Friday, September 30, 2016

I never forget a robots eyes.

The first time I met this robot was at CES. It was actually trying to get people to take literature. But the funny thing was...... if you didn't take it, the robot would start getting annoyed with you.  And if you tried to walk away it would follow you with resting robot bitch face.

I would have posted about then, but I could never figure out who the company was that made it. I'm still even having a problem. But at least I know it's a Slightech robot.

When I get a minute I will post the pictures were it would give you attitude. It was really funny actually.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Microsoft is never going to die.

Today I got to try the Microsoft Hololens. I've been dying to try it since about six months ago when one of Mr S's friends flew into San Fransisco for a MS conference. He thought it was super amazing, but I was pretty skeptical because I've tried a lot of VR stuff. The graphics are generally pretty basic considering how rich the graphics are for video games.

If I'd have known they were demoing it there I probably could have used his badge to see it. But I didn't know until we were already out of San Fransisco. And every since that moment I've regretting not being able to see it.

Honestly, if it weren't for the Connect for the Xbox360, I think Microsoft would already be closer to dying because they aren't making their money on OS's now, are they? But lots of different industries are using the Connect cameras for other stuff like robotics. They are little eichmanns the way they tried to force everyone into a WIN10 upgrade. Microsoft is probably responsible for quite a large portion of the computer market being dead because people just didn't like win10 so they never upgraded their computers.

I hate that I liked the Hololens so much because it probably means Microsoft survives for longer. I'm not loyal to one OS over another, but I am loyal to freedom and Microsoft sucks.

Motorcycle riding robots.

SRI International has to be one of the most amazing companies in Silicon Valley. Still. They have been around as long as I can remember. SRI is old school Silicon Valley. And they never disappoint me.

They are trying to make motorcycles safer by testing them with robots. Because when motorcycles can go 200 MPH you need some way to push things without killing your testing guys.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Trump could have done a lot better.  I'm sure a T-shirt cannon could have saved him last night.

But in 40 days we won't even remember this moment. That's how short our attention spans are right now.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Does everybody remember that I went to see all the candidates rallies when they came to the Bay Area?

Well, people are still duking it out on youtube in the comments section on my videos from months ago! How crazy is that? It's like a months along flame war.

Which is really why I think Trump does fine tonight. When you are in a flame war, you are trying to think three moves ahead of the people who are going to come at you. All the while you are trying to win, you are trying to influence people to turn against the person you are in a flame war with. It's like chess. Trump is kinda playing the election flame war style.

I'm guessing Hillary has never read the comments section of anything. Which is why she thinks she can win by calling him a bully. She sees the shit we watch on TV right?

Sunday, September 25, 2016

The end of summer.

The car show in my city basically marks the end of car season. This year was the lightest I've ever seen it. And I always start to get nervous when the car shows are light. So there is that.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

I'm everything the never Trumpers hate.

Because I think it would be funny if on Monday Trump came out with a "Make America Great" t-shirt cannon. Who's with me?

Friday, September 23, 2016

10 easy steps to becoming an animatronic cat lady.

Step 1 - buy a pretty convincing animatronic cat.

That is all.

I don't know where to buy these, but if I did, I might buy a bunch of them and stick them in the yard for Halloween.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

I think I'm fully saturated on monitors.

This is basically a PC. You can see the keyboard on the floor. It does play air hockey since it's a touch screen. But I'm just so bored of giant monitors. They are everywhere.

OMG..... what is happening to me? Maybe I'm just pissy because they have been selling 4k stuff for like two years and there is almost no 4k content. It's stupid.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

We are just going to continue ignoring this huh.

A few months ago Mr S. came home and I asked him - what do we feel about napalm these days?

He looks at me like - what?

How do you and I feel about napalm - he replies?

No - How does the world feel about napalm? Well, the world disapproves of napalm he responds.

Me - Oh okay. Because I saw they were dropping napalm bombs in Syria today. Truthfully there are a lot of weapons being used in Syria that I thought the world disproved of.

I guess it doesn't matter  though because Syria hasn't signed onto the Geneva Convention. Have they?  I guess all horrors are on the table there. Because I thought the use of chemical weapons was a "line"  Obviously no one cares about the people getting burned alive with flame throwers.

I only ask because it looks like our guys got hit with a little mustard gas today in Iraq today. I must have read at least a half dozen times they've used this in Syria for the past year or so. I thought generally the world wasn't cool with that.

I mean, why bother right? World leaders are so sissified they'd rather empty the country out and take all the refugees in than deal with the problem.

This is the story of my slab.

This has been one of those forever projects. It hasn't been easy to find the right materials. We did the hearth like two years ago. Mr S. and I really wanted a product that looked like concrete without having to use concrete. Lately a small trend has been "leatherd" granite. Which means it doesn't have a shiny finish. It has more of a matte finish. I didn't like how much light was reflected with a shiny finish. Especially when it's on a wall. It reflects every light you have on. I find that annoying.

We were just going to try and put tiles there that looked like concrete but I didn't like all the lines. It made too much visual noise.

