Monday, November 19, 2018

Sunday, November 18, 2018

I got one those 4 am Nest smoke alarm fire drills. It's gonna be one fo those days.

It is good practice though.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

For every list of projects you have, there exists a secret list. The things that never really make it on the list, but circumstance can put them not only on the list, but right at the top. This weekends secret list item was gutters.

So, I had to get to that before I could get back to painting the street side of my deck cap. And retarping the deck takes half a day. So that's all I got. And I don't know - you might not get anything tomorrow.

Projects give yo no thoughts and no fucks.

Friday, November 16, 2018

California.



Northern California air quality rated the worst in the world.

Most assuredly people in China are saying - my gawd. How do those people live that way? Because that's what I was saying when China had crazy smog.

Today I am going to talk about my love for infomercials.

I have a particular fetish for infomercials. They solve problems you never knew existed. Like the need to cook hash browns on a BBQ. Or cooking your whole meal in one device. No matter how disparate the the cooking temps of the items being cooked are. Fish, rice, pork chops, and brownies? No problem!

I think it's because my Uncle was(is) into tons of get rich quick schemes, and they really use the same manipulation. At first I think Mr S. hated this, but he's grown to think it's funny because I don't buy things, but the absurd scenarios they place people into are pretty funny. They just make me laugh. I didn't even know I needed to be able to cook a whole bag of marshmallows on the stove.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

All of a sudden Silicon Valley is like - we don't know what to do with all these cars that were suppose to take cars off the road.

It would be hilarious, but cities are starting to get stabby with the ways they try to "incentivize" people.

That's a new excuse for sure.

KB Home shares crater toward worst day since 1992.

"The lowered guidance was due to lower than usual deliveries in Texas and delays in California due to the wildfires, the homebuilder's CEO Jeff Mezger said in a conference call."  Emphasis mine.

Yes... It's not at all due to the price cuts new homes have had to take.  Margins can't look good.

Additionally - there is a LOT of "cratering" going on.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

It took a lot longer to unwind than I thought.

Just last night Mr S and I were talking about bitcoin.

Him - I never hear about bitcoin anymore. It never shows up in my feed.

Me - that's because it's been remarkably stable It ~sorta~ is a store of value. But it's been trading in the 6400 dollar range. You can't really make money off it now. That's why no one talks about it. And people tend to like to make money off of money.

But I still don't get it. Even your worst savings account is doing better than bitcoin. Even if you are just making pennies in interest.

Next day (today) it's in a complete downdraft.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

How far do stocks have to fall before the DOW goes?

A fifth of top 500 stocks down 30% in 2018 even as indices chart new highs.

Honestly...nothing makes you feel like the plunge protection team is fully in charge like this. Some stocks are down way more than 30% at this point, and that's a lot of percent.

China is in a technical recession which seems to be affecting South Korea a lot, but apparently not us. Said in the most sarcastic way.  And then there is oil.

America is waking up to the fact that we have to train a lot of people.



I got to try on some of these augmented reality safety gear by Realwear last week and I was delightfully surprised. I know it's been a while since I've said that, but software is getting a lot better. It's voice activated so you can change what you see on the screen just by giving it voice commands. And it actually worked. You know, sometimes you have to give demos a little freedom, but this was a fully functioning product. It so nice.

I've always felt that manufacturing was where augmented reality will thrive. People are already used to wearing bulky headgear. And it really costs a lot of money to hire and train people.  For the past couple of decades we just outsourced that. Now we have to find ways to train people more cheaply. I don't know if this is it. But I like this sector is finally showing some movement.

This is why white wasn't my first choice.



When you can see the mountain range, these tiles are suppose to blend in and soften sharp lines against the rolling skyline. What I didn't take into account was the absence of skyline. The first time the sky was completely overcast I was like - whoa these tiles really stand out. The image looks really over exposed - but this is our life now. I'm 200 miles from any fire, but that's not what the sky says.

This deck kinda kicked my ass. It's not the painting that's a huge deal, it's the managing all the tarps and taping everything off so you don't screw up the deck. Wind was not my friend. It just makes everything 100 percent harder. Painters plastic has a two day shelf life in the wind apparently. After that the wind just pokes it's own holes.

