Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Random Update On The MRO Wells Targeting The Tyler

As my mom used to say, a little birdie told me this.

Apparently frack trucks are moving on site at both the Rundle Trust and the Powell wells. Activity is further ahead at the Rundle Trust site.

"The little birdie," in this case, is a reliable source.

Also, from The Dickinson Press, Feb 21, 2014:
The wells are in northeastern Slope County. The first was spudded on Sept. 12 and another Oct. 28. Nesheim said the first well the company drilled "didn’t turn out well," so Marathon “moved the rig over and started again.”
Marathon spokesman John Porretto wouldn’t comment on the status of the drilling. The wells will come off confidential status April 28.

I Guess I'm The Gullible One

Earlier I wrote this:
It seems the only place on earth that is actually warmer is the Arctic. The warmists explain that the the warming Arctic is responsible for one of the coldest winters on record. And on the other side of the earth, the Antarctic, a gazillion times bigger than the Arctic, is actually getting bigger based on whatever data we have. The earth tilts slightly off its vertical axis. According to wiki, the axial tilt is 23.4 degrees, with the Arctic tilted away from the sun. Wouldn't it be a hoot if the axial tilt has shifted to 23.399999999 degrees and that accounted for the slight Arctic warming, and the Antarctic cooling, as the former is tilted closer to the sun, and the latter is tilted farther from the sun. Of course, that's just tongue-in-cheek, but I wonder if the warmists have put that data point in their computer models. It would explain everything. And, of course, the US has started to lean so far to the left, that alone might result in the earth wobbling slightly off its axial tilt.
I truly thought the Arctic was the only warm spot on earth; all I ever read from the warmists is that it's unseasonably warm in the Arctic. A reader sent me the weather report for Prudhoe Bay today:
Right now:  -42°F FEELS LIKE -59° 
Earlier today: -42° HIGH AT 3:05 AM
Tonight: -50° LOW
Mostly Cloudy OQ1244 2
Some areas nearby are reporting fog.
Partly Cloudy 
Wow, I would hate to imagine how cold it would be in Prudhoe Bay if "we" didn't have global warming. But I guess I'm the gullible one, believing the warmists that the Arctic is "warm" this year.


By the way, just for the archives, I spent a summer in Prudhoe Bay back in the 1970's. It must have been the summer of 1972. 

Catching Up On The News From Earlier Today -- Maybe Killing The Coal Industry Wasn't All That Clever

Earlier today, the news was coming fast and furious, and I didn't have time to expand. The second bit of news had to do with the interesting Motley Fool article Don sent me.

I normally don't care for Motley Fool but once in awhile they have a good article. Their article on coal today was particularly good.
Arch Coal CEO John Eaves recently noted that Powder River Basin coal stockpiles were so low that, "Some of our customers have raised concerns about potential stockpile shortages..." That's because of weather driven demand, but, "Even more intriguing is what is happening in the natural gas market."
It's worth paying attention when Arch Coal's CEO finds something about the gas market interesting because natural gas is the primary competitor to coal in the utility space. Eaves notes that, "So far this winter, 1600 BCF has been drawn from natural gas storage. This represents a withdrawal rate 45% above the five-year average..." and, "...we share our customers concerns about the potential lack of grid reliability and fuel diversity..."
Utilities throughout the country have been building up their natural gas fleets.
Industry giant Duke Energy, for example, is working to increase its reliance on natural gas to nearly a quarter of its fuel mix by next year. That's up from a paltry 5% in 2005. Natural gas use at Southern Company has been increasing, too, with CEO Thomas Fanning noting that his company is the, "...second or third largest gas consumer in the United States."
This pair of giants isn't alone, but Gregory Boyce, CEO of Peabody Energy, echoed Arch Coal's concerns during his company's full-year 2013 conference call, "'s our view that we're going to see some serious review of previous decisions as to the exact time frame when some of these [coal] plants are going to be retired..." That's because, "...we're seeing more and more evidence that people are concerned about the ability to supply power particularly in swing periods, whether it be the summer or the winter."
Maybe that plan to kill the US coal industry was not all that clever.  Sort of reminds me of Harvard's "best and brightest" that dragged us into the Vietnam conflict.

Catching Up On The News Of The Day -- The Increasing Irrelevancy Of President Obama And His Secretary Of State John Kerry

Earlier today, the news was coming fast and furious, and I didn't have time to expand. The second bit of news had to do with the increasing irrelevancy of President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry.

