Sunday, February 26, 2012

A Numbers Game 9/10ths

Welcome back (or Welcome if this is your first visit, glad to meet you)

    Wow, gasoline prices are going crazy again. $3.69 to $3.79 a gallon and going up…  at least that’s the local price in south central Indiana.  Wait a minute did I say $3.69 a gallon?  That’s not right.  What’s that little number 9 behind the price listed on the gas station sign???  Oh that stands for 9/10ths of a cent.  I don’t remember ever getting 1/10ths of a cent as change…

    So when you pull up to the pump your actually paying $3.70 a gallon.  $3.69 sounded better, but it wasn’t the pure truth. Do you see a loaf of bread on the supermarket shelf priced for $1.69 and 9/10th a loaf?  A pair of shoes in the department store marked $34.99 9/10ths?   It’s a numbers game, I don’t know where or why this started but hay, how about a little honesty, how about a little integrity…

     What does this little accounting trick do for (or bring in for) the oil companies?  The most resent consumption numbers I could find were from 2006 but it makes the point.  In 2006 the United States consumed approximately 138,000,000,000 gallons of gasoline.  That equals $13,800,000.00 extra pulled from the consumers’ pockets one penny at a time.  Overall just a drop in the bucket but it shines a light on an attitude within the industry.                          

    By the way why is the price of gasoline going up?  Demand?  No, actually drivers in the United States have cut back, demand is down.  Winter heating? No, it’s been a very mild winter again fuel demand is down.  I know, Iran cut the oil supply to Germany and France that must be driving prices up…  No they only get 3% of their oil from Iran, an easy level to overcome with little impact (China and Japan are voluntarily reducing their imports of Iranian oil by 30% to 40%).  Maybe the local supply of crud oil is down after the gulf oil spill no new wells have been drilled?  No, even if new wells were allowed to start it takes 4 to 5 years till they come on line and start producing (this may hurt us in a few years).  Middle Eastern oil has been curtailed by tensions in the region, No just as much flowing out as ever.  Alright enough with the questions we are importing and producing locally as much crude oil as ever, refining as much as ever but the major oil companies are exporting an excessive amount of refined fuel to the Far East driving U.S. prices up. 

    The export is perfectly legal and to an extent understandable, President Obama kind of put it to the major oil companies since he took office, if gasoline prices continue to climb right or wrong Mr. Obama will be held responsible.  If by November the price of a gallon of fuel is $4.50+ locally (most likely $5.00+ in other regions of the country) I think one of my cats would beat him in the election.  I can’t say that would break my heart he’s been in over his head from day one, way over his head.  I guess it’s only fair; lately Mr. Obama has been trying to take credit for U.S. crude oil production that was started 1 to 2 years prior to his election and his poorly thought out energy plan that in his words “Energy cost would necessarily have to skyrocket.” Guess he’s getting his wish…

    Being one of the few industrial sectors that can change the outcome of a Presidential election, I would like to congratulate the oil companies on their end game, nicely timed and well played but they failed to grasp the damage they are going to be doing to the average citizen, the damage to our economy, the damage to our nation.  It will take a few years for the average Joe to make up for the loses he will take over the next nine months. 

    Looking out the window I see an open field, soon it will be time for the farmer to plow it and start the corn…  Do you think the farmer is going to eat the extra expense caused by higher fuel cost?  How about a 50 cent sir charge on every pound of beef, poultry or bushel of grain shipped to an oil producing country for every dollar over $90 a barrel of crude oil…  I’ve spent some time in the Middle East region (Thanks’ Saddam) not a lot of farming going on there.       

    About a year back I bought two used fuel tanks (175 gallon for diesel and 250 gallon for gasoline) they needed a bit of work and a clean up, paint, new filters, hoses, and a coat of tank liner (a $300 investment total) the first time I fill the gas tank up it was $2.98 a gallon from the local co-op farm supply.  Within a few weeks fuel at the local gas station had shot up to $4.20 and 9/10ths my investment paid for its self right there.  I just filled up two weeks ago at $3.52 a gallon; pump prices are now $3.69 a gallon (a $42.50 savings so far, I’ll take that).  Something you may want to look into. 

