Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Here is a head scratcher.

SolarCity revives military homes solar project

"(Reuters) - Solar power developer SolarCity and Bank of America Merrill Lynch will go ahead with a plan to build more than $1 billion in new solar projects on military housing, despite their failure to win a U.S. loan guarantee."

"Under the new pact, Bank of America will finance the debt portion of the project, while SolarCity will create equity funds that qualify for a tax renewable energy tax break."

"What we've done here is create a financing model that can make distributed solar affordable on a huge scale without a guarantee from the federal government."


When I first read this story - I honestly couldn't believe it. If virtually your only source of money is from the government, it really isn't a financing model. The government is quite "fickle".

What could motivate a bank to lend this kind of money when there is nothing but bad news out of this sector. Don't believe me - I read this article just this morning!

Solar power bankruptcies loom as prices collapse

"Solyndra was just the beginning," said Jessie Pichel, head of clean energy research at the investment bank Jefferies & Co. "We're going to see a lot of companies go bankrupt."

Just how many? Of the few hundred or so solar panel makers worldwide, just 20 to 40 are expected to remain standing in a few years time, said Mark Bachman, a renewables analyst at Avian Securities."


And if you think they are joking - they are not! The green energy sector is collapsing faster than even I could have predicted. Just the headlines from this week alone.

REC to cut Norway output as solar market suffers

"Nov 29 (Reuters) - Norwegian solar firm Renewable Energy Corp plans to halt 60 percent of the capacity of its 650 megawatt multicrystalline wafer facility at Heroeya as global economic turbulence has cut demand and depressed prices, the firm said."

When anyone has to cut production by 60%, you know bad things are going to happen.

A123 Systems lays off 125 workers at Michigan battery plants

I didn't actually even know about this company. Apparently they supply batteries to Fisker Automotive. Who quite apparently is not doing well. Interestingly I saw the article was updated to reflect things wouldn't be so bad because they got a contract from GM. (chuckle) I think this is their second layoff this year.

AMSC cuts 20 percent of workforce

"AMSC continues to hit setbacks with today’s announcement that it has cut 20 percent of its staff in an attempt to move the Devens-based wind technology firm toward profitability. News of the layoffs come one month after the company abandoned plans made in March to buy Finnish company The Switch Engineering Oy for $265 million after it was unable to raise enough money."

Then really - the best headline of them all. Evergreen Solar only managed to get 11 million dollars in their bankruptcy sale. The company only walked away with a 50 million loss. They listed assets of $424.5 million and had debts of $485.6 million. Here.

You and I taxpayer will never know how much we lost in tax dollar subsidies for this company. I read this morning the gment has scrubbed the "grant" records. If you are diligent enough you can look at old articles that list grants in piecemeal.

So again I ask. Why would BofA still be shoveling out money in a declining solar market. I mean, the whole declining housing market worked out so well for them.

It is really a sad day in America when you actually have to start rooting for the short sellers to make the market more honest. And I hate those fucks. I know they serve a purpose. I also know that when they latch on to your company, a small stumble could lead to almost certain death. They pack on.

Right now however, the government and the banks are above the law. The only people with the power are the short sellers. Unfortunatly.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Did I miss a memo? Everyone in my town has their xmas lights up. I mean everyone!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Lazy Sundays with Skyrim and Brazil.



Yesterday Mr S. and I picked up Skyrim and Halo 3D. I am so over the Halo franchise, but 3D does add something.

Honestly by now, I thought there would be a lot more 3D games. I mean, they have been pushing out all those TV's. And I know it takes a long time to build games. But 3D TV's have been out for a couple of years now. I guess the game companies are all fixated on online play. Which I think is ruining the whole game space.



Anyway. Skyrim isn't really my type of game. I feel like I'm stuck in a renaissance faire and I can't get out. You have zillions of pick-em-ups, but no real need for most of them. From what I can tell so far.

Honestly - I almost hate this game. It takes 45 minutes of movie segments and set up before you actually get to do anything. And there is so much talking. I want to be shooting crap by now. However, the world is so amazing and rich - you want to keep pushing through to see the interactivity. I almost get stuck just looking at how the trees have been rendered. And the shadowing is really good. The water effects are super impressive. Snow blowing off rocks is so realistic. You can interact with almost everything.

Still - the visuals aren't going to last me forever.

