Thursday, October 08, 2015

You know what I haven't seen the whole trip?

A Tesla. I think it's funny because I found these chargers on the boarder of Nevada and Utah.

I don't really have much today. I'm in Moline Il. with my family. I haven't gotten that much chance to explore the city because half of the first day Mr S. and I fielded tech support questions. I hadn't seen my family for more than one hour before the pulled out the..... do you know why this is doing that.

The vibe is very different here. I know the State is having problems, but wow. These people feel like the life is being sucked out of them. I don't know if that's normal. Ohio will tell the tale. I was there two years ago and well, every other house had a for sale sign in front of it.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Listen America - you had two jobs.

Feed and entertain me. And you almost failed on the first part. It took me all the way to Lincoln Nebraska to find good BBQ at Phat Jacks. I was almost beginning to lose hope. I was sort of resenting having to eat at food at chains. You are the middle of America! I thought you would  be more original.

All of you States that brag about being "cow country" like Wyoming - you suck. I thought I'd find the best steak of my life. What else have you guys got to do there besides make great steaks?

I did try the balls though. They aren't bad........but they aren't good either. But when you drive through Wyoming, you have to say you tried it once. Doncha?

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Walmart Masi.

Yesterday I bought truly legal weed for the first time ever. I'd say it's a cross between medical and the DMV.

Of course I had to find a place to buy a lighter, and there was a Walmart right across the street. I stroll up and what do I find? A Masi. Which I loved. Especially because it was at a Walmart. I wonder how often he shops there and how many dirty looks he gets.

I spent a little time in Ft Collins and it basically was like being in the Bay Area. The smog. The Masi', and the bums. I felt right at home!

Monday, October 05, 2015

How Nevada thinks it's better than California.

The whole State in a desert, but the water pressure is like a fire hose. And it rains there.
Plus they have a death star valley. I didn't get that many shots of Nevada because I drove most of it at night in a balls out raining/lightening storm.

Utah I would have liked to have spent more time there - but the speed limit is 80! OMG.

Today I'm going to dip down into Colorado to buy legal weed. I mean, I have a card which is legal, but you have to see what it's like to buy really legal weed.

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Leaving Nevada

The Nevada leg hasn't been boring at all. We got crazy rain and lightening. All things that we as Californians never get. Oh, and you get to drive 75, so you aren't really speeding until you hit at least 80. Luvs it.

Saturday, October 03, 2015

Okay America, I'm coming for you. Feed and entertain me.

Posts will be patchy. A lot of my images are still broken, but they will have to wait.

Friday, October 02, 2015

All the job numbers are going to be a surprise from here on out.

I've been watching tons of layoffs lately. But I would never wager to guess the number.

A funny thing started happening over the summer. Companies started trying to hide layoffs. Mostly this didn't surprise me until Intel started having layoffs in Oregon.

Intel was the first large company I saw that was purposefully trying to evade the news of this getting out in a major way. One of the papers up in Oregon had to put a lot of pressure on them (Intel) to get any info at all. Then, when they did - the info was pretty scant. It was then I said to myself - self - the reported layoff numbers are inaccurate. Obviously there is some serious silencing going on internally as well. I wouldn't be surprised if they made people sign agreements not to talk about them until their severance was over. By that time people will have lost interest.

We are entering the Christmas window which should goose hiring. But deflation takes a little while to work through the system. So I don't know if those will cancel each other out.

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Oh - yes I am.

Today I had to get my girl legal so they don't confiscate her at the border on the way back to Ca. She's technically not a real pet, but livestock really. Better to be safe than sorry.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

I got this a couple of days ago.

I'm trying to figure out how much I hate this.

There have been countless conversations in the Snarkolpesy household about Syria. Mr S. is pretty staunchly against doing anything. And I have to admit, he has some pretty good arguments. (not in the literal sense.)

I was in favor of going in four years ago when the problem was small. Even though I "identify" as a conservative - I'm basically a super hawkish Libertarian. I come from pretty sketch beginnings, and feel like sometimes it's really hard to fight against overwhelming force like the Assad Admin. So I have somewhat of a soft spot. Mr S. points out that people in Iraq were pretty ingenious about finding ways to fight with IED's against us. And he's right. If they aren't willing to fight. Why should we be willing?

