Monday, November 28, 2016

Musings On Shale As We Anticipate The "OPEC Meeting" -- November 28, 2016

Some thoughts:
  • at one time I bought into "peak oil"; no longer. We're not going to run out of affordable, accessible oil for at least three more human generations (through my granddaughters); probably four generations
  • I have no clue why folks are so 'interested" in gasoline at $5.00/gallon. For me, I love gasoline at $1.50 / gallon (free market-based; supply and demand; not subsidized)
  • I don't buy into anthropogenic climate change 
  • with regard to global supply of oil, right now it's the Mideast (mostly Saudi Arabia); Russia; and, the US
  • there is no such thing as "swing" producer any more; having said that, US producers respond to the market; Saudi Arabia tries to manipulate the market; and, Russia ignores the market
I say all that as a preface to this very interesting article in Forbes: shale wars -- where are oil prices headed as Saudi Arabia lets the big bet play out?

Comments and observations:

First, the Forbes subject line: "oil prices." It's a fool's errand to predict oil prices. And oil prices don't matter. As in everything else, it's not the price that matters, it's the margin that matters. If oil is priced at $200 but it costs $180 to produce, the margin is $20. If oil is priced at $50 and it costs $20 to produce, the margin is $30. Price doesn't matter; margins matter.

Second, Saudi Arabia's "big bet." I suppose one could call it a "big bet." Most now consider it a "trillion-dollar mistake." Saudi Arabia tried this at least once before, back in the 80s, to bankrupt America oil companies by driving the price of oil down below what US operators needed to stay in business. It worked in the 80s. It didn't work this time (at least not so far). 

Now back to the article.

Saudi has lost something like $200 billion since their decision in 2014; this jibes with other writers who have suggested $180 billion. So, $200 billion is a nice round number; easy to remember.

Saudi's sovereign wealth fund was $2 trillion; now it's $200 billion less. I guess.

The writer says we are witnessing a two-part test.

The first question: how much damage low oil prices will have caused America's shale industry?

Okay, let's stop right there. Who cares?
In economics, today is always the first day of the rest of your life and yesterday is a sunk cost.
Oh, I get it. The author is suggesting this: if the US shale industry was hurt badly enough, it won't be able to respond quickly to changes in global supply, and Saudi Arabia will gain market share by default.

I didn't see that because I don't see anything to suggest that US shale operators are incapable of successfully responding.

I guess the author had to fill out two long internet pages because instead of asking/answering the two questions he posited, he digresses into the "history of oil."

Let's skip all that, and get back to the two questions, or as the author says, the "two-part test."

Again, the first "test" / question: can the US shale industry respond to global supply and demand or did Saudi succeed in crippling the US shale industry?

Again, the writer digresses back into the "history of shale oil." We all know that history.

Finally, here it is. The Forbes contributor writes:
The results of the first part of the experiment are now known. Over the 30 months of declining prices the number of shale drilling rigs in operation collapsed nearly four-fold, and about one-third of the companies in the shale business went bankrupt or became seriously financially distress.....
wow, he's going back to history that we already know. What's his opinion?  Can the US shale industry respond to global supply and demand or did Saudi succeed in crippling the US shale industry?

Ah, there it is:
The lesson from the first half of the experiment is thus clear: a price drubbing achieved only modest production declines and did nothing to slow and arguably accelerated the radical technology gains in the cost-effectiveness of shale drilling.
Put another way; the Saudis have seen that the amount of money needed to add more American supply keeps shrinking and is moving monthly closer to the Middle East’s vaunted low-cost advantage.
At the current tech-driven growth rate, output per rig will double every 3.5 years. That kind of progress is normally seen in Silicon Valley. For consumers it’s exciting, but not so much for shale’s competitors.
Finally.

Now "part two of the experiment." Just how quickly will American shale produciton rise this time? 

The writer says we know the answer. The answer is "fast." The writer says: "it won't take much of a rig count rise to produce world-shaking results.

Wow, the writer and I are on the same page. I agree with him completely.
Given what we know from very recent history it’s reasonable to think that the shale industry today could grow again at least as fast as it did from its inception circa 2005 when shale companies went on to more than double U.S. production in a handful of years.
And that happened using technology that was literally half as good as what exists now, and with operators who then had to learn-on-the-fly to use techniques for which there was no prior experience.
That industrial ecosystem now has fantastically better technology, deep experience, and a pre-built infrastructure. One might pay attention to what shale pioneer Harold Hamm, Continental Resources founder and CEO, said earlier this year about U.S. oil production:
“We’ve doubled it. We can double it again.”
The writer than provides the four key characteristics of shale that differ radically from the traditional oil business and that account for shale's past and future velocity.

