Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Here go hell come.

Near-record inventories pinch dealers.

I have to admit, it has been quite the curiosity how this isn't affecting the market yet. Pretty much all of my ghost lots are still there. Even one in Redwood City.

I can't snarf their whole article, so you have to go read the whole thing.

"Automakers and their dealers have millions of reasons to be concerned about weakening U.S. new-vehicle sales — nearly 4.2 million reasons, to be more precise.

That's how many unsold cars and trucks the industry had on hand going into this month, an unwieldy pool of vehicles that has spilled into vast overflow lots popping up wherever enough wide-open space is available: shuttered factories, vacant shopping centers, barren fields.

The estimated 4,188,200 unsold vehicles on April 1 was the highest inventory number for any month since that reported for July 1, 2017, and just 114,300 vehicles less than the modern-day record set in May 2004, according to the Automotive News Data Center. It's over half a million vehicles more than automakers and dealers were grappling with in the spring of 2007, when the Great Recession was just around the corner. The figures do not include the estimated 18,000 electric vehicles that Tesla had in inventory this month."
Alphabet Shares on Track for Worst Day Since 2008.

Well.... that escalated quickly.

Source. 1 and 5 year chart.

And just like that - we are dancing uncomfortably close to technical recession.

You know, when you go out on a limb and call bullshit on the GDP numbers, you sort of hold your breath. But there are just too many comparisons to the early recession days for the economy to be as great as they are saying. Not to mention we are an export driven economy, and the rest of the world looks like crap.

Monday, April 29, 2019

If you like re-runs....

Pretty much all of this stuff has made it to the blog more than once. And it IS cool stuff. It was just cooler a few years ago. Before I'd seen it a bunch of times.

I can't believe steam punk is still a thing.

I liked how the tank was all beat up in a purposeful looking way.


This one is rope powered.

I still love me some big wheels. Especially when they put big wheels on it then lower it.

You know you have baller money when you are willing to park your Ferrari in an ankle twisting field.

I have a special place in my heart for these Rossions. I still call them Nobles even though Rossion bought the naming rights. They are kit cars.

I think I love them so much because when I was growing up kit cars were just becoming the rage. But they all looked stupid and cheap and they were usually built on someone else frame. This one was it's own breed and looked like it could have been made by Lotus. And they were reasonably priced. 

When they first came out I thought we might replace the Solstice with one of these. But then the world went to shit. I guess there are only about 100 of these in existence. I think I've seen about 5 or 6. I don't really remember them coming in any other color. But I always love when I see one.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Lighting was less than ideal today. It's pretty overcast and these purple flowers just look like the hills are bruised.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Sometimes I plug my name into Google and look at the stuff from other people with my name just to see if they are anything like me. And sometimes they are.

Friday of DOOM.

I know everyone is reporting that things are absolutely fantastic. Which I am pretty much calling bullshit on. It will be interesting to see how long Trump can keep this up. Because I remember when importing deflation was a "thing".

Australia has hit 0.0 inflation and their housing market is effed.  They can't even lower rates because they are at rock bottom.

Canada is apparently only growing at .01%.

South Korea contracted at -.03%.

The UK is only growing at .02%.  Which they think is effing amazing because they were expecting to contract.

The only reason China is not in a technical recession is because they did a bunch of stimulus.

Okay... I think I've got it all out now. It feels horrible to say exactly the opposite of what everyone else is saying......but math is math.

The internet is just full of good news.

Southern California home prices fall for 1st time in 7 years.

"In all, 17,960 houses, condos and townhomes changed hands in March, down 14% from nearly 21,000 in March 2018. Last month’s sales tally was the second-weakest for a March since the economic recovery began in 2009. 

The trend has been going on for more than a year, with Southern California home sales down in 12 of the past 13 months."

Yes, housing has been on a tear and is due for a correction. But there is a certain phycology to the market. If prices start falling too much, this will start cutting into retail sales and home improvement.

I guess there is trouble in paradise.

SF home sales drop, suggesting slowdown in market.

"A drop in property sales in San Francisco suggests a housing slowdown despite a booming economy, according to city Assessor-Recorder Carmen Chu.

The number of residential and commercial properties sold in San Francisco fell by 10.5% in the nine months from July through March compared with the same time frame last year. There were 5,948 transactions in that time, a drop of 722 deals during that period, Chu said. The reason for the slowdown is unclear, she said."

I guess everyone is waiting for all those money losing IPO's. Said in the most sarcastic way.

Oddly, last month Curbed had this headline. So I'm not sure if we are still in 2008 or some other weird hybrid year. I mean at only -10.5% things are "technically" getting better.