I've basically accepted the President Money Bags plan because honestly - I thought he'd make things worse. If that was possible at all. If I were a God fearing person - which I'm not - I would want to be sent to hell over being sent to Syria. That place is so many levels past hell, and I've seen some super fucked up shit in my life. Which is honestly why I'm not a God fearing person.

Still, I generally don't think ignoring stuff makes problems go away. Like squeezing a balloon they just pop up elsewhere. Like Europe! Sorry, not sorry Europe.

However, this far in I'm starting to feel like these people are uncivilizeable. Yeah. I said it. Half the country has fled, who who knows how many still exist there. And I don't think Russia can't afford to fight in Syria for too long. I might be wrong.

Let them tire each other out. I mean, maybe Russia would be successful, but history doesn't exactly think so. It's sort of a roll of the dice, but at this point we still have more than a year before an Admin change.

Lets see how this goes.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

I'm starting to transfer over my images today, so a lot of images might break. Hopefully it should be temporary. Send me email if images continue to show up broken. Contact me info is at the right.

Guess what it was.

Kit cars are always a little fun to figure out what they started life as. Yes, you only get one shot. Half of you reading must be dudes. probably know about cars and have a natural advantage.

Monday, September 28, 2015

I wouldn't hold your breath for an echo bubble in housing popping.

A few weeks ago I started reading that people were buying brand new houses for rentals. In my sarcastic way I rolled my eyes and said that was just about the stupidest thing ever. New houses are the most expensive way to go. But Whatever. That can't be happening that often I said to myself. Nobody buys a new house to rent it out. That is your back up plan. Not your first plan.

Then, this weekend I was checking out the rental prices in my area, (because I have a rental) and what did I find? A house for rent in a brand spanking new development in town. The paint hasn't even dried on those places yet. I can't even find out what the unit sold for yet. I mean, I could if I wanted to ask one of the many agents that haunt me. But, it will come out in a couple of weeks.

This of course spun me out for about two hours because I was trying to figure out the math on that. I mean, I was trapped in the whole mortgage meltdown - so based on where I am in the real estate world, I can actually figure out a lot of stuff. There is almost no one who followed everything real estate more than I did.

There was honestly no way I could get that math to work. I know what the places across from the new development cost, and I know what the interest rates are right now. There is just no way I could get that to work. Even if he bought it as his primary and immediately made it a rental. Houses you don't live in are a full point higher for interest rates to acquire a loan.


Now because real estate prices are crazy. And rental prices are crazy - everyone and their brother is calling for the "bubble" to pop. I'm sort of saying - not so fast and I will tell you why in two charts.

These are the housing starts since 1969. Source.  As you can see we have just now gotten barely above the low end line at 1.1 million units roughly. I would call 1.5 million starts the mid-line, and at 2 million units the economy is going gangbusters. This lack of building has been going on for SEVEN years. The previous normal is three years. You notice how most of the other down ticks are V or W shaped?

Are prices going to go down? Probably. Prices go up, and prices go down. I think my house is back in Neg equity again by a little. But there is a vast reserve for people needing housing. Be it rentals or owners.  The population keeps expanding even in recessions. And they are not building enough to satisfy those needs. That is going to place a bottom under the so called "echo bubble".

And honestly, I doubt housing will ever be like 2009 in my lifetime. A few days ago I read an article titled: Turns Out the Housing Crisis Wasn't All About Subprime.

"When we talk about the past decade's housing crisis, it's natural to talk about subprime loans. Subprime loans give us a convenient, conventional story: predatory lenders charging people unconscionable interest rates, forcing innocent people into foreclosure and the rest of us into the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

There is only one small problem with this story, which is that lots of prime borrowers defaulted too. In fact, according to a new paper by Fernando Ferreira and Joseph Gyourko, subprime loans accounted for only a bare majority of defaults at the beginning of the housing crisis. Between the third quarter of 2006 and the third quarter of 2012, twice as many prime borrowers lost their homes as subprime borrowers."

