Like everyone else I will be baking a turkey in the oven next week. My biggest concern: when will I know it's done if that little thermometer fails to pop out?
Never fear -- there's a Plan B.
From this site:
I would have completely missed it but a reader brought it to my attention. Comment at this post:
New England's big problem is methane. Not enough pipelines for import. I'll be watching ISO-NE for the next few days for price during demand peaks. Burning oil today to make electricity.
Checking ISO-NE for past few days, it turns out New England has been burning oil at least since last week -- not much but enough -- not on weekends but during the week. It's already started.
December 10, 2020: RBN Energy update.
December 9, 2020: Total takes stake.
Later, 9:53 p.m. CT: from a reader --
This particular project is intriguing on so many levels.
The initial Phase 1 will produce a modest ~3 mtpa (million tonnes per annum), but the total project - which includes Phase 2 - will produce almost 15 mtpa when completed.The 'clock' will start with today's FID and it will be instructive to the entire LNG industry at just how quickly this plant will start producing.
They are employing the same modular concept that Calcasieu Pass is using with great effect.
Unlike Calcasieu Pass, this ECA project already has berthing and storage facilities as it has been an LNG import terminal for years.
While pipelines already exist, some midstream outfit embarked upon huge capacity upgrades out of West Texas to the Mexican (Baja) border several months ago. [Comment from blog author: this I find most interesting.]Biggest attribute of ECA is its location, being on the Pacific coast. [Comment: because of its location, I almost consider this an American LNG export terminal. My hunch is that SRE knew it would be close to impossible to get a greenfield LNG export terminal off the coast of US-California. Baja-California works out just fine. LOL.]
Not only will this bypass the need for using the Panama Canal and its fees, the trip to Asia will be very short.This could be about the most profitable LNG project extant IF things play out as expected. [Comment: wow, that is very, very interesting ... I bet every LNG export operator was scrambling to find a west coast terminal and SRE pulled it off. Very, very interesting. Wow, this is fascinating.]
Note how fast SRE announced the contractor -- one day after the permit issued.
November 17, 2020, from SeekingAlpha:
SRE: Mexico will give LNG conditional export permit -- AMLO! Link here.
Today: TechnipFMC wins $1-billion-plus contract for Sempra's Mexico LNG plant. Link here.
In its press release, Sempra refers to the Costa Azul (blue coast) project as a "landmark" project.
Note: Costa Azul LNG is a sea port and natural gas processing center, located 15 miles north of Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico. Ensenada is about 50 miles due south of Tijuana along the west coast of Baja.
This is really cool and why a change in administration was desperately needed.
Under the Trump administration, the NY Times was reporting that "immunity" to Covid-19 was fleeting and it appeared that despite having Covid-19 once, it was likely that you were still highly susceptible to follow-on infections. That, of course, would make this an extremely unique virus. "Seasonal flu" virus seems to be quite unique in migrating strains year-after-year, but that's another story for another time.
But now, with a change in administration looming, the NY Times is reporting that, in fact, once you've had Covid-19, it's likely you will have immunity for many years. Well, how 'bout that?
It seems unhealthy here.
It's just a party.
From social media earlier today:
And this from Dr Faust earlier today ....
...or masks and social distancing, like, forever.
The Literature Page
I'm in my Nabokov Lolita phase. It started when I saw "Lolita" on TCM some weeks ago, starring James Mason, Shelley WInters, and Sue Lyon, directed by Stanley Kubrick. As mentioned earlier I had tried reading the novel but couldn't understand it and found it tedious. I don't think I got past the first five pages.
But after seeing the movie, my curiosity was piqued again. I read about 25% of the novel before I got side-tracked. I came across a review of a book written about the "real" Lolita. I found it on Amazon, available through a third party seller, ordered it and after a delay of about two weeks, it arrived today. I had forgotten I had ordered it.
It is a hardcover, obviously "used" but it doesn't appear to ever having been read.
I normally don't go in for this genre, "crime stories," but this looks to be absolutely fascinating.
The Real Lolita: The Kidnapping of Sally Horner and the Novel That Scandalized the World, Sarah Weinman, c. 2018.
Yes, that current, just two years ago.
From the introduction:
I tell crime stories for a living. That means I read a great deal about, and immerse myself in, bad things happening to people, good or otherwise. Crime stories grapple with what causes people to topple over from sanity to madness, from decency to psychopathy, from love to rage. They ignite within me the twinned sense of obsession and compulsion. If these feelings persist, I know the story is mine to tell.