I still have to finish the street side. So posts this weekend might be slim. I don't know. I think and hope this is my last weekend without rain. The dryness has really been screwing up my winter of naps theme. In California you can't take naps until it starts raining. You just feel guilty. And also, I'd just like ym eyes to stop burning.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Circling back around.



I've procrastinated long enough. My vision for the deck was pretty clear to me, but when it came to putting a color on the cap I just became paralyzed. It used to be that the hills were green for almost half the year and brown for the other half. Although that mix feels 80/20 in favor of brown right now. So trying to figure out a color that accented both just wasn't working for me.

Normally I wouldn't have chosen white, but I think that's what it's going to be. So that's what I'm up to this weekend. I hope the wind cooperates.

This is the color it was.

Friday, November 09, 2018

Dark humor is the only real humor.

In California you don't need the news to let you know there is a giant fire raging. You just watch the smoke envelope your town.

Last night I was watching a bunch of the evac videos out of Paradise. I obsessively study every fire because each time I have to reassess if I'm going to evacuate. And I've lost a family member to fire - so I really try to figure out each time if I would have chosen to go.

Most of the time my answer is no. But you have to be logical. Both of the Northern California fires are the only ones I've said - yes. I would evacuate. In a place like Paradise where there are nothing but trees, you really don't stand a chance.

But of course each and every time I have a huge conversation with Mr S. because he knows how deadly serious I am about not evacuating. He doesn't say it but I think he feels a little uncomfortable about my stance. We've had hundreds of conversations about it.

Last night I told him about the videos of people on the freeway with flames on each side. I told him if that were to happen to me the whole video would just me being pissed because fire is the number one way I don't want to go. For obvious reasons.

Him - So your last words would just be a rant?

Me- YEAH. I'd be like muther fucker, this is the number one way I don't want to die. I'd be so mad.

Him - It would really suck in those areas where the fire burns right down to the ocean. You'd have to get in the sea to save yourself.

Me - Well, that super sucks because there are sharks in the ocean. And that is my number three way I don't want to die. Fire, drowning, and sharks. In that order. Do you think other people have an order ranking on the ways they don't want to die?

Him - He just laughs. Well, in that case you'd get a chance on all three.

Me - Oh right. That would make me so mad.

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Just saw video of the Meuller protest in in Timesquare. I have to say those moveon people are pretty effective.

So.... before the election they (moveon) sent out a push alert I guess, and I got a text message from them. I was kinda curious what they were up to so I let them keep texting me.

This morning I got a text at 10:17 saying there were numerous cities that were going to protest (including mine), and wouldn't you know it - they've managed to rile up a bunch of people.
Yesterday I realized I needed to put my eyeroll on a leash. It sorta has a mind of it's own and reacts before I  can gain control. Twice this week I got caught eye rolling inappropriately.

That poor woman.

Tesla's pick for a new chairwoman is boring, but that's exactly what the company needs.

It's not even an open secret that Elon loves to fire people on the spot. It's a fact. Every time I read a story in the press I laugh and say - yep.

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

I knew it!

Unicorns and rainbows don't get me high anymore, so when I got a chance to talk to a guy who owned 30 incubators - I just couldn't keep my inside voices in.

Me- You own incubators? It doesn't really seem like a lot is coming out of them. What's up with that?

Him - Well... you have to keep selling them services or you just become a landlord. I mean, you are paying like 10 grand a month for rent. You have to get people to cover your overhead. But at my places we only charge you 200 bucks a month.

Me - Oh... I guess that's not bad.

It must have been a year ago that I realized these incubators were just MLM schemes. But I really appreciated that guys honesty. You don't often get that in The Valley.

Lidar spotting.



This car is out of a company I had not heard of before (sfmotors). I don't know anything about them, and I am not going to link them because when I go to your site and a mission statement is the first thing I see - I feel like you are complete bullshit.

But they had 4 lidars. Two side looking. Two downward looking. And they also have something going on behind the rear wheel. Not sure what.







I don't know who's car this was. I couldn't see the branding.



