The Site They Don't Want You To Read Which Outs the Big Game.
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A Check of the REAL Economy
(Las Cruces, NM) If you want a really quick check of how the economy is going all you need to do is keep in touch with people who make the economy "happen". People like longshoremen, long distance truckers, oilmen, and so forth.
Take the Port of Long Beach, for example: There, loaded inbound cargo shows down 20.8% for their fiscal year, while over the viaduct, the Port of Los Angeles shows some growth, but only up 5 1/2 percent inbound. Overall, between the SoCal ports, the decline is about 6.7 percent for the year and remember last year and previous to that weren't great shakes, either.
On the other hand, while Long Beach showed exports (loaded outbound) down more than 21%, the port of Los Angeles was showing loaded outbound up 28.14 percent.
We could dance around all day about the particular nuances of this aspect or that - coastwide - but the main thing is that exports seem to be doing OK but inbound really is down some, which means to me the American consumer isn't spending as freely.
New and Improved...Death
We find ourselves just a bit taken aback this
morning, as we look at the first headlines out of the hopper: Did the
world go completely nuts yesterday when we were flying out west? First
thing that hits me is the headline about how
the Pentagon has a new hypersonic weapon which can hit anywhere on earth in
and hour (kinda mnakes you want to throw a street dance, don't it?)
while at the same time
the Occupy movement has grown "violent"
and because of this violence, I've removed my "support" banner, since while
I support some of the groups economic agenda, trashing a city is NOT
When I talked to Clif earlier this week, the rickety time machine genius was mubbling about how we're "hitting temporal markers left and right" with the scandal at Penn State, and more evidence that the GlobalRev meme continues to broaden out, which the flow of headlines seems to support. Dammit.
These kinds of developments are sure to cause the market to rally this morning since bashing heads and making improved ways to kill people are just the kind of thing that make the money moguls mirthful.
Besides, this is Anagram Morning: The Leading Economic Indicators (LEI) come out this morning.
But even though the banner is gone, the real story is captured in this article about how Wall Street still doesn't "get it." We really are more than an income streams to be exploited..
Yes, those political types in Iran haven't let up any - with accusations that the International Atomic Energy Agency has breached their security which, they reckon could put Iranian lives at risk.
Not sure I follow the logic of it, except that if the world finds out that Iran is making nuclear innards for bombs (gee, that'd be a shocker, huh?) then some country or other will come and bomb the snot out of them since their trtack record in political relations has been a real gas (as the Kurds know) and ballistics is spelled differently than statesmanship or - better - semi-isolationism which the whole would would be better off with. As them Euro victims are finding out: When other countries want "open borders" seems to come with "open wallets" or to shove an ideology down your throat.
Former first lady Hillary Clinton is the first US SecState to visit Burma in 50-years. Say, you don't think they have someone we could trade for....naw...
But speaking of that part of the world, the Chinese are sending the US hints...OK, something stronger then...not to come messing about in their back yard. Problem is: Will we take the hint, or is this how next-generation arms races get started to keep the economies of both countries going?
Arrest That President
Philippines is planning to nab the country's ex-president lday. She's under police guard and the election fraud charges involved could get here a 40-year government paid vacation.
End of Fish & Chips In Sight
A couple of years back, I think it was, we covere4d the coming Protein Cost Explosion as the world amps up the number of bipeds about and as meat and fish become more costly to produce. Now, our Winnipeg news analyst sends this:
A French nuclear group has estimated the billions of becquerels of radiation released into the sea by the Fukushima accident.
Self cooking fish, anayone? I mean come on, it is Friday, you know...
January's Jakarta Flood Story
Memo back from the Chief:
Practice Swimming Laps at Lunch. Get Pictures when it comes. And you're wife's gonna let you own two boats? What kind of fool do you take me for? However, if you have a wife-training manual that works, it'd be a zillion-seller. Coupled with a husband training book, we could retire rich and in style. Advise soonest.
More after this.....
Coping: "Half Around America" Begins
Our "Half Around America Trip" got off to a great start on Thursday after waiting around fogged in for the first couple of days. We had it as far west as Las Cruces, NM where we spent the night and shortly after posting this at 6 AM local time, we will wolf down some chow and head on for Tucson and then onto the Palm Springs area for client meetings this weekend before pushing off for the Pacific Northwest either Sunday or Monday, depending on how the weather shapes up in the Central Valley.
As you can see in this "Elaine's Eye View" of the approach into Big Spring, there's not too much out here.
While we munched on sandwiches in Big Spring, Elaine struck up a conversation with the front desk lady who gave us a rundown on the prarie dogs which sort of come into favor and then fall out again.
The city didn't mind a few, and in fact for a while here a few years back there were even "adopt a prarie dog" efforts. But then they became too numerous and we saw them off to the side of the runway..little bigger than a cat by the look of them - 20-pound or so, and NOT the kind of thing to run into.
Interesting example of nature's balancing mechanisms: If you've got too many prarie dogs, then you get more big birds of prey (not aircraft windshield freindly) but if you don't have enough, their natural predators get starved (like coyotes) and go start muchning of people's pets and such. Quite interesting to follow.
