Saturday, June 24, 2017

It's all I got.



Today we hung around the house because we needed to fix a couple of things. The door handle on Mr S.'s car had broken. A couple of years ago the passenger side broke, so at least we already had a little experience.

You unscrew a half a dozen screws and pop off the door panel.



This is how it looks with the handle removed.



Pontiac made a repair like this super easy, so you pretty much spend more time fishing out screws that you dropped behind the plastic with magnets.



Pop the panel back on.



This is the new handle.



Then we replaced a ceiling fan. The end.



Friday, June 23, 2017

A Friday rundown.

I have been having to deal with contractors a bunch lately because I have a project I need to get done. I can't wait to blog about it but I haven't signed any contracts yet. It sounds super mysterious, but we are just dealing with the city on how to bring something up to code and we can't make a contract until we figure that out.

Anyway....the soonest I could get a guy to work on anything is a month out. Most of the guys I talked to were booked until FALL.  One guy said Oct to Dec! That's pretty much winter. I think anyone who wanted to work could walk down to any construction site and be hired immediately as an apprentice. Hell, when I drive by construction sites I think even I could even get a job doing that if I wanted to. I think they would hire anyone with a pulse. That is how tight the construction labor market is right now.

As a side note - Mr S. and I are re-watching Flipping Out. I'm normally not that into those home improvement shows, but this one came out in 2007 as I was gutting and trying to flip what is now my rental. Contractors will make you lose your mind and the show is really more about that. And at the time the real estate market was beginning to fall off a cliff. In 2007 no one knew how deep this would run. We knew it would be painful, but just a short amount of painful.

Recessions used to be three years. You could set your watch to them. I bought my rental two years into the recession. But really that was just the top of the roller coaster ride. Rewatching it is sort of wild because in season one none of us knew what was coming next. Now you know the whole story and it's a little like reliving history. It's funny in a different way now because hindsight is always 20/20.

You just watch it with the realization of the pain that was going to reign down in the coming years. Sort of like watching guys get hit in the balls. It's funny but everyone flinches and says ooooooh. Right?

Thursday, June 22, 2017

This tard couldn't even give away money right.

A $15,000 basic income lottery promised free money for a year — then the checks stopped coming.

This asshole Cameron Ottens crowd funded the entire amount (a little over 15 grand) for this experiment for one individual for one year, and he couldn't even handle it. All he had to do was make one payment every month for a year. With money that wasn't even his own. Ya know...like paying your mortgage. Instead he turned out to be the phony that all these people are. Yes, the internet should remember him that way because he gave an elderly man false hope, and generally for being an idiot. I wish this failure would deter some of these socialist cretins. But it won't.

"Ed's first check arrived six months after the lottery was held, in December 2016. The next three checks arrived on time, this time from Ottens' personal bank account. The fifth showed up two months later, in late May. A sixth check, sent in June, bounced, leaving seven checks outstanding. The total amount missing: $8,750.

I wish these funding sites would report on how many people get ripped off. Even on that hanky lending site Prosper you could see how many people were paid back. Which wasn't great to be honest. Even if you are throwing your money away - you want it to land in the spot you intended.  Right? Why didn't those people just adopt an old person and just start sending them money. Oh that's right.... because people are phonies.

I was wondering when Bed Bath & Beyond would be added to the retail apocalypse.

I was just in that store two days ago buying towels. I hadn't been there in a long time. To my shock the whole front of the store looked like a drug store selling stuff like shampoo, soap, deodorant. It tripped me out enough that Mr S. and I had a huge conversation about it. Because every store sells that stuff. Supermarkets, Target, everyone! We tried to figure out where that business was going. Maybe BBY is a stale brand, or maybe Amazon is killing them, or maybe they are just choosing higher end stores like Sur-la_table.

When I got to the towel isle I was like - this is the towel isle? I guess people aren't buying towels. Why would people come to this store I thought to myself.

To me,  it looked like they were doing anything they could to survive. Even if that meant selling shampoo.