Anyway, a couple of months ago we ran across a slab that looked almost exactly like concrete. But they didn't want to sell a half slab. Which is all I needed. One day I walked in asking if they ever got smaller full slabs, and the girl was basically in the process of quitting. So she gave me a fuck this, lets burn this popcorn stand down, price. The price of a full slab was almost what I'd previously paid for a half slab.

In a good economy it would have taken me two weeks to get delivery. But I later found out they were not moving my slab until they had a full load. Which is still normal. But I was starting to understand the economy wasn't moving as well as it had in the past because my delivery date was "some day".

At first I was pretty okay about it because my fabricator was backed up. But the whole slab purgatory was starting to go on so long my fabricator took pity on me and volunteered to go pick it up.  Last night they installed it at 7:00 at night.

There is no more contractor 30. In the old days contractors basically cut off at 3:30. If you went to Home Depot or OSH around that time you'd see them all lined up getting supplies for the next day. Now contractors work well into the night.

The whole experience made me really feel like inflation could take off quite sharply.  Products still are not moving as normal. But workers - you aren't going to be able to pull that much more productivity out of them. They are stretched thin. It's really been this while for a while, but I can't really be sure of a trend until I experience it myself. Then I can say - yeah - that's really happening.

Even in the white collar world companies are starting to feel pressure to retain employees by giving them stock compensation again. I really never felt wage inflation would take off until engineers started getting the same perks they always used to get in The Valley. And from everything I'm seeing lately is that wage pressure is starting to stir.

Now I have to design a mantel for this thing.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Friday, September 16, 2016

Thursday, September 15, 2016

All work and no IPO's make Snarkolepsy go crazy.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Today's random car haul.

Today I needed to go to The Container Store. And the closest one is in Santana Row in San Jose. I've never actually shopped there. Well, outside of buying something from Best Buy. That doesn't count does it?

It turns out that you can just find awesome cars there anytime. It's a pretty swank mall after all. I mean, at Santa Row you are more likely to see a baby stroller carrying a dog than a baby. Seriously.

The Viper I got on the freeway.

Thursday, September 08, 2016

Deflation is always good. RIGHT? Said in the most sarcastic way.

Food deflation woes hit Kroger in new 'grocery price war'.

"Supermarkets such as Kroger are facing a pickup in food deflation, which is hurting top-line growth and igniting what Credit Suisse this week termed a "grocery price war."

"Food-at-home prices fell in July by 1.6 percent from a year ago, marking the eighth consecutive month of declining food prices, according to the government's Consumer Price Index for food measured by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Categories showing the most deflation in July were eggs, followed by beef and pork.

"The current landscape is now beginning to look a lot like 2009, when meaningful deflation resulted in an industry price war and multiple quarters of declining earnings," Credit Suisse analyst Edward Kelly said in a note Wednesday. He said the "price war of 2009/2010 carried on for three to four quarters before abating."

I mean, all this saving on gas and food - we should be doing way better than we are. Right? Except in deflation wages never really rise.  Saving a few dollars on food here and there doesn't make up for that. Additionally - we seem to be forever stuck in 2009. It's like when there is an earthquake and the clocks stop at the time of the quake. It's kinda what happened to our economy.

The UK is having some pretty tough food deflation. I think it's close to 10% right now.

I know I'm sort of sending mixed signals. I think deflation could get pretty intense by the end of the year. However, the economy is sick enough and not enough new businesses have been created that when that happens.... hold on to your hat.

Stripper names for the win.

It took about a month, but we finally named her Lacy.

How globalism killed America.

Mr S. sent me this article from Gizmodo this morning: Unsellable 196-Foot Picnic Basket Marked Down to $5 Million.

I'm not sure why Gizmodo follows this building, but Mr S. knew I would be interested because we accidentally ran across this building on our trip to Ohio to see family and family friends. My first impression was ...... that is a tough building to flip. I blogged about it here.

I can tell you right now - they will NEVER get 5 million for this building. Even if it wasn't the weirdest looking building ever. You see I spent a minute in this town vising family friends who live in public housing. In case I wasn't clear enough - this means government housing. I've talked about being a welfare baby a few times.  That trip I visited the projects twice. (Not the same project.) I'm not sure there is anything else in this town except the projects now. 5 mil could probably buy the whole city!

The company who used to own this building once had 8000 employees, but they decided to outsource their very well made baskets to China. And China doesn't make things the way we do, so people stopped buying them. At least that is what the locals told me.

For a while there was a trade off. Sure you lost  a few manufacturing jobs, but that was offset by being able to purchase items more cheaply. Now we've reached a point where that trade off doesn't work anymore. It probably costs us more than it saves us to outsource to China. And all of our jobs are gone.

This is what Trump is tapping into. I've said it the whole time - Trump is a union candidate.

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

The rental market is getting pretty sloppy.

Prices haven't started to come down yet, but inventory is really starting to pile up. A lot of places are staying on for 50 days now. What a difference a year makes when you could rent a place to two weeks.

It will be interesting to see how this shakes out. Unless things are worse than when the recession started, I wouldn't get too happy about finding cheaper rent. Prices were amazingly stable considering the US was flat on it's back during that time. It is notable the change in days on the market though.

There to distract.

