Saturday, March 6, 2021

Gasoline Demand -- Texas Starting To See Shortages -- Texas: Open For Business -- Three To Four Weeks Of Spring Break -- March 6, 2021

On/about February 19, 2021, I wrote:

  • two weeks from now, it will all be forgotten (not to be taken out of context);
  • two months from now, everything will be back to Covid-19 normal.
  • so, where are we? It's not even a month later, and could one say things are back to normal? Auto traffic is more than back to normal.

From twitter:

Texas is open for business: I've never seen so much traffic in north Texas. Well, at least not since last March, 2020. They say one out of eight service stations is experiencing gasoline shortages. I posted that earlier. Officials say there should be no problem if there is no "panic buying." After reading that I went out and filled up our two automobiles. Not for me. I can ride a bike most places. But for my wife. 

1990: by the way, when they say records extend all the way back to 1990 -- that's as far back as some data tracking goes. 

Houston, TX: open for business.

The Art Page
Ted Harrison

Bio Warfare Would Be Most Difficult To Deter -- Colonel Ted Hailes, Retired -- March 6, 2021

From a google search:

An excerpt from the research paper:

The Recipe Page

Blackberry bacon grilled cheese sandwich with jalapeƱos.

Link here.

A Rocket Tail Slide -- March 6, 2021

Years ago, when I was in the back seat of an F-15D, the front-seater Lt Col Ted Hailes asked me if I had ever experienced a tail slide in an F-15. I had not. He said he would show me what it was like ... but then, better part of valor, he decided not to. He knew is would have scared the crap out of me. LOL. I hadn't thought about a tail slide in years.

Until now.

From EverydayAstronaut.

SpaceX tested another Starship prototype, SN10, to an altitude of 10 km in order to practice its daring belly flop to tail down landing maneuver. This time the flip was successful utilizing 3 raptor engines, then shutting two down for the final landing exactly as planned. Unfortunately 3 of the 6 landing legs didn't successfully deployed (as you can see in our footage), alongside a fairly high landing velocity, resulting in an explosion 8 minutes after touching down.

That's exactly what the F-15 tail slide encompasses:

  • ascent
  • cut the engines
  • belly flop
  • hands off all flight controls
  • fast descent
  • negate the stall
  • recover -- without any pilot input.


One can find videos of the F-15 tail slide.

What was the first thing I noticed about the Starship SN10? 

Wow, it looks archaic. Russian rocket built in Afghanistan? Looks like something right out of Buck Rogers. And, yes, "Buck Rogers" airs on MeTV. But even if it looks archaic, the engineering was incredible. Absolutely incredible.

Everything went perfectly until it didn't. They say the rocket landed perfectly, but slow-motion shows the rocket was not perfectly vertical when it landed, even before the "legs" deployed.

The good news: there was an 8-minute gap between successful landing and blowing up.

Texas Theme Song -- March 6, 2021

There's a lot more to that story than meets the eye, as they say.

CDC warns of Covid-19 fatigue.

With apologies to Fleetwood Mac.

Following you
Isn't the right thing to do
How can we ever change things
That we feel

If we could
Maybe we'd believe you
But how can we
When you want us to double mask

You can go your own way
Go your own way
You can call it a day
Tell us to double mask
You can go your own way
Go your own way

Tell me why
You keep changing your advice
No mask, single mask,
Now double masking is all you want to do

If I could,
Dr Fauci, I'd forget you,
Open up,
Everyone's waiting for you

You can go your own way
Go your own way
You can call it a day
Tell us to double mask
You can go your own way
Go your own way

Repeat. Ad nauseam.

Ad nauseam. 

Notes From All Over -- The North American Rig Count Edition -- March 6, 2021


Later, 11:51 a.m. : a reader pointed out what Baker Hughes did not point out. Rig count in Canada always drops in February / March (and often spectacularly) -- winter / spring thaw -- it's always something -- huge thanks to the reader who explained the drop. Link here. One more reason rig counts don't matter (don't that out of context). 

Original Post

There really isn't any reason for this post except to let folks know I'm up; I haven't died of that spider bite (yet). In fact, the lesion is pretty much gone. The lesion is still very visible, but it's obvious my immune system, 1; spider, 0. I doubt the topical Neosporin helped but it's what my wife would have recommended.

NASCAR: it's 8:47 a.m. Saturday morning -- I was up during the night blogging, slept in late, just got up, turned on television -- third time is the charm -- first two stations I watch were pitiful, but the third click -- NASCAR! Wow! I have no idea what I'm watching except it's a truck race under the lights. Oh, there it is, "Blue-Emu Maximum." Last June? I don't know, but it beats anything else on TV right now.

Rig count: most surprising story at the end of the week  -- all this talk about operators rushing to activate rigs -- hasn't happened. Not yet. 

US up or down one rig overall, week/week.

But saw this overnight: Canadian rigs dropped by double digits.

Wow. Rigzone headline -- prepare to laugh -- "Baker Hughes Rig Count Shows Slight USA Gain." Technically that's accurate. The actual numbers:

  • oil rig count grew by one;
  • natural gas rig count: flat -- no change. Nada. Zilch. Goose egg.

