Saturday, January 5, 2013

Cliff Diving Chart of the Day


Click to enlarge.

Let me guess. In the name of prosperity, we've outsourced this to China too? Or perhaps this is proof that our recovery has solid [bicycle tire] traction?

Hey, just theories!

Special thanks to the person who sent me a private email that included a link to this refiner data. It is his believe that bicycle tires might be a good investment. It is not an idea that I can readily discount, lol. Sigh.

See Also:
Global Transportation Rebalancing Underway
CMCTABIFA!

Source Data:
EIA: U.S. Total Gasoline Retail Sales by Refiners
St. Louis Fed: Population

24 comments:

Fritz_O said...

I think I have the answer to this problem.

The gas business could get out of this predicament by becoming more like the financial-services industry. I call this idea the Gas Bank.

The basic problem is there simply isn't enough interaction between buyers of gasoline and sellers.

Producers (the depositors) would contract to sell their gas to an intermediary. Let's call this intermediary "Enron". Gas customers (the borrowers) would contract to buy their gas from Enron. Enron (the bank) would capture the profits between the price at which it had acquired the gas and the price at which it promised to sell the gas, just as a bank earns the spread between what it pays depositors and what it charges borrowers.

I have this friend, named Jeff, who tells me that "It makes all the sense in the world."

Of course, this idea is not going to go over well on Wall Street. If such a system were put in place it would undermine the inherent uncertainty that WS thrives on. There would simply be no more reason to trade gasoline on the spot market during a frantic few days of deal doing at the end of every month.

Craig M. Brandenburg said...

Well, I for one consume a lot of bicycle tires.

http://justenoughcraig.blogspot.com/2013/01/first-flat-of-year.html

Troy said...

http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/r/PSP/Carnage+Heart+EXA/news.asp?c=47529

OT but this is a subject dear to my heart.

ArtDink is an oddball game design house in Japan and I've been following their Carnage Heart series off & on (the best part of living in Japan was easy access to the Japanese game press, which is uniformly of very high quality).

Looks like ArtDink is tied at the hip to Sony, so no iOS or Android versions.

MASSIVE market opportunity here.

My dream is to combine DSR & Carnage Heart, LOL, but the problem with combining ideas is that you get the intersection of the fun sets, not the union.

Stagflationary Mark said...

Fritz_O,

I have this friend, named Jeff, who tells me that "It makes all the sense in the world."

I'm with Jeff, but only if it creates millions of mid-level management jobs. Two birds! One stone! ;)

Stagflationary Mark said...

Craig M. Brandenburg,

I used a screwdriver to remove rocks from my hiking shoes the other day. I do it when my shoes start to clatter on the hardwood floors, lol.

Fortunately, no screws so far! ;)

Stagflationary Mark said...

Troy,

Very interesting link!

I was up all night playing Dai Senryaku on my PS2 again. It never seems to get old to me. I just wish someone would make a PS3 version.

Fritz_O said...

I'm with Jeff, but only if it creates millions of mid-level management jobs.

Well, actually, my buddy Jeff won't be creating much of anything for awhile, let alone jobs. Although he may be making some exercise videos to pin-point the "ankle-grab" muscles. ;)

Stagflationary Mark said...

Fritz_O,

Well, actually, my buddy Jeff won't be creating much of anything for awhile, let alone jobs.

Yikes! I'm still with Jeff though apparently. Neither of us visit the local strip malls on a regular basis, lol. Sigh.

Although he may be making some exercise videos to pin-point the "ankle-grab" muscles. ;)

D'oh! ;)

dearieme said...

What does "by refiners" imply? Is it meant to refer to the production from US refineries?

Stagflationary Mark said...

dearieme,

It would make sense but I wouldn't swear to it in court. Further, I don't know if there is some other reason it has dropped off so much. Perhaps the word "retail" implies that some sales could be going elsewhere?

Troy said...

So, as a hex guru which do you prefer:

http://i.imgur.com/VnjsH.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/DOXTN.jpg

(the difference is subtle and is not directly related to map grain)

sadly, I've been mucking around in PixelPaint, Studio/8, and now Photoshop for 22+ years!

My initial designs from twenty years ago are identical to this. Adding aircraft to the design always breaks everything, SJG was smart with G.E.V. to say "no aircraft!".

Stagflationary Mark said...

Troy,

I prefer your first link by a wide margin. It's the orientation I've seen most often I'd guess.

I love that Dai Senryaku has aircraft. I have accidentally landed a helicopter a few times though. It's especially brutal when it it's near an enemy tank or two, lol.

I have also accidentally deployed units. That can hurt too.