Most of the flying was fairly scenic - like this mountain which is just north of the SFL VOR location east of El Paso.
Got no complaints about the flying - high altitude work is no issue, except for an occasional huff of O2 to keep sharp. There's only a tad bit of that on our way up to Tucson this morning, but from Tucson west we will be down low again, maybe 4,500 or 6,500 for lower headwinds, but we'll check those again just before takeoff to the west.
My altimeter continues to work perfectly (although in the picture, the altitude by GPS does bounce around a bit due to deliberate "noise" within that system.
On our way down to Big Spring, as this GPS snapshot shows, we had a good enough headwind to propel us along at about 141 miles an hour over the ground and not having to follow the twists, turns, and radar traps of driving is a trip. The idea of being able to get around this easily is quite appealing, and you know you're getting comfortable with landings and such when you don't sweat on short final (approach).
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Taste-Testng "Secret Sauce"
Economists, turns out, have a lot in common with the venerable Arctic Circle Drive-In chain, founded back in 1950 by Don Edwards and now operating about 70-franchises in mainly Utah and Idaho. Until recently, I hadn't understood the importance of "Secret Sauce". Back when there was an AC in Aberdeen, Washington, I had my first encounter with Secret Sauce (with fries) but after 40+ years in business and management, I see how "secret sauce" has become one of those widely-borrowed concepts. Especially in Politics and Economics, as we shall explore this morning as we update "Ure's Semi-Constant." Sorry if this gets a little "too mathy" this morning, but sometimes a little math means a little money. If you hate math there's our usual assortment of "news viewed cynically" and more on our "Half Around America" flight which begins next week.
Computer cookies have a purpose in life - they facilitate things like online banking and stock trading. But there's a vicious side to them: They can be used to track your web use without you even knowing about it. And even more dangerous are the 'cross site' cookies which can install malware on your computer without you ever knowing it.
The answer? Maxa Cookie Manager, MCM.
Take it for a free test drive by clicking here - and it you like it, activation is easily done. If you're a heavy web user (who ain't?) you may find like I do that you've accumulating a hundred or more cookies per day. Only a handful need to be white-listed, like your brokerage account or your bank. The rest? Software designed to spy on you that robs you of computer performance. Been using it for several years and pleased as the Dickens with it.
The "Do Drop Inn"
Amazing gardens in about 2 square feet of floor space: www.mygroponics.com. And remember our saying at MyGroPonics: It's OK to be a vegetable...
Post your weird dreams to help our research along into what goes on at night in people's heads: www.nationaldreamcenter.com
"Live on $10,000" A Year
Having a hard time making ends meet? (Like who isn't, right?) A good starting point to better match up income with outgo is our $10 e-book "How to Live on $10,000 a Year...or less!"
It's an automatic download. It's written in an information dense style: The whole thing runs about 65 pages, but it gives you a vision of how to not only live on the cheap, but also how to migrate up the economic foodchain if you have a little hustle left. A bonus section called "How to Build Anything" should instill confidence if you've never taken on a home improvement/home creation project before, too..... Click here for the index and details.
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Thursday November 17, 2011
Half Around America Note
Into our hotel in Las Cruces at 3:30 PM Mountain. great flying, stops...well, more on this tomorrow morning. We're heading for the hotel lounge for...er...compass juice.
Other Shoes, Droppings, and Such
In our Peoplenomics report yesterday morning, posted about 2-hours before the US markets opened, I explained how using "Ure's Semi-Constant" I expected a market drop of "about 200 points" - and while not a direct hit, an actual landing within 9½ points of the target ain't bad. As one subscriber admitted "
Down 200? Great call.
As I write this, about 5 AM Central, the dart lands down 116 for the day, but that's subject to bouncing around of the Euro to Dollar ratio which drives this predictive tool. If gold goes positive...a rally in stocks might comes along but I won't be holding my breath.
This morning our travel plans necessitate an early report as explained in the "Coping" section below. But besides target practice with "Dow spotting" the main feature of Wednesday's economic news was the Consumer Price Index:
If you are Superman, or a government policy wonk and live in Never-Never Land where food and energy are note of importance, the report argues that 12-month core inflation (yes, prices less food and energy) were up only 2.1 percent so that's good. If you're them.
The rest of us are suffering with that kind of statistical arrogance, since food is - even by these heavily understated numbers (see the BLS discussion of hedonic adjustments) - we also note that gasoline is up 23.5%.
Perhaps the policy wonk thinking does make sense in a circuitous kind of way: Why with so many people unemployed, it would make sense not as many are going to work...and thus the high energy price matters little to naught. Personally, I'd like to roast a bowl of whatever their doing because core rate, like the Easter Bunny, "don't matter most days."
Greece, Grease, Commodities and Fleece
Thanks to a shorter report than usual, I think it's safe to summarize the rest of the day's news this way:
But, like I say, this is just more of the same,
Rickety Time Machine Notes
A chat with Clif ( www.halfpasthuman.com ) Wednesday revealed we've been passing key temporal "release" language markers in the last report right and left. I'm left wondering what the next bout of release language will be come the week of December 2-8, which may show up before the next "Shape of Things to Come" report is released.
