Wednesday, August 31, 2011

That bubble just popped.

Rumor is, Solyndra locked out it's employees. When I got there, parking lots still had cars, but they were all leaving. Today was the last day for the 1,100 employees.

The most punishing thing about this (aside from all the taxpayer dollars) is when they created these buildings - the area all around them was flush with open real estate. Instead of taking over one of those buildings - they built from scratch. Now we have that extra inventory added.

The Presidents love child has died.

Fremont solar tech firm Solyndra to shut down, lay off hundreds of workers.

When I read this I audibly said "holy shit". I didn't think they would cave this early. You can read my previous posts here.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Maybe this is why A Gore is spinning out.

"BYD plans to cut its sales force by about 70%, a Chinese website and other news sources said, after the company reported a nearly 90% drop in first-half profits."

BYD wasn't on my radar until a couple of weeks ago. They are a Chinese battery and car maker. Focus on Hybrids.

It was right after Evergreen Solar went bankrupt, this company popped up on the news feed. When alternative energy companies start posting 90% drops in profit - it gets my attention. Also when they fire 2/3d's of their sales staff.

The interesting thing I found about EverGreen Solar is that no one popped up to buy it's assets before they filed bankruptcy. That is a definite change from the past two years. Before there was a ton of "consolidation". I have yet to see anyone saying the bubble is almost fully popped. Still, like Greece - it doesn't have long.

First Solar - arguably one of the bigger alternative energy companies has fallen from 285 bucks a share in late 2008 to 101 bucks a share today. That is a huge hair cut. If the stock market takes another downturn, these companies will be fully starved of capitol. Wind companies are now in the cross hairs.

I expect a full cleansing to start in 2012. Many of these companies have been taking losses for at least four quarters. Some have never turned a profit. This is not the time in history to be an XM radio type of company that never turns a profit.

Update: I was working on this post this morning. I couldn't really get it to gel together. Now that Crazy Uncle Joe came out to tell me the Bad Economy Is Right Time to Invest in Clean Energy - I am more convinced than ever the end is near.

I mean, everyone who took out loans to put panels on their house has a good chance of default. Yes, everyone. Especially those government schemes where they front you the money and you pay via a property tax supplements. With a lien attached to your house.

Even if you are not underwater, say break even - it honestly will take you at least a decade to start breaking even on the cost of installing panels. In a market that is not declining, you might decide to pay for your power in advance. Which is essentially what you are doing. Most of these people will never see a return on investment.

Additionally, the claim is these things will last 30 years. I completely call bullshit on that. I have yet to see anything that has sat in the sun for five years not start to degrade. The sun especially beats the shit out of everything in it's path.

P.S. The title holder of this post keeps inviting Mr S. to a "thing". I don't know why. He is completely out of his demo. I kinda want to go though. I will ride the train for a little while. I have resisted though, because I don't want to be on that mailing list.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Someone is betting the recession is over.

This weekend, I got the Restoration Hardware catalog in the mail. All 616 pages! And honestly, I almost didn't even break it open. 616 pages of the same crap they have been selling for years - I thought?!

It wasn't that though. It was all new stuff. New stuff! In those 616 pages I became momentarily happy. If they are going to have new stuff - maybe other places will have new stuff.

I have to admit - for the past 30 days or so - you wouldn't even be able to tell there was a recession on. Construction is up. The roads are packed, and so are the stores and everything else.

I don't know if this is a push before the winter season comes or what. I didn't think back to school shopping could make this kind of a difference. I find it hard to resolve when economic data is crazy horrible. It reminds me of the first year of the recession. I had all these posts wondering why all the people were on the roads - and where were they going anyway? They weren't spending money.

Thankfully the Greeks are giving us a rally today. Their market had been down 8 days in a row. So, the best thing to do is merge two piece of shit banks. It allows you to hide the shit for a little while longer. Just like AOL and Worldcom did.

I mean, their durable goods buying is down 20% YOY, and their tourism is down 11.6%. They predict a 20% drop. So, I'd say eventually - Greece will explode, and hurt us. Just not today.

If our market is up - it shows everything is fine. Just fine.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

What is with all this back bacon?

Despite being sick as a dog I decided to go to a car show today. Being decidedly short on common sense - I popped an antibiotic, and off we went. To walk in the sun.

We left at noon, which is the witching hour when it comes to food and blood-sugar levels. I'm sick - I say. We will just whip through this show really quick. Grab a corn dog and leave.

We get there, and the place is effing packed. Packed. I think I've only seen it this way once. "Why today?" I find myself pleading. I haven't eaten anything and all the food vendors have lines many dozens deep. This is course causes a full on melt down. You can't believe how sick I am, and the sun is making sweat gush from everywhere. I'm a horrible mess. And did I mention I haven't eaten anything? Nothing looks good at all. Mr S. just starts making executive decisions. He finally acquires us food, and we sit down in a shady place.