You can go to the linked article to "discover" those four key characteristics. Regular readers of the blog already know these four key characteristics.

I just wanted to know whether this writer felt that the US shale industry was up to the challenge.

It is.

And I agree. It's really not a question at all, is it?

Oh, by the way. Did the writer ever get around to answering the initial question: where are oil prices headed? Yes, he did. I agree with him. If anything, he's a bit optimistic.

By the way, let's go back to something said early in the article:
At the current tech-driven growth rate, output per rig will double every 3.5 years. That kind of progress is normally seen in Silicon Valley. 
At one time North Dakota had around 200 active rigs and production was wide open and about one million bbls of oil per day.

Now, North Dakota has had less than 40 active rigs for an extended period of time, with much production "choked back" due to economic reasons (DUCs, etc), and production is still about one million bbls oil per day. Unfettered, North Dakota could get to two million bbls per day "overnight."

Oh, one more thought. I started off with this comment/observation:
It's a fool's errand to predict oil prices. And oil prices don't matter. As in everything else, it's not the price that matters, it's the margin that matters. If oil is priced at $200 but it costs $180 to produce, the margin is $20. If oil is priced at $50 and it costs $20 to produce, the margin is $30. Price doesn't matter; margins matter
It looks like things might be working out just right: a) prices might rise; b) costs to produce are definitely coming down. Result: better margins. Regardless of the price of oil.

Reason #16 Why I Love To Blog; Another Bakken Pipeline Expansion -- November 28, 2016

This is so incredible. I love it.

I mentioned this "option" in an e-mail to another reader, but I don't think I ever posted it. I had several reasons for not posting it but the main reason was that I did not want to "get ahead of my headlights."

Anyone who knows the pipeline story in North Dakota will know exactly what I'm talking about.

A huge "thanks" to the reader who sent me this note. This is quite exciting.

From SpectraEnergy press release:
Spectra Energy (NYSE: SE) and Spectra Energy Partners today announced a proposed expansion of their oil pipeline network, with service from Guernsey, WY, to Patoka, IL.
This announcement is in response to strong market demand to move light, sweet, U.S. domestic crude from multiple supply areas, including the Bakken, the Denver-Julesburg Basin and the Powder River Basin, to Patoka, where shippers will be able to access Midwest and Gulf Coast markets.
The expansion may enable future access to Eastern U.S. refiners as Spectra Energy continues to explore opportunities to serve those markets as well. The expansion, which will be in service in 2017 with an initial capacity of approximately 400,000 barrels per day, will provide unprecedented access for shippers to reach markets in eastern PADD 2 and the flexibility to meet light crude refinery demand on the Gulf Coast
Spectra Energy is in the news for other reasons, for example this post. A google search of the blog will find that Spectra Energy has been mentioned a couple of times.

This literally makes my day (evening).

By the way, there are so many connecting dots to this story, I can't even begin -- but they're easy to find: one can find them at this link (that post has not been updated in a long, long time).

Every day I tell myself the Bakken surprises me. The Bakken is like a Christmas present, almost every day. I simply can't keep up. But it's fun trying.

And, yes, here it is again, by popular request:

Pipeline, The Chantays

I may go watch "Endless Summer" this evening.

**************************
Poll

With the announcement imminent, I'm taking down the poll. Will Mitt Romney be named SecState?
  • Yes: 28%
  • No: 72%
I agree. But for counter-intuitive reasons. I think it goes to a retired general officer whose last name begins with a "P."

Eight New Permits; Ten Permits Renewed; No DUCs Reported As Completed; Crescent Point Energy Reports A 70-Stage Fracked Well -- November 28, 2016

Active rigs:


11/28/201611/28/201511/28/201411/28/201311/28/2012
Active Rigs3764184191184

Eight (8) new permits:
  • Operators: Crescent Point Energy
  • Field: Winner (Williams)
  • Comment: all the permits on one pad, see graphic below.
Ten (10) permits renewed:
  • Oasis (5): five Jensen permits, all in Williams County
  • BR (3): a Fritz Falls permit, a Rifle Person permit, and a Scottvale permit, all in Dunn County
  • HRC: a Fort Berthold permit in Dunn County
  • CLR: a Sacramento permit in Williams County
Two permits canceled:
  • a Whiting Demores State Federal permit in Billings County
  • a Samson Oil & Gas Rainbow permit in Williams County
No producing wells (DUCs) reported as completed.