Now I'm going to watch one of my most favorite movies in the world. Brazil.

Biggest assholes ever.

Women.

This is a huge reason why I hate women so much. When it comes to shopping they are the most inconsiderate assholes on the planet. They will literally stop in the middle of an isle, and just walk off. Leaving the cart. You either have to move the cart to get by, or just walk around. Which is just easier. But when you have to start slaloming through the isles to avoid these people, you do notice that shopping takes a lot more effort. Which makes me cranky.

Last week - a woman parked her cart sideways in an isle. And they do it all the time.



This cart belonged to this woman. Who completely sucks.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

She's wilting.



I wanted to get these pictures out, because the girl is pretty much a full lop now. She was a half and half for two days. She only had control of the one ear.



Still no name. We've tried sprocket, honey badger (because honey badger doesn't give a crap) frolick, strudel, and lola. Mr S. tried to sell me on snickerdoodle.

I might update, because there has been a lot of them.

She has been a dream litter box training. Although she has an intense hatred of tissues. (shrug) I don't get it either.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

What's this... a Thanksgiving Day post?

I just got my turkey in, so I have some time. So I wanted to blog about the conversation Mr S. and I had last night.

Me - Mr S. I think people are starting to get the impression I hate people.

Him - Well, maybe you should stop telling everyone you hate people.

Me - I don't hate people. I just don't like them as much as they want to be liked. And anyway - I never say that on my blog. I think I am a people person. People seem to like me.

Him - You are not a people person. You are pleasant, but you are not a people person.

Me - Look Mr S., if I hated people so much, I would just be a shut in. I like people. Just in smaller doses. People entertain me.

At this point he whips out the tablet and starts searching my blog. He is quiet for a while.

Me - So far so good.

Him - Well, here is a post where you say you hate women.

Me - Well, I do bitch about hating women a lot.

Still silence.

Me - I think I'm doing pretty good.

He finally arrives on this post. I knew it existed. It's actually become very popular since the recession.

Him - See you do blog about hating people.

Me - What's the date on that post?

Him - 2007.

Me - Oooh. What did I say?

Him - Do you want me to read it to you?

Me - no, you can paraphrase.

Him - It's a post about that time we were buying corn at a roadside stand.

Me - Oh, I remember that.

At this point he just starts reading the post. He's about halfway through and I interrupt him.

Me - Well, first of all - how cheap was corn back then? 8 ears for a buck! I bet you can't get 4 ears for two bucks these days.

He reaches the end and I say: Man, I was so funny back then. You could totally bitch about people. Now you have to be conscious of how people are having hard times. You don't want to look like an asshole. And it turns out that despite that, people just suck anyway.

Him - See - people person.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

There is nothing that makes me so aware how much I hate women like the holidays.

That is a lot of percent.

Clearly this is that evil China's fault! Ditching sub par panels at discounted prices.

Oh wait - these are Chinese companies? You mean, they aren't going to be our whipping boy anymore? Or conversely, no chants of China, please save us! These panels will reach parity. But only briefly as overcapacity is flooded out. And right before most of these companies go bankrupt.

If China, who can build anything the fuck they want because they don't have an EPA, can't make this work. What hope do any of us have?

LDK Solar swings to loss on 30% lower sales.

JA Solar swings to loss on 32% lower revenue.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Commies suck.

Since I was in the city on Saturday I finally made it out to OWSSF. I know there is nothing left to talk about when it comes to this group. Communist sympathisers lathering up the useful idiots. Still, they remain.

It's probably because there was a news truck that looked to be permanently parked at the camp to catch every hyperventilating moment. I don't remember that at any of the Tea Party protests. I went to quite a lot of them, and never saw the news there. Whatever.

Immediately upon exiting BART we developed a "minder". Which was appropriate I think - because within a minute of us getting to the camp, they started off on a march. Mr S. went to the front, I fell to the back. When we came back together he said "Did you see what it said on that Che' banner"? It caught my eye too. I mean, all these protests are basically whipped up by international answer, or the pslweb. However, even my mouth dropped when I saw what it read.



Defend Cuba. Where the 99% rule.

I was only able to get it from the back, so you have to read backwards. My shots are not great, because I didn't expect there to be a march and I was totally unprepared.

It does explain the liberal use of minders though. It seems like all the camps have them. I mean, every socialist society needs them. The government can't be everywhere after all.



