Sunday, September 29, 2013

Saturday, September 28, 2013

I don't know why I keep going back to this town.

I was up in Martinez today. Honestly I sort of hate this town. It's a barnacle on the ass of government. The city buildings are pretty swank. The town is not. Every single time I go there I tell myself I'm never going back. I think it started when the city spent almost 10 million bucks to make it so the town wouldn't flood in the winter. This was probably for about 300 feet of creek.  Along came some beavers who started building dams, and the whole thing became an international incident. The city wanted to remove them, but the batshit crazy residents had a hissy. It's a town of 35 thousand. Now there is a whole section of government dedicated to protecting something like four beavers. They had to hire a specialist from another state. They spent another 100 grand to make it so the beavers can stay. Who cares if the businesses flood because of them. You stupid capitilist. When all of your tourism board is dedicated to a couple of animals that don't even show up - you know the city is dysfunctional. I've never once seen a beaver.

It's half a prison town. Half a union town.The city's only function is to sue the refineries that reside there.  If it wasn't for the Italian Art Festival (which is really overselling the venue - barely art, or festival) I'd never go there. The food is mediocre. All the music wafting from the bars is on par with Jimmy Buffets Wasting Away in Margaritaville. The festivals consist of rummage sales. I've been there a handful of times and I always leave a ball of bitch.

This girl was really the best one. But you know this is a subliminal message from Shell Oil. See how we love nature? They have to do that so they get less sued.

It was cute these guys dressed the part. It's the first time I've seen that.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

One of the most interesting things I've seen in months.

I got out of one of the 3D printing booths yesterday and walked right into this booth from DigitalScan3D where my mouth promptly dropped. This product and 3D printing are a marriage made in heaven.

It's a handheld scanner that is able to scan anything. And I mean anything. People, tables, automotive parts. Anything. It was the first time I've seen a small portable handheld. Usually they are kinda big machines.

My mind went wild with the crazy potential. There are a lot of people at Silicon Valley companies who do nothing but try to reverse engineer products so they can not get in trouble with the patent police - or so they can just put the other guy out of business  with a better product. It's the culture here. It's a lot of work really. You start at the end and work your way back. This little Artec Eva will cut the time that takes by a lot. I can't imagine how more quickly products will come to market due to these types of products. Just look look through YouTube at the possibilities.

It was hard to capture just how cool this technology is, so you should at least watch these videos.

The world is going to be amazing.

There are a couple of technologies that are brewing around the Valley that give me great hope for the future. It's easy to feel the manufacturing renaissance is dead, dead, dead. I don't agree. 3D printing is going to be one of the most disruptive technologies of our time. It will truly change the world.

It's moving really fast now. Even though I've been watching this sector for about 10 years, and I see new 3D printers every few months,  and they still keep coming up with ways to impress me.

When I walked into that tool show yesterday I expected to see tools. Happily I also saw industrial 3D printers from Stratasys and 3Dsystems. I'm more excited about that stuff anyway. Stratasys is the company that just bought Makerbot. The models were not  for home consumers, rather the company you work for might own one. They were higher end models.

The super interesting thing IMO was  everyone was printing with Gypsum (sandstone). I've seen machines print with all sorts of stuff. Berkeley has a machine that prints with cardboard like material. 3D printing is open source right now - so everyone is trying everything. Different printer designs. Different materials.

The thing about the gypsum though, is it creates a realistic weightiness to objects. It also gives a depth to the material so you can create very realistic figurines. Here from Shapeways.

Stratasys was displaying some fittings and the usual brickabrack.

3Dsystems had a couple of super realistic shoe prototypes on display.

Now that the novelty has worn off, the objects being printed are starting to feel like they could be used in a real world environment. The shoes not so much. Gypsum is not wearable, but it makes great prototypes.

If you look hard enough in the image at the top you can see my reflection.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Funny observations about men.

