Wednesday, August 16, 2017

I guess I'm the only one who doesn't think this is a problem.

When people started stepping down from Trumps manufacturing council I though - some of these people shouldn't be advising anyone. Under Armor is having real financial problems right now. They should get their own act together.

Intel (and I shouldn't really talk about them because I might be there tomorrow) is dying. They are late in the game on everything! Really - they are just now getting into self driving cars? That's about five years too late. Intel is basically at the stage where they have to buy their way out of death by acquiring new companies and IP. Their chip architecture is toast. ARM won.

Update - As evidence - Intel is sitting on a fab site in Arizona blessed by Obama in 2012 that is still sitting idle after SIX years! How does a company afford that? Crony capitalism of course.

From my inner tard.

Look at that tail pipe! Come on. You know it makes you laugh.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Who ya gonna believe?

"Oh the irony - as bulls celebrate the best jump in retail sales since 2016, the scene for retailer stocks is an utter bloodbath... 

Earlier today, US Retail Sales in July rebounded dramatically to a 0.6% MoM gain - the most since Dec 2016 - driven a surge in motor vehicles (record incentives) and department stores (more inventives?). Year-over-year saw upward revisions and a rebound to a 4.2% rise in July. 

The last two month's declines in Retail Sales have been revised away magically and we have now gone 5 months without a decline..."

While Zero Hedge focuses on brands that no one cares about like JCpenny, the real economy is happening behind the scenes in places that people who only write about the economy but don't really participate in any meaningful way will see.

For instance - positive equity is an extremely powerful thing. Very few people are underwater in their houses at this time. So they feel safer to do some work on them. You don't throw a ton of money into a house that is underwater. Now that most people are not underwater....let the remodeling begin seems to be the mantra. They have a lot of time to make up.

I've been trying to get a project done all summer. And it's just about like pulling teeth. You literally can't get a contractor for months. To prepare for my project I started going to tile stores about four months ago. Only to roll up at 9:00 in the morning to a packed parking lot. Two weeks ago I was in a tile store and the place was again packed. All of these people had a designer in tow. I could not believe it.

This is a trend I've found out is about a year old, so it doesn't surprise me that retail has been revised up for previous months. That could actually be real.

People might not be spending at malls ( oh wait - I was at a mall this weekend and it was so packed it almost made my head explode). Gone are all the discount signs. I didn't see any evidence of a mallpocolypse. Although I didn't set foot in a JCpenny because I haven't shopped at that place since I was a kid. Maybe people just don't like stale brands like JCpenny. Let theme die already so they will stop taking up space and bloggers will stop bitching about them. No one shops there for like 20 years. It's why they almost died about 5 years ago. No one cares except bloggers.

I think focusing on these dinosaur brands makes writers not see the real things that are happening in the economy. You have to BE IN the economy to know what is happening with it. And I can assure you - people are spending money like they haven't in a very long time.

I think that number could be real. Even with the crazy carpocolypse stories dragging down the numbers. I think retail might have come in hotter. Really. Just go outside and try shopping somewhere. ANYWHERE!

I WISH it all were not true- because I have a project I need get completed by winter and I'm having a fuck all time of it. I have never seen things like this.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Seen in the wild.

I got these last night, and lighting wasn't great. But I never really take pictures of these at shows anymore. They are much better in the wild.

I was hoping I would run into this guy. I wondered if one of his sins was speeding. With a license plate like that - he seemed like someone I should talk to.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

A nothing update.

I don't really have anything for you this weekend. My husband decided he needed clothes. And when man decides he's willing to go clothes shopping - you drop everything before he changes his mind.

Luckily we have about the same tolerance for shopping. We basically walk into a store together. Kiss each other goodbye. He takes one side - I take the other and we meet towards the middle. If either of us finds anything interest we text each other - but for the most part we divide and conquer.

Friday, August 11, 2017


China Warns Trump: "We Will Prevent A North Korea Regime Change.

Trade is the biggest antidote to war. People who trade with each other do not go to war with each other. At least that is how things used be. So I think China is totally lying. But what else are they going to say? They've been fostering this North Korea thing like a drunk Justin Bieber. Hold me back bro!

Eyelashes are back.

And I still love them.

Fonts matter?

I sort of feel like this oil lube shop is screwing with me. Whenever I pass it I think - they know that looks like a snickers bar. Right?

Who's ur daddy?

I was for freedom when people wanted to be free.

I've never been against immigration. You don't live in Silicon Valley and have those feelings. Immigration is one of the things that makes Silicon Valley great. Different cultures and foods. It's really amazing.

