Archive | June, 2008
June 13, 2008

There goes my Elite Status

Continental Airlines, citing the high price of fuel, told employees Thursday it will eliminate service from Houston’s Bush Intercontinental Airport to 15 destinations worldwide, including Palm Springs.

Guess I could still fly DCA-IAH-ONT and then drive an hour and a half to Palm Desert. Yay.

June 13, 2008

Occasionally, people do take me seriously

Even though I say “dude” a lot. See, for instance, this.

I like to think I know what I’m talking about, anyways.

June 12, 2008

Gazprom to join ExxonMobil’s BlueOcean Energy LNG project?

Gazprom seems to be dominating the energy headlines this week. I came across this article regarding Gazprom’s participation in ExxonMobil’s BlueOcean Energy project but haven’t been able to find any further mention of this in the news.

ExxonMobil’s BlueOcean Energy project is a planned LNG terminal that would sit 20 miles off the coast of New Jersey and deliver natural gas to New York and New Jersey via a subsea pipeline. If Gazprom does indeed have a role in BlueOcean, gas from Russia’s Shtokman field could be heating homes in the NJ/NY region by 2014.

(On a random side note, I had to give a presentation to my NEPA class and chose the Cove Point LNG terminal in the Chesapeake Bay as my topic. Strangely enough, my classmates were fascinated by the subject and asked me dozens of questions. That doesn’t happen very often.)

Exxon offers Gazprom LNG terminal deal
MOSCOW, June 11 (Reuters) – Exxon Mobil Corp offered Russia’s Gazprom a role in a liquefied natural gas regasification terminal on the U.S. East Coast, Itar-Tass quoted Gazprom Deputy Chief Executive Alexander Medvedev as saying on Wednesday.

Medvedev said Gazprom could have a role in the terminal’s facilities or become an investor, according to Russian news agency Itar-Tass.

Russia’s Gazprom, the world’s largest natural gas producer, has been expanding steadily around the globe, with projects in the Middle East, Africa and Europe.

Exxon Mobil hopes to build a $1 billion terminal off the New Jersey coast to receive and regasify liquefied natural gas. The company has not yet received the permits for the BlueOcean Energy terminal, which would have the capacity to supply about 1.2 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day to New Jersey and New York.
Exxon was not immediately available for comment. But Andrew Swiger, the executive who runs Exxon’s natural gas business, told Reuters last week that the company was looking at a number of options to secure a gas supply for the terminal.

“It may well wind up being an integrated value chain project. It may be something else, but we are working a number of things,” he said.

June 12, 2008

Isn’t there a war going on or something?

Or maybe the economy kinda sucks? Our nation’s infrastructure crumbling? Something? Anything but this?

Congress wants to hear more from Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig and players’ union head Donald Fehr about their 2005 testimony on steroids in the sport.

Reps. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., and Tom Davis, R-Va., the leaders of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, wrote letters to Selig and Fehr on Thursday, saying that information about drug testing in the Mitchell Report “raises questions about your assertions in the March 2005 hearing.”

Priorities, priorities.

June 12, 2008

Finally tried Thai X-ing

A few months ago, Margaret mentioned to Tina and I that there was a supposedly delicious Thai restaurant in her neighborhood. Thai X-ing, however, is not your typical Thai restaurant. It’s run out of a rowhouse basement in Shaw, has one table that seats four, and all of the food is cooked by one dude (yes, ONE, dude), Taw Vigsittaboot.

We decided that Friday night would be ideal for some take out from Thai X-ing, so Margaret placed an order for an 8:45pm pickup earlier that afternoon (I don’t think you have to give the restaurant a four hour lead time, but we had a rather large order). Located at 515 Florida Ave NW (Metro: Shaw-Howard University), Thai X-ing is hard to miss, as the reed fence and dense foliage that decorate the entrance certainly distinguish it from the neighboring rowhouses.

Our order wasn’t ready when we got there, so we waited for about 10 minutes. The wonderful smells emanating from the kitchen were so intense that I thought my stomach was going to eat itself if it didn’t get some pad thai ASAP. The chef, Taw, was drinking wine from a lowball glass, occasionally popping out of his kitchen to toast the customers sitting at the lone table. When he finished preparing our order, he handed us three bags of food and jokingly warned us to not “swing them around.” No need to worry about that, dude.
We walked back to Margaret’s and immediately dug into the food. We each ordered a different dish and took turns passing them around. My pad thai was amazing, but I think the best dish was Tina’s pork ribs in green curry. The pork was so tender it was falling off the bone, and the green sauce added a nice kick, especially when soaking the side of rice in it.

And the price? Cheap. Most entrees run $7-9. Not bad for a one man shop.

If you’re in Shaw, definitely check this place out. The menu can be downloaded from the Thai X-ing website. And while you’re at it, read the City Paper article about Thai X-ing, “Will Work for Food: Thai X-ing gets by with a little help from some friends.”

June 11, 2008

Once again, McCain tries to convince us he is not, like, 183 years old or whatev

It turns out choosing a vice president isn’t that complicated after all.

