Thursday, December 31, 2015

This - is - war.

These are the bullets.

Apparently mice got into my engine compartment and started eating the wires. I only discovered this after I took the car in for a tuneup and went to drive it off the lot after. I barely got down the block before I had to take it back. They took the engine compartment apart and found a rats nest and they'd chewed some of my wiring. Something about the tuneup made the wires all of a sudden notice they weren't okay.

You'd think this was a beater car - but it wasn't. We only bought it about three months ago. So we don't know if it happened on the lot or in my garage since I bought it used. I don't have any droppings in the garage, but I don't want to take chances. That kind of damage is not covered under warranty.

I have never heard of this happening in California before. I don't live in the country I live smack dab close to the middle of the city. But the mechanic said they have been having a little rash of this lately. Which I might not believe,. but then I took my other car in for a tuneup and the gal there said they'd also been having a recent outbreak of this. Something about the weather patterns being different this year. The mechanic said some of the wires might be partially made of peanut oil, so I'm giving them peanuts.

The craziest stuff always happens to me. And yes -  am giving them nutella. Half that, and half peanut butter.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Abandoned i8.

My image server started having problems over the holiday. I think I'm having a DNS problem. Hopefully I will have it fixed soon. Until then, I'm giving you this curious shot I got this weekend. It's one thing to leave your car for a few days in a parking garage, but I bet the greenies wanted to do the windmill on this guy.

Monday, December 21, 2015

This time of year the blog goes off the rails.

Every year I think it won't. But it just does.

It's everything. The holidays. It finally starts to rain. It a State that is sunny 90% of the time, there is just a lot of pressure to always be doing something. And we've been in a drought for 4 years. I haven't gotten my normal winter down time.

When it rains you don't have to feel any guilt for wanting to roll up into a tiny ball and do nothing. The world is just quieter when it rains. And I've been trying to take some time out of the news cycle to center myself and prepare for next year.

It's all that an more. That's why every year this blog just goes off the rails. It gets better after the new year.  CES kinda pushes you back into the grind, and off we go for another year.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Nothing that has made me want to stab people more lately than the new video feature on Yelp. You always have to make sure your audio is off while browsing new places.

How banks screwed the Fed.

Everyone seems to think the Fed should have raised rates a year or two ago. The truth is that banks haven't really made money in a long time. There was a point when the economy looked much stronger and banks took a sliver of opportunity to raise rates without the Fed. They tipped rates almost to 4.50%. That must have roughly been in 2013.  The market has never recovered from that. I talked about it here back in May.

4.50% has always been the pain line. I've probably blogged about it more than anything else I've blogged about. Refi's are DEAD. At 4.50% - there is no refi market in my opinion.

I haven't even checked the rates today yet because it been hectic, but most rates yesterday were in the 3.80%ish range. So, everything is solidly over 4% now. At least.

I don't really know what happens - but I know what has happened every single time rates get well above 4%. Good luck with all of that.

Lowered expectations.

The whole time I've lived in this town, this house had a huge PEACE ON EARTH display. This year I noticed they dropped on "on earth" part instead opting for "PEACE" bitches.

Well... that was my add.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The Bay Area says Bernie who?

A few months ago I signed up to attend a Bernie Sanders rally at the SAP center in San Jose, I mean, how bad could it be - I've been to Marin! Same thing really. He likes Lands End clothing - they like Lands End clothing. He likes the idea of taxing you at 90%. They like taxing you at 90% too because - Marin!

Oddly a couple of weeks ago I got a cancellation message which was pretty surprising. You'd think the Bay Area would be all over this crap. And ya know Berkeley is so close.

Strangely none of his people seem to know what is going on. The SAP center is a giant stadium, I can't even tell is the stadium is booked because it seems like it is, but Bernie is not attending. Read above.

I just thought it was interesting. I don't see any Northern California events for him next year. I mean, if he can't gain steam here....

Monday, December 14, 2015

This is how you know we are completely effed and in recession.

All of a sudden late in the day came a flurry of articles trying to convince me the junk bond market wasn't a problem and even if it was - the service sector is still expanding. So - no big whoop. Because a waiters salary is going to hold up an oil patch workers salary apparently. I mean, really? No one learned math in the last seven years?

"While a bond implosion is never to be lightly dismissed, I think it is pretty obvious that our current situation, where the carnage is centered on the Oil patch and other commodities, and the service economy remains in a decent expansion, is more like 1998.

