Friday, February 26, 2016

This has to be the beginning of the end.

"Short sellers are piling into energy stocks at a rate nearly equal to what banks were seeing during the financial crisis." Source.

Death is near. I'm not sure which oil, steel, or other commodity player will be first. But death is near for some of them.

He's living inside their head rent free.

Every time I see Cruz or Rubio talk these days - they spend more time talking about Trump than their own platform. It's just weird.

There is not a snowballs chance in hell this will happen.

"U.S. consumer spending rose solidly in January and underlying inflation picked up by the most in four years, keeping Federal Reserve interest rate increases on the table this year. " Source.

I think it was two days ago I was able to find an interest rate at 3.408%. So almost 3.41%. This is a low not seen since probably 2013ish. Today things are back up to around 3.53%ish.

I've been doing a wait and see on the economy for a couple of weeks because the dollar did weaken about 5 cents this month.  It's done that 4 times in the past year, so you had to see if this was something. Or nothing. It looks like it was nothing because the dollar is back up to 98.16. Chart here.

The Fed is the dollars bitch and they have no control over this. The rest of the world is extremely weak and we are the best shitty horse in the shitty horse barn. On the bright side?! The Yuan has a snowballs chance in hell of being a reserve currency now. No one wants to own the Yuan.

And oh BTW what did we get for such low interest rates?

Ouch! New home sales fall sharply in January.

Mortgage applications down 4.3%; refinancing falls

Really? You can't gain any traction with interest rates sitting in the 3.50% range? Not even refis?Ridiculous. Most of the people under water must have already gotten through that door.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

It's like we've been stuck in 2009 for about two years.

According to data from FactSet's Andrew Birstingl, the number of initial public offerings (IPOs) on the US Stock market this year is at its lowest level since 2009.

"As of February 19, 2016, only three companies headquartered in the United States had gone public year-to-date, which marked the lowest number of IPOs over this time period (1/1-2/19) since 2009, when just 2 companies priced in the public market," said Birstingl in a note Thursday.

"At this point last year, 20 IPOs had already occurred, with Shake Shack and Box being the most notable names on that list.". Source.

Really, if you look at any financial headlines they all say "worst since 2009". This year, last year -same headline. And we all know 2009 was a fine year. Said in the most sarcastic way.  I even wrote about it in January of last year. It's like groundhog day for every company. Reliving the year 2009 over and over and over again.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

It's not a trend but...

I know this girl. The last time I saw her back was when Trump was just starting to gain traction. Probably November. At the time she was in the Trump Hello No camp. I walk in one day and she's like - I'm Mexican and Trump is saying all this crap about Latinos. She was completely indignant.

I was sort of taken back by the conversation because I didn't even know that girl was Mexican. She is as white as white comes. So my brain was filled with that. I couldn't even concentrate on the Trump stuff.

Snap forward to today and I see her again. She says to me - I'm going to vote for Trump now.

I'm like what!? The last time you were a trump hater. She's all - I know! Now the stuff he says makes me laugh.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

This is going to be fun.

I am deep in Obama territory.  and honestly I can't help but blame them for the shape of the economy.  I hope their heads spin right off if Trump is elected. I hope it makes them as mad as fish grease.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Green Acres.

Last year we had a super bloom for the first time ever. I musta posted wild flower pictures for a month or two. Next time I post a set I will link back to last years photos because it was pretty epic.

It was pretty surprising too because we were in the 4th year of a super intense drought. I'm not sure if we are going to get the same show this year, but I hope so. It could make us a temporary touristy spot. I mean, people are driving down to Death Valley for their super bloom this year. The East bay at least has wineries.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Boy - there is just no one here to root for.

TRUMP: 'Boycott all Apple products'.

"Thieves, consider yourselves on notice: California is now smartphone "kill switch" territory.

