Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Let's see if radio waves really make people crazy.



I think I just hit my last conference until later in the summer. I'm soon to be handcuffed to a contractor. The Valley is boring me right now anyway. But - I was able to find one technology I'm sort of excited about. It's still in it's infancy.

Wireless power charging. We all long for that day when we don't need power cords. Right? We are pretty far from that right now, but who knows what the future holds?

This company basically takes radio frequencies and turns it into power.  You have a box that broadcasts RF and another smaller box the does the conversion into power. I think. I'm still a little sketch on the details. But you definitely need a transmitter and a receiver which causes these little LED's to light up if you are within range.  Which is about 5 feet or so.

I've already seen perfume boxes with these LED's in them. It really catches your eye. But now that I think about it - it's only cool at the store until this becomes more adopted. But as you can see they expect to put this tech into keyboards, mice and video game controllers so (hopefully) one day you will never need to plug them in. And it just charges over the ether.

Of course, this is going to really be awesome some day - or it's going to cause some super mentally unstable people to freak out. Crazy people are always talking about how they hear the radio signals in their head. Right? Well.... lets see which way this goes.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Your echo chamber just ran into my wood chipper.

I've been trying to not talk to people very much lately because California sort of thinks as one monolithic being. And I'm not their team. I voted for Trump.

So you can imagine when the small talk turns to what Trump is doing with healthcare all of a sudden the music stops and my eyes narrow. Because I've just about had it up to here with people trying to tell me that poor people are going to die. I have family in public housing right this very minute. The government actually treats them very well. Which is maybe why I can't get them out of there.

Everyone in my family except for me has danced with public assistance. I think I know a little more than people who are decidedly rich know about what happens to poor people.

So, In January my Aunt pops up with really early stage breast cancer. It's sort of something that runs in my family. My mom had two radical mastectomies. Since my Aunts was caught super early she can just have the breast removed and no chemo apparently. But a couple of days ago she tells me - I think I'm going to get an implant. I was sort of surprised because she's sort of at an age where I didn't think that was as important.  But my family has been through this before I know how phycological this is. Even if you are well past your sexual prime. But also because.... wow insurance. That is not like the bare minimum at all. And she's in public housing!

I mean, they've always covered reconstruction to a degree. My mom had her stomach muscle pulled up to form a breast. But as far as I can see, my Aunt is getting the same care anyone else would. And it's not like Obamacare is the reason. My mom was dirt poor when she got breast cancer,  and it did not bankrupt her.

The thing is..... I don't even think these people really care about poor people. They are just afraid of losing their handouts and are using that as an excuse. And it's really just effing irritating. They are using poor people as a props.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Wekfest.



The car shows have really been pretty boring lately. There aren't really any good trends going on, But I've got a few pictures for you.





This car apparently had a special permit to be in the US. It went like 200 miles an hour.



This was interesting. Advertising for the real doll?





For some reason baller mini vans are a thing. I don't get it, but there was a bunch of them lowered and finned out.



I think this has way too many fins.



Yet, there is something about me that loves wheels that cost  way more than the entire car. I don't know why.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

It's all I got.



Today we hung around the house because we needed to fix a couple of things. The door handle on Mr S.'s car had broken. A couple of years ago the passenger side broke, so at least we already had a little experience.

You unscrew a half a dozen screws and pop off the door panel.



This is how it looks with the handle removed.



Pontiac made a repair like this super easy, so you pretty much spend more time fishing out screws that you dropped behind the plastic with magnets.



Pop the panel back on.



This is the new handle.



Then we replaced a ceiling fan. The end.



Friday, June 23, 2017

A Friday rundown.

I have been having to deal with contractors a bunch lately because I have a project I need to get done. I can't wait to blog about it but I haven't signed any contracts yet. It sounds super mysterious, but we are just dealing with the city on how to bring something up to code and we can't make a contract until we figure that out.

Anyway....the soonest I could get a guy to work on anything is a month out. Most of the guys I talked to were booked until FALL.  One guy said Oct to Dec! That's pretty much winter. I think anyone who wanted to work could walk down to any construction site and be hired immediately as an apprentice. Hell, when I drive by construction sites I think even I could even get a job doing that if I wanted to. I think they would hire anyone with a pulse. That is how tight the construction labor market is right now.

As a side note - Mr S. and I are re-watching Flipping Out. I'm normally not that into those home improvement shows, but this one came out in 2007 as I was gutting and trying to flip what is now my rental. Contractors will make you lose your mind and the show is really more about that. And at the time the real estate market was beginning to fall off a cliff. In 2007 no one knew how deep this would run. We knew it would be painful, but just a short amount of painful.

Recessions used to be three years. You could set your watch to them. I bought my rental two years into the recession. But really that was just the top of the roller coaster ride. Rewatching it is sort of wild because in season one none of us knew what was coming next. Now you know the whole story and it's a little like reliving history. It's funny in a different way now because hindsight is always 20/20.