I think this winter pretty much put the final nails in the coffin in global warming. I was writing about that BEFORE the BloombergBusinessweek story came out later today telling us how badly the government climate forecasting agency did. [By the way, Mt Rainier is expected to get up to 9 feet of snow -- i.e., 108 inches snow over the next three days. Mt Rainier seldom gets that much snow in a month; the average is less than 95 inches in the entire month of February. Remember all those articles from Patrick Kennedy et al lamenting over the fact that our children and grandchildren might never see snow in the future. What hogwash.]

We will still hear speeches ad nauseum from both President Obama and SecState John Kerry but they are talking to their base and 90% of Americans don't switch television stations to hear another speech on global warming. Many of those folks not switching stations are not doing so because they have no electricity. A global warming storm has taken out the power lines. I think if the New England folks here one more speech this week on global warming, they will re-register en masse as Tea Partiers.

On a completely different subject, I think President Obama finally noted the small print on an earlier PowerPoint slide that is now a major bullet in the newest "JOBS" briefing. It's simply this: a huge percentage of their base will see their hours cut to just below 30 hours/week because of ObamaCare. Raising the minimum wage is their only "salvation." And even if passed into law tonight, it would not be effective for most folks who will see 30-hour work weeks before the 2014 elections. The GOP should get ahead of this, and start putting out position papers saying if the government doesn't raise the minimum wage to $15/hour, the poorest wage earners are going to feel the full brunt of ObamaCare.

And that was going through my mind before the newest DrudgeReport link that says the fourth hospital in the US southern state of Georgia is closing its door as a hospital because of ObamaCare. No links; the story is easily found.

Finally, it is interesting that the price of oil has silently moved up to almost $104, when the US is producing record amounts. What gives? I know but I'm not telling. Because the reason doesn't matter to 90% of the American population. All they care about is what gasoline is costing them. Last week I mentioned that gasoline was selling at our neighborhood service station for $2.99 -- it caught my attention because it was under $3.00. This morning, that same service station was selling gasoline for $3.28/gallon and this afternoon I see it has been raised to $3.29. We haven't even begun the spring switch-over process -- when refineries switch from winter formulations to summer formulations. If record cold weather extends into that period of refinery switch-over, owners of gas-guzzling SUVs better hope they have money in their IRAs from which to take a bit of gasoline money. Then, peak driving season and the price of gasoline will continue to go back up, if history is any guide.

As a reader noted in his comments regarding minimum-wage jobs and 30-hour-work-weeks and holding down two jobs to make ends meet, it costs a lot in gas money going back and forth to two different jobs every day.

These were just some of the thoughts going through my mind when I wrote that the President and his SecState were becoming less and less relevant.

Catching Up On Earlier News -- Devon

Earlier today, the news was coming fast and furious, and I didn't have time to expand. The first bit of news had to do with Devon, the price of oil, and western Canadian oil. [Additional story on Devon operations in Oklahoma.]

I was eagerly waiting to see what Devon would report. I don't invest in Devon, never have, never will, but for some reason I had an intuition regarding Devon.

Just before the earnings came out, there was a story that Devon had sold $2.8 billion of its Canadian interests. Later, we learn that the assets are "non-core" assets. I haven't bothered to look at what assets are being sold; maybe they are worthless; who knows. All I know is that Devon is selling $2.8 billion of its Canadian assets. It doesn't surprise me, what with the Keystone debacle.

Then, surprise, surprise: the Nebraska folks are asking for a "do-over." It seems everyone wants a "do-over" when it comes to fossil energy. Whatever. But the Keystone XL 2.0 North is more dead than it was 24 hours ago. There are few things that can be "more dead" in life, but the Keystone is one of them things.


I thought disco was dead. This takes me back to a great disco night at an air force base in the Netherlands (Europe) in the late 1980's or early 1990's.

Remix, Summertime Sadness, Landa Del Rey vs Cedric Gervais

Devon, in the press release, it was also mentioned that the company increased its proved oil reserves to the highest level in company history. That sorta jumps out at you.
The press release continued:
  • Permian Basin: record production (the Permian was supposed to be a "dying" field)
  • Anadarko Basin: record production 
  • Mississippian-Woodford Trend: a 47% increase over comparable previous period 
  • Barnett shale: a 17% net increase in natural gas production
  • Canadian thermal oil: a 16% net increase in net production
Bottom line: a North Ameircan-focused company hitting on all cylinders in multiple shale plays, in both oil and natural gas.
A huge story for a company that I don't follow, that has no operations in the Bakken, and is getting record production in a 50-year-old Texas field that was supposed to be dead or dying.