Get Your Own Economic News Training
Come about 8:40 AM Eastern, you should be able to click into the Department of Labor press release site and pick off the weekly new unemployment claims details by clicking on this morning's press release.
Also about the same time, if you hit the Census home page here, you should be able to pick off housing starts and building permits data. Both of them.
News Training, Part 2
From a reader...
I'll try to write up a lesson in "taking quotes out of context" primer next.
Goodbye Public Lands
Yes, we continue to see the feral government which, on the one hand, sends guns into Mexico for use by druggies, and is now continuing to put the screws to marksmen and hunters on public lands. Do the initials AFU mean anything here?
Public lands? Once upon a time in America. Support your local sheriff for reasons cited here.
Half Around America: Day 3 05:15 AM Update
Coping: Dancing with Dew Points
Can we leave today? On our second day of our soon to become legendary "Half Around America" tour in our old beater of an airplane (which has two redeeming factors: low operating costs and it's paid for...) we got only as far as Palestine Municipal Airport.
Arriving at the field about 8:30, we knew the fog which had cut visibility below even instrument flight rules should be lifting by noon.
It wasn't till nearly 1 PM when the local cargo plane arrived from Tyler, but having flown mostly on instruments to make the run, All day long, up until we got tired and left about 2 PM to return home, things were socked in. What was so damn frustrating was that just 100-miles west of us, skies were clear and the rest of our route laid waiting.
Since I've done a lot of weather-related outdoor activity, there's a certain fascination weather-watchers have with "dew points".
The air, you see, has water in it. When air is warm enough it can hold a good bit of moisture. When that same air cools, however, it condenses out. Like in the summertime, you can sometimes spot a whiff of junior-sized cloud on an especially hot, humid day by blowing on your mint julep glass, just so.
Same thing works on a grander scale, too: When the temperature and "dew point" are within a degree, maybe two, of each other, fog results.
Since we also know that the higher you go into the sky, the colder the air gets.
Thus, if we look at ground level temperature, down around sea level, and remember air cools about 3º F per thousand feet, we know very roughly where to expect the cloud layer.
Say the temperature on the ground was 65 (as it was here most of yesterday). With a dew point of 64, and occasional cold breezes below 65 the inevitable result was fog. Despite having learned flying in 1,500 ceilings with rain and 3-mile visibility, I'm not going to push things.
So we waited. About 11:30 Elaine and Panama got back from a quick hop into town in search of food...so we didn't starve.
Then they found an old tennis ball and went out to play catch on the taxiway in front of the hangar. This was followed by jumping jacks and jogging and Mrs. Ure and the brother-in-law worked themselves into a frenzy. Doggone health fanatics...
I stayed glued to the computer terminal watching the cloud line out west. Shortly after the freighter came in, a King Air (big serious all-weather airplane that slurped down 405 gallons of jet fuel - think $2-grand for a fillup) and reported it was still full instrument conditions on approach with tops at 45-hundred and higher. So it wasn't a thin layer.
Coming up on 2 o'clock, I finally got to my "screw this" threshold: Yes, we would be able to get out by 3 PM and get in a couple of hours of flying, but my "point of maximum sharpness" leaves about 4 PM when I've been up for 13-hours. Besides, a hotel some place close in, like Odessa or Midland would be an avoidable expense. Pack, unpack, find hotel, find food, sleep in strange bed - just 300 miles out? Doesn't sound like a bargain compared to the comforts of home.
The little dew point trick indicates good weather all the way out to Tucson if we make it that far today...that's our intent. But even making Las Cruses would be fine.
The early forecast this morning was calling for 56 at noon in Deming, west of Las Cruses with a dew point of 27. Remembering that air cools off faster in the mountains, so I tend toward 4 and even 5-degrees per thousand feet vertically, this would still put the clouds up to Tucson somewhere around 4-5 thousand feet above ground...so probably those big puffy "good weather" clouds.
Should be good flying weather today, so a short'ish report while we get off the ground at first light. Air is all settled down from the fronts earlier this week, so we'll pop up to 6,500 on initial climb out and see if we can't take advantage of some of the light predicted tail winds.
Our "weather eyes" in the Northwest tell us there's a chance of snow up there this weekend, anyway, so if we had pressed on prematurely, t'wouldn't have been much point to it since low freezing levels and the potential for icing is not my idea of a happy ending either.
Between computer, books, deck of cards, cable TV in motels, the challenge of a new city to learn (no matter how small) not to mention the old tennis ball, there's no point in hurrying. When we get back on the ground today, I'll post a note about how far we got. Best case? Tucson. Worst case? Las Cruses.
We'll try to flow with events, since safe landings are a cornerstone of happy travels. With any luck, we will make it out of town today...
Oh, and a reader asked this:
Ah...yes, the touchdown would be on the hard sand....just didn't explain why I would park in the dry sand.
Tide. Beechcraft don't float.
Math Lesson from Oilman2
Came under the heading of "Check my math here..."
Got to hand it to Oilman2 on this...it certainly makes sense.
Meantime, I've come up with an even better idea than "Occupy Wall Street" How about "Occupying" shareholder meetings.
