Monday, September 8, 2014

Whatever Happened To Global Warming?

[Like "Job Watch," this page will disappear in a few days, but it is linked at the sidebar at the right, near the top, for easy access.]

Whatever Happened To Global Warming? The Wall Street Journal, September 4, 2014:
On Sept. 23 the United Nations will host a party for world leaders in New York to pledge urgent action against climate change. Yet leaders from China, India and Germany have already announced that they won't attend the summit and others are likely to follow, leaving President Obama looking a bit lonely. 
Could it be that they no longer regard it as an urgent threat that some time later in this century the air may get a bit warmer? 
In effect, this is all that's left of the global-warming emergency the U.N. declared in its first report on the subject in 1990. The U.N. no longer claims that there will be dangerous or rapid climate change in the next two decades. 
Last September, between the second and final draft of its fifth assessment report, the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change quietly downgraded the warming it expected in the 30 years following 1995, to about 0.5 degrees Celsius from 0.7 (or, in Fahrenheit, to about 0.9 degrees, from 1.3). Even that is likely to be too high.
The climate-research establishment has finally admitted openly what skeptic scientists have been saying for nearly a decade: Global warming has stopped since shortly before this century began.  
September 12, 2014: earlier this week I had a reader tell me it was no longer "global warming" that we were worried about, but rather "climate change." LOL. Call it what you want, but it's all about "global warming." The nuts tell us "2 C" is the magic number And apparently it's too late, unless China or India or the US completely stop generating electricity. And if we don't: catastrophic sea level rise, extreme weather events, famine and mass extinction. The reality after passing the 400 PPM threshold: a) more ice than ever (thus a lower sea level; b) quietest weather this past year since record keeping began; c) bumper crops in the US, setting new records (announced yesterday); and,  d) several new animal species discovered this past summer. I wonder how much CO2 will rise in the mideast once the war begins (all those fighters and bombers; all those tanks; all those fuel trucks; all those Toyota pick-up trucks).

This is why activists get such a bad reputation; their comments are insane. For example: "... with China coming in at a whopping 27.6 percent, and the U.S. trailing close behind at 16.7 percent." The US is "trailing close behind" -- 17% is "close behind 28%"? Hardly. Did they really say that?

September 11, 2014:
  • seven inches of snow and freezing weather in the Rapid City, SD, area overnight
  • first time since 1888 that Rapid City saw snow this early in these season; first time since records were kept
  • summer snow blankets Denver, CO
September 10, 2014: extreme weather
  • Currently at the peak of hurricane season; no named storm right now; first time this has happened since 1992
  • Calgary, Canada, "struggles" with summer snowfall
  • 12-inch snow for Big Horn Mountains, and it's not even October yet
September 8, 2014

From the Hockey Schtick:
Our favorite statistician*, Shaun Lovejoy, proprietor of laughable 99.9% confidence that all global warming recovery since the Little Ice Age is from man-made CO2, has left comments at Dr. Judith Curry's blog claiming that if the 18-26 year "pause" in global warming lasts another 5 years to 2019, the global warming scam can officially be declared dead, buried, six feet under with 95% certainty.
Others have said the same thing. Elsewhere it was reported that 15 years of "anything" negates any previous trend. 

Here we go again, from The Los Angeles Times:
"Half of North American bird species threatened by climate change. By 2080, the bald eagle, could see its habitat decreased by 75%." 
I didn't read the article very closely, but I don't think the article mentioned the #1 threat to bald eagles: wind turbines/wind farms. So yes, it's very likely America's response to a non-problem will likely kill off the bald eagles. I used to talk about that a lot, but if the conservationists and birders didn't mind wind turbines being placed in flyways, who was I to complain. I've moved on. But an article on the future of bald eagles and no mention of wind farms ... I can't make this stuff up. 