Thirteen (13) New Permits -- The Williston Basin, North Dakota, USA; Petro-Hunt, Newfield, Oasis Each With A Nice Well

Active rigs:

Active Rigs18618219917161

Thirteen (13) new permits -- 
  • Operators: BR (6), Statoil (3), QEP, Ballard, WPX, Whiting
  • Fields: Elidah (McKenzie), Stony Creek (Williams), Grail (McKenzie), Mandaree (Dunn), Sanish (Mountrail)
  • Comments: Ballard has another permit for a wildcat in Bottineau County (another Spearfish well, no doubt; section 2-160-81); all six BR permits are in Elidah field which seems to have gotten very, very active all of a sudden for BR (four will be Haymaker wells, section 22); the other two are in section 10.
Wells coming off the confidential list were posted earlier; see sidebar at the right.

One (1) producing well was completed:
  • 25961, 2,880, BR, Archer 44-25MBH, Charlson, t2/13; cum --, ICO
Wells coming off the confidential list Thursday:
  • 24055, 1,657, Petro-Hunt, Wisness 152-96-28A-33-6H, Clear Creek, t11/13; cum 44K 12/13;
  • 25210, drl, HRC, Fort Berthold 148-95-22C-15-5H, Eagle Nest, no production data,
  • 25421, 1,597, Oasis, Link 14-23H, Foreman Butte, t10/13; cum 28K 12/13;
  • 25698, drl, Hess, AN-Evenson 152-95-0310H-5, Antelope, no production data,
  • 25826, drl, CLR, Akron 6-34H1, Siverston, no production data,
  • 26025, 1,609, Newfield, Moberg Federal 149-95-29-32-4H, Bear Den, t11/13; cum 25K 12/13;

24055, see above, Petro-Hunt, Wisness 152-96-28A-33-6H, Clear Creek:

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

26025, see above, Newfield, Moberg Federal 149-95-29-32-4H, Bear Den:

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

25421, see below, Oasis, Link 14-23H, Foreman Butte:

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

.... And We Start Over....The Canadians Must Think This Country Is One Big Banana Republic.... a judge says that the Nebraska governor had no authority to approve the new Keystone XL 2.0 North route.


February 21, 2014: TransCanada considering its next move in light of one more legal setback. LOL. Not much to consider. TransCanada just keeps making more money. Why worry.

Original Post

It is beyond me why TransCanada simply didn't use the existing Keystone route after all this time. Something fishy going on.

But I digress. "We" start the entire process over, I guess. The syndicated series, I-98, looks less and less fictional over time.

The Bismarck Tribune is reporting:
LINCOLN, Neb. — A judge has struck down a Nebraska law that allowed the Keystone XL oil pipeline to proceed through the state.
Lancaster County Judge Stephanie Stacy issued a ruling Wednesday that invalidated Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman's approval of the route. Stacy says the decision should have been made by the Nebraska Public Service Commission, which regulates pipelines and other utilities.
The ruling could cause more delays in finishing the pipeline, which would carry oil from Canada to Texas refineries.
But it's a win for Nebraska-based pipeline opponents. They've argued that Heineman exceeded his authority when he approved the route in January 2013.
It appears that governors must govern by a different set of rules than the President of the United States, who through executive order, can change laws willy-nilly as long as the purse is not involved. LOL. 

Rumor has it the Nebraska Public Service Commission meets every five years. The commission is scheduled to convene in 2018, at the earliest, and there are no provisions for ad hoc meetings. At least that's the rumor. It appears the only shovel-ready jobs associated with the Keystone XL 2.0 North are legal jobs.

For The Warmists: I Can't Make This Stuff Up: The Government Says It Missed Forecasting This Tough Winter ...

... but the same government can predict, without a bit of doubt, that the global temperature of the earth, that the global temperature of the entire earth will increase by one degree celsius by the end of this century -- over 80 years from now. One degree.

