Wednesday, September 30, 2015

I got this a couple of days ago.

I'm trying to figure out how much I hate this.

There have been countless conversations in the Snarkolpesy household about Syria. Mr S. is pretty staunchly against doing anything. And I have to admit, he has some pretty good arguments. (not in the literal sense.)

I was in favor of going in four years ago when the problem was small. Even though I "identify" as a conservative - I'm basically a super hawkish Libertarian. I come from pretty sketch beginnings, and feel like sometimes it's really hard to fight against overwhelming force like the Assad Admin. So I have somewhat of a soft spot. Mr S. points out that people in Iraq were pretty ingenious about finding ways to fight with IED's against us. And he's right. If they aren't willing to fight. Why should we be willing?

I've basically accepted the President Money Bags plan because honestly - I thought he'd make things worse. If that was possible at all. If I were a God fearing person - which I'm not - I would want to be sent to hell over being sent to Syria. That place is so many levels past hell, and I've seen some super fucked up shit in my life. Which is honestly why I'm not a God fearing person.

Still, I generally don't think ignoring stuff makes problems go away. Like squeezing a balloon they just pop up elsewhere. Like Europe! Sorry, not sorry Europe.

However, this far in I'm starting to feel like these people are uncivilizeable. Yeah. I said it. Half the country has fled, who who knows how many still exist there. And I don't think Russia can't afford to fight in Syria for too long. I might be wrong.

Let them tire each other out. I mean, maybe Russia would be successful, but history doesn't exactly think so. It's sort of a roll of the dice, but at this point we still have more than a year before an Admin change.

Lets see how this goes.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

I'm starting to transfer over my images today, so a lot of images might break. Hopefully it should be temporary. Send me email if images continue to show up broken. Contact me info is at the right.

Guess what it was.

Kit cars are always a little fun to figure out what they started life as. Yes, you only get one shot. Half of you reading must be dudes. probably know about cars and have a natural advantage.

Monday, September 28, 2015

I wouldn't hold your breath for an echo bubble in housing popping.

A few weeks ago I started reading that people were buying brand new houses for rentals. In my sarcastic way I rolled my eyes and said that was just about the stupidest thing ever. New houses are the most expensive way to go. But Whatever. That can't be happening that often I said to myself. Nobody buys a new house to rent it out. That is your back up plan. Not your first plan.

Then, this weekend I was checking out the rental prices in my area, (because I have a rental) and what did I find? A house for rent in a brand spanking new development in town. The paint hasn't even dried on those places yet. I can't even find out what the unit sold for yet. I mean, I could if I wanted to ask one of the many agents that haunt me. But, it will come out in a couple of weeks.

This of course spun me out for about two hours because I was trying to figure out the math on that. I mean, I was trapped in the whole mortgage meltdown - so based on where I am in the real estate world, I can actually figure out a lot of stuff. There is almost no one who followed everything real estate more than I did.

There was honestly no way I could get that math to work. I know what the places across from the new development cost, and I know what the interest rates are right now. There is just no way I could get that to work. Even if he bought it as his primary and immediately made it a rental. Houses you don't live in are a full point higher for interest rates to acquire a loan.


Now because real estate prices are crazy. And rental prices are crazy - everyone and their brother is calling for the "bubble" to pop. I'm sort of saying - not so fast and I will tell you why in two charts.

These are the housing starts since 1969. Source.  As you can see we have just now gotten barely above the low end line at 1.1 million units roughly. I would call 1.5 million starts the mid-line, and at 2 million units the economy is going gangbusters. This lack of building has been going on for SEVEN years. The previous normal is three years. You notice how most of the other down ticks are V or W shaped?

Are prices going to go down? Probably. Prices go up, and prices go down. I think my house is back in Neg equity again by a little. But there is a vast reserve for people needing housing. Be it rentals or owners.  The population keeps expanding even in recessions. And they are not building enough to satisfy those needs. That is going to place a bottom under the so called "echo bubble".

And honestly, I doubt housing will ever be like 2009 in my lifetime. A few days ago I read an article titled: Turns Out the Housing Crisis Wasn't All About Subprime.

"When we talk about the past decade's housing crisis, it's natural to talk about subprime loans. Subprime loans give us a convenient, conventional story: predatory lenders charging people unconscionable interest rates, forcing innocent people into foreclosure and the rest of us into the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

There is only one small problem with this story, which is that lots of prime borrowers defaulted too. In fact, according to a new paper by Fernando Ferreira and Joseph Gyourko, subprime loans accounted for only a bare majority of defaults at the beginning of the housing crisis. Between the third quarter of 2006 and the third quarter of 2012, twice as many prime borrowers lost their homes as subprime borrowers."

I had a front row seat to the meltdown barely making it out alive myself and this is what I saw of the world. Most of the people I saw jingle mailing their houses back to the bank could afford them. I knew tons of people who did this. For years I sat in shocked amazement thinking - where are these people going to live?! Well, it took a lot of years, but I guess we know now what the answer is.