Man, back in the day before the recession....shopping at BBY was like shopping at Whole Foods. They aren't pulling in that kind of money with shampoo.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

River kelp.



It probably has a real name. But I'm just going to call it river kelp. It's just nice to have a river at all. The last two years this was dry.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Day 3 of the heatwave. I was picking up greens for Lacy because tomorrow things actually get hot.  The checker tells me that the other three supermarkets in town are out of power.  And it's only 100 effing degrees here today.

I read yesterday that solar is playing havoc on the grid. It either makes too much power or two little. And the grid has to adapt to that making pretty unstable.

~This~ is what the kids are into these days?

Hyper-realistic WWE 2K17 features 28 minutes of talk before gameplay begins.

"In what promises to be “the most realistic WWE simulation to date,” the forthcoming WWE 2k17 game will force players to sit through long periods of bickering and name-calling before they can press a single button.

“You’ll feel like you’re playing an actual episode of Raw!” promises a press release issued today by game developer Yuke’s. “We promise you’ll finish at least two beers before you can even throw a punch.

According to the press release, every session of gameplay will begin with a member of the McMahon family sauntering, swaggering or strutting to the ring, antagonizing and/or pandering to the crowd, and spending the following 11 minutes recapping recent events.

McMahon will then be interrupted by a wrestler, whose own tirade will be interrupted by another wrestler, and so on, until at least a dozen wrestlers are in the ring and nearly half an hour has elapsed.

Finally, gamers will hear McMahon say: “And that match starts… right now!”

Then, following one minute of gameplay, the game will be interrupted by a two-minute commercial break."

I normally don't snarf someones entire article - but what the hell is this shit? This trend makes me want to start punching at the sky! I wonder if this is AFTER the game has downloaded every single update in the world. WTF!

Seriously - it's such a bummer to buy a new game and have to wait 30 minutes before you can even play. I guess they only make games for people without jobs now. For the record, wrestling games are not on my play list, it's just that every game does this now and it's irritating to the max.

Conversations with Mr S.

A couple of weeks ago Mr S. and I were riding in the car and that Carrie Underwood song, Before he Cheats, comes on the radio. All of a sudden Mr S. turns to me and says - can we analyze this song from a mans point of view?

I look at him like he nuts and say - okay.. lets go Mr crazy. Lets see what you've got.

He says - All these lyrics are about how he's probably slow dancing, and he's probably getting frisky. No where in the song does it say he's cheating. Maybe she's just a crazy bitch.

I was sort of stunned because I never gave that song one second of thought before that minute. He'd obviously had thought about this for more than a little while. But I respond with - but..... it's implied in the song.

He continues - Yeah, it's implied, but no where in the song does it say he was cheating. I think it would be funny if he was just hanging out with his buddies trying to figure out something nice to do for his girlfriend, but she's just this crazy bitch that's destroyed his car.

Really...what could I say to that? He's sort of right.

Monday, June 19, 2017

The future is going to be funny.

"Lyft's goals include all electric autonomous vehicles on its platform being powered by 100 percent renewable energy, and Lyft's shared platform providing "at least" one billion rides annually "using electric autonomous vehicles", also by the year 2025."

I guess I just realized that when the power goes out you can't charge your car. Good luck with that Lyft.

Sure... the power only goes down a couple of times a year - but the power situation in California is anything but guaranteed. I mean, aren't we known for rolling blackouts? It happened so often at my old house that I was over the moon when they put me on the same grid as the hospital. Which meant they couldn't take my power down.
If things are going so well on Wall Street......... why haven't there been any stock splits? Memba stock splits?
I finally got my electricity back on at 11:00 last night. I hope this was a one and done sort of blackout.......but I sort of feel like it's going to be a long hot black out summer.  We've put a lot of new housing units up with really no new electricity generation.

Thankfully I saw the heat map for California and Mr S. started freezing water bottles a couple of days ago. If you keep the door closed on your refrigerator, that will keep you for about a day. Usually power is restored within that amount of time. Once I lost a whole refrigerator full of stuff.

Building the perfect pressure cooker.