The interface certainly loses its elegance due to those special conditions. Eventually we adapt but even that isn't a great solution. It breeds careful paranoia when moving those kinds of units.

And lastly, moving a plane onto a carrier is done at ground level. Landing a plane at an airport is done at low level. It's easy enough to remember but relatively easy to overlook. Plane landing paranoia! ;)

Troy said...

yeah, the first looks better to me too but the issue is the hexes are squashed the "wrong" way, horizontally narrower than true hexes.

Not as bad as Matrix's WITE:

http://www.matrixgames.com/files/games/423/20120217001554.jpg

which has the grain problem AND the squashed problem!

One thing I never wanted to do though is run the game at the hex level. Computers don't need hexes.

Chris Crawford shares this conceit, too:

http://macintoshgarden.org/sites/macintoshgarden.org/files/screenshots/PattonStrikesBack.jpg

(I love Crawford in the Designer's Notes telling people who didn't have a Mac IIx to suck it up -- my thoughts too at the time, as after the Mac II came out I saved for 2 long years to get a IIcx.)

Anyhoo, it's a good thing I've never played DSR. The UI looks to be a colossal PITA.

My problem is I want to write a sim more than a game, but when you try to sit on two stool you tend to end up on the floor . . .

Oddly, outside of one solid effort (the new Battle of the Bulge game) there's pretty much nothing good out for the iPad in the wargame department.

Gotta fix that by xmas, LOL. (Been saying that for 20 years now, sigh)

Stagflationary Mark said...

Troy,

One thing I never wanted to do though is run the game at the hex level. Computers don't need hexes.

...

My problem is I want to write a sim more than a game...

...

Played Combat Mission? I was seriously addicted to that one let me tell you.

The Combat Mission games are a mixture of turn-based strategy and simultaneous real-time execution.

They did a great job with it. Your units didn't always follow your orders either. For example, a light tank turning the corner to spot an oncoming Tiger tank tended to panic a bit. It would remove itself to a safe location with extreme prejudice, or at the very least make an attempt to do so. The Tiger tank crew was not similarly flustered in that situation. Go figure! ;)

Stagflationary Mark said...

Troy,

It's the orientation I've seen most often I'd guess.

I've been playing again tonight and have this to share.

Dai Senryaku defaults to the other orientation. I immediately rotate to my preferred orientation though. That's especially true when moving units. I rotate the camera to be directly behind the unit in question. That forces the orientation to have a hex's top and bottom be horizontal.

The editor also defaults to the other orientation. It doesn't seem to bother me much, but I wish I could rotate the camera (outside of Preview mode). That said, I won't complain. It's the only console game I own that even has an editor!

Troy said...

Sounds like http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RoboSport

part of the problem with the wargame idea is I get depressed about making a game of people just killing each other.

Watching this video of Empires of Steel:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VAoFnfRf-y8

reminded me of that.

If there's going to be death in my game I want it poignant, heroic, dramatic, not cartoony or brain-dead in general.

I want some of this:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f1/TBD_attacking_at_Midway_painting.jpg


This is why I've been working on this for 20 years, I'm waiting for the mass market to have the processing power to handle a cinematic SRPG.

Stagflationary Mark said...

Troy,

If you build it they will come.

Flat Top - Carrier Battles in the Pacific, 1942

Great game!

Stagflationary Mark said...

As a side note, the hexes are aligned as I prefer. Perhaps that's old school. ;)

Troy said...

the day I discovered the NROTC shelf in the library was a happy day indeed . . .

All those books that only I cared about.

MicroProse's Task Force 1942 was a helluva game!

The problem with naval 3D is the damn water/wake FX.

Stagflationary Mark said...

Troy,

The problem with naval 3D is the damn water/wake FX.

Aces of the Deep

They spent some man hours on it at my company. I wanted to play it but never found the time. '94 was a busy year for me. We were getting our own game out. Won a Codie for Lost Mind of Dr. Brain. That didn't stop upper management from calling it a "fluke" and "C+" product though. Made that game in 9 months on two platforms in 3 languages. Shipped with no known bugs nor did any appear later to the best of my knowledge.

I'm not bitter though! ;)

It marked the morale peak for me at the company. It also pretty much marked the peak for the company in general.

Troy said...

crazy times.

http://www.cgwmuseum.org/galleries/index.php?year=0&pub=0&id=500

is the online archive of CGW issues!

Funny how the current tablet form factor is a re-creation of that -- XGA for life!

Stagflationary Mark said...

Troy,

Some of those CGW covers brought back some long lost memories. I feel so old, lol.

Troy said...

I hear you like hexes . . .

Stagflationary Mark said...

Troy,

First off, sorry I haven't been getting back to you.

Second off, that's a fascinating hex grid pattern!