Oleg Dulin has never been a fan of mine. In fact, the only times I can recall him commenting on my writings (either here on his own site) has been critically. I wouldn’t exactly call him a pain in my butt, but more of a pimple — unpleasant to behold, and occasionally annoying.
Our most recent disagreement has been about my recent discussion of the issue of “giving” self-esteem to schoolchildren. Oleg studiously ignored the main premise of my piece, instead focusing laser-like on a tossed-off wisecrack at the end. During that conversation, I called him an “ankle-biter,” and I think I spotted a thread in my sock he managed to loosen in his ferocious attack.
Imagine my surprise when, Sunday evening, I received the following e-mail:
Not that I like to nitpick on people, but these guys have been pissing
me off for the past few weeks:
See how they calculate the amount of oil that goes into gasoline in
the first two paragraphs.
I sent back the following:
My first thought is that perhaps they’re computing the
amount of petroleum needed to generate that much gasoline.
My second thought is to wonder why you so publicly decry my reasoning abilities, then privately seek my counsel.
My third thought it that you have previously wasted any good will from me, and I feel no great compunction to do your homework for you.
I’ve given you one freebie, against my own better judgment. And I fully expect that, should that line of reasoning prove productive, my contribution will remain unacknowledged. I’ve never been greatly
impressed with the magnitude of your scruples and honesty.
Nonetheless, there you have it — my first “hunch” on explaining the discrepancy. Use it as you will.
I have absolutely no interest in any further developments on this matter.
But my curiosity got the better of me. I went over to their site, and Oleg’s own posting on it, and immediately saw the problem with Oleg’s reasoning — and it was much simpler than my first idea above.
Oleg’s calculations differed from theirs by a factor of three. I then looked for a logical place for him to miss that calculation, and it immediately leaped out at me:
Herman Hughes drives his C.N. Brown tanker truck 300 to 350 miles a day, stopping three times, in separate trips, to unload his 8,000-gallon load of gasoline at service stations around the state.
By the end of the week, Hughes’ single tanker has pumped another 120,000 gallons of petroleum into the energy stream of America. In one year, that amounts to 6.2 million gallons – a scenario the Maine Oil Dealers Association said is typical.
8,000 gallons x 3 trips = 24,000 gallons/day.
24,000 gallons/day x 5 days = 120,000 gallons/week.
I find it strange that when Oleg had a problem, he didn’t go to his regular buddies. He didn’t reach out to the Resolutely Clueless Moron. He didn’t ask Cousin Oliver Willis or Kos and his deranged, howling echo chamber. He instead went to one person whose analysis he has consistently criticized, derided, and mocked.
Perhaps in the future, Oleg should stick to math simple enough for him to figure out on his fingers. And he should work on consistency — he shouldn’t trash someone in public, then run to them for help in private. But I appreciate his recognition of my abilities — even if it was purely accidental.