Snow Comes Early This Year in North Dakota

Forecast: possible snow as early as tomorrow night in southwestern North Dakota. It would be one of the earlier winters I recall. When I was growing up in Williston, we usually looked to Halloween, October 28th or thereabouts as the start of cold weather; "trick or treaters" -- some of us in light costumes -- always hoped for colder weather to be delayed into November. I also remember pillow cases made perfectly good  sacks for collecting all the goodies.

Wettest Day On Record In Phoenix
Warmists Predicted The Deluge

NBC News is reporting: wettest day on record in Phoenix. The warmists predicted there would be "extreme weather" and increased precipitation due to global warming. I guess we are seeing the "increased precipitation" -- only problem: we haven't had any sign of global warming for 18 years. Cognitive dissonance for some. And then that extreme weather stuff -- well into the middle/end of hurricane and we are barely into the beginning of the alphabet for named tropical storms. I think we might be to "D." Yep, only up to "D" and "Dolly" was a tropical storm, not even reaching hurricane status.
Atmospheric CO2: 0.04%
The Other Greenhouse Gas: Water - most abundant

Another great article over at IceAgeNow. The article reminds us how much CO2 is in the atmosphere:
What carbon dioxide doesn’t do is “trap” heat long enough to lower the Earth’s temperature. It represents a mere 0.04% of the atmosphere.
That's what the warmists get, also: 0.04% (400 parts per million). 0.04%.

If one is really worried about greenhouse gases, one needs to eliminate water in the atmosphere. LOL.


Not 4%. Not 4/10ths of one percent. But 4/100ths of one percent. (Disclaimer: I sometimes make simple arithmetic errors. Go to the linked sources.)

You know that: the warmists said there was a direct correlation between concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere and the average global temperature. So, when the CO2 concentration rose from 396 to 400 parts per million the warmists pretty much said "that was the end." There was nothing mankind could do once that threshold was passed. And then, several months later it was noted (all all agree, including the warmists) that there has been no evidence of any global warming for the past 18 years, the very time period in which CO2 was rising exponentially, supposedly. So, CO2 hits the "doomsday" threshold of 400 ppm and then it's noted there's been an 18-year pause in "global warming" that cannot be explained. By anyone. Including warmists.

The wamists don't consider water vapor a greenhouse gas to be concerned about due to interesting reasoning.

Global Warming? Cold Front To Hit Dallas Later This Week

My wife? Ecstatic. Temps into the 50's.

September 7, 2014

18 Years With Absolutely No Global Warming

The DailyCaller is reporting:
The numbers are in and the verdict is that there has been no global warming for 17 years and 11 months, according to satellite data.
Satellite data prepared by Lord Christopher Monckton shows there has been no warming trend from October of 1996 to August of 2014 — 215 months. To put this in perspective, kids graduating from high school this year have not lived through any global warming in their lifetimes. [That was my first thought when I read the lede; neither of our granddaughters have experienced any global warming weather; but they know all about it.]
According to Monckton — the third Viscount Monckton of Brenchley and a former policy adviser to U.K. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher — the rate of warming has been half of what climate scientists initially predicted in the early 1990s.
The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) first predicted in 1990 that global temperatures would rise at a rate of 2.8 degrees Celsius per century. But the temperature rise since the IPCC’s prediction has only been at a rate of 1.4 degrees Celsius per century.
Species Going Extinct Because Of Global Warming? Never Mind

I can't make this stuff up. This snail was declared extinct seven years ago because of global warming -- it turns out there has been no global warming for 18 years. And now, voila! The snail is "rediscovered." ABC News is reporting:
A snail once thought to have been among the first species to go extinct because of climate change has reappeared in the wild.
The Aldabra banded snail, declared extinct seven years ago, was rediscovered on Aug. 23 in the Indian Ocean island nation of Seychelles. The mollusk, which is endemic to the Aldabra coral atoll — a UNESCO World Heritage Site — had not been seen on the islands since 1997, said the Seychelles Islands Foundation.
I can't wait to tell the granddaughters -- the older wanted to be a marine biologist, but lately she appears to be having second thoughts. Right now, she says, she no longer wants to be a marine biologist, but still go into something related to science and math. I won't mention petroleum engineer; she will discover that by herself. 