"The Commerce Department said Friday that housing starts fell 5.5 percent in May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.09 million units. This comes after a 2.7 percent monthly decline in April and a 7.7 percent drop in March. Home construction is still 3.2 percent higher year-to-date, but that increase has been too modest to address the dwindling supply of homes." Source.

Back during the recession there were all these articles about how people were not going to want to buy houses ever again. It made more sense to rent. I'd read those articles and think..... whatever. Because when I look at the world, all. I see is an economy that is creating a nation of latent home owners. 

When I grew up we moved every year. And now that' I'm older I realize it was because landlords raised the rent. My mom didn't ~want~ to move every year. She had to. I had actually become so accustomed to it that when I did put down hard roots it made me feel uneasy.  Moving gives you a fresh start and how is that not a little exciting? I'd gotten a little addicted to it.

I generally feel like after you've been a renter for a while, all you will want is a house where you can have a pet without a 700 dollar deposit. Hell, you could have two, three or ninety-five pets. Well, I'm being dramatic on the last one - but you get the idea. If you are smart, you don't have to worry about your rent going up every single year. And you don't have to deal with that neighbor who lives upstairs that clearly is walking around with shoes made of concrete. Not to say you still won't have neighbor issues - you will just have different neighbor issues. The people who write stories never talk about the snap inspections renters have to go through. Hell, I'm a landlord and even I can't believe the crap renters put up with these days. And my people are on two year leases! But the property management company comes in twice a year to take photos so they can prove my renters are taking care of the place. And they get drivebys every month or so.

So when I read that housing starts are back in the 1 million unit range - I start to get really nervous about the world. That is basically at the low end trend line historically. We should be building about 1.5 million units to keep up with population growth. And for sure in the Bay Area, there is really not much land left to build the kind of housing we need. So I think this could become pretty ugly.

The other day I told Mr S. - I remember when owning a house didn't make you a wealthy person. It made you normal. Hell, even owning a rental didn't make you wealthy. Lots of normal people had rentals. Mr S. was like yeah - when I was growing up I knew a bunch of people with rentals. Did you think they were wealthy I asked. He said no. I didn't know how they afforded it, but I never felt they were wealthy. And both of us grew up in single parent households. So neither of us came from rich families.

But now, if you are fortunate to own a house - you are baller rich apparently. Well...I guess in my case I was fortunate enough not to lose a house. Because growing up in rentals made a huge impact on me. I drew a line in the sand and said - over my dead body. The recession did take a bunch of years off my life - it was the hardest thing I've ever had to do. But now apparently I'm baller rich. Even though after all these years I'm just breaking even on my rental. I have equity. But on the outside looking in - no one sees that. People never see the struggle. They just think you got lucky.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Well..... that escalated quickly.

Day 1 of the heatwave. I'm sitting here without power. Pretty much the whole town is down.

Also there are reports Sunnyvale is down. Which is really a wide spread. I'm in the burbs.

I really thought this wouldn't happen until about Wednesday. My city is only 104 today.

This doesn't bode well depending on how long this thing goes on. But.... called it.. this is California where power is optional

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Friday, June 16, 2017

Oh My.



It's gonna be interesting to see how the grid holds up. Usually the whole entire State doesn't get hit with 100+ degree temps. They said we would only get 5 days of above 100, but Modesto said they were going to get 9 days.

I guess I should start thinking about my bug out plan for Lacy. Bunnies can't handle that kind of heat because they can't pant. If we lose power...... that is a huge problem. It doesn't happen every year. But it does happen reasonably often.

Start freezing water bottles for your fridges Californians.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Remember that hedge I chopped down? Those neighbors moved in yesterday. I took 4-5 feet off that thing. Do you think they noticed? Mr S. says he thinks he wouldn't notice. But I totally would.

Soon people.... soon.

I'm getting close to lassoing a contractor. This will be the second biggest project I've ever done.. It's gonna be crazy.

Mr S. is going to have to take Lacy into work with him during tear out. Yeah. Take a bunny to work day. Seriously. I will probably explain later.

