Thursday, April 16, 2020

I have just about a million thoughts to untangle.

I always wondered how I would cope living in the country. Away from all the sounds of city life with nothing to keep me occupied but the thoughts in my head. Right now I think the quiet gets to me most.

It's hard to imagine how the world is going to look. On one hand you hope some of the companies that have been malingering on - living only on debt will finally be put out of their misery. I mean, who knew Neimann Marcus was still alive? On the other hand - you didn't want it to happen like this. It's like one day you woke up and someone said - Okay.... reinvent yourself. GO. Yo have one day.

It's all just a lot.


  1. I’m in the city, but it’s as country as Bay Area gets. I love it but really want to move to the sticks. We’ve completely renovated the lawn into a 1/3 acre farm and now have ducks chickens and rabbits that we can breed It’s probable enough to sustain 10 people, but our plan is to try and sell it for $150k more than we could pre-covid to someone in SF who is looking for self sustainability, lives in a condo and doesn’t really want to want to put in the work to develop raw land and then try to do it again. I feel like having a turn key farm is an easy way to add value and saty employed without leaving home. DF

  2. I do enjoy your scrappiness - but I'm gonna say you will never get that premium. But I always love being wrong in every way possible. Sometimes people only get things though persistence. I mean.... that's how guys get dates. Right?

    Land costs what it costs no matter if there are animals on it. If anything the animals bring the value down. And there is going to be a lot of properties to choose from soon. Sadly. Everyone is now broke.

  3. We will see but you have to look at the part of the market that I’m targeting and what they’re options are. The cheapest turn key farm is in the Napa valley is $2 million plus. Everything is setup for big agriculture, it’s why so many mono crops exist. You need to be able to afford acres to play. Anything that is manageable for a single family unit and food oriented (instead of wine) is over still $1 million. If you can buy between 500k - 600k and build the techies their own bugout farm, you can ask for up to a million and still be the cheapest. The animals don’t add any value, it’s the impression on their mind when they see the crops, the livestock and everything and then compare that to their work at home experience in the condo back in the soma. The fresh air alone is worth the vacation home, I think the fantasy that they can have it without hard work and sacrifice will be worth the $150k. Pretty soon the stores in the city will close and food insecurity will be a priority. Just look up the videos of all the Walgreens being looted in the city and you can see that it’s chaos. I listen to the sfpd radio scanner at night to hear what’s really going on. Wild. The SFPD didn’t investigate car burglaries before covid, they can’t defend commerce now. Anywhere with dense population is going to decline in value the clearer this becomes, anything that is rural will catch a premium IMHO. Anything near large transient communities will be overrun. DF

  4. I hope it works for you Baby. Sincerely. I just don't think that market exists right now. A ton of places are just not coming back. No one is paying over. And that place has the same density right next door as a San Fransisco neighborhood, Right?

  5. Capital of Texas RefugeeThursday, April 16, 2020 10:45:00 PM

    "... I always wondered how I would cope living in the country ..."

    Been there, done that, actually ...

    Austin's where I both escaped to and from.

    I'm not going back to Austin ... and I'm not going to do the move "Out West" either, as it turns out.

    "Okay ... reinvent yourself. GO. You have one day."

    Not an academic exercise: this is now something that has happened today.

    I am no longer a refugee from Austin because I'm not ever going back.

    Instead, one of several things I've been waiting on finally showed up today. I'd been told that something was on its way, and now I have it in my hands along with some lovely paperwork that I'll stash in my safe.

    So with that ...

    *takes down the Lone Star flag*

    *raises another flag in its place at the same height*

    I think what expedited it was that I made an offer of assistance, made through on the offer, and what was needed arrived on time and avoided things potentially getting ugly.

    That and mentioning that I wouldn't mind being there myself, but that my paperwork being stuck in processing meant that I couldn't. Apparently someone with the right amount of influence and some good ears heard me, and I'm grateful for that.

    This is one of several similar situations that may eventually come through, but this is the first one that actually came through.

    When this mess calms down enough that I can travel, I have somewhere else to go ... and it isn't South Dakota, the Western state I was avoiding mentioning, BTW.

    That's not to say that Kristi Noem isn't doing a fantastic job of keeping South Dakota free and safe as governor, but that I have a better offer elsewhere.

    But as they say on "Only on TV" advertisements, that's not all, folks.

    A decision by the board a few weeks ago: the company will no longer do business with China directly or indirectly, and that the desired Made in China composition of all products and assemblies is now zero percent.

    That's why I was firing vendors left and right.

    Some of the vendors I fired with absolute delight, while some of them I actually did feel sorry for. Some of the vendors were trying to rip us off behind our backs, and although I might have some tales to tell, right now the situation is still pretty fresh and raw, so I'm not handing out any hints. (You might guess anyway because of how we deal with phones.)