It used to piss me off so hard when the media tried to convince people that owning a house was a suckers game. And maybe it is. But in San Fransisco I just saw a girl who got a 130% rent increase. Who is the sucker now? The rental increases these days make the housing bust look like child's play. It's actually less expensive now to buy than rent. If people had the money for a down payment and a job. And of course there were any units to buy.

Also I see a lot of people saying that rents are going to fall apart. I can tell you - during the last recession it was unbelievable how stable the rents were. I looked every single week at the comps because I was sure that I would have to lower the rent on my place. I never ever once had to. Not even close. Which was good because I was already taking a loss at the time.

This should scare the shit out of you.

Look I have to get all the scary news out this week, because after that it's going to be nothing but the open road. I wouldn't want you think think I feel great about the world in general.

Since we don't really know what is going on in China, most of us look to their neighbors for clues. And it looks positively ghastly. I will give you a moment to center yourself. Ready?

"Cosmetics retailer Colourmix will move to Hong Kong’s Russell Street, once the world’s most expensive shopping strip, and pay about 40 percent less than the former tenant as China’s economic slowdown rattles the city." Source.

Apparently in the past two months the bottom has dropped out of the commercial retail market in Hong Kong. Rents are down between 40 to 50%. And no  one takes a haircut like that and not have it really hurt. They are in some serious deflationary pain for sure.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Today's random car shots.

I was trying to figure out if this was one of those electric bikes. It had an on/off switch in that hole by the pedals, but I didn't want to examine it so hard it looked like I was trying to steal it.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Getting ready for Jasmines great adventure.

I let her run around in the truck to start getting her acclimated. Being the bunny she is - the first thing she did was start digging up my furniture blanket. (you never know when you are going to haul something in there) Then she found her way to the drivers side via the handy tunnel under the seat.

Her what, you going to stop me look.

Friday, September 25, 2015

It lives!

One of the things I've been obsessing about before I leave, is my blog. You see my ISP decided on October 1st, it's not going to host my images any more. It's one of the many reasons things have been light around here. I wasn't sure what I was going to do.

Now, I could upload my images to flicker or or one of the many free hosting sites - but a lot of those sites have some pretty shady stuff in their TOS. I mean, when you upload images to the net you know that anyone can use them and I'm fine with that. But one day, I ever did get anything super special, I want to be able to fight for the rights to my photo. Companies that you give things to for free have no obligation to you at all. If you don't care enough to even pay a nominal fee, why should they care?

Anyway. If this image shows up - all will be well. Although I have to go through my whole blog and give every image a new path name. So things could be kinda funky for a little while. I found my solution about at the last minute.
Yesterday after the Pope spoke to Congress I decided that I was voting for Trump. Damn the consequences. I just want him to go in there and blow up the whole Republican party. Those do nothing spineless motherfuckers. If I had to see Boner crying one more time it would be too soon.

Then today I wake up - and he's gone. Though I still might want Trump to blow up the party. He may be a Rino, but so far he's not as bad as the socialist Rino's we already have.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Robots have ~finally~ solved a problem.

My long time readers will know that I cover this topic off and on. Mostly off for the past few years because there just hasn't been a lot of blogable progress. I've mostly been frustrated about this sector. Years ago I said that robots were a solution in search of a problem. Sadly, most problems robots weren't well suited for. Until now.

Delivery bots. And how.

They are starting to become really clever. Like this one from Clearpath Robotics called Otto.

No. It doesn't hover. It's the first question I asked. It's on wheels. But Autonomous. And the booth they were in wasn't very well suited for good pics which is why I provide a handy produced video from the company at the end.  Or you can go to their site above which has the same video. I wonder what these will start to do to the forklift companies.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Last night my husband decided that we are driving Route 80 because it's literally the most direct route to get to my family.

Today, I might have lost my will to live. And I can be entertained by lots of boring stuff. But wow, that road might put me to the test.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Things that make you go hum.

Last week I was able to find an interest rate at 3.67 pretty easily. Roughly 75% of the rates were under 4%. The rest above were just a touch over 4%.

Today, the lowest rate is 3.75%, and half of the rates are now below/above 4%. There are a couple outliers at 4.27%ish.

It's a strange reaction to a Fed on hold. Maybe the market has something different on it's mind.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Luna Park 2015. Final.

Death Starry Night.

I liked big bad hipster wolf and his bowl of ramen.

This was a forced perspective shot.

This is how it looked from the other direction.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Luna Park 2015.

There is just something I love about Luna Park. I don't know what it is. Sometimes it rains. Sometimes it's a hundred degrees like today.

This was Ode to Dali from Lincoln High School. I thought it was really clever for high school kids.

Honestly, it was good to know it wasn't suppose to be Lenin. Because that's who we all thought it was. It wouldn't have been a surprise if it were.....

This one also seemed to have a message. Though I wasn't quite sure what is was.

