Outrun Change

We need to learn quickly to keep up with the massive change around us so we don't get run over. We need to outrun change.

On this Veterans Day, it is fitting and proper to honor the sacrifice of Sergeant Alwyn Cashe.

Sergeant First Class Alwyn Cashe. Photo courtesy of U.S. Army.

While his clothes were on fire after an improved explosive device blew up the vehicle he was riding in, Army Sergeant First Class Alwyn Cashe returned to the burning vehicle, pulling out a soldier, then another, then another.

Ultimately he pulled six Americans and one national translator from the burning vehicle. Did I mention that his clothing was on fire as he removed each of the soldiers?

Sgt. Cashe is credited with saving the lives of six American soldiers. The national translator, working to free his people, died from the attack. Ten American soldiers were injured, seven seriously.

With 2nd and 3rd burns spread over 72% of his body, Sgt. Cashe died from his wounds a few weeks later.

America is so blessed that we keep finding men like Sergeant First Class Alwyn Cashe.

 

He was awarded the Silver Star. It took a while for the chain of command to fully understand the depth of his heroism. He will now finally get an even more appropriate award.

UPI reports on 11/11/20 that the Senate approved awarding Medal of Honor for Sgt. Alwyn Cashe.

Read more…

747s, B-52s, and F-35Cs

747 cargo aircraft taking off from Denver airport on 8-22-20. Photo by James Ulvog.

Background articles on:

  • Jumbo jet that opened up international travel to the masses reaching end of production run
  • Background on why B-52 has been around for 50 years and will still be in service after other heavy bombers have long since retired
  • New F-35C deploying to the fleet

9/8/20 – Wall Street Journal – The Jumbo Jet Was the Pinnacle of Air Luxury – Now It’s Days Are Numbered – Boeing will shut its 747 production line in 2022 when the last of the already ordered freighters is completed. Airbus will close its A380 super jumbo line in 2021 when the last dozen planes are finished. The double-decker A380 was designed as the peer-to-peer competitor to the 747.

Article has lots of fun stats on both planes. I will provide some of the fun detail:

The 747 was the revolutionary jumbo jet. It opened up international travel to the masses. It was a major part of the rapid expansion in air travel.

The 747 debuted in 1969. The A380 in 2000 with first commercial flight in 2007.

747 cargo aircraft taking off from Denver airport. Photo by James Ulvog.

Over 50 years there have been 1,556 747s produced. Forecast for the A380 had been 1,200 planes but only 242 have been delivered.

Seating capacity:

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UH-1 Huey gunship.

Photo by James Ulvog.

The UH-1 Huey has been used by the U.S. military for decades.

Photo by James Ulvog.

For your viewing pleasure, check out these photos of the restored aircraft on the flight deck of the Midway Museum.

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Oil production in North Dakota continues recovery in August 2020.

Parked wells west of Williston, ND in August 2020. Photo by James Ulvog.

As shown in the following graph, crude oil production increased again in August 2020. It is up 122,351 barrels of oil per day (bopd) over revised July amount, which follows a 148,343 bopd increase over June.

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A-4 Skyhawk.

Photo by James Ulvog.

The A-4 Skyhawk was an attack aircraft used by the Navy during the Vietnam war. For your viewing pleasure, check out these photos of the restored aircraft on the flight deck of the Midway Museum.

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F9F Panther.

Photo by James Ulvog.

The F9F Panther was the first carrier based jet fighter to see combat in the Korean War.

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C-17 takeoff.

Photo by James Ulvog.

While we were in San Diego recently, we stopped at Shelter Island on the far west side of San Diego Bay to enjoy the scenery.

While relaxing there, we got to see a USAF C-17 Globemaster III take off from North Coronado Naval Air Station.

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Surveillance society, peaceful ocean view edition.

Photo by James Ulvog.

Does that photo seem like it is just a peaceful view of the scenic California coast off Point Loma in California with some cool pelicans gliding by?

Well, that it may be, but there is more to it.

Anytime you are in public, you are probably on camera.

Another view of those pelicans:

Photo by James Ulvog.

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Value of oil production in North Dakota also starting to recover.

Photo by James Ulvog.

Previous post mentioned the volume of production in North Dakota is starting to recover. It is still down dramatically from the last few years. Production past the 1.04M bopd level back in April 2017 and has been above that level until the pandemic hit and Saudi Arabia started flooding the market.

Two graphs showing the production levels can be seen on the previous post.

The price of oil has recovered from the lows during the shock back in April and May. Check out the price of West Texas Intermediate, North Dakota sweet crude, and estimated prices realized in the state:

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Oil production in North Dakota starting to recover in July 2020.

Each of the light brown spaces is a well pad. Photo by James Ulvog.