And So It Goes

By the way, that's why I love blogging. Going back to that post reminds me of economists blaming the harsh winter of 2013 - 2014 for the collapse of the economy. LOL. This was during the same period of time that the warmists persisted in their nonsense. It's hard to reconcile global warming with such a harsh winter that it caused the "collapse of the economy" (their words, not mine). Don't say you don't remember.

Don't Say You Don't Remember, Beverly Bremers

News You Will Be Reading About Tueday -- Posted September 8, 2014; The Big Story Tuesday: Apple

Reuters is reporting: Russia sees oil output edging down in 2015:
Russian oil production, a major source of government revenue, may decline slightly next year, having risen steadily since 2009, the Energy Ministry said on Monday. The ministry said oil production in 2015 was seen at 525 million tonnes (10.54 million barrels per day) compared to an expected 525.3 million tonnes this year.
Last year's oil output, which generates 40 percent of state revenues, stood at 523.3 million tonnes, a post-Soviet high. Output declined by 0.6 percent in 2008 because of a global financial crisis, but has risen steadily since 2009 thanks to the introduction of a more favourable tax regime and other fiscal measures.
I don't see a lot of difference between 525 million tonnes (predicted) vs 525.3 million tones this year (which is yet to be completed).

Meanwhile, Shell begins production at Cardamom Field in the Gulf of Mexico:
Production is now underway from the Cardamom development, the second major deep-water facility Shell has brought online in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico this year, following the start-up of Mars B in February.
Oil from the Cardamom subsea development (100-percent Shell) is piped through Shell's Auger platform. When at full production of 50,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day (boepd), Auger's total production capacity will increase to approximately130,000 boepd.
And more oilfield staff are returning to the oil fields in Kurdish oil fields.

The Wall Street Journal

"Islamic State upends Obama's second term." 

US will allow pharmacies to take back unused prescription drugs: to include drugs such as opioid painkillers in an effort to get addictive medications off the street. Really?

In Rhode Island, the Democratic Primary is "pension referendum."

First, the Ukraine; then Estonia. Now Lithuania. "After Lithuania declared its independence from the Soviet Union in 1990, many Lithuanians in the Soviet army deserted. Now Russia appears to want to prosecute them." Hmmmm.

Obama, the Nobel peace-prize president looks to expand the war in Iraq: more troops and more airstrikes. Wasn't it just last week that the President said there was no reason to destroy ISIL; they or some other terrorist group would just come back. He also said at that time: the US military could wipe out ISIL. I guess he meant if given enough time. (His plan: three years.)

Southwest Airlines, which hasn't updated its aircraft paint job since 2001, unveiled a new look for its 680 aircraft, along with a new logo, typeface, and Website. I haven't looked at it. Let's see if it looks anything like the Apple website. Nope

Dodge cuts $15,000 off Viper's price: the price reduction comes amid disappointing sales in a market that has shown a healthy appetite for pricey sports cars from domesic rivals. The Tesla? LOL.

The Los Angeles Times

Here we go again: "half of North American bird species threatened by climate change. By 2080, the bald eagle, could see its habitat decreased by 75%." I didn't read the article very closely, but I don't think the article mentioned the #1 threat to bald eagles: wind turbines/wind farms. So yes, it's very likely America's response to a non-problem will likely kill off the bald eagles. I used to talk about that a lot, but if the conservationists and birders didn't mind wind turbines being placed in flyways, who was I to complain. I've moved on. But an article on the future of bald eagles and no mention of wind farms ... I can't make this stuff up.

