of your car, but it could save you money. (


Trump Administration to vastly expand offshore drilling off US coasts

Toward the end of last week, the Trump administration said it plans to open up offshore drilling for oil and gas in pretty much all water surrounding the US. It says this proposal will make the US more energy independent and create more jobs. The plan would allow drilling in places where it’s been banned for decades, like off the coast of California. The oil and gas industry is on board. But since oil prices have dipped low in recent years, some say the industry is wary of spending precious dollars to set up operations in new areas. Environmentalists and some politicians say this makes marine life and coastal communities more vulnerable to disasters like oil spills. The new drilling sites wouldn’t open for business until next year. (AP News)


Philip Morris International has made a dramatic New Year’s resolution: “We’re trying to give up cigarettes.”

The maker of such cigarette brands as Marlboro, L&M, Parliament and Chesterfield took out full-page ads in several newspapers in the United Kingdom that said its new ambition in 2018 is to build a smoke-free future and eventually stop selling cigarettes. The manifesto, as described on the company’s web site, is to help people quit smoking traditional cigarettes and to one day replace them all with smoke-free alternatives like e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products. The company claims the alternatives are less harmful and that “we can achieve a significant public-health benefit only when a large number of these smokers switch from cigarettes to better products.” The Philip Morris ad states: “No cigarette company has done anything like this before. You might wonder if we really mean it.” (USA Today)


You Dirty Rat

A plane scheduled to depart from a California airport was grounded when a rat was seen boarding the aircraft shortly before takeoff time. Alaska Airlines Flight 915 had been scheduled to depart for Portland at 9:15 a.m. Tuesday, but the plane was evacuated when the rat was spotted. Alaska Airlines said the rodent was not a mouse, as the airport reported, but rather a large rat. Passengers were put on other flights, with some able to be accommodated on later flights. “The plane is currently out of service,” Alaska Airlines said. “It will be returned to operations once it’s certified rodent-free by a professional exterminator. The aircraft will also be thoroughly inspected to ensure no damage has been done.” Passengers chronicled their misadventure on social media. (The Mercury News)


Man breaks into evidence undetected, takes back bike

Police in Provo, Utah, say a man broke into the department’s evidence room undetected and took back his bike. The burglary went unnoticed until the person who originally was found with the bike was arrested again. The man also was bragging that he “pulled off the crime of the century.”  The man and his brother had gone to the department to retrieve the bike, but since they never reported it stolen, they had a hard time verifying it was his bike. Police accuse him of stealing it that same night after seeing where it was being stored. The bike was found at the thief’s grandmother’s house. Police Sgt. Nisha King said such a heist has never happened at the department. (ABC News)


Workers of the world, we have a communication problem

Some 70% of managers say they are uncomfortable “communicating in general” with staff, according to a recent Gallup survey. Making matters worse, workers are more likely to perceive negative feedback as a psychological threat and try to avoid the person offering criticism, according to research from Harvard. It might just be a matter of breaking the ice: Gallup’s survey reveals that workers want to speak more regularly with managers, which could end up benefiting everyone. Regular interaction may give managers the communication practice they need, and it may show workers that they are valued — a critical ingredient for effective feedback, according to the Harvard researchers. (Quartz)


The Good Things About It Being Monday:

  • Argyle Day
  • Bubble Bath Day
  • Earth’s Rotation Day
  • National English Toffee Day
  • Midwife’s Day or Women’s Day
  • National Clean Off Your Desk Day  (2nd Monday)
  • National Joy Germ Day
  • National Weigh-In Day
  • National Winter Skin Relief Day
  • Show and Tell Day at Work
  • “Thank God It’s Monday” Day
  • War on Poverty Day

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