Saturday, March 9, 2013

Overnight Lodging Options in The Big Apple

Hitchhiking, taking the bus, or traveling by Amtrak, I sometimes find myself in an expensive city (such as Chicago) with no (affordable) place to stay. The last time that happened I was traveling by Amtrak and had a scheduled layover in Chicago. I stayed overnight in a wonderful (and affordable) youth hostel.

It turns out there is a similar option when visiting New York City, an option I had not considered. I would assume that could be true in other cities as well. What a great country.

In NYC, just don't try to sneak a 20-oz drink into a homeless shelter. 

Week 10: March 3, 2013 -- March 9, 2013

Bakken operations
20% recovery in the Bakken -- "Array" fracking
EOG's completion design is a game changer -- Filloon
KOG comments on a new completion method
Whiting: 15 wells in one spacing unit
Wall Street Cheat Sheet highlights Whiting's huge prospects in North Dakota
Hess: pure E&P; to sell its retail operations
Drilling costs coming down in the Bakken -- CarpeDiem
CLR's experience in the Bakken -- reader's comment
Overlapping spacing units in the Bakken
Large BEXP pad northwest side of Williston
Active rigs: 187

Enbridge announces completion of its Bakken Expansion Program; increased oil from Berthold to Saskatchewan; new pipeline from Saskatchewan to Manitoba; from there to Chicago
IHS story on pipeline takeaway in the Bakken; Enbridge won't mix Bakken oil with Canadian heavy oil

RBN: part III of crude-by-rail terminals in North Dakota

New technology saves drilling time; the jury is still out (of course)

Economic development
BNSF to use natural gas as a trial

Satellite view of the Bakken at night; very little of it was flaring

Active Rigs: 187

Saturday Morning


March 11, 2013: with regard to Peggy Noonan's op-ed below. Shortly after reading Peggy Noonan's column, I saw Steven Spielberg's movie, "Lincoln." After seeing the movie, I thought about Noonan's article. She argued that jobs were the issue, and not a "wrestling match between taxes and spending." Now that I've seen Lincoln, I think Noonan is wrong. The issue of "jobs" will come and go; the legacy of this president (and most presidents) will not be "jobs." How the wrestling match with spending/taxation plays out will affect generations to come, and is a much bigger issue than jobs. President Obama is taking on a much bigger issue than jobs. 

Original Post

WSJ Links

Section D (Off Duty): maybe later

Section C (Review): probably the best part of the paper. But not much of interest today.
  • When more trumps better. The map/graphic at the linked article is almost better than the satellite view of the Bakken at night. Almost.
Section B (Business and Finance):
  • Big Texas power provider seeks new rules; Energy Future Holdings Corp, created in 2007 when KKR, others purchased the state's largest utility; the deal was a huge bet that electricity prices would increase; that hasn't happened; company is "beleaguered" to use the description given by the WSJ; I would think there are lessons for wind and solar;
  • The nanny-tax amnesty; one has to love the spin on this story; think about the target audience of the WSJ; think Tim Geithner; here's the lede:
It is all too easy to fumble taxes when paying a nanny or other household worker. But the Internal Revenue Service is making it easier for people who mishandled such issues to make things right. 
No, it's not "all too easy to fumble taxes when paying a nanny or other household worker." Anyone "in trouble" with this issue is in trouble simply because they failed to report/pay the required taxes; the rules are straightforward: if you pay a nanny or other household workd $1,800 or more, you need to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes. The most celebrated case: Zoe Baird's nomination for US attorney general was scuttled back in 1993 under Bill Clinton over this issue.
Section A: 
  • Lots of rhetoric at the N/S Korean border; no link; story everywhere;  
  • Land mines -- Using mice to sniff out TNT in land mines; land mines are strewn all over the 3rd world; now they are genetically engineering mice to sniff out TNT.  It really is quite amazing; dogs cost too much to train ($25,000) and are unreliable for routine mine-sweeping. Rats can be trained for $7,900 apiece, but it takes up to 9 months to train a single rat. So, researchers took advantage of a receptor in the rodent brain for the odor of DNT which is essentially the same as TNT. Then this:
All told, a normal mouse has about 10 million neurons devoted to smells. Each odor-sensing neuron has just one type of aroma receptor. Each type is controlled by just one gene. In all, there are a thousand different genes for odor receptors in the mouse brain.
To make their mice hypersensitive to explosives, the researchers altered the gene responsible for the DNT receptor so that the transgenic mice have as many as one million neurons in which the odor receptor is tuned to the fragrance of a land mine.
Reminds me of Ratatouile:

Ratatouile Trailer, Disney

 .... which, if you haven't seen, is a must.

Op-ed: I quit reading Peggy Noonan after her 2012 debacle, but today's editorial -- based on the "headline" -- was too good to pass up. She really does write well. Can anyone improve on this?
Barack Obama really is a study in contrasts, such as aloof and omnipresent.
He's never fully present and he won't leave.
He speaks constantly, endlessly, but always seems to be withholding his true thoughts and plans.
He was the candidate of hope and change, of "Yes, we can," but the mood of his governance has been dire, full of warnings, threats, cliffs and ceilings, full of words like suffering and punishment and sacrifice.
It's always the language of zero-sum, of hardship that must be evenly divided, of constriction and accusation.
It's all so frozen, so stuck. Just when America needs a boost, some faith, a breakthrough.
Mr. Obama is making the same mistake he made four years ago. We are in a jobs crisis and he does not see it. He thinks he's in a wrestling match about taxing and spending, he thinks he's in a game with those dread Republicans. But the real question is whether the American people will be able to have jobs.
[That mistake didn't seem to hurt him; he was re-elected. By a large margin. By a well-financed opponent.]

The problem is this: she describes very well what we all see. She doesn't attempt to explain "why" the president is like this. The "why" is what is fascinating.

Miscellaneous Links

The new Lamborghini Veneno reminds me of the original television Batmobile. Go through the slide show and see if you don't agree.