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Crude Observations

Oct
18

Vote Smart and Often!

  So if last week was a time for giving thanks, this week is shaping up to be something completely different.  That’s right. It’s Debbie-downer time, otherwise known as time for my bold and completely detached from reality Canadian election prediction.   That’s right. The Canadian federal election campaign is finally coming to an end and, as the self-proclaimed “most important election in history”, it deserves a fitting send off. Given that, I think we can all agree that there is nothing more fitting than this esteemed blog and blogger passing judgment on the campaign […]


Oct
12

Thanks Turkey

Here I sit on yet another Friday, albeit quite a bit later than I normally do to write this missive but there are extenuating circumstances – I’m looking at you Air Canada and YYC airport ground crews! So yes, it is late (kind of deliberately so actually, as you will see later) and for that I am mildly apologetic, but everything worked out in the end and Air Canada and a very chatty and surprisingly well-informed cab ride later we are safely ensconced in a Phoenix cocoon and I am soon out the door to […]


Oct
04

Report Card Time

Wow – three quarters of the way through the year and there is still a full three months to go. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I am about ready to pull the pin on 2019 and start 2020 right away, if only to get away from this gad-awful Canadian election and the ongoing Trump-impeachment circus.   And as we all know, quarter end is when I look back at my Fearless (Foolish?) Forecast and grade myself on the various qualitative and quantitative calls I made. I haven’t yet looked at my […]


Sep
27

Striking Climate Striker

Sorry for the late blog this week, I was out participating in a day of action for the environment, otherwise known as the Global Climate Strike. Okay, you got me, no I wasn’t. I was actually out of town briefly to celebrate my 20th wedding anniversary.  Doesn’t mean I wasn’t thinking about the environment though – or climate, as I prepare for the annual Alberta September Snowmageddon (ASS) this weekend with up to 50 cm of snow expected in some parts of Southern Alberta over the weekend.   You see, during the drive out and […]


Sep
20

Remain Calm!

Well I sure blew the timing on that one, didn’t I.   If only I had waited a week for my election cheat sheet I would have so much… umm… more… to say. As the expression goes, a week is a lifetime in politics, although this past week has been more like 1001 Arabian nights.   But what do I really want to say? Do I actually want to wade into the latest iteration of the chaotic fever swamp that is Canadian politics? Is it really that important to discuss what I understand to be […]


Sep
13

Elections and Inquisitions

Well it sure has been a busy week here in Albertaland and Canada. It seems that it has been a week full of launches, with new initiatives popping up all over the place, previously announced undertakings finally taking shape and getting underway and, finally, inevitabilities finally being unleashed.   What do I mean by all this? Simple. In Alberta we had the official launch of the House Committee on Unalbertan Activities which is the inquisition into foreign funds messing around with our livelihood, closely followed up by the UCP announcing an official inquisition into the […]


Sep
06

What’s the appeal?

Does anyone remember last August 30th? I sure do. That was the day that the Federal Court of Appeal (FCA) came down with their judgement that the Federal Government had failed in its duty to consult with Indigenous communities on the Trans Mountain Expansion project and that the NEB and the Cabinet had inappropriately not considered the environmental impact of shipping related to the project nor its impact on the Southern Resident Killer whales.   Remember now? Remember how mad everyone was that that had happened? That we had somehow checked every box there was […]


Sep
01

Get back to work, slackers!

Ah Labour Day. That annual celebration of the righteousness of the downtrodden worker, the brave collectives, putting it all on the line day after day in order to enrich the greedy capitalist fat cats who live for exploiting the masses.   And which union am I talking about most specifically here? Why none other than the NFLPA (NFL Players Association) and their hardworking members as they head into what is the 100th season of NFL football.   As most of you know, I am a huge NFL fan. And earlier this month I promised an […]


Aug
23

Shovel in the Ground?

Can you hear that sound? It’s the sound of a giant sigh of relief. It’s also the sound of a ceremonial shovel in the ground courtesy of the Federal government as opposed to the knife in the back that we seem to repeatedly get here in oilpatchland.   Yes, after more than a billion years of litigation, delays, cancellations, purchases, sales, false starts, protests, threats, deadlines, judges, lawyers, mobilizations, demobilizations, stays, rallies, the TransMountain Pipeline Expansion, otherwise known as the Pierre Elliott Trudeau SNC Memorial Pipeline is under way and has received the green light […]


Aug
16

My Stocks are Down

So here I am, back in the office for a spell and still ruminating on my epic Vegas trip. Did I mention I made $124.50 off my $20 investment in a slot machine? That’s a 600% return. I have never had a six-bagger in the stock market, unless you are talking about an investment that is now worth 1/6th what I paid for it and now I am stuck with a dog in my portfolio that I have to hold for the next decade as it slowly climbs back to some reasonable approximation of what […]