Here Come The Mega-Loads Again -- September 8, 2014

The Dickinson Press is reporting:
CHS announced Friday that it is proceeding with construction of a $3 billion plant northeast of Jamestown that will turn natural gas from North Dakota’s oilfields into nitrogen fertilizer for the region’s farmers.
CHS engineer Bart Gill, project director for the plant near the Spiritwood Energy Park, said CHS wants to use as many U.S. manufacturers as possible for components needed for the plant, but some of the parts it needs will have to be imported from Europe. Several of the components are very large, including a 500-ton ammonia converter.
“That’s the largest single piece of equipment that we’ll have, but we have several pieces of what we call oversized-overweight equipment that we’re going to have to transport into the site,” Gill said. “They’ll be moved first on the ocean, probably over to the port of Duluth, then transported by roads and/or rail if we can get rail, but more likely by road now to the site.”
Activists and community organizers may want to start organizing now. 

By the way, some background:
The Haber-Bosch process raises the temperature of the chamber to 572 to 1,022 degrees and increases the air pressure to a range of 2,200 to 3,600 pounds per square inch. In comparison, the average psi at sea level on Earth is about 14.7 psi.
The chemical reaction in the chamber produces ammonia out of the nitrogen and hydrogen, and ammonia is the main ingredient in nitrogen fertilizers. The gases that don’t produce ammonia on the first pass are recycled again through the tank.
“(The ammonia) is further processed into urea and then the urea is further processed into UAN,” Schouvieller said.
UAN is a solution of urea and ammonium nitrate in water that becomes fertilizer. The ammonia also will be used to produce diesel exhaust fluid, used in cleaning diesel engines.
“(UAN) is a nitric acid, so basically they take the urea liquor and add water, and now you have a liquid that’s 28 percent nitrogen,” Schouvieller said. “It’s probably important to point out that ammonia is 82 percent nitrogen and urea is 34 percent.”

Sixteen (16) New Permits -- North Dakota; September 8, 2014; SM Energy Testing The Tyler In Grassy Butte Oil Field

Active rigs:

Active Rigs196184191198143

Wells coming off the confidential list Tuesday:
  • 23015, drl, CLR, Sacramento Federal 6-10H, Brooklyn, no production data,
  • 26429, 1,888, Whiting, Norgard 41-13-2H, Ellsworth, t3/14; cum 50K 7/14;
  • 27498, drl, Hess, EN-L Cvancara-155-93-2627H-6, Robinson Lake, no production data,
  • 27552, drl, XTO, Walton Federal 41X-19G, Bear Den, no production data,
  • 27619, drl, Slawson, Whirlwind 6-31TFH, Big Bend, producing,
  • 27636, 573, Slawson, Matilda Bay 2-15H, Stockyard Creek, t6/14; cum 21K 7/14;
Wells coming off confidential list over the weekend, today, have been posted; see sidebar at the right.

Sixteen (16) new permits  --
  • Operators: Oasis (7), Whiting (3), KOG (3), Hess (2), Flatirons
  • Fields: Sanish (Mountrail), Truax (Williams), Poe (McKenzie), Ray (Williams), Lake Darling (Renville), Baker (McKenzie)
  • Comments:
Five (5) producing wells completed:
  • 26851, 821, SM Energy, Bonner 9X-12HA, Poe, t6/14; cum 19K 7/14;
  • 26852, 1,404, Bonner 9-12H, Poe, t6/14; cum 35K 7/14;
  • 26853, 508, SM Energy, Bonner 9X-12HB, Poe, t6/14; cum 9K 7/14;
  • 27276, 318, SM Energy, Vincent Trust 16-21HS, Big Dipper, t7/14; cum 6K 7/14;
  • 27289, 353, SM Energy, Robert 3-27HN, Colgan, t7/14; cum 6K 7/14; 
One (1) recompleted well:
  • 11841, 17, SM Energy, Grassy Butte 21X-21F, Grassy Butte, a Madison well, t5/86; cum 61K 7/14; last produced from the Madison/this well in 1995; re-entered Tyler, 7/14; the plan was to test the well, and if it produces, put a pump on it; it produced 82 bbls from the Madison after it was put back on-line (one day, 82 bbls, 7/14); no data regarding success of a Tyler well;

