Sunday, September 30, 2018

YUP. I'm quirky that way.

One of my favorite car trends is bare metal. I just love it to death. But I hate DeLoreans, and the color silver. I won't even recognize silver as a color. But bare metal is beautiful.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Ugly, Ugly, Ugly.

Pending home sales.

Also read - Bay Area home sales tank 10 percent in August — to the slowest pace in 7 years.

*Total home sales for the Bay Area fell nearly 10 percent compared with August 2017, according to CoreLogic. 

*Sales increased 1.8 percent compared with July, but the total volume was nearly 18 percent below the August average going back to 1988 and the lowest since August 2011. 

*Sales activity for the summer, June through August, was the slowest in seven years.

Emphasis mine.

Why the hype of robots taking your job is longer off than you think.

I was initially interested in this robot because it had THREE lidar systems, an array of 360 cams. And I was mildly curious about the arm because it feels like the robots have come out of the primordial ooze of evolution and are regressing. So it was a bit of an oddity to see a robot with arms again.

This was a research project so the guy could be a little more honest. He wasn't selling anything.

I was asking him about the lidar because that's my jam right now, and he told me that the robot wasn't working so he couldn't show it. Something always seems to get broken in shipping, so you kind of get used to not seeing things work. But he said he had it working that morning but the battery had died.

So I took that opportunity to ask him - how long can you run on a charge? He replied - about an hour. And even I was a little shocked about the low run time.

What most people don't understand is - those arms take a lot of power. I think next time you might just get an article with pictures of the back of these things showing the power supply requirements. For most of them, you can't just plug this into a socket. You need some serious power. And that is hell on batteries.

This was built on a Segway, so you can imagine how much those batteries must weigh.

So when everyone was freaking out about robots taking their jobs a while back,  it just made me crazy.  I should have paid more attention to the power setup for the smallest arms, but that is essentially why robots won't be taking your jobs as soon as you think.

I do love me some particle effects.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

THIS is the golden age of robots?!

I feel like I went on this really long journey, and wound up at the same place I started with NOTHING to show for it. Not even a free sub.

Your new robot overlords are really just going to be an army of arms. That's all. I hope they don't get learn the black power fist. Then they'll all unionize. It's ridiculous.

For all the money they put into these things over the decades. The greatest advancement in robotics is just - WE MADE THE ARMS SMALL SO THEY DON'T KILL YOU? Makes me want to punch the sky. Robotic arms have been in factories for probably longer then I have been alive. I'm depressed. And for all the hysteria about robots taking jobs - I might need a second.

This one did have an impressive range of movement.

Yes. Robot arms can pick things up since the dawn of time.

Honestly, if they turned this one into a DJ - I might just change my mind about everything. They could call him DJ ABB. And it should play Skrillex.

And I guess arms are good at opening doors. But this is some iRobot circa 2000 shit.

Yes, we know you can still pick things up.

Briefcase robot arms so you can demo arms.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

I'm so bummed. Mr S. called to say that the shop told him that they'd reached the point where insurance tells them to stop taking it apart. And they'd only gotten to the cosmetic stuff. I think the only panels on the car that weren't damaged were the doors. Scratch that.  I guess the quarter panels were pushed into the doors. They don't even know if the frame was affected.

The hood - top and bottom front quarter panels. The rear bumper, which basically is most of the back of the car were torched.  I guess the trunk hood was still fine.

It was the kind of car that you could fix if you just watched some youtube videos. I'm sad!
That boring SUV I got you a few days ago...... It might have just turned into one of the rarest cars I've ever seen. And that makes me laugh. Because MEH.

I guess dealerships are not stocking them. Which MR S. found really odd. I'm going to paraphrase, but his philosophy is that car manufacturers have dealerships for a reason. It's so they can get money earlier in the process. And going to a direct from the manufacturer system interrupts that process.

Tesla could do that because they didn't have any infrastructure. So that model worked for them. But Audi has an enormous infrastructure.  Mr S. thinks that not enough dealerships thought they would sell, and therefore didn't order them. But Audi has now given them cover.

I just think it's funny that a week ago, this was going to be a Tesla killer. BUT NOT WITH THAT BUSINESS MODEL.

Monday, September 24, 2018

I kinda feel like they are just making shit up.

