Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Updates.


For the past few months I've been spending a lot of time trying to find content for the blog without much luck. Which means a lot of my home projects started backing up.

This weekend Mr S. and I needed to hole up in the house to move things along because a new project got added to the heap. Last week my oven got delivered and it's been sitting in my living room for a week.

You see manufactures find it funny to change the design of stuff. They basically gave us a 9 inch by 9 inch cut out for electrical. And of course I was not in that range. So Mr S. and I spent the weekend moving the electrical box exactly 8 inches North. Also my house was a previous flip so the box wasn't recessed. And you really don't have any room behind these things these days.

Normally it would be sort of a pain in the ass. But Mr S. got me this palm nailer last year and I had never gotten the chance to use it. And this was the perfect project! I saw one of my contractors use one of these once and I was like - oh yeah. You are going to be mine.

It's the size of a girl fist. And it hammers in nails with air. It gets in places where swinging a hammer will make you go insane. Like inside of a cabinet. Nails go on the right side that looks like a ratchet. Air on the other. OMG I love this thing.

Tomorrow my oven gets reinstalled. 

I am also the prowd owner of moving straps because we had to take the old oven out to do the electrical. You have to buy those. Seriously. The old oven weights like 160 pounds and strapped made that so much easier. We would have stuck in the new oven if it weren't for the glass on the front. There are a bunch of warnings.

I sort of wanted to do it just to say I could because it weighs 220 pounds. And I'm getting older. And I'm a chick!

Friday, April 09, 2021

She bougie now.

 
The old timers here may remember that Mr S. was drowning me in bread a couple of years before the pandemic. So... by the time we got locked down last year he had already moved on to harder stuff. He started watching all these youtube guys like Binging with Babish,  and Joshua Weissmann.

And somehow now ~I'M~ making puff pastry. I just became fascinated with the layers. 

 
Since this was only the second time I'd made this and I'm prone to overstuffing - I wasn't really too careful. It all looks the same in your belly. It leaked out less than I expected. You can see my half ass seal.

 
I made a blackberry reduction. With a layer of Brie, topped with a black plum reduction.

 
I did six turns, but didn't take pictures every time. But yeah - now this stuff shows up in my fridge.



Seriously?

 


I guess the other thing that is making me shut down is this ridiculous bullshit. We all know from the housing crisis that "economists" are the last to see literally EVERYTHING.

You are going to try and convince me that people are going to absorb lumber prices like the chart above, which goes back to the 80's and we are going to just keep chugging along? Get the fuck out of here. Honestly.

To believe that - you'd have to believe that we would continue printing the kind of money Trump did. And I know the alternative was worse, but helping the economy and Rolls-Royce having their best year in 116 years are completely different things. FFS I just read this morning that houses in PORTLAND are selling for 100k over asking now. WTF!? The real estate agents in Fremont are now bragging about 300k over asking. And all of this is fueled by money printing. Whats to even say about any of this?

Also... Trump tried to reduce the balance sheet last year, and I think he made a tactical error. You can see he had to bump it back up right away. Then the pandemic hit. Maybe this is what caused him to unleash such a frustrating amount of money. I do wonder if it somehow contributed to the election outcome.


Wednesday, April 07, 2021

100

For the past few months I've been trying to figure out a path for this blog. I am intensely bored of talking about the pandemic. I wish I never had to talk about it again. but that is not the way life is going to be, unfortunately. I'm also highly aware that my readership holds a vastly different view than I do. AND THAT'S OKAY. As long as everyone stays respectful. Which they have - except for that one guy.

I'm also aware that many popular blogs just turn into a screed. So I'm trying to find a balance of being able to express my views while not becoming that. 

I guess mostly I feel like Republicans are making it so we can never win an election again. And it's not just because of voter fraud.  In my opinion they have become just like the Democrat's in that I don't think they believe anything they fight about.  It's very on brand for Republicans to snatch defeat away from victory. And I think it's a huge mistake to blame the last election exclusively on voter fraud. That campaign was a MESS. It seems apparent now it was filled with never Trumpers.

If it were up to me, we'd take the next three and a half years and really reflect, and kick out, who ever we could. But that is not going to happen because we are too busy dunking on each other and feeling superior.  China must be laughing their ass off. 

Having said that - I am glad we are now at the Texas stage. Which I guess is technically the Brazil stage. You should really see how Brazil is handling herd immunity right now. About a month ago Germany was like - OMG we are in a new pandemic. Crickets.