SF home sales continue to drop - February figure is lowest since 2008.

"Orange County-based data firm Core Logic reports in its latest suite of housing numbers that, for the ninth month in a row, the number of homes sold in the Bay Area has fallen year over year, with February’s 4,993 homes sold marking the lowest figure since 2008.

According to Core Logic economist Andrew LePage, this is the third month in a row that represents an 11-year low.

However, LePage also notes in the report that “the year-over-year decline in sales has ratcheted down the past two months,” from a gasp-inducing 21.6 percent in December to a less drastic 13 percent in February.

'Holiday Tree"

I know someone who decided to not take their Christmas tree down. They just decided to decorate it every month with a new theme.

So..... I'm a little late on the Easter thing, but I still think its funny.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Maybe nothing.

Jobless claims jump 37,000 to 230,000 in late April to hit 2 1/2-month high.

Obviously this number is still really low. But literally 3 months ago, no one was talking about this.    

Then today Intel and 3M announced layoffs. And there are a lot of weird layoffs. Like schools and stuff.  Also, it just a weird time of year for this. Normally layoffs happen around Christmas because they have pushed their products through and people become redundant.

There is no real trend at the moment. Just lots of small layoffs all over.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Google so creepy.

All of a sudden today, when I type "quote Tesla" into google on my phone - about half the time it will give me Nikola Tesla quotes. Which is super weird because before today if I typed in "quote Tesla" - 100% of the time it would take me to the stock quote. I mean, it's literally never done that before.

Which is probably why everyone is so fucking crazy right now. Google manipulates us in really creepy ways.
Last night on my local news they ran a story about home prices falling. Which signals we are in a real decline. No one likes to admit this unless they have no choice. Because it also can sort of start a feedback loop.

Buyers tend to dig in their heels and wait for prices to come down even more. We will see what happens this time. But it's more than antidotal evidence now. It's common knowledge.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

In the socialist utopia of Stockton.

"STOCKTON -- The Stockton Police Department has released new statistics showing violent crime is up 13 percent in the city compared to the same period in 2018.

So far in 2019, there have been nine homicides, 250 robberies and 732 assaults.

"We have seen an increase and that's concerning to us here at the police department so that's why we're sitting down, analyzing the data to see exactly why we're seeing an increase," Stockton Police Officer Joe Silva said. "This year we had a double homicide and a triple homicide. Unacceptable."

Those numbers will increase again for next month's report after four people were shot at a bar over the weekend."

I haven't really been paying attention to Stockton. I don't get out there much. But they had a huge fire yesterday at the port so I decided to go over and see how life was looking. And apparently not well.

I was talking to Mr S. about this last night because the residents seem fairly frustrated. One person writing about it said -  "Apparently multiple people getting shot doesn't even illicit a press release from the Stockton Police."

Mr S. says - That's pretty much what I thought would happen once they went to a Universal Basic Income.

I tilt my head and turn to him and say - what?

Him - Yeah, since all these people running for office are all on board for this type of system I figured we would never hear anything bad out of Stockton again. They would just stop reporting bad news.

And wouldn't you know it - that seems to be exactly what they are doing. It's really hard to find actual numbers for homicides. You know where it's easy to find them? The city of Oakland where they have had 24 this year. As far as I can count, Stockton is already up to 13.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Elon might be right.

I know tons of people are bagging on Elon about his comments on LIDAR, but 99.9% of those people are completely unaware of how enormously large these data sets would be.

I have only recently become aware of this myself. I mean, you know it in the back of your mind, but these are real problems now that people have to compensate for. And even I'm not sure of the full impact. I mean, this data is crazy large.

So, I'm not sure if he's right or wrong. But I do know that most people talking about this really don't know what they are talking about. I am not even sure how they are going to store all this data. And I've been on the LIDAR bandwagon pretty early on.

I do love to shit on Elon. But I also like to be fair.

But...... I thought rich people were happy to pay more taxes?!

Sales of the cheapest and swankiest homes are tanking, but for very different reasons.

"In contrast, sales of high-end homes were soaring in 2017. Million-dollar-plus sales were up nearly 31% that year. This March, sales in that price class were down 11% year over year, even though there are plenty of those homes for sale. In fact, there is nearly a year’s worth of luxury supply available for sale now. Compare that with barely three months’ worth of low-end supply." (emphasis mine)

The article goes on to say....

“In California, where the tax burden is high, some people are finding they have to move out of state to afford to buy a home. As a result, home sales are down in metros throughout the state,” said Redfin’s chief economist, Daryl Fairweather.

