Friday, December 4, 2020

Black Laptops Matter -- Another Apple Post -- December 4, 2020

This is such an incredibly "geeky" story (for lack of a better word) that I would normally not post it except for two things:

  • first, Sophia and I are studying "color" as part of her first grade art course; and,
  • second, I was never aware that Apple fanboys were so enthusiastic about "black" Apple products.

At the link below, be sure to read the comments to see how "crazy" folks are.

However, the real reason I'm posting this is for the archives. The writer does a great job talking about the "color" black. Black is not considered a color, and some consider white not to be a color either, but that's another story. Some would suggest that "black" and "white" are best described as hues or shades. But I digress. 

I am posting this because the writer does a great job explaining the challenge of producing true black. 

At the link, Apple has filed a patent application for an intense light-absorbant matte black finish for a range of products, including the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and MacBook. 

The patent notes that the finish can be used on a range of metals and metal alloys, including aluminum, titanium, and steel.

The finish comprises an anodized layer that includes "randomly distributed light-absorbing features that are capable of absorbing visible light." The layer contains pores, "where color particles are infused within the pores." The resulting surface is a deep, intense matte black.

A genuine black color is extremely difficult to achieve, with most commercial "black" products actually being dark gray or blue. The patent explains that "merely depositing dye particles within pores of an anodized layer is insufficient to impart a true black color."

One of the issues involved is that, generally, the truer the black, the higher the gloss of the finish, which in turn reflects a large amount of visible light. In etching the surface of an anodized layer with pores, Apple is able to absorb "generally all visible light" to deliver a truer black finish without increasing glossiness.

Apple's solution appears to be tantamount to existing true-black solutions such as "Vantablack," which is one of the darkest substances known, absorbing up to 99.965 percent of light.

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

It's hard to believe these songs were all from 1963 -- and this is part 2 --

Best Songs from 1963

Week 49: November 29, 2020 -- December 5, 2020

Top story of the week:

Top international non-energy story:

Top international energy story:

Top national non-energy story:

Top national energy story:

Top North Dakota non-energy story:

Top North Dakota energy story:

Geoff Simon's top North Dakota energy stories:

  • ND governor proposes  $1.25 billion infrastructure bonding plan;
    • bonding plan would support four-lane work on US Highway 85
  • Legacy Fund earnings in 2021 could approach $1 billion; governor eager to spend;
  • Filloon: Biden policies could drive oil prices to $90/bbl;
  • if approved, state could get 20,000 Covid vaccine doses by December; if two doses per person required, would reach 10,000 NoDaks;

Operators:


Operations:

Fracking:

Pipelines:

The Hess E. Burdick Wells In Capa Oil Field

The wells:

  • 38007, Hess, 
  • 38006, Hess, 
  • 38005, Hess,
  • 38004, Hess,
  • 38003, Hess, 
  • 38002, loc, Hess,
  • 35197, 2,646, Hess, CA-E Burdick-155-95-2017H-1, Capa, t3/19; cum 227K 10/20;
  • 34458, 1,931, Hess, CA-E Burdick-155-95-2017H-6, Capa, t3/19; cum 172K 10/20;
  • 34457, 3,076, Hess, CA-E Burdick-155-95-2017H-5, Capa, t3/19; cum 186K 10/20;
  • 34456, 1,584, Hess, CA-E Burdick-155-95-2017H-4, Capa, t3/19; cum 118K 10/20;
  • 34455, 2,137, Hess, CA-E Burdick-155-95-2017H-3, Capa, t3/19; cum 199K 10/20;
  • 34454, 1,722, Hess, CA-E Burdick-155-95-2017H-2, Capa, t3/19; cum 144K 10/20;

 

  • 33831, 949, Hess, CA-E Burdick-155-95-2017H-7, Capa, 7/18; cum 171K 10/20;
  • 33830, 661, Hess, CA-E Burdick-155-95-2017H-8, Capa, 7/18; cum 73K 10/20;
  • 33829, 851, Hess, CA-E Burdick-155-95-2017H-9, Capa, 4/18; cum 164K 10/20;
  • 33828, 851, Hess, CA-E Burdick-155-95-2017H-10, Capa, 4/18; cum 189K 10/20;
  • 33827, 690, Hess, CA-E Burdick-LW-155-95-2017H-1, Beaver Lodge, 4/18; cum 147K 10/20;

 

  • 21811, 871, Hess, CA-E Burdick 155-95-2932H-3, Capa, t6/12; cum 288K 10/20;
  • 21810, 770/AB, Hess, CA-E Burdick 155-95-2932H-2, Capa, t6/12; cum 288K 5/19; remains off line 10/20;

