Sunday, August 16, 2020

At least it's a dry heat.

Just kidding! It's not quite a Texas style muggy heat heat, but close. Everyone knows by now that California is in a bit of a heatwave. The above shot is just the "feels like temp" from a couple of days ago. JK. I think it was only 106 that day. But the truck thought it was 115.

Then... last night we got a lightning storm. Which woke ~literally~ everyone up at 5am. Dry lightning was in the forecast, but we all laugh at that. I didn't prepare any of my cameras because 99.99% it never materializes. Since lightning storms are very short events here, when it looked like it had died down Mr S. went back to bed. I stayed up a little while trying longer to see if I could get any shots of strikes. Which I sorts did. But it's behind the tree on the right. If I wouldn't have gone back to bed it probably would have been easy to get better shots because the storm was sustained for a couple of hours.

In the distance I noticed a small red smudge. I went to tell Mr S. that I thought the lightning had set the hill on fire. By the time get got back out to the deck he was like - yeah, that is a fire.

We watched it for a couple of minutes and it was really starting to get involved. It took a while to hear any sirens. And just then...... the sky opened! It just started raining. All I can say... the firefighters got super lucky.

By the time I woke back up there were fires on every side of town. I think people over-use the term apocalyptic, but fires in the sky in every direction was sort of.

And since we are back to rolling blackouts, our day got hijacked by buying air mattress. We are going to do a new style of glamping called - camping in our living room. It has all the features of home. Just possibly not electricity. Because 106 degree heat and no electricity is just California doing California. And these people want to electrify EVERYTHING. 

Normally such a purchase would take an hour max. But because everyone and their uncle bought bikes, you pretty much can not find bike pumps anywhere. (for the air mattress) We wound up at Dicks in Fremont, but they were out of pumps. In my city I had to stop by a bike store because they wouldn't pick up the phone only to find out they also were out of them.

And finally I just want to bitch up a storm about merchants. How is it in this day and age that the only way to find out if a store has something -  is to just go there? Most sites search criteria is torched so if you look up say... "bike pump", you get backpacks. For effs sakes - no wonder Amazon is killing everyone. It's not that complicated. But this whole series of events took the whole fucking day. Because this is life now.


This is the smoke line from one side of town. This is another fire out the other side of town.

2020 just keeps adding layer upon layer of shit.


  1. Capital of Texas RefugeeMonday, August 17, 2020 5:32:00 PM

    It's not just merchants, it's everything tied to a single physical location.

    Even born-and-bred New Yorkers are getting the fuck out of Dodge The Bullets City.

    And Miami denizens are fleeing to semi-rural places outside Jacksonville and Orlando so New Yorkers can take their old spots.

    So when are you going to buy that little Ranchburger near Mexican food and BBQ off Spicewood Springs in Austin? :-)

    Oh, do check out the real estate prices.

    Did I mention that Texas has no state income tax? :-)

    Still costs more in terms of Federal income taxes and other taxes than making that money in Switzerland.

    REI says fuck it to centralized locations: REI isn't going to move into their cush custom-built HQ in Bellevue, but will instead decentralize everything starting a few months ago.

    I suppose this will turn into REI Bellevue Lofts for the tech workers over that way, but who knows, maybe REI can find a sucker in the form of Microsoft.

    Amazon's getting fucked with by the Seattle Shitty Council, so what are they doing? They're not occupying a lot of their South Lake Union office space, and they're moving to decentralization as well.

    Just one shitty tax regime to deal with makes non-compliance by way of avoiding it all that more attractive.

    There's a market for something better than Regus and WeWork, it's just that nobody's had the right pressures applied to build it.

    Big open office plans are out, individual offices with doors you can shut are in. Shared congested and contested office amenities are out, little clusters of less stuff are in.

    Eating at your desk is out, eating outside on a "socially distanced" patio is in. (The Swiss don't do eating at their desks, BTW.) Eating at restaurants in big groups might be out, but company lunch delivery is in, and it's cheaper and easier than trying to centralize lunches.

    Back to Seattle: REI could make even more bank by chopping up their Bellevue HQ into a bunch of little office clusters so that Amazon's people have a separate door away from Microsoft's people and so on, with a cluster of small lockable separate offices for the few people here and there who want Regus and WeWork arrangements without all of the open office plan bullshit.

    But you know what's coming ...

    Amazon takes over the US Postal Service.

    Ready for Amazon Eagle Prime? :-)

  2. I've been trying to figure out if I think this is a permanent change. A big part of me hopes it is. It was becoming routine to have a three hour commute for a lot of people and it was becoming painful to even drive on the weekends. Commuting is a huge amount of unproductive time. I do think open offices are out. Google and Nvidia currently have buildings under construction that alter the skyline. So it will be interesting to see what happens with that. People tend to snap back to their default though, so I think in the end it's mostly temporary. I would love love love to be wrong.

    You also do this thing where you try to make people think they say things they did not. I never brought up Austin. That was you. I've been calling Texas - Tex-ass since I moved. Nothing personal.

    On the other hand - apparently nature heals itself. You wonder where we are going to put all the future people. Now we know - old Google campuses!

  3. Capital of Texas RefugeeTuesday, August 18, 2020 1:03:00 PM

    "You also do this thing where you try to make people think they say things they did not. I never brought up Austin. That was you."

    Yes, for the same reason as I brought up North Carolina. :-)

    California could be flying into a flaming lava tornado and you'd stay.

    I know there are people trying already to make this happen.

    But even the parodies of California don't sound like parodies now.

    Let's face it ...

    You'll eventually have to move to Texas for the electricity.

    How's that recovery looking now, Lyft and Uber?

    And finally: Where's Bugs Bunny when you really need him?

    Wascaly wabbit. :-)