In Manhattan, the number of home sales in the first quarter of this year fell to the lowest level in a decade and was 16.4% below the two-decade average of all quarters, according to Jonathan Miller, president and CEO of Miller Samuel, a real estate appraisal and consulting firm. This as listing inventory jumped nearly 9%. (also emphasis mine)

Full disclosure - I get hit by the SALT limit, and while I am not happy paying it - I welcome it because they try to cram so much stuff into our property tax bills. The only way (I hope) this will eventually change is if people have to start paying attention to their property tax bills and get MAD because they can't write it off.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Lacy is the worst at having her picture taken. The WORST. Maybe when she gets older it will be better, but she won't sit still for a second. So most come out just blurry.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Wing infatuation.

I know this blog has been a content desert lately and I do apologize for that. All my old stuff is just boring me and I'm trying to find new stuff. But Asian invasion (Hondas and stuff) came to the burbs and my car sugar was low.

I don't know that I'm ordinarily a huge fan of wings...... they have been around a for long time now. So I think the more comically large they are - the more they entertain me.

Everything is just super flared out these days and it just makes me sort of laugh.

The thing about Asian invasion shows is they pack all the cars in really tight. And this car only had this on one side.

This was a sound system. Don't ask me to explain it. It took up all of the back seat and was really hard to get all of it in.

Hypercolor made somewhat of a come back. Which made me happy. This was the best of the bunch, but I've seen some crazy hyper color in my time.

Drift trikes! OMG. They finally made it to the burbs. I was into this about two years ago and it's really fun. The back wheels have no traction so they just slide around. And they are electric which makes them crazy peppy. I think he said these go like 30 miles and hour now.

Oddly enough, Asian invasion gives me hope for the car world. I'm bored to death of the old guys and their perfect restorations. I want stupid wings and pointy lug nuts and something besides stock paint.

This is just some rando I got at the bank before the car show. But I like it's shape.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Low inventory isn't causing this.

Home Prices Drop In Possible Golden State Market Correction.

CAR's March housing report found that:

*Los Angeles County median home prices dropped by 0.7 percent while sales plunged 13% year-over-year.

*Santa Barbara County saw the worst year-over-year price decline at a 20.5% drop. (that's a lot of percent!)

*Silicon Valley's was also hit hard with a 10.6% decline in year-over year prices in Santa Clara County.

*The Bay Area also endured significant price drops, with the media home price dropping 4.1 percent.

*The picture was mixed in the Inland Empire where Riverside County saw median prices go up 3.5% while sales dropped 9.3%.

*San Diego County prices dropped 0.3%, while sales were down 3.9%, a modest decline compared to surrounding regions.

*Orange County, median house prices dropped 1.8%, and sales plunged 12.5% year-over-year.

Houses ~are~ selling. They are just taking a ~lot~ longer. And we are in the stage where people are super resistant to lower prices. This is what is causing houses to sit for longer. You can see it when you do a history on a property. Something happened last August and a lot of homes fell out, and things have been struggling every since. I think August was really the tipping point.

This is one reason I don't believe the economy is as strong as people say. Even though retail came in pretty strong I think that is very temporary. Lower house prices combined with Californias crazy gas prices. (UP more than 1 buck in the last month) will rapidly squash that.

I also think flippers are getting absolutely hammered. Having been a flipper once myself.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

I wonder what this is all about.

Reads - Mansion Pool Party. (location - Los Altos)

LA based executive producers will be shooting for a new Reality TV show based on Silicon Valley culture. The show follows the lives of various entrepreneurs. There are potential spots on the cast for 2 women, and will be a good chance to meet the executive producers and rest of the cast. Also will be quite the party pool party. Please text your Instagram handle to (XXX)XXX-XXXX, (redacted) or email to (also redacted)  for initial screening to get on guest list . Address will be sent once you are on the list.

Today's scooter schadenfreude.

Vigilantes Are Taking Scooters Off the Streets of San Diego and Bird and Lime Are Pissed.

"A company in San Diego co-founded by a former Marine has been scooping up the abandoned scooters that litter city streets owned by the startups Bird and Lime for months, giving some of them back to Bird in November in exchange for more than $40,000. Bird and Lime have since called the company’s activities “ransom,” and a legal battle has begun."

Yep. These companies are just vaporizing money. 

Gee. I just don't understand why no one wants these people in their neighborhoods.

District of Columbia housed homeless in upscale apartments. It hasn't gone as planned.