Several years ago I stumbled upon what happened to Sally Horner while looking for a new story to tell. It was my habit then, and remains so now, to plumb obscure corners of the Internet for ideas. I gravitate toward the mid-twentieth century because that period is well documented by newspapers, radio, even early television, yet just outside the bounds of memory. Court records still exist, but require extra rounds of effort to uncover. There are people still alive who remember what happened, but few enough that their recollections are on the cusp of vanishing. Here, in that liminal space where the contemporary meets the past, are stories crying out for greater context and understanding.
Sally Horner caught my attention with particular urgency. Here was a young girl, victimized over a twenty-one-month odyssey from new Jersey to California, by an opportunistic child molester. Here was a girl who figured out a way to survive away from home against her will, who acted in ways that baffled her friends and relatives of the time. We better comprehend those means of survival now because of more recent accounts of girls and women in captivity. Here was a girl who survived her ordeal when so many others, snatched away from their lives, do not. Then for her to die so soon after her rescue, her story subsumed by a novel, of of the most iconic, important works of the twentieth century? Sally Horner got under my skin in a way that few stores ever have.
I dug for the details of Sally's life and its connections to Lolita throughout 2014 for a feature published that fall by the Canadian online magazine Hazlitt. Even after chasing down court documents, taking to family members, visiting some of the places she had lived -- and some of the places where La Salle took her -- and writing the piece, I knew I wasn't finished with Sally Horner. Or, more accurately, she was not finished with me.
I am hooked.
Sally Horner was kidnapped at age twelve. Rescued about two years later, she died two years after her rescue.
North Dakota health officials on Tuesday reported big drops in active COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations but 26 new coronavirus-related deaths, including six in the Bismarck-Mandan region.
Four deaths were reported in Burleigh County and two in Morton County. All of the victims were in their 80s and 90s. Other deaths of people ranging in age from their 50s to their 90s were scattered over nine other counties, including Ward (Minot, ND), which had eight new deaths reported.
The Department of Health reported 1,091 new COVID-19 cases, including 131 in Burleigh and 49 in Morton, raising the state total to 65,967. Active cases statewide dropped by nearly 900, to 10,022, including 1,937 in Burleigh-Morton. Active cases dropped for a third consecutive day in the state. They've remained relatively stable in Burleigh-Morton the past couple of weeks.
Coronavirus-related hospitalizations dropped by 28 from Monday's all-time high, to 304. Statewide, there were 16 staffed intensive care beds open and 179 non-ICU beds, according to the most recent state data. In Bismarck, Sanford Health had one staffed ICU bed available and CHI St. Alexius Health had none. Both had six non-ICU staffed beds open.
For mom-and-pop mineral owners this is a nice statistic to see. The average number of bbls/well/day in North Dakota has increased from a low of 70 earlier this year to 82 in the most recent month for which we have data. Eighty-two is a pretty good number in the big scheme of things.
At the end of the day, mineral owners like to see higher-priced oil and the average amount of oil per well produced go higher.
From 70 to 82 represents a 17% jump in royalties, all things being equal. From the NDIC:
The usual disclaimer applies: in a long note like this, done quickly, there will be content and typographical errors. If this is important to you, go to the source.
Director's Cut has been released. Link here.
Crude oil production:
Four counties in North Dakota produce as much oil as Libya.
Natural gas production:
Active rigs (oil and gas):
So: number of rigs in September were less than the number of rigs in August, and yet production in September was significantly more than production in August. Hmmm.
One gets the feeling that the "second wave" will be much worse than the first wave. The new state mandates certainly suggest that, link here.
Case rate in North Dakota (number of cases / state population) is running about 8%. Similar to South Dakota. Most of the rest of the country is running about 3%.
Tea leaves (or fact?):
If the second wave is worse, there are several reasons:
The last two bullets can be mutually exclusive.
I understand why lay folks are confused, may not understand it, but I find it surprising that medical experts don't. The thing that confuses me the most: the 10:00 p.m. curfews that are now "a thing." The virus is more active at night?
If the virus is equally active 24/7, why not a 24/7 curfew?
Today, the headline story from Dr Fasut: is 75% are vaccinated, the "virus will disappear." Sure, like just like chickenpox, measles, and polio. LOL.
Yesterday, Dr Faust said that even if 90% are vaccinated we will still need lockdowns and masks.
How soon will we see universal Chinese flu vaccination in the US? See poll at sidebar at the right.
Glued sounds: I can't wait to tell her I now understand the concept of glued sounds.
Market: Dow was down as much as 400 points (rounded) earlier this morning; now trending toward a negative 150 points. Could the Dow turn green by the end of day. Unlikely. But ....