Sometimes I'm so gobsmacked at how little people know of how the world works.

"Trump wants 4.5 million new apprenticeships in five years — with nearly the same budget".

I honestly can't figure out how anyone is having a problem with this. It's how the system USED to work! Without government intervention for shits shakes.

The trend really started happening before the Obama administration. I noticed it because there were always apprenticeships in construction. Then the Millennial generation came along and acted like they knew everything. They were too good to start at the bottom and work up. Maybe they will figure it out I thought to myself.

But, that is how you used to get job training. Now all of a sudden it's a big deal? And when the eff did Obama "promote" apprenticeships I'd like to know? When did Obama care if anyone to worked at all?

This is a ridiculous handout to the construction sector. It's something they would do voluntarily because it helps their bottom line. It was always baked into the cost of doing business. It's no different than interning for a tech company. And it's basically a return to how some sectors always used to work. But look at how these idiots write about it!

"President Donald Trump wants to blow out the number of apprentices working for U.S. companies — but it doesn't look like he'll spend the money to do it.

Apprenticeships blend on-the-job work with paid classroom instruction, and they usually last two to six years. The federal government has regulated and certified apprenticeships since 1937, but the jobs were not actively promoted by more recent presidents until the Obama administration.

Trump wants to create 5 million new apprenticeships over the next five years, which would be almost 10 times the total that exist now. But the money he has appropriated to apprenticeships is roughly the same as it was under Obama."

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Obamacare is working exactly as it was designed.

Obamacare Death Spiral: First 2018 Coverage Map Reveals At Least 47 Counties With No Coverage.

Trump may be the crazy cat lady - but if Clinton would have won we would be on our way to a single payer system right this minute. They wrote it so it would fail. Since payer was always their end game.

It's what the recession taught me.

Something is not an asset if you can not sell it. It seems pretty obvious, but I lived though one of the few times in history where you could not sell a house at any price really. Hell, there were a few years where you almost couldn't GIVE a house away. And until you have lived that reality....... you really don't know what an important lesson this is.

Why do I bring this up? I'm about to embark on a really intense construction project. Kitchens and bathroom remodels are childs play compared to this project.

I bought my place about a year into the recession with a very big defect. I planned to fix it within a year or two of moving in. Then the recession hit. To be honest, there were a few years where I wasn't sure I was going to be able keep this place.

I'm a disaster baby and I always need to have a backup plan. Especially when it comes to houses. People really don't understand how easy it is to lose your stuff.  I had FIVE backup plans. The recession ran through four of them. I barely managed to escape with my life and now I have this money pit of a project I have to do. Because after all of these years the problem has grown so large that I kinda don't have a choice. But when you are underwater the kind of money I was during the recession.... you are going to let the place fall down around you before you put this kind of money into a house.

If I tried to sell my place right now - I could sell it....but you would need the right buyer willing to take on this project. If I fix it, I might not get the price I want, but I can sell easily. And that is the better of the two worlds. Even though it does seem like it.

Every time I buy a house I try to figure out if I had to jettison the house - how much work and money would it take for me to get out. It's like I'm buying and selling at the same time in my mind. The worst thing in the world is to be trapped and not be able to sell.

So.... this is where I'm at now. And I'm sort of freaked out because the market really feels a lot like 2007. I don't think I will every see the housing market seize up like it did during the recession. When anyone with a pulse can get a house - people don't realize how valuable they are. Now it is very hard to get a house. That changes the market dynamics. But wow... this is not the time to be running through money.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Keep dreaming people. Keep dreaming.

This robot-powered restaurant is one step closer to putting fast-food workers out of a job.

I'm going to go on record to say that anyone who invests in this is going to lose their shirt. This is never going to happen. Just because robots "can" do something - it doesn't mean people will want them to. Just look at the formulaic picture of the burger they produce. And that's not a good thing.

