Thursday, November 29, 2018

I think Magic Leap got tired of getting punched in the nuts. All of a sudden they are like - come see our stuff.


Unless this truck is a sleeper car with a giant effing motor in there. Those nostrils look dumb. Yet not dumb enough to send off to shittycarmods on twitter.

Charts always look like this in booming economies.

This the is pending home sales chart. Source.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Some houses have fallen to 2007 prices again.

An interesting theme popped up this morning as I was browsing the MLS. The middle market and upper market seem to be stuck in time. I mostly only follow the starter and middle market. Unless some other trend stands out.

A house on the same street that our first house was on - is now listing for 25 grand less than when we sold it for right before the recession 2006. (exact same model. Same square feet. Current updating.)

That neighborhood has gained zero price appreciation in 11 years. Luckily the house was snapped up at a huge discount during the recession in 2010. So they are going to do fine. But that is a little crazy to see considering the constant barrage of headlines about how housing is too expensive.

This also cropped up on the high end. A foreclosure caught my eye. 5000 sqft house. Same scenario. House was last sold in 2007 and had gained zero equity. I bet those people were just tired of fighting and with the prices going down - you can't blame them really.

The low end market though - that is where the pain is.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Maybe those things are ya know - connected.

Trump threatens to strip GM of a tax credit its about to lose anyway.

So.....if they are losing the subsidy anyway - why is there a problem? No one should be getting a subsidy. It artificially distorts the market. How much money is GM making off of subsidies anyway?

I still just honestly don't get these cars and will never get them until it takes 5 minutes to charge, because that is what it takes for me to fill my gasoline car. I don't understand a market that takes 40 minutes to charge a motorcycle - which I think electric is perfect for!

I'm not saying it isn't a market - just not a profitable one. If old people want to sit around for an hour to charge a car - fine. Just stop subsidizing it!

I'm just posting this to see you all lose your minds.

This really should just be a vine video. But I am always interested in prosthetics because when I was a kid we had a family friend who got drunk, fell asleep, and pinned his arm between the bedpost and the wall. He woke up to a dead arm and had to get a prosthetic back in the days when you just just had a claw.

So I initially clicked this because I was interested in the prosthetic aspect of the story. But when I saw they had attached this to the robot dog I about died laughing. Because that isn't going to freak anyone out.

So enjoy!

Everyone is being super phoney today.

If you've been reading this blog you know that the car downturn has been building all year. And it's not because of tariffs - it's because of interest rates. Period.

They spent 8 years or so pulling demand forward with 0 interest rate loans. Now it's very expensive for car companies to give you a zero interest loan.

Every car lot I see is floating on cars!

Update - I would also like to add that almost every week now I see an auto dealership blow up. Just before Thanksgiving Momentum Auto group in San Jose started closing dealerships. Here. They closed 8 locations.

I saw another one this morning, but I lost the link. I'm sure it will come around again.

Monday, November 26, 2018

I do love me some crazy.

Elon Musk Admits Everyone Was Right About Tesla.

I spent a good part of the early years of the recession listening to CEO talks and trying to understand how they could be so calm when they have to put so much money into a project and not see any return for years. It takes a level of strength that most people can't comprehend. Most people are geared to avoid pain.

One of those CEO's was Elon way back when he was weeks away from losing Tesla and SpaceX. So seeing his comments last night felt like a bit of old home week.

You see, at the time I was in a bit of a crazy situation myself. I was sitting on two underwater houses. You could have burned one of them down and it would not have made a single different to my situation. At one point Mr S. and I were talking and I laughed and said - I may never be a millionaire, but I've been a DEBT millionaire. And that was before it was fashionable. I didn't have the assets to satisfy that debt.

I think until you've ridden the ZERO to that extent, you think all this Elon stuff is crazy. I don't hate the player or the game. Until you've risked absolutely everything, you just don't understand what this does to your brain. It honestly makes you feel a little invisible if you make it through. And you constantly have to rein in that feeling that you'll make it through again. If you are smart. It's easy to become reckless. And I think that is where we are. It's funny to watch Elon. And even through he is fully in the maelstrom, that guy gave it his all. I don't know when the day will be. I just love watching the near misses. A lot of CEO's spend much less effort vaporizing people's money. Meaning, he could just sit back and not work this hard honestly.

I am not really rooting for a Tesla bankruptcy. I think it would be unknowingly painful for my area. Not just the knock on effect for Tesla suppliers and the trickle down. But for all of the newcomers that are trying to gain a foot hold. If Telsa can't make a go of it, they are going to be in for some serious pain. Tesla is best of breed.

Having said that - it doesn't escape me that GM and FORD are squealing hard about being hit by tariffs. But nothing out of Tesla even though they just lowered their prices by like 25% in China.