Normally after new Apple releases I hear a lot of "negative" chatter on social media. Not this time. The chatter on the new iPhone (four models) and the new chips in the computers has been nearly 100% positive. The only really negative chatter? Supply constraints are limiting orders and slowing delivery times. Nice problem to have, I suppose.
From techcrunch: the new MacBook Pro is powerful and fast, but it's the battery life that will blow you away.
Apple already has the students and the seniors. Now, Apple is going after the geeks and gamers.
Wow, I love all that alliteration. Purely accidental. Okay, contrived to some degree.
From an earlier post this morning:
From the techcrunch link:
Apple has introduced three machines that use its new M1 system on a chip, based on over a decade’s worth of work designing its own processing units based on the ARM instructions set.
These machines are capable, assured and powerful, but their greatest advancements come in the performance per watt category.
I personally tested the 13” M1 MacBook Pro and after extensive testing, it’s clear that this machine eclipses some of the most powerful Mac portables ever made in performance while simultaneously delivering 2x-3x the battery life at a minimum.
These results are astounding, but they’re the product of that long early game that Apple has played with the A-series processors.
Beginning in earnest in 2008 with the acquisition of PA Semiconductor, Apple has been working its way towards unraveling the features and capabilities of its devices from the product roadmaps of processor manufacturers.
The M1 MacBook Pro runs smoothly, launching apps so quickly that they’re often open before your cursor leaves your dock.
Video editing and rendering is super performant, only falling behind older machines when it leverages the GPU heavily. And even then only with powerful dedicated cards like the 5500M or VEGA II. Compiling projects like WebKit produce better build times than nearly any machine (hell, the M1 Mac Mini beats the Mac Pro by a few seconds).
And it does it while using a fraction of the power.
This thing works like an iPad. That’s the best way I can describe it succinctly.
One illustration I have been using to describe what this will feel like to a user of current MacBooks is that of chronic pain. If you’ve ever dealt with ongoing pain from a condition or injury, and then had it be alleviated by medication, therapy or surgery, you know how the sudden relief feels. You’ve been carrying the load so long you didn’t know how heavy it was. That’s what moving to this M1 MacBook feels like after using other Macs.
That comparison to the iPad caught me off-guard. I thought I was the only one that noticed that. I routinely "work" with the desktop iMac, the laptop MacBook Air, the iPad, and the iPhone.
Of the four, it's the iPad that is fastest, smoothest, and best machine for surfing the internet. The iPad, without an attached keyboard, does not meet my needs for blogging. For blogging I need the laptop or the desktop.
Did you see that comment regarding battery life? " ... while simultaneously delivering 2x-3x the battery life at a minimum." That's quite impressive.
Easy metrics to follow:
President Biden: "environmental justice"
Janet Yellen: if there is one constant theme being voice by Janet Yellen, it's "reparations";
NY Times: link here;
Words matter: watch for articles discussing "equal, equity, equitable, and equality";
A reader asked me my thoughts on President Biden:
For all the anxiety Trump caused his detractors, it appears that Biden is a much more dangerous president: vindictive, capricious, extreme ideologue, a puppet, ignorant, a reptile in action, a dinosaur in thinking.Although I really don't know how dinosaurs thought. I would have said "Neanderthal" but that would have been dissing the Neanderthals who were probably brighter than we think.For those who were worried about Trump having the "nuclear code" they should be much more concerned with Biden having the "nuclear code."I can't cite the source (for obvious reasons), but this is the password for the nuclear code that Trump kept in his pocket:"as76%^4749&^aBC"This is Biden's:
"password"When push comes to shove, his advisors will tell Biden to type in the password and he will comply.
February 12, 2021: Biden has shown that he is more dangerous than Goldwater + Nixon + Trump all put together.
February 2, 2021: under Trump, the "vaccine" was questionable, might not protect against variants, not thoroughly tested; under Biden, the "vaccine" just keeps getting better and better.