The dog I took upside down. We got there really late and the shadows were a problem.  It has an interesting depth though. Maybe I should have tried a few more that way.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Sometimes it takes all day just to get back to zero.

Yesterday my garage door freaked out. Here. Figuring that we couldn't someone out until today Mr S. and I started to work on it with a little help from youtube below. The one good thing about youtube still is that you can learn anything there.

I once thought they should make a youtube University, but they'd probably screw it up by constantly changing their algorithms. Youtube used to be pretty good about figuring out stuff you'd be interested in, But now - if you watch a single disgusting boil video - youtube thinks that is all you want to see from now on. All the suggestions they give you are - hey there baby, want to see another boil explode?

But I digress. Apparently when the cable came off the spool it detention-ed the spring. And that meant we had to recoil it. Which I was sort of freaked out about. Those springs can injure you. Each spring has a big tag that is red and says DANGER.

Of course we needed a specialised part that I figured would be stupidly expensive. But for under 10 bucks we had the tools to to either re-tension the spring, or send Mr S. to the hospital. Either way.

It took us about three times to get it right, but the door is now fixed, and I have another skill. I figure I could almost be a garage door installer now. At least an apprentice for sure.

Swimming in a vat of quicksand.

The Fed is playing with FIRE. This is the historical chart of existing home sales.  That peak right after 2007 is what happened when the government started the The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 establishing a tax credit for first-time home buyers.

Sales right now are as high as when the government directly goosed the housing market with that program. If you strip out that big bubble in 2006, the sales are right about at trend line.

The rental market. Hold on - let me center myself. I've been hearing and reading the craziest stories about rentals. I know a girl where her complex was raising her rent every nine months.It's like she was having a rent baby.  In SoCal, I've started reading stories about bidding wars on RENTALS.

The market needs to normalize and fast so more units can be built, because this is an inflation fire just smoldering. I get what is happening in the rest of the world, but I believe the US is causing a lot of that damage. The dollar has been moving pretty sideways for about the past six months. The peak was about six months ago. The price of rents are rising way faster than the mortgage resets of the 2000's. That can not continue.

Yet the Fed just told you not to expect your salaries to go up very much. Or even at all. That is the reason deflation is way worse than inflation. Sure, prices go down. But so do your wages.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015


The world is testing me. It knows I'm trying to go on a vacation, and it wants to make sure I'm the right amount of beat to death to appreciate it. This morning my garage door failed in a weird way. That wire is suppose to be on a tidy spool. For some reason the got all unwound and completely off the spool. The thing is I couldn't close the door because there was no slack in the wire. And the door was too heavy for me to push all the way up by myself.

After realising my day was torched, and doing the calculation on the ability of getting a guy out here before I figure out how to fix it myself - I wound up calling Mr S. home. I figured if I could just get the door all the way up I could get the wire off the spool and unwound. Now all we have to do it get it back together. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

I think it's funny how all the analysts are saying they don't believe the Fed is going to raise rates. But if they did, it wouldn't matter anyway.

Sooooo,,, if it doesn't matter anyway - why wouldn't they raise rates?

Sunday, September 13, 2015

A Sunday update.

Things are starting to me like a blur now. I'm trying to get ready to see our folks while trying to do all the normal life stuff. Since we are taking the girl, we felt like it would be better if we put on a bed cover on the truck so we could stick all of our crap there so Jasmine wouldn't be cramped up in the back seat. Plus it doesn't make us look so much like we are tourists.

Mr S. said that he read an article where two guys got one of these Peragon covers installed in 5 hours. I'm pretty sure it took us like eight. But Mr S. did most of the work assembling.

Even though it was dark when we finally got it done, we came out this morning to find that it's raining soot from the fires. The sky is basically an overcast color. I'm so over summer.

Friday, September 11, 2015

I am in a serious content drought. Not even autonomous cars could produce anything interesting to write about. Also, we've had like four of five days now of 100+ heat. Today it's merely 102.  This is the time of year we get hit with heat, but after four years of drought, it just sucks sucks sucks. I'm so over keeping things alive.

I think I might start shifting my gaze more to drones. It doesn't seem like there would be that much to write about, but the government is really becoming super interested in these things lately for applications like bridge inspection or other safety needs.

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Monday, September 07, 2015

Content Fail.

I thought I was going to get you some pretty interesting stuff this weekend, but I just couldn't do it because of the crippling traffic. Nothing is worth that. I did manage to make it up to the Sausalito art festival, but I spent five hours in traffic. And then we got there and the festival was so small I promptly freaked out. Sausalito is one of those pockets where people are immune to the bad economy. I'm sure not if this thing burned itself out, the high end sector is getting carved out.

 The traffic has been like this solidly on the weekends for at least four weeks. It's why you haven't been getting as much weekend stuff. I've been trying to stay off the freeways because it's just really suckage right now. I can't figure out what the major factor is because they've been closing BART for repairs for about the past month, but gas is also pretty damn cheap.. so there's that.