Said in the most sarcastic way. And it's so totally ironic that this came out of the SFgate. They move people into a high end DC complex and they shit on the walls and turn it into a shithole. It's like inviting an insane asylum into your neighborhood. It's so crazy. But the government is trying to do this exact same thing all over California.

"WASHINGTON - The SWAT team, the overdose, the complaints of pot smoke in the air and feces in the stairwell - it would be hard to pinpoint a moment when things took a turn for the worse at Sedgwick Gardens, a stately apartment building in northwest Washington.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

I don't have anything for you today. I'm just super mad. I'm sick of companies forcing software updates on us. I did one in the middle of the night and woke up to all my text messages being wiped. Which took me an hour to resolve and 5 tries. And every time you call they say - this could be helped easier with our handy online help center. IF that was the case I WOULDNT BE FUCKING CALLING YOU.

I just don't know when people will have had enough of not owning their own effing devices. WHEN? Because I have had it up to here! I don't know why they need to change my layout design every effing time.

Monday, April 15, 2019

One candidate down.

I started going to these things in the last election. I saw Trump and Hillary. And I went to Bernie but he was something like like two hours late and I finally got so pissed I left. It was a super hot day that day.

I'm not in it to hear what these people say........ I'm in it to see the crowd size and compare it to what I see on TV. Because the media likes to have all these tight shots that make things seem much more big than they are.

I honestly didn't want go at all, but I was mildly interested in how they were going to talk about that dumping of illegals in sanctuary cities. Because that shit makes me laugh. Trump is a brilliant troll. If you've ever started a flame war - you will sort of understand what I mean. It's a little like playing Risk. There is a certain phycology to them.

First you need to have at least your first five defenses all thought out. Because people are going to come at you. At the same time you need to persuade other people in the thread to be on your side. Not their side. Or else everyone will just start coming at you and you lose. It's a delicate balance. Personally I think you should dislike all of your leaders, so take my praise for what it is.

So anyway - I was not looking forward to this one at all. I was really only going to do a drive by to gauge the crowd size, but I rolled up 20 minutes before it started, and I literally could park anywhere. I'm like - okay... I will just go in and take a few shots, but I found myself so close to the stage that I just stayed. I was about 25 feet from it, but honestly, I could have stood right next to it if I wanted to.

The only real interesting thing to me about the event was that they had everyone stand for the Pledge. Then a girl did the National Anthem. Followed by muslim scripture? It was odd. I was shocked they even did the first two honestly.

Also he kept talking about how the American Dream is dying, but he was in a very affluent suburb where the median household income is like 130,000. But he kept talking like he was out in Stockton or something. In my head, I'm like - who are all these people? Finally I found out after he said - I know there are a lot of teachers out there in the audience and the crowd went wild. I'm my head I'm like - Oh... now I get it.

I counted 11 media outlets and felt their equipment was really being underutilized because of how few people showed up. One outlet had a lens as big as a persons head. Way bigger than the ones to do wildlife photography. I estimated there about about 500 people there. The media claimed 1500. I will split the different with them and say 1000 people were there. Not a great showing for his home district.

Friday, April 12, 2019

I think PG&E is up about 200% since it claimed bankruptcy in January. 14% just today. Makes about as much sense as anything else these days.

Grabs popcorn.

Trump Threatens To Dump Migrants In Sanctuary Cities.

I am not going to link this story because you can find it literally anywhere. But it does make me laugh because we are apprehending a suburb amount of people every month. More than the entire population of my suburb!

The democrats in my State don't have to live by the rules they impose, so it would be hilarious to see 100 thousand people show up in San Jose or San Fransisco. Those places are literally on fire right now over the lack of housing.

Rich people problems.

I have been watching this story for a couple of weeks now because it's sort of ridiculous. This house is visible from the 280 freeway North of Menlo Park. South of San Fransisco.

A new owner bought this house a year to two ago and started placing dinosaurs in the back yard which pissed off neighbors or the city. Probably both.

Allegedly to place dinosaurs in your yard you need a permit in this city. Now everybody is sueing each other. And really I hope that lady bankrupts that town like what happened in Half moon Bay. It isn't enough that she might pay the permit fees or not. But to even go through that process she has to tear them all out. Because in California, you aren't allowed to do what you want on your own land. It's not the worst eyesore honestly.

You don't say....

Electric scooters may not be around for long.

"But there’s a dark side to scooter-sharing (and I’m not talking about the vandalism or the sidewalk clutter or even all those injured riders). The fundamental numbers don’t really add up because scooters don’t bring in enough money to cover their cost. Ride-sharing is wildly unsustainable, and if the business continues on its current path, it’s entirely possible that these scooters will end up in a mass graveyard like those viral photos from China."