There is still a chance to recover America's founding values, but time is short.
Not sure if you saw this, but Oakland mayor Jean Quan's legal advisor quit this week over excessive use of force in busting up the Occupy Oakland camp.
You know we're on our last legs with 1st Amendment rights are spun to "privileges" when it's not convenient for the old paradigm. Which leaves me several hours of quiet time to ponder the question is a claim of "reasonable accommodation of a right logically consistent? Or, are rights absolute?
Once upon a time in America....
From a reader...
Which is why every web bot run is preceded by hours of Clif time tuning the lexicon. Language has a lot of drift to it, as even on a month to month basis, slang arises or disappears. What more, as the simple amount of communication we receive goes up, the word frequencies increase proportionally. Thus with a minimum of 50,000 words per day, short simple words like "kill" lose impact as noted. When people used to be more dispersed, slang like "shit" wasn't here for months, and thus had high impact.
Now, you can't go to a fast food joint for a burger without hearing the FCC's 7 no-no words at least a dozen times.
Thus, as quantity of information goes up, the impact of specific bits goes down. Refer to Oilman2's note above. Works in multiple disciplines and its a design pattern.
Up, up, and.....er.....we'll see....
Wednesday November 16, 2011
Looking for the Next Gold Rush
Before we get into this morning's "focus" piece, a few comments about the overnight news reports, our usual "flip and cynical" commentary on news hysterics and distractions, and sure, let's toss in lousy politicians while we're at it. But the real focus here sometimes sneaks up on practical advice and there's a good bit of that to follow, perhaps because we plan to fly over Gold Rush country on our trip...which flight briefers seem to think may actually happen this morning. But first, the headlines and we'll see how far the "Wednesday Wedgie" could go...
Off to the airport with Panama on guard duty here for another attempt to get out of East Texas and out west where the sun shines. If the fog lifts, that is...
Tuesday November 15, 2011
A Wednesday "Wedgie"?
Had a note from Robin Handler of the Options Signal Service and he is a little concerned that there's a big triangle forming in the charts (here) which could lead to a violent break up, or down, later on today. And, if you're into astro things, the "stars" for tomorrow are often associated with violent rallies. The PPI and Empire State numbers weren't too bad so futures have bounced off lows from earlier.
All of which would be nice for bulls and terriBULL for me, but "we pays our money and takes our chances..."
Using our US$/Euro ratio predictor, a Dow drop of 164 points seemed possible along with an S&P drop of 29...but after the numbers, the dollar fades a bit and gold stemmed its decline so maybe not even a hundred down today. ---
Some folks figure finances are "written in the stars" but for pragmatic folks like Handler, it's just another factor to ponder. Besides the stars, the future's written in the Tax Code, too, lol...wait! What the hell am I laughing about! Sheesh!
PPI, PP Owe
We're off to the airport to head out west this morning (weather permitting, more in the Coping section following), but since we're on a weather hold here's the link to the Producer Price Index press release from the Labor Department.
The unadjusted 12-month figures in finished goods (5.9%) means that while some things may have gotten cheaper (usually it's stuff you can do without) the things you need (think food?) purportedly dropped 0.7% but note in our checkbook. How some ever, if you annualize finished food, it's going up about 3% a year anyway even in this latest report if you compare June to October numbers.
When we look at the crude goods, we see a continued case for deflationary concerns as the 12 month increase was down to 12.6% from having been nearly 21% annualized last month. Since it's that time of year, it's a fine statistical mogul...
Number just out show...
As I've long held, there is deflation and despite all the inflation worrying, they are balancing off, pretty much, which is about a best case at this stage of economic collapse...
THEIR Toughest Hours?
I couldn't help but notice the headline off France24 overnight that Angela Merkel says the current fiscal crisis sweeping the cobbled up mess of bankrupt socialist countries in Europe is their "toughest hour since World War II."
Don't look now, but didn't the America taxpayer eventually have to sort that out too? Hello? Hello? Hello? History echoes a bit, doesn't it?
Super Committee Blues
While the Super Committee continues work, there are some articles about which suggest that failure is the best option, since the cuts which will come upon failure might actually improve things. Meantime, the actual mechanics are a little more clear when you read how the economy may falter when tax cuts left over from the previous administration are set to expire at the end of the year.
Overnight, the riot gear clad cops tore down tents in Zucotti Park where OWS has been making its stand. Although I support the intent of the demonstrations, if police say "leave" I do as requested, since the idea isn't to pick a fight, but to make a point.
Seems one of the side effects of having no clearly defined leadership (or a media "face") is that any time anything goes wrong in the vicinity or the OWS groups, the MSM seizes on it like the occasional drug deal wasn't going down, or there had never been a rape or murder in the area prior to the protests. Sad excuse for journalism, as I see it.
Could it be the OWS movement enclaves have reduced crime by having assemblies of "people of conscience" about? Odds are good that if true, it would never show up in the MSM since only bad news sells papers or glues eyeballs.
A Jumbo Problem
The Washington Post real estate section last weekend had a story you'll want to keep an eye on about how "jumbo" mortgages could be "next in line to default."