As seen in the following graph, crude oil production increased in July 2020. It is up 179,958 barrels of oil per day (bopd) over the low of 860,430 bopd in May. This is a drop of 478,644 bopd from the high point in November 2019.

Read more…

Bombers and fighters.

Two B-52 Stratofortresses fly over Royal Air Force Station Fairford, United Kingdom, Aug. 22, 2020. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Eugene Oliver)

More background on the U.S. bomber forces and some info on prices for new fighters. Oh, some really nice photos too, courtesy of the U.S.A.F.

6/24/20 – Popular Science – Inside a training mission with a B-52 bomber, the aircraft that will not die. Author goes along on a training flight, weaving together history of the B-52, description of future structure of manned bomber force, and tale of the flight.

Fun read. Check it out.

Some interesting tidbits:

Every four years each B-52 goes through a massive maintenance routine which takes 40,000 hours of labor and replaces about 3,000 parts. This extensive maintenance along with major upgrades means the B-52 fleet is likely to stay in use until the year 2050.

Current inventory of the manned bomber fleet:

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Additional comments on drop in oil production in May 2020.

Photo by James Ulvog.

Comments in the Bismarck Tribune and Williston Herald provide context on the drastic drop in oil production during May.

The Tribune was more dramatic in describing the drop.

Oil production in North Dakota “cratered” during the month, as described by the Bismarck Tribune on 7/17:  North Dakota shatters previous record oil drop as pandemic hits industry hard.

Notice the “shatters” description in the headline.

Impact of pandemic was to “tank” the production.

Director Helms referred to the drop as a “five alarm fire” for the industry.

Read more…

Deeper look at the May 2020 drop in North Dakota oil production.

Idle drilling rigs parked to the west of Williston. Photo by James Ulvog.

Crude oil production in the state dropped to 858K bopd in May, which is a 362K bopd drop for the month and a 661K bopd drop since the record high of 1,519K bopd in November 2019.

Price of oil also collapsed, which means the value of production shrank.

Graphs of monthly production and prices can be seen in previous post.

Check out my calculation of the value of monthly production the combination of dropping output and dropping prices:

 

Just as a guess, I think production could be opened up almost as fast as it was cut back. More on that thought at the end of this post.

Activity counts

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North Dakota oil production drops 362,624 barrels a day in May 2020, down 43% from the November 2019 record high.

With a 45 day lag in reporting to allow data submission and collation, the production data for crude oil during May is now available for North Dakota.

The combined shocks of reduced demand for the pandemic and flooding the market by Saudi Arabia collapsed prices which then collapsed production.  A glut of oil jammed the storage capacity for a while which further drove down the prices available to producers in North Dakota.

The impact on volume and value of production is staggering.

The graphs of production in this post demonstrate how rapidly a massive industry, like oil production across an entire state, can respond to price signals in a capitalist economy. That part is amazing to see.

May production data

Crude oil production in the state dropped to 858,395 bopd (preliminary) in May. This is down 362,624 bopd from the revised April level of 1,221,019 bopd. The April production was down 209,353 bopd from March.

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Settled matters outlined in the Declaration of Independence.

John Trumbull: The Declaration of Independence painted by John Trumbull. Photograph by Thomas Cizauskas is in the public domain (Public Domain Mark 1.0)

 

Several statements in the opening of the Declaration of Independence are settled matters. The issues are resolved. They are final.

If those key issues are not final but are instead malleable or alterable or subject to revocation the consequences will be horrible.

A speech by Pres. Calvin Coolidge explained this idea back in the 1920s. Let’s expand the concept of those ideas being resolved issues.

Please consider President Calvin Coolidge’s Speech on the 150th Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence on July 5, 1926.

He lists the three resolved issues:

“Three very definite propositions were set out in its (the Declaration of Independence) preamble regarding the nature of mankind and therefore of government. These were the doctrine that

all men are created equal,

that they are endowed with certain inalienable rights, and that

 therefore the source of the just powers of government must be derived from the consent of the governed.” (emphasis added)

He explained these issues are settled, resolved, final.

We can expand on those ideas. We need to bring them into further fruition. We can dive deeper into their meaning.

Setting them aside or replacing them means we go backwards. Declaring they are no longer true is regression to the ancient past.

More eloquently than I could ever describe, the president said:

“About the Declaration there is a finality that is exceedingly restful. It is often asserted that the world has made a great deal of progress since 1776, that we have had new thoughts and new experiences which have given us a great advance over the people of that day, and that we may therefore very well discard their conclusions for something more modern. But that reasoning can not be applied to this great charter. If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions. If anyone wishes to deny their truth or their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people. Those who wish to proceed in that direction can not lay claim to progress. They are reactionary. Their ideas are not more modern, but more ancient, than those of the Revolutionary fathers.”

Expanding those foundational concepts

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