Friday, December 30, 2016

Nothing interesting, but it's ~something~.

I had to get all my outside stuff done today before the rain. Pre, pre, prepping the garden. It's been rainy so I had to knock down some weeds. I didn't do a garden the last two years because we were in a savage drought. Even last year I started to get worried we might all die.  The ground was just too deep down dry to plant anything. So this year I'm having a freaking garden.

Then next week I guess it's going to get crazy cold.  Thursday the high is only suppose to be 44 degrees! I wish I though that being in Vegas I'd escape that but I think that takes me closer to the polar plunge.

The end

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Is the madness beginning to end?

I've been trying to stay out of the news cycle, but I did hear that Sprint is bringing jobs back to the USA. Which I had to laugh about. You see, a few months ago I starting posting about how Trump knew he didn't really have to threaten companies to stay in the US. It was my firm belief that companies were already dieing to come back before Trump was even on the radar.

If an administration stopped being so rough on them they would come back in a heart beat. Trump could act like he was a tough guy, but these guys wanted to come back more than anything in the world anyway. Outsourcing was killing them. Trump would win without having to do almost anything. Can you imagine how bad you have to make conditions that it's less expensive to ship your products from another country into your own country? I was talking to a guy a few months ago who made radio controlled Caterpillar.  You know - the earth movers. Not the tiny bugs. Which I thought was sort of meh at first. But when he started talking to me about all the regulations companies have to go through - it's no wonder why all of a sudden you don't want a guy getting his insides jigged every day. Your going to make it so a guy holds a video game controller instead. He told me that just to turn on one of those machines you need a 10,000 dollar permit for clean air rules. For each machine!

I mean this outsourcing experiment has reached it's natural end. I don't believe outsourcing saved companies that much money. Customer support outsourcing basically killed Dell. They were one of the top computer makers and then they outsourced tech support.  They soon fell of a cliff. They never ever recovered from that and then the recession hit.

For a little while at Comcast the Indian tech support dudes figured out they could just drop calls and their numbers would look good, but I'm sure Comcast call volume went through the roof. I bet there are tons of these stories. I mean, everyone used to have an Indian tech support story. Right? And then on the manufacturing side if you aren't big that is just lunacy. The stories I hear out of startups.

All Trump needed to do was to act sorta tough on a couple of people and all the sheep come prancing home. Google it. It is funny to watch though.

Yes - this was someone's job.

I'm gonna be honest - I was going to handicap shame this Audi. Not post his licence plate or anything, but a handicap placard on your Ferrari seems to be the latest status symbol at Santana Row and I think it's kinda funny.

It's the weirdest mall. It's not in a swank part of San Jose or anything. It's in a completely average part of San Jose. But the mall is hugely upscale. It's the kind of place that you often run across a car like this (Audi R8) and people don't even really notice.

So anyway. I saw this guy pull into the spot and wanted to see if he really did look like he needed the special parking. I don't really care that much, but I do think it's a weird trend right now. He initially pulled into a different handicapped spot that was decidedly less well lit. I was taking pictures of the car when he came back and decided to move it into a more protected spot. It is an R8 after all. As he opened the door - I noticed that it projected the word quattro onto the ground. For no apparent reason at all! And that is completely bad ass.

I think this mall could stop all this fake handicap parking shit by just making a Ferrari zone. It seriously is the only mall I've seen that pulls in crazy cars like that. Not even Walnut Creek has so many consistently fancy cars. . Tesla has a whole area for their cars at this mall. All the rich people want is not not get dinged by us average cars. And close up parking - I guess. Cause they're rich. And I don't really care one way or the other because his effing door lights up the ground with the word quattro. Let him park right up front for effs sakes.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Okay, I think I'm going to start unthawing this blog.

I think I lost my way in 2016. The whole year just felt like sandpaper. So I just needed some time to regroup. A lot of time. People don't understand how much pressure blogging puts on you. It's super hard to find something interesting to blog about every single day.