I am not a fan of tariffs. I will say it a million times.  However, the things we've let China get away with are stunning. There was a point that if you wanted to get a product made in Silicon Valley - you were forced to go to Chinaand have it made there. Where they promptly stole your IP. And our economy was so desperate -we just let them. That is messed up!

However, when I did the news stroll this morning, the media was all on fire about how we were going to die. And how we'd never be able to by washing machines again because the prices were escalating so high.

Now - I JUST bought a new washing machine, and prices are actually lower than they've been in a long time. Most of what was driving up the prices was that front loading crap. And when you go through this process you learn how messed up our country is. Let me explain.

The Asian participants to the washer and dryer market are pretty lousy for reliability. So, you try to buy an American Brand - however what your will find is almost all the choices are from one company and all the name brands just stick their name on the front. They are not repairable for the most part, and are literally considered a disposable item. That is the landscape of our manufacturing.

Then I went on to read about how Trumps tariffs were causing lumber to skyrocket and now you won't be able to remodel because we are all going to die from higher lumber prices.

However, I've been watching the price of lumber lately. Mostly because my commodity guys have been beside themselves for MONTHS. And I've started to think that if things are so great, why is lumber falling like it is. HERE.  I mean,  we are down practically 50% since JUNE! I don't really follow lumber - but now that I have it does look like a juicy bubble.

Now I know the people who write articles never seem to be the same people how actually BUY things, but this is just ridiculous.

Alrighty then.

"The largest segment of the housing market has peaked and will no longer contribute to the US economy's growth, according to US economists at Bank of America Merrill Lynch." Source.

Zero housing growth. Check. That also means also this home improvement boom is also gone for now. I could already see it this weekend. About a month ago if you walked into a Home Depot at 10:00 on a Saturday it was jaw dropping how many people were there. This weekend there was half as many.

People are infinitely aware of their equity, and a market like this sets off a certain feedback loop.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Friday, September 21, 2018

It's finally hit the main stream.

Home sellers slash prices, especially in California.

"In the four weeks ended Sept. 16, more than one-quarter of the homes listed for sale had a price drop, according to Redfin, a real estate brokerage. That is the highest level since the company began tracking the metric in 2010. Redfin defines a price drop as a reduction in the list price of more than 1 percent and less than 50 percent."

Really,  this is starting to come in from everywhere. Not just California. These sorts of events start a feedback loop. I've started hearing about houses getting zero offers.

Hope everyone has a cup on because it might be about to get crazy up in here.

Lots of supercar Ponzi schemes these days.

Dozens of supercars amassed in alleged $364 million Ponzi scheme.

"Federal prosecutors in Baltimore have issued a 14-count indictment against three men accused of using a Ponzi scheme to defraud investors of more than $364 million, saying that two of them diverted the money in part to amass a jaw-dropping portfolio of 28 mostly luxury automobiles, supercars and motorcycles, including Ferraris, Lamborghinis and Rolls-Royces — and one Ford Explorer."

The last one I wrote about a couple of weeks ago with the largest Porsche dealership in America. Here.
WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME? I've never been so sad to get rid of a car.  The tow truck took her away today.

I think it might have been one of the first cars to start using hex grills. Now it's everywhere.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Another day, and another lecture on diversity.

And frankly I've had it. I think Silicon Valley is being purposefully intellectually dishonest. They need to take a good look at themselves.

Silicon Valley is extremely diverse. It's one of the things I've always loved about it. But it doesn't escape anyone that Black and Brown people do not work at tech companies in any real numbers.  They never have, and I'm wondering if they ever will.

Mr S. said that before moving to California there were way more Black people in engineering than California has. Everyone that moves here is a little shocked honestly. I've been watching it for a lot of my adult life because it isn't that Back people don't live here. They just don't work in tech.

Maybe they just think that working in tech isn't as cool as you think it is.

Every other nationality on the planet is here. At a lot of companies now being white is the minority. Predominately the work force is Asian or Indian. But that is not the "right" diversity for Silicon Valley.

Additionally at most of the companies in Silicon Valley until very recently - you pretty much needed a PHD to work there. People from poor families do not have that kind of time. 