Then France and much of Europe locked back down. Fascists.

About three weeks ago Canada started freaking out. Double crickets. Canada again. OMG this is starting to scare us. And now half of our hockey team is infected and pretty sick. America - no! This only hits old disposable people. Canada again, yeah...... but we are actually closing a bunch of our schools because the kids are getting sick. America - LOL.

America again - let's have a sports event! Which I am actually totally for. I mean, Europe is doing control concerts, but in Texas's defense, at least this we can track transmission. The seats are all numbered and I assume these were all consenting adults. I totes think should be doing more of that. Said sincerely. I am all for personal responsibility.

Monday, April 05, 2021

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

That is one fugly Mercedes.



It isn't that I haven't seen ~any~ cars, I just haven't seen any that I haven't seen before. 

I think I ~might~ have seen a MayBach once at an Auto show, but never in the wild. And I just don't get them. I don't know why you would pay up for this. 

A few minutes before we spotted it, Mr S. and I were talking about the baby shit brown/yellow color that comes around from time to time. I've been seeing a bunch of that lately.  He says - next .....two tone will come back. Then we saw this Maybach in two tone.



Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Construction crash imminent.

 
I was at the lumber store a few weeks ago and noticed the wood section was looking uncharacteristically rough for Home Depo. It was super thin and heavily picked over. Then it occurred to me that if there is no wood, people don't have jobs. It freaked me out enough that I walked the whole store trying to spot a pattern. I would have thought maybe this store hadn't been stocked recently and maybe this was no big deal..... if it weren't for all those stories I've been reading about shortages from literally all over the world.

The shortages have been talked about a lot over the past months, but when you start seeing large gaps at Home Depo, the end is pretty near. They have one of the deepest supply chains on the planet. 

Since then I've been trying to figure out the real reason we have a shortage of wood. There are a lot of theories, but so far most of them don't make that much sense to me. They range from when Trump put the 25% tariffs on wood from Canada it decimated their milling industry which seems plausible. Apparently this put a lot of mills out of business.  Which I'm not sure I have a lot of sympathy for because Canada put our mills out of business. Which is why we can't recover from this quickly. Those tariffs were designed to help bring back domestic production.

People go on to speculate that those tariffs caused a cosy relationship between China and Russia because wood is now a global commodity. I am not sure exactly how this makes a difference to us but.....

Others speculate about the bark beetles. 

But the craziest theory I heard yesterday is that Mendocino is holding back supply to make the price go up. I have included a handy chart of the lumber futures at the bottom of this post, and you tell me if you think that's plausible. Prices are literally at a 40 year high. Why woUld you not make money hand over fist now, for the ~chance~ at a higher price tomorrow. More likely the price will collapse and you get nothing.

Yet another theory is that we are in a building boom. Which also seems not quite the reason either. I have included housing starts at the very bottom and we have just returned to the midline.

All I know is that while our country is seizing up, Biden is out fighting social justice. Career politicians don't understand supply chains, and I'm looking forward to this next chapter. People deserve what they voted for.



 
Even if there was wood, half the hammers are sold out.

 
This has gotten worse since last week not better.

 
Paint supply looks thin, but it's probably a Texas problem because of the chemical plants shutting down last month. But all over the store, the top shelves are starting to look SUPER thin. Normally Home Depo is packed to the rafters. And they are pulling product to the front of shelves to make them look fuller. I mean, it not quite Fry's electronics yet... but if they start moving shelves to make the store look less empty - things gonna get crazy.

And this ALL was from before Shippy Mcstuckface caused a traffic jam.


 
Hope you don't want a chainsaw.


 
Or a leaf blower.



 

This is the point Trump unleashed the firehose of money.

 

Historical lumber futures chart. Source.



Housing starts. Source. You have to hit the max button.

Friday, March 26, 2021

I'm pretty amazing in a crisis..... but afterwards I sort of fall apart. I was out all last year experiencing everyones fears and now I'm just sort of all used up.

No one was there in the housing crisis because none of us had ever seen that before, but I wanted to try and be a form of stability for people this time around.

I just need some time. Especially because IMO this isn't over by a long shot. This blog takes a lot of energy (as meager as it is), and I just don't have it right now.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Turns out my buddy who sold his house for 100k over asking is a chump because two towns over, houses are selling for 300k over asking.

I read an article claiming that some were selling for as high as 400k over, but I didn't find an example of that. But I did find a couple of them in the 300 over range.

I guess with a money printer everything is now possible.