I don't know what you will get for the next few days - but at the very least, CES starts next week and this blog will come alive. I predict it's going to be packed with a ton of unnecessary AI.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Christmas Stories.

My city has one of those light shows that draws the whole town. The closer it gets to Christmas the crazier that neighborhood gets. It's just a crush of people. In previous years when I've talked about it, I've always laughed that the lights had to be a disclosure item when you buy a house in that neighborhood.

This year when we were leaving one of the neighbors had their garage open and was watching the forming crowds and I shouted - how do you like living here this time of year? He started to walk towards me. I continued - I always laugh because that has to be a disclosure item. Right? He laughs and says - the number 1 disclosure item. I'm like - really!

We talked to him for a little while because that neighborhood has funny stories to tell. I guess the city actually accommodated him with two power lines to his house to power all that stuff. He said sometimes you can hear the lines vibrating. The other funny thing he said was that if you come the day after Christmas you can get all the photos you want because on the 26th no ones comes. People are OVER it.

I just think the thought of someone getting a real estate contract and seeing that as your number one disclosure item is really funny. On one hand you are like - what the hell. I mean, if your signing in June maybe you don't notice. But by Christmas you can see this from 10 blocks away. But honestly if I light show is the worst of your problems......

I guess the market only goes up.

If you thought Trump was going to lower capital gains rates - why would you sell this year?

I bet they get the best presents.

This way Santa knows what he's going to get with his cookies instead of milk. I think the champagne glass is a new addition. I'm kinda excited to see how far they take this. Santa might spend all night in that one block of houses. Just say'in.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Boy, the whole Obama administration is a mad that doesn't wash off very quickly. Right?  But I'm sure we will get to enjoy it for years to come. Said in the most sarcastic way. Obama has left us a million turds to uncover.

Down, but not out.

December is when the grind that is blogging comes to a head. Blogging is hard enough to be entertaining, but add in a stagnating economy and well - when December gets here I just want to say eff it and take all my weekends back.

It's a lot easier in January to be a clown for your entertainment is all I'm saying. December is definitely funky town though.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Sunday, December 11, 2016

I don't care. I'm posting them anyway.

Normally I try to only give you stuff in focus, but I'm suffering from a lack in moral. Normal winter is really getting to me. I can't remember when I last saw the sun.  Californians are allowed to bitch about the rain again right?  The last few years it was kinda sacrilege to complain about rain. But I'm here to cry uncle. Anyway.....

Lacy started doing this about a week ago. But she only does it in the morning and she's pretty squirmy and I usually haven't had any coffee yet. So that basically means you get not completely in focus shots. It is super funny though because she has the whole door. But she's just decided to poke her head out. I'll probably post better shots if the sun comes out. Which is definitely not next week. We get a whole new storm system.

Friday, December 09, 2016

This blog always falls off the rails in December. I'm solar powered.

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Today I give you cyborgs.

I haven't been staying for any of the talks at my shows lately. I've pretty much been in a "get out of my way and show me your toys" sort of mood. But when I saw that Niel Harbisson was going to talk today I decided to make sure I could listen to him talk. I was super curious why someone would want to put an antennae in their brain if they didn't medically need to. I'm sure he' can't go anywhere without people looking at him. That would drive me crazy.

Apparently he was born color blind and set out to find a way he could experience color. He chose sound as a medium. So - basically he sees color through sound. Which I can't say would be my favorite way. The whole thing definitely brings new meaning to the term "that color is loud". He also can see UV and IR spectrum via sound too. I'm not actually sure how it works because my brain was filled with other things. Like it didn't seem as odd in real life as the impression I'd gotten from the internet. Not one person asked how it worked because - sometimes you just don't think of the right questions because something is so unusual. You are trying to resolve a lot of other stuff in your head first.

Monday, December 05, 2016

Few cars make me more miserable.

I don't get why guys love these cars. But things around the Valley are really slow in December because everyone has their heads down trying to get ready for CES. So this is what you get.