One of the few things that Silicon Valley has done recently, that has been good, is relaxing the school requirement for candidates. If you can make it though a phone interview where you WILL get a quiz, you should get a chance. You are going to take a pay hit for sure, but sadly that also makes this not appealing for Silicon Valley. With all of their stupid equal pay shit. Even men in the same field do not make the same wage.

I mean, they make it hard to get in - and then they wonder why they can't get more diversity. Silicon Valley was built by autodidactic people! It's one of the things that made it cool! It's why they love Elon Musk! He doesn't have an education in that crap. He learned a lot of that on the job!

Still, I don't think they are going to attract many more women, and minorities because maybe they want to do something different with their lives. I guarantee you - if they were getting these types of applicants - they would getting at least  a phone interview. Those people are just not applying for various reasons.

I mean, I get it - I grew up poor and I still managed to finagle my way into tech. And I'm a girl! But I could never do that now because of the way these companies operate.

Yet as I drove around MountainView today it didn't escape me that maybe the reason no new stuff is coming out is because of Sillicon Valley's relentless imaginary push for diversity. They are pushing on a string that does not exist, but they are still using a ton of resources for very little pay off. The only thing they haven't done is force kids to learn math and commit to working at Google or Facebook for the rest of their lives.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Cars don't go to heaven either.

Mr S. is completely fine,  but he got rear ended again. This time they will probably total the Solstice.

Last time it got hit, someone only dented the bumper, and everyone elected to handle it outside of insurance. This time, her car pushed him into another car. So I'm pretty sure they are going to total it. Which is such a bummer. Those were really fun cars for their price point. And you can't buy them anymore. You just can't believe how fun they are. They are small and you can really get around in traffic.

I did worry about it being the commuter car though, because there are a lot of giant trucks on the road these days. But that car only had 50,000 wish miles for how old it was. It never got driven in the winter because those cars can be quite squirrely in the rain.

But I guess eventually that is how these cars become rare. But I always hoped other Solstices were being taken out. Now ours. ;(

If you ever wondered how long some things can go on......

You can now stop. Lower sales and higher prices in real estate is not a thing anymore.

These price cuts are getting kinda exciting. It feels a little panicky because while in the spring you could sell a house in 6 days WITH NO CONTINGENCIES - houses are now starting to sit for months.

Just one example. A house a few blocks over from me is now under it's second markdown. The first one was for 40K, now it's marked down 126k. (That includes the 40) But "right pricing" doesn't seem to be stemming the problem yet. Those houses are still getting markdowns too.

This starts a wild feedback loop. I would be fairly certain that a lot of home improvement will start drying up. The equity you thought you had, you don't have anymore. No one puts money into their house if they don't think they will get it out.

Christmas might also be a little sketch. Lets see how this goes because we are still in full price discovery.

I mostly wouldn't even worry about this too much, but people owe a lot of money.

Conversations with Mr. S.

I have been increasingly frustrated with the direction of Silicon Valley these days.

In the early days of self driving cars, there wasn't an overt attempt to harvest all of your information ALA facebook. Somewhere along the way governments got involved and said - if you are driving on our roads - YOU WILL GIVE US YOUR DATA. They are also at the center of electrifying EVERYTHING. Planes, military tanks. EVERYTHING.

So, like good Eichemans, Silicon Valley found a way to oblige and here we are now.

By the time Mr S. got home yesterday I was super pissed because when I started out the day I was pretty excited to see this car. Even though I don't believe in electric. It just popped up where I was going to be at. And all of a sudden it was all over the Internet.

The day before I told him - that company knows how to sell cars. They make a car. Drive it around Silicon Valley. And that's how you sell cars.

Then when I got there I realized I would have to sit through two hours of these people telling me that everybody was going to share cars. Which makes me so mad inside. I have seen ZERO evidence that Uber of Lyft reduced the amount of cars on the roads. ZERO. People in general don't like to be in spaces with a lot of other people. We already have a system for that. It's called BART. It's a disgusting transit system. It's also recently now a not safe transit system.

There are reasons why people don't adopt more mass transit.

These people who say things, also tell me that no one will own these shared cars. And I've yet to get an opportunity to ask who will own the cars. But I already know. And so do you really.

And the most frustrating part of all is they use all these false narratives that are so hard to untangle. Anyway I finally got pissed and started walking the parking lot to find this car. I still had two hours to go, and I just can't take these things sometimes.