January 20, 2021: a not-ready-for-prime-time reply to a reader regarding the state of the union with regard to the Biden presidency:
You mentioned earlier about the price of gasoline.I've actually become quite cynical about the whole thing.We now know we can drill our way to lower gasoline prices, but if the price of gasoline rises to $5.00/gallon in California, that's their problem. If they want/like $5.00 gasoline in California then that's fine with me.It was huge for me to see that, yes, we (the US) could become energy independent, control our own destiny, have affordable energy, but if Californians want to go in another direction I no longer have a dog in that fight.There's too much to enjoy in life to worry about such things.It will be fascinating to watch if gasoline does trend toward $5.00 / gallon in California and how politicians / press respond to that. But as for me, I no longer care. What was important to me was just knowing we could do it. Like getting a man on the moon: getting there the first time was huge, but then the bureaucrats took over and the program never interested me much any more after that.That's also true for pipelines. I no longer care. Shut down all pipelines if they want. All I wanted to see was whether we could do it, and it's obvious we could with the right leadership. But if New York wants to shut down their pipelines, that's fine with me. Texas will go its own way. It may become "blue" -- I expect it will but that doesn't bother me either. It's becoming less and less "blue" vs "red" and more and more "the elites" vs the "rest," or the "haves" vs the "have-nots." The gap will widen regardless, and there seems to be as many "elites" and "haves" in "red" states as in "blue" states. It appears the wealthiest men and women in the US are all Democrats. That speaks volumes.Now, what fascinates me is if we really can pivot to EVs. There's a huge amount of infrastructure that needs to be put in place in a relatively short period of time. The cars are the easy part. Every auto maker (and computer companies -- Microsoft, Apple) are making EVs. It will be interesting to see the infrastructure that will be needed.
January 20, 2021: This is a great essay on why Trump lost; why he almost won. Over at the Claremont Review of Books. It may be behind a paywall. If so, it's too bad. They should make this available to everyone.
January 13, 2021: the US House voted for the second time asking the US Senate to determine whether President is guilty of specific charges with regard to "his supporters" storming the Capitol last week. I have real trouble with GOP House minority leader voting the way he did after his speech in the House.
January 11, 2021: the whole twitter - Trump story is childish. Having said that, how is Trump missing the obvious? There is so much going on in the world, all he has to do is call his favorite reporter -- print or television -- doesn't matter and give that reporter a teaser: "If I had a media outlet, I would update Americans on the Mideast." "If I had a media outlet, I would update Americans on our plans to hit Iran if Israel needs back-up." "And, oh, by the way, I have completed my second to last list of pardons. Because of the risk of inciting more violence, I've issued an executive order to keep the pardons "confidential" until after January 20, 2021." "I'm working on my final list of pardons; it's quite a list; it will be released 11:30 a.m. January 20, 2021." Any of those, would give Trump immediate exposure. Reporters everywhere would be demanding Trump be allowed to post that information.
January 10, 2021: to what extent this is true, I don't know. But I would love to hear Trump, Giuliani, Mo Brooks, Josh Hawley deny they said these things or did these things.
January 10, 2021: at this level, politics is very, very ugly and very, very real. This is a chance for VP Pence to make incredible history. He has morality and "higher ground" on his side. He has to be asking himself: does he remain loyal to his boss, or does he remain loyal to the country? For me, this is not a difficult decision. He needs to be looking at the history books that haven't been written yet. Will history judge him harshly regardless of which decision he makes? I don't think so. I think one decision propels him into "Profiles In Courage," the other decision relegates him to an asterisk, at best.
December 13, 2020: tea leaves suggest mainstream media will push Joe Biden under the bus by the end of 2021; actual regime change, Biden out, Harris in; might not take place until early 2022. [Later, January 10 2021: no longer true; after the Capitol was stormed, Biden was seen as the last elder statesman.]
I did this for the Trump presidency, and to some extent the Obama presidency. Now the Biden presidency.
This will be linked at the sidebar at the right. This will be for the archives, to track the next chapter in US history.
The entire Biden presidency can be summed up in four words: Back to the Past.
Obama will be running the show from the shadows.
Expect more fireworks:
Expect lots of social engineering:
Monetary / fiscal policy:
20/20 hindsight on Trump:
Two wells coming off confidential list today -- Tuesday, November 17 2020: 22 for the month; 46 for the quarter, 711 for the year
The leaves have already fallen off New England’s trees, the first snow has come and gone, and the six-state region is preparing for another long, cold winter — this time with no Tom Brady and little hope that their beloved Patriots will make it to the playoffs. There is at least some good news, though: record volumes of propane have been railed or shipped into New England and put in storage, which should help to ensure that the many homes and businesses that depend on the fuel for space heating will stay warm. Today, we discuss propane supply and demand in the northeastern corner of the U.S., including a look at SEA-3 Newington — New England’s largest propane storage and distribution center, which rails in the fuel from the Marcellus/Utica and Canada and imports and exports propane by ship.