Friday, December 02, 2016

This is all everyone else's fault and not my own.

Buyers Remorse? Trump Supporter Was Foreclosed On By Treasury Pick Steve Mnuchin.

I noticed everyone was crying over this woman today. How mistreated she was. People are cutting and pasting the original article to fit their agenda of how she was robbed. This wasn't some old lady how lost her house. This woman was fully surfing in the property bubble. And I know people only read half of any article, but if they had -

"In 1998, she bought a triplex for $248,000 in Hawthorne, California, not too far from Los Angeles International Airport.

She rented out two of the units and lived in the third. Colebrook refinanced her mortgage in order to renovate the property and help buy additional homes to generate rental income. (And how much you want to bet she refi'd it with a no interest loan? Oh wait read the next paragraph)

By the time the financial crisis struck in 2008, she had an interest-only mortgage on the triplex known as a "pick-a-payment" loan. Her monthly payments ran as high as $2,000 and only covered the interest on the debt. Then she got ensnarled in the economic downturn.

"All my tenants lost their jobs in the crash," Colebrook said. "They couldn't pay. It was a knock-on effect.""

Empahsis mine. This woman was flying too close to the sun and messed up. She has no one but herself to blame. She took extreme risk and lost.

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Obama tried so hard to make us CUBA.

As I tried to get my antibiotic prescription filled today I am totally dumbfounded how this administration makes things that used to be "no big deal" into a major effing production.

So, I drove the 17 miles to the pharmacy. In traffic that is almost 40 minutes. It then takes them 40 minutes to compound the medicine. I.e. add flavoring. Why? I'm not sure. So I either need to wait the 40 minutes to let them do whatever it is they have to do. Or come back. Luckily they had a drug shuttle to the store that is near me which will not put flavoring in antibiotics apparently. But at least I only need to go one town over now to pick it up. All this crap toasted my afternoon. And I still don't have my prescription. If my girl was really sick I would be flaming out right now.

I used to just walk into the vet and boom- antibiotics. Now.... pound sand. The rest of your day is toast.

It's so frustrating how far the grubby hands of government reaches into your life.

So - I took my girl Lacy to the vet today because she has the sniffles a little bit. Normally you go to the vet and you walk out with antibiotics and you get on with your life.

Now apparently the government doesn't let vets compound their own medicine which they have been doing since the dawn of vet time. The compounding basically is just adding flavoring to the antibiotics to make it so your pet doesn't freak out by the taste.

Now I have to go four cities over to get my effin medicine. There is only once place in my area that does it. I could have it sent by mail apparently, and while this bout of sniffles is not an emergency - usually when a rabbit needs antibiotics - it is a full out emergency. You need to get them on it right away.

If they are sick they could die in a day or two. No exaggeration. Now I have to be anxious about real emergencies and I need to start making some kind of plans to work around that. Vets can be open late. Pharmacies not always so much.

The government could have just made it so the tech who was compounding had a special certification. But no. You just aren't allowed. So Obama.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Put your big girl panties on. This is ugly.

The chart for mortgage applications since Sept. Clearly that looks healthy. Said in the most sarcastic way. I've talked about the sluggishness in rentals over the past few months. Over that same time the oldest time on market for people selling has gone from 3ish weeks, to 45 days. Even I'm not sure what is going to happen now. I'm guessing sales will look like shit for a very long time.

Note - this is not another bubble popping. That was an invention made up by the media. Are things sluggish? Yes. But you will never get people to give up their houses in the same way they did during the recession. Even people who could have afforded their houses gave them up out of pure greed. The media convinced them their houses would never be worth what they paid for them. They jettisoned those houses so quick it made your head spin. I knew  a few of those people.

If I had to guess - those recent potential buyers will turn back into renters. The market is so dysfunctional. It's hard for me even to wrap my mind around how this plays out now.


Mortgage Refinancings Collapse To 2016 Lows As Rates Top 4.00%.

