Monday, March 26, 2012

I Live in Iowa: Week 49

Wow, I'm nearing a year here. It seems strange because the obvious question I ask myself is, 'how long will I be here?' I do not know. The options are infinite.

At work I had a relatively busy week. I worked 45 hours including a ten hour day. We have been having a crisis of documentation in recent weeks and I evaluated everything I am working on in some respect and got a little stressed out. It is really no problem, but for about two days I was furiously working on presentation slides and acceptance criteria and tables of loads and boundary conditions. I think I am back on track. Of course there is more work to be done, but I suppose that is the nature of work and a 175 year old company.

On the interesting side, I had the chance to promote aluminum heat treating at work this week. Since I am a huge heat treating promoter, every chance I get to advocate it I do. The part in question is an aluminum casting that must pass certain structural requirements. As it was designed it did not meet the requirements, however with the heat treatment it would be strong enough to meet the requirements. I also recommended some geometry changes to the structure in the event that a heat treating was not feasible. I realize that nothing will probably come of it, but I had the opportunity to spread the message of heat treating to a few more people.

You would be surprised how often working more and running more go together. I ran 87 miles which is the most I have run in one week since CIM. I had a couple good interval workouts. one was just 6x200 around 30-31 pace and the other was a nice 4x2k in 6:58, 6:48, 6:37, 6:33. All with 400 meters jog in two minutes between repetitions. Nothing spectacular but quite nice and just what I needed. Since most people don't think in kilometers the last two were at about 5:18 and 5:15 mile pace.

Regarding my running for the outdoor season I think that I will run 5k this week at Augustana, 5k next week at Wartburg, 1500 or 5k rabbit at UW Platteville, and 10k at the Augustana Meet of Champions April 20th. That will probably be my race of the season. There are quite a few races in the area after April 20th, like Drake Relays, a local Heritage Trial race, and a 10 miler in Des Moine. So I'm not sure what I will race in May or June but I am really focused on running a good 10k this season. Since I typically tell all, if I don't PR I will be surprised. If I am not under 32 there will be some initial disappointment. If I get under 31, the season counts as a qualified success.

On the coaching side I only made it to practice like twice this week because of work obligations. Coaching is... not the same as giving workouts to myself. That is to say a plan can be given, but it is not always followed. The results then speak to the preparation.

On the investing side DHT went up to over $1.50 during the week, and then crashed to below a dollar after they announced that they were raising capital through a backstopped equity offering. It closed Friday at $1.03. In other words, they are selling more stock. I listened to the 45 minute conference call and looked through the presentation. The important factors as an investor are:

  • The four managing directors are fully investing in the offer (basically doubling down)
  • The offer is only open to shareholders of record March 29th
  • Shares that are not purchased by shareholders will be bought by an investment bank whose name I forget (that is the reason it is called backstopped)
  • The price of five and ten year old double hull tankers is at a cyclical low relative to the price of new tankers
In summary, this is basically a mezzanine level of financing. In another word: opportunity.


Regarding a Tweet that I had Saturday night, you need some background. A group of friends and I went to Madison for the weekend. After attending an athletic event in the morning and early afternoon we went downtown. I did manage to get in a ten mile run in and around Owen park, which is quite nice. Downtown we honked at the Recall Walker protesters and I explained to an out of state friend the issue with unions and collective bargaining. We ate at this amazing restaurant, the Tipsy Cow I believe, and proceeded to go to a stand up comedy show. At the show we sat front and center, yet were never made fun of. On the far right side, stage left leaning against the wall was a man. He looked to be drinking whiskey before the show started but as it progressed he looked asleep. Finally his phone went off and the comic started to make comments, but the drooling Wisconsinite was incoherent. A few people he was sitting with tried to get him to be coherent but it was in vain. Eventually he was carried out by one of the people he was with and a waitress. Seconds later everyone had forgotten that there was a drooling nearly unresponsive younger man at the show.  This is typical Wisconsin. I am serious, Wisconsin has an alcohol problem. I have lived around the country and drank alcohol with a number of people and I was exposed to it at a young age in high school, but nowhere that I have been is it like Wisconsin. People aren't supposed to pass out in the front row of a comedy show.

To add to the excitement about 20 minutes after the show as we were walking down the street the paramedics were helping a young woman who also looked very incoherent. Yet people were just going around the spectacle and more or less ignoring the fact that this young woman probably had alcohol poisoning. Another example from the night was when we were at Qdoba eating our 11PM snack and on the news a woman was arrested with her 11th DUI, and my friend went crazy because it was one of his former managers. Now you stand a 2% chance of getting a DUI when you drive drunk. Based on the people I know that have had a DUI (all but one from Wisconsin) that seems an accurate statistic. That's 550 times to have driven drunk. That's driving legally drunk twice a week for over five years.

To end on a positive note, my week starts on a negative note if I miss church on Sunday morning. It is one of my greatest hesitations for traveling places on the weekends. As it turns out the house that we stayed at on the west side of Madison was a three minute walk from a church of my Christian denomination. I could not plan for my life to work out that well.

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