But Easta is already out there doing this you say? Yeah.  Go read their reviews.  Especially anything from this year. While this place started out good,  they obviously didn't have their pricing model down because they have raised prices by a lot. They must have forgotten about the robot maintenance budget which could run well over what kitchen staff will cost ya. Even the good reviews talk about orders missing items.

The food is inconsistent. And vegetarians don't really like food that much... right? How hard is it to get salad stuff right? Well apparently pretty hard. But the robots make it exactly the same every time! Ha ha ha ha ha. If you say so.

Once the novelty wears off........all that is left is the restaurant graveyard. And I'm fairly certain Eatsa is going to make it there soon enough.

The contractor rodeo has begun.

If tech is going to be boring and cars are pretty meh right now - I might as well try to lose my mind on a house project and see how the construction industry is doing.

A couple of months ago no one seemed hungry, but I've got a couple of guys coming out today.

This is my first big project since before the recession. So....... this should be good reading for ya'll. More to come.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

I had to sneak in like a thief in the night.



This cold I've got has really sidelined me. I'm behind on everything. I had to spend a couple of days in bed. I'm on my second set of antibiotics. I've never had anything take me down so quick before. But....the world doesn't care if you are sick or not.

About a month ago I saw a for sale sign go up at my neighbors house. And we share a very massive hedge. If let it go, it will try to eat my yard. And gets within four feet of my house. Every year I pretty much freak about the fire danger because the bums are always setting the creek on fire. My family has been through a fire, so I'm probably more sensitive than most. But I feel I need a defensible space. And it's my effing property. Why do they get to extend their by at least five feet every year? I knew they weren't going to cut it. No one would if they are selling a house.

Anyway. Last Saturday I saw the moving trucks pull up and I started working on this hedge. Since it's not on my property I can't get anyone to cut it for me. They are too afraid of being sued. It's a two story hedge that is at least 10 feet deep on their property. It's about 40 feet long. So I'd started on it...... and then got sick. And I was pretty bummed because fire season starts soon and it's really uncomfortable to to meet a new neighbor with - hey, could you cut that shrub back. That feels like a "next year" conversation. After they've lived in their house for more than a month or two.

On Friday Mr S. and I started talking about the chances the new neighbor would move in this weekend because I was far from done. But I just didn't have the energy. I was going to have to deal with it in an uncomfortable way.

We thought the chances were very high they would move in. But this morning came and there were no moving vans. It was like the world was giving me a high five. So Mr S. and I hustled out there and cut the whole effing thing down. It's easier to ask for forgiveness than permission.



Just imagine the whole thing cut. I'm too tired to take pictures of it all being done. I took this at a break when we thought we heard people at the house. We had to drive around and make sure we hadn't been busted.

Thursday, June 08, 2017

One anonymous musical greeting card.

Mr S thinks I shouldn't blog about this because the internet makes the whole world small. But I've been super sick this week and I've spent a lot of time in bed. This is all I've got right now. So here goes.

A few months ago we got a new neighbor with one of those tiny dogs that bark all the time. I was getting ready to go to war with this family. The dog was barking at 5:30 every morning. And I already have insomnia.... so this dog was a huge problem. There were a few times that I almost jumped out of bed and went over to their house at 5:30 in the morning and banged on their door SWAT style.

Instead Mr S. came up with the brilliant idea of one of those greeting cards where you could record a message. We figured we would record the dog and send it to them. But, those cards aren't actually easy to find anymore because people would record "greetings" in the store before they were ever sold - so they stopped making them.  But, we did manage to find a musical greeting card with the tune "who let the dogs out".

I left them a dear neighbor note inside that said they looked like the nicest family and maybe they didn't know their dog was waking everyone up at 5:30 in the morning. I honestly thought this would have ZERO success. The last house lived in I had a neighbor with one of these dogs and he would let it bark 24/7. When I talked to him about it he flipped out and kept letting the dog bark. So I decided to move. That's why I took the cowards way out this time. That was a lot of drama for no result.

But this time?.......... It actually seems have worked. I mean, the dog is still a dog and barks. But not at 5:30 in the morning and really that's all I care about.

