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Raising the Bar for Excel Users April 19, 2018

Posted by geoff in News.

I’ve used Excel a lot – even on this very site. But I’ve never done this:

Revised Exports Data Shows Clearer Trend April 19, 2018

Posted by geoff in News.
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The BEA made major revisions to the trade data this month, slightly improving the trend in export data. This is the chart I showed in January:


…and here’s the current version:


The new data looks a little cleaner, showing a smooth rise in exports from January 2017 to the present. Unfortunately the rise hasn’t been terribly impressive, amounting to only $24.5 billion over that time period.

At the same time one has to acknowledge that President Trump may be suppressing exports with his talk of tariffs and renegotiating trade deals. The slower growth may reflect an investment in downstream growth, i.e., we take a hit in growth now while he cleans up the trade situation. Then we can enjoy higher growth later.

Whatevs. I’ll just keep plotting along…

Unification of Thought April 18, 2018

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Too many news stories about information filtering & suppression of conservatives to enumerate, though the GoogleFacebookTwitterYouTube stories float to the top. And the college campus malarkey. And David Hogg’s boycotts/walkouts. And…

You get the point.

It reminded me of this infamous speech:

“My friends, each of you is a single cell in the great body of the State. And today, that great body has purged itself of parasites. We have triumphed over the unprincipled dissemination of facts. The thugs and wreckers have been cast out. And the poisonous weeds of disinformation have been consigned to the dustbin of history. Let each and every cell rejoice! For today we celebrate the first, glorious anniversary of the Information Purification Directive! We have created, for the first time in all history, a garden of pure ideology, where each worker may bloom secure from the pests of contradictory and confusing truths. Our Unification of Thought is a more powerful weapon than any fleet or army on Earth! We are one people. With one will. One resolve. One cause. Our enemies shall talk themselves to death. And we will bury them with their own confusion! We shall prevail!”

[Emphasis mine]

Manufacturing Jobs Continue Strong Growth April 12, 2018

Posted by geoff in News.

This is a week late, but the numbers make it worth the wait. The very impressive growth in manufacturing jobs continued through March, with another 22K jobs added. The sudden reversal in manufacturing’s fortunes, which coincides with the election/inauguration, is striking, isn’t it?


Another way to think about it:

  • In his last 4 years, President Obama added 376K manufacturing jobs
  • In the past 14 months, President Trump added 277K manufacturing jobs


Employment Fails to Impress April 6, 2018

Posted by geoff in News.
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The BLS put out its monthly employment numbers, which show a slight decline in the IB employment metric (full-time employment/civilian non-institutional population).


At least it’s still above 0.5.

Black-capped Chickadee, Digitally Remastered Version March 30, 2018

Posted by Sobek in News.


This better reflects my vision of how the painting should have been.  The original and all existing copies have been burned.

Chestnut-backed Chickadee March 29, 2018

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Shame I’ve been traveling without any paints, because you can’t see the gorgeous color on this guy’s back.

This is the fourth and final chickadee. Now that I’m done I’m going to go back and screw up all of the originals before doing a bunch of over-hyped prequels which will totally suck.

Boreal Chickadee March 28, 2018

Posted by Sobek in News.


Horned Lark March 27, 2018

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Bird March 21, 2018

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Dank Leopold/Trump Meme March 14, 2018

Posted by skinbad in News.

I guess it’s from a contest last year, but I’m always behind the times. I LOLed. The Bugs Bunny “Long-Haired Hare” is one of my family’s favorites. I had a fantastic-strange disc I bought on ebay that came from the Philippines. It was a CD-Video disc and had Long-Haired Hare, Rabbit of Seville, What’s Opera Doc, Hillbilly Hare and a few more. It was always an adventure to try to figure out how to get it to play in the DVD player without stopping after each number.

Quite a few years ago we were singing a hymn in church (“We Are All Enlisted”) and there is a note that you hold for a couple of beats and then drop it down (like it’s hot) for the fermata. When the note dropped, I put my hand down and wiggled my finger and my kids all lost it at the thought of Bugs doing “Leopold.” Now I have to sit in front of the congregation and when that hymn comes along, I don’t dare look at my family or I will certainly start laughing. Anyway, I hope the guy who thought this up won something.

Employment Situation, March 2018 March 9, 2018

Posted by geoff in News.
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Another month, another Employment Situation Summary report. This month showed a slight increase in the standard IB metric. Not awe-inspiring, but better than 2016, which was basically flat for the entire year.


On the other hand, manufacturing jobs are on fire:

What a yuge difference from 2016.