Random Hot Tub Conversations

LE and I are here in Breckenridge, Colorado and after a long day of skiing/riding we obviously decided to sit in the hot tub to relax.  Well 20 minutes in our fellow guest at this BnB joins us.    The conversation goes from tourism, land deals, oil and mineral rights, politics, cars, future of energy, London, taxes, military and back to oil and land. It was a good 2 hours of semi-intellectual conversation (mostly buy the other guy) but there was some really interesting things brought up that I wanted to remember/share.

Some background, the guy is 50+ born and raised in the UK but has lived in Fort Worth, Texas  for 20+ years, enough to refer to the USA as ‘we’ and ‘us’.  He never actually disclosed what he did but at one point said he runs an oil and gas company in Texas and between that and his stories of travel, high-society friends and business in general, I’m pretty sure he’s very well to do.

Some interesting points talked about:

– US M1 Abrams tanks, the big ones used in the Middle East, run off turbine engines (jet engines basically) and they last an average of 2 weeks in the desert. The cost to replace one of these engines: $750,000 each.  The US has replaced them so many times and have gotten so good at it, the military mechanics can do it in an average of 40 minutes.  Ridiculous!

– He has a friend who bought a high building in Ft Worth, someone wanted the building and those people had been using his mineral rights w/o knowing.  Their inquiry into buying his high rise brought this to his attention.  They settle out of court and the guys sells his building and rights for well over 10x what he paid for them.  He turns around and buys 23 square miles of land in Jackson’s Hole, Wyoming which happens to be the most expensive real estate in the US today. Total dollars spent in taxes on the sale and purchase =$0!  Apparently there are some laws if you sell some commercial real estate you can reinvest that money into real estate in 90 days and pay no taxes on the sale.  Mind = blown.

– Electric Cars are going to present a bigger problem in the future with battery waste and believes they are not the future. Too many additional problems as well (charging times, battery life, battery waste, range etc).  Natural Gas cars and trucks are the future.  Burns Clean, USA has more natural gas then we know what to do with it which makes it dirt cheap. Chevy and Dodge coming out with natural gas truck models soon, maybe this year.

– Ford has versions of its cars in the UK/Europe that run on small diesel engines that are faster than their US counterparts and get 50+ mpg.  New model will break the 70mpg mark. US diesel is too dirty for these cars. Sad.

– He drives a car that gets 5mpg and he and his wife use 1,000 gallons a month but “we produce it so I should probably use it.” 

– Rick Santorum scares him.

There was more but we are going to eat now and I have to leave something for conversations when we get back. Needless to say, It was an interesting 2 hours. I love talking to smart / interesting people.