Tuesday, August 11, 2020

It's frustrating when financial people don't understand why things happen.

"DARTs is a metric used in the brokerage industry to track individual brokerage houses to determine how well they're doing in generating revenue from commissions. Judging by Robinhood's explosive trading activity, E*Trade appears to be a dying fad. " Source.

ETrade was not a fad - they just killed themselves like any other company. You have to be in the market to know what's going on in the market. And the idea that ZeroHedge doesn't know how Etrade operates is silly. So I'm gonna fill you all in.

When all the brokerages houses stopped collecting trading fee's - they had to make that money up somewhere. Turns out it was nickel and dime-ing their clients for simple things like say..... a paper statement. Etrade for example charges 20.00. Twenty DOLLARS! For a paper statement.

A  trading fee for example ~was~ under 10 bucks before they all stopped charging fees. Etrade is the ONLY company I have EVER dealt with that charged a fee for a paper statement. This is why all their customers fled.

Now I know all of you people are saying - a paper statement..... how old timey. Yeah - try having to dig out 14 year old statements like I had to do recently for taxes. The idea that Etrade will not give you paper statements without a fee is super ridiculous. And all these Robinhood idiots are going to find these things out when they have to file taxes. I honestly would love to see some of those guys do their taxes on fractional shares. OMG. That would be a real fun time.

Saturday, August 08, 2020

How can the economy be working this way?

I thought this was going to be the year they rolled out some interesting new phones. But last week I decided that wasn't going to happen. We will be lucky to get anything new at all.

My phone is back-rev'ed a few years. Burn-in is pretty savage and it's running super sluggish. So today I broke down and went to the phone store. We roll in and find out they are not letting anyone inside at all. Which is normal I guess. No problem.

They want you to buy through the online app and then you can pick it up they say. So, we went to lunch and tried to buy it on the tiny screen. Which was impossible.

No problem. We decide to come back to the house and buy it on a bigger screen. Only to find out they won't let you pick it up, it can only be delivered. Frustrated at that I tell Mr S. - let's go back to the store and do some distance buying. We will park right in front of the store and have them help us.

When they greet me at the door I tell them I'm just trying to buy the phone. I don't want to change my contract. I don't want installments. I just want to purchase it outright.

He starts walking me through the purchase app on my phone. As he's doing so I told him they the phone company made it so painful I almost bought the phone from Amazon. I was not being a dick about it. I'm super kind. Everyone's default is asshole these days. Mine is not.

Finally the app was being so difficult they let me inside even thought they were not suppose to. He tells me, "I'm not going to go tell you to figure out it yourself". Which made me laugh. I say - well..... you can, I just don't think it would be a good long term decision. I will just go buy this thing from Amazon. Which made him laugh.

After a few times we couldn't make the purchase go through. They have the phone right in the back in stock, but they can't give it to me. He says- I know this sucks but this is how the phone gods are. Which makes me laugh and I respond, yeah - but this is why the Amazon gods are killing everyone. I have money right now. The full amount. You have a phone and I can't buy it. It's crazy.

He's like - you can call the support line. I ask him - have you been on hold lately? I then asked them if they had an internal number. He said they didn't.

He tries to send the purchase through again. As it's thinking I say, if it doesn't go through this time I'm going to Amazon. At this point I have all the people working on the inside in a circle around me.

When the purchase fails I say - AMAZON WINS. And all of them chant Amazon wins! Seriously.

The fucked up thing about this recession is - even if you have money you can't spend it. And I don't give a fuuuuuuuuuuuuuck how rich Jeff Bezos is - he is literally the only company keeping this economy going.

A part of me dies every time they use QR codes for this.

I don't even know what the purpose of this is. They just point you to the menu. I have even seen them on soda cans where they just point you to calorie information. So useless.

This is what they were "suppose" to do from a decade ago.

Thursday, August 06, 2020

It will be interesting to see what sales and marketing do when they figure out these online conferences don't move product.

I mean, if ~I~ can see it on the internet - what do you need me for?  I'm not going to repeat your talking points. If I don't see it in real life - I probably don't write about it.