Iran: See the Flying Olive Branch?
You did see where the B2 bomber now sports the latest and greatest 30,000 pound bunker buster? Wonder how the Persian carpet crowd feels about this?
Some explosions at a military base in Iran, meantime, have the Israeli defence minister expressing that "there may be more" but at the same thing holding forth with the "we know nothing..." posture.
Black Friday Blowback?
The CBS TV station in Detroit has a story going which could shake retailers to their core: Retail workers want to get Thanksgiving off...
Never put neurons on the problem, but seems to me if you have to put up with rude, pushy shoppers, it doesn't leave much room for "Thanksgiving" except for the labor movement which most righty-come-latelies forget was earned by the union movement which got things like time and a half and double time for the working class...
We wonder: Would it be a good idea to have a couple of days a year with no shopping and maybe a couple of TV-free days a year? I mean just so people stay grounded and can get some head-clearing done?
Czech This Out their Logic!
A reader found this little gem:
Ain't it strange? Why is it I don't think a disgraced former speaker of the House would be any better? Seems to me the FSU (as in Former Soviet Union) countries have a keener sense of democracy than (gulp!) we do!
Half Around America: Day 1 7:15 AM Update
Taking a Weather Delay...
There we were - packed and ready to roll and what happens? I had a nice conversation with an FAA Flight Briefer - as good pilots pay more attention to weather since it's the leading cause of bad endings to flights - and found out that weather along our proposed route of flight this morning is down to marginal and VFR NOT recommended. One of the ways to get to be an old man of sixty-something is to know not to "push the envelope" even though testosterone and ego say otherwise.
There's a trough over southern Oklahoma which is pushing southeast and some places, like Lufkin, Texas, are below even IFR (*Instrument flight rules) minimum and will be that way through mid-morning.
As much as we'd like to get started on the trip, we're even more anxious to be in walking around condition at the arrival end...so we wait.
The extra time freed up means tomorrow's research for Peoplenomics will happen here, not in a motel room in Carlsbad, NM... 800 feet scattered and 1,400 feet solid overcast is one thing if you're going in to a well-lit place you're used to (Boeing field in Seattle, for example) if you've got a lot of recent crappy weather flying. Big approach lights, almost 3-miles of runway if needed....
On the other hand, in central Texas, there are fewer navigation aids, and even with GPS and live weather to guide, we'll just sit this one out for a while.
Half Around America: Day 1
Coping: With "the Envelope" and the Weather
The alarm went off at precisely 3 AM today and by the time I had coffee, fed the cats, and tuned up our rerouted flight plans, it was about 4 AM and time to get steely-eyed serious about the weather for our "Half Around America" trip which kicks off this morning at 07:00 AM, plus or minus weather.
We had originally planned to spend this evening in Pecos, New Mexico, but on checking with the favored hotel there last night, we found out there had been a surge in bookings and they were full for the balance of the week. Interesting thing about this? The woman who answered there said it was because of the "oil rush" down that way...a topic which we'll get into more this weekend in Peoplenomics since there are a couple of "hot spots" in the country right now in energy which smack of the gold rush days in California during the last century.
The current plan is to pop out this morning and fly direct to Stephenville, Texas - about 130 miles to the west of here, or about an hour and a half given that 11-mile an hour headwinds are predicted. Because of this, I'll be hanging fairly low going up there, 3,500 feet till we are pretty sure on the ceiling and then on up to 6,500 feet - depending, of course, on clouds.
The pre-trip running around on something like this is fairly intense: Elaine wanted the client to see me at my best, so a new pair of slacks (two, actually) and a new shirt for the trip...that kind of thing.
Problem was: The shirts and the bank for a little walk-around money were up in Tyler, Texas, which is exactly the opposite direction from Mark the Mechanic's place down in Crockett, so several hours of driving were in order, since I wanted to pick up six more quarts of oil.
Why not get the oil elsewhere? Phillips 66 20-50 non-detergent, pure mineral oil, is not exactly growing on trees, and although the magic carpet only burns about 1/2 a quart for every four hours of flight time during break-in (which is why non-detergent is used), we didn't want to be mixing oils. Apparently - if you mix the Phillips 20-50 with Aeroshell 15-50 bad things happen. So I won't be mixing oil....Mark the Mechanic's advice is followed to the letter.
Now I'll put on my "airline captain voice" and tell you: Our route of flight this morning will begin down at 3,000 feet, then on up to 4,500 feet as weather permits up to Stephenville.
Tanks will be topped off and the crew dewatered and a breakfast of coffee and deli sandwiches which was another stop made yesterday.
Elaine's day was spent packing, weighing, and repacking suitcases.
Along about 8 PM last night, she announced she'd gotten the clothing down to 80-pounds for the flight, which is pretty good, considering we'll be gone anywhere from one to three weeks (again, this is a pretty interesting and open-ended adventure, since one thing that kills pilots is pushing off into bad weather instead of lounging on the ground where the effects of gravity are less impacting, so to speak.
You often here people talking about "pushing the envelope" on this, that, or the other thing, but few people have a solid idea what "the envelope" is that gets referred to. Time we fill in that hole in your knowledge.