Now I'm getting another new neighbor and I hope they don't have one of those dogs because I totally don't believe that will work twice.

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Just when I thought tech couldn't get any more boring......Apple releases a speaker.

The whole world is suffering from Stockholm syndrome.

The 25-year-old accused of leaking top-secret NSA document talked of 'standing' with Iran in hypothetical war with US.

I just find it fascinating that so many white women defend the Middle East. Those girls would get raped in a nano second. And they would probably feel like they deserved it. That's messed up.

I think instead of arresting her - we should just send her to Iran. That would wipe the smirk off her face right quick. They will use her face as a punching bag. If she's lucky.

Monday, June 05, 2017

Bubbles take so many people out because they go on for so long that people start ignoring the fear signals that keep them safe.

No - they are killing themselves.

Millennials are killing chains like Buffalo Wild Wings and Applebee's.

I happened to have gone to the original BW3's because Mr S. is from Ohio. It was basically a dive bar  with amazing food. So good that it used to be on the list of food we'd have to go out of our way to get when visiting family.

Franchising killed Buffalo Wild Wings. The wings are half the size. The food is cheap and almost cooked to death. The franchise seems have put all of their money into TV's instead of quality wings.

When one finally came to my city I was so excited. But I pretty much never eat there because I just can't believe this is the same place I went to in Ohio. The place gets a horrible rating on Yelp. So I'm not the only one who thinks so. The food is pretty much forgettable. Which is so different than the original. We'd fly in to get that shit. That's how good it used to be.

Cheap average food is what is killing these chains. Not Millenials.
Turns out I might not be funky after all. I have might just be sick and didn't know it yet. Woke up yesterday feeling fine - by the time I went to bed last night I was on antibiotics. I'm still prone to melting down at those things, but usually I'm aware if it's because I'm sick. And I can't help but feel like I got it from putting on VR headsets. I'm so germaphobic about those things.

Sunday, June 04, 2017

I haven't done cars in a while.



Usually when you go to car shows these days people are pretty courteous about not getting in your shot. Today was the opposite of that.

Today...... people had absolutely no self awareness. No matter where I went everyone wanted to stand in the middle of a doorway or walkway and then look offended if you needed to get through that door or walkway. So I promptly melted down.

It's really pretty early in the year for me to be this funky. Usually this funk happens around the holidays because Silicon Valley slows to a crawl. And that is what it feels like right now. Nobody is doing anything interesting. I'd rather have a really cool custom car over a Rolls any day.








Friday, June 02, 2017

Their aim is to baffle you with bullshit. Right?

"Column Gov. Brown wants California to borrow from itself to fund employee pensions. Good idea."

"It seems that scarcely a day passes when our politicians aren’t exhorted to run government like a business, or like a couple pondering household finances over the kitchen table.

Usually this advice is misguided, since government has vastly different concerns and responsibilities from business or the typical household. But California Gov. Jerry Brown and Treasurer John Chiang have cooked up an idea that actually meets those standards, and makes sense.

Their idea is to borrow $6 billion from the state’s Pooled Money Investment Account and spend it on an extra payment to the California Public Employees’ Retirement System — that is, make an advance payment to CalPERS for pensions. 

The money would be repaid over eight to 12 years from the rainy day fund established by Proposition 2 of 2014. Chiang and Brown figure that the one-time payment will save the state and its localities $11 billion during the next 30 years via reduced CalPERS contributions. They say the idea isn’t much different from borrowing in the debt markets to make the payment, except in this case the state is effectively borrowing from and paying interest to itself."


The writer goes on to say that this isn't much different than making an additional mortgage payment. Except people don't put an additional mortgage payment on their credit card. And anyway this is so crazy I can't even figure out how this works. The writer somehow to think we have a magical "surplus" to borrow against.  But when I look around all I see is Jerry Brown making math mistakes.

Read: $1.9 billion error adds to California deficit projection. This article was just written in January.

All I know is that Baby Boomers are amazing at figuring out how to steal from the future. How is it even possible a State can borrow from itself. How does that work? And how do they consistently get the media to sell to this to you like it's the best thing since sliced bread? That is some Venezuela level shit right there.