I refuse to do zoom conferences. Occasionally I will watch the playback. But honestly - people usually aren't more interesting on the internet than they are in real life.

Wednesday, August 05, 2020

I guess we can not stop all those experiments on how isolation will affect people living in space.

I'm going to go on record saying - that is not going to go well.

Tuesday, August 04, 2020

Four times the effort for half the result.

It's been really hard to figure out what to talk about. I'm in full apathy at this point. What does anything really matter? What's the point of talking about the economy? The market is down only slightly more than 3000 points from the top. Everything is a wreck. At least the cacophony of virus deniers have settled down. But hey - at least we aren't Beirut!

I have actually been really busy. I have a house and infinite things to keep me busy. I'm not locked down, but what difference does it make? It takes so much effort trying to find out if anything is open, why bother? Seriously - I don't understand in this day and age why businesses can't figure out the complete basics. Like if you are open or not. I've seen places that were open, but all their social media said was closed and obviously lot of the other way. It's completely frustrating for those of us trying to keep places alive.

Everything these days feels a lot like pushing water uphill.

Errands that used to take you less than an hour are now an all day affair because there are shortages of stuff, or just a line. So really..... why bother?

All I can say at this point - winter is going to be awesome. SAID IN THE MOST SARCASTIC WAY.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Airbnb Lacy

This is from when I was in middle California. I think we all need bunny kisses right now.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

When will this national nightmare end?

Early in the pandemic, when all paper towels became "pick a size", Mr S. and I joked about manufacturers taking this to an extreme. Let's see how small they will go, we joked! 

Then about a week ago Mr S. and I were shopping and he came to find me.

Come here he said. So I followed. He points at these paper towels. Then says - I was just being sarcastic!

I mean, you can never really forget how irritating this whole thing is because every time you rip off a paper towel - they aren't perforated right or whatever. Paper towels never let you forget.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

I wish this was unusual now.

I started paying attention to this area in Fremont a while ago. Fremont is basically the gateway to the burbs. A couple of years ago they started putting up this building. We could never figure out what it was because the piece of land was odd.

For a while I thought it was a data server building like they have in Santa Clara because you couldn't really identify rooms. The project has been dead for a year and it's pretty odd because they still have a crane on that site. How can you afford to have a crane out there for a year? It's weird.

About a month ago I spotted this gutted car but have been too exhausted to go explore it. Every week I tell Mr S. that "next weekend" we should check it out. It's been about four weekends and the car is till there. And it's not like you can't see it from the freeway. That's how I noticed it. I'm like oh, you can just gut and dump cars here now?

I didn't want to get too close because I'm to pretty to go to jail. That dead site across the street has what I call Tesla security clusters because Elon had them on all of his ghost lots. Ironically you see a lot of this shit over by the Tesla plant now. There are always destroyed gutted cars over there. But it's pretty unusual to see it on this side of town.

Fry's electronics has also now started letting derelict cars sit on they property. Not poor people cars, but clearly abandoned.

Monday, July 27, 2020

I guess I'm taking on Mike Rowe today.

Mike Rowe Explains That "Reality" Is Going To Win Against COVID Fearmongering.

"Fact is, we the people can accept almost anything if we’re given the facts, and enough time to get evaluate the risk and make our own decisions. Last year in this country, there were six million traffic accidents and 36,000 fatalities. Tragic, for sure. But imagine for a moment if no one had ever died from a car accident. Imagine if this year, America endured six million traffic accidents and 36,000 fatalities...for the first time ever. Now, imagine if these accidents and fatalities - over 16,000 and 90 per day respectively - imagine if they were reported upon like every new incidence of COVID. What would that do to our willingness to drive? For a while, I suspect it would keep us all off the roads, right? I mean, six million accidents out of the blue is a lot to process, and 36,000 deaths is scary – especially if you don’t know how high that number could get. It would take us a while to access the risk, before we blindly hopped into our cars again. Eventually though - after getting some context and perspective - we'd be able to evaluate the relative danger of operating a motor vehicle. Then, we could decide for ourselves when to drive, where to drive, and how much to drive. And so we do." (emphasis ZH)


Before I start - I want to restate that I have never advocated the lockdowns. I only advocate the ~ability~ to lockdown. I think you should still be able to move freely, but reducing the amount of people in circulation at any one time is obviously preferred. If we wouldn't have been put on blanket lockdown, companies would not have allowed their people to work from home en-mass reducing the ability to transmit to others.