BloombergBusinessWeek is reporting:
Surprised by how tough this winter has been? You’re in good company: Last fall the Climate Prediction Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicted that temperatures would be above normal from November through January across much of the Lower 48 states. The graphic at the linked article shows just how wrong the official forecast of the U.S. government was.
The article just gets better and better. Halpert just keeps digging his hole deeper and the manure keeps filling in:
The techniques that go into three-month climate forecasts are completely different from the ones used for daily weather forecasting. The daily stuff, says Halpert, is based on “initial conditions”—i.e., measuring as precisely as possible the current state of the atmosphere and predicting how it will evolve over the coming few days. Regardless of what Siri might say, weather forecasts have very little accuracy past a week.
But global warming forecasts, I guess, are accurate to within a degree over a century. LOL.

Not one word about global warming in the article. Not even mentioned. Wow.

I mentioned this to my wife who has an advanced degree from UCLA who then asked, "But how do you account for all those melting icebergs?"

It's a losing battle. LOL. 

For Investors Only

Several companies of interest traded at new highs: MDU, SRE, XLNX, WEN, OKE, PSXP.

Natural gas closed up almost 10%.

Oil continues to melt up: WTI/NYMEX closes just short of $104, and not much news to explain.

Earnings After The Close

Questar Corporation reported net income of $161.2 million for 2013, or $0.92 per diluted share. This included a noncash impairment charge for the eastern segment of Southern Trails Pipeline of $52.4 million after-tax, or $0.29 per diluted share. Excluding the impairment charge, 2013 adjusted earnings were $213.6 million, or $1.21 per diluted share, compared to 2012 net income of $212.0 million, or $1.19 per diluted share.  Excluding the impairment charge, Questars 2013 adjusted ROE was 18.7%.
2013 unaudited net income attributable to Williams of $430 million, or $0.62 per share on a diluted basis, compared with net income of $859 million, or $1.37 per share on a diluted basis for 2012.
The decline in net income for 2013 was primarily due to lower natural gas liquids (NGL) margins at Williams Partners, as well as the absence of $207 million of income in first-quarter 2012 associated with the sale of certain of the company’s former Venezuela operations, of which $144 million was recorded within discontinued operations. Full-year results were also impacted by over six months of lost production at the Williams Partners’ Geismar olefins plant and $99 million of tax expense on undistributed foreign earnings related to the planned dropdown of our Canadian operations to Williams Partners, which is expected to close by the end of February 2014.
For fourth-quarter 2013, Williams reported a net loss of $14 million, or $.02 per share on a diluted basis, compared with net income of $149 million, or $0.23 per share, for fourth-quarter 2012.
The decrease in fourth-quarter 2013 net income was primarily due to Williams Partners’ Geismar olefins plant being out of service for the entire fourth quarter and a decrease in NGL margins. The fourth quarter was also impacted by the previously mentioned $99 million of tax expense related to the planned Canadian dropdown. These declines were offset by an increase in fee-based revenues at Williams Partners and increased equity earnings from Access Midstream Partners.
Shares of Tesla Motors soared to record levels after-hours Wednesday as the electric auto maker reported much stronger than expected profits and forecast it will sell 55% more vehicles this year than it did last year.
Canadian Natl Rail targets C$2.1 billion in 2014 capital investments to raise network safety and efficiency, improve service and grow the business: Co announced today a 2014 plan to invest approximately C$2.1 billion to continue to raise network safety and efficiency, improve service and grow the business. Compare with BNSF CAPEX for 2014, previously reported.

Some Incredible Things Happening...And Very, Very Fast; Off The Net For Awhile

The big story of the day: Devon.

First: Kerry and Obama are becoming more and more irrelevant every day.

Second: Devon.

Third: Don just sent me an incredibly interesting link to The Motley Fools. Everything in that article has been stated explicitly or implicitly so many times on the blog it boggles the mind. Regular readers "get it."

Fourth: the price of oil moves up another half a percent, and the dollar is flat, so one can't attribute this all to the strength (or weakness) of the dollar. Right now, it's all about the weather (not the climate; that comes later), and that's why the "first" above is relevant, and they aren't.

Things are moving much more quickly in my arena than I would have imagined three months ago. My arena is energy; my focus is fossil fuel; my insane obsession is the Bakken.

But there are too many things happening too fast; I can't capture it all fast enough, so this cryptic note which will remind me of things to write about later.

The tipping point for this momentary manic episode: the market was down 50 points in early trading; I was absorbed in writing a note to the granddaughters, and when I came back to the market and e-mail, I was shocked: the market, Devon, price of oil, Don's link to Motley Fool.


