Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Cider house rules

The NYtimes has an article whining about the teriffic apple
crop in new york that maybe won't be picked because the
illegals that have been picking it are being caught in raids,
and the poor farmers have to verify that their employees are
in the country legally. They then mention that most pickers
begin picking fruit in the south, then move north.

This struck me as being exactly as described in the "cider house
rules", except in that book all the pickers were black. Maybe this
is a chance to wind back the clock and hire americans instead of

The price of fruit might go up, but I'd bet it wouldn't be
much. If you double the wages of someone working two days in
a farm, the worker makes twice as much but the farmer is only paying
double the amount of a few percentage points of his total cost.

Monday, August 20, 2007

So there's a gulf of mexico in mexico too?

I know it must be frustrating for Mexicans that when gringo's
talk about hurricane impacts on the gulf of mexico, they generally
are talking about the northern gulf coast.

There is production that is exported to the US from the oilfields offshore
Ciudad Carmen, and right now that infrastructure is in the bullseye for
a hit from Hurricane Dean. From the Oil Drum:

The Oil drum goes into great detail about what might happen,
the prevailing opinion seems to be not much, if Dean exits the
Yucatan as a Cat 1 or 2 moving 18 miles an hour and passes north
of the Cantarell field, then it won't affect much. The production will
just be stopped until all the offshore guys can get back on crew boats
and ride the choppy waters back out to the rigs and platforms.

In my opinion the worst case would be if the track shifts further south and bullseyes
the cantarell field as a cat 3. A lot of the older platforms build before
the bust in '86 could get knocked over as they seem to do in the
northern gulf coast. Since Cantarell production is already dropping
like a rock, this will only hurt mexico and keep the price of oil high.

update 22 Aug

It looks like the storm crossed the oilfields as a cat 1 moving pretty
quickly, so, probably nothing happened. For a weak storm to have a big
effect offshore it has to move slowly so that the wind has time to build
some big waves. (see hurricane juan, 1985 for an example)

Friday, August 10, 2007

1998 wasn't the hottest year ever? No way!

There are reports from the good people at climateaudit.org and
norcalblogs that the nasa finding that 1998 was the hottest year ever wasn't true,
it was a y2k bug that caused the calculation to be wrong and it was
really 1934 that was the hottest year ever.

I know that can't be true because I started a job working outside
in may 1998, and I can tell you that it was hot. I was sweating through
coveralls until I left salt rings. At the time I was calibrating oilfield
logging tools that use radioactive sources, so on several occasions I
didn't know if I was having a heat stroke or it was just a neutron headache.
I found the only cure was to drink a twelve pack of bud light after getting
off work, so I'd get that good dehydrated/radioactive/budlight buzz.

So even though I wasn't alive back in 1934, there is no way that it was
hotter back then. if it was hotter back then, then the universe wouldn't
be rotating around me. I know that right here right now there's no other
place I'd rather be, and so everything must be at a maximum right now,
dammit, or else I'm just a mortal, and I'll croak and the world won't be destroyed
because of my consumption.

Oh well, pass a bud light would you?