Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Key West Images Available

Look around. 

Monday, September 11, 2017

Irma Prompts Postponement Of Planned Rocket Launch From Vandenberg AFB

Hurricane Irma isn’t just impacting the southeastern U.S.   The hurricane prompted the postponement of a planned rocket launch from Santa Barbara County.  The United Launch Alliance delayed its planned Thursday launch of an Atlas V rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base. The rocket was set to carry a classified military payload into orbit.  ULA officials say some key members of the launch team are from Florida, and they wanted them to be able to be with their families. Some team members also helped secure the company’s launch facilities at Cape Canaveral in Florida in advance of the hurricane.
 We live in an increasingly connected world.  Almost all for the good. 

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Precision vs Accuracy & Considering Confidence

The weather people are doing their best.  They are doing good.  They aren't perfect.  This time they are even on the edge of being called wrong.  That is not criticism.  It is the nature of both science and prediction.  The upper picture shows the Thursday projection and the storm now is not where it was supposed to be or when it was supposed to be.  Amazing job nonetheless.  We need more GEOS satellites.  We need more funding for weather research. 

Friday, September 08, 2017

Twofaced Napolitano

The University of California filed a lawsuit Friday against the Trump administration charging that the federal government’s efforts to sidetrack an anti-deportation program for young immigrants who were brought to the United States illegally unconstitutionally violates the rights of the university and its students.

SacBee breaking story.  

“Neither I, nor the University of California, take the step of suing the federal government lightly, especially not the very agency that I led,” said UC President Janet Napolitano, former President Barack Obama’s Homeland Security director for four years.
Translation: "I should know better but this has never been about rule of law."  

Read more here:

Read more here:

Oroville Finger Pointing Begins

The team of forensic experts, commissioned by the state Department of Water Resources to study the February crisis, issued a report saying the spillway failure was likely caused by long-standing problems with the drainage system underneath the dam’s concrete flood-control spillway. The experts said the once-a-year visual inspections of the spillway weren’t sufficient to find these flaws.
Full article at:

Read more here:

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Sustainable Cities Report

The U.S. Cities SDG Index aims to help urban leaders address the many sustainable development challenges affecting their cities. The Index covers the 100 most populous cities (measured as Metropolitan Statistical Areas, or MSAs). It synthesizes data available today across 49 indicators spanning 16 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that were agreed upon by all countries in September 2015. The data provides a more holistic and comprehensive assessment of sustainable development challenges faced by U.S. cities than available through other metrics. Results show that all U.S. cities, even those at the top of the Index, have far to go