The chart below shows "the envelope." from the Beechcraft Pilot's Operating Handbook (POH): On this chart there are two numbers you need:
The first is the aircraft takeoff weight and the second is Moment/10,000, which is nothing more complicated, really, than a "length of leverage" system.
You see, an airplane "balances" nice and level-like on a theoretical line from wingtip to wingtip and usually, it's at the center of lift. As you add weight to the front seat, the plane tends to nose down. If you add people or bags to the rear seat, the weight shift aft (toward the tail) and the plane develops a nose-up condition.
The envelope (those two parallelograms on this chart, specify the operating range of the aircraft:
To answer your question, yes the airplane will fly outside the envelope but things become cranky. If you put too much weight up front, the plane will be very sluggish climbing and stall recovery gets sucky. On the other hand, too much weight in the back and what happens? Plane will want to "nose up" which is very, very bad, because at an extreme, the nose up condition will induce a stall and and no amount of pushing the yoke forward will allow recovery from a stall.
As a result, pilot training includes a good bit of attention to "the envelope" and particularly paranoid pilots (like, oh, guess who?) religiously run out weight and balance calculations before each major flight since it is terribly important.
The calculation consists of using a weight and moment chart and tabulating the results like so:
On "The Envelope" you simply go up to the 2200 and come right to the 2525 mark on the left column and then go up from the bottom number between 2350 and 2375.
The spot (if you've done this right) is about smack in the middle of the envelope, and for an old Beechcraft Musketeer, the best cruising speed...about 5 MPH faster in the middle of the envelope compared with the front.
The spreadsheet I built up for these calculations weeks to work just fine, which is nice because it also gives me landing weight. This is checked to make sure that you're "no pushing the envelope" on landing.
I know: OMG: How come so much weight?
What most people don't realize is that just the containers for things weigh a good bit. Here's some of our weighty stuff:
Elaine made a nice flying duffel bag for shoes and coats and such, but by the time you get 5-days of clothes, underwear, socks, meds, deodorant, shaver, toothbrushes, floss, and vitamins...yessir, it adds up. Sandwiches in a lightweight cooler with some bottled water and beef jerky? Not going to leave that stuff behind, LOL.
Yes, we could put in a few more things. But, I'm not a guy to "push the envelope" unless there is a compelling need to. By the time we get into Stephenville (again, weather permitting), we will be down to 2145 pounds and 2448 of moment...no worries there.
Flying - safely - is a lot of work, but it's also a lot of fun. Just like sailing, the essence of good seamanship (on the boat) or good airmanship (in the plane) is a matter of superior planning. \
I never had any "near death experiences" on the sailboat over almost 11 years of cruising the West Coast and I don't intend having any in the airplane now.
More tomorrow if we get off the ground this morning between passing showers. Panama Bates will have the place to himself...with the cats, of course...
Several readers have recommended watching the 2 hour Thrive documentary which is getting good reviews on You Tube. I'm trying to find a theater on our travels where we can see it...and a hole in the schedule...
EMWD Birthday Special: A Rare Personal Endorsement
For gosh, five or six years now (longer? ) I've been a happy client of EMWD web services. They are responsive and their "up time" record for my sites has been nothing short of remarkable. The do first-class work.
I mention this because every year, the owner of EMWD has a "Birthday Sale" and if you've ever wanted web hosting and such, between today and close of business Thursday, they are doing a 40% off hosting special.
More details here, but the key fine print is:
There are not too many business decisions I've made over the years which I wouldn't change later...but this is one which so far is in the rare "Gee, that was a great long term decision".
And FWIW? The only other three of equal peace of mind were "marry Elaine", "Buy gold at $276" in 2001 and "Buy silver at $7" in 2005.
But if you can get half a dozen good decisions and have at least a handful of friends, how does life get better?
Yeah, I'm that happy with 'em.
Monday November 14, 2011
An hour before the US market open, that little forecasting tool we've been kicking around on the Peoplenomics side of things was pointing to about a 180-point loss, but that's subject to change as the value of the dollar fluctuates vis-à-vis the Euro during the day. The futures over at Yahoo Finance were looking at about 21 points down so we expect either the dollar valuation will drop - which would be good for gold - or my indicator will be right and by midmorning the Dow will drop a hundred and something. Not that it matters a bunch, since the real driver will be musical chairs in Greece and Italy this week.
Before we get into that, however, a calendar check says Producer Prices tomorrow morning (up, since printing all that money has to go somewhere) and retail sales which will tell us how green Christmas will be.
The Consumer Price Index comes Wednesday although it's certain to be accompanied by the usual excessive focus on "core" inflation (inflation less food and energy) which only matters to people who don't eat or drive.
Over at SurvivalBlog this morning there's a report on how key long-term storable food costs have gone up over 60% in the past year. Don't look now, but investing in food for the long haul seems to be a better investment that even gold or silver here lately and certainly better than the paper abstractions.
Industrial production Wednesday along with its sidekick capacity utilization isn't a biggie either. Housing starts on Thursday is also a who cares? Unless, of course, you're flipping foreclosures.