People who read this blog (I think) know that I go to a significant amount of conferences. Over the past year I've seen a bunch of celebs popping up at them which I think is really weird and not normal. Presumably they have to pay these people.

I was at a conference a few months ago where Ashton Kucher showed up. And while that is fun and totally creeps me out. Either you have a buzz worthy product - or you don't.

After seeing Sia show up at the Apple conference today - it dawned on me. These celebs are there to distract you from the fact that they've got nothin'.  As I said - presumably they need to pay these people. When all else fails I guess - hire a celebrity to distract everyone. Which is a horrible way to run a company.

I guess I'm old school where your money went into R&D. Not R&B. Rhythm and blues. Now that I mention it - does anyone do R&D anymore? It looks to me like most of the Valley is buying their way into new ideas. And that works for a while I guess.

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

The housing market has never been busted like this before.

My new habit lately is asking people where they live. Not because I want to be their besties, but because I want to know if they are contributing to the crazy traffic in the Bay Area lately. You see, for the past six months or so I've been hearing the craziest commute stories - on the regular. This stuff makes the commutes from before the housing crash look laughingly tame.

On one hand Silicon Valley proper is putting up office space at break neck speed which is pushing everyone who needs to live somewhere - to the interior. Since they still are not building that much housing, it's putting enormous pressure on prices. Which causes people to look further and further inland. Causing traffic to be just crazy. I even have to carefully consider my weekend stuff lately, because the traffic is just crushing.

Today I was talking to a guy I know who went through the crash with a rental like I did, but his is in the way interior. He still doesn't have any equity, and is basically break even for his rent - but still he hangs on. Which initially I thought was confusing. Today he was saying that inflation was freaking him the hell out. I figured he isn't the only one who feels that way.

While I am still on the deflation train until the end of the year, the hair on the back of my neck is standing up about inflation. All it would take is one tiny match for all that printed money to see the light of day. Just the hint of confidence would be enough. It's really the only thing the economy needs. People are hoarding money because they don't feel safe. The minute they do, they are going to spend money. It's what people do. I mean, if the economy were any more depressed - it would be a technical depression. We are exactly at stall speed. If there were any growth at all...................inflation would rapidly gain strength.

Anyway, I kind of left that guy thinking - I bet he isn't the only one more freaked about inflation than I am. But no one seems to be acting like it. You'd think they would start hoarding other things.

But maybe they are hoarding things. Like houses. There must be a reason that guy puts up with all the pain of a rental and not be making really any money off it.  He's gotta be waiting for inflation.

All I know is every single person who gave up their house is going to be sorry. I've been through many boom and bust cycles in the Bay Area, and I've never seen housing so dislocated as it is now. I don't even know how this breaks. Building has been depressed for so long that a normal recession won't let out any of the steam. There are just more people on the earth than there was 10 years ago.

You might be able to find a cheap rental but you have to pay for that with a two hour (or more) commute.

I also wanted to add this article which talks about housing inventory being at a 20 year low. Here.

"Buyers in Silicon Valley must be aggressive and innovative as well as well-heeled, especially as housing inventory here hits its lowest point in at least 20 years. In San Mateo County, which includes Redwood City, the number of homes for sale in August was 1,184. That is a drop of 62 percent from a decade ago, even as the population increased more than 70,000."

"It is a microcosm of a growing national problem. The number of homes on the market in the United States has fallen on a year-over-year basis for the last 14 months, the National Association of Realtors says. When adjusted for population, the inventory of homes for sale is the lowest it has been since modern records started being kept in 1982."

Emphasis mine.

Yep. That makes total sense.

Stock market pretty much at a all time high. All other economic indicators at stall speed.

Sunday, September 04, 2016

It's like a neon sign.

I've been feeling like I'm in a rut and the normal things that make me happy are not doing the trick right now. So I decided to check out this building today. I saw it a week ago from the freeway. The ~fuck the police~ graffiti really made it stand out. I was sure they would have had that knocked down within a week. But it was still up today. There looks to be a lot of commercial real estate up in this area right now. It's about two miles from the Tesla Nummi plant. Every time the economy gets a little sideways this part of town hollows out.

This building is probably just going to be bulldozed anyway. They aren't giving any shits that people are wrecking it. Normally there is at least minimal security.

All the doors on the back side had been busted out. I could have walked right in if I wanted. But I'm not ready to get a trespass arrest quite yet. Plus, I wasn't quite sure someone might not be living in there. Not to mention there were some cameras on the outside. I doubt they were live, but I wasn't willing to take the chance.

Friday, September 02, 2016

Don't they do Friday night document dumps so no one sees them? My entire twitter feed is filled up with that crap. I don't think that plan works as well now.

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Today's ~in the wild~ car haul.

Yes I'm clearly in a funk. The Valley is super slow and it's making me crazy. So crazy. At least these two cars perked me up for a moment today.

While I was taking pictures of the McClaren, the owner went to get into his car. So... we chatted for a couple of minutes. I guess he also owns a P1.  Which makes me giggle inside.  That's - I don't know, maybe a a million bucks in cars. I asked him if he was ever nervous parking it outside. He was like.... what are ya gonna do. That is baller rich.