While everyone else is freaking out about tear gas.....

I'm like.......who puts a diaper on a child that old? Isn't that the real tragedy?

Clearly you are impoverished if you can afford to diaper a child that clearly does not need it. That girl is almost up to the woman's shoulders.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

4K is a giant con.

Frys Electronics circling the drain. Again.

Fry's has sort of had a weird history. When things get sketch they abandon their roots (electronics) and sell whatever they can to stay alive. Even so, this is one of their better identity crises.

First aisle when you walk in the store, is Perfume. Because you need to smell good when you are hooking up your electronics.

Here we get into a weird outdoor area. I think you are sorta effed if you are selling contractor boxes of trash bags. But maybe they need them to cart out shedded paper. Or you could choose the bbq route and just burn the evidence right there.

They are selling more office supplies than an office supply store. Which is confusing because office supply stores can't even stay in business.

Now we get into the "as seen on TV" isle. A sure way to win customers is to stock your store with stuff you can literally get anywhere else on earth. Including infomercials.

Aw.... nappy time.

They said - we should also sell barcaloungers because all of those appliances just weren't selling.

Oooops. Wait. We are an outdoor store. Tiki torches and all!

No, no, no. We are a kitchen appliance store. Get with it man!

Nope. Wrong again. We are a beauty supply store. These bro beards aren't going to trim themselves. Maybe these shavers have wifi.

Ironically - if they sold more of these, maybe they would make money.

OMG! An actual new thing! This right here tells me the economy is not at hot as people think it is. I think we all got used to it sucking so much that anything feels better.

They starting floating these last year at CES. And in a healthy economy, this would have been on the shelves last spring. The idea they are just coming out now tells me things are still not healthy.

Anyway. They are TV's meant to look like picture frames because chicks still have a problem with the way TV's look apparently.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Forget tinfoil hats.

Battery 68% charged.

The blog always goes off the rails from October to January. Tech goes into hybernation. Cars go into hybernation. ~I~ go into hybernation. I just need to recharge my batteries at the end of the year. Getting all this marginal content takes a ~lot~ of work. Some years are easier than others. but this one has been a lot of effort for not much result.

Lets hope next year is better.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

I'm just really sick of this conversation.

Interior Secretary Zinke Blames California Wildfires On "Radical Environmental Groups".

It's not just environmental groups. People in California are mentally ill about trees. Take for example this hysteria about chopping down one dead tree in Berkeley.

Photos: 125-year-old stone pine tree chopped down in Berkeley.

"Berkeleyside covered the Nov. 1 memorial hosted by the tree’s owners, Adam Gutride and Delilah Raybee, on Russell and Cherry streets. On Monday, photographer Richard Nagler spent an entire day watching the pine, thought to be 125-years-old by local historians, come down.

“I was gripped (obsessed) by a certain madness yesterday and spent about eight hours documenting the removal of the majestic stone pine,” Nagler said. “One extraordinary man went up into the tree at about 8 a.m. and made the last cuts on the ground at around 4 p.m. He was assisted by a small army of helpers and equipment on the ground.

Much of the tree was turned into wood chips, which neighbors were able to come pick up along with bits of the bark or limbs for souvenirs." Emphasis mine.

It's sad to see an old tree die. but trees die. You should cut them down as fast as possible and move on. Not have a weeks long funeral procession. It's insanity. In any other part of the country this would be ridiculous.

From the tard in me.

For the past year I've had this weird affection for car disguise wrap. You know, the stuff they put on cars when they are teasing them so you don't know exactly what they look like?

It's not normally something I would love because I like clean lines. But I sure like it right now. So when I saw this cammo paint I had to get it. I think it would be fun it this was a mini trend. Or possibly I'm just bored and aching for anything new.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

When brown isn't oppressive enough.

Today is the first day the sky has cleared very much. And surprise! All the color is gone. It's that brief two weeks at the end of the year where some color actually exists.  But the smoke has made it so it's just all colorless.

The brown does start to grind on you. And having a late start to winter isn't helpful.

Castles are impossible to offload.

I've been meaning to talk about this place for years. Mostly because they have literally been working on this place for longer than I can remember. It might be five years now. Possibly more.

It's located in one of the wealthiest neighborhoods. OBVI. But the funny thing is - it made all of those wealthy neighbors so mad. This effing castle is blocking their view! It doesn't matter how rich you are. There is someone richer. And they are going to block your view.

And generally I'm giving a PSA because if you ever had grand ideas to build a castle. Don't. I watch these properties and you almost can not get rid of them.

I don't even know what this building is. A house. Tasting room... I don't know. But some day he's gonna want to sell that place and he won't be able to.