No wells come off the confidential list Tuesday

**********************************

Area for Crescent Point Energy's proposed 8-well Holmes / Ruby pad:


Completed Holmes / Ruby wells -- note the high-intensity Holmes well with 70 stages, 8.5 million lbs proppant:
  • 24072, 342, Crescent Point, CPEUSC Holmes 8-5-158N-100W, Winner, TD = 19,842 feet, 70 stages, 8.5 million lbs, t3/15; cum 89K 9/16; 
  • 24451, 128, Crescent Point, CPEUSC Ruby 17-20-158N-100W, Winner, TD= 19,842 feet, 35 stages, 2.8 million lbs, t3/15; cum 98K 9/16;
 ***********************************
Winter: A Great Time For Baking Bread


What's Papa Doing Now? Buying Permian Acreage For $11,000 / Acre -- Nothing About The Bakken -- November 28, 2016

Updates

June 23, 2017: Bloomberg update of Centennial Resource and Mark Papa.
 
Original Post
 
Data points from bizjournals:
  • Mark Papa stepped down as CEO of EOG in 2013; after 13 years
  • Papa became CEO and chairman of Silver Run Acquisition Corp (SRAC)
  • SRAC combined with Centennial Resource earlier this year
  • new company: Centennial Resource Development
  • Papa became CEO and chairman of Centennial Resource Development (CDEV)last month
  • acquired 77,000 acres in Delaware Basin; becomes one of the bigger operators in the basin
  • CDEV acquired the leasehold interests from Silverback Exploration LLC, out of San Antonio
  • acquisition cost: $855 million (Reuters)
if those are net acres, $855 million / 77,000 acres = $11,000 / acre.

************************************
And Now Concho....

From PennEnergy, data points:
  • Concho Resources has acquired "dozens of square miles" in the northern Delaware Basin
  • much of the acreage is located in the Red Hills area in Lea County, New Mexico
  • deal worth $430 million
  • from the linked article: "providing a glimmer of hope as state officials look to rebound from depressed energy prices that have crippled government spending."
************************************************* 
The Market

The market was down a bit today. After a thousand-point Trump rally, and all the uncertainty with the election recount, dropping 60 points is fairly trivial. But even on a down day, 217 issues on the NYSE hit new highs, including: BHI, Bank of America, Chevron, Cliffs Natural Resources, Deere, McDermott International, ONEOK -- I assume most of these hit their new highs early in the day and then dropped back.

Having said that, there were only 23 issues that recorded new lows, and some of those actually rose by the end of the, off their lows.

*********************************
The Political Page

VP-elect Pence says there will be important announcements coming from Trump Tower Tuesday. Quick: who was the last to leave Trump Tower today: Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, or David Petraeus?

The AP projects that California republican representative Darrell Issa will (narrowly) win re-election. The only question yet to be answered is whether Jill Stein will ask for a recount. It probably depends on how fast and how much money she can raise.

Send In The DAPL National Guard -- More Snow On The Way; Roads Blocked, Freezing Weather; Winter Storm Warning Extended Through End Of November -- November 28, 2016

Updates

Later, 6:11 p.m. Central Time: the original post was time-stamped 3:56 p.m. earlier today. Now, just a few hours later, ND governor signs a humanitarian emergency evacuation order to save life and limb of those trapped in the protest camp. 
The emergency order addresses safety concerns and the potential danger to human life for those camping on federal property without proper shelter during harsh winter conditions.
Original Post
 
NWS (a dynamic link, no doubt). Currently a couple of degrees below freezing. Four to ten more inches of that white stuff forecast.

Wind chill: 16 degrees Fahrenheit (nine degrees below zero Celsius).

Gusts to 30 mph.

Hazardous weather outlook: look for a foot of snow south of Bismarck.

Winter storm warming: Fort Yates, ND, more of the same; through November 30, 2016.

