Sunday, August 21, 2005
Pick Up Car From Berkeley
I flew up on the first flight. Craig picked me up from airport in my car. I let him drive. On the freeway he proves to me the power of used vegetable oil and takes it 114 MPH for about 40 seconds. I'm impressed and scared for my life all in the same moment. We then go to the co-op to fill up on some more SVO for my drive back to Los Angeles. We talk with Shane and I tell them, "That they did a great job and if I get back to Los Angeles they did an excellent job." We go back to Craig's house. I realize I've lost my glasses on the plane ride here. The same glasses that I'll need to see while I drive at night back down to Los Angeles. This drives me crazy and I spend the next 15 minutes on Craig's phone calling Southwest to try to track down my glasses. No luck. I'll have to wear my prescription sunglass and drive down Jack Nicholson style. Before I take off, Craig and I settle the bill in cash and then he gives me some cool window stickers that say "Powered by Vegetable Oil" and "Plantdrive.com." He also shows me how to use the 12 volt pump and wand kit I bought to get the used oil into my jugs and car. I realize that this is a must if I'm going to really run the car on svo. I take off for Los Angeles at about noon. Before I know it, I'm cruising at 85 mph on the 5 on svo. A couple hours into the trip I get a call from Craig wanted to know how it was going. I tell him it's great and I think I'm getting 31 or 32 mpg. 1 or 2 mpg more than biodiesel. I make it back to Los Angles with no problems. Except one. I still need to actually meet Eddie, the render guy, and get a supply of used vegetable oil to make this car go. I call Eddie the Render, and tell him I'm coming over. I get to his house and we start pumping Canola oil, with my new pump, from a 55 gallon drum that came from this fancy French restaurant, into my 5 gallon jugs. The oil keeps clogging the 70 micron filter in the wand. Somethings not right. I call Craig and I describe to him the oil. It has this creamy swirl in it. He tells me not to use it. He says it's most likely hydrogenated. It turns out the French restaurant dumps all their extra wine and cream sauces in the oil. Not good. I dump the oil back into the drum and Eddie tells me he'll try to find something on Monday for me. I drive off wondering what I'm going to do on Monday.