"What is with this crowd?" I ask. The demo is really old, and has oddly distributed fat. I mean, when did we evolve to have a back gunt? I understand if you have a front gunt and a corresponding back gunt - but how do you get only the back fat?

After we leave I tell Mr S. "I think I might be becoming fatist". My family were some pretty heavy people. I thought I had grown up being acclimated to fat people. It never bothered me. Really poor people are often very heavy.

For the longest time when people talked about how fat Americans were getting - I'd roll my eyes. It isn't until you go to one of these shows that the demo comes together in a way that scares the shit out of you. And I'm fat. Just normal fat.

I don't' care what these people do with their lives. I'm not really even judging. The only reason it's been bothering me at all lately, is because as a 5'3 woman - if you get stuck behind these people - you have to do some serious maneuvering to get around them. I'm not even being dramatic. The last couple of times I've gone to a street fair I always get stuck behind "the massive couple". Sometimes it's three or four of them. With a junior SUV stroller or two. I can stretch my arms out to the sides and these people would literally take up the whole space from finger tip to finger tip. And the are always like 5'11 tall, and 5'9 wide.

A few weekends ago I got trapped behind a jumbo foursome, blocked on one side by a miniSUV aircraft carrier of a stroller, the other by a line of people. You try to slow down to let them advance so you can keep walking in a forward motion rather than a sideways motion. I swear, you've never felt so much like cattle in your life. Because they don't move fast. About the same speed as cattle.

Finally I got so pissed I said "I wish I could get around these people". Right then, I found a side slot - only to hear the girl in front of me say "well, go around". By the time it registered I was in front of her, and I swear I wanted to punch her in the neck. "If I could have gotten around your fat ass, I wouldn't be bitching" filled my head.

Now, I hate bitching about fat people. It's cheap and easy. My family was really heavy so I have a sensitivity. I always will have to watch what I eat and exercise harder. I don't have good genes. Still, on some level we have to take a good look at ourselves. These people actually start inconveniencing the lives of others. I've resisted taking pictures to show just how bad this has gotten because I think these people deserve dignity. Still, my patience is getting thin.

As Mr S. points out - if you are tall (like he is) there are some commonly accepted ways of being considerate of others in a crowd. You try to not block other peoples view of things. You are always on-call to help shorter people "get things" from high places.

We haven't come to any similar common rules for fat people in regards to politeness. Fat people just consider their condition a handicap - you deal with it. Which is complete bullshit.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Love is swapping the same cold to your SO all year long. I'm up.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

My love affair has it's limits.

Flat black should be used sparingly.

Okay, this is the thing - when I was growing up a full 10 percent of the cars on the road had black primer. When they put flat colors on these small cars, it doesn't look intentional. It looks like half the cars from the 70's. Black scuffs easily.

I have this whole formula worked out in my head which cars should have flat colors. Big, angular, very round. A tiny little roadster is iffy.

On the bright side - you can get one of these things in butterscotch. If you weren't already feminised enough. I mean, come on. These are girl cars.

See that Ferrari at the end trying to act like a Lotus?

A tail of two fires.

The fire season around here has been pretty tame the last couple of years. It is hot today though. So I guess it's no surprise to see that familiar plume in the sky.

I had to get some stuff done by 1:00 and figured if the fire was still burning by the time I was done - I'd chase it down. From experience fires are much further away than you think they are.

They seemed to have it pretty much knocked down, but they still had a lot of air resources in the sky. And I kinda like taking pictures of that.

From my vantage point the fire was just over a ridge. You can see they were still dropping fire retardant. It's that pink line at the horizon.

I was about to try and find the spot where the chopper was sucking water, when I see this whole knew plume on the other side of town.

So I hustle over there. Which turned out to be a very involved car fire on the freeway.

This was all that was left of the car.

Now for the "other" stuff.

There has never once been a day where I said - oh yeah... those Scions are cute. Never. Having said that - this is a pretty cute reasonably priced car. The grill is suppose to ship that way. Mirrors won't. Which are super cute.

The had this thing all wedged in, so I couldn't get a shot of the back that well.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Seagulls hate flash photography.

Jaguar C-X75 Concept.

It takes a lot to get a Jaguar on this blog. They are stuffy, pretentious, and boring. And - I've never seen one doing 100.

Sometimes painting one hyper color will get you here. Occasionally a flat paint job will get you here. And making it look not like a Jaguar will get you here.

Shelby Supercar Concept

Sunday, August 21, 2011

This years crop of shit you can't afford.