This is NOT news. 4% has always been the pain inflection point. I must have written about this a million times. For several years I've been writing about this. At 4% refi's do not exist any more. Period. Each and every time rates have reached it - activity has fallen of a cliff. It's just the bottom line.

It will be interesting what happens next though because once rates start going up (and I think they will) - people are not going to want to move. They are now because they can trade out to a similar rate.

My neighbor for example just sold his house in two weeks. Stuck the house on right around Halloween. I starting seeing rates go up and figured he was going to be butt hurt because they were rising quite quickly. Next thing I know he's got a pending sign on it. He got through right in the nick of time.

Now we get to see the real world. And it's going to be like someone stuck a stick in the middle of the gears. I'm honestly not sure where they will get the land to build new units on. Over the past three years plot after plot has been snapped up. Every time I drive by an open space plot I'm like - wow, that one is gone now too!

Mark my words - housing is set to get mind bogging expensive. Housing inflation is going to be intense. It will make pre-recession times seem tame.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

This should be interesting.

Apparently San Fransisco thinks no fucks given about a Trump administration. According to David Chiu. If they lose Federal funding because of their sanctuary policy - they will just tax ALL Californians to make up for that because super majority bitches. Democrats are cray cray. I guess in for a penny - in for a pound.

Someone should let them know the holidays aren't over.

It's not going to be me because you can't imagine the controlled chaos that happens when there are Turkeys on a busy road at almost 4pm.  People stop to take pictures. Cars take a wide berth, and some people will just honk at them. Like that matters to Turkeys. But it is funny to watch.

Domesticated turkeys are really good at staying on the sidewalk though. I do have to give them credit. But that is where the food is. So I don't know how much credit.

Monday, November 28, 2016

The world according to CES.

I normally book CES at the mast minute because I'm never really sure if I'm going to get to go, I've even booked later than this! Seriously.

This is the first year hotel rates are stratospheric. 50-100% over last years rates. I even debated staying in Henderson. Which is not ideal - but Henderson at least has a mean(in a good way) burger vibe.

CES must be YUGE this year. And last year was already huge. I used to power walk it in one day. Then decided to stay overnight so I didn't have to do that.  Only to have CES make the whole thing even larger. Then I had to power walk it in two days. Really, by the end I'm practically running through the isles jumping over rolling luggage to get everything in. And I didn't even get everything last year despite it being the first year they'd banned rolling luggage so it made it slightly easier. I hope they do that again.

One year I logged 8 miles at CES in one day. So last year I wouldn't be surprised if I did 15 miles in the two days. I honestly leave feeling like I ran a marathon. I'm a little scared by a larger CES.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Hyper color McLaren.

I spent a lot of time on this car. the owner has it roped off so tight. Boy you can tell the new money. Finally by the end he took the ropes down and I could get better shots. But this thing was mobbed the whole time.

Friday, November 25, 2016


When you walk into a room and see this - you are going to get your ass handed to you. Doom doesn't play nice.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Next year all these phonies will claim they wanted this all along.

Every time I hear someone call Trump an isolationist I go over and look to see what the dollar is doing. And I just laugh inside and wonder if they are ignorant, or willfully ignorant. I'm guessing both.

For a few months(maybe since summer), I've been saying that I thought the dollar would become very strong if Trump won. And that seems to be playing out. This economy has been basically plagued by a vote of no confidence with the Obama Administration. And that is all about to change. I think the dollar becomes much stronger. But while this sounds awesome on the surface. The reality is that when the dollar is so strong our exports take a hit. 

Globalism isn't an infinitely expanding pie. Unless the Middle East all of a sudden decides they want to work. Only then will Globalism will take another step  forward. Americans were sort of okay with all of their jobs being off shored because we got cheaper goods from abroad. It sort of tricked them into not caring as much that their wages were not going up  because their paychecks were still going farther than they did before. But China is becoming a mature economy. The benefit of off shoring plateaus and this is where we find ourselves now.