Republican presidential candidate John McCain joked on Monday that Google, the popular Internet search engine, had made investigating his list of potential candidates a little bit easier.

“You know, basically it’s a Google,” he said to laughter at a fund-raising luncheon when asked how the selection process was going. “What you can find out now on the Internet — it’s remarkable.”

See, McCain isn’t completely out of touch with this century because he knows what Google is! And he wants Dwight Schrute to be his running mate! Ha ha ha…

Yeah, whatever. I’ll be impressed when McCain starts twittering or moblogging (and not some young fresh out of college staffer doing it for him).

Some might accuse me of being an ageist, and they would be right. I will not deny it. For more John McCain is really freaking old related jokes, please visit Things Younger than Republican Presidential Candidate John McCain.

June 11, 2008

Accident prone house


“Uh, we have a problem.”


Washing machine went psycho shortly after 11pm, flooded the laundry room. Never a dull moment in Arlington.

June 11, 2008

SoCal burger chain coming to the DC area


No, not In-N-Out, unfortunately, but rather Fatburger, a burger joint that started in Los Angeles back in the 1950s.


Personally, I’ve never been a huge fan of Fatburger (it can’t compare to In-N-Out) but I’d be willing to give it another chance when it opens out here. My ultimate West coast fast food wishlist would include In-N-Out, Carl’s Jr., Jack In The Box, and Del Taco, but until then, Urban Burger has my vote for best DC area burger joint.

June 11, 2008

Gazprom totally confusing everyone


From victory to victory!

As a follow up to yesterday’s post regarding Gazprom’s interest in the Alaskan gas pipeline, TransCanada is apparently “bewildered” by Gazprom’s interest in the project:

All I’ve seen are the press articles. TransCanada has not been approached by Gazprom,” said Tony Palmer, TransCanada’s vice-president of Alaska development.

“TransCanada has offered that parties that commit gas in the initial open season we’re prepared to offer equity to and, to this point, we don’t know if producers will take us up on that offer. But those are the parties we would be approaching first to become potential partners in the project,” he added.
“(Gazprom) is not a producer in Alaska today.”

Gazprom is also looking for a foothold in the US gas market, possibly through the acquisition of a US company:

Vitaly Vasiliev, chief executive of Gazprom Marketing & Trading, the downstream arm of the state-controlled Russian gas company, told the Financial Times a takeover was one of the options under consideration for building Gazprom’s presence in the US market, where it hopes to sell increasing volumes of liquefied natural gas.

He said: “We can build organically, we can do it with a partnership to build an outlet for us in the US or the third option would be acquisition”.


Last month, GM&T signed a deal to join in an LNG regasification project in Canada, taking a stake and making a long-term commitment to use the import capacity. GM&T hopes to use the terminal for gas from Shtokman, the vast field off northern Russia that Gazprom is looking at developing with Total of France and StatoilHydro of Norway. It plans to start production in 2014.

Gazprom has no LNG of its own yet but is trading a few cargoes a year to build expertise.

It has high hopes for the terminal at Rabaska in Quebec but it is also considering other regions in North America and is likely to focus on Texas, where it already has a small office in Houston.

Mr Vasiliev said: “It is important that we have a position in the most liquid gas market, which is in Houston for Henry Hub.”

I’m going to throw out a prediction here and say if Gazprom does indeed follow through with a partnership or acquisition, it will likely be with Cheniere, “North America’s LNG Gateway.” (And if I’m proven right, I expect the job offers from Wall Street to come rolling in).

In other news, Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller predicted that oil prices will rise to $250 per barrel “in the foreseeable future.” Take that, Goldman Sachs!

June 10, 2008

Gazprom wants a piece of the Alaska pipeline

Came across this interesting article today:

Russian natural gas monopoly OAO Gazprom is angling for a role in a proposed Alaska gas pipeline, the company’s chief said today.

Gazprom has made a proposal to BP and Conoco Phillips, which in April said they have started work on a project that could lead to construction of a multibillion-dollar pipeline that would carry natural gas from North Slope to Canada and possibly the Lower 48, Gazprom director Alexei Miller said.

“Gazprom has unique experience, knowledge and modern technology and is the most advanced company in the world in the realm of gas transport in trunk pipelines,” Miller told an international business forum in St. Petersburg, Russia.

“So participation in such a large-scale project as the construction of a pipeline from Alaska is interesting for us.”

He did not say whether there had been a response from BP and Conoco. The BP-Conoco proposal, dubbed Denali, competes with a similar pipeline plan put forward by TransCanada Corp. The Alaska Legislature is meeting in special session to consider whether to award a special state license and $500 million subsidy to the TransCanada proposal.

According to an article from the Moscow Times, Gazprom will also talk to TransCanada regarding their proposed pipeline:

Miller’s deputy, Alexander Medvedev, later told reporters that Gazprom would also hold talks with the leader of a competing project, TransCanada.

“Given Gazprom’s [future] role in LNG supplies to the North American market, we are discussing not only broad cooperation in the LNG business or gas marketing in Canada but also participation in chains that bring added value,” Medvedev said.