But in Canada, wow: Canada dropped 22 rigs to end the week at 141 units -- see update above --

  • oil: down 12, now at 80 (12/92 = a 13% drop in rig count)
  • natural gas: down 10, now at 61 (10/71 = a 14% drop in rig county)

Even if operators could turn on a dime, and activate rigs quickly, it wouldn't be smart. Refiners are having a heck of a time getting back to normal. 

Gasoline: Texas now importing gasoline -- happens occasionally but not often. From Bloomberg, European gasoline diverted to Texas to ease supply crunch. Link here.

  • five gasoline tankers destined to New York or Savannah, Georgia have been diverted to Texas
    • I'm amazed Cuomo/de Blasio allow gasoline tankers to offload in New York; who knew?
  • most of the cargoes originated in Italy and Belgium
  • five tankers: Mitera, Meredian Express, Marlin Maverick, Elka Efesis, and Uzava
  • Meredian Express: gasoline blendstock; all others, gasoline
  • roughly one in eight gasoline stations in Texas were out of gasoline
  • if there is no panic buying, Texas will be fine (LOL -- no panic buying! -- LOL -- it begins this weekend after this story goes viral)
  • in my local area, one of four stations was out of gasoline yesterday

Biden will solve the problem: LA Times. February 24, 2021 -- published before the Texas February Freeze. The president himself is unaware of any problem. By the way, did he ever visit Texas? They said he did; I don't watch the news, so I don't know. I doubt he knows either. 

Gerald Ford

Mexico: I might come back to these three stories later. Maybe a stand-alone post.

  • NGI, February 22, 2021: Texas Freeze underscores Mexico natural gas storage needs, says IEnova CEO (Sempra)
  • NGI, February 26, 2021: Sempra sees natural gas as world's most dominant fuel next decade. "Most dominant." Is that like "more pregnant"?
  • S&P Global Platts, March 5, 2021: Valero looks to reroute Mexico imports, double capacity as it finalizes storage network
    • Valero could shift from rail to ships as main import route
    • company to reach 6 million bbls of storage in 2022
    • demand picking up slowly

Scary: when American companies are more interested in Mexico than the US.

OPEC+: most interesting story all week. The most interesting story last week was not the fact that OPEC+ announced they would keep production at current level, but that this was said to have caught traders, analysts, experts by surprise. That story was reported over and over, that this was a huge surprise. 

Which raises questions. What was the real reason why OPEC kept production at current levels rather than increasing production? My thoughts: there is no demand for more oil worldwide. China's tanks are full. US refiners are still shut down. OPEC+ will re-visit the issue in one month, April, 2021, so this story that OPEC+ didn't make any changes is pretty much a non-story. Traders bidding oil up to $70 are looking six months out; OPEC+ was looking at conditions over the next month. "Everyone" says there will be a huge shortage of oil by end of summer, 2021. I hope so. I'm really curious to see who the swing producers will be:

  • US shale
  • Saudi

Duolingo, Spanish, Sophia and Papa

Wow, wow, wow. 

Sophia and I have a 165-day streak of completing at least one lesson on Duolingo each day. We have not missed one day since we started. 

I subscribed to Duolingo Plus. Duolingo is free, no ads, basic app. Duolingo Plus is about $150/year -- maybe $190, I forget -- but really, really worth it. No ads. Other stuff, I guess, but I wouldn't know what because we never had the basic Duolingo.

Yesterday, a "progress quiz" popped up. If we scored high enough, Unit 2 would open up. Wow, the questions were incredibly difficult. But it appears that our comprehension is much better than we realized. We must have answered enough questions correctly because Unit 2 opened up. Wow. Interestingly, Duolingo did not give us our actual score; Duolingo did not go back through the questions and tell us the correct answers. Very, very interesting.

However, we will still have a lot of modules in Unit 1 to complete. We are moving very, very slowly. 

We try to do three lessons and one story each day. We can do a lesson in about five minutes, maybe less. We try for a minimum of ten minutes. It's quite amazing, ten minutes/day every day, including weekends.

Cleaning Out The In-Box -- March 6, 2021

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.

Dividend stocks:

  • ENB: up 0.68% today; near its 52-week high; pays 7.5%;
  • EPD: up 1.05% today; almost hit its 52-week intra-day high today; pays 7.49%;
  • OKE: up 2.74% today; hit its intra-day 52-week high today; pays 7.83%;
  • CVX: 52-week high today; up 4.31% today; pays 4.94%;

Infrastructure stocks: Wall Street's twenty favorite infrastructure stocks; link here;

  • expected to climb as much as 34% over the next year
  • of the twenty, these caught my attention
    • Cleveland-Cliffs Inc
    • Sempra Energy
    • Union Pacific Corp

EVs: winners and losers; link here;

  • Volkswagen accelerates EV production plans
  • Tesla, Nio continue to crash

Hydrogen: hope springs eternal

Neanderthal thinking: link here.

COVID is dead: link here.

YCC is inevitable: