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Archive for the ‘Interesting’ Category

Veterans Day: Salute To Those Who Serve Past and Present

November 11, 2010 Leave a comment

Freedom isn’t free!

To all the men and women that have served past and present – THANK YOU!

Help out and give back to our veterans and current men and women who protect this great country. With out them, the freedom and luxuries we take for granted are not possible.

At the very least when you run across these true HEROS a simple THANK YOU and a HAND SHAKE can go along way.

THANK YOU!

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Categories: Aztec Rental, Interesting

A Lesson In The Value Of Freedom

November 11, 2010 Leave a comment

A lesson that should be taught in all schools and classrooms.

Back in September of 2005, on the first day of school, Martha Cothren, a social studies school teacher at Robinson High School in Little Rock , did something not to be forgotten. On the first day of school, with the permission of the school superintendent, the principal and the building supervisor, she removed all of the desks out of her classroom.

When the first period kids entered the room they discovered that there were no desks.

‘Ms. Cothren, where’re our desks?’

She replied, ‘You can’t have a desk until you tell me how you earn the right to sit at a desk.’

They thought, ‘Well, maybe it’s our grades.’

‘No,’ she said.

‘Maybe it’s our behavior.’

She told them, ‘No, it’s not even your behavior.’

And so, they came and went, the first period, second period, third period. Still no desks in the classroom.

By early afternoon television news crews had started gathering in Ms.Cothren’s classroom to report about this crazy teacher who had taken all the desks out of her room.

The final period of the day came and as the puzzled students found seats on the floor of the deskless classroom, Martha Cothren said, ‘Throughout the day no one has been able to tell me just what he/she has done to earn the right to sit at the desks that are ordinarily found in this classroom. Now I am going to tell you.’

At this point, Martha Cothren went over to the door of her classroom and opened it.

Twenty-seven (27) U.S. Veterans, all in uniforms, walked into that classroom, each one carrying a school desk. The Vets began placing the school desks in rows, and then they would walk over and stand alongside the wall. By the time the last soldier had set the final desk in place those kids started to understand, perhaps for the first time in their lives, just how the right to sit at those desks had been earned.

Martha said, ‘You didn’t earn the right to sit at these desks. These heroes did it for you. They placed the desks here for you. Now, it’s up to you to sit in them. It is your responsibility to learn, to be good students, to be good citizens. They paid the price so that you could have the freedom to get an education. Don’t ever forget it.’

What a valuable lesson on freedom. The story is said to be true and should be spread!

THANK YOU to all the men and women who have served and are serving this great country. HEROS!

Categories: Interesting, Random

Solar Roadways To Power The Country

August 6, 2010 Leave a comment

WOW! Can this really happen?

Categories: Interesting, Random

Disaster Preperation & Recovery

July 6, 2010 Leave a comment

YOU CAN’T CONTROL MOTHER NATURE.

Be prepared. Be Safe. Recover.

Aztec Rental is your local resource you can count on when Mother Nature takes control. Whether it’s a hurricane, flood, tornado or any unfortunate disaster we have the equipment and experience to stand beside you and assist you through the devastation. Both our Houston and Sugar Land locations have rental equipment and equipment/tools you can purchase to give you piece of mind in preparation or to get you on the road to recovery.

For information and help with disaster preperation & recovery click here.

Texas Economy By The Numbers

May 26, 2010 Leave a comment

Texas Ahead as put together a rundown on some key economic indicators for Texas.

We skipped economics while in school.  Is this good or bad?

Consumer Price Index

1982-1984 average = 100

Consumer Price Index in Texas and Nationwide
Month Texas Consumer Price Index U.S. Consumer Price Index
April 2009 195.1 213.2
May 2009 194.8 213.9
June 2009 196.7 215.7
July 2009 196.3 215.4
August 2009 196.4 215.8
September 2009 196.8 216.0
October 2009 196.8 216.2
November 2009 196.9 216.3
December 2009 196.3 215.9
January 2010 196.8 216.7
February 2010 197.3 216.7
March 2010 197.6 217.6
April 2010 198.2 218.0

Change from previous year:
The Texas Consumer Price Index is up 1.6%.
The U.S. Consumer Price Index is up 2.2%.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Consumer Confidence Index

1985 U.S. Average = 100

Consumer Confidence Index for West-South-Central Region and United States
Month West-South-Central Region Index* U.S. Index
April 2009 71.0 40.8
May 2009 73.5 54.8
June 2009 75.1 49.3
July 2009 71.0 47.4
August 2009 75.0 54.5
September 2009 82.5 53.4
October 2009 72.9 48.7
November 2008 64.9 50.6
December 2009 72.1 53.6
January 2010 72.3 56.5
February 2010 74.1 46.4
March 2010 74.9 52.3
April 2010 69.5 57.9

*Includes Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana and Oklahoma (per source’s data groups)

Change from previous year:
West-South-Central Region is down 2.1%.
U.S. is up 41.9%.

Source: The Conference Board


Unemployment Rate
(percent)

Unemployment for Texas and Nationwide
Month Texas
Unemployment
U.S. Unemployment
March 2009 7.0 8.6
April 2009 7.3 8.9
May 2009 7.5 9.4
June 2009 7.8 9.5
July 2009 7.9 9.4
August 2009 8.0 9.7
September 2009 8.1 9.8
October 2009 8.1 10.1
November 2009 8.2 10.0
December 2009 8.2 10.0
January 2010 8.2 9.7
February 2010 8.2 9.7
March 2010 8.2 9.7
April 2010 8.3 9.9

Change from previous year:
Texas unemployment is up up 1.0 points.
U.S. unemployment is up 1.0 points.

Sources: Texas Workforce Commission, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics


Texas vs. U.S. Nonfarm Employment
(in millions)

Nonfarm Employment
Month Texas (millions) U.S. (millions)
April 2009 10.35 131.54
May 2009 10.32 131.16
June 2009 10.29 130.64
July 2009 10.27 130.29
August 2009 10.23 130.08
September 2009 10.21 129.86
October 2009 10.23 129.63
November 2009 10.24 129.70
December 2009 10.22 129.59
January 2010 10.23 129.60
February 2010 10.24 129.64
March 2010 10.28 129.87
April 2010 10.31 130.16

Change from previous year:
Nonfarm employment for Texas is down 0.4%
Nonfarm employment for the U.S. is down 1.0%

Sources: Texas Workforce Commission, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics


Change in Nonfarm Employment in Most Populous States
(in thousands of jobs)

Comparing Nonfarm Employment in Five Most Populous States
State April 2009 April 2010 Change in Jobs
(thousands)
Percent Change
California 14,221.5 13,866.0 -355.5 -2.5%
Texas 10,352.8 10,310.5 -42.3 -0.4%
New York 8,586.9 8,539.7 -47.2 -0.5%
Florida 7,314.5 7,196.6 -117.9 -1.6%
Illinois 5,700.0 5,609.7 -90.3 -1.6%

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics


Texas Sales Tax Collections, Retail Establishments
(in millions of dollars)

Texas Sales Tax Collections
Month Texas Sales Tax Collections, Retail Establishments
April 2009 $789.25
May 2009 $890.08
June 2009 $811.00
July 2009 $758.86
August 2009 $885.30
September 2009 $731.90
October 2009 $718.90
November 2009 $890.30
December 2009 $920.50
January 2010 $817.30
February 2010 $804.30
March 2010 $757.70
April 2010 $823.30

Change from previous year: up 4.3%

Includes eating and drinking places.

Source: Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts


Texas Housing Permits
(units)

Housing Permits for Single-Family and Multi-Family Homes in Texas
Month Single-Family Housing Permits Multi-Family Housing Permits
March 2009 5,175 1,573
April 2009 5,363 1,876
May 2009 5,490 1,262
June 2009 6,666 1,408
July 2009 6,932 541
August 2009 6,055 1,314
September 2009 5,529 1,609
October 2009 4,921 210
November 2009 4,475 1,088
December 2009 5,048 993
January 2010 4,854 1,091
February 2010 5,751 435
March 2010 7,781 1,735

Change from previous year:
Single-family permits are up 50.4%.
Multi-family permits are up 10.3%.
See note on percent change data

Source: The Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University


Existing Single-Family Home Sales in Texas
(units)

Existing Single Family Home Sales in Texas
Month Existing Single-family Home Sales Median Sales Price
April 2009 17,062 $142,900
May 2009 19,031 $149,300
June 2009 21,806 $155,100
July 2009 22,418 $153,300
August 2009 19,837 $150,000
September 2009 18,620 $147,400
October 2009 19,472 $142,700
November 2009 17,977 $142,500
December 2009 16,239 $144,500
January 2010 10,379 $136,900
February 2010 13,163 $141,000
March 2010 19,343 $143,900
April 2010 21,579 $147,400

Change from previous year:
Existing home sales are up 26.5%.
Median sales price is up 3.1%.
See note on percent change data

Source: The Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University


Industrial Production Index
(index)

2002 = 100

Industrial Production Index
Month Texas Industrial Production U.S. Industrial Production
March 2009 111.8 97.7
April 2009 111.5 97.2
May 2009 111.3 96.2
June 2009 111.5 95.8
July 2009 111.3 96.9
August 2009 111.6 98.1
September 2009 112.1 98.7
October 2009 112.1 98.9
November 2009 112.5 99.6
December 2009 112.2 100.2
January 2010 112.1 101.4
February 2010 112.5 101.2
March 2010 114.0 101.5
April 2010   102.3

Change from previous year:
Texas index is up 1.9%
U.S. index is up 5.2%.

Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas


Leading Economic Indicators Index
(index)

2004 = 100

Leading Economic Indicators in Texas and the United States
Month Texas Index U.S. Index
March 2009 100.1 97.9
April 2009 101.1 98.9
May 2009 103.4 100.2
June 2009 103.0 101.1
July 2009 103.3 102.1
August 2009 103.7 102.5
September 2009 104.5 103.7
October 2009 103.8 104.2
November 2009 105.0 105.8
December 2009 105.5 107.2
January 2010 105.6 107.5
February 2010 106.3 108.0
March 2010 106.7 109.4
April 2010   109.3

Change from previous year:
The leading indicators for Texas are up 6.5%
The leading indicators for the U.S. are up 10.5%

Source: Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, The Conference Board


Value of Contracts for Non-Residential Construction in Texas
(billions of dollars)

Contract Value, Non-Residential Building Construction in Texas (billions)
Month Contract Value
April 2009 $1.424
May 2009 $2.051
June 2009 $1.702
July 2009 $1.818
August 2009 $1.210
September 2009 $1.541
October 2009 $1.710
November 2009 $1.100
December 2009 $1.031
January 2010 $1.210
February 2010 $0.735
March 2010 $0.969
April 2010 $1.367

Change from previous year: down 4.0%.

Source: McGraw-Hill


Mortgage Foreclosures

Mortgage Foreclosures in Texas and United States (index)
Month Texas Foreclosures U.S. Foreclosures
March 2009 10,616 341,180
April 2009 11,314 342,038
May 2009 9,813 321,480
June 2009 12,023 336,173
July 2009 12,077 360,149
August 2009 11,261 358,471
September 2009 13,216 343,638
October 2009 11,798 332,292
November 2009 12,095 306,627
December 2009 13,807 349,519
January 2010 12,225 315,716
February 2010 12,638 308,524
March 2010 15,552 367,056
April 2010 13,133 333,837

Change from previous year:
Texas is up 16.1%
U.S.is down 2.4%.

Source: RealtyTrac


Web Exclusive Indicators

U.S. Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers
(index)

1982-1984 average = 100

United States Consumer Price Index for Food/Beverages and Transportation
Month Overall Consumer
Price Index
Consumer Price Index
Food and Beverages
Consumer Price Index
Transportation
April 2009 213.2 218.4 172.0
May 2009 213.9 218.1 176.0
June 2009 215.7 218.0 183.7
July 2009 215.4 217.6 182.8
August 2009 215.8 217.7 184.4
September 2009 216.0 217.6 183.9
October 2009 216.2 218.0 185.4
November 2009 216.3 217.7 188.6
December 2009 215.9 218.0 188.3
January 2010 216.7 219.2 190.5
February 2010 216.7 219.1 189.6
March 2010 217.6 219.4 192.1
April 2010 218.0 219.5 194.0

Change from previous year:
The Overall Consumer Price Index for the U.S. is up 2.2%.
The Food and Beverage Consumer Price Index is up 0.5%%
The Transportation Consumer Price Index is up 12.8%.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics


Gasoline and Diesel Retail Prices in Texas
(dollars)

Average Retail Price of Gasoline and Diesel Fuel in Texas (per gallon)
Month Gasoline Diesel Fuel
April 2009 $1.96 $2.19
May 2009 $2.15 $2.20
June 2009 $2.48 $2.50
July 2009 $2.37 $2.50
August 2009 $2.49 $2.59
September 2009 $2.36 $2.55
October 2009 $2.39 $2.61
November 2009 $2.50 $2.74
December 2009 $2.46 $2.70
January 2010 $2.57 $2.81
February 2010 $2.49 $2.75
March 2010 $2.64 $2.88
April 2010 $2.73 $3.02

Change from previous year:
Gasoline prices are up 39.6%
Diesel prices are up 37.7%.