 

  • 16440, 177/AB, Hess, E. Burdick 20-17H, Capa, t5/07; cum 240K 12/17; remains off line 10/20;

The graphics:


Active Rigs In North Dakota Jump By Two -- December 4, 2020

Active rigs:

$46.26
12/4/202012/04/201912/04/201812/04/201712/04/2016
Active Rigs1556645339

One new permit, #38008:

  • Operator: Oasis
  • Field: Willow Creek (Williams)
  • Comments:
    • Oasis has a permit for a Cliff well in SESE 35-153-100, Willow Creek

Five permits renewed:

  • Hess: five BL-Olson permits in Williams County;

Notes From All Over -- The Closed Market Edition -- TGIF -- Holy Mackerel -- December 4, 2020

Wow, watching "Fast Money" on CNBC these guys are trying way too hard. 

They're looking for "overseas" deals, for emerging markets. 

  • What don't they like? LOL. 

Market, I assume lots of new records --

  • Dow: up almost 1%, up 249 points -- wow, if only it could have eked out a 250-point surge;
  • NASDAQ: up almost 100 points -- up 87 points;
  • S&P 500: up almost 1%; up 32 points
    • Dow/S&P 500: 8:1
    • can you imagine the indices had AAPL been green instead of crashing, losing 0.56% during business hours; losing another massive 0.2% after-hours;
    • meanwhile, thank goodness for OXY saving the market, up over 13% today

Disclaimer: this is not an investment site.  Do not make any investment, financial, job, career, travel, or relationship decisions based on what you read here or think you may have read here. 

Let's see what the closing headlines are and what's missing:

  • stocks reach all-time closing highs to end another record-setting week;
  • the three major indices shook off a disappointing report on the labor market to end at record highs;
  • "pretty grim picture" for economy after Christmas without new stimulus;
  • notably missing: no mention of a "Santa Claus rally";

********************************
Google Clamping Down

Google has updated their "storage" terms.

If anyone is using Google "storage," and hasn't visited their Google accounts in two years, Google has the right to delete that content. 

Doesn't affect me. I have no dog in that fight. But look at this: how much storage does Google provide for free?

  • 10 GB
  • 15 GB
  • 25 GB
  • 100 GB

*****************************
Home School / Remote Learning
What's Not To Like

This morning, remote learning at home. Sophia is actually working on a "tool" for teaching first graders how to code software. 


Cadillac Dealers And EVs -- Big Headline -- Minor Story -- December 4, 2020

I had so many story lines on this one when I first saw the story. Then I went for a drive, taking Sophia to Tutor Time for "pajama day" fun. Thinking about the story: it's a non-story. Big headline but in the big scheme of things, means nothing. But I could write a whole essay on it. Maybe I will -- but only if I run out of things to do.

Link here.

About 150 General Motors Co. dealers have decided to part ways with Cadillac, rather than invest in costly upgrades required to sell electric cars, indicating some retailers are skeptical about making the pivot to battery-powered vehicles. 
GM recently gave Cadillac dealers a choice: accept a buyout offer to exit the brand or spend roughly $200,000 on dealership upgrades—including charging stations and repair tools—to get their stores ready to sell electric vehicles.
The buyout offers ranged from around $300,000 to more than $1 million, the people familiar with the effort added. About 17% of Cadillac’s 880 U.S. dealerships agreed to take the offer to end their franchise agreements for the luxury brand. 
The buyouts are an early sign of looming changes for car dealers as traditional auto makers move aggressively into electric vehicles. Auto retailers will face upfront costs, such as electrical upgrades to stores and heavy-duty lifts in the service department to hoist electric cars, which generally are heavier than gasoline-powered vehicles due to their large battery packs.

*****************************
Pajama Day

Robe from Rodeo Drive? LOL. She needs designer shoes. 


For inexplicable reasons, Corky is not allowed inside TutorTime.

The Market -- Mid-Day -- December 4, 2020

Disclaimer: this is not an investment site.  Do not make any investment, financial, job, career, travel, or relationship decisions based on what you read here or think you may have read here. 

Wow talk about sector rotation: large utilities fall and oil surges, smaller utilities do well.

The market:

  • D: down 1.5%
  • SRE: down 3%
  • MDU: up 1.6%
  • BKH: up 1.5%
  • OXY: up 10%
  • OAS: up 2%
  • XOM: up 3.45%
  • NOG: up 8%
  • CVX: up 3.7%
  • COP: up 7%
  • PSX: up 7.2%
  • ENB: up 1.5%
  • EPD: up 3.3%

Top utility stocks for December, 2020: Investopedia. Several categories.