The so-called software is designed to make stealing smartphones essentially pointless by allowing owners to remotely lock their device so no one can use it. The technology, which includes Apple's "Activation Lock" and Google's "Device Protection," has become a key selling point among phone manufacturers that offer peace of mind to protect customers' information if a phone is stolen, and hopefully discourage thieves from stealing it in the first place.' Source below.

This whole Apple thing is frustrating. I'm the first to shit all over Apple, but I have yet to see one "unlocking" that happened after the 2015 kill switch law was put into effect that was forced on them anyway by the major of San Francisco. There is a case that says Apple "claims" they could unlock the phone. Which given enough time and resources is probably true. The government could do this too if it was so easy! For shits sakes they could just rent GPU space from Amazon!

 It's so so frustrating that they were forced into harder encryption and now they are getting shit for it. 

Still, Apple has been none too shy to gargle the Administrations Balls. So, while I feel they are just following the law - it's always a little satisfying to see the Obamalovers eat each other.

I'm not happy about the Trump thing either, but honestly - all of them would probably demagogue this.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Something about me loves there is a Mac brute force passwd cracker called DaveGrohl.

I'm not endorsing this. I was just searching around today because encryption is really hard to hack. But computing power is really cheap these days.  So there is that. I mean, there is a 90% chance they have a soft passwd and they could brute force it in a day. The Feds have been trying to unlock encryption forever. Forever! If it was so easy... what's the problem?

This is what HP says about encryption.

Encryption is Very, Very Hard to Crack.

Cracking encryption is absolutely never as easy as typing “G-cipher,” however, because it is portrayed that way in movies, many people (maybe about 38.2% of them) end up believing that it actually is that easy to crack.

That really is not a reflection on the people who end up with that misunderstanding. Encryption is hard and requires lots of arcane math to really understand how it works and why it is secure. Unless someone is a specialist in that particular area, it probably is not worth the significant time and effort needed to understand material that difficult. After all, as Calvin Coolidge said, “The business of America is business.” It is not payment processing. And it is definitely not encryption.

So it is perfectly reasonable to expect people to not really understand encryption and the protection that it provides. But because it is so much easier to get inaccurate information from how encryption is portrayed in movies, it should not be too surprising that so many people do not have an accurate understanding of how good the protection provided by encryption really is. Encryption is not the sort of thing that anyone can bypass by typing a few characters on a keyboard. It is the sort of thing that takes implausible amounts of resources to actually carry out. And it is definitely not the sort of thing that hackers are going to crack any time soon.

What the FBI is basically doing is forcing Apple to pay either in resources (CPU clusters) and or engineers, Which I'm pretty sure the government has that stuff too. As I said, they have been trying to break encryption for at least 20 years.

I don't know why Apple is acting like it has a backbone.

Today the net was on fire about the whole Apple defying a judges order to unlock the San Bernadino killers iPhone. Which was funny because San Fransisco basically forced Apple to implementing a kill switch because so many phones were being stolen.

I love how all the articles I read talk about Apple having "standard" encryption until 2014. Which is when the kill switch law went into effect. But not one article talks about the kill switch switch becoming a law in 2014. The law was initially opt in Sept of 2013, but went standard in 2014.

The result? 

New Data Reveal Thefts Down 40% in London; 22 % in San Francisco; And 16% in New York City.

I thought there was a pretty slim chance they could get into that phone. But now I think that phone is bricked hard. The are just following the law.

San Fransisco badgered them for what seemed like almost two years, but now that they see how they thefts have come down I think that is a bigger motivator than privacy rights. I mean, Silicon really hasn't had a backbone in quite a while now.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

It's a limbo party.

Today was the first day I wasn't able to find any interest rates at 4% or above. I could however find a rate at 3.428%. Last week rates briefly dipped into the 3.4ish range, but I don't even think it lasted a whole day.

This is Great Recession level pain for the banks. Rates are congealing around the 3.50% range.

Monday, February 15, 2016

2 buck gas.

I never thought I'd ever see this again. This station was just outside of Fremont. Diesel was even cheaper at 1.93.