I started out at a circuit board show today. I spent about 15 minutes there and ran over to the tool show they were having in the same building. I love industrial things. Especially giant industrial machines.

You can not imagine the tortured look men give when you walk up to a machine like this and ask what it does. I thought it was a water jet because of all the coolant sloshing around. And who doesn't think a water jet is the coolest thing on earth? You can see their whole thought bubble. Ooooh man. How am I going to explain this to a girl in dumbed down girl talk? You don't even have to get the questions right - as long as you are in the ballpark their whole disposition changes.  Okay, the girl knows what a water jet is - so I don't have to talk to her like a child. OMG you can see the relief.

Chicks are never interested in this stuff. And to their credit, men are super happy to share and explain stuff to you. Amazingly so. I never really understand why women feel so left out of the male world. Just be interested. It doesn't matter what sex you are. Gawd men love that. They almost vomit knowledge on you they are so happy.

When I go to car shows, they start trying to treat me like an equal. They want to share so much I have to dial them back. I'm not a gear head after all. I do enjoy that they don't seem to care if I'm a girl. If I'm interested, they treat me the same as if a man were interested. It does surprise me sometimes. Expecially with the hard core manly men.

I will have some good stuff for you tomorrow. Trade shows set my ADD on fire.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Think your day is crappy?

Someone at Mr S.'s work ran into a hydrant on campus. I can't imagine what that guys thought bubble is. He's damaged some of his employers stuff, and the whole campus knows about it. It is kinda hard to hide after all. Everyone is video taping it.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Owls. Secret terrorists.

I've had insomnia for many reasons. Insomnia by owl is new. How can those little bastards be so loud? My place is pretty sound proof. But this was loud enough I could hear it inside my house.

When I first heard him I thought this would be short lived. An hour and a half later he finally shut up. This was after my neighbors dog woke me up at 8 on a Sunday. I got up twice with the flashlight scanning the trees for this pterodactyl sized owl. I thought he was in my back tree. Then at least I could try to scare him away with my laser pointer.

I hope he decides he didn't like where he slept last night. Owls are one of those things my town is encouraging more of. We grow grapes in this here. Owl boxes are pretty much everywhere. Those boxes only fit tiny owls. Not 747 sized owls that keep you up in the middle of the night.

I got one of those new Jaguars.

I hate just about everything there is about Jaguars. I'm not even going to google search to find the model for this one I find them so boring. The repair record is horrible. Only super old people drive them.  But Mr S. spotted this one over the weekend and the conversation went a little like this.

Mr S. - That's is one of those new Jaguars.

Me - Oh huh. You know Jaguars almost never make it to the blog. Here.

Mr S. - But it's one of those Jags we just saw at the Concourse. So unless you live around here most people haven't seen them. It's the first one I've seen.

Oh... okay. They are much smaller at least.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Not last night but the night before...

Rain in September is a big deal for California. I was pretty excited about it because at this point in the year I get tired of keeping things alive. I don't think we've had any measurable rain since January. I'd have to look back through my blog. So, I'm super tired by now.

The night before the storm I'd pop outside and see if it'd started sprinkling yet. One time when I did this I was stopped short by the most massive moon rainbow I'd ever seen. My brain went wild trying to think if I should run for my gear. I decided by the time I got to it, the cloud would have passed. Another one was coming anyway and I was just going to enjoy this moment and see if the next cloud was going to make another moon rainbow. I mean, you see them from time to time, but this one looked like my house would fit inside it. And it was vivid.

I stood there for probably a minute when something really weird happened. Weird enough I had to go run and get Mr S. I bring him out side and tell him - just watch. For about 30 seconds he stood there unimpressed and then said - huh, that's really weird. It's like the cloud is vaporising right there. All I could think was - I've never seen this weather phenomena before, how am I going to capture this? It's one thing taking pictures at night, but very low contrast pictures like clouds at night is super hard. My IR camera would capture it, but I've never used the video option on it. When you have a little point and click like mint berry that does very good HD video, or my big camera which weighs three pounds, which one are you going to carry around? I just never thought I would use it for video. Now this cloud is forming literally right in front of my eyes and I can't capture it. I can either watch it, or figure out how to use my camera. I chose to watch in fascination.