I'm too tired to get my shots out tonight. Since I already teased this one, I offloaded some shots to tide you over.

Getting close to these cars is a little hard sometimes. You have to have a special pass to get across the chain. I couldn't find anyone to get a pass from - so I just went over the chain and got as close as I could.

I might have more shots when Mr S. offloads mint berry crunch. And all the stuff you are getting this year - is stuff that normally never makes it to my blog. Like BMW's. I would never put one in my car section. Check out those rims.

Check my twitter feed. @snarkolepsy

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The server at breakfast just took my order with a samsung galaxy pad. At a Cocos. Not exactly high end dining.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

I hope California isnt counting on any capital gains for those revenue anticipation bonds
If there are any idiots not sure if we are tipping into resession - you can't have this kind of wealth destruction without one. Period.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Did you know - all of you are still buying houses for people in Puerto Rico?

OMG. You are gonna love this shit. Stay with me folks because the ending is the coolest thing ever.

"In Puerto Rico.
A stimulus program on the island, long ripe with vacant houses and condos, has sent sales of new homes surging 80% and sales of existing homes up 24% in the past 10 months from a year earlier, even as the market in much of the U.S. mainland is dead. "
Read more here.

Oh my gawd you say. That is awesome! Best news I've heard all year. But... how can that be, you say? Puerto Rico has a punishing unemployment rate. Sure I'm skeptical.

"This program could provide a road map for the rest of the country if the U.S. wants to get out of this recession," said Mr. Fortuño, who took office in 2009 and is seeking re-election next year."

Sounds awesome.

"One of the incentive program's popular provisions offers qualified buyers down-payment assistance for homes purchased with a mortgage, as well as a second mortgage of as much as $25,000 that can be used to make down payments and pay closing costs."

Same shit different day.

"As for the second mortgages, they are "silent seconds," held by the government rather than by banks. The government has dished out $60 million of funding for more than 4,500 silent seconds so far"

Stop the truck! WTF is this silent second thing? I've never heard of that before, but it sure does sound shitty. Let me google it.

What Does Silent Second Mortgage Mean?

A secondary mortgage placed on an asset that is not disclosed to the lender of the original loan. Silent second mortgages are used when a purchaser can't afford the down payment required by the initial mortgage. The mortgage is silent because the original lender is unaware of its presence. In many circumstances, a silent second mortgage is a type of fraud. Read more here.

I will just let that nugget sink in.

What do you feel about topiary?

I've been thinking about getting these shots for a really long time. Usually it looks like a man effing a horse though. Today everything looks a little more filled out.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

She's luxuriating.

No one loves box cleaning days like Paisley. The rest are like - oh, more hay.

Paisley just seems really, really happy. She even loves playing the vacuum cleaner game, where the others are aggro or scared.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

I got you a Lotus

But I'm not crazy about it.

I know this blog has been sucking lately. The next month has the potential for interesting content. You just have to put up with the next week.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Keyser's I should have posted.

I never posted this car from last months concours. The interesting thing about it is the pocket doors. I'd never seen a car with them. I couldn't get any information out of this guy. He was freaking out about being out of gas.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

This blog is not going to be a political blog forever. I just don't have any interesting content. I can either let my blog die until I have stuff - or you can read this shit.

Dark days are over.

Oh wait.

SACRAMENTO – State Controller John Chiang today released his monthly report covering California's cash balance, receipts and disbursements in July, showing revenues were down $538.8 million (-10.3 percent) below projections from the recently passed state budget.

"While July's revenues performed remarkably similar to last year's, they still did not meet the budget's projections," said Chiang. "While we hope for better news in the months ahead, every drop in revenues puts us closer to the drastic trigger cuts that could be imposed next year."

Income taxes were above projections by $89 million (2.9 percent) in July. But sales taxes were down $139.4 million (-12.5 percent), and corporate taxes were down $69.5 million (-19.3 percent) in the same month."

This is important because California just pulled those loans from "Wall Street" on revenue anticipation. If things sucked in July, I can only imagine how much August is going to suck.

Also, in order to close the budget this year, trigger cuts were installed if revenue was vastly off projections.

Someone please tell PMB to send more money to these banks. Read more here.

The notes mature in November. But as we see from today - nothing matters in this market. I'm sure it will be just fine.

Cutting the CAT5 cord.

Today I was talking with a long time acquaintance who was interested in my phone.

She was telling me about her friend who was looking at smart phones because she wanted to stop paying for land line Internet service. She was going to go smart phone Internet only. Not even an air card.

Which I thought was fascinating. I mean - I knew this was coming. Phones are going to be tiny computers in your pocket. Still, I guess my brain hadn't followed this whole trend to it's eventual conclusion. Less business for dedicated Internet service.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Focuses the mind.