  • for "best value utilities": NRG Energy, Sempra Energy, and Vistra.
  • best overall (value, growth, and momentum): NRG, VST and PCG (PG&E).
  • Duke and Dominion not on any of the lists. 

EPD: no dividend problems here. Motley Fool.  

That actually what brings us to the big concern here. After a long period of regular quarterly increases, Enterprise has chosen not to increase the distribution over the last four quarterly payments. The obvious driver of that choice was the steep drop in energy demand driven by efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus. These two factors combined have investors worried, leaving the unit price low and the distribution yield high. That's an opportunity for more intrepid investors that are willing to dig into the numbers a bit.
To get the biggest concern out of the way upfront, Enterprise was able to cover its distribution by a robust 1.7 times in the third quarter. Coverage over the first nine months of 2020 was an impressive 1.6 times. Historically, 1.2 times was considered strong coverage in the midstream sector. In other words, there's material room for adversity here before a distribution cut seems likely.  
That said, Enterprise's business appears to be holding up pretty well given the circumstances. Yes, revenue was lower by around 12% year-over-year in the third quarter. But cost containment efforts and reduced interest expenses, among other things, helped to keep distributable cash flow roughly flat year-over-year in the three-month span. The world's a rough place right now, but Enterprise is muddling through just fine. 

Ford: the ICE is dead. Long live the ICE! Over at Fox News:

In the spirit of monster movies, Ford is working on a sequel to its “Godzilla” engine. 
The appropriately nicknamed 7.3-liter V8 debuted on the 2020 F-Series Super Duty pickup but is also available for purchase as an a la carte crate engine for racing and custom car applications priced at $8,150. 
In stock form, the iron-block, pushrod motor is rated at 430 hp and 475 lb-ft of torque, but tuners have already cranked it up to over 700 hp without even having to use a supercharger. 
Ford is clearly aware of the powerplant’s potential – and the potential profits it can make by selling an even more potent version of it. 
Ford Performance Product Manager Mike Goodwin recently told the Performance Racing Industry news outlet that his division is working on a “super-secret project” it calls the “Megazilla” that will be more powerful than the current mill. 
He didn’t provide any details about how Ford plans to achieve that, but Fiat Chrysler’s Mopar division has set a high bar for large-displacement crate engines with its 1,000 hp supercharged 7.0-liter “Hellephant” HEMI V8. 
I assume Elon Musk is watching.

A reader noted: https://www.foxbusiness.com/politics/obama-criticizes-americans-for-liking-cheap-gas-and-big-cars-more-than-the-environment. 

See first comment:

Detroit 422, Blondie

Trucking, Teamsters, And The San Pedro Harbor -- December 4, 2020

Think about this.

First, re-posting:

US ports:

  • Port of Los Angeles: busiest it's been in 2000 years.
  • ships wait to unload at Port of Los Angeles as imports boom -- Reuters;
  • US import boom is delaying cargo at nation's busiest port -- Reuters;
  • shipping container freight rates soar amid export boom -- Hellenic Shipping;
  • container shipping is booming again; probably won't last -- Yahoo!Finance;
  • it seems there is a trend here;

If you get the chance, wander down to the Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach -- they share the same San Pedro Harbor. Notice all the truck traffic.

The Teamsters must be doing very, very well with these records being set. 

House values will increase significantly in the San Pedro, CA, area.

But this is what gets me really, really excited.

It's only a matter of time before the County of Los Angeles mandates EV-only trucks to service the San Pedro Harbor ports. The mandate will come when EV truck manufacturers tell Janice Hahn they can meet demand. And assuming the Teamsters agree. Career politician and politically connected. Really, really politically connected.

My hunch: there's at least three truck manufacturers that are preparing for this mandate. We should see the mandate sooner than later. And the specs for the trucks don't have to be that onerous. The trucks will only be local -- Los Angeles County, serving customers inside the county, and transferring containers to BN (Warren Buffett/Berkshire Hathaway) and UNP on cargo headed outside the county.

US Oil Imports -- December 4, 2020

US oil imports:
  • if this is accurate, this is simply incredible; stand-alone post later -- Bloomberg is reporting that Saudi crude oil shipped to US dropped below 100,000 bopd that would be the lowest in 244 years except for a few outlying years when Saudi Arabia sent zero bbls to the US
  • oilprice has the same story here; linking the Bloomberg story; 

That Bloomberg link:

American refiners received the least oil from Saudi Arabia since 1985 as a slump in volumes shipped out by the desert kingdom in October are finally reaching U.S. shores. 
In October, Saudi Arabia sent just under 100,000 barrels a day of oil to U.S. refineries as shipments to China surged at that time. 
Tankers from Saudi Arabia take about six weeks to reach either the Gulf or Pacific coasts of the U.S. Hence, the delivery of just 73,000 barrels a day to U.S. customers last week, as preliminary U.S. Energy Information Administration data show. The volume is the lowest in weekly data available through June 2010, but using monthly figures it would be the least since 1985 when Saudi imports fell to zero for several months.