Aug
10

Fear and Loathing

As promised, this week’s blog is going to continue the midsummer tradition of being shorter than normal, because for every writer like me who needs a vacation from blogs there is an equally deserving reader who needs a vacation from my blather.   As luck would have it, I am in Las Vegas this week doing a bit of a family thing. It’s a great trip and we are doing many fun things but my ability to channel my inner Hunter S. Thomson and find the down and dirty of the Strip both physically and […]


Aug
03

My Trip to Sicily

Well good morning everyone. I hope that August is treating you well. This is going to be the first of two abbreviated blogs because I am currently on summer vacation with my family and they are scowling at me as I write.   Some of you will no doubt be wondering why you are receiving not only an abbreviated blog, but also a tardy one. Laziness is most likely your first reaction and in that you would be partially correct. I say partially because one of the reasons it’s late is that I recently returned […]


Jul
26

Now That’s an Event Centre!

Alright. Well then. Ahem. I guess last week’s blog was deemed by some to be a bit, shall we say, unsettling given the political conclusions, forecasts, predictions that I laid out. I think it’s fair to say that the audience this blog reaches is diverse and politically astute. Many were in agreement with the conclusions I made, many were not. Some were distressed to see it in writing, especially during summer vacation.   So if I upset anyone, I apologize. That wasn’t (entirely) my intent. It was more of a wake-up call.  A “folks, this […]


Jul
19

Midsummer blahs

Wow, midsummer already. Where does the time go when you are having so much fun? Although to be truthful, with the rainy July we have been having it really doesn’t seem too summery to me yet. Never mind the fact that vacation time is still weeks away and I have so far been work slave, which is actually a good thing – money and all, but still, patios need some love as well.   One of the hallmarks of this period for me is the true funk I fall into as a blogger. This isn’t […]


Jul
12

Stampede!

One of the both great and (occasionally) annoying things about living and working in Calgary is navigating the annual all-consuming celebration of fun and cowboy hats that is the Calgary Stampede. Whether it’s surviving double-deep-fried scorpions coated in Oreo batter, boiled corn rolled in ground-up spicy Cheetos, mainlining mini-donuts or running the gauntlet of corporate gatherings, Stampede is a unique event in our city.   How unique? Well it’s got its own verb and language – that’s pretty unique.   “Have you been stampeding yet?”  “Sure have, we were at the chucks the other day […]


Jul
06

Yahoo – The End of Q2!

Is it the end of Q2 already? All I can say is thank god! It has been a long one what with elections and pipelines and sanctions and all things Trump. And it is that blessed time of year here in Calgary called Stampede and if you are wondering why this blog is a day late and a dollar short, you can blame my buddy Kim and his First Friday party which happened to coincide with my usual blog posting time. Beer, party, blog. Blog, party, beer.  Party, beer, blog. Pretty easy call actually. I […]


Jun
28

Canada D’eh!

It’s time for my annual celebration of all things canucklehead, what with Canada’s National Holiday, the NHL season opener, just around the corner. What’s that? Oh, oops, sorry. What with Canada Day, just around the corner. Canada Day being the day that we discovered we could appropriate the practice developed by first nations of tapping into the sweet spring sap of maple trees and making a syrup out of it, or, put another way, drinking tree blood. What? Wrong again? Egads. OK. One last try. Canada Day, the day our nation was founded, after  24 […]


Jun
21

54 is a magic number

Where does the time go? Why it seems like just last week everyone was all in a lather about US production being up another 100,000 barrels and storage in Cushing being up 2 million barrels or some such number with the net result being that the world was awash in oil and we were in an age of peaceful plenty. Then some guy in Iran goes and drops a US drone into the strait of Hormuz and reality hits home. Yeah, I guess that there oil supply chain can get pretty dicey at times what […]


Jun
14

Happy Day?

So here we are, June 14th which should be a happy day for a number of reasons yet we are all wondering just what the heck is going on. I went away last week and the world seemed relatively stable, then it all went to hell in a handbasket. I mean seriously, if you weren’t somehow exposed to volatility and uncertainty in your day to day life this past week, then I suspect you weren’t paying attention. If it wasn’t someone pretending to be Iran attacking some oil tankers it was the Toronto Raptors upsetting […]


Jun
07

Time to Buy?