Fun fact. MC Hammer had a place in Fremont. He would still be underwater to this day because he plowed so much money into it. To this DAY!

Cars have been weak lately so I got you a heli.

It isn't unusual for us to get choppers for fires, but not this kind. I actually had to take three tries at it because - duh - it's an airport and they don't want you stopping by the side of the road.

I don't talk about Nvidia that much because I used to have a conflict of interest. I don't have that now, but I'm still a huge fangirl. Jensun is actually a pretty brilliant underrated CEO. But everyone in Silicon Valley eventually stumbles.

But just this year they accelerated their bring up cycles. So... I would not be surprised at all to see hiring freezes there or layoffs. And it really makes me sad to say.

I only bring it up because a lot of people seem to think their inventory problem will be sucked up easily. And that could be true.... but they were ramping up cycles just as demand was slowing. Just sayin'.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Sunday, November 18, 2018

I got one those 4 am Nest smoke alarm fire drills. It's gonna be one fo those days.

It is good practice though.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

For every list of projects you have, there exists a secret list. The things that never really make it on the list, but circumstance can put them not only on the list, but right at the top. This weekends secret list item was gutters.

So, I had to get to that before I could get back to painting the street side of my deck cap. And retarping the deck takes half a day. So that's all I got. And I don't know - you might not get anything tomorrow.

Projects give yo no thoughts and no fucks.

Friday, November 16, 2018


Northern California air quality rated the worst in the world.

Most assuredly people in China are saying - my gawd. How do those people live that way? Because that's what I was saying when China had crazy smog.

Today I am going to talk about my love for infomercials.

I have a particular fetish for infomercials. They solve problems you never knew existed. Like the need to cook hash browns on a BBQ. Or cooking your whole meal in one device. No matter how disparate the the cooking temps of the items being cooked are. Fish, rice, pork chops, and brownies? No problem!

I think it's because my Uncle was(is) into tons of get rich quick schemes, and they really use the same manipulation. At first I think Mr S. hated this, but he's grown to think it's funny because I don't buy things, but the absurd scenarios they place people into are pretty funny. They just make me laugh. I didn't even know I needed to be able to cook a whole bag of marshmallows on the stove.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

All of a sudden Silicon Valley is like - we don't know what to do with all these cars that were suppose to take cars off the road.

It would be hilarious, but cities are starting to get stabby with the ways they try to "incentivize" people.

That's a new excuse for sure.

KB Home shares crater toward worst day since 1992.

"The lowered guidance was due to lower than usual deliveries in Texas and delays in California due to the wildfires, the homebuilder's CEO Jeff Mezger said in a conference call."  Emphasis mine.

Yes... It's not at all due to the price cuts new homes have had to take.  Margins can't look good.

Additionally - there is a LOT of "cratering" going on.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

It took a lot longer to unwind than I thought.

Just last night Mr S and I were talking about bitcoin.

Him - I never hear about bitcoin anymore. It never shows up in my feed.

Me - that's because it's been remarkably stable It ~sorta~ is a store of value. But it's been trading in the 6400 dollar range. You can't really make money off it now. That's why no one talks about it. And people tend to like to make money off of money.

But I still don't get it. Even your worst savings account is doing better than bitcoin. Even if you are just making pennies in interest.

Next day (today) it's in a complete downdraft.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

How far do stocks have to fall before the DOW goes?

A fifth of top 500 stocks down 30% in 2018 even as indices chart new highs.

Honestly...nothing makes you feel like the plunge protection team is fully in charge like this. Some stocks are down way more than 30% at this point, and that's a lot of percent.

China is in a technical recession which seems to be affecting South Korea a lot, but apparently not us. Said in the most sarcastic way.  And then there is oil.

America is waking up to the fact that we have to train a lot of people.

I got to try on some of these augmented reality safety gear by Realwear last week and I was delightfully surprised. I know it's been a while since I've said that, but software is getting a lot better. It's voice activated so you can change what you see on the screen just by giving it voice commands. And it actually worked. You know, sometimes you have to give demos a little freedom, but this was a fully functioning product. It so nice.

I've always felt that manufacturing was where augmented reality will thrive. People are already used to wearing bulky headgear. And it really costs a lot of money to hire and train people.  For the past couple of decades we just outsourced that. Now we have to find ways to train people more cheaply. I don't know if this is it. But I like this sector is finally showing some movement.

This is why white wasn't my first choice.

When you can see the mountain range, these tiles are suppose to blend in and soften sharp lines against the rolling skyline. What I didn't take into account was the absence of skyline. The first time the sky was completely overcast I was like - whoa these tiles really stand out. The image looks really over exposed - but this is our life now. I'm 200 miles from any fire, but that's not what the sky says.