US oil imports from Saudi Arabia, link here:

What's The Market Doing? -- Early Morning Trading -- December 4, 2020

T: best news ever -- Warner Bros to release 2021 movies in theater and on HBO Max at same time. This is going to work out so well for WB and T this will be extended well past 2021.  T? Trending toward $30. Pays 7%.

Jobless report: minorities and women gain; overall, missed consensus slightly; but no one is complaining.

Disclaimer: this is not an investment site.  Do not make any investment, financial, job, career, travel, or relationship decisions based on what you read here or think you may have read here. 

Opening;

  • Dow: up 100 points
  • NASDAQ: up 15 points
  • S&P 500: up 15 points
  • AAPL: down again; down $1.33; trading at $121.58
  • SRE: down a dollar; trading at $131
  • UNP: up about a dollar; trading at $203.15
  • DFS: up $1.50; trading at $82.34
  • ENB: up 1.34%; trading at $33.17
  • EPD: up 1.29%; trading at $20.36

Fairly mixed despite all major indices green.

Later, mid-day: talk about rotate: utilities fall and oil soars. Amazing. 

Chinese flu watch: North Dakota remains off the top-5 list;

  • South Dakota back up over 800/100,000; back to #1
  • Rhode Island jumps to #2 -- trending toward 800/100,000
  • Minnesota, #3 -- worse than North Dakota; and rising; trending toward 800/100,000
  • Wyoming, #4
  • Utah: enters the list at #5

California lock down:

  • my wife was going to fly from Portland, OR, to Los Angeles, CA, for the holidays;
  • she already had her flight reserved with Alaska Air;
  • with the announcement by the California governor yesterday announcing that he's shutting down the state (again), my wife postponed her flight until March, 2021:
  • she called Alaska Airlines to re-schedule;
  • they changed her flight with no penalty AND gave her a $70 credit for her next flight!!
  • her trip from Portland, OR, to Santa Ana and return, FIRST CLASS: $168
  • the same flight from Portland, OR, to Long Beach, $1,000
  • both airports are more convenient to her home in Los Angeles than LAX;
  • she never, never, never flies first class but due to Covid she wanted more space and elected to fly first class;
  • she told me she wanted to be alive when the vaccine became available;

Chinese flu: California vs Texas -- it appears Texas "understands" the concept of herd immunity.

Number One Consumer Brand In Britain: Rolex! Toilet Paper Company, #4; Apple, #6 -- December 4, 2020

Note: there will be more content and typographical errors than usual. 

Unemployment rate: no worse than it was under President Obama. 6.7%.

Gasoline demand: flat

EIA's weekly petroleum report: link here.

  • weekly draw: US crude oil inventories down 0.7 million bbls
  • weekly inventory: US crude oil at 488.0 million bbls; 7% above already-fat-five-year average
  • distillate inventory: increased by 3.2 million bbls; 8% above an already really, really-fat-five-year-average;
  • jet fuel supplied: down 36.2% compared with same four-week period last year;
  • crude oil imports: 5.4 million bopd; up by 171,000 bopd from the previous week; imports are about 10% less than same four-week period last year;

US oil imports:

  • if this is accurate, this is simply incredible; stand-alone post later -- Bloomberg is reporting that Saudi crude oil shipped to US dropped below 100,000 bopd that would be the lowest in 244 years except for a few outlying years when Saudi Arabia sent zero bbls to the US
  • oilprice has the same story here; linking the Bloomberg story;

US ports:

  • Port of Los Angeles: busiest it's been in 2000 years.
  • ships wait to unload at Port of Los Angeles as imports boom -- Reuters;
  • US import boom is delaying cargo at nation's busiest port -- Reuters;
  • shipping container freight rates soar amid export boom -- Hellenic Shipping;
  • container shipping is booming again; probably won't last -- Yahoo!Finance;
  • it seems there is a trend here;

Watches:

  • wow, I remember blogging about this years ago; February 21, 2016;
  • Apple Watch set a record last quarter; shipped around 11 million watches in one quarter;
  • for the Swiss watch industry, it's been "an unparalleled shock": link here;
  • the Swiss watch industry loses a decade: link here;
  • in the UK, number one consumer brand: Rolex; link here;
    • Lego drops from #1 to #5, from previous year!
    • Apple dropped from #2 to #6 (described in the article as a smartwatch titan (this was a story on watches)
    • Visa: #2
    • Samsung: #3
    • Andrex (a toilet paper company!!!): #4

The news comes as latest figures show how Rolex UK sales soared to over £415m ahead of the covid-19 pandemic.