This is one of those abbreviated blog posts because I find myself travelling this week, which is unusual. Even more unusual is that I am travelling with my family somewhere cool instead of acting as the glorified bus driver that I seem to be most days or doing work travel. And, I’m leaving my laptop where it belongs – at the office.   The benefit of the abbreviated blog post is that I can get away with just one subject. And that subject is one that is near and dear to my heart, specifically the […]


May
31

Mexican Standoff

Wow, just when you thought it was safe to get back in the water, along comes Donald J. Trump with another broadside to the global economy, this time in the form of another set of reckless tariffs on an ally and major trading partner. It was hard to miss, but if you did, the gist is that as of June 10th, Mexico will be slapped with monthly increasing tariffs on all exports, starting at 5% and ending at… who knows. These tariffs will remain in place until Mexico takes steps to end the passage of […]


May
24

Ministry of Silly Walks

You know how every once in a while you get this sudden wave of inspiration flowing over you and you feel that you can do no wrong and are pretty much on top of the world? I get that every once in while working on this blog and the words just flow from my brain to my hands to my non touch-typing trained (sorry ma!) carpal tunnel wracked index fingers onto the blank slate word document and create something without peer. A true creative transfer that leaves the writer with a sense of smug satisfaction. […]


May
17

Enough with the Negativity

Well, that was interesting. Clearly, judging by the overwhelming feedback, I hit a home run with last week’s blog. The straight up re-characterization of the pipeline file as a re-imagining of one of my favourite plays (Waiting For Godot by Samuel Beckett) was, I thought, fairly spot on given the senseless navel gazing and mindless discussion that informs the pipeline debate. Senseless waiting is a legitimate theme. OK, I lied. Last week was a dud. But it made an important point we are all feeling.   It also served as an potent outlet for my […]


May
10

Waiting

I believe it is well established at this moment in time that I, like many energy sector participants, am not terribly patient when it comes to infrastructure. I want my pipelines and I want them yesterday. It goes without saying that a strong regulatory approval process is required, environmental protections must be in place and proper consultations held. But it’s the waiting that kills you. And it’s not even. Why do some projects take so long and others seem to get approved in the blink of an eye?   It’s not a level playing field […]


May
03

Answer in the form of a question…

Ever notice how sometimes there are cultural phenomena or global events that arise and transfix people for weeks at a time such that they become very much a part of the public dialogue and which allow complete strangers to find common cause or shared experience that they otherwise wouldn’t? These things can take any shape or form and run the gamut from “knowing where you were when Kennedy was shot” or 9/11 memories or, conversely, rather than some world changing event, it was a cultural phenomenon that swept the world. Like the Macarena. Or Baby […]


Apr
26

Draft Day

Welcome everyone to the end of April. The time of year when Calgary gets its annual dose of freak snowstorms and patio weather, often in the same day. That’s right, the time of year when you thought it was safe to go back outside for a run or spark a doob on a patio downtown (what? That’s not allowed? That’s stupid) some crazy weather comes along to remind you that it is still in fact winter here notwithstanding the calendar. We are officially in the end of winter doldrums.   Other signs that we are […]


Apr
19

Now What?

Well there you have it. The election is finally over. What was 28 days of full-on flinging of mud, rage and other nasty stuff has, in typical Canadian fashion, rolled over into the smooth and peaceful transfer of power from the Rachel Notley NDP to our new set of overlords, the United Conservative Party lead by Jason Kenney.   With the election over I can finally catch up on my sleep and with the all-consuming rage messaging toned down I no longer find myself curled up in the corner hiding from the world at large. […]


Apr
12

Making the Call… Ugh.

This is it. The last blog before the big day. I know I have been threatening it for some time, but this is the day I have to actually make my prediction in this godforsaken Alberta election. I can’t avoid it anymore So I’m going to do that. Soon. But first, I feel I must veer off topic and tell a wee story.   This blog started about four years ago. Under oddly similar circumstances. You see, at that time, in 2015, Alberta was going through an election, the economy was under duress, the Conservatives […]


Apr
05

One More Week!

Okay, I lied. Can you forgive me? It was too easy. It was spring break, I was relaxing with my family and it was Friday. And I really didn’t want to go inside and write my blog and I refused to leave poolside because I had a freshly cracked Dos Equis XX by my side. So, I thought to myself, “Self, it’s Friday – you got nothing to write and Monday is April Fool’s and to leave that alone is a disservice to pranksters everywhere. So I did what I did. But really, theer is […]


Apr
01

A last hurrah

Sorry everyone for the tardy delivery of the blog. But I have some bad (good?) news for you.   As many of you know, I have been wrestling with this for a while, but I have decided, after much contemplation and consultation with loved ones and colleagues to call an end to the blog after this week. After all, I am running out of things to talk about, what with the ills of the energy sector being solved by our Liberal Party of Canada overlords and the wise men of OPEC (+). I mean, think […]


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