That said - I think Mikes comparison is kinda crazy. Road fatalities are ALREADY reported like Covid fatalities. It's called the news. Everyone knows about it because it is fairly rare. California only has roughly 3,500 traffic fatalities a year. If there is a traffic fatality in my city you can bet everyone knows about it. You can usually count those on one hand in any given year. A death is a death and are given equal attention. Minimizing deaths used to be a thing. Finding out about Covid deaths are actually slight harder because of hippa. And so many people are dying that no one really cares anymore.

If we started getting traffic fatalities like that - everyone's balls would be one fire, and they would be working to make it stop! Everyone would be horrified. I spent the past five years (at least) attending NITSA conferences where they were aghast at the number of traffic fatalities. Last year that mattered. Sure some of this was marketing hype, but it wasn't only them. A whole industry grew up around that. All of these sensors on cars are made to make people stop dying!

The best most recent example I can think of is the - Takata airbag recall of two years ago, which only killed 24 people WORLD WIDE. Twenty four people. Yet every car in America made in the last 10 years was recalled. No one knows exactly how much the recall will eventually cost but this site claims 25 BILLION. They could have given everyone who died one BILLION dollars and still gotten off cheap. Now all of a sudden we are like - yeah... 40 thousand traffic deaths no big wooP There is a lot of revisionist history going on right now.

It's not really fair to compare car crashes to the same way we freaked about about Covid. To think we would stop driving is ridiculous. Sometimes in a car accident ~you~ die, but sometimes you kill others. Sometimes you just run over a pedestrian. Those are included in the traffic fatality numbers. So.... your overall risk of death is not the same. And..... when you kill others - you have a moral obligation to care in the form of money if nothing else. Unlike Covid.

You don't just get to kill people and say oh whoopsie! You're bad. You should have stayed home.

Additionally, the US had the LUXURY in getting advance notice unlike the 1918 flu. We should be thanking our lucky stars there is any sort of mitigation like social distancing. We will never know what the numbers would have been without that. But people will go on to say that everyone overreacted. We are lucky to have treatments, but even WITH treatment - we are losing 150,000 people. If there were not treatments, again - who knows what the number would be.

I would just like to go on to say that my city is now becoming sort of hot. It's been here for months with less than 200 cases. We have had one death. But the city next to me just popped up with two deaths. They didn't live there, they worked there. Restaurants are popping up and down with workers being infected and needing to close.

My city has been pretty hot and heavy with the Jenny Mcarthys who think this is a hoax. But after the recent deaths suddenly everybody is silent. When it is THIS close - it focuses the MIND.  And you can't just write them off as old people who would have died anyway. I guess I'm really bothered by this mindset.

Last year we were celebrating people living to 116 fairly regularly. A modern medical marvel. And now 70 year olds would have died soon anyway. It's just bothersome.

I do agree with Mike that reality is going to win. Just not in the way he thinks. People are lazy by nature and this virus takes diligence.

Sunday, July 26, 2020


I'm pretty bored with Aston's, but this is a new one I hadn't seen yet. I don't love the back. In general I'm pretty tired of all of the fins. And ......I never thought I'd say something like that.

So - they have REALLY gone too far.


Friday, July 24, 2020

Friday's rambling post.

I haven't really been talking about anything lately because..... what difference does it make?

Houses are flying off the market. The Dow is only down 3,500 points from the top. Yet I can't figure out how anything is effing working. I'm waiting four weeks for parts. Try getting anyone on the phone. That eats up half your day. You are on hold for at least an hour. Businesses are closing down left and right.

On the virus front - California is now losing a Boeing 727 every day. They would have died anyway. Technically. People make choices in life. If you haven't figured out you have to protect yourself at this point - that's on you. But as I've written before - that is not really America's style. Our style is more YOLO. The when shit hits the fan they cry - WHY DIDN'T YOU STOP ME?!
Then they will probably sue you.