Re-Posting: Three New North Dakota Pipelines Could Add Almost One Million BOPD Takeaway Capacity By 2016 -- September 8, 2014

I can't recall if I posted this article. I know I posted the three pipeline stories in separate posts, but not sure if I posted the WSJ article regarding all the North Dakota pipeline activity earlier this year. For the archives, the WSJ is reporting three new pipelines in North Dakota could carry almost another 1 million bbls by 2016:
Energy Transfer Partners said Wednesday it is moving ahead with plans to build a 1,100-mile crude pipeline between North Dakota fields and the oil hub in Patoka, Ill. It could move as much as 320,000 barrels a day to refineries in the Midwest, travel by rail to East Coast plants or be loaded into another pipeline to the Gulf Coast.
Separately this week Enterprise Product Partners L.P.  said it hopes to build a 340,000-barrel-a-day line from Stanley, ND, to the crude oil-storage hub at Cushing, OK, though no final decision by the company's board has been made. The Bakken has become one of the most prolific oil-producing regions in the country, but most of its more than 1 million barrels a day of crude output is shipped by rail.
A third line, previously announced by Enbridge Energy Partners EEP was approved Wednesday by North Dakota regulators. The company can begin construction on the 600-mile Sandpiper pipeline as soon as July 1. That $2.6-billion project, scheduled to move oil from North Dakota to Clearbrook, MN, starting in 2016, will have a capacity of 225,000 barrels of oil a day. From the Clearbrook oil terminal to another oil hub in Superior, WI, that pipeline will have a bigger capacity of 375,000 barrels a day.
Comment: my understanding is that, at the moment, CBR + rail is getting most/all of the oil produced out of the Bakken. Whether or not these pipelines come to fruition, the fact is "they" are planning for about one million more bopd takeaway (pipeline) and yet, folks are still building CBR terminals or more tank cars. This suggests what Bentek estimated a year or so ago might be very accurate.

For Investors Only -- September 8, 2014; Update On Minot Housing -- Apartment Vacancy Stands At 3.3%

This is not an investment site. Do not make any investment decisions based on what you read here or what you think you may have read here.

Trading at new highs today: BRK.B, CAH, EEQ, MSFT, SRE, TSO.

I'm surprised the market has held up well as it has considering the shocking news that came out of Japan yesterday -- significant drop in Japan's growth -- reported earlier.

Update on Minot Housing

This is an interesting story. Sometime ago -- maybe two years ago -- I mentioned that the recent housing boom in Minot was due to the oil and gas industry. I was wrong. Most of the housing boom, I was told, was due to the 2011 flood, and the Bakken boom simply added to it (or vice versa). Looking back, I am glad I was told that (by a Minot developer), am happy that it turned out to be accurate, and even happier that things seem to be improving for the folks in Minot. Prairie Biz Mag is reporting:
The flood destroyed more than 4,100 homes at a time when the oil boom in western North Dakota, attracting workers from across the country, pinched the housing supply in the region. So, as North Dakota experienced an affordable housing shortage statewide, the Minot region saw a two-fold crunch.
Experts say the oil boom started to pressure Minot’s housing market in about 2008, and the loss of housing stock during the 2011 flood exasperated the problem. At one point, the citywide apartment vacancy rate stood at 0.02 percent.
In recent months, as developers build more apartments, relief appears in sight. The apartment vacancy rate is now up to 3.3 percent, said Danelle Zietz, rental property manager for First Minot Management.
And a bit more background:
Although Minot is on the edge of the Oil Patch, the city has seen immense growth due to the oil boom.
Bruce Carlson, a Minot Area Development Corporation board member and manager of Verendrye Electric Cooperative in nearby Velva said all sorts of industries, not just oil, are bringing more workers into Minot.
“Things have really changed,” Carlson said. For example, the Minot airport sees about 14 flights a day, he said. “Years ago, that was unheard of.”
Also, Minot Air Force Base recently announced it will be adding more than 300 personnel. On-base housing is at 90 percent occupancy, according to Lt. Col. Bryan Opperman.
And several oil companies, such as Hunt Oil Co. and Halliburton Co., have offices in Minot, Carlson said.
The national buzz about North Dakota jobs and economic prosperity has brought people to the state, particularly the western region, in droves.
Also, not mentioned in the article, though I might have missed it, is the increased BNSF activity.