The Trillion-Dollar Mistake -- No End In Sight -- November 28, 2016

On November 22, 2016, I posted this estimate (the $5 billion/month) figure is my "hunch" based on several stories:
Saudi Arabia: until it sees $74 oil, the kingdom is going to spend upwards of $5 billion/month out of its cash reserves to meet payroll -- Reuters, via Twitter.
Today, from FuelFix we get another important data point. For quite some time, it's been reported that Saudi Arabia based their budget on $100-oil. In this linked article we see that the "new" Saudi Arabia budget is based on $92-oil. The data points from the linked article:
  • Saudi's finances "fall into disarray"
  • current deficit has ballooned to one-fifth of its economic output
  • current deficit is about twice the size of the 2009 deficit, the worst year of the so-called Great Recession
  • Saudi has burned through $180 billion in financial reserves despite huge budget cuts
Just as bad elsewhere:
  • Iraq: fiscal deficit at 20% of its GDP
  • Kuwait: 12%
  • UAE: 9%
Most important data point: Saudi Arabia needs $92-oil and "we" won't see $92-oil any time soon. We'll be lucky if we get to $75 by the end of President Trump's first term. Except I don't know why we want $75-oil. I think most American consumers "love" $1.74-gasoline.

Winter Storm Blanche Hammering North Dakota -- Just Beginning -- November 28, 2016

Updates

Later, 9:25 p.m. Central Time: see first comment -- talk about a conflict-of-interest ...  it has been reported that Standing Rock's chairman Dave Archambault II is the owner of the Cannon Ball Pit Stop gas station you are referring to on Hwy 1806.

Later, 2:09 p.m. Central Time: NWS reporting that New Town, ND, has "received" eleven (11) inches of snow. If New Town got that much snow, the Standing Rock folks are going to be snowed in for at least a couple of days. These secondary roads, some of the tertiary roads, are down the list of priority roads that need to be plowed. Good luck to all. And it gets dark really, really, early.

Original Post
 
The Weather Channel continues to highlight major winter storm in the Dakotas; the storm seems to be centered around north-central South Dakota, and south-central North Dakota -- between Bismark, ND; and Pierre, SD.

Earlier this morning, The Weather Channel predicted up to a foot of snow in Bismarck. That has now been updated (10:58 a.m. Central Time) from one foot to one-and-a-half feet. 

Camera images from North Dakota DOT at this link: http://www.dot.nd.gov/travel-info-v2/. When you get to the link, click on "Camera Images" (upper left hand corner) and then pick region of interest. For this storm, I would pick "Bismarck/Mandan" area.


Something tells me there will be a lot of folks asking for state assistance to simply stay alive. Just remember that the Obama administration delayed the closure of the camp by about two weeks when the weather was still lovely.

I remember hitchhiking from Pierre, SD, to Williston, ND, back in the winter of 1970 - 1971. At Christmas break my roommate drove me to his home in Pierre, SD. I stayed overnight at his home, and then the next morning, under freezing and snowy conditions, I hitchhiked home. Six hours in the "elements" under these conditions is incredibly dangerous.

Stayin' Alive, Bee Gees

I believe the only fixed public building on US Highway 1806 in this area is a service station. Yes, the kind that sells gasoline and diesel. That comes from crude oil.

CLR's Rath Federal Wells In The Sanish -- November 28, 2016

The Brangus, Rath Federal, Maryland, and Nashville wells were highlighted in CLR's most recent corporate presentation. I delayed reporting them until a reader sent me a reminder -- a big "thank you" to the reader. The Brangus, Maryland, and Nashville pads are posted at separate posts.

Nine CLR Rath Federal wells in the Sanish field (original post back in September, 2016):
  • 31675, SI/NC, CRL, Rath Federal 10-22H1, Sanish, no production data, TD = 21,034;
  • 31676, 2,028, CLR, Rath Federal 11-22H, Sanish, t10/17; cum 173K 10/18; TD = 25,370 ;
  • 31677, 405, CLR, Rath Federal 12-22H2, Sanish, t10/17; cum 253K 10/18; TD = 25,700; a directional component? see graphic below
  • 31678, 1,424, CLR, Rath Federal 13-22H, Sanish, t10/17; cum 239K 10/18; TD = 25,495;
  • 31670, 2,063, CLR, Rath Federal 5-22H, Sanish, 62 stages, 14 million lbs, t8/16; cum 325K 10/18; TD = 25,266; was off-line for seven months;
  • 31671, 1,486, CRL, Rath Federal 6-22H1, Sanish, 25K first full month, TD = 25,416; t9/17; cum 230K 10/18;
  • 31672, 2,063, CRL, Rath Federal 7-22H, Sanish, 34K first full month, TD = 25,305; t8/16; cum 325K 10/18;
  • 31673, 1,486, CRL, Rath Federal 8-22H2, Sanish, 37K first full month, TD = 25,500; t9/17; cum 230K 10/18;
  • 31674, 1,808, CRL, Rath Federal 9-22H, Sanish, 34K first full month TD = 25,322; t9/17; cum 223K 10/18;
***************************************