The bottom line is that, while low grade corporate bonds almost always blow out on the cusp of of early stages of a recession, the converse is not true. You can have a junk bond blowout without triggering or indicating a recession."
If they raise rates I bet they can convince the low information voters things aren't really as bad as they think they are for a couple more months.

However, even a tiny rise will cause all those liquidity stressed junk bonds and commodity payers to be under extreme pressure.

Good news though - it probably won't matter because if they don't raise the emperor will have no clothes. There are gonna be a lot of people swimming naked anyway.

I've never been so excited/scared of Christmas in my life.

Let's get this party started.

I hope everyone is cupped up because this shit is about to get real. I think it will be the best game of roshambo EVER! No matter what the Fed does the market breaks. Google it.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Thursday, December 10, 2015

People who have never worked in the trades will never understand Trumps popularity.

Obviously, I am not a blue collar worker - but my roots are there. I try make sure to never lose touch with what a man with callouses on his hands thinks. Trump is a blue collar candidate. Pure and simple. Be it democrat or republican. You don't think only Republicans have callouses. Do you?

This story backs up what I've been saying for a little while now.

Iowa tow truck driver shows why Trump backers stand by him after call for Muslim ban.

“He didn't have to work as hard as I did with my callused hands,” said Goacher, 56. “If a man can become a billionaire without having to work that hard for it, he's evidently a pretty smart man, money-wise, and the United States has to be run as a business.” Goacher's world could hardly be further from Trump's, with the private jet, the global network of luxury hotels, the trappings of celebrity. 

Goacher, a lifelong resident of a down-and-out industrial section of this small city on the Mississippi River, once slaughtered hogs at the Oscar Mayer plant. From the driver's seat of his tow truck, Goacher points to signs of decline: “That was a gas station. That was Sears. Over here was the A&P. They're all empty.” 

Alpo and Dog Chow are still made at the Nestle Purina factory near the riverbank, but the Oscar Mayer plant will soon be replaced by one that will employ just 475 of its 1,400 workers. "

If you ask anyone in the construction trade, you will hear them say the following also from the article.

"Goacher mentioned a local company that charges “8, 10 grand” to replace a roof. “OK, there's a boatload of Mexicans come by, and you can get it done for 2 or 3 grand. They're not from here. That's hurting the businessperson that's here.”

Maybe that's what we want.

Ron Paul: A Trump win would ‘sever’ the GOP.

"If Donald Trump wins the presidential nomination, it will be terrible for the Republican Party, says Ron Paul, the former GOP presidential hopeful whose son is running for the White House. "

Right now there is nothing more that we hate than our own party. They are the most spineless do nothings on the face of the planet. How messed up is it that we think a person like Donald Trump is better than anything we have right now. If he wins it will be the most surreal moment in history. Yet I would not be surprised at all.

We hate everyone in our party. I'm not even sure we even like Trump - we just hate the rest of them more.

Full disclosure - I was on the Ron Paul Bandwagon in the last election and I think he effed us. So, there is that.

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Socialist much?

If I read one more story about how buying back your own stock is a greedy thing to do - I'm gonna flip out. Week after week on ZH I read headlines like these:

"If you said just more of the same, with corporate management teams buying back their own stock in near record quantities (boosting their own stock-linked compensation in the process) and serving as the biggest marginal buyer in the market, then give yourself a pat on the back."

To be fair, it's not only ZH. It's businessweek. It's cnbc. I think all these people can suck a bag of sandy dicks.

The implication is that they are only trying to get richer. And possibly so! Who the fuck cares? But if I'm a corporation who is looking at the vast business landscape right now - the only thing I want is less of my companies stock floating around. Even if I have to borrow to do it! 

Does this boost the price of the stock because there is less stock available? YES. But it also makes it so when the market crashes your stock will presumably crash less hard because the available people with stock is also less.

So sure - those greedy effers are trying to make it sure their companies don't die in the next downturn. What assholes.

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

You never know what you will find at the Snarkolepsy blog.

I stroll up to my conference in San Jose to see this sign. I think to myself - self, I'm sure this is going to be way funner than anything I find in the conf, but I check in anyway. Do a scan, and then go back over to the area auditions were happening. But it wasn't like on TV where there was a big line of people. This seemed more like a "show up any time you want" sort of thing. Later I found out from Elvis that the Idol judges were not there. You HAVE to have an Elvis. Right? Anyway. I hung out a little while. I felt very lurker creepy doing so. I mean, I was trying to get shots of bigger personalities. I couldn't see their acts. Got a few shots. Went back over to my conference.

