Saturday, June 30, 2007


A bit of good news. The four Schlumberger employees who were kidnapped a few weeks ago in Nigeria (see June 5 post) have been released.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

industry notes

I like to listen to Schlumberger's quarterly results conference calls. It's very illuminating to listen and hear how the company is doing, our positioning relative to competitors, strategic plans, etc. However, what is even more interesting is to hear our CEO's comments on the overall oil and gas industry and what the short and medium-term outlook is for the industry. With many people bemoaning the higher energy costs of recent history, I find it interesting to hear a little bit about how the world got to where it is and where it's going from here. While there isn't going to be a quarterly call for another month, our CEO gave a presentation at a conference a couple weeks ago. The full text is on the Schlumberger website and there's also a link to a .pdf with the full text and some interesting slides.

Friday, June 15, 2007

nba finals, thank goodness it's over

Well, I don't have much to say about the NBA Finals other than that I watched them and that I have two very general observations. First, in the last two games, watching Cleveland shoot was like watching the intramural basketball team I played on in college for one semester shoot. Second, the more I watched LeBron, the less impressed I was with his play and the less it seemed like he wanted to be there, especially as the series progressed.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

fun maps

I stumbled upon this page dedicated to strange maps from the perhaps much better known Freakonomics blog. I'm glad to see that someone is taking on the difficult questions like where Middle Earth was and how did a deer get into the London Underground.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

paternity leave? what a scam

Yesterday, my manager came back to work after taking paternity leave and then using some vacation time to extend the leave. Paternity leave sure sounds like a scam to me. Last time I checked, that movie Junior was just a movie. And not one of those movies that claims to be "inspired by a true story" but an actual movie that's inspired only by shameless selling out by Conan the Barbarian.

Monday, June 11, 2007


I just stepped outside to check my mail. (I park on a side of the building such that the shortest route to my unit does not go past the mailboxes.) It's barely drizzling, just enough to make washing a car pointless and to unlock that wet pavement smell. You know the one I'm talking about. There's an odd earthiness to it, even though it's a mix of water, concrete, asphalt and bizarre chemicals leaching to the surface. I really like that smell. In my mind, it signals the start of a rain storm and I've always enjoyed the rain (except when driving on unfamiliar roads at night with old windshield wipers). Perhaps my enjoyment comes from growing up where it didn't rain a depressingly large amount. And now that I live in a desert climate, the rain's rare occurrences are all the more special.

end of an era, officially

I finally had my old car towed away today. If you're wondering why I didn't do this months ago when it stopped running, the simplest explanation you come up with is probably the correct one. Amazingly enough, I still had all the known (to me) sets of keys: two regular keys and two valet keys. Aside from those and the title, I pretty much stripped everything else of value from the car. In the end, I kept the floor mats from the front seats and moved them into my new car. (The ones from the back seat didn't fit well and I rarely have people sitting back there anyway.) Perhaps I could have taken the battery or spare tire, but there are limits to what is acceptable to have sitting in your living room. For me, nothing is working just fine.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007


When I saw the headline about the kidnapping of foreigners in Nigeria, I had a bad feeling that Schlumberger's number had finally come up. Unfortunately, it's the latest in a string of incidents related to Nigeria's oil industry.