But if you try to turn down the volume of people coming in-  all of a sudden the liberals start reciting the Statue of Liberty. "Give us your tired huddled masses yearning to be free."

Oh..... we have huddled masses alright. But they are not yearning to be free anymore. They are yearning to make us less free. And that's when my generosity gives out. I'm willing to let people in who want to be free. Not people who demand to be let in only to put me in servitude and make this place like the shit hole they came from.

I say - lets roll the dice.

I'm so irritated about this North Korea thing. I'm pretty much at the point of saying - eff you all. Let's do nothing. Chances are more likely of one of you other countries are getting to get hit before us.

Chump don't want no help. Chump don't get no help.

If everyone thinks Trump is the problem. Well, let's see. If other countries don't care. I don't care either. Statistically it's more of a problem for everyone else.

I hate that the world is devolving into a communist love train. But I hate more that whatever we do we are blamed for instead of the real evil of the world. I'm sick of it. Maybe some of the world isn't worth saving. And that goes for Americans too. People are so devoid of reality these days, that I just don't even care.

Bunny Friday.

This is how Lacy greets us every morning. I have no idea why she does it. She has a whole open door. But it's super funny. It's like she's saying helloooooooooo. (done in a monty python accent)

And she is still on pink drink. (antibiotics) So I got better, less blurry, shots of her lipstick. Which is what the pharmacy compounds the antibiotics with.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Phoniest protest ever.

Google’s Mountain View headquarters targeted in alt-right protest march.

Firstly, Google can just kick you off their campus. Then you are protesting on the street next to Google which is not a heavily trafficked area on the weekends. So who gives an eff?

Secondly - if you really wanted to hurt Google - maybe stop taking their money for displaying ads on your site. Otherwise you are just whoring for them anyway. Since you take their money - what do they care if you protest them? I bet they laugh all the way to the bank.

I personally think this protest is phony. Google succeeds because news sites let them by filling their blogs with ads that none of us look at and just annoy all of us.

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Would anyone really care if a nuke made it all the way to California? I'm so exhausted by these people that even I don't care. Start with Google. Just say'in.

Monday, August 07, 2017

Silicon Valley is in the throws of going supernova.

Some employees are rumored to hate the open floor plan at Apple's new $5 billion campus.

News flash - this is happening all over the Valley and I am super curious how this is going to turn out. I think - not well. For engineering departments this completely sucks because these people need to be able to think about complex issues and problems without all the distractions of an "open floor plan".

I mean, who wouldn't love having your last bit of privacy being taken away. Even if that does only involve three short walls called a cubical. Really that's all you have at a company.... right?

Silicon Valley is enacting a whole lot of rules that force employees to be less productive. It's sort of like a fad right now. And I'm not really sure what to make of it. Other than you know that can't work. You just don't know what the fallout is going to be.

Let's just call it what it is - affirmative action for girls.

Google exec denounces employee's views on female workers.

When this article came out over the weekend I just had to shake my head. I asked Mr S. - this is just men sucking up to girls right? Like when they tell us that women are the smartest sex and all that shit they do to try to ingratiate themselves with us. Men, you guys do that. You say stupid shit to suck up to us and then women run with it.

I'm a girl and worked in tech when there were no women in tech. So I have a little to say about this.

First - quit bitching about sexism. It isn't right to be sexually harassed obviously. But men are men, and you will rue the day that this stops. Sure, even I find it annoying sometimes, but I'm getting older and I think - thank gawd I'm still being sexually harassed! I'd also like to say if you are bitching about this, you probably haven't been on this earth very long. You will encounter this your entire life. Find a way to better deal with it. Men are not defective because they want to find a mate. The only place to do that for a couple of decades now - is at work.

Second, I've known girls who have tried these fields. For some reason they don't seem to like it. And I think the lack of women is part of the reason but not the whole reason. I don't understand this myself. Working for men is way better.

I've gone through my whole life trying to find girls who are technologically curious, and you don't find many. It's so rare that when I do I'm sort of shocked although it is getting better. What that guy at Google said is completely correct. Women are not as interested in these fields and it isn't sexual bias. It's evolutionary pressure.

For instance, how many girls can/will set up a modern television? I'm not saying they CANT do it. But how many want to? Vs. having their husband/boyfriend or dad help them. Just like you can't make women want to work in construction just by pinking and shrinking tools.