I had a front row seat to the meltdown barely making it out alive myself and this is what I saw of the world. Most of the people I saw jingle mailing their houses back to the bank could afford them. I knew tons of people who did this. For years I sat in shocked amazement thinking - where are these people going to live?! Well, it took a lot of years, but I guess we know now what the answer is.

It used to piss me off so hard when the media tried to convince people that owning a house was a suckers game. And maybe it is. But in San Fransisco I just saw a girl who got a 130% rent increase. Who is the sucker now? The rental increases these days make the housing bust look like child's play. It's actually less expensive now to buy than rent. If people had the money for a down payment and a job. And of course there were any units to buy.

Also I see a lot of people saying that rents are going to fall apart. I can tell you - during the last recession it was unbelievable how stable the rents were. I looked every single week at the comps because I was sure that I would have to lower the rent on my place. I never ever once had to. Not even close. Which was good because I was already taking a loss at the time.

This should scare the shit out of you.

Look I have to get all the scary news out this week, because after that it's going to be nothing but the open road. I wouldn't want you think think I feel great about the world in general.

Since we don't really know what is going on in China, most of us look to their neighbors for clues. And it looks positively ghastly. I will give you a moment to center yourself. Ready?

"Cosmetics retailer Colourmix will move to Hong Kong’s Russell Street, once the world’s most expensive shopping strip, and pay about 40 percent less than the former tenant as China’s economic slowdown rattles the city." Source.

Apparently in the past two months the bottom has dropped out of the commercial retail market in Hong Kong. Rents are down between 40 to 50%. And no  one takes a haircut like that and not have it really hurt. They are in some serious deflationary pain for sure.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Today's random car shots.

I was trying to figure out if this was one of those electric bikes. It had an on/off switch in that hole by the pedals, but I didn't want to examine it so hard it looked like I was trying to steal it.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Getting ready for Jasmines great adventure.

I let her run around in the truck to start getting her acclimated. Being the bunny she is - the first thing she did was start digging up my furniture blanket. (you never know when you are going to haul something in there) Then she found her way to the drivers side via the handy tunnel under the seat.

Her what, you going to stop me look.

Friday, September 25, 2015

It lives!

One of the things I've been obsessing about before I leave, is my blog. You see my ISP decided on October 1st, it's not going to host my images any more. It's one of the many reasons things have been light around here. I wasn't sure what I was going to do.

Now, I could upload my images to flicker or or one of the many free hosting sites - but a lot of those sites have some pretty shady stuff in their TOS. I mean, when you upload images to the net you know that anyone can use them and I'm fine with that. But one day, I ever did get anything super special, I want to be able to fight for the rights to my photo. Companies that you give things to for free have no obligation to you at all. If you don't care enough to even pay a nominal fee, why should they care?

Anyway. If this image shows up - all will be well. Although I have to go through my whole blog and give every image a new path name. So things could be kinda funky for a little while. I found my solution about at the last minute.
Yesterday after the Pope spoke to Congress I decided that I was voting for Trump. Damn the consequences. I just want him to go in there and blow up the whole Republican party. Those do nothing spineless motherfuckers. If I had to see Boner crying one more time it would be too soon.

Then today I wake up - and he's gone. Though I still might want Trump to blow up the party. He may be a Rino, but so far he's not as bad as the socialist Rino's we already have.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Robots have ~finally~ solved a problem.

My long time readers will know that I cover this topic off and on. Mostly off for the past few years because there just hasn't been a lot of blogable progress. I've mostly been frustrated about this sector. Years ago I said that robots were a solution in search of a problem. Sadly, most problems robots weren't well suited for. Until now.

Delivery bots. And how.

They are starting to become really clever. Like this one from Clearpath Robotics called Otto.

No. It doesn't hover. It's the first question I asked. It's on wheels. But Autonomous. And the booth they were in wasn't very well suited for good pics which is why I provide a handy produced video from the company at the end.  Or you can go to their site above which has the same video. I wonder what these will start to do to the forklift companies.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Last night my husband decided that we are driving Route 80 because it's literally the most direct route to get to my family.

Today, I might have lost my will to live. And I can be entertained by lots of boring stuff. But wow, that road might put me to the test.