Random Update Regarding Enbridge Clipper -- Line 3 -- US Pipeline Grid -- September 8, 2014

I think regular readers are aware of this. Posting it for the archives. Forbes is reporting:
We’ve already seen an increase in rail shipments of crude oil, a trend that shows little sign of abating. Now, the Canadian pipeline company Enbridge says it found a way to avoid the border crossing brouhaha that has delayed Keystone construction for years.
Building a new pipeline across the U.S.-Canadian border requires approval from the U.S. State Department, which is where environmental groups have applied much of their lobbying effort on the Keystone project, proposed by TransCanada . As a result, the Obama administration has left the project in limbo and is unlikely to take it up before the mid-term elections. 
Enbridge has a similar proposal pending that would expand its Alberta Clipper line. Instead of waiting, the company said it plans to build a link to an adjacent pipeline, known as Line 3, which already crosses the border. Enbridge will move the oil from the Alberta Clipper to Line 3 about a mile and half north of the border, send it into the U.S., then transfer it back to the main line at another interconnect about 16 miles into the U.S.
Because the only new construction is the link in Canada, and Line 3 already has permission to bring oil into the country, no additional approvals are needed.
It isn’t a permanent solution. Enbridge wants to almost double the capacity of the Alberta Clipper to 880,000 barrels a day, but the move would provide a temporary increase in capacity for exporting Canadian crude, which has been constrained by a lack of pipelines.
With regard to Line 3, at the Enbridge website:
The $7.5-billion Line 3 Replacement (L3R) Program is the largest project in Enbridge history, and includes replacing the existing pipe with modern pipe materials utilizing modern construction methods -- resulting in restoration of one of Enbridge's primary pipelines along its Mainline crude oil system.
Under the Line 3 Replacement Program, the majority of the existing Line 3 will be fully replaced with new pipeline and associated facilities on either side of the Canada-U.S. international border. The total length of the pipeline replacement is 1,031 miles.
On the Canadian side of the border, Enbridge Pipelines Inc. has announced plans to undertake an approximately $4.9-billion replacement program for its Line 3 pipeline running between Enbridge’s existing Hardisty Terminal in east-central Alberta and Gretna, Manitoba.
Similarly, in the U.S., Enbridge Energy Partners L.P. will undertake an approximately US$2.6-billion replacement program for its Line 3 pipeline running between Neche, North Dakota, and Enbridge's existing Superior Station and Terminal Facility in Superior, Wisconsin.
Collectively, these programs are known as the Line 3 Replacement Program – an important undertaking that will address integrity requirements, improve the reliability and safety of Enbridge’s Mainline system, and restore pipeline capability. The program’s target in-service date is the second half of 2017.
The Line 3 Replacement Program will replace the existing 34-inch-diameter pipeline with a 36-inch-diameter pipeline from Hardisty to Gretna on the Canadian side, and from Neche, N.D., to Superior on the U.S. side. Segments of Line 3 from the Canadian border to Neche, N.D., and near the Minnesota-Wisconsin border to the Superior terminal, are being replaced under separate segment replacement projects.
Neche, ND, is located in northeastern corner of North Dakota, on the Pembina River.

Random Update On MRO's Uran 31-2H Well In Reunion Bay -- Halo Effect? -- September 8, 2014


Later, 1:22 p.m. CDT: see first comment. Excellent link regarding "sharing/interference" as wells are spaced closer together. The link is at "' My only comment: I am always leery of comparing short-term production among various wells; there are too many factors/variables involved. Operators manage their assets; they manage production from each well. The linked article suggests that newer wells produce 85% of (prior) existing neighboring wells.