Evolutionarily men have had to build things to survive and keep a mate. Women do not. I'm not saying women can't  do anything that men can except some physical stuff. But do they actually want to? From what I see, women just don't have the same technological inclination. You can't force someone to be interested in something they are not. But you can keep shaming men and making their lives worse apparently over a lie. Men are like the universal punching bag right now.

And the worst thing about it is - this is men trying to tell women how they should feel. To which I say - pound sand suck ups.

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Saturday, August 05, 2017

Friday, August 04, 2017

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

They all pushed us too far.

When I was growing up - I thought we (the US) were helping countries be free-er. And then somewhere it morphed into us forcing freedom on them. I was okay with Iraq because the Kurds were begging us to come in. And people were being put into wood chippers.

I was just talking to a guy this morning and I told him - there is nothing more than I want in the world but everyone being free-er. But they don't seem like they want it. Why are we wasting all of our effort for something they don't want. And then they hate us afterwards.

He says - yeah. It's not like they called us up for help. Eff them.

And to say these things really hurts my heart. Growing up a poor kid watching the news back in the day, even then I felt fearful about what if I lived in "that" country. Would I ever make it out? Being poor you know you don't have a lot of options. It's probably one reason I am the way I am. I'm always looking for an exit.

I feel the same way about immigration. I like nothing more than immigration. But they started letting everyone flood in and then they got here and hated us for it. We try to give them everything and they just spit in our faces. We are all sick of this on some level. I don't like that they are cutting immigration, but some of that is causing our hospitals to really be entities of the State because they can't make money. It's also why health care is so expensive.

I hate that I feel this way because I want everyone to be free. But no one appreciates anything we do for them. So why I need that static? I'm betting I'm far from being the only one who feels this way.

They all just pushed us too far and now we just don't give a fuck.

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

I guess eventually we will all need battery backup.

Californians Asked To Reduce Energy Use During August Solar Eclipse.

Seriously - this is the long con. When I first starting reading these stories I thought they were just exaggerating and I sort of rolled my eyes. How could we have enough solar power on the grid that this would make a difference at all? But they claim they generate enough power for 600,000 homes.

I wrote an article a while back talking about how unstable the grid was becoming because of solar. In this case we live in the era of redundant power I guess. Because when the sun goes out, all of that power needs to come from somewhere.

Probably things will be fine... but this is just the most ridiculous path. Convince governments to buy the least effective type of power. Then when a one time event happens everyone feels they need to have a generator "just in case". Walla - Tesla wins again.

At least I wasn't imagining it.

Oakland residents say tent encampments threatening neighborhoods.

"Oakland's unsheltered homeless population grew 37 percent over a two-year period and has become the city's most visible problem. Those with and without homes feel like the city hasn't done nearly enough to solve the crisis. 

After Nevis moved into her house last year, she would come home and find people sitting on her porch and using her outside electrical outlets to charge cellphones and other electronics. She decided to let this go.

That always just kind of made me feel uncomfortable and I know some of my neighbors agree with that," Nevis said. 

Then, on a recent spring night, someone pounded on her door looking for a stolen phone, she said. Nevis can't confirm who the person was, but it flipped an emotional switch. She began trading stories with her neighbors about how bold homeless people in her neighborhood had become. Nevis went from believing she could live together with her homeless neighbors to feeling threatened by them."
If John Macain dies - can he take Linsey Graham with him? Like those old couples that have been together forever and die within a day or two of each other.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Oakland has definitely regressed.

One of my favorite chicken and waffles place is in Oakland. So, on the way back from the kite festival we decided to stop there. It's been a couple of years since I've been out there because I just haven't wanted to make a special trip. If I'm going to the city for some reason we try to stop in.

When Mr S. and I started going to Lois the Pie Queen we were kinda nervous, but over the years Oakland had really been improving to where you didn't feel nervous at all. Honestly it was starting to feel almost too gentrified there. And I'm not talking about the fixing up the neighborhood kind of gentrified which was also happening. But, if you are going for chicken and waffles - you want the place to be full of black people. And there were decidedly way too may white people there the last time we went.

To my surprise a tent city had popped up not too far away on the MLK. I'm not even sure if these are really homeless people or just urban campers. The real trolls are more on the Albany/Emerville line and that crap is insane. I'm going to have to start getting video because these people are living in the cloverleafs of freeways and like trolls - under the overpasses. And the amount of garbage they are collecting is stunning. There has been a tent city on the Albany/Emerville/Oakland line for years and I've walked around there and taken photos before - but I would not feel safe doing that now.