The cloud kept reforming over the moon, but not in a way that it looked when I first saw it. In this shot you can see just a little color on the side of the cloud. Eventually the cloud moved on. But this cloud would stay static in the sky for a really long time. All of these shots are done with a long exposure.

In the winter I go on more of an IR kick. The clouds make it somewhat more dramatic and the holidays make people have funny or interesting things in their yards. Wind is more of a problem though. Which is why this shot is kinda crappy. But I didn't know my tree showed up purple. I have to relearn IR because they swapped out all the heat based street lights in my city.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

All those moments will be lost in time... like tears in rain

There is something I love about the imperfections of life. The original plan for today was to get breakfast, then go to Cupertino, and wind up at the Luna Park Chalk festival in San Jose mid afternoon. The art is more done by then. We got on the road about noon and it was balls out raining. Mr S I said - we better swing by Luna Park and see what their plan is. I was looking at the vapor loop last night and didn't think we would get much rain from this storm, but I knew those guys must be shitting their pants last night. I don't know how early the screevers have to set setting out their grids, but once the grids are gone - the game is over.

I hopped out and ran over to the first artist I could see if they were going to try and tough it out - but by that time it was obvious things were going downhill for this festival. I texted Mr S. who was circling the block - park the car. They are done. I started running around trying to get what I could. Everyone else was leaving, but honestly - I thought the rain was making things sort of beautiful in an impressionist-ey way. If you were lucky to be under a tent, you managed to have a little extra time. But after a while puddles started forming and the chalk started floating and running. I found it oddly pretty.

I wish I could have had more time. I wasn't sure any of these shots were going to come out it was raining so hard. I kept having to wipe off my lens. No one in the valley expected this. We did expect a little sprinkle, but I never in my whole life remember it raining in September. Sometimes we get late storms in July - but never September. There was no way to plan. Even the vapor loop didn't look like the storm had that much moisture.

Yes, I know it looks like this guy has a fist up his butt. I few minutes later this all was gone. It was the best I coudl do.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Facts aren't facts if we deny them.

I have been without insurance about 50% of the time I've been alive. This gives me a different perspective on health care. Doctors love cash! So much so, they will cut the price in half usually. I've never been anywhere that didn't give you a significant cash discount. It's really frustrating because these discounts can be more than premium increases. But who cares. Obama!

It's unbelievable people are so divorced from health care costs - it's painful. I have insurance now, but whenever I have to use it I anxiously wait for the bill to see how much my insurance company had to pay. Even though I have awesome health coverage I always want to know how much it costs in case I have to go all cash again. These days, for some visits, they don't even tell you how much it would have cost if you if didn't have insurance. Which is breathtaking. It's also why the tards running this world think you can just add several million people to a health care system and not expect anything to happen. When you have no idea how much things cost, you can't practice thrift.

I hope Canada and the UK are happy. I mostly think this is their fault. The incessant years of how can you be a civilised nation and not provide health care for everyone. All the while they were laughing at us. Oh, it'd be so funny if the US did that. Those idiots know how our health care system works. Right?

Well... it will be funny. Just not in the way everyone thought.

This is what happens when you piss off your developers.

I read this post from a BlackBerry developer in 2011. You should read the whole thing. As you can see, after this post the stock basically fell off a cliff soon after.

You Win, RIM! (An Open Letter To RIM's Developer Relations)

" You win. I concede defeat. I no longer want to attempt developing an app for the Playbook. Are you happy now? Surely you must be. Considering how terribly designed the entire process is, from the registration right through to loading an app into the simulator, I can only assume that you are trying to drive developers away by inconveniencing them as much as humanly possible. Just in case you’ve forgotten, let me give you a little recap of the process you’ve put together.