In Lathrop on the way to Sacramento this weekend it looked like gas was 1.77 a gallon. I was so stunned I wasn't sure I could believe it.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Is Leatherised a thing?

If so - I like it.

That made me feel surprisingly bad.

Silicon Valley is still feeling relatively normal right now. There is a lot of building going on in the Valley and throughout the East Bay, so it gives you the impression things are getting better.

This weekend however Mr S and I decided to go inland to Sacramento to the Autorama there. Normally we'd find a place for breakfast, but we were running late. And it ~is~ Valentines weekend and all - so that ads a lot of time to restaurants.

We decided to just stop at a McDonald's on the way. The one we chose was right off the freeway in Stockton. Immediately I noticed this area was a bit rough. But it didn't bother me that much. We pull into McDonald's and I realise immediately it's infested with homeless. One guy is sleeping on the grass. Another is begging in the order line. I'm not sure Stockton has ever recovered from the recession, but even I was shocked by the San Fransisco level of homeless there. I can't imagine what Stockton proper was like. This McDonald's was really on the fringes. The homeless tend to be worse in the downtown areas.

The whole thing just put a weird cast on the whole day. I was trying to get out of the house to escape being able to see our impending doom. And I think it made me feel worse. That is the kind of thing that could be spreading to the Valley. You can't just ignore it. Things are about to get really bad.

I never used to be a car chick. That was an invention of the recession.  When tech was dead I found that guys did enough interesting things with cars to keep me entertained and distracted. Right now I think even the car guys are tapped out. The whole thing is freaking me out.

Bare metal ford.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Mclaren in the wild.

I see McLarens so often at car shows I don't even photograph them. I know that sounds so stupid to say. But this is Silicon Valley. There are so many fancy cars here. And they have one at like every exotic car show. Still when one pulled into the supermarket parking lot while we were getting groceries I had to go get a shot. I mean, I love the Bay Area. Can you imagine taking your McLaren to the supermarket?

When you aren't even trying to haggle.

For a couple of weeks I've been tearing down a shrub. I just found out it's been there for like 40 years. I've always hated it, I've just never gotten around to cutting it down. I'm not sure what kind it is. I just normally call them matchsticks. They are some sort of pine and can grow about 20 feet tall. Mine is just chest high. All the needles just fall into the middle of them and I imagine all sorts of animals try to make nests.

In the beginning I thought I was just going to sawsall them out and put one in the green barrel each week. It turns out since they have been there so long I have to chainsaw out them out. And I didn't really know it before I started, but honestly they are the worst thing I've ever had to rip out. And I am a master at tearing things out.

They have hundreds of branches and they are kinda rubbery. The sawsall was out right away. There is so much stuff in the middle that even if I could have just cut them at the base I'd have never been able to lift them.

Anyway. That's the back story. I'm at the next to the last one So I'm starting to feel good. Today some guy slows in front of my house and asks if I need help. I tell him no thanks - I'm almost done. Then he starts asking about the stumps. It's going to kinda suck to get rid of them so I bite and ask him how much he'd charge to take them out. His first quote was 400 bucks. I was like no way. I mean, I've already planned to rent a chainsaw and a stump grinder. 100 bucks. Approximately.

So he starts walking back the price. He's like, 300 bucks.
Me - naa. Him - well how much would you pay?
Me- I don't know.
Him - well you don't know how much work this is.
Me - In my head I'm like are you effing high. But I laugh and say I know exactly how much work this is - You see me cutting this down right now. Right?
Him- 200 bucks.
Me - Let me think about it. Do you have a card? It's gonna take me a week to get this other tree out anyway.
Him - 100 bucks.

Now this is pretty much what I thought it would cost me, but this guy is going to dig them out with a pick axe. Which is a ridiculous amount of work for a hundred bucks. I was totally stunned at this point. In my head I was like - what just happened here? I mean, it's normal for them to try and get as much as they think they can from you. But it's stunning to have them work for what I would consider cost. If they brought out a couple of guys they could probably get them out in an hour and a half. But still. The stumps are about 8 inches around. They are going to put up a fight.