But they have a healthy amount of cameras. It looks like 9 upfront to me. Plus two downward facing lidars.

More vineyards.



I like this area where you can get the three colors of the vineyards all at once. But it has a very thin sweet spot that isn't easy to just pull over and get. This wasn't the spot, but it was fair enough.

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

OMG people. We get to vote on daylight savings time.

Monday, November 05, 2018

Very patchy this year.



The sun right now is making everything look very severe. I'm not sure how much more of this you will get because the vineyards are looking really rough. It's the 5th and there is no rain in sight. It isn't uncommon to not get rain until Halloween, but we've reached the stage where every conversation turns to the weather. It is deeply, deeply dry. Even the brown earth starts to turn a really weird color.

A couple of days ago I was talking to a guy. He's like - when I was growing up we had clouds.

Me - I know! Remember rainbows? Now they are really rare.

Him - Now the sky is just white all the time. Did we break the sky?

Me - I love that. Can I steal it?

Him - Sure!

and now it's here on my blog.

Saturday, November 03, 2018

Keeping it 100.

This morning there was a huge crash on 880 in Oakland that closed the freeway. The girl crashed into an under construction overpass while DUI doing 100 MPH.

Me - That's so crazy to be doing 100 through Oakland.

Him - I know, and that's not even in the middle of nowhere. And this is coming from the queen of 100. The girl who thinks "keeping it 100" means something different than what everybody else does.

Now he wants to get me a t-shirt that says that. But it's not going to mean the thing everyone thinks.

In January I will be 2/3'ds of the way through my ticket restriction.

In Flat.



Halloween really cut into my project time, so I'm giving you a photo of the solstice being painted. When the bumper got dented last time we'd discussed having the whole car painted because we didn't think they could blend the old paint with the new that well.  The car is more than 10 years old. I'm sure they would do a fair job. But we decided that it cost too much for the car to be worth it.

When the repair shop sent this photo of the car before the gloss coat I seriously considered telling them to stop.

If that would have matched the inside - I would have left it flat like this. Also, I thought some of those really low profile camera mirrors that concepts have, would look neat on this car. In this shot the mirrors are off, and it wasn't until I saw it this way that I realized the mirrors interrupted the lines. I almost wish it didn't need mirrors. The solstice doesn't have any tech at all, so you couldn't really use camera mirrors.  But I like it so much without them.

I think that would be a cool new car trend. Retrofitting those super thin hyper car type mirrors on regular cars.

Friday, November 02, 2018

Surprise!



They saved her. I've been dying to talk about this for weeks, but I'm not one to count my chickens before they are parked in my driveway. I honestly didn't think insurance ever really fixed your stuff. I thought you just paid and paid, and when something bad happened they were just like - sue us. But it wasn't my insurance who paid, so maybe they get way stabbier when someone else is paying.

So, last time we talked - the body shop said they had reached the point where they had to stop taking the car apart, and it was going to be totaled. Then, somehow, insurance wound up kicking in another grand and the car managed to ~just~ squeak under the limit. There was no frame damage. It was all exterior cosmetic stuff.

This car was so close to being totaled that when the first insurance adjuster went on vacation the guy who took his place just started kicking out docusigns totaling the car. I think it was a flip of the coin and 200 bucks! But the strange thing was they'd already okayed the repairs, and the payout for totaling the car was actually more than the repair. The payout was around 10 grand, and the repair was 7200 and change.

Everything needed replacing except the doors and the trunk hood. And... it took FOUR engine hoods to repair this car. They got the first three and they were too damaged for the repair shop to repair. Each hood took a week to get in. Finally they had to get a hood from Canada.

Obviously the car was going to look weird with just a couple of parts not repainted, but we took the money from when he got hit last time and had the doors and trunk painted. So the car has pretty much a completely new paint job. We kicked in three grand for the extra paint. It basically took two accidents to get a completely new paint job.

All I know is that I've never felt such affection for a car. The whole experience really surprised me. I didn't know I felt that way! Especially because I think this car was the last in the era before touch screens and modern tech. Which I love, but this car doesn't have any of that - and I didn't think I'd be happy with an old timey car. Who doesn't love new tech?