Nothing should be read below this line. The note above is the post. But in the momentary manic mood I need to capture the thoughts running through my mind. "Figuring out" F. Scott Fitzgerald's Great Gatsby was an incredible breakthrough for me. I can now enjoy the book and the movie over and over, not worrying about the meaning. I get it. It only took 62 years to figure it out. It is not quite the same feeling when I learned who the "real" Shakespeare was, but it's in the same ballpark.

Summertime Sadness, Lana Del Rey

I dread leaving this Saturday for a cross-country trip. I dread the separation from our two granddaughters. Once I start, the trip will be incredibly wonderful. Once I pull out of that San Pedro/Los Angeles driveway and head east on 10, then north on 15 to Las Vegas and then who knows how, up to the Bakken, I will do well. But this week, or what is the rest of it, is and will be hell, anticipating the separation. So, when I saw the market, the price of oil, Don's note, it took my mind off the impending separation and a moment of mania took over ... and whenever a moment of mania hits, I need to find a song quickly to bring me back or keep it going, depending on the moment, so the video, played loudly....
Oh, my God, I feel it in the air
Telephone wires above are sizzling like a snare
Honey, I'm on fire, I feel it everywhere,
Nothing scares me any more.

Kiss me hard before you go
I just wanted you to know
That baby, you're the best
I'm feelin' electric tonight
Cruising down the cost goin' 'bout 99
Got my bad baby by my heavenly side
I know if I go, I'll die happy tonight
Oh my God, I feel it in the air,
Telephone wires above are sizzling like a snare,
Cruising down the coast goin' 'bout 99....
And that's the anthem for this road trip, I guess.


I don't think the pundits have figured out why the minimum wage has all of a sudden become so important. The "low-information crowd" -- which is not being used disparagingly -- does not understand why, but they are already feeling "it." The "it" being the intended consequences -- intended, at least according to Jay Carney, so breadwinners can spend more time at home with their families -- of ObamaCare. I opined from the beginning that ObamaCare will make incredible cultural changes for Americans, included a federally-mandated workweek of 30 hours. That's why the minimum wage has become so problematic for incumbent politicians right now. The "low-information crowd" is starting to feel the effects of the 30-hour workweek. It will only get worse. The minimum wage has not been raised (yet). Going from 40 hours to 30 hours is a 25% pay cut. A raise in the minimum wage to $10.10 by the end of 2016 is not going to come close to making up the difference. Blame it on ObamaCare but the "low-information crowd" won't connect the two.

One needs to hear what energy experts are saying: killing the coal industry needs to be re-thought. Obama and Kerry are becoming irrelevant to everyone but themselves.

The warmists who are willing to debate the subject intellectually need to look at the data. Obama and Kerry are becoming irrelevant to everyone but themselves. There was a great line Don Johnson threw out in a Miami Vice episode that pertains. He was out the door to save someone's life, when some idiot wanted to discuss gun rights; Don said something to the effect that he would debate that later when he had the time. Right now he was just trying to save a life. The folks in New England paying for CapeWind are probably having that same "aha" moment. CapeWind may be important but right now we're freezing. And dying.

It seems the only place on earth that is actually warmer is the Arctic. The warmists explain that the the warming Arctic is responsible for one of the coldest winters on record. And on the other side of the earth, the Antarctic, a gazillion times bigger than the Arctic, is actually getting bigger based on whatever data we have. The earth tilts slightly off its vertical axis. According to wiki, the axial tilt is 23.4 degrees, with the Arctic tilted away from the sun. Wouldn't it be a hoot if the axial tilt has shifted to 23.399999999 degrees and that accounted for the slight Arctic warming, and the Antarctic cooling, as the former is tilted closer to the sun, and the latter is tilted farther from the sun. Of course, that's just tongue-in-cheek, but I wonder if the warmists have put that data point in their computer models. It would explain everything. And, of course, the US has started to lean so far to the left, that alone might result in the earth wobbling slightly off its axial tilt.

Okay, I've settled down. This will probably all be erased later when the meds wear off.

I'm going to close up shop for the day. Back on the bike. Good luck to everyone. Oh, that's right. No one was supposed to read below the asterisks.