Original Post
Halo effect? 18362
  • 18362, 641, MRO, Uran 31-2H, Reunion Bay, t6/10; cum 239K 7/14; 15 stages, 2.6 million lbs; no explanation why it was taken off-line for four months in mid/late-2013, and then came back with (somewhat?) better production; it was fracked back in 2010; a rod pump was put in late 2011;
Note production profile:

PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare

One may want to look at #25486. This MRO well runs alongside (in the opposite direction) #18632, and was fracked in September, 2013, exactly the time frame when #18632 was taken off line:
  • 25486, 1,687, MRO, Mildred 44-11TFH, Reunion Bay, 30 stages; 2.8 million lbs; t10/13; cum 110K 7/14;
Production profile for #25486:
PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare

Related posts:
ObamaCare Bill Is Coming Due -- The Street

The Street is reporting:
Now ObamaCare is throwing new sand into the gears by fining individuals who lack employer-provided insurance and fail to purchase a plan from the government marketplace.
No surprise, next year those policies are expected to jump in cost by as much as 30%. Medicare actuaries are forecasting health spending will rise at 6% a year during the next decade and is on pace to reach 20% of GDP by 2025.
The administration has obfuscated the issue. Government numbers show Medicare expenditures growing more slowly, but that's because the new law raises premiums, cuts benefits and slices reimbursements to doctors and uses the cash saved to subsidize the federal and state insurance exchanges.
Small businesses are shedding employees and larger ones are scrambling to find machines to replace lower paid workers, or leave the country altogether to escape the burdens of health insurance.
Good jobs are scarce, and America is losing its brand.
The United States, once the home of free markets, is no longer the most vibrant economy on earth. It's China, where bureaucrats are better at imposing the tyranny of a state-managed economy.
My hunch is we will see customer-friendly automated kiosk ordering at McDonald's before my investing life ends, sometime in the next ten years. Apparently Chili's or Applebee's is already doing it in some restaurants. USA Today is reporting that iPads are replacing restaurant staff, back in 2011:
When the new chain Stacked: Food Well Built opens its first of three Southern California units in May — this one in Torrance — sitting atop each of the fast-casual chain's 60 tables will be an iPad that folks will use to design and order their meals.
The two co-founders — who founded the BJ's Restaurant chain — plan to place 100 iPads in each restaurant. Diners will use them to look at meal options; design their own burgers, pizzas and salads; and, if they want, use the iPads to pay for the meals.
But, says co-founder Paul Motenko, "We're not going to market it as an iPad restaurant." When Stacked founders first considered a concept with guests creating their own meals and ordering them on tabletop devices, the iPad didn't yet exist. iPads were the breakthrough, Motenko says.
I've never seen a Stacked restaurant, and I don't know how they are doing, but their webpage is c. 2014.

Forbes reported in December, 2013:
From the classroom to coffee shops, tablets are popping up everywhere. Now a new deal will put 100,000 of the devices on tabletops across Applebee’s restaurants in the United States, a record rollout for a business that continues the trend to add entertainment to your dining experience that will get you to spend more in your seat.
Meanwhile, back in June, 2014, earlier this year,  The Atlantic Monthly reported that Chili's was doing the same thing:
To prevent all this, Chili's recently made a big change to its in-store ordering system. The chain partnered with Ziosk, the restaurant-targeted tablet-maker, to develop a series of tabletop devices that allow customers to order their meals without the pesky interference of a human.
The tablets let your order your meal—and pay for it—through a screen, as you would with online ordering. (They also, as a bonus, offer games for kids and news offerings from USA Today.)
Chili's just completed what it's calling "the largest rollout of tabletop tablets in the U.S."—which includes the installation of more than 45,000 tablets across 823 Chili's restaurants
"By this fall," Austen Mulinder, Ziosk's CEO, said in a press release, "guests at nearly every Chili's in the country can place orders, play games and pay their checks from our tabletop tablets."
And if you can order at the table, it's just a matter of time before you can order from home, and have a table reserved, and already paid for by the time you arrive. 