Next year I'm going to look into getting the soft top replaced because it's still pretty sun damaged.

Thursday, November 01, 2018

Real Estate says the market is lying.

Home flippers are fleeing the market as their profits shrink.

"In California, where home prices are highest, flips were down a steeper 22 percent annually."

Remember a few days ago I said home improvement would be next? Well, we now have a very predictable acceleration in a series of negative feedback loops.

Houses in which you do not live in are a full percentage point higher in interest. So, if rates are at 5%, someone flipping a house is paying 6%. Houses are sitting way too long now. It isn't uncommon to see things in the four month range, and lots are in the 1/3 of a year range. 100-200 days. I think the article says the average now is 186 days. And you can sort of see this coming through. A couple of weeks ago I saw a house that was bought, and then they stuck it right back on the market for like 20 grand more. Now it's been sitting for months.

Now, flippers have a bad name even thought they do an important service, so probably no one cares but the real estate figures for the Bay Area came in yesterday I think, and they were worse than Southern California.

Amid surge in inventory, Bay Area home prices rise more modestly.

"Throughout the Bay Area, new listings, active listings and price reductions all surged last month year over year, said Patrick Carlisle, chief market analyst with the Compass real estate brokerage.

The change was most striking in Santa Clara County, which had been one of the nation’s hottest markets for most of this year. There, new listings of existing, single-family homes were up 83 percent year over year in September, active listings were up 120 percent and the number of homes with price reductions was up 308 percent, Carlisle said.

In San Francisco, the comparable numbers were 28, 8 and 32 percent."

Santa Clara has had an incredible transformation in the past few years. More than any other city. But they are getting ready to open some massive housing developments. And tech stocks are way down.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Pumpkin pro tip.



White pumpkins rot at a faster rate than regular pumpkins. Last night one of my eyes was crying. Which is odd because the both eyes came from the same pumpkin.

We just have to cancel Halloween for next year because obviously three days is your pumpkin maximum.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Go on with your bad self San Fransisco.

"San Francisco leaders hate Trump enough they voted to limit the city’s water rather than do this".

For months, San Francisco, a hotbed of anti-Donald Trump sentiment, has found itself in the awkward position of being aligned with his administration over California water policy.
On Tuesday, the city’s leaders said the alliance was unbearable.

In an 11-0 vote, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors agreed in a resolution to support the State Water Resources Control Board’s proposal to leave more water in the San Joaquin River and its tributaries to benefit struggling fish populations. The supervisors’ vote is subject to veto by Mayor London Breed, although the board could override the veto.

The vote splits the city from the Trump administration and instead moves its support to a state plan that its utilities commission warns could lead to severe drinking water shortages for its nearly 884,000 residents.

The resolution explicitly says the city must divorce itself from the Trump administration and its congressional allies such as Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Turlock, who’s branded the state plan a “water grab.” The Trump administration has vowed to sue the state if the so-called Bay-Delta plan goes forward, saying it would interfere with the operation of key reservoirs owned by the federal government in the San Joaquin Valley.

“Under the cloud of climate change denial and anti-science populism, the debate around the Bay-Delta Plan has transcended the realm of rational, environmental discourse toward a political and populist, anti-conservation rally cry, fueled by the strategic lobbying of a federal Republican administration aiming to destabilize California’s status as a Democratic stronghold,” the resolution says."

Some things in California are just sorta going off the rails right now. Seriously - like two days ago there was a commercial for a democrat who was trying to align himself with Trump policies, but claim they were not Trump policies. When they clearly are. I was like - what the eff just happened?

Man this guy is tap dancing on the rattle snakes den.

Musk buys $10 million in Tesla stock and plans to buy $20 million more.

I am somewhat bored of Elon.  But it doesn't escape me that everyone is getting crushed by higher interest rates - except Tesla apparently!

I read somewhere a long time ago that China accounted for 17% of Tesla sales. I didn't fact check it, so I might just be making shit up. But China is hurting a lot of people right now too. Except Tesla apparently.

Let him buy all the shares! I mean, Far Away Future just declared they were insolvent. So.... lets see where this goes.

At least I got to see them once.