Idiots.





Mr S. did like the Portal call back.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Worst auto show evar.



Yesterday, I was up at the San Fransisco Auto show. Honestly, I don't even know why they call it that anymore. While technically all the cars there were autos, probably half were plug ins. And so frickin tiny. That tiny new Fiat. I don't know where you put any of your crap. There is like one foot of space behind the front seats. And honestly all the small cars are that way now. If you want a small car I don't know why you don't buy a Mini Cooper. They are small and at least have some room inside.

Last year we at least got a concept corvette. They did have the Mcclaren this year. But they had all the doors open making it a shitty shot. They had a Fisker. And for the life of me I've never seen one of them with the doors open. I'm curious what that whole wood drama is about. If you need a picture of that, I will search my archives. I already shot it in Monterrey two years ago. Before they went douchey. But I've never seen the inside.

This is the bullshit they fed us for exotics.



Which made me want to kill myself. Really? All red. Exxxccciting.



They did have one of those cars with the pocket doors. Until this year I never knew they existed.

Even though the show sucked, I'm glad I went because it was interesting who was not there. No little tiny Smart Cars. No Tesla. I wanted to see that 17inch screen they are going to have in the sedan. I mean, I can't even get my cell phone to stay charged for two days. But Tesla is going to have a giant 17 in screen in their cars. No Cube, I believe. I didn't see one there.

This show sucked so hard that Toyota was giving out paper clips as swag for audience participation. And the audience didn't even really want them. They had to keep dumbing down the questions. I'm totally serious. If I feel like it, I'll offload the video.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Friday, November 18, 2011

Fall.



The fall colors are pretty awesome this year. Rain hasn't dropped the leaves yet, and it's been pretty cold at night. You can probably find your pick of scarlet covered tree pictures - but this is how we do it in my town.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Food stamp inflation.

"CHICAGO (MarketWatch) -- Food stamp use continued to rise in the U.S last year, with almost 12% of all households receiving some form of the assistance, the Census Bureau said Thursday. In 2010, 13.6 million households reported receiving food stamps, a 16% increase over the previous year. The state with the highest percentage was Oregon at 17.9%. Other states near the top of the list include Tennessee and Michigan. Among those with the lowest level of food stamp use were California, New Jersey, and Wyoming. Of the 50 states and the District of Columbia, 45 reported increases while only one - Louisiana - posted a decrease. Nevada, Idaho and Rhode Island had the fastest rates of growth in food stamp use."

I almost didn't blog about this, because well, at this point I think this food stamp number is a bit of a sham. It does get most of us who care about this topic to clench up in a visceral reaction.

Also, I was surprised California wasn't at the top of the list. Oregon was. So I basically shrugged and moved on.

Still it has been nagging at me. The government of course believes with all it's heart, that food stamps are a form of economic stimulus. How much stimulus is up to interpretation.

In 2008, Mark Zandy of Moody's, said for every dollar the economy would see a return of $1.64. Here.

Two years later, the number returned to the economy is $1.84. Here.

This site claims that for every 5 bucks spent on food stamps, two times that will be returned in economic activity. Here.

And poor Oregon! Did you see how many people were on food stamps? At the top. What a shit hole that place is. 17.9%. That has got to make you feel really bad. Right? Well don't.

Oregon actually just got a 5 million dollar bonus because they rock so hard at signing people up for food stamps. No shit!

"In its quest to promote taxpayer-funded entitlement programs, the Obama Administration has actually rewarded one state with a $5 million bonus for its efficiency in adding food-stamp recipients to already bulging rolls." Here.

The article goes on to say:

"This week Oregon officials bragged that the USDA has given the state $5 million in “performance bonuses” for ensuring that people eligible for food benefits receive them and for its “swift processing of applications.” The money comes on the heels of a separate $1.5 million award from the feds for making “accurate payments of food stamp benefits to clients.” So welfare recipients are clients?"

I wonder how many Oregonians there are in the Occupy movement. Because honestly - I haven't seen so many beards since the 70's.

Not political favoritism. Just idiots.

As some of you know - Steven Chu is not one of my favorite people. If anyone deserves to be thrown under the bus - it is this guy. As I've outlined here, he was on the board of directors of a semiconductor company. A sector of the economy that operates on razor thin margins and has to spin on a dime to compete with changing market forces.