I figured early on the real judges must not be there because there wasn't any crying or dramatics. But some people were taken downstairs, where others just left.

This couple hung around for a really long time. He's in a bunch of my shots.

Monday, December 07, 2015

The world is awash in phonies.

I haven't really talked much about Trump because I really thought he would flame out by now. I personally don't have an opinion one way or the other about him. The bar for President this year is so low that my standard is basically - not a socialist. AND THAT INCLUDES REPUBS.

Yet every single time someone talks about why Trump is doing so well I just have to laugh. I think they get all the reasons wrong. I guarantee you that guys are saying the stuff Trump does on every single construction site in this country. Seriously. Trump is towing the UNION line, and unions are a mix of everyone. He knows he can say this shit because that is really how people talk in whispered tones. Especially dudes. They just wont admit it now to outsiders. Construction guys are the most anti immigrant you can imagine. Even people that don't like him and are democrats agree with some of the stuff he says about immigration. They just don't like the way he says it.

I don't know if Trump will win or not - but he is the only candidate that could drain democrat votes. I mean, lets face it - most of us aren't sure what he is. Possibly a democrat. But he is a huge wild card because he is a union candidate. I'm not sure I'm a fan of that because I'm not a fan of unions, but it will be nice to talk bad about the leader of our country without being called a racist. Imagine being able to say whatever shit we want!

Friday, December 04, 2015

A clever use for the HP Sprout from Light Guide Systems.

I've been watching these HP Sprouts since at least as the last CES. I thought it was really clever that HP had a demo truck right at CES registration last year but that wasn't enough for me to blog about them. It was the first thing you saw as you walked in to pick up your badge.

Still, I figured these were going to be more for children. The apps were pretty simple. At the time I think they were selling for around 2 grand. It was a little pricey for a kids desktop but I figured the price would come down and it looks they they have. They are now selling for about 1600 bucks.

Anyway - when I walked into my last conference and saw Light Guide Systems using one I was pretty intrigued. You don't know how much I love seeing a company use a product for an application I didn't expect. It fills me with such joy. I can't even tell you.

The company basically projects instructions on how to assemble items for manufacturing. Since the Spout has cameras in them they can detect if you are assembling products correctly which is something I can see companies actually benefiting from.

While I was looking for demos on youtube to show you how their software worked I realized this company was at Augmented World Expo earlier in the year and to be honest I didn't even notice them. Previously they had been doing this via projectors. I'm pretty sure that is the reason I passed them by. Projectors never seem to gain any traction. I'm not sure what the reason is. That would have flipped my meh button.

In stepped HP I guess with the Sprout. Light Guide Systems decided to partner with them and I can see why. The hardware seems custom made for their needs. I've been keeping a wait and see attitude about these little machines, but they have now moved into the "maybe" category. And really... HP needs all the good press it can get. Right?

Wow. When I posted this last night it was ad free. I guess youtube swooped in with adteam6 over night and probably hit up all his videos. You wouldn't want to miss any revenue after all.

Thursday, December 03, 2015

December should get interesting.

I'm pretty sure the Dow is negative for the year. It keeps swinging from one side to the other. It's pretty late in the year to basically be flat. And this being December - some funds surely will have to reallocate and take tax losses. Especially anything at all from the commodity sector. Iron ore for example is down 80% YOY. That's a lot of percent. Exxon is down 25%. You get the idea.

All I know is - there are going to be a bunch of bankruptcies soon. Even I didn't expect this to drag on this long.

No one will notice me here.

I always love running across a McLaren in the wild.

I had to use this new parking garage in San Jose and as I was winding my way to the top I saw this car parked in a corner. It was so dark under there that I was like - is that a McLaren? I spent 15 minutes trying to find it after I parked because the deck was really packed and I technically didn't know what floor it was on.

The garages in San Jose now are so short that it isn't easy to judge height. I don't bring my full size truck to these if I can help it. You literally might only have 3-4 inches above you. The garage beams hit the standard Toyota radio antenna. That's how short they are. Very cave like.

This shot is probably a mix of flash and headlights.  The first shot is natural light. If you didn't have an idea that was a fancy car you might have never noticed.

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Bad blogger.

Things have been just a little hectic since the holiday. I have three conferences tomorrow then I hope to be back on track.