Living in Waterloo, it’s hard not to be reminded of you. I walk by your campus every day, most of my friends have worked for you at some point, and you are the largest supporter of the university I attend. So it seemed like a rather good idea to at least attempt to write an app for the Playbook, your shiny new tablet that you hope will be able to compete with the extremely popular iPad and the up and coming Honeycomb tablets. Having already developed apps for the iPhone and iPad, I had a little experience with the process of signing up for developer programs, and naturally I assumed that yours would be different, but fairly straight forward none the less. Well, you know what they say about making assumptions!

First, I had to fill out a form with my personal information. No big deal, pretty standard. I do, however, notice that although it is currently free to register with App World, in the future there will be a $200 USD charge. Now just in case you’ve never looked in to competing developer programs, Apple charges $99, and Google charges $25. Considering you are by far the underdog in this game, how do you justify charging double the price of the market leader? Also, with the $99 or $25 charge, Apple and Google let you publish and unlimited number of apps on their stores. You, on the other hand, have decided that for $200, a developer should only get to publish 10 apps, and it will cost $200 for every additional 10 apps. On Twitter, I believe that would colloquially be referred to as a fail.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

I think I drank the cool-aid.

I got a chance to see Elon Musk speak a couple of days ago.

I want to start out by saying I think pretty much the whole green movement is bullshit. I don't believe oil is evil. I think it's just fine. Mechanics are covered in oil all day every day. You don't hear about any increased cancer rates. Oil is also reabsorbed by the earth. Do you remember the hysterical "we are all going to die" when the PB thing happened? The accident was going to open a volcano in the middle of the ocean. Are there still affects today? Sure. But, we aren't all going to die from oil. I think the whole movement is somewhat based on hysteria because they don't understand science and goopy oil is ugly. There is bacteria that eats oil for effs sakes.

Having said that - I was somewhat relieved he was more of an engineering guy than a marketing guy. Engineers by definition hate marketing guys. They make a lot of promises that are hard to keep. Or impossible. He was actually concerned about thrift. I mean, lets be honest - I wouldn't have a problem with Elon Musk if he hadn't used taxpayer funds. It's something that has been bothering me about The Valley for about 10 years. We used to operate outside of government interference except in pockets. It's why this place became so magical. Now tech CEO's are government groupies. It's ridiculous.

Sure sometimes these guys pay the loan back as Elon has - but the government still raises our taxes to be able to provide a loan. And the government never pays us back. So it's basically the same as if he hadn't payed the loan from a taxpayer standpoint at least.

Still, after seeing him speak I was thrown into this Silicon Valley nostalgia. We are scrappy. A lot of people think tech is out to rob them, but the truth of the matter is that Silicon Valley is made of companies who do really hard things. Crushingly hard. Sometimes these things only advance in baby steps. A lot of the things you see today have roots from when I first started in tech. They were just impossible to do at the time. As the years go by fresh faces take a look and see things just a little differently and you take the next step.

I do think electric cars can be a viable product. Should we all be forced to buy them - no! They are great for people who are city bound. However, it pisses me off taxpayer funds were being used to force people into a product. It's socialism at its best.

I believe green energy is worse for the environment than what we have. Take for example the Exide plant that recycles batteries has been ordered to reduce production due to lead emissions. No one knows how long these batteries are going to last. I'm sure it's not forever. Even my robotic mower that had similar sized batteries only lasted a few years. And it's not a car that got used every day! I can't even get my rechargable camera batteries to last very long. I think batteries are worse for the environment than oil. And solar panels so far have to be ground up and encased in concrete to be disposed of. How the eff is that better for the environment that what we have now? I think green energy is the least efficient power source. Hence the most expensive. Never in the history of man have we progressed on higher energy costs. The industrial revolution came about in large part due to us using coal over renewable energy. Like wood! Coal is a cheaper energy.