The week ends with leading economic indicators so all we need to plan for is a couple of new scandals, maybe a big earthquake, another Euro shuffle and a side order of fries.
So Mario Monti is the new prime minister of Italy. I would liken him to Ed Ackers term at Pan Am.
Major markets in Europe are down almost one percent, except England which needs more tea to fire their braincells, perhaps.
Stock Answers Dept.
The Super Committee project isn't looking well, so if you're looking for a silver bullet, the best I can suggest is buying your own silver. Were it wasn't so, but this is political and this is America, right?
Hell of a time to come up with a break-through free lunch scheme, though.
Free Trade Lunacy
There's a good Time Magazine piece on how the coming "Pacific Trade Pact Boosted by U.S. Neighbors." Of course, the little detail that the major beneficiaries of such crazy policies are big corporations who are already screwing government out of its due, so they come after little folks instead, seems far to complicated to put in most of the coverage on this. Bottom line? More jobjacks to come.
Robbery of Lincoln's Tomb
Not sure who would pull such a thing, but the perps might include
My bet is on the last, but using perps for hire to take the fall.
Pinch and Grinch
That's my new term for TSA security personnel who will be opening packages of holiday travelers. Hard for me to imagine anyone being so dumb as to try and take anything wrapped through an airport security checkpoint, but then again, I haven't been impressed with the last several of presidents, either, so what do I know...
A couple of readers have been pointing to the seismometer networks and saying "Lookie there!" True, there was a 3.1 in LA last night, and another 3.3 in Oklahoma, but nothing worth getting worked up about.
Coping: With More "Historical Rewrites"
We have been chatting a bit about the work of Anatoly Fomenko recently. He's the Russian scientist who has been piecing together how much of what we think of as "conventional history" is likely not as old as we'd like to think. I've only gotten through the first of the four volumes of his work, but already a clear pattern has emerged that a lot of "historical dudes" - such as Plato - may have been constructs put together in the Middle Ages in order to "create history" which would be acceptable to the folks who were then the PowersThatBe.
Fast forward to CoastToCoast AM and John B. Wells' interview last night with Douglas Dietrich, who was a Department of Defense research librarian for almost 10-years. An amazing series of revelations about nuclear weapons in WWII!
What? you thought only America had nuclear weapons? Sorry, you missed reality. According to Dietrich's work (based on documents within DoD but not widely known in military historical circles, Germany had nuclear weapons and actually used one up in the area around Northeast of Germany in the Latvia/ Estonia area to halt a Russian advance from the north.
OK, you're thinking, why didn't Germany win WWII? Well, turns out that according to his research, if I followed the whole flow of it, Dietrich says Erwin Rommel (the "Desert Fox") had planned to use tactical nuclear weapons on Allied forces at Normandy. BUT Hitler said no to the plan because the Germans understood the biological risks and Hitler wasn't going to put the "purity" of the Aryan race in jeopardy.
So what followed was the famed (and foiled) plot against Hitler which has been memorialized in movies and books. But the backstory seems to be that the Plot was hatched because Rommel and his coconspirators we so angry that Hitler wouldn't use the one tool which could have laid waste to the Allies.
Oh, noted Dietrich, talking to Wells: That's why Geiger counters were carried by Allied invasion forces at Normandy.
The rest of the interview was just as compelling (based on historical documents from DoD after all), including the assertion that the US actually deliberately triggered the war with Japan by sending B-24'as driven by American Flying Tigers to bomb Japanese soil a full five months before Pearl Harbor.
The research is compelling... and to a student of military history, the US and Japan did not sign a surrender document on VJ-Day as most of the American public was led to believe - a myth perpetrated by the "approved" historical documents and texts.
Seems history is coming down around our ears - thanks in large part to the internet and serious academics like Fomenko and the Russians involved in the new Critical Thought Movement as well as now, with Dietrich's work, a vastly different version of World War II.
Wells' closing quote to ponder was Truman's Maraschino cherry:
And that, boys and girls, is why we don't speak German and why the war with Japan dragged out to 1951 and why the first Japanese import cars were made from American aircraft carriers.
Living Through 2012
Good article at "The Verge" on how a lot of people are building their own "Condo at the End of the World" which makes little sense, since the more I look at Fomenko and look at the linguistics (out into mid 2013) seems to be way early.
Hard to carry on a conversation with people who think 2012 is "IT" when the predictive linguini says nope and, besides, if it is the end of the world, who's to say people scurrying down rat holes will make it out? Got shovels and a cutting torch handy?
A slit trench 100+ miles from a big city seems ever so much easier, not to mention affordable.
"Half-Around America" Tour (T Minus 1)
With any luck (and cooperating weather) we should be off on our "Half Around America" tour tomorrow morning about dawn - which means my column will likely be posted early (around 6 AM Central).
The actual flying to travel out to Banning/Palm Springs (CA) to see a client won't be the hard part, although I've been watching the thunderstorms through the area closely and they should be tapering off tomorrow morning early enough for use to get a proper start.
The Itinerary is set: Tuesday night Pecos, Texas. Wednesday Night, Tucson, AZ, and then into Banning Municipal airport on Thursday morning.
