finding stuff

I need a little information from anyone who might be reading this. Two things, one of which is probably too fanciful to actually pursue.

The first item is a good pair of inexpensive shoes for the clipless pedals on my bicycle. I already have cleats from my previous pair, which are too small for my spreading feet. Anyone know of a store or two in the greater Salt Lake City area that I can go for such a thing?

The second and fanciful request for information is relating to an idea I had this morning. It occurred to me that if there is a sizable discount on gasoline in large quantities (200-300 gallons), then I’d like to check into the feasibility of putting an elevated fuel tank (bottom about chest high would probably work) in my back yard. It might be impossible or impractical to do.

South Jordan has a habit of not allowing anything that might detract from the beauty of its neighborhoods, and more importantly the property values driving its tax base, so they might strongly object. If that’s the case, it might be possible to fight for a zoning variance, but that’s time-consuming and probably also expensive.

It might cost too much for the tank itself, and I might run into high costs for permits and ongoing inspection fees. There’s also the logistics of getting a supply truck in there regularly to refill it when it gets low.

Should I even start looking into it?

2 responses to “finding stuff”

  1. Short answer: No, you shouldn’t.

    I’m in a place in my life right now where one tank of gas can last me six months or so – and it’s not as good a thing as you might think. What I’ve learned is that fuel isn’t stable for long term storage unless you add chemicals to stabilize it, and the common wisdom is not to trust a stabilizer. Over time the gasoline long chains break down into less complex chains, and you end up with a very light shellac rather than gas – which I have to contend with in my gas tanks from time to time. It’s a pain, let me tell you – clogs injectors, blows emissions standards completely out the window, robs power. It’s just a much better idea to buy fresh gas as you need it. Especially when you consider the initial cost of setting up – even without the tank, regulations, permits, and whatnot, you’re talking about $1000.00 in fuel of which $800.00 might be wasted – and then you have the trouble and expense of figuring out how to properly dispose of the bad gas. Don’t do it. Farmers get away with this kind of thing because tractors don’t care as much about their fuel quality, and aren’t typically emissions controlled.

    As an alternative in the same kind of price range, have you considered getting a diesel engine and learning how to fractionate your own fuel grade diesel from surplus vegetable oil? It’s not something I want to get in to necessarily, but I’ve heard of folks who get their fuel free for pickup from restaurants every time they change the frying oil.


  2. One of the options under consideration over my car accident is replacing my car, and a diesel would be a nice thing. Based on what I’ve seen of the process for making biodiesel, it doesn’t seem all that hard.

    Apparently most diesel engines can burn straight vegetable oil once they are at operating temperature, so I’d also investigate a dual-tank arrangement where the engine runs diesel at startup and again just before turning the engine off, but SVO the rest of the time.

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