New England may be a leading producer of lobsters, cranberries, and maple syrup, but it doesn’t produce a barrel of crude oil, a gallon of NGLs, or a cubic foot of natural gas — unless you count the methane generated by the region’s grass-fed, organic-as-they-can-be dairy cows. Heck, it doesn’t even have a refinery. So, to fuel its cars and trucks, power its gas- or oil-fired power plants, and heat its indoor spaces, New England needs to bring in every molecule of dinosaur-based hydrocarbons from somewhere else. The region’s natural gas needs are met primarily by pipeline and, to a much lesser degree, by imported LNG. They come in through a combination of tanker, rail, and truck, plus a couple of intra-regional pipelines that transport refined products inland from the ports of New Haven, CT, and Portland, ME.
Firster things firster: "blogger app" fixes another glitch. Wonderful. Slowly but surely. They must be listening to their users. I wish they would get rid of the "<p>" function; causes nothing but problems. It was supposed to enhance the "<br />" function but not working.
First things first: Walmart earnings surge. Links everywhere, here's one. Best article was at Fox Business but blogger app blocks that site.
Mainstream media -- US retail sales disappoint: up 0.3% vs anticipated 0.5%. Oh, well. It could be worse. But really, 0.3% vs 0.5% -- background noise, at best. Means nothing. Wait until panic buying sets in ahead of second wave. Later: see first comment.
Mainstream medial -- seldom take revisions into account: after those revisions, October
sales printed 0.9% higher than September sales were reported at a month
ago...almost no reports take those revisions into account...see comments.
Is Buffett becoming a trader? Dumps "hold-forever" companies and buys vaccine companies during pandemic. Link here.
Most inexplicable move ever? After holding for 20+ years, Warren Buffett dumps stock just before $10/share special dividend -- and he would have known it was coming. Link here.
Maybe Warren saw this coming: Amazon starts selling prescription drugs to Prime customers. Is Amazon Prime Costco's number one competitor? If you think so, then maybe it was smart to get rid of Costco. On a day that the Dow is plummeting -- down 400 points -- COST is up 2.2%, up over $8/share.
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.
NFL: point after TD (PAT) missed in last night's professional football game! Say what? High school kids in Texas can kick PATs.
For ATT (T) shareholders, what are we supposed to do, "sit around and wait for you?"
Love her or hate her: this was a great disco song. Melody, beat, and lyrics.
Dueling rockets: Elon Musk with successful launch; European Vega suffers major failure, costs $400 million in French/Spain satellite losses. Oh, oh. Link here.
Second thoughts? College basketball tournament in Sioux Falls, SD, seemed like a great idea some months ago. Now so much any more. Scheduled for next week. Can you spell "debacle"? If the tournament goes on as scheduled, it's clearly all about the Benjamins. LOL.
Hedy West, 1967: "We'll be controlled by manipulated fear." Link here.
Dr Faust, 2020: even with 90% vaccinated, we will still need to wear masks and remain socially isolated for the next ten years. Paraphrased.
Looking for love in all the wrong places: why I love to blog. This article would have made no sense to me had it not been for RBN Energy. Is the world's top fertilizer the missing element in super batteries? Link here.
They're reading the blog: just yesterday I suggested this was not the time to sell energy holdings. Now these from same writer:
Dog-bites-man story: new stats reveal massive NYC exodus amid coronavirus, crime. So where are they moving? The Hamptons and New Jersey. This speaks volumes. Folks aren't moving far from "home." This is all about schools, crime rates, and ability to work from home. Time for New York state to pass 25% luxury tax on elites who choose to work from home.
New Yorkers Flee
Where they are relocating (New Jersey? Are you kidding me? A New Yorker moving to New Jersey? This is like a Norwegian moving to Sweden):
1. East Hampton, NY 11937: 2,769
2. Jersey City, NJ 07302: 1,821
3. Southampton, NY 11968: 1,398
4. Hoboken, NJ 07030: 1,204
5. Sag Harbor, NY 11963: 961
6. Scarsdale, NY 10583: 812
7. Water Mill, NY 11976: 577
8. Greenwich, Conn. 06830: 558
9. Yonkers, NY 10701: 567
10. Jersey City, NJ 07310: 434
11. Port Washington, NY 11050: 414
12. Westhampton Beach, NY 11978: 409
13. Princeton, NJ 08540: 395
14. Woodstock, NY 12498: 392
15. New Canaan, Conn. 06840: 389
16. Great Neck/Manhasset, NY 11021: 380
17. Hampton Bays, NY 11946: 344
18. Darien, Conn. 06820: 326
19. Mount Vernon, NY 10550: 325
20. Long Beach, NY 11561: 323