Tuesday, May 31, 2016

It's fascinating.

"Chicago PMI fell 1.1 points to 49.3 in May, MNI Indicators reported. That’s the lowest level since February and the sixth time in 12 months it’s been below the 50 level marking contraction." Source.

Emphasis mine. The U.S. has been in contraction half of the past year, and no layoffs.  No stock market crash. No problems I guess. I've started to believe they will be able to hold this market up until the end of this administration. I hope I'm wrong, but the billionaires are really linking hands right now. It's pretty unbelievable honestly.


This weekend I found out that my husband thought I played shooters like a girl. It isn't one of those things a guy might admit normally. It came out quite accidentally.

This is the back story.  For the past year Mr S. has been trying to get me interested in DOOM. I told him I wasn't interested. I played three seasons of DOOM back in the day. There is nothing I hate more than retreads. But he persisted because he knows that just because I hate the idea of something - it doesn't mean I can't be convinced. Sometimes it takes a lot of convincing though. I told you, he's been tapping this button for like a year. The video below was the thing that finally pushed me over. It's kinda long, but it's a game review.  Normally I like to keep the vids I post around 2 mins, but you understand.

You see, I'd grown despondent over the game industry for the past 10 years. While I love the work that goes into these vast worlds (they are amazing!) - some of us have shit to do and when we play games we don't want to spend half a day creating a virtual friend, world or what the eff ever! I've got a few hours to play, I don't want to spend half of it watching some prepackaged video back story shit. The game industry has completely abandoned the casual gamer, for the gamer with no job. So I haven't bought any games in a while. This weekend we made the impulse buy and I'm really happy I did.

First, I guess Mr S. has gained a new respect for me because he kept saying that he's never seen me play so aggressively. I mean, it's DOOM. I guess his generally feeling about my game play was that if we were in a head to head - he could take me. But DOOM might have changed that. I'm telling you. DOOM was the rage back in the day. I played it for a really long time. I'm a bad ass. Normally I'm a hide and shooter, but with DOOM, sometimes your only option is to go full commando in a blaze of glory. Sometimes you live. Sometimes you don't.

Second, it restored my faith in games. Back in the day - you had to work for your ammo and life. Old timy games forced you to be better. It could take days to get through a level trying new tactics.. It forced you to use your ammo and health wisely because they weren't so generous with that stuff.

And finally - they didn't change it that much. They just gave it a little update. The AI is clever making it just challenging enough.

So yeah.... retreads - who would have guessed? If you have some time - watch the video below if your into that kind of thing.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

AnimeCon 2016. San Jose.

For the 100th time - I'm not Zoidberg.

This guy looked so video game-ish I had to get a face shot.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Friday, May 27, 2016

I think the Fed will hike.

Last year I was convinced that the Fed would never raise in an election year. Six months later, inflation is really starting to build up and now I've changed my mind. I've talked about the crazy housing pressures before. But really what makes me convinced is the price of oil. I don't think oil deserves to be where it is because we are still at record stockpiles. But sometimes there is the way you want things to be, (or expect them to be) and then there is the way things are.

Anyway - oil is up about 70% since it's lows? This is inflationary. It will just take a few months to work it's way through. It took more than a year and a half for the decline in oil to work it's way through. And we'll probably start seeing it show up somewhere in Summer. The dollar is less than 5 cents from it's high. I think it will move sideways. It will take some very big circumstances to get it to go much stronger. I'm telling you, inflation is now your dark shadow.

It is exceedingly hard to make deflation in an advanced economy. It somewhat goes against human nature. Inflation has been the norm about 80% of the time in history. Deflation is the is the outlier. There is a ton of money buried in peoples back yards. One day...... they are going to feel safe enough to dig it out. I think that day is getting closer and closer. And if Trump were to win, I think inflation could be a fire. This administration has suppressed people's natural impulses for 8 years. I think there is going to be a be a mesmerizing snap back.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Hillary Clinton gets heckled for a really long time at San Jose rally.

I sort of went to this thing to prove a point. You see I haven't been worried about Hillary because I think no one has ever liked her the whole time I've been alive. Mr S. and I have been having this discussion for like a year. Sure, there was a two year halo period in the beginning of the Obama administration. But for the most part it didn't go on long enough to make me change my mind. Take this example.

Last year, maybe around summer, there was this dumb ass women's conference in Santa Clara where Hillary was speaking. The conference was on like a Monday or Tuesday, and I could still get a ticket the Friday before. I didn't wind up going because these women's conferences kinda piss me off.