Having said that - I don't believe political influence had much, if anything, to do with Solyndra. And I will tell you why.

Everyone in Silicon Valley bet on Solar. Everyone. It is a viable technology. Expensive as it may be. Just wildly overpriced for the benefit it provides.

Even I had become complacent of the relationship between government and tech companies. Many companies probably would not exist if it weren't for the government buying goods or services. Like Irobot for example. However, somewhere we went from buying goods and services - to just trying to create a whole industry. Shoving money out the door hand over fist to everyone imaginable.

Political influence is awesome. It's also really awesome to send money back to your homeys in the form of extra business. Steven Chu is just not savvy enough to be a political insider. If you look at his background, you can see that he is bathed in the misguided, pervasive, Berkeley douchebaggery/ideology of Eco-Capitalism. Well before he even met President Money Bags.

He just got lucky and fell into a match made in heaven with PMB. And it all would have worked - if it weren't for the recession. They could have hidden the ramifications of market forces that didn't agree with their delusions of grandeur.

Sadly, the only way we get to see how much money was being shoved out, is by the wreckage of the industry collapsing. You aren't going to track every company that has a stake in solar. But when they start failing or taking losses - that is really easy to track.

Take for example Applied Materials stunner of a presser today.

Applied Materials suffering from steep decline in orders and revenue from solar sector

"After a record revenue financial year, Applied Materials is experiencing a significant reduction in equipment orders and revenue from PV manufacturing customers. Though cancellations were minimal, backlog decreased by 26% to US$2.4 billion, of which 14% is within its EES division, which includes PV equipment. Management expects PV related global CapEx to at fall by at least 50% in 2012 as manufacturers combat massive overcapacity and focus on cell efficiency improvements and technology buys"


Analyst: bills rising due to overpriced renewables

"SAN FRANCISCO—Dozens of renewable energy plants being built to meet California's tough global warming laws, including a major Spanish-owned solar plant in the Mojave Desert, are so overpriced they will increase consumers' energy bills for decades, according to the independent watchdog arm of the state's utility regulator. "

The article goes on to say:

"Earlier this year, the watchdog unit estimated that 59 percent of the renewable energy contracts that the commission approved in recent years were above market value, according to the commission's own pricing benchmark for when the contracts were signed. The contracts involved a variety of utilities and developers."

This is what happens when the government circumvents market feedback. And anyone that even bothered to look would have seen this. But they just didn't want to because of their ideology.

Did you know a lot of these large companies that have solar installations on the top of their roofs can't even sell power back to the grid? I was taking to someone I've known for a long time who is a buyer at Costco in my city. They have 10% overcapacity at night. They can't sell any of it back to the grid.

Rather than adopt a conspiracy theory, I am guessing there is actually a logical explanation. Probably load capabilities. But still! Every single school I hear talk about these solar installations boasts about selling power back to the grid. Yet, it sounds like most large companies are not able to.

It makes no difference because as you can see, day after day, more and more companies show the strain of the government not shoveling boatloads of cash at them.

LDK Solar trims earnings outlook as prices fall.

Jinkosolar cuts year revenue and shipment estimate.

Day4 Energy’s CEO quits, 28 laid off.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Varnish is not your bitch.

It doesn't care what your problems are. Varnish makes everything in the world slow down. Because if you don't - you are gonna pay.

Because I was too ADD, tired, or ADD - my lid added four days to my project. But I finally got the girl moved in today. To an astonishingly large place. She is little and her litter box is little.



But tunnels help make the space look smaller.



I'm sure today, the still unnamed bunny, couldn't believe life could get any better. I'm pretty sure she's thinking "ya know, I never realised it, but my old life sucked".



You can see she is already getting aquainted with the enforcer. (The squirt bottle) Babies have to test their teeth on everything.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Temporary lumber store junkie.



Depending on the day, and how well my project is going - I think I'm going to be a woodworker. On days when my project isn't going well, I think - who's crazy idea was this. But you have to understand - I have access to these new exotic woods. It makes me want to build something out of them. Maybe not something so artful as shoes made from Purple Heart wood. Like the FullerCraft Museum. OMG I wonder how long that took.








This is that wood that I talked about a few weeks ago that is super heavy. Which is odd, because it is known to have large voids in the middle that make some lumber yards sell this stuff by the pound, and you get to find out the nasty news later that the inside might be nothing but a void. Here.