You just watch it with the realization of the pain that was going to reign down in the coming years. Sort of like watching guys get hit in the balls. It's funny but everyone flinches and says ooooooh. Right?

Thursday, June 22, 2017

This tard couldn't even give away money right.

A $15,000 basic income lottery promised free money for a year — then the checks stopped coming.

This asshole Cameron Ottens crowd funded the entire amount (a little over 15 grand) for this experiment for one individual for one year, and he couldn't even handle it. All he had to do was make one payment every month for a year. With money that wasn't even his own. Ya know...like paying your mortgage. Instead he turned out to be the phony that all these people are. Yes, the internet should remember him that way because he gave an elderly man false hope, and generally for being an idiot. I wish this failure would deter some of these socialist cretins. But it won't.

"Ed's first check arrived six months after the lottery was held, in December 2016. The next three checks arrived on time, this time from Ottens' personal bank account. The fifth showed up two months later, in late May. A sixth check, sent in June, bounced, leaving seven checks outstanding. The total amount missing: $8,750.

I wish these funding sites would report on how many people get ripped off. Even on that hanky lending site Prosper you could see how many people were paid back. Which wasn't great to be honest. Even if you are throwing your money away - you want it to land in the spot you intended.  Right? Why didn't those people just adopt an old person and just start sending them money. Oh that's right.... because people are phonies.

I was wondering when Bed Bath & Beyond would be added to the retail apocalypse.

I was just in that store two days ago buying towels. I hadn't been there in a long time. To my shock the whole front of the store looked like a drug store selling stuff like shampoo, soap, deodorant. It tripped me out enough that Mr S. and I had a huge conversation about it. Because every store sells that stuff. Supermarkets, Target, everyone! We tried to figure out where that business was going. Maybe BBY is a stale brand, or maybe Amazon is killing them, or maybe they are just choosing higher end stores like Sur-la_table.

When I got to the towel isle I was like - this is the towel isle? I guess people aren't buying towels. Why would people come to this store I thought to myself.

To me,  it looked like they were doing anything they could to survive. Even if that meant selling shampoo.

Man, back in the day before the recession....shopping at BBY was like shopping at Whole Foods. They aren't pulling in that kind of money with shampoo.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

River kelp.



It probably has a real name. But I'm just going to call it river kelp. It's just nice to have a river at all. The last two years this was dry.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Day 3 of the heatwave. I was picking up greens for Lacy because tomorrow things actually get hot.  The checker tells me that the other three supermarkets in town are out of power.  And it's only 100 effing degrees here today.

I read yesterday that solar is playing havoc on the grid. It either makes too much power or two little. And the grid has to adapt to that making pretty unstable.

~This~ is what the kids are into these days?

Hyper-realistic WWE 2K17 features 28 minutes of talk before gameplay begins.

"In what promises to be “the most realistic WWE simulation to date,” the forthcoming WWE 2k17 game will force players to sit through long periods of bickering and name-calling before they can press a single button.

“You’ll feel like you’re playing an actual episode of Raw!” promises a press release issued today by game developer Yuke’s. “We promise you’ll finish at least two beers before you can even throw a punch.

According to the press release, every session of gameplay will begin with a member of the McMahon family sauntering, swaggering or strutting to the ring, antagonizing and/or pandering to the crowd, and spending the following 11 minutes recapping recent events.

McMahon will then be interrupted by a wrestler, whose own tirade will be interrupted by another wrestler, and so on, until at least a dozen wrestlers are in the ring and nearly half an hour has elapsed.

Finally, gamers will hear McMahon say: “And that match starts… right now!”

Then, following one minute of gameplay, the game will be interrupted by a two-minute commercial break."

I normally don't snarf someones entire article - but what the hell is this shit? This trend makes me want to start punching at the sky! I wonder if this is AFTER the game has downloaded every single update in the world. WTF!

Seriously - it's such a bummer to buy a new game and have to wait 30 minutes before you can even play. I guess they only make games for people without jobs now. For the record, wrestling games are not on my play list, it's just that every game does this now and it's irritating to the max.

Conversations with Mr S.

A couple of weeks ago Mr S. and I were riding in the car and that Carrie Underwood song, Before he Cheats, comes on the radio. All of a sudden Mr S. turns to me and says - can we analyze this song from a mans point of view?

I look at him like he nuts and say - okay.. lets go Mr crazy. Lets see what you've got.

He says - All these lyrics are about how he's probably slow dancing, and he's probably getting frisky. No where in the song does it say he's cheating. Maybe she's just a crazy bitch.

I was sort of stunned because I never gave that song one second of thought before that minute. He'd obviously had thought about this for more than a little while. But I respond with - but..... it's implied in the song.

He continues - Yeah, it's implied, but no where in the song does it say he was cheating. I think it would be funny if he was just hanging out with his buddies trying to figure out something nice to do for his girlfriend, but she's just this crazy bitch that's destroyed his car.

Really...what could I say to that? He's sort of right.