It's just really messed up and frustrating. Letting people live on the streets only makes other people think it's not that bad. And really if you are living on the streets in Oakland, maybe Oakland isn't that bad either because when I was a kid - you would never do that shit. You'd wind up dead.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

I'm not sure what to make of this.

This not not a ghost lot. It seems to be filled with Teslas with front end damage. Since Tesla's all look the same to me I can't tell if these are older Tesla's before autopilot. Even still, it seems like a lot of cars with front end damage. There are only about 55 cars. But they are parked on one of those "wework" sites. So...... maybe they are teaching people how to fix them? You wouldn't need that may cars if this was a mechanic school, right? Just one of each type.

Some of the cars had license plates. A couple look like they've never gotten out of the factory plastic. Maybe they were injured in transit. All I know is it looks like they have been there a while.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Berkeley kite festival 2017.

I haven't been to this in a couple of years because I-80 is the last freeway you want to be on. It's gridlocked all the time. But I guess the trick to this thing is get there right as it opens. You can find parking. There aren't tons of people in your shots. It makes everything way better.

Ummmmmmm. Is that sperm?

Friday, July 28, 2017

I wonder what that guy had on his record.

Earlier in the week Mr S. was rear ended. He wasn't injured thankfully. But you can almost see the outline of the other guys license plate numbers in our bumper. And it's dented.

Since my whole excessive speeding ticket I've been really aware of the point system. The guy who hit Mr S. only dented the bumper we didn't want to ding his insurance. It's just a bumper - how much could it cost? I did talk to my insurance company and they said anything over a grand would go on his record. Anything under wouldn't.

So we got an estimate and it turned out to be 2600 bucks! This is on a tiny Pontiac Solstice that's like 10 years old. It's the beater commute car. The guy who hit him was also in a beater truck and he lived in Danville! (which for everyone outside of the Bay Area is a super rich city)

Anyway - you can not believe how much bumpers cost these days.  You think it's going to be like 500 bucks. But you pretty much can't get a new bumper without having to go through insurance. Most of them cost at least a grand to replace. It's crazy. We were sure that he was just going to have us turn it in to insurance.

We told the guy we were happy to take the car to any garage he chose so he could have his own estimate. I mean, we are going above to not screw the guy. It was just an accident. You just hope some day someone pays it forward. No one was trying to be a dick about the whole thing. So why not give the guy a break? No one needs an at fault accident on their record.

I guess the guy has decided to pay out of pocket. We deducted some money for paint because it is a beater commute car. But what kind of crap does he have on his record that he pays 2 grand out of pocket when both cars were total beaters?

All I know is that this has been the most amicable accident I have ever seen. People always get shitty.
Techcrunch wrote a really accurate article about robots called The real cost of robotics.

It's a year old, but I can assure you - robotics don't improve that fast.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Yep.... bubbly.

"It just seems like, it doesn't matter what job you have, there's always some robot out there about to take it," he said. "I think people are worried, and they want to buy tech, because they feel like they're taking part [in] the thing that's threatening them. So there is this deep emotional fear which is increasing, which is having the effect of pushing up prices for now. 

This fear is "substantially driving the market," he said." Source. 

According to Robert Schiller people are bidding up tech stocks because they think robots are going to kill them or put them out of work. Not fundamentals. Fear.

It's the best case I've seen for calling this a bubble.

For what it's worth I generally don't like Schiller. Just because he got one thing right doesn't mean he's right about other stuff.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

I'm starting to think these articles are clickbait.

Meet Tally: The Grocery Stocking Robot About To Eradicate 1,000's Of Minimum Wage Jobs.

I really get frustrated every time I read one of these articles. People all of a sudden think robots and A.I. is this magical thing that is lurking right behind them. I personally think that we are in a robot and A.I. bubble. That's right. Bubble. 

Will robotics take "some" jobs?  Sure. But people think this is coming faster than it is and the bloggers are just creating fake news.

For example - OSH (Orchard Supply Hardware) rolled out one of these types of bots along with Lowes getting close to a year ago, and do you know how many of these I've seen in real life at the store? ZERO point ZERO.

These things are freaking novel when you first see them. But even every single conference I go to has one of them at their conference centers or hotels. They are always sitting idle. Robots don't always do things better than humans. That is just bullshit. People don't fully understand how complicated this technology is and so they just freak out.

I had TWO robotics lawn mowers and frankly I want to dedicate them the technology museum. I mow the lawn the old fashion way.

These articles are literally written by people who have never seen one of these in real life or interacted with one. And as someone who has - these stories are hype! Robots are generally SLOW. Everyone can do stuff faster than a typical robot. For grocery stocking - I bet not being quick kills this.
Gadget blogs have to be tearing their hair out for content. This is the slowest I've seen it in the Valley in like - forever.