Having said all that - I do think the shorts will get crushed barring a complete market meltdown. This guy is way scrappier than I thought.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

We've aleady seen how this story ends.

"Home sales in August in the Bay Area fell 7.7 percent from July and decreased 0.6 percent from August 2012."

That is a lot of percent. I guarantee you - flipers are shitting their pants right now.

Maximum complacency.

Today - I had a guy pitch a dating app to me. I've known him for a really long time. He was the first person I knew who got taken out by the housing market. Way, way earlier in the recession. Making apps is not his profession. Technology is not his profession. He told me he was an investor. Investing is not his profession either.

His reasoning was that anyone will waste a buck on an app. He seemed unfazed when I told him a lot of people who make apps don't make any money. Yet he's willing to commit money to a dime a dozen dating app.

I had flashback from 2006 when people were buying stocks on tips that had been faxed to them by pump and dumpers. Oh those were the heady days before the crash.

We parted ways with me saying - be careful in this market right now. He seriously asked me why.

This should scare the shit out of you. I mean, don't get me wrong, it feels great in California right now! As long as you don't own anything, the world is your oyster.

I suspect we are feeling a little better due to the obvious influx of people moving here (or back) from other states. I haven't tried very hard to find actual numbers. But I've been seeing plates from really unusual places for a couple of months now. Even from Canada and Mexico. Also notable are States that are very self sustaining like Montana. We hardly ever get those plates. Their skill set is geared more towards ranching.

In many ways technology is no different than the gold rush days. As long as I've been alive people have moved here to find prosperity. They come from everywhere. And I like it that way. This has always made me watch licence plates though. The most exotic we usually get is Hawaii. Out of country is very unusual. I have only seen the one from Mexico, but a lot from Canada.

I guess the market only goes up.

With real estate prices in California within maybe 5% from the previous top and stocks basically treading have to wonder how much better they can make this economy. Said in the most sarcastic way.

One day some rich guy is going to want to lock profits. Or all the rich guys.

Every day is like a high stakes game of poker whether you want to play or not.

If I'm a flipper right now - I'm living on my stomach lining. It doesn't matter how many houses you sell to dark pools if people can't afford them. It takes time to turn a house back into something people want to buy. Three months is a reasonable time. If you gut the place, I'd expect six months.

I can't remember a single time where mortgage rates have climbed almost a full point in the time it takes to flip a house. And there is no way to predict what they will do. The forces of inflation and deflation are duking it out every single day. Right now things look inflationary, but lurking around every corner is severe deflationary pressure.

I should have stayed with my first thought about tapering. I was the only one saying they weren't going to taper. We all agree socialism is the goal. Right? So why would they ever taper? Still, I also don't see how prices can continue this way. No matter how low mortgage rates are. Which is a deflationary statement.

Last night I was thinking that the retail sector is surprisingly anemic considering housing prices are really not that far from the previous top. I say this because negatively equity does some crazy things to you psychologically. If you don't think you will not get a return on investment - why would you ever do anything to improve it? Even for someone who lives for that kind of shit, I had to fight this urge over and over. Sadly you have to squash that feeling. Some day the world will be better, and if you can't sell an asset - it's almost as good as not having it.

It's quite obvious the liquidity trap is still deeply entrenched. This is a huge deflationary pressure. I'm only doing a project because if I don't do it now, I have to wait till the summer. It's a timing thing. Not an "I feel all better thing". Also read: You can keep stealing from the bank as long as the bank doesn't notice.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

ADD has ruined me for today.

Starting next week - for the next month I'm going to be pretty busy with tech stuff. Hopefully that means I will have some good stuff for the blog. However, unless you are new - you know how this blog goes. It could just all result in rage from stuff sucking.

Winter is also coming pretty fast in California. All of the trees are dropping leaves like it's the middle of October. I'm trying to get the end of year projects wrapped up before it hits.