I think when Trump "forces" companies to stay here it will be a huge sigh of relief for most of corporate America. And I say "force" a bit tongue is cheek because it's sort of a con. And I will tell you why. 

First of all, if he does manage to reduce the tax rate. He isn't going to have to force anyone to do anything. They will be falling all over themselves to set up shop in America. (which also BTW will cause the dollar to strengthen more)

Second - since I go to a lot of emerging technology talks I hear a lot of horror stories involving China. Just this year I heard someone guy talk about how the failure rate of Chinese goods is still very high. I should have a number to quantify that, but basically my brain explodes with - how is that still a problem? China has been doing manufacturing for a really long time now. And then I forget to mentally take notes on the numbers. But anyway, I think manufacturers would die to onshore. And Trump gets to talk tough, while letting people do what they naturally want to do anyway.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

My weekend in a nutshell.

The hamster wheel only stops around here when the rain comes. It's the only thing that gives you permission to be lazy. So, I've been basically playing DOOM 2016. And trying to figure out my mantel design. My fireplace has basically been one of those forever projects. And I'm finally getting close to wrapping it up. Fireplaces are really hard. It's the last thing people are going to redo. So you have to keep an eye for your future buyers. You can't get too crazy. And you have to learn how to replace the whole thing on your own. Because most people don't do that.

I'm a huge minimalist - but one day I'm going to sell this place and I don't want it to look too masculine. Before, it had a colonial theme which I hated. And the surface was super shiny so it reflected every light that was on.

Mr S. is CAD modeling it today because I can't figure out if I want to keep it a natural wood or paint it white. The natural wood gives it a warmer feel. But I'm super anal about nail holes. So if I went that way I would have to build it in a way that disguises all of those. Which I'm pretty sure is going to be a pain in the ass. But all that stuff catches my eye. This is why projects take so long at the snarkolepsy household. I'm the girl who walks into a bathroom and can't figure out why the tile lines aren't right.

Below is the most minimalist version. The left side is painted white. The right side unvarnished natural wood. I haven't figure out all the detail yet. But I did buy some more clamps today so I can add more elements.

This is a more contemporary version.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Shine bright like a diamond.

Smart fabrics have gotten amazing in every single way. Last year I was thrilled they were printing circuit boards on plastic gloves. This year they are printing on saran wrap. Everything is softer.

These were so low power I think they were getting the power for these chips from the air.

Sometimes these photos don't really capture well. But it's not quite interesting enough to take a video of. The brown area had strobing tiny LED lights.

It's quite impressive how bright the low powered LED's are. Shockingly bright. And you can wad this thing up into a ball because it's so soft and flexable. This shot is not overexposed. You can see how it lights up his face.

Energized paper from Powercoatpaper.

One of the more interesting technologies I've run across lately is paper embedded with LED's that gets it's power from your phone via NFC. (Near field communications) The box above actually blinked at you. I tried a million times to get a shot of it lit up and I just couldn't. I thought about taking a vid, but I was sure this company would have it's own videos. You can see the box is sitting on a power mat though. The images below you can see in one shot the LED's are lit while the other shot it is not.

I actually spent a crazy amount of time Googlefu'ing to try and get you an example. but this tech is really super new. The best I could find was people using this technology for nail art. I know guys! That is not your thing. But skip through to 1 minute 18 in the video at the end.

If the company happens to run across my site - please point me to a vid. Because I scrubbed the net for a really long time and I couldn't find anything.

I think it was two years ago at CES - Krogers had a supermarket display there that was using this too. When you stuck boxes on the charging shelf, the boxes lit up. I don't know if this tech is going to take off. I only know girls really like sparkly things...and little LED's are sparkly. It definitely does get your attention. And really the most amazing thing is that NFC is a power source. I didn't know that. I adore NFC because it's the easiest ways to get images from one NFC device to another.

Home site here.

My burb is crushing it right now.

The rain comes tomorrow so I think I've squeezed all the color I can out of these.