Friday, March 12, 2021

Wednesday, March 10, 2021


You can definitely expect a bitchy post about this.

I have been mostly staying out of the reopening conversations because I have always advocated different places doing different things. (I can dredge old posts if needed)  If we all do the same thing, it takes longer to get through the mistake phase. I may not agree with certain things, but it doesn't mean it shouldn't be tried. Everyone has enough information to make their own choices now. And honestly the fastest way to get through this is to nut up and let people go. They will figure it out.

Having said that - I just learned last night you can still get arrested in Texas for not wearing a mask. Which was quite a shock. For months every person ~not living~ in California was crowing about how WE had the strictest rules. Despite a simple google search would have shown we have been open many times. In the Fall we even had indoor dining.  But everyone wants to make a political point and made it seem like we have all been cowering in our houses the whole year. It's super frustrating because TWO days ago Fox News was still repeating this lie of us being locked down hard the whole time. It would literally take two seconds to see that is not true.

For MONTHS every news story has been about how California has the same numbers as this State or that STATE despite "the most severe restrictions." When in reality life is more nuanced. Right? We have all the mandates, but no one gets arrested! Look. Let's do a google search with exactly the same criteria. Here it is for Texas. And here it is for California.

The only way to get arrested in California for Covid is having a huge underground party. We have been ticket only pretty much the whole time. And I've never heard of ANYONE getting a ticket. But I have heard of hair dressers getting arrested. IN TEXAS!

So.... I would say that California has NOT had the strictest rules obviously.

Tuesday, March 09, 2021


Think you are haunted by customer service surveys?

A couple of weeks ago my husband created Five Star Husband Service. Now every time I ask for something he says - Can I count on you for a 5 star rating?

Friday, March 05, 2021

Oh FFS - yes.

Is "Temporary Inflation" A Real Thing?.

When it's printed out of thin air.  I mean, really - why do any of us need to work anymore?

Whenever I see a story like this I immediately think - oh..... you haven't bought anything lately. Because you can't believe the mundane shit you have to wait for these days. If you don't walk out of the store with it in your grubby little  hands,  you are gonna get "the talk". 

You can see it in their faces immediately. And they must be getting "the shit beat out of them". I've been making their lives easier by saying I know it's going to take forever. I've been going out of my way to be patient because I know everyone is just trying to get by the best they can. But even I am like - what the ehll., And I wouldn't even consider myself a patient person. But it doesn't help anyone to get a stick up your butt.

Either the vaccines work and we open wide up and relatively quickly we hit an air pocket., or the variants win and ....... I don't know.

Wednesday, March 03, 2021

Tuesday, March 02, 2021

 


It was only a matter of time.



This is going to be CES if they ever have an in person conf. CES always overdoes things. It was wall to wall Guitar Hero ~many~ years after it wasn't popular anymore. So I'm not even being sarcastic when I say - the next five years will be nothing but "mask technology".

I would even go as far to say that these masks will have bluetooth technology somehow.  I can't even think about all the sorts of buzzy shit they are going to put in them.  But I'm sure it's going to mostly make me mad. Unless they fill them with Darth Vader rebreathers.

Now that I think about it... if it is wall to wall mask technology, maybe it's the safest place to be,

Monday, March 01, 2021

Maybe I have achieved singularity.

I say this tongue in cheek because I think most of the hysteria about this is overblown. And yes - I have seen people with antennas implanted in their heads. Don't @ me.

I've been playing in VR for a couple of days now and my opinions have shifted ~slightly~.  The screen door affect is greatly improved with the higher resolution headsets. I really don't notice it anymore.

However...... motion sickness is still a thing. It been an interesting test study in the Snarkolepsy household this weekend. Mr S. is prone to motion sickness. I am not. I can count on one hand how many times I've thrown up in my whole life. I generally have a stomach of steel.

I have been in the headsets more recently and more often than he has in the past few years and have experienced motion sickness from time to time. I can't really figure out what triggers it. Sometimes I'm fine, others not. So far though, he hasn't experienced any motion sickness.

Since I'd only spent five minutes at a time in VR previously, I thought that it was just my physiology, but going through youtube, it obviously is not. Almost everyone talks about motion sickness to some degree.

We started out downloading DOOM VFR. Don't do that. It's s super crappy title in VR by all accounts. It doesn't translate well. But also - it gave me significant motion sickness which surprised me. It was bad enough I wondered if I was coming down sick. It wasn't until I went to the bathroom and noticed the floor was spinning like when you drink too much that I calmed down a bit. Once my brain saw the straight lines I started to feel better. But it gets a little .....weirder.

