Gas prices are as low as I can remember them being for some time now, as it’s been probably three years or more since they were so cheap in my area of the country. And while at first glance this seems to be a wonderful thing, we might want to take a look at the flip side of this as a bit of a reality check. You see, not everybody will benefit equally, and in fact, in the long run, the whole “cheap gas” thing may turn out to hurt us.
I was at a party this past Sunday evening and spent a little time talking with a relative who, for several years (decades actually), has worked with the oil industry as a supplier to their drilling operations. He knows the people in this industry quite well and stays current on all facets of it. His worry, when the price for a barrel of crude oil goes below $50, the industry is going to have to minimally cut back–if not completely shut down–some of its activities. You can’t produce and sell oil at that price structure and remain a viable business … in the states, anyway. So our oil independence would be (actually already is) jeopardized by cheap oil. A lot of people will be thrown out of work, and an entire industry would be put in a very precarious situation if prices drop further. Many are hurting already.
Like many of you, I read and listen to all of the speculation and commentary about the OPEC (and particularly Saudi Arabia) goals in all of this, and at some point, from an economic perspective, I think I get it. And of course the hurt being put on countries like Russia, Venezuela and Iran doesn’t bother me at all, but I don’t want to see us go backwards, either … from an oil and energy independence point of view. It is an interesting situation, and the whole thing fascinates me. I would write a bit more about all of this, but I just heard that the gas station up the road from me has dropped their price another 10 cents a gallon, so I need to get over there and fill up before something changes!
ONE MORE THING HERE …
I don’t buy glass anymore, but I’m just wondering, have the glass supplier energy surcharges have now come down in proportion to the cost reductions in fuel??? Just asking!!!
Catching Up …
In the past several days, I have had the opportunity of reconnecting with some old friends that I had not spoken to in some time, and it was a real treat. First, I had lunch with Ray Dean, Director of the International; Ironworkers Department of Ornamental, Architectural & Miscellaneous Metals. When Ray was the local #63 Business Agent and I had a lot of his guys working for me, we got to know each other quite well. We didn’t always agree on how things should work or which work should be performed by who, but I developed a deep respect for Ray during those years and was always proud to call him a friend. It was great to spend a couple of hours with him, and he even paid … yes, I was surprised, too.
Then I got a call all the way from Sweden and it was none other than my favorite Swede, Mathias Farnebo. We got a chance to chat and catch up a bit, and we are hopefully going to see each other in Germany in late January (at BAU). I hadn’t talked to Mathias in a couple of years and it was great to hear his voice and learn that he is doing well.
THEN …I got to visit (in person) with Nick, my long time barber. I had not seen Nick in a year and a half, and while he had called from time to time to see how I was doing during my cancer battle, getting to see him in his shop, sit in his barber chair and actually get a haircut (some might call it a partial hair cut) really felt great.
The Most Wonderful Time of the Year …
… is going on right now and I hope you are getting a chance to enjoy it. Sure, I know that shopping and family scheduling can sometimes drive you a little crazy, but I hope you can enjoy it all, as well. Our schedule is packed with concerts, dinners and all kinds of stuff, but it is still a truly wonderful time if you can just slow down and take it in. I watched the classic “It’s A Wonderful Life” with Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed a few nights back, and as corny as that movie is, and in spite of how many times I’ve seen it, I still like it at this time of year. And aren’t glad you were born, and that you’re here??? I am.
The picture below includes my grandson David (far right), who is pictured with a couple of his friends from band playing Christmas carols at a grocery store in their community a couple of nights ago. The volunteer bell ringers, carol singers and players, as well as those who go out of their way to help people in need, should be applauded by us all. And the next time you pass a Salvation Army bell ringer, why don’t you offer him/her a cup of coffee … along with your donation? It will make both of you feel warm inside.
The Sports Thing …
Hey, have any of you been following my Blackhawks of late? Just checked the standings now, after they have taken nine of their last 11 games–and by the way, most of those were on the road. Special congratulations to Bryan Hovey also … somehow he scored a ticket to the Winter Classic in D.C. on January first when my Hawks battle with the Capitals. Nice going Hovey!!! Let me know if you want to borrow my Denis Savard Hawks sweater for the game.
The Quotable Thing …
This week’s quote comes from Beth Rush, one of the brightest people I know. Hopefully, you will get it the first time around. It is credited to Philip Rogers (Latham, New York).
“I shave each morning in front of my passenger-side mirror. That way, I get a closer shave than it actually appears.”
Have A Wonderful Week Everyone!