Silly rabbits.

It was a woolly ride, but three wild rabbits managed to escape rising floodwaters in New Zealand by clambering aboard sheep and surfing to safety on their backs . Source.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

These people are conning you for their own purposes.

Elon Musk says - A.I. is going to kill us all.

Zuckerberg says - shut up bruh -  my whole business is built on spying on peoples habits. (essentially algorithms/ A.I)

I think the truth is somewhere in the middle. Listen, I've been covering robotics for longer than I care to admit at this point. This whole blog was started and was initially dedicated to robotics. It's in the title! And do you see how many times I post about this now? Almost never. And it isn't because I've become less interested or that I don't see robots all the freaking time, it's because there just isn't anything interesting. Even with the advent of A.I. For along as they've been working on this, the whole thing is actually quite disappointing to be honest.  

All of the billionaires talking about this right now are big government types. So they are going to be on the side of government regulating the shit out of things because they know they are rich enough to get past it. On one hand they encourage government to squeeze people so they can barely make it. Then in a last ditch reaction businesses deploy automation to stay alive and then these assholes scream about how robots are going to kill us all. They are playing on your irrational fears.

For example - everyone freaks out about how the Tesla plant is filled with nothing but robots. Right? Do you know how many "people" Tesla employs right now? 30,000. By that standard Musk is doing a really shitty job. That is one person for every freaking car they sell each quarter! So many people in fact that there is a Instagram page dedicated to the mad max nature of their parking lot.

I will believe that A.I. is going to kill us all when I never have to use a phone tree again. That will be the true test of A.I. Not burger flipping. Phone trees have been around for decades now. People in general are overly optimistic about product cycles. And this is a long tail cycle.

Monday, July 24, 2017

When they have nothing left sell - you become the product.

We are basically living through a time of product fascism. And I don't use that word lightly because when most people do - I roll my eyes. But hear me out.

You see, last night as Mr S. was trying to convince me to buy Lightroom for my Mac - I was like no. I don't want to store my images in the cloud. What happens when the cloud doesn't like you anymore? And it turned out to be worse than that. I guess Lightroom is now a subscription/cloud service now, so if you don't pay them every month you stop being able to access your account.

Gone are the days where you buy a product and it's yours to keep. Now....... you don't technically own anything. Right? You only slightly own a bit of that product. Like a timeshare. Making it so you have very little control over the products you buy. Constantly keeping you on a chain.

So when I read this story about Robot this morning just really queebed me out. I guess iRobot is going to start selling the data it collects from mapping your rooms. Which I'm not completely sure how that is interesting to other companies. But who cares? Irobot is no longer interested in selling you products. They are interested in selling you as a product.

"Angle said iRobot would not sell data without its customers' permission, but he expressed confidence most would give their consent in order to access the smart-home functions." Source.

And anyway - I'm sure this is a flat out lie. Because in product fascism they tell you one thing, and they do another. These are the things that can only happen in a very weak economy. (I hope)

Maybe we made animals extinct because they were just assholes.

"More than 200 sheep have plunged to their deaths in the Pyrenees while apparently trying to escape a brown bear. The bears have been reintroduced to the mountain region over the past three decades after being wiped out by hunters." Source.

I've also been reading about whales harassing fishing ships in Alaska.

"A report this week in the Alaska Dispatch News outlined instances of aggressive orcas harassing boats relentlessly — even refusing to leave after a desperate skipper cut the engine and drifted silently for 18 hours." Source.

Then there is this from San Diego from a couple of years ago.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Last of the ghost lots. ( I think )

It's been hot and I've been bored. So I got that last ghost lot I knew about today. I was pretty confused about this lot because it had a little of everything. New Acuras and Mini's.

It had some Lexus's that had actual license plates on. So I wasn't completely sure this was an overfill lot at first.

There is a truck back there and a Chevy Camero.

Oh, and I can't forget the Audi's. It has so many different car breeds it has to be communal storage.

Then I noticed they were storing some cars on this Storage lot on the same block.

At first nothing sinister there.

But if you zoom in you can see there are new cars on this lot.

And the mystery of the cars with license plates is explained. They are probably certified used cars. Cars with that stripe on the top of the front window are certified used. And while there are not that many. Why would they use a public storage place to store used cars?

The sign above says Acura Stop Sale. Yet some cars in that lot also still have the plastic protective coating that comes from the factory.