This deck kinda kicked my ass. It's not the painting that's a huge deal, it's the managing all the tarps and taping everything off so you don't screw up the deck. Wind was not my friend. It just makes everything 100 percent harder. Painters plastic has a two day shelf life in the wind apparently. After that the wind just pokes it's own holes.

I still have to finish the street side. So posts this weekend might be slim. I don't know. I think and hope this is my last weekend without rain. The dryness has really been screwing up my winter of naps theme. In California you can't take naps until it starts raining. You just feel guilty. And also, I'd just like ym eyes to stop burning.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Circling back around.

I've procrastinated long enough. My vision for the deck was pretty clear to me, but when it came to putting a color on the cap I just became paralyzed. It used to be that the hills were green for almost half the year and brown for the other half. Although that mix feels 80/20 in favor of brown right now. So trying to figure out a color that accented both just wasn't working for me.

Normally I wouldn't have chosen white, but I think that's what it's going to be. So that's what I'm up to this weekend. I hope the wind cooperates.

This is the color it was.

Friday, November 09, 2018

Dark humor is the only real humor.

In California you don't need the news to let you know there is a giant fire raging. You just watch the smoke envelope your town.

Last night I was watching a bunch of the evac videos out of Paradise. I obsessively study every fire because each time I have to reassess if I'm going to evacuate. And I've lost a family member to fire - so I really try to figure out each time if I would have chosen to go.

Most of the time my answer is no. But you have to be logical. Both of the Northern California fires are the only ones I've said - yes. I would evacuate. In a place like Paradise where there are nothing but trees, you really don't stand a chance.

But of course each and every time I have a huge conversation with Mr S. because he knows how deadly serious I am about not evacuating. He doesn't say it but I think he feels a little uncomfortable about my stance. We've had hundreds of conversations about it.

Last night I told him about the videos of people on the freeway with flames on each side. I told him if that were to happen to me the whole video would just me being pissed because fire is the number one way I don't want to go. For obvious reasons.

Him - So your last words would just be a rant?

Me- YEAH. I'd be like muther fucker, this is the number one way I don't want to die. I'd be so mad.

Him - It would really suck in those areas where the fire burns right down to the ocean. You'd have to get in the sea to save yourself.

Me - Well, that super sucks because there are sharks in the ocean. And that is my number three way I don't want to die. Fire, drowning, and sharks. In that order. Do you think other people have an order ranking on the ways they don't want to die?

Him - He just laughs. Well, in that case you'd get a chance on all three.

Me - Oh right. That would make me so mad.

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Just saw video of the Meuller protest in in Timesquare. I have to say those moveon people are pretty effective.

So.... before the election they (moveon) sent out a push alert I guess, and I got a text message from them. I was kinda curious what they were up to so I let them keep texting me.

This morning I got a text at 10:17 saying there were numerous cities that were going to protest (including mine), and wouldn't you know it - they've managed to rile up a bunch of people.
Yesterday I realized I needed to put my eyeroll on a leash. It sorta has a mind of it's own and reacts before I  can gain control. Twice this week I got caught eye rolling inappropriately.

That poor woman.

Tesla's pick for a new chairwoman is boring, but that's exactly what the company needs.

It's not even an open secret that Elon loves to fire people on the spot. It's a fact. Every time I read a story in the press I laugh and say - yep.

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

I knew it!

Unicorns and rainbows don't get me high anymore, so when I got a chance to talk to a guy who owned 30 incubators - I just couldn't keep my inside voices in.

Me- You own incubators? It doesn't really seem like a lot is coming out of them. What's up with that?

Him - Well... you have to keep selling them services or you just become a landlord. I mean, you are paying like 10 grand a month for rent. You have to get people to cover your overhead. But at my places we only charge you 200 bucks a month.

Me - Oh... I guess that's not bad.

It must have been a year ago that I realized these incubators were just MLM schemes. But I really appreciated that guys honesty. You don't often get that in The Valley.

Lidar spotting.

This car is out of a company I had not heard of before (sfmotors). I don't know anything about them, and I am not going to link them because when I go to your site and a mission statement is the first thing I see - I feel like you are complete bullshit.

But they had 4 lidars. Two side looking. Two downward looking. And they also have something going on behind the rear wheel. Not sure what.

I don't know who's car this was. I couldn't see the branding.

But they have a healthy amount of cameras. It looks like 9 upfront to me. Plus two downward facing lidars.

More vineyards.

I like this area where you can get the three colors of the vineyards all at once. But it has a very thin sweet spot that isn't easy to just pull over and get. This wasn't the spot, but it was fair enough.