The way you move around in VR isn't always intuitive. So you are going to have watch some youtube videos. But when we did that, the television displaying VR was also giving me motion sickness. Which is fascinating because I have NEVER gotten motion sickness from TV.  We think it's because of muscle memory because I'd already been in the headset.

After we realized that DOOM is just a crappy title we downloaded Half Life:ALYX, and that was ~much~ better. But I'm still getting motion sickness to some degree just even watching youtube videos on TV. Now I think my brain is slightly broken.  I feel a little floaty like I'm still in the headset. Maybe I can't tell where the game ends and real life begins. Said in the most sarcastic way.

As it turns out - it's good I'm having problems because Mr S. is developing in this platform and obviously motion sickness is a very big deal. But wow. I can certainly see why it's adoption rate is what it is.

Saturday, February 27, 2021




I liked the skull holograms in the window.

Friday, February 26, 2021

Soon, all of this will be gone like tears in rain.



I don't know how long these are going to last. I think it's going to be a short season. So I'm getting whatever I can. 

Close enough.


Because I'm an adult.


Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Explain to me how this works again?

 
The government prints a shit ton of money that clearly found it's way into housing. Then everyone screams that interest rates have to rise. 

I don't know if it's true or not, but someone I read says that 40% of all the money printed was done last year. It could be wrong.

Clearly anyone thinking this isn't a bubble is delusional. We are almost up to housing crisis highs. 

I guess there is one bright spot. Trump was finally able to achieve inflation unlike many of the others. I voted for Trump twice, but I'm super frustrated with his last year. No one can believe this continues. Right? During the housing crisis we said things that couldn't go on forever - won't. And they eventually didn't.

 

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Temporary toy.

 

It's been a couple of years since I've been in a VR headset. Even before the pandemic I had become extremely germaphobic about trying them out. And I didn't see the need to buy one -still-.

But... Mr S. is working on a project. So, I guess I get to try out one of the highest resolution headsets on the market. 

A few days ago Mr S. said - what if we like it? I've been shitting on VR for so long. Which is funny because we met at an early VR company. It's not his first project. 


Lockdowns eventually will be one of the greatest benefits to humanity. Just not in the way you think.

Working from home is not exactly a new or novel concept in The Valley. It's been a thing my whole working career. Back in the day - your company would have a T1 installed in your house depending on how important you were. Generally managers or engineers. 

Working from home had actually become pretty ingrained.... I want to say about five years ago. Maybe a little longer. I thought it was really going to stick hard then. But IBM wanted to fire some of it's older workers and started taking away their work from home privileges. You know, in an effort to get people to quit on their own.

Then you could see the wave in The Valley. Everybody started bringing their people back in. And work from home waned a bit. So when the lockdowns happened I figured we would snap back to normal pretty quickly. Because you can't underestimate managements need to feel important.

A year into this, I'm starting to believe that a substantial change is underfoot. Companies that were resistant to the work from home situation are changing because they have had a full year to see if it works or not on a large scale. Not just select important people.

But this is not technically the reason humanity will benefit. The real benefit for EVERYONE is the reduction in traffic. Before the lockdowns people were spending two hours ~each way~ in traffic. Or MORE. Life in traffic had started to be a surreal situation. It really changed you. Working a full days then having to grind it out in traffic for a couple more hours. Imagine how much better your life is if you don't have to spend all that time just sitting in a car. And this benefits everyone from the white collar engineer to the restaurant worker who lives several cities over. In a way, you get a few hours of your life back every day. And this should not be underestimated.

And none of this would have happened without a forced lockdown sadly. Companies are going to trust some people and not others for working at home. But this made it so they had to take a chance on everyone. This is why I support the ~ability~ to lockdown, but not the lockdowns. I've sort of been going along with the rest because I've seen this cycle before.

Separately, I look at the world through the lens of - the population has doubled in my lifetime, and probably will double again by the time I die. Where are we going to stick all these people? My grandfather used to tell me that the whole Valley was cherry fields. That changed in one generation.

The same transformation that has happened with malls will now happen to corporate buildings. And we need it because we aren't making more land.

Sunday, February 21, 2021

No shame in this game.

 
I only noticed this car because I know a guy that was doing this with his wheels. One side had one set, and the other side, a different set. I was never completely sure if it was for cops or not.

Do you think he gets half price on the wrap?