Maybe they are ya know... connected.

Top headlines on CNBC.

Weak May jobs growth raises doubts about how much Fed can raise interest rates this year.

And

Dire predictions for retail stoked by another bad week full of store closures and a looming bankruptcy.

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Debbie downer strikes again.



Silicon Valley has really been driving me crazy lately. "Everybody wants to change the world", but all they are doing is copying each other and putting out crap. Take for instance VR and augmented reality. Everyone in the Valley is falling all over themselves trying to create a new set of glasses when what they really need is content. It really feels like where robotics was about 10 years ago. ~A solution in search of a problem.~

My personal belief is that they are wasting their time on glasses. When 3D came out I said - that's never going to take off. People don't like to wear glasses. When Google Glass came out I said - this is going to never take off because people don't like to wear glasses.  I don't make the rules - I just observe them. Everyone I've ever known has hated wearing glasses. They tolerate it - but if they can get surgery - people do that in a heartbeat. And until people stop making me believe they hate wearing glasses - that's how I feel about all of these products.

Now Silicon Valley thinks everyone is going to be okay walking around like Daft punk or like old people who just got cataract surgery. They made helmets. They made giant old people glasses. And while some of the tech can be pretty neat - I just don't at all believe in the delivery system. I mean, helmets are HOT. And I didn't really think about it until I saw the guy above with a fan strapped to his face - sometimes phones get hot too. I just don't see any of this working for very long. Not too much outside of the OH wow stage.

Now of course there are going to be sectors that will adopt this. Construction and people who are already used to all this bulkiness. Or like Military. But honestly the whole sector seems stalled to me. The screen door effect still exists on most of the headsets I've tried. And it's all I can see at this point. Especially when video game graphics are so rich these days. Athough I haven't done Oculus in a while I'm not sure if it still has it. The Hololense is actually pretty neat-ish. But the viewing area is really limited and sort of bothersome. I actually waited around an hour today to try it again to make sure I wasn't being unfair. And Magic Leap - I honestly don't know what the hell is going on with those guys. I was at a conference a few months ago and their demo was completely broken. They act like they don't need business which I'm finding hard to believe because all of a sudden their momentum seems off. But they had guys trying to recruit engineers at the thing I was at today. Now people can stay in stealth mode for a really long time, but as I said... if it wasn't for PokemanGo - this would be a nothing sector. And we are FIVE years into this now.

I even got one of those Tango phones for Free back in October, and have yet to find a good use for it. I didn't even blog about it because I was pretty unimpressed. It's just not as accurate as it needs to be. That phone fully went to market and nobody talked about it. Well, I did see a couple of people talk about it but I assumed they'd also gotten a free phone because they pretty much said don't  buy it if you don't have to. They were less kind than I would have been. I figured I couldn't add anything new to the conversation so why bother.



So really - there's always porn! I think the device these two are on is actually a flight sim, but all I can see it being used for is porn. And this is not about me - its about all YOU deviants. I mean is a certain time in peoples lives that you will rub one out to a cartoon! When you are hitting puberty. You can admit it. Mr S. says it doesn't even have to be animated which made me laugh. So the graphics for porn don't have to be all that great. And it doesn't matter if the goggles make you sweat your eyes out. I just don't see this as a mainstream product lasting for very long except maybe in porn I guess is where I'm going. Or manufacturing.



Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The first thing I did last night when I heard about Kathy Griffin was run over to Syrian twitter to see what people were saying. And wow were things especially brutal. They were pasting her head on pretty horrible scenes of atrocities. Made what she did look really tame by comparison. I'm sure she didn't expect those images to show up in her feed.

It's never going to stop being 2009.

Nasdaq Shrugs Off Commodity Carnage, Retail Crash In May For Longest Win Streak Since 2009.

I started seeing some of this weakness coming through last night in Asia and thought - am I going to have to start bitching about deflation again. So tiresome.