Look around you; are there options out there you may not have considered?  Think it through.

Till next week
The TOMCAT               

Friday, February 24, 2012

Happy Birthday!

Hi all, I’ve started this with a simple phrase we’ve all said and heard many times.   
I chose this little phrase for three reasons.

    First, recently it was my birthday.  Fifty years ago I was born, half a century behind me. I’ve gone through many changes, seen many wonders and a few horrors over the years.  All that I’ve seen, done and experienced is my history, its what shaped me and made me the person I am today but my history is a shared history.  I share the same history as our nation. The nation you see today is not the nation of my childhood, over the many years I’ve watched it evolve. I seen it change, sometimes slowly, sometimes in an explosive rush.  Some changes she has gone through were born of sweat, some were born of innovations, yet others were born of pain and spilt blood. 

    Second, this is my first blog so Happy Birthday BLOG…  Actually I’m more the adoptive parent.  This was the idea of someone very important to me, my son-in-law Aaron.  He felt that my knowledge, thoughts, views and observations should be shared.  This puts a bit of a weight on my shoulders, not because it’s difficult but because I don’t want to disappoint him.  I need to do my best to live up to his expectations.  In my heart I know he would accept any effort I put into this but I have to feel I’ve done my best to truthful, honest and accurate at all times as if I were speaking directly to him.

    Finally (and this just may be the GOOF in me) you can’t say Happy or Birthday or HAPPY BIRTHDAY without at least a little giggle, even if it’s on the inside.  Put the angriest scowl on you face and in your grumpiest voice say Happy Birthday… Did you fill that little tingle?  It may have been in your stomach or your heart or even the back of your mind, just the plain silliness of it brought you a tiny moment of joy.  Take those moments, search them out and embrace them.  Anytime you can have a moment of joy or a moment of levity in your life it will diminish the stress you come across each day, it will knock a bit of the edge off the bad you may see in the world.  Little self-inflected giggles never hurt anybody and there cheap… Enjoy them.

    As I mentioned earlier this is my first blog and you may ask yourself “Why should I spend my time reading the thoughts and opinions’ of a person I don’t know?” “Why am I considering taking advice from someone I’ve never met?”  Simple answer DON”T… I’m not here to persuade people to have the same opinions as me. I don’t know your situation so giving advice would be hit or miss.  What I hope to do is provide views and information on a wide range of subjects, situations and events to possibly expose you to a different perspective on a situation, give you food for thought as you make up your mind, form your own opinions, or come to a decision.  Ultimately my goal is to develop free will and the skill of critical thinking in others.  I am getting just a bit tired of seeing a society that produces weak minded sheep that need to be provided for and lead from one crisis to the next.  I want to be a part of a society that is populated with self-reliant and motivated individuals ready to meet challenges and overcome adversity.

    The subjects you’ll find in the future on the blog could be just about anything.  What caught my interest the past week, your or another readers question/comment, or maybe just a little story.  Nothing is off limits, if you would like to contribute to the conversation feel free I just ask you be courteous in your selection of words.  I hope to post a new blog each Sunday evening or early Monday mornings.  I’ve been having a little trouble with browser compatibility… We’ll see what happensJ

Thank you for taking the time to stop by and I hope you return.

         The TOMCAT

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

9th Bomb Squad Histroy

Established in June 1917 as a World War I Aero Squadron, forming at Camp Kelly, Texas, The 9th Bomb Squadron (9 BS) is part of the 7th Bomb Wing at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas. It operates B-1 Lancer aircraft providing strategic bombing capability. Established 14 June 1917, the 9th is the oldest active bomb squadron in the Air Force.

The 9th Bomb Squadron's patch features 3 spotlights aiming skyward, as if searching for the bombers which are commencing their attack. One spotlight shines vertically, while the other two cross each other. This forms an IX, which is the Roman Numeral for 9.