Wow! Manufacturing Activity Plummets In New York Region; For Investors Only: RAIL Has A Bad Day; Devon Energy Beats

Is this surprising? MarketWatch is reporting:
Manufacturing activity in the New York region slipped in February after hitting its highest reading since May 2012 in January, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York said Tuesday. The regional bank's "Empire State" general business conditions index retreated to 4.5 in February from 12.5 in January. The drop was larger than expected. A MarketWatch survey of economists called for a reading of 9.0 in February. Readings above zero signal expansion. Details of the report were also strong. The new orders index fell back into negative territory after hitting a two-year high in January. Shipments also fell to 2.1 in February from 15.5 in the prior month. Unfilled orders remained negative. Employment indexes were little changed.
One may want to compare this note with the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis note posted yesterday.

Yahoo!Finance is reporting: One of the unintended consequences of Dodd-Frank is that billionaire activist investors can now exhort more influence on corporations while investing relatively little amounts, says Anthony Scaramucci, founder of SkyBridge Capital.

Unintended? LOL. I think not. These are not dummies that write these bills. They know exactly what they are doing. 


Six companies announced increased dividends or distributions.

Disclaimer: this is not an investment site. Do not make any investment decisions based on anything you read on this site or what you think you may have read at this point. 

This surprised me. RAIL had a rough day yesterday.Freightcar America reports Q4 (Dec) results, misses on revs: Reports Q4 (Dec) loss of $1.03 per share, may not be comparable to the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.03; revenues fell 31.6% year/year to $79.7 mln vs the $96.68 mln consensus. RAIL is down 4% in pre-market trading. It's not going to get any better when they have to start retro-fitting tank cars. Or maybe it will.

Devon Energy beats by $0.03, misses on revs; Increased proved oil reserves to highest level in company history (see 06:12 post for earlier news): Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $1.10 per share, $0.03 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $1.07; revenues rose 1.7% year/year to $2.62 bln vs the $2.8 bln consensus.

Duke energy beat. Forecast 95 cents. Actual, $1.00. 

Why Minimum Wage Is The Hot Topic Right Now; Minimum Wage Workers Will See Cut In Pay This Year

A random thought:

40 hours x $8 (now) = $320 / week minimum wage

Under ObamaCare with ObamaWage:  30 hours x $10.10 = $303 / week minimum wage

And employers will cost shift their health care liabilities.

The new minimum wage won't kick in before the election, so 30 hours x $8 = $240 / week.

Somewhere, on some PowerPoint slide, President Obama has been shown this data point. I assume, even he, with no business experience, can do the math.

Selected State Data

Yes, I know the federal minimum wage is $7.25, but many states have $8.00 minimum wage: Colorado, California, Rhode Island, New York, Massachusetts, Illinois ($8.25), Nevada ($8.25 - no health insurance benefits), New Jersey ($8.25), others.

Arizona, Montana, : $7.90

Connecticut: $8.70

Oregon is an outlier: $9.10

Washington is an outlier: $9.32

Catching Up On The Day's News

Chicago workers concerned about their pensions. CNNMoney is reporting
After years of avoiding the issue, the city of Chicago is facing a massive spike in its annual bill for the pensions it promised current and retired workers. Next year, the city's required contribution will more than double to $1.07 billion.
City Hall says the nearly $600 million increase translates to the city's annual cost for 4,300 police officers or more than 3,750 firefighters or the resurfacing of nearly 16,000 city blocks. At the same time, Chicago Public Schools, which have a separate budgeting process, have their own pension fight.
The district will pay $613 million towards its teachers' pensions this year-- a big increase from prior years and more than 10% of the agency's total budget.

The Poll Is Closed: Natural Gas Pricing

At $5.95 or thereabouts, the answer is in, whether natural gas will hit $6.00 this season. The poll is closed. The poll will stay up until I get a chance to change it.  The results of the poll in which the question was asked whether natural gas would hit $6.00 this season:
  • yes: 40%
  • no: 60%
A Note to the Granddaughters

Having completed my Girl-With-The-Dragon-Tattoo phase I am now in my Great-Gatsby phase.  Truthfully, it will be awhile before I get out of my GWTDT phase. In addition to everything else, the novel has an interesting structure, several stories within the novel, which is not unusual, but the way the author bookended the murder mystery with a boring financial exposé was fascinating. I'm not sure if I had seen that type of structure in other books I have read. It was a great book, but probably one I won't read again. On the other hand, I will watch the movie over and over, probably any number of times, before I finally get it out of my system, if I ever do.