In 2008 I got caught really flat footed. So, I spent much of the remaining part of that year watching stuff like Jackass, and Scarred. It was the only thing that could distract me from the fear.

Scarred was basically a show where boys wound up with broken bones. They would skateboard down a rail and fail epically. When asked if they had managed to stick the trick that "scarred" them - 90% said they weren't going to try that trick again.

Mr S. and I would always laugh and say "because it focuses the mind".

Which is why the EU should have drowned Greece, and they should have let some of the US banks fail. It focuses the mind.
President Money Bags gives nation the finger. He would have been better off sending one of his minions to tell us we are getting more of the same.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

I thought it was appropriate.

Not going to lie - I feel doomish about the week. I feel really uncomfortable when no one on earth knows what will happen.

I'm sure it will be nothing for a few days, then - not so nothing. I mean, there is never a case of the banks just saying - yeah, you are a crappier risk - but, that's okay. No probs.

As a side note as we were walking up to this thing Mr S says - it's kind of a weird theme for a slide isn't it?

Me - why?

Him - well, why not a hurricane Katrina slide or a WTC slide? A bunch of people died. It's kinda a weird theme.

Friday, August 05, 2011

Wisdom from Mr S.

Me - I can't believe these people can't figure out how to get people back to work. It's the simplest thing ever. Stop fucking with the economy. If they would have done that two years into President Money Bags administration we would have started spending by now. As soon as you feel better some new crisis comes in and makes you want to hunker down.

You start to become a depression baby. You don't know if you will ever return to spending like you used to because the pattern has gone on for so long.

Mr S. - What I hear them saying is, I don't understand why we don't have any crops. I've peed on the fields every day. I've tried peeing in the morning. I've tried peeing at night under a full moon. I've recruited other people to pee on the crops and they still don't grow. Our next idea is to mix salt in with the pee.

The last thing they want to do is stop fucking with the economy because they make money fucking with the economy.

Something cool is happening in the sky.


When solar flares are this strong - you can get auroras in California. I've seen them once. Made the night sky turn purple. So if you are feeling malaise about the weeks events. Pool yourself in a puddle in the backyard looking up this weekend.

I still think it's pretty cool this guy in Florida caught solar static when the sun was down, and we were in shadow. Now that is cool. Que Frequency on the big screen Yo.
Feeling a little like sandpaper was rubbed over all my nerves this week. I'm sure the campaign year will feel nothing like that.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Wall street drunk on their own farts.

Ahhhhh. All the cheer leading analysts are out in force. Don't sell now. There is going to be better growth at the back end of the year.

My only question to them is - what is the catalyst? I can see a ton of downside catalysts.

When I go into stores these days - I am struck how they have been selling all the same shit for at least four/five years. The home improvement stores are stuck in a time warp. I inevitably think - how can they not have one thing I haven't seen? It's been years! And really how can there be new things? Capitol markets have been effed.

This is the Christmas product window. Anything that is new, and will make the product window, will be leaking soon so they can to grow enthusiasm. And really, I haven't even seen companies teasing that much stuff they hope will make the window.

Sure, cell phones and tablets are great, but - that alone is not going to hold the whole market up.


Somehow I feel comforted about today's market. Not the tons of money lost. Rather, this is what I would expect from the market with the conditions we have. It's the most honest market reaction in a couple of years. Instead of having a crummy market all day - then they prop it up an hour before closing to make the final numbers not look so bad.

They all know that most people don't watch the daily stuff. Just the final numbers. If it closes flat, people don't get shitty until their 401k statement arrives and they realize their money has been trickling out all along.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

I never thought I could be so in love.

I rotated out of my old HTC smart phone into a new Motorola Photon.

My old phone took 10 seconds to switch screens. Which made me want to damage it. All the time.

Phone technology is just moving so fast - it's painful to wait for a 2 year contract to be up. Unlike the computer industry right now - your phone will be twice as powerful in a year.

My old phone couldn't load any embedded videos. I was restricted to three tabs. And every time you wanted to travel a page link - somehow you were maxed out. So you'd have to close a few windows just so you could link click.

My new phone is just like a tiny computer. And it has things I never knew I needed - but now love. Like sending a text messages by voice. Instead of using your hands like a sucker to type things out. It loads all my data intensive weather porn vapor loops. I can hook it to my TV for HDMI out. And Motorola knows I have ADD so they give you instructional videos on how to get acquainted with your phone.

OH! And apparently if you go to a web page that has a phone number listed, it will switch your phone to call the site number with just a tap. I haven't tried it yet.

And I can finally download some augmented reality apps and find out what my lettuce is trying to tell me. Yeah.. the butter lettuce I just bought has a QR code.

I waited two years for an app for the HTC. Never came.