Panama Bates has been briefed up on the household rituals by Elaine, which is honestly more complex than doing the airplane planning; I am in amazement at the level of detail involved. Taking off in an airplane distills down to "start engine, rev up, while pointed into wind on runway." Care and feeding of the cats, alternating showers between bathrooms, this note on the washer, more notes on the dryer....and multiple sermons and vignettes on the precision use of the dishwasher...trust me when I tell you flying is a whole lot easier.
We spent about 3-hours Saturday detailing out the airplane. Elaine did the inside windows and fixed a piece of sound-deadening carpeting which had come loose in the baggage compartment. I took care of an adjustment to the altimeter (Kollsman window wasn't matching up precisely with the indicated altitude display - a massively time-consuming adjustment, but well worth the efforts since knowing where the ground is could be considered useful information).
Then we did the windows outside and out with Plexiglas cleaner/polish and I took the Goo-Gone after some smashed bugs on the leading edges from our flight down to T82 last week for lunch and took a grease drip off the nose gear. We have already tested the ADS-B weather/GPS hook-up, so that should be OK.
By Saturday, or Sunday morning, we should be out of SoCal and going up the Central Valley, then overnight in Chico, CA. The next morning we will make the final hop up to the Olympia/Seattle area via Hillsboro and Chehalis.
Although it's a fair amount of flying, it's not too bad when broken down into bite-sized morsels, like any other big job. The first leg each day will be an hour and a half to two and a half hours, with a fuel and dewatering stop so we can stretch our legs and feel terra firm, recheck route weather ahead, and so forth. A second two hour stint wraps it up and everything should be done by 1 PM each day - long before the bumpiest part of the day which is mid to late afternoon when the thermals are up.
We plan to post some pictures enroute for www.peoplenomics.com subscribers, and while it's not certain, should be fun to share what I expect will be some decent scenery along the way. A couple of HD Flip video cameras will capture some of it, I hope. I've been finding them a lot more convenient than the big camera.
Another time sink Sunday was loading enough .MP3's onto the iPod so as to be able to listen to music along the way. Around 3 PM today, a replacement Telex Stratus 30 headset should arrive: The noise cancelling whizzy crapped out in one of the two we bought in about 45-days of once or twice weekly use. Noise cancelling isn't just a big deal on a commercial hop but it really reduces fatigue in the bug-beater.
The recent "top end overhaul" which included chrome cylinders is working fine (credit to Mark the Mechanic on this); the engine burned about 3/4'rds of quart of 20-50 mineral oil in the roughly 4.7 hours down to the hill country and back. Engines burn a little more in break-in, and this is just where we'd expect the four-cylinders to be with about 14-hours since being "topped".
Been working on speed control of short final - the book for the plane suggests an approach speed of 80 MPH dropped to 75 MPH on short final. Problem is the stall speed even at decent gross weight is such the plane "floats" about 2 blocks with flaps in, so I'm slowing to about 70, of a shade under, at flare...still gives me a good safety margin (stall speed with full flaps is 60 MPH/48 Knots) so coming over the fence at 70 still gives you enough time to go out and grab a sandwich before the plane stops flying.
I won't claim to be able to land on a postage stamp, but if there are Westerlies coming up the valley at Banning where it's common to get 15-20 MPH winds, that means our ground speed should be down around 40, or so, at touchdown which is fine, since Banning has a bit of a grade...
The fun part of this is all the little details and the planning. Seems like a long ways to go for a couple of days meetings with Clif and the California client, but at least there's no substitute for "face time".
It's purely coincidental that the fish and chips are better in the Pacific Northwest waterfront restaurants that what's found out here in the Outback. Purely coincidental, I assure you. And the cost is about the same as flying commercial on one week notice, and I pocket the bag fees.
Before the chart, a little background:
Once upon a time, a long while ago, I observed during my quest for 'truth' in economics, that the PowersThatBe, the talking heads on the teeve, and the other information sources that actively engage in the programming of humans not to think, had conveniently swept several trillions of dollars that disappeared in the Internet Bubble's bursting (since spring 2000) under the rug. Surely, it wasn't unnoticed by the thousands of people who called brokers and said "Where is my money?" "Gone, but hang in there as you're a long term investor!" was about all they heard back.
So one of our charts for Peoplenomics subscribers oughta be widely circulated - it shows that if you line up the peak of the Dow in January 2000 with the peak in early September of 1929, we're on a very very close replay track. Much closer than even the chart shows if you were to back out inflation, and put in the effects of 1929 deflation, but that'd be real work, and I'm sort of lazy if the truth be told.
No, it's not a perfect replay of 1929, but history doesn't repeat exactly, it only rhymes. So think of this as the rhymes and the crimes chart:
"George, that's only a coincidence!" your monkey-mind will protest.
Why sure it is...you bet. A 11-year long coincidence...yessir....just a coincidence, we're like SO sure... (Shhh...don't tell anyone that major Depressions are two-part coupled affairs like the linkage between 1920-21 and 1929, OK? Damn, dude...don't spoil it for the sheep...)
Oh...don't forget to "Write when you get rich!"
George Ure, The People's Economist
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