Monday, June 19, 2017

The future is going to be funny.

"Lyft's goals include all electric autonomous vehicles on its platform being powered by 100 percent renewable energy, and Lyft's shared platform providing "at least" one billion rides annually "using electric autonomous vehicles", also by the year 2025."

I guess I just realized that when the power goes out you can't charge your car. Good luck with that Lyft.

Sure... the power only goes down a couple of times a year - but the power situation in California is anything but guaranteed. I mean, aren't we known for rolling blackouts? It happened so often at my old house that I was over the moon when they put me on the same grid as the hospital. Which meant they couldn't take my power down.
If things are going so well on Wall Street......... why haven't there been any stock splits? Memba stock splits?
I finally got my electricity back on at 11:00 last night. I hope this was a one and done sort of blackout.......but I sort of feel like it's going to be a long hot black out summer.  We've put a lot of new housing units up with really no new electricity generation.

Thankfully I saw the heat map for California and Mr S. started freezing water bottles a couple of days ago. If you keep the door closed on your refrigerator, that will keep you for about a day. Usually power is restored within that amount of time. Once I lost a whole refrigerator full of stuff.

Building the perfect pressure cooker.

"The Commerce Department said Friday that housing starts fell 5.5 percent in May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.09 million units. This comes after a 2.7 percent monthly decline in April and a 7.7 percent drop in March. Home construction is still 3.2 percent higher year-to-date, but that increase has been too modest to address the dwindling supply of homes." Source.

Back during the recession there were all these articles about how people were not going to want to buy houses ever again. It made more sense to rent. I'd read those articles and think..... whatever. Because when I look at the world, all. I see is an economy that is creating a nation of latent home owners. 

When I grew up we moved every year. And now that' I'm older I realize it was because landlords raised the rent. My mom didn't ~want~ to move every year. She had to. I had actually become so accustomed to it that when I did put down hard roots it made me feel uneasy.  Moving gives you a fresh start and how is that not a little exciting? I'd gotten a little addicted to it.

I generally feel like after you've been a renter for a while, all you will want is a house where you can have a pet without a 700 dollar deposit. Hell, you could have two, three or ninety-five pets. Well, I'm being dramatic on the last one - but you get the idea. If you are smart, you don't have to worry about your rent going up every single year. And you don't have to deal with that neighbor who lives upstairs that clearly is walking around with shoes made of concrete. Not to say you still won't have neighbor issues - you will just have different neighbor issues. The people who write stories never talk about the snap inspections renters have to go through. Hell, I'm a landlord and even I can't believe the crap renters put up with these days. And my people are on two year leases! But the property management company comes in twice a year to take photos so they can prove my renters are taking care of the place. And they get drivebys every month or so.

So when I read that housing starts are back in the 1 million unit range - I start to get really nervous about the world. That is basically at the low end trend line historically. We should be building about 1.5 million units to keep up with population growth. And for sure in the Bay Area, there is really not much land left to build the kind of housing we need. So I think this could become pretty ugly.

The other day I told Mr S. - I remember when owning a house didn't make you a wealthy person. It made you normal. Hell, even owning a rental didn't make you wealthy. Lots of normal people had rentals. Mr S. was like yeah - when I was growing up I knew a bunch of people with rentals. Did you think they were wealthy I asked. He said no. I didn't know how they afforded it, but I never felt they were wealthy. And both of us grew up in single parent households. So neither of us came from rich families.

But now, if you are fortunate to own a house - you are baller rich apparently. Well...I guess in my case I was fortunate enough not to lose a house. Because growing up in rentals made a huge impact on me. I drew a line in the sand and said - over my dead body. The recession did take a bunch of years off my life - it was the hardest thing I've ever had to do. But now apparently I'm baller rich. Even though after all these years I'm just breaking even on my rental. I have equity. But on the outside looking in - no one sees that. People never see the struggle. They just think you got lucky.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Well..... that escalated quickly.

Day 1 of the heatwave. I'm sitting here without power. Pretty much the whole town is down.

Also there are reports Sunnyvale is down. Which is really a wide spread. I'm in the burbs.

I really thought this wouldn't happen until about Wednesday. My city is only 104 today.

This doesn't bode well depending on how long this thing goes on. But.... called it.. this is California where power is optional

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Friday, June 16, 2017

Oh My.



It's gonna be interesting to see how the grid holds up. Usually the whole entire State doesn't get hit with 100+ degree temps. They said we would only get 5 days of above 100, but Modesto said they were going to get 9 days.

I guess I should start thinking about my bug out plan for Lacy. Bunnies can't handle that kind of heat because they can't pant. If we lose power...... that is a huge problem. It doesn't happen every year. But it does happen reasonably often.

Start freezing water bottles for your fridges Californians.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Remember that hedge I chopped down? Those neighbors moved in yesterday. I took 4-5 feet off that thing. Do you think they noticed? Mr S. says he thinks he wouldn't notice. But I totally would.