When Mr S. got home least night I unloaded all of this on him and he basically says - they made you sit through a car times share.

I just look at him.

He continues..... they were going to capture you for many hours, and tell you about how people were going to share things. That sounds like a timeshare.

me - muthereffer. I think they did just make me sit through a timeshare pitch!

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

The indoctrination I have to go through sometimes...

I hope most of you have realized that missing backlinks are a feature of this blog, not a bug. So.... I'm not even going to say the name of this car. You can plainly see what it is.

I don't understand electric cars. Nothing says you have nothing better to do than having to charge your car for 30 minutes or more to use it. It takes less than five minutes to fill up my tank.

I don't understand SUV's either. I don't know why they are so popular right now other than it's hopefully the end of minivan purgatory. I was at a conference once and a guy said - if it weren't for women, the minivan would never exist. Which I thought was spot on.

I don't believe the bullshit they try to feed me when it comes to these cars.  It isn't that I don't think it's "a" sector. I just don't think that it's a viable sector without force and penalty.

I think we will look back one day at all these solar panels frankly effing up the landscape and laugh.

But the indoctrination rages on. If you knew what Silicon Valley was trying to do.....

These shots are purposely over exposed because while this is basically a boring minivan - it does have a forward facing camera in the Audi symbol. And I'm not sure what kind of lidar(?) they are using. I would have had to sit through more indoctrination to find out and the internet will eventually tell me.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

That's pretty baller.

I wish I'd been able to get them crossing in the sidewalk, but by the time I was able to flip a U-ey, they had vanished.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Luna Park.

I have no idea why millinials are so into mermaids, but it really seems to be "a thing".

Friday, September 14, 2018

There goes another one.

A VP at the Largest Porsche Dealer in America Just Vanished with $2.5 Million in Buyer Deposits.

"As vice president of marketing at the largest Porsche dealer in the country, Shiraaz Sookralli personally handled some of Champion Porsche's most valued and deep-pocketed clients. Over the last year, he collected over $2.5 million in customer deposits for dozens of the company's ultra-exclusive 911 GT3 and GT3 RS models.

There's only one problem: The cars never existed, the money is missing, and Sookralli just vanished without a trace."

I'm sure this kind of stuff goes on all of the time, but it just gets lost in the noise. But I think they have pulled demand forward and the "creative financing" can't be hidden for much longer.

The weak are starting to squeak.

There is news out today that a well known Augmented Reality company has "suspended operations" after losing a critical Chinese investor due to the trade wars. I'm not going to name them or give you a link because while I've seen this company, I don't want to give them bad press. All of you people are smart. I've given you enough information to find it if you were curious.

I will say again - I am not a fan of trade wars. However, we are overly exposed to China and that company shows exactly why.

If one Chinese investor can shutter your whole business - that is a huge problem. I wonder how many other start ups are vulnerable. I would bet a lot.

Now to be sure... Augmented Reality companies over saturated the market and under delivered.  Perhaps they would have gone belly up without this funding anyway. But I think we've depended too much on foreign investment.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

At least Democrats are fully out of the closet now. They be like - yeah, we are running on a full socialism platform.

Unlike before where they had to trick you into thinking they weren't socialists.

Does it seem like a lot of dealerships are blowing up lately?

Dealerships Owned by Ex-NFL Pro Bowlers Accused of Being a 'House of Cards' .

We are in serious price discovery now.

I would say that we will definitely see price declines in the next data. Some significant. Even new construction is getting hit with some very large price cuts. I just saw a 132,900 reduction on a 1,480,000 house. So I guess it was 1.6 before. New construction.

It looks like they are "trying to price things right". But that just means they are lopping off a hundred grand before it goes on the market.

Last week I saw a 400,000 dollar reduction on something. I can't remember what it is right now. But it was in Fremont.

Everyone is hyper aware of their property values - so I'm guessing this is going to send a pulse though the economy and people will start reducing spending as well.  There is a feedback loop that goes on with property declines. And I think we are starting to trigger it.

Monday, September 10, 2018

I've been busy. What did I miss?

Saturday, September 08, 2018

Skull Car.

I've seen this car a ton of times, but I think he keeps adding stuff since I've never seen these headlights. And that is still cool.