When I get so much stuff going on, my ADD lights up like a Christmas tree which basically turns me into a retarded monkey. It's like pulling data out of a lake with a straw. But the lake is filled with Java chips. Sometimes the flow is fine - then all of a sudden a huge chip plugs the flow. Then I get derailed fairly easily. Which is what happened this morning.

I heard about this event called Wasteland Weekend in California City, California. This is a city I've never heard of so I plugged it onto Google. This of course sent me on a link voyage. When you read it's the third largest city in California, and I've never heard of it  - it gets your attention. Then I became pissed at real estate developers. Only to find out this didn't happen this decade, it happened 50 years ago.

Even 50 years ago, they thought it was a great idea to create a waterfall in the desert. Which somehow made me feel better about today. It shouldn't - but look at this shit!

Then I got stuck on this building with a dragon wrapped around it in Thailand. You see how this is going... right?

Monday, September 16, 2013

I change my mind on the Fed.

Exactly one year ago today - I had two houses underwater. This morning I called my bank to see if they would refinance my primary mortgage - and I almost did. I am right on the thresh hold of 20% equity.

In October of last year I tried to refinance my rental which had equity at the time. I could have had 100% equity, and they wouldn't have refi'd me. I remember it vividly because I almost lost my shit. Granted, one house I live in and the other I don't - but still. In one year I've gone two two houses underwater ( one super underwater) to two houses with equity.

Three years ago when I tried to image how this would all play out... it wasn't like this. It's stunning honestly.

I change my mind on the Fed. He's got to stop that. I don't know how that will work with these rising interest rates and the cave of apps and refi's. Mortgage rates were down this morning. I suspect rates will fall.

I'm in a foot race with the bank. I have a reset in 2016, and this morning I almost won. It's impossible to know how to gauge the market now. For the first time in a long time I'm looking forward to having a contractor in so I can bleed him of all his real estate-y news.

This type of rebound (as artificial as it is) must burn the jingle mail crowd.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Homeless Depot.

It's such a distant memory now, I laugh when I think about it. San Fransisco used to have these programs to get people off the street. Now homelessness is such a pervasive problem - why bother? Still, when I was up in Emeryville today, even I was shocked to see a homeless encampment right at the side of a busy intersection. It was under a freeway, but in a time long long ago they tried to stay out of sight. Now they will pitch a tent practically anywhere. And anyway - if you have a tent, bike, cooler, and a bucket - are you really homeless? I know it's hard to make out in this picture. The sun wasn't working with me. A ton of homeless are decked out in this stuff now. You see them rolling around with roller luggage. And with California weather. Seriously. That's pretty swank, considering.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Thursday, September 12, 2013

IR Bunny.

The flippers are toast.

I was looking through the mortgage rates today. The aggregate being about 4.60%. If you have super good credit you might be able to do 4.42%. Why is this important? Houses you do not live in are a full point higher. That means a person flipping a house would pay 5.42% or more depending on their credit history. Still low by historical standards. But those guys have to be shitting their pants a little.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Invisible skyscrapers sound like an awesome idea....

Especially if you place them near an airport. Just sayin'.

How can you not taper with this news?

JPMorgan Chase could lose $15 billion from higher rates.

Let me get this straight. Jamie Dimon made a bet he could make 5 billion dollars in additional profit on rising interest rates, and it probably will net him minus 15 billion dollars. Is that what I read? Okay then. Well - carry on.

You can not escape the blood bath news of what it looks like, pretty much all the banks now. This is a clear sign the FED will tighten. Clearly. eye roll.

For the record - I think the FED should tighten. It's done barely more than create a completely artificial market. How can you accurately value any company with a market flooded with money?

There's a new tagger in town.

There is something about me that loves graffiti. Sadly you usually see it in hard to photograph places. Like the freeway which I'm not a big fan of stopping on. Or construction sites.