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration.


 

Note: Percent changes on Tracking the Texas Economy graphs and tables are calculated using raw monthly figures. Some of the annual percent changes in the Comptroller’s Economic Outlook are based on annualized figures that show longer-term trends, and therefore may differ.

Texas Production and Consumption Indicators

Production and Consumption Indicators
Date Value of Crude Oil Produced
(Millions)
Value of Natural Gas Produced
(Millions)
Active Oil & Gas Drilling Rigs Gasoline
(Millions of Taxed Gallons)
Diesel
(Millions of Taxed Gallons)
Median Sales Price Existing Single Family Homes Auto Sales Net Value
(Millions)
Cigarette Packages Taxed
(Millions)
2006 $19,657.47 $19,852.05 746 11,372.8 3,731.6 $143,100 $45,756.2 1,280.2
2007 $21,850.32 $22,968.42 834 11,624.8 3,886.9 $147,500 $48,500.6 1,085.8
2008 $30,409.17 $34,415.89 892 11,709.7 3,854.0 $145,800 $44,442.4 1,060.6
2009 $18,455.53 $12,167.80 431.5 11,916.3 3,475.8 $143,600 $34,792.60 960.2
02/09 $821.71 $888.41 574 965.3 291.5 $138,200.0 $2,923.8 77.0
03/09 $1,144.70 $932.22 445 916.6 281.8 $139,600.0 $2,892.3 86.4
04/09 $1,263.39 $859.43 393 1,019.0 305.7 $142,900.0 $2,501.8 77.5
05/09 $1,505.56 $902.44 347 989.9 289.8 $149,300.0 $2,591.1 77.8
06/09 $1,741.54 $986.90 329 1,026.3 291.9 $155,100.0 $3,111.4 82.7
07/09 $1,643.61 $967.14 342 1,013.6 293.2 $153,300.0 $3,071.0 85.6
08/09 $1,804.58 $946.17 366 1,025.9 297.6 $150,000.0 $3,111.0 126.7
09/09 $1,718.19 $808.32 380 1,021.0 292.0 $147,400.0 $3,357.9 36.9
10/09 $1,952.97 $1,077.03 398 961.1 281.8 $142,700.0 $2,859.6 76.6
11/09 $1,977.77 $1,203.78 433 991.0 288.4 $142,500.0 $2,536.5 77.9
12/09 $1,910.54 $1,407.75 470 963.3 267.4 $144,500.0 $2,813.6 82.3
01/10 $2,026.90 $1,742.37 519 992.8 287.6 $136,900.0 $2,815.3 66.8
02/10 $1,812.41 $1,338.95 549 945.5 289.6 $141,000.0 $2,969.2 70.6
03/10 $1,535.27   593 913.6 273.8 $143,900.0 $3,356.2 84.3
04/10     633 1,032.9 327.8 $147,400.0   83.7

 

Notes:
Crude oil and natural gas figures are net taxable values. Gasoline gallons include gasohol. Auto sale values are calculated from motor vehicle taxes collected on new and used vehicle sales. All figures are not seasonally adjusted, except for industrial production, leading indicators and employment/unemployment. Figures are based on the most recent available data. Annual figures are for calendar years.

Sources:

  • Crude Oil, Natural Gas, Motor Fuel, Auto Sales, Cigarettes: Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
  • Active Oil & Gas Drilling Rigs: Baker-Hughes Incorporated
  • Median Sale Price, Existing Single-family Home: The Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University

For historical data, see Texas Production and Consumption 1989-2009

Categories: Interesting, News

Your Weekend Fill: Dude Has Skills

May 7, 2010 Leave a comment
Categories: Daily Fill, Interesting

Daily Fill: Backhoe Dragster

May 7, 2010 Leave a comment

82 MPH, In a Backhoe!  What?

Categories: Daily Fill, Interesting