Well a jolt to everyone, including those of us here in Barrow --just 200 miles west of the Prudhoe Bay. Some major feeder pipelines to the Trans Alaska Oil Pipeline are corroded and at least part of the field has been shut down for repairs.

The news from this far-away place sent shivers through oil markets and the economy in general. Up here we know the Arctic can be tough on almost anything that is built. Many of us use glycol-type systems to carry the heat from a small boiler around to heat our homes. And sometimes those pipes get very corroded.

Hopefully all of this will lead to increased scrutiny on the part of local, state and federal regulators, and much more attention to the maintainance and repair of a three-decade old pipeline system around Prudhoe Bay.

In the meantime, we are all getting ready for the next Arctic winter. Here in our home, we are planning to replace our boiler, which has malfunctioned each of the last few winters, leaving us a bit chilly indoors. No fun when the winds are howling and it is 40 below outside.

Warm wishes to you all. Go Chicago Cubs in 2007!