Monday, November 14, 2011

How to live lavishly.....

If you are a bunny.



One of the things that has taken up a lot of my time this month has been redoing the cages. These do sit in my living room after all.

I wanted to stick a lacquer coat on, because these sit in my living room. I wanted them to look more like furniture. Also, babies are well.... babies. All teeth and digging. And babies have to be taught not to do that with a squirt bottle. A time honored method of discipline. So these are going to get wet, a lot, for a few years.

The thing with lacquer though, is that bunnies can't eat it. So I had to spend a lot of time making sure anything that bunnies could get their teeth on - didn't have any lacquer.







The lid lacquer has been causing me problems. So, I don't even have the new bunny's level done yet. She is hanging out in a carrier learning to love her litter box.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Murple in the house.



Today we were finally able to get our velveteen lop. I will probably have a pocket of rabbit stuff this week. Now that the whole thing is over. It's almost been all encompassing.

I didn't make any of the protests. I even scratched a car show today.

She does not have a name. And who knows when a name will come. Mr S. has been living out his boyhood naming conventions of old lady names. Or old poodle names. He wasn't able to have pets as a kid. So I've been scratching a lot of names like ClaraBell, Snickerdoodle, or Sugar.

I'm serious - every name out of him is a pet his grandmother could have owned. I of course want to name them stripper names.

The bunny is amazingly laid back. She traveled the hour drive mostly on her side. If they are stressed they will slipper up.

I've been joking we should just name her lotto. She went from living outside, barn style. To a brand new inside place with big screen TV. Carpeted floors and bottled water.

Yes. I give my rabbits bottled water. Whatdoya want to say about it?

We are calling her color Murple. Mmmmmm. Not quite brown, not quite grey. Sometimes she looks a little purple.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Island of misfit biscuits.



Someone watches South Park. Seen at my local feed store.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

The sun is already down.

Second update: Wow... I guess all these companies will go into "temporary inventory control" before they go belly up. No doubt hoping for more government money. I mean, how can you afford to keep plants idled? Oh.... right.

Updated:

It's hard to believe that Solyndra only went bankrupt a little over two months ago. Which makes it notable what has happened in to solar sector over that time. Solyndra was only a bad apple with bad management. Remember?

Photowatt files for bankruptcy. Here.

Sunpower announces a huge loss, restructuring, and layoffs. Here.

Beacon Power announces bankruptcy. Here.

Energy Conversion Devices to lay off 400. Here. Scratch that. Halts production. Here.

United Solar Ovonic announces a layoff. Here. Scratch that. Suspends all plant operations. Claims they will reopen next year. Here. One plant has only been open 5 months. Here.

Canadian Solar Solutions has a layoff. Here.

Stirling Energy files for bankruptcy. Here.

All these in the time it's been since Solyndra fell out.

Add Vestas Wind Systems. Here. Says sales for these companies will fall of a cliff if government help not extended. Here.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

They are a lot of work.

This week I'm redoing the condos for the bunnies. I thought I'd have them moved in today so I could post pictures. But I couldn't find my sheers for the longest time and it really set me back.

That is all.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Hurp.



You can stick your pink gun in here, and your glittery pink taser. Barbi dream house stuff goes on the bottom. You can put your pink scrunchies in the top. I don't know why they didn't just stick a mirror on the top lid. So when you open it, you could check your make-up.

Honestly, I don't know why men think that when women want to play with tools - it has to be pink to attract us. Mostly it would just be nice if it fit our bodies better. We don't have man hands.

Also, I think I can tell how much I'm going to like a girl my how much she likes pink. Way into pink, is a huge problem.

Different topic. Why does Bed Bath and Beyond have 13 isles of toiletries? What did they get rid of that they thought shampoo would improve their bottom line?

Friday, November 04, 2011

I'm trying really hard to find you interesting content. November and December are pretty dry months. January starts things off with the Consumer Electronics show in Vegas. Where I'm sure it will be packed with cell phones that you can put under water. I mean, I think 3D TV's are pretty tapped out. Then car shows, and everything else.

It doesn't mean I won't have anything, I just don't have anything great, right now. Life is random though, and every time I tell people that my blog will suck - something interesting always pops up.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Stripper names are back on.



It been a really hectic day. More later. But this is our newest candidate.

 
http://www.wikio.com