    Other vendors appear to have built stuff only for us, but this mess was going to disrupt that anyway, and so they're now in a position possibly to get some sort of payola from the government.

    Each and every last one of them's now fired, and now like Cortez burning his ships, there's a new world and new demands.

    That means that several of the primary functions for which part of my compensation for the sale of the company had been withheld have now been completed, and what's left is mostly a pro forma and open-ended offer of continued assistance.

    Doing this shuffling of assemblies, low-scale manufacturing parts, supplies for the company's people, and so forth was part of that open-ended offer of continued assistance. I could have just sat on my ass in Florida, waited for the decision to kick out the Chinese, and done that, and I'd still have been paid.

    But there's this thing where what you've created you'd like to see doing well, or at least being able to keep its head above water during a flood.

    I saw an opportunity to help make things a bit better, so I took it.

    As for the LLC ... that state's governor actually locked down the borders, with state patrol officers on the interstates and major roads, but it's not helping a damned bit with the spread of the virus.

    Florida's been locked down in the same way, with the Florida Highway Patrol setting up stops in the same way.

    There are nicer people I could be locked down with than these.

  6. Capital of Texas RefugeeThursday, April 16, 2020 11:17:00 PM

    So ... what if I want to leave now?

    I promised I wouldn't show up while this mess is going on, not only because I'd have to get quarantined, but also because I may also be violating a border closure order and could risk being arrested, depending on how I do it.

    There's a way I could get there that's long, slow, and irritating, and I've verified that this is still doable and that this is less likely to get me into trouble, so that's an option if things get ugly in the US or in Florida in particular.

    But there are still things I can help facilitate.

    With a commercially licensed vehicle, although I have to stop at the weigh stations, the answers I'm able to give mean that I can pass through ...

    Meaning that in a few days, I will be back where some of this started.

    Miami, Florida ... currently with 8142 active cases and 183 deaths due to coronavirus in Miami-Dade alone, along with 3365 active cases and 101 deaths in Broward, where I'll also need to be going for what's near Port Everglades.

    Not exactly the best of circumstances to be going back to Miami, but there are things that need to be done.

    And so stuff's getting bought and wrapped in plastic so that it may be hosed down with disinfectants and left to sit for a while before being put to use.

    Even if the guys wrapping the pallets have the virus by now, by the time this stuff shows up and gets unwrapped fully, whatever virus gets stuck inside will be inactive.

    Otherwise, there's plenty of time to get my own stuff moved, and several of the guys who showed up for Charleston have offered to bring their vehicles to help facilitate getting my stuff into storage so it's easier for the moving company to deal with for an international move.

    I think they also know how badly I want out of this current lease.

    As for "the blonde" ... we'll talk more after I get back from Miami.

    I don't know if this is a good day for her to reinvent herself.

  7. That is a lot to unpack. Have States really closed their borders? Makes me feel trapped even thinking about it.

  8. "Away from the sounds..."
    Life in the country doesn't lack sounds; they're just different.
    Birds, frogs, scattered traffic, lawnmowers, gunfire, farm machinery, wind, thunder, livestock, cats galloping up and down stairs... there's usually something.
    Unless of course you end up someplace really isolated, up a dead-end road in the forest. Even then, though, there'll be talkative critters about, and the sounds of trees rustling and creaking in the breeze.
    But I guess the cities and suburbs are now quiet? None of the country sounds, but none of the city sounds either?

  9. NO. I can literally hear a pin drop. No one even talks for the most part like they used to on walks. It feels awful.

  10. Capital of Texas RefugeeFriday, April 17, 2020 8:13:00 PM

    Did someone say something about the CDC recommending masks now?

    Eric: "Unless of course you end up someplace really isolated, up a dead-end road in the forest ..."

    That's so cute ... forests are isolated?

    Try the Badlands. :-)

    But I don't think The Authorities in some places understand how much people are not having their shit anymore.

    Tonight in North Florida there was a group of mostly over-50s having some fun listening to one of their neighbors playing classic rock, and from what one of them told me, the guy is actually pretty damned good and I really missed out.

    But in addition to that, they were demonstrating their 1A and 2A rights.

    They had more heat assembled than the entire county's law enforcement, and that's just on that one person's property.

    And this is partly why Jacksonville is saying that this locked down bullshit ends now, because Jacksonville also has a bunch of retired military people nearby who actually do remember their 1A and 2A rights.

    The Officials Who Think They're In Charge forget that it's always closer to Boogaloo O'Clock than they think.

    We have some unique sounds here as well.

    "The rules have changed, it's not the same, it's all new players in a whole new ball game ..."

    Wouldn't surprise me if there are shortages of concrete blocks, one-piece plastic deck chairs, ratchet tie-downs, wide cable ties, and so forth, BTW.



  11. I love the quiet, I wish I was further out so I had more of the quiet and less of the traffic noise, but you do what you have to.