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Monday, February 08, 2016

How hard is Verizon trying to kill themselves?

Updated: I lost my mind yesterday and made a post with completely incorrect information.

Super hard!

Verizon CEO confirms interest in buying Yahoo.

I think Verizon is fond of albatrosses. Not only do they basically own Radio Shack - but now they are thinking of buying Yahoo? Oh... this is going to get good. I'm done with the days when companies only take out themselves. Why go down alone? Take a couple with you.

The funny thing about companies.... they could put up more cell towers to improve the customers experience. But why do that when you could plow all your money into dead companies?

And no - I'm currently not a Verizon customer.

Here go hell come.

Gasoline prices may be about to spike.

"Gas market headed for time of year when prices ‘can jump very quickly’"

I see the army of shallow thinkers are out in force today. This article basically says that the refineries are going into maintenance mode which predictably would cause oil prices to rise. this particular point in history-  it will also cause the glut to increase. If they aren't refining as much, that oil is going to have to be stored somewhere. I guess. That is going to put an extraordinary pressure on the price of oil.

Sunday, February 07, 2016

That's ballin'.

I've been keeping to the East Bay this weekend, because ya know - superbowl. I started out trying to get you cars in Blackhawk, but those guys folded up early. I was giving myself credit by getting us there by 10:30, but they were done. So done.

Anyway. My city has a little airport and on the way back in I noticed there were a LOT of corporate jets parked there. It isn't uncommon to have a couple of them, but this was like 20 jets.  I figured we'd do a drive by and get a shot or two. The longer we stayed though, the more planes showed up. It was a little like DAVOS for my city. I'm sure they were all flying in for the super bowl. You can see in the last shot how big some of these planes were compared to a SUV.

I don't really get why people resent rich people because it was sort of fun watching all these ballin' planes show up. I didn't even know my town was doing that. It also made me feel like I was glad I moved from that side of town. Because as I said, I didn't know my town was doing that.

Friday, February 05, 2016

Bush should just set all of his money on fire. I don't know how he thinks we'd elect a third Bush term. No more Bush!

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

I'll admit it.

A big part of me being on the Trump bandwagon is the idea that every single day will be like a Trump roast. They were pretty funny. You should go over to youtube to rehash them. I do find it fascinating that I haven't heard one single person talk about the roasts.

The snark is already hilarious. I'm sure it will be a million times funnier if he wins.

Hey, I'm not proud of myself. But I could have a shit world and it not be funny - like now. Or I can maybe have a shit world and it be positively hilarious.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Oh! Now the banks are peddling fiction?

Banks report drop in demand for loans.

"Demand for commercial and industrial loans has plunged in 2016, with declines happening across business sizes. Large- and medium-sized businesses had an 11.1 percent decline, while demand from small businesses fell 12.7 percent. "

The world according to oil.

It's officially worse than the Great Recession.

"SAN RAMON -- Chevron lost $588 million in the fourth quarter of 2015 -- its first quarterly red ink in 14 years -- prompting the company to warn that a fresh round of expense reductions, possibly including job cuts, are in the offing for 2016.

The loss, unleashed by a slide in oil prices, compares to a profit of $3.47 billion for the year-ago fourth quarter. The last quarterly loss for Chevron came in the July-September period of 2002."

I've only been paying attention to oil for about a year and a half because I knew this was going to be very negative for the economy despite what all the pundits tries to convince everyone.

Chevron is local to me so I kinda watch them. When they lay off, the East Bay gets hit. 

Monday, February 01, 2016

So - it's gonna be one of those weeks.

Having to verify my identity on an Indian support line where I can only hear about half of what they are saying. All the while hoping I get the multiple choice answers correct since those stupid questions only vaguely apply to you. Not to mention you probably gave those answers ten years ago.

It's crazy the levels of security you have to go through these days.

I was pretty excited I passed that test though. I wasn't sure I was gonna make it.