This is what I generally feel about the world right now. The Dems are going to cave this market. WTF do they care? Making things horrible only helps them get more people on welfare. I was really surprised when people bought into the Trump bump because none of his policies would be felt for at least a year I thought. Even when Regan took over it was a year or two before things picked up. And Obama left landmines like confetti.

I also want to say that it is sort of weird that the dollar is going down, and oil is also going down. They normally work inverse of each other. Who knows what that means? (shrug)

Some people speculate that the plunge protection team is the only thing holding up this market. I'm not sure one way or another. But I am sure that most billionaires start to become socialists because they get too far from what made the company in the first place. It's easy to become socialist when things are easy. When you get too far away from the 'struggle' it distorts your thinking.

Anyway.. If it's true the PPT is working this market I don't think it will stave off the socialists billionaires from taking this market down. I don't know what day... but it feels like we are walking on a semi frozen lake.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

This guy doesn't understand "prisons".

"A likely shift in the mortgage market is creating 'prisoners' in housing."

When I read this article I laughed to myself. It took a long time for people to realize what was happening in the mortgage market - I thought to myself.  I started talking about this at least in 2014 because I realized that mortgage rates would become low enough that eventually it would incentivize people to not move creating a very large distortion in the housing market. Also Read: A new housing crisis looms. A shortage. I wrote it in 2014.

It is completely not normal to need to reply so much on new housing inventory. New housing is more expensive than existing housing. But everyone and their Uncle are locked into crazy low rates. So why would they move? So, - if people don't want to move - and new housing is your only option - what do you think happens? Shortages, and extremely expensive real estate. Finding cheap land to build on only gets worse. Not better.

"In a market with tight inventory, the decision to sell depends on whether homeowners want to risk selling and then not being able to find a new home.

"The existing homeowner is trapped in this prisoner's dilemma of the cooperative outcome," Fleming said. "If we all acted simultaneously, it would solve the problem. But we can't take the risk of being the one that acts when everyone else doesn't."

I'm sort of curious what "problem" this writer thinks can be solved by everyone "acting simultaneously" to sell their houses. That is one of the stupidest things I've ever read.  If there is no inventory - there is no inventory!  I must have written a hundred times about new housing starts not keeping up with population growth for more than twice/three times the average recession. You can see in this chart that it took four years to even get back to the low end trend line. The median trend line is about 1.4 million units a year. Right now we are only creating maybe 1.2 million units. That's almost seven years.! Something that has never happened in history. Going all the way back to 1960 we were still creating about 1.6 million units a year. And all the downturns look like V's, not sideways squiggly lines.

These "prisoners" have gotten the best gift of their lifetimes. The best way to get ahead in life is to pay as little interest as you can possibly manage. Interest is a tax on everything you buy. Being a "prisoner" is paying over 6% interest when rates are actually down in the 3% range because banks won't finance you and you can't move. Which is what I did for at least 4 years. Everyone who was eventually able to refi is sitting in the loveliest prison on earth. I used to turn a house about every six years, but even I think if I had to get stuck "somewhere" my place isn't the worst.

It's just so frustrating to see people write about real estate when it seems clear they don't completely understand it. These prisoners are creating a very solid economic bedrock. What comes next though is hard to predict. Other than it's going to be very costly for the "non prisoners". I'd like to see that guy write an article about that. We will see who feels more like a prisoner then.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Nope,nope,nope.



Because traffic looks like that - I am sheltering in place.

And since Mr S. is still on his rein of bread terror - today we got hamburger buns. Which were really amazing. I mean 90% of the bread he's baked tastes amazing. Trying to get bread to hold it's shape....well, that's an art form I guess, and Mr S. is in an obsessive phase.

Which means some weeks he will bake bread three times a week  because the last batch didn't work exactly how he wanted it. And if it sounds like I'm bitching a little.. it's because I am (Only a little). No one can eat that much bread a week without blowing up like a balloon. But he's really getting pretty amazing at this stuff. These rolls came out perfect, so hopefully I will only get bread once this week. It is pretty amazing to get fresh baked bread at home though.