Yes, that's right, now I remember. It was my daughter who told me her family went to Chili's, and while waiting for their order to arrive, played games on the tablets from which they ordered their meal. The games cost about 99 cents each, or something like that.

McDonalds needs to catch up.

Note that it was The Atlantic Monthly that called the wait-staff "pesky." Not me. If one thinks the wait-staff at Chili's is "peaky," I can't even imagine the word one would use for some of the McDonald's staff in downtown NYC and at east coast airports.

North Dakota, previously posted

Undated, perhaps about 2008

Monday, September 8, 2014

Active rigs:

Active Rigs194184191198143

RBN Energy: stocks and PADDs and export rules -- gulf coast crude supply / demand balance.

Propane Preparation In The Northeast

ValleyNews is reporting:
Montpelier — Northeast propane dealers are urging customers to fill their tanks this summer to help prevent shortages linked to last winter’s record high prices.
Residential propane prices have dropped from the more than $4 per gallon peak last winter, but the infrastructure challenges in the region that drove those shortages remain, industry representatives say.

The Wall Street Journal
News and Comment
Not Necessarily Fair, Certainly Not Balanced

ISIS calls for ceasefire, admits defeat -- after listening to President's three-year plan to defeat Islamic State. I made that up, except for the part about the three-year plan.

A Commerce Department reading has become one of the consequential reports ... with the power to roll [massage?] estimates on the impact of ObamaCare.

Harvard University gets largest-ever donation: $350 million from Hong Kong-born, Harvard-educated investor; to the university's School of Public Health.

US natural gas fuels Mexican boom. Link here.

Bumper crop expected for US corn. Link here. Mostly likely due to global warming, less acreage for necessary, with that 0.85 degree increase in global temperature over the past century.
The nation's corn crop is in prime health thanks to near-perfect weather this year, and farmers could see the highest yields in history, according to forecasts by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and a handful of private firms.
"We've reached a point where supply is swamping demand, and because of that we're having a price adjustment like we haven't seen for years," said Don Roose, president of U.S. Commodities, a brokerage in West Des Moines, Iowa.
Corn for delivery in September fell to $3.35 3/4 a bushel last week, the lowest closing price since June 29, 2010, on the Chicago Board of Trade.
The USDA predicts the U.S. will produce 14.03 billion bushels of corn this year, eclipsing last year's record of 13.93 billion bushels. This is despite farmers planting fewer acres this year. Corn acreage in the spring was down 4% from a year earlier to 91.6 million acres..
The Los Angeles Times

Even as Metrolink (the LA metropolitan light rail system) ridership plunges, the state pushes on with the bullet train. What was Einstein's definition of insanity? One major reason for ridership decline: not arriving on schedule.

Santa Ana to be sprayed with insecticide amid big West Nile outbreak.

Another good news story: 30% of California schoolchildren either "undocumented" or don't speak English -- these are the folks that will be needed for the jobs "Americans" won't take, and to staff McDonald's.  But "they" blame US companies for failing to develop a skilled workforce. LOL. The AP is reporting:
U.S. workers face a dim future, with stagnant or falling pay and fewer openings for full-time jobs.
That's the picture that emerges from a survey of Harvard Business School alumni.
More than 40 percent of the respondents foresee lower pay and benefits for workers. Roughly half favor outsourcing work over hiring staffers. A growing share prefer part-time employees. Nearly half would rather invest in new technology than hire or retain workers.
At the same time, it's becoming harder for the executives to find skilled workers, according to the survey results being released Monday.
Jan Rivkin, one of the survey's lead authors, suggested that a failure by companies to develop a skilled workforce could ultimately hurt those companies and the competitiveness of the U.S. economy.
It's hard to develop a skilled workforce, I assume, when 30% of your pool is "undocumented" and/or don't speak your company's language.