They are the pets.com of our time. Silicon Valley is awash in money losing companies.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Mr S. starting watching this new series called What we do in the Shadows.

I turn to him and say - I just have to laugh at myself because I'm so excited to have new types of vampires on TV. Energy vampires are rules that I can understand.

I'm not even into vampires at all, but much like Zombies - I figure they change the rules all the time. Which is sort of why I don't even like Zombies. Just figure out a way that everyone gets infected and stick with it! Energy vampires though - I understand those rules really well.

Let's do the timewarp again.

"That debt burden is starting to weigh on consumers. Auto loan delinquencies rose to 0.97% at year-end according to Equifax, Inc., the highest since 2009. At the same time, 36% of new auto loans in the fourth quarter were leases, the largest such share since 2007. Bill Johnston, vice president of data and analytics at Equifax Canada Co., noted that “we’re starting to see consumer behavior shift to keep the payments as low as possible.” Source.

This time in Canada.

There isn't any interesting tech right now. So all these articles that are making comparisons to the Great Repression really stand out to me. Even last night Mr S. heard someone say it and I laughed. I'm like - oh that's freaking you out now too? He responds - I didn't really notice it until you started pointing it out.

I mean, seriously I think at least once a day a read an article that points back to 2007/8/9. Those were not good years, so..........I don't really get what's going on. It's like we are in suspended animation.

What an insane world.

Uber Files For IPO, Discloses $12 Billion In Losses Since 2014.

I just don't understand a world where companies are never expected to turn a profit. Netflix, Tesla, Uber, Lyft. It's just crazy.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Craziest market almost ever.


I suppose it would look a lot better if I flipped it upside down. The arrow starts at 0. Not an up month since at least April 2018. Yes. 2018.

Tuesday, April 09, 2019

It's funny how when gas gets too low - there are a slew of refinery fires. Said in the most sarcastic way.

“I think we’re going to see a really big spike in gasoline prices,” said Michael Blasky of the state automotive association, noting that prices jumped 19 cents last week and 50 cents over the last month."

Rumor mill for the win. I guess.

Jolted JOLTS: Job Openings Plunge By 538,000; Biggest Drop In 42 Months.

There are many rumors swirling around about very large companies being on hiring freeze and removing job openings from their websites.

When I started seeing the layoff rumors I thought - at least there are a ton of job openings.

Monday, April 08, 2019

Never ending 2008.

"26,100 new and resale home transactions closed escrow in California during February 2019. February’s dismal sales numbers follow January’s bottom, which saw the lowest month for sales in the state since 2008, when the country was in the midst of the Great Recession. The number of homes sold was 7% lower than a year earlier, amounting to 2,100 fewer sales in the single month of February. This continues the trend of falling year-over-year sales volume, which began in the second half of 2018. " Source.

Seems just yesterday that Sacramento was one of the hottest regions.  Now they are having the best time since 2008.

Also, this seems to be why everyone is so anxious about getting laid off. Layoffs at highest level in first quarter since 2009 as recession fears grow: economic report.

Sunday, April 07, 2019

Just die already.

I didn't start the day planning to stop into Fry's Electronics, but I suddenly had a little bit of time to kill before my ramen place opened,  and thought - lets see if anything from CES has started to hit the stores yet.

When I walked in I immediately was like - did they make the isles wider?  But as I went through the store I could see things were much more dire. Every single isle had empty shelves. Circa 2008. I honestly don't even know how they can call themselves an electronics store anymore because they sell very little electronics. Almost everything there is straight out of "as seen on TV".

It freaked me out hard enough that I rejiggered my whole day so I could stop by a Best Buy to see if this was just a Fry's Electronics problem or a wider problem like those mall markdown signs.

Thankfully Best Buy looked much better. So, I don't know if Fry's is a leading indicator or they are still just suffering from that VP that embezzled 65 million dollars during the recession. Perhaps a little of both. It been a few months since I've been in there, but today definitely felt like a Sears going out of business vibe. I think maybe Fry's just shows the strain a little quicker because of their past "issues".

I don't understand how they keep managing to scrape through, but I think they should just give up and put condos there. And yes, every time one of these giant stores looks shaky I look at their physical footprint and calculate the amount of condos that can go on that lot.

I've seen Fry's look like this before during the recession but really freaked me out was their TV isle. Lots of missing spaces.

Then I went over to Best Buy to find them selling 8K TV's. For what reason I do not know. There isn't even any content for 4K TV's. But 8K is twice as good as 4K - so there is that.