31670, see above, CRL, Rath Federal 13-22H, Sanish, easily exceeding a 900,000 bbl-EUR type curve (per CLR corporate presentation, data as of 9/6/16):


DateOil RunsMCF Sold
12-2016188470
11-2016224960
10-2016265210
9-2016305400
8-2016210410

******** 







CLR's Brangus Well, Elm Tree OIl Field -- November 28, 2016

Only one well on this pad:
NDIC File No: 32606     API No: 33-061-03939-00-00     CTB No: 132606
Well Type: ON CONFIDENTIAL STATUS
Location: SWNW 26-154-94     Footages: 2200 FNL 537 FWL     Latitude: 48.133428     Longitude: -102.739499
Current Operator: CONTINENTAL RESOURCES, INC.
Current Well Name: BRANGUS NORTH 1-2H2
    Field: ELM TREE
Monthly Sales Data:


DateOil RunsMCF Sold
12-20162602230589
11-20163624745399
10-20164178039988
9-20164673041850
8-20161000773

CLR's Nashville Wells -- Near Williston -- Catwalk Oil Field -- November 28, 2016

Four Nashville wells: one producing, three on SI/NC status:
  • 31357, 1,102, CLR, Nashville 2-21H, Catwalk, 40 stages, 8.7 million lbs, t6/16; cum 101K 9/16, easily exceeding a 900,000 bbl-EUR type curve (per CLR corporate presentation, data as of 9/6/16):
NDIC File No: 31357     API No: 33-105-04070-00-00     CTB No: 131357
Well Type: OG     Well Status: A     Status Date: 4/30/2016     Wellbore type: Horizontal
Location: NESW 21-154-100     Footages: 1815 FSL 2320 FWL     Latitude: 48.144760     Longitude: -103.550923
Current Operator: CONTINENTAL RESOURCES, INC.
Current Well Name: NASHVILLE 2-21H
Total Depth: 23058     Field: CATWALK
Spud Date(s):  9/2/2015
Completion Data
   Pool: BAKKEN     Perfs: 10991-23058     Comp: 4/30/2016     Status: F     Date: 6/15/2016     Spacing: ICO
Cumulative Production Data
   Pool: BAKKEN     Cum Oil: 100585     Cum MCF Gas: 118062     Cum Water: 119550
Production Test Data
   IP Test Date: 6/15/2016     Pool: BAKKEN     IP Oil: 1102     IP MCF: 1151     IP Water: 1403
Monthly Production Data
PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare
BAKKEN9-201616677370686812907675761500
BAKKEN8-20163125110253502666830565276152950
BAKKEN7-20163127556273333007832375303652010
BAKKEN6-20163026970271873078731401287472654
BAKKEN5-2016251303412918202001311512572543
BAKKEN4-201611142586500515300

On SI/NC status:
  • 31358,
  • 31867,
  • 31868,

CLR's Maryland Wells

Updates

July 26, 2019: production updated. Only four wells in this drilling unit; just a matter of time before CLR attacks this area again; these are huge wells.