On the other hand, it is very likely that I will read The Great Gatsby over and over, any number of times, and I may never get it out of my system. It took a long time for me to "get over" Virginia Woolf's Mrs Dalloway. While reading Mrs Dalloway the second time, I had the uneasy feeling, I wasn't "getting it." I tried to solve that by typing the entire novel. That exercise took about six months, typing a couple of hours every other night or so. When I was done, I found myself blown away by the novel, and was able to read it a third time, and can now go back and enjoy reading it again and again.

The Great Gatsby is going to be like Mrs Dalloway for me. I won't re-type the entire novel, but I certainly might type out all the impossible-to-understand and almost-impossible-to-understand phrases, sentences and paragraphs. I don't recall reading TGG in high school or college. I don't remember ever reading it until 2004 or sometime around then when I was beginning my aggressive reading program. I read it, and remembered parts of it, but it wasn't until I saw the 2013 movie, that I really followed the story line.

I'm slowly reading TGG again. Today on page 116, chapter VI, a bit more than halfway through the book, I recognized the climax.

According to wiki:
According to Freytag, a drama is divided into five parts, or acts, which some refer to as a dramatic arc: exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and dénouement. Although Freytag's analysis of dramatic structure is based on five-act plays, it can be applied (sometimes in a modified manner) to short stories and novels as well, making dramatic structure a literary element. 
Briefly, J. Gatsby has spent the last five years of his life, ostensibly, trying to "get back" with Daisy, the love of his life. Wow, as I write that, and try to think next what to say, it becomes overwhelming. It is an incredible book, and an incredible story. Of course, it helps to know the ending. In fact, one needs to know the ending to a) recognize the climax; and, b) realize how really great this book is/was.

This was Fitzgerald's third huge, immeasurable, success. Two earlier novels had made him the "rock star" of his generation. He was having trouble, probably sensing intense pressure, to "do it again," to hit a third home run. The Great Gatsby was a grand slam; he predicted as much but did not live long enough to see that play out.

Wow, what a digression.

Briefly, J. Gatsby has spent the last five years of his life, ostensibly, trying to "get back" with Daisy, the love of his life. And then this, Chapter 6, about halfway through the book, on page 116, near the bottom of the page. J. Gatsby felt that he had failed up to that point in winning Daisy back. His "friend," his neighbor, the novella's narrator, declares:
"I wouldn't ask too much of her, "I ventured. "You can't repeat the past."

"Can't repeat the past?" he cried incredulously. "Why of course you can!"

He looked around him wildly, as if the past were lurking in the shadow of his house, just out of reach of his hand. 
That was the climax. Then begins immediately the downward trajectory of the dramatic arc:
"I'm going to fix everything just the way it was before," he said, nodding determinedly. "She'll see."
At that point it is just a matter of seeing how the novel plays out. In the end, the story becomes a metaphor not only of F. Scott Fitzgerald's life but the lives of many who read the book and realized how really good this book was.

It literally happens that fast. One is casually reading the book, and then it hits, the climax, "you can't repeat the past. Can't repeat the past? Of course you can." Talk about stripping down a literary effort to a dozen words, an practically monosyllabic at that. Wow.

[It's possible some folks will argue that the climax was the moment when Gatsby and Daisy got together for tea at Nick's house. But that was not a "moment." It was a scene. That scene begins somewhat earlier than the "true" climax, beginning on page 91. It is a comedic scene, not a tragic scene, and does not "feel" climactic." The scene does not provide the weight (as in "gravitas") that a climax would need for a book to be called a classic.]

[There may be a foreshadowing of the climax on page 98, still part of the "tea" scene. The narrator suggests that the "colossal significance of {the green light at the end of Daisy's dock} had now vanished forever. Compared to the great distance that had separated him from Daisy it has seemed very near to her, almost touching her. It had seemed as close as a star to the moon. Note: it was again a green light on a dock. His count of enchanted objects had diminished by one.] 

[Update: October 14, 2018 -- makes me think of Einstein's theory of relativity -- the green light -- seemed as close as a star to the moon. See this post.]


Did F. Scott Fitzgerald recognize he was trying to re-live his past? Was he his own psychoanalyst? I need to go back and read his biography and Zelda's to review what was going on in their lives in 1920. He was starting to write the book in 1922 or thereabouts (published in 1925), so whatever the book is "about" was based on his internal struggles before 1922. This Side of Paradise was published in 1920; The Beautiful and The Damned was published in 1922. Born in 1896, he was only 26 years of age in 1922.