So, we are going to be in this for a good long time. You can't put this gene back in the bottle. It has to get bad enough that people self correct. And I don't see that happening for a while.  We are not Sweden! It's definitely America's style to make everything OTHER people's problem. And we have that in spades right now. People don't have to live by their actions. So, until that drills down - we all are hostages.

Also.... ALL of the data people are citing for California is useless. There are reports literally everywhere it takes up to 14 days to get a test result back.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

He's buttman.

I'm not sure a smart car has ever shown up on the blog. ~Maybe~ once from CES. But, it turns out if you put a wing on it and devil horns - that works.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

This was on one of my first cars.

Monday, July 13, 2020


California Orders Bars, Gyms & Indoor Dining To Close In Biggest COVID-19 Reopening Rollback Yet: Live Updates.

In my area they have even rolled back outdoor dining, but the burbs are rejecting it. So far.

It sort of feels like the past four months were for nothing. And I want to be fair. I know from personal experience it takes quite a long time to program yourself to NOT touch things. I think it took me two years. These people have only been in it for six months!

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Friday, July 10, 2020

Give the people what they want.

I think the most astonishing thing I've seen is people running head long into herd immunity. It's fascinating because the experts don't even know exactly how long immunity lasts yet everyone is emphatic they can achieve it.

Last night Mr S. and I were talking about how Hong Kong had re-shut their schools.

Me - If Island nations like Hong Kong and Australia can't eradicate it what hope do we have?

Him - None.

Me - Exactly!

Him - Well, that sounds like an argument for opening things back up and just dealing with the consequences.

Me - Yeah. Let's go! I'm sick of fighting about this. We know how to protect ourselves. Let everyone else Darwin it out.

Him - I just wasn't sure there was a policy change.

Me - It's been six months now. If people having crawled out of their bubble, that's on them.

I see all kinds of crazy comments on my city Patch. Some people are like - I can't wait to get it. And I'm like - yeah.... we can't wait for you to get it too.

The thing about America is that it's been a LOOOONG time since people have had to deal with the consequences of their actions. They always try to shove the consequences onto someone else. ALWAYS. This might be the first time people have ever had to actually confront realty without a way to wiggle out.

So, let's open things back up.

Wednesday, July 08, 2020

Wouldn't it be funny if Kanye chose Elon Musk as a running mate?

Tuesday, July 07, 2020

Conversations with Mr S.

I have no life now, so I'm Spring cleaning like everyone else on the planet.

Me to Mr S. - I'm really embarrassed to show you this. But for some reason I still have a picture of that stripper my mom got me for my 21st birthday. You can see how badly I got shafted. He's the ugliest stripper ever! Then I hand over the picture and he starts laughing.

Him - It's what I'd expect from a local stripper.

Me - REALLY! He doesn't have muscles or anything!

Him - First of all - I don't know anyone who got strippers for their 21st birthday. I didn't get strippers for my birthday.

Me - Now that you mention it.... that is sort of weird. I guess I'd never thought of it that way before. I just act like everyone got them.

Monday, July 06, 2020

Leave Karen's alone.

We should embrace Karens. (from afar)

There were a ton of people out this weekend. Grocery stores were Thanksgiving or Christmas full. So, I basically walked around and chuckled to myself because there were a reasonable amount of people without masks. It's your choice. But I just started looking at people saying - you probably have diabetes, so you are at risk. YOU have the double diabetes. You walk like a penguin. Also at risk. You are old. You are in poor health obvi. You are in a scooter. 

Honestly it had been so long since I saw a scooter person I forgot they existed. I think people underestimate how many people in America are in poor health.

It seemed to me the people who are resisting masks are the ones who need it most. But..... whatever. It's no skin off my back. Go on with your bad selves. The sooner they become infected and drop out the better. Some of these store Karens are just garbage people. Who treats people like that? Who cares if they get it?



I still love these. 


Saturday, July 04, 2020

I'm pretty sure everyone said suck a bag of dicks. Pretty astonishing.

Just look for the heart shaped tree.

That's where you will find me.

Only a

I miss cars.


Obviously these images are heavily redacted. I make it very obvious when I modify images.