As WatchPro reported last month, thanks to accounting laws in the United Kingdom, Rolex Watch Company Ltd, the wholly-owned distributor for Rolex (and the founding company of Rolex when it emerged in London in 1915), has to publish its financial results every year.

Giving context to the results, the total value of all watches sold at all price points in 2019 — at retail prices — was £1.49 billion, down a whisker from £1.51 billion in 2018.

In short, the overall UK watch market was flat last year – a trend Rolex did not fellow. [This tells me one thing: there's a lot of disposable income in the British Isles. I wonder if Scotch sales also soared.]

Agriculture:

  • Canadian railways crush October grain records amid export boom -- Freight Waves;
  • exports boost US and Canadian grain volumes -- Freight Waves;
  • this will accelerate; memo to self: check GBX:
  • soybeans firm on strong export demand, record US crush -- link here;

Saving money during a pandemic:

  • annual Barnes and Noble "loyalty" card: won't renew;
  • annual membership to fine arts museums (closed): won't renew:
  • sushi, $75-lunch, weekly; haven't done that in months;
  • Starbucks: $20/week -- minimum -- no more;
  • haircut: $20 every two weeks -- haven't visited the barber since February, 2020, or thereabouts;
  • air travel: great story to tell later; but huge savings;
  • monthly gasoline expenses: I am now filling up the little Honda once a month; used to be twice a month;
  • second car has been idle since March (won't be used until next March at the earliest) -- that must be around $80/month in gasoline savings right there; and no maintenance for a year until annual safety inspection required;
  • and the list goes on and on and on; but I, too must move on;

Four Wells Come Off The Confidential List -- December 4, 2020

Active rigs:

$45.89
12/4/202012/04/201912/04/201812/04/201712/04/2016
Active Rigs1356645339

Four wells coming off the confidential list -- Friday, December 4: 7 for the month; 63 for the quarter, 728 for the year

  • 37536, loc/NC, CLR, Kennedy 16-31HSL1, Dimmick Lake,
  • 37424, loc/NC, Slawson, Orca Federal 3-23-26H, Big Bend,
  • 36971, drl/A, Hess, TI-Nelson-157-94-3031H-3, Tioga, t--; cum 96K 9/20; fracked 4/6/20 - 4/17/20; 10.9 million gallons of water; 89% water by mass;
  • 32427, loc/NC, BR, Phantom Ship 3B MBH, Elidah,

RBN Energy: Alberta looks to further incentivize more petrochemical development.

Petrochemicals form the backbone of modern consumer society. They provide the plastics and other materials needed to make most of the products we depend on, everything from computers and cellphones to car tires and fertilizer — not to mention N95 masks and other personal protective equipment. Petrochemicals come from crude oil, natural gas, and/or NGLs like ethane and propane, of course, and a good way for an energy-producing area to add value to its raw hydrocarbons is to develop petchem plants nearby. Alberta, Canada’s leading energy-producing province, is making a new push to encourage such projects. Today, we discuss the latest provincial program and what it hopes to accomplish.

Hydrocarbon-rich counties, states, provinces, or entire countries can reap huge benefits by exploiting their natural resources — energy production and pipelines can support a large number of good-paying jobs and generate a lot of tax revenue. But being a mere supplier of raw hydrocarbons to far-away refineries, petrochemical plants, and manufacturing facilities that convert oil, gas, and/or NGLs into higher-value products isn’t nearly as lucrative as having those value-adding assets in place and operating within your borders. With abundant production of natural gas and especially NGLs such as ethane and propane, the Canadian province of Alberta would seem like a great location for the construction of a wide range of petchem plants, including steam crackers. In fact, Alberta’s local ethane production — plus ethane imports from the U.S. — for years have supported four large, ethane-consuming crackers in the province: Dow’s plant in Fort Saskatchewan, Nova Chemicals’ two plants in Joffre, and a plant co-owned by Dow and Nova, also in Joffre. Also, to add value to the ethylene coming out of those crackers, there are a number of polyethylene and ethylene glycol plants in Alberta — the more value added, the more jobs and tax revenue.

Wow, It's Going To Be A Busy Day -- So Much Going On -- And It's All Good -- TGIF -- December 4, 2020

Blogging will commence shortly. 

Long neck: https://www.smore.com/gzsax. The Baroque Theorbo. File under music, lute, cello.