I first noticed the bunny tagger this weekend or last in Mountain View, and now I see him all over the valley. Or.. maybe it's a chick! On the other side is a giant carrot. Which I love.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

I knew when John Kerry got that job it would be funny - I just didn't think it would be this funny. That statement was John Kerry's equivalent of "When Monkeys Fly out of my butt". And Russia said - Oh, yeah., we can make monkeys fly out of your butt.

Now we're exceptional?

President Money Bags is delusional if he thinks Assad is going to let anyone into that country. To be honest, I lose track of all the horrible stuff I read on Syria. It's one of my top twitter feeds, and it's been there - well, I couldn't remember how long. It feels like a couple of years.

The first time I talk about it is in this post Most useless international body on the planet.. Dated Feb.,2012. Let me re-quote the topic.

"BEIRUT (AP) — U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon accused the Syrian regime of committing "almost certain" crimes against humanity Thursday as activists reported fresh violence and the arrest of several prominent dissidents, including a U.S.-born blogger."

Then I provide a link. I'm surprised that it is still up to be honest. But if you really want to know what they do to people in Syria. Watch it. This is from almost two years ago.

They target journalists. I thought we would go in when Marie Colvin died there. They hunted her down. They target the UN there! Not like that is any shock.

All I can do is shake my head at the naivety of this administration.

It's funny the things you get fixated on...

I am tech and car light right now - so you are getting flowers, and you are going to like it.

I have to confess to going out every night to check if this is still alive. And Mr S. has been bringing water to water it. So, I guess I'm cheating a little. It's waist high now. And part of me if just curious how long people will let it grow. Between the gardeners and the dogs and several days of 100 degree heat - it isn't doing too bad. Maybe I'm not the only one watering it.

I have to re-learn night photography a little now. My town replaced all the street lights with LED lights, so the IR is less pronounced. That is why that tree in the middle of the frame is purple. They must still have heat producing lights on their house.

Monday, September 09, 2013

Can anyone help me untangle this circular logic?

It's pretty hard to figure out the mortgage market right now. And I spend a great deal of time at it. I own property. One being a rental. No one wants the property recovery to be real more than I do.

It used to be pretty easy to figure this market out. Now it seems obvious you have these dark pools of investors. When 30%-50% of people are buying houses with cash - you know this are not "first time buyers". That is completely out of the norms for as long as I have owned property. These are probably flippers. Which in a normal world provide a valuable element to the market. Most people who buy a house don't want to have to do any work. They just want to move in and enjoy their lives. Still, flippers need to sell to someone. Or at least rent to someone.

Sooooo - it's kinda alarming news that 1.50-ish percent rise in mortgage rates this year results in a 30% loss in loans for Wells Fargo. Here. And if that weren't bad enough, refi's are down 63%. I think it was last week I said these idiots were a full point roughly from blowing up their refi segment. Here. This seems to confirm I am right.

I guess Wells thinks it can make up the revenue with other segments. Presumably on higher bond rates. The very thing that is killing them! 30% is a lot of percent. But what do they care Dear Taxpayer?

I think it was last week my twitter feed was filled with loan officer layoffs. So I'm guessing they don't think this is temporary. I'd just like to know how they are making money at all. Banks are in business to loan money to people. Those cash buyers plus a 30% drop in loans doesn't sound like banks are making money to me.

I guess I'm the only person around that thinks the Fed will not tighten.

Update- Bank of America announces 2,100 job cuts over decline in loans due to higher interest rates. Here.
For the love of Gawd - why isn't there video of this?

'Batman and Captain America save cat from house fire in Milton, West Virginia.

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Two Jeffs for the price of one.

I don't have to time have a Mantis for a pet this year. Little alone two. I have a contractor under glass. Plus, these two look pretty mature. They already have wings. Still - they let me play with them for a really long time without getting fussy. Or eating each other. After the heat wave, I am going to let them loose.

Read the stories of how all Mantis's became named Jeff. Here, here and here.