When you are a woman.... you have all the advantages in the world just by being a women. You have chromosome privilege! It's their fault they don't recognize that.  Silicon Valley would have always loved to have more women if they knew their shit. You don't need a women's conference for this. Just learn a skill.

Anyway, I digress. I figured if I could stroll up to the Hillary Clinton Rally and get in - she is decidedly toast. And what do you know.....they didn't even fill up the conference hall at 3000 capacity. In SAN JOSE! I live tweeted it over on my twitter stream.

Also, this guy who I think was further left than Bernie started heckling the hell out of her. I couldn't make out all the stuff he was saying. But he heckled her for a super long time. Starts at 1:36 in, and really gets good around 3:15.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

And nobody died.

You knew this day was coming. I'm not sure why the vid doesn't have any sound.

Conversations with Mr S.

Me - I'm thinking about going to a Hillary Clinton "thing" this week.

Him - How much does it cost?

Me - Just your soul.

Him - Oh, you should be fine then.

Me - Are you saying my soul has turned to dust?

Him - Well, I'm saying it's factory new in the box.

Me - So, your saying I've never had a soul?

He hesitates for reaction..

Me - Yeah. That's about right.

Ikea Hacks.

I finally got the counter top over at my rental finished and installed yesterday. I've never bought anything from Ikea before, but they were the only ones that sold wood in the size I needed. 26 inches x 6 and a half feet.

I had to chop of a couple of feet because it wouldn't be a hack if I could just stroll up and the counter top exactly fit. So I chopped of two feet, and put three coats of varnish on it. And now it looks current. When I stuck this in, no one was really using wood for counter tops. But since it was an island I took a chance. I didn't put a finish on the last try and it didn't age as well as I would have liked. Hopefully the varnish will make that better this time.

I think I'm more of an angry woodworker. I used to think guys did woodworking to get away from their wives. Because it's always old guys who are into that. But after this project - I think there are tons more fun ways to get away of your wife. If this is all you've got... that sucks. Wood is very unforgiving. I think the whole process is bullshit. But wood has it's own rules. I think woodworking would make me insane. There isn't enough tack cloth in the world to save me.

Forget the watch.

When I saw this prototype I was sure I'd seen this company before. It took me a while to figure it out, but I saw them last year with a e-ink proto. I thought it was interesting, but sometimes you can't make a story out of something. Plus, e-ink  - I can't believe they still exist. A few years ago I thought this is where the market would go. But, every time I see them now it looks like they are barely holding on. Flexible displays have gotten so much better, now e-ink is limited. We like color!

Anyway, while the footprint was much larger - it was a working proto. (technically both were working) And you could actually read Google maps. Which I think that is sort of ridiculous on a watch. While it's much larger, I'm not sure it's so large that people wouldn't wear it. You can find a lot more pictures here. Company home here.

Curved enough for you?

How else are you going to get yours 65 inch TV into your tiny house after all.

For the love of transparent displays.

For the past three years (solidly), every single time I have walked up to a transparent display I've asked the following question - Is this projected? Until yesterday the answer has always been yes. Which always made the sad trombone sound in my head. I was super excited about this technology a long time ago, but I just don't believe in projection. For some reason it never catches on. It' doesn't mean it won't. I've just yet to see it.

So when I walked up to this thing I naturally thought I'd get the same answer. They'd just found a slimmer way to hide a projector. And projectors *are* getting super tiny these days. But to my shock, this time the answer was no. I asked it like 5 times. Apparently the OLED's allow this to happen. The box at the back is just normal display electronics.

For being transparent the colors were remarkably rich. And the reflection was surprisingly minimal. In the last picture if you look hard you can barely see my image under the word vista.

So.... excitement back on I guess.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Not your grandfathers pinball.

Do you think kids in the future will have the same nostalgia about playing pinball on a curved monitor as we do about real pin ball? Or old stand up games? I mean, I've been dragged kicking and screaming into touch screens. I liked the old tactile qwerty cell phone keyboards in the early days. But I've adjusted. Still I thought this was a pretty clever use of a curved monitor.

I didn't know much about this company before today. I guess they make touch screens. Here is their home site.

Monday, May 23, 2016

I think doing woodworking is like being in a bad relationship.

The wood expects me to be perfect, but the wood has a ton of flaws.

Maker Fair 2016

Team Zachees @ Maker fair.

I don't even know how many people are watching America's Greatest Makers. I do because I go to a lot of trade shows and conferences. I see how hard it is to make products people will buy.  I'm not convinced this is a better way to find ideas. I don't even think it makes for great TV.

Anyway, one of the contestants was at Maker Fair on Sunday. His squad made it super hard to get shots.