Original Post

The Maryland wells:
  • 31753, 950, CLR, Maryland 2-16H, t5/16; cum 372K 5/19; GL; 38 stages, 8.2 million lbs, easily exceeding a 900,000 bbl-EUR type curve (per CLR corporate presentation, data as of 9/6/16):
  • 31754, 762, CLR, Maryland 3-16H, Catwalk, 38 stages, 17.3 million lbs, t12/16; cum 169K 5/19; GL; 
  • 31755, 213, CLR, Maryland 4-16H1, Catwalk, Three Forks 1st bench, 38 stages, 11.4 million lbs, t12/16; cum 266K 5/19;
  • 31756, 1,163, CLR, Maryland 5-16H, Catwalk, 38 stages, 17 million lbs, t12/16; cum 202K 5/19; GL
Original Post (November 28, 2016)
 
Four Maryland wells: one producing; three on SI/NC status.
  • 31753, 950, CLR, Maryland 2-16H, t5/16; cum 97K 9/16, easily exceeding a 900,000 bbl-EUR type curve (per CLR corporate presentation, data as of 9/6/16):
NDIC File No: 31753     API No: 33-105-04152-00-00     CTB No: 131753
Well Type: OG     Well Status: A     Status Date: 4/27/2016     Wellbore type: Horizontal
Location: SENW 16-154-100     Footages: 2440 FNL 2090 FWL     Latitude: 48.161991     Longitude: -103.551983
Current Operator: CONTINENTAL RESOURCES, INC.
Current Well Name: MARYLAND 2-16H   
Total Depth: 22472     Field: CATWALK
Spud Date(s):  8/28/2015
Completion Data
   Pool: BAKKEN     Perfs: 10968-22472     Comp: 4/27/2016     Status: F     Date: 5/21/2016     Spacing: ICO
Cumulative Production Data
   Pool: BAKKEN     Cum Oil: 96884     Cum MCF Gas: 108522     Cum Water: 143289
Production Test Data
   IP Test Date: 5/21/2016     Pool: BAKKEN     IP Oil: 950     IP MCF: 968     IP Water: 1478
Monthly Production Data
PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare
BAKKEN4-201716635272421509858462012290
BAKKEN3-2017312114420673513528159263411545
BAKKEN2-2017171201111838491016403130813181
BAKKEN1-201731213362170061482833327202867
BAKKEN12-2016311697217001510520901179372731
BAKKEN11-2016302342723321818330013274262317
BAKKEN10-20163129000289531186238522476733477
BAKKEN9-20166775371245973767237733845

Winter Storm Blanche To Hammer North Dakota; Perryville Hub Update, Part 2 -- RBN Energy --- November 28, 2016

Blogger over at Outrun Change visited Williston over Thanksgiving. A must-read.

Wow: huge winter storm (rain) hitting DFW area this morning. 

Fake news? OECD says Trump's policies could lift global growth? From The WSJ. Wow, everything I heard during the campaign was that a Trump presidency would be bad for the US economy, and incredibly bad for the world economy.

Active rigs:


11/28/201611/28/201511/28/201411/28/201311/28/2012
Active Rigs3764184191184

RBN Energy: Perryville Hub's pivotal role in transforming US natural gas flows, part 2.

DAPL: winter storm Blanche expected to put up to a foot of snow in the Standing Rock Reservation area. Under blizzard / storm watch now; will persist today through Wednesday. Expect to see quite n exodus. North Dakota travel information with camera views.  Minot area, HD Highway 1804.

Bismark-Mandan area, just north of Standing Rock Reservation:

The Weather Channel has just (8:15 a.m. Central Time) said it could get very, very "ugly" over the next 48 hours. One wonders if the USACE waited too long to get the folks out of harm's way. The Corps wanted the move to start as earl as November 10th or so, but the Obama administration delayed the eviction notice until November 25 and the deadline for closure until December 5.
 
Cuba: MSNBC -- on Castro's death, Trudeau, Obama got it wrong; Trump got it right.[Update, 11:32 a.m. Central Time: Trudeau was so surprised by Canadian reaction to his Castro tribute, he has canceled plans to attend the funeral. One wonders whom Obama will send. Joe?]

The Recount: if it wasn't bad enough the first time around, now we get to re-live the campaign and the vote for a second time. CNN is going to love it.

*************************
The Graphic Page


*********************************
The Literature Page

This might be a good week to avoid watching the markets; the volatility could be quite jarring. Maybe it will be a good week to read.

I'm in my Edmund de Waal phase, reading his two most recent books side-by-side. The first book is his story of the family's netsuke. The second book is about Chinese porcelain.

On every page it seems I learn something new. I now "understand" the front page of The WSJ: above the fold is the news; below the fold is the feuilleton. The Los Angeles Times is a daily feuilleton.

Our older granddaughter loves history and geography. I've been trying to figure out how to learn the geography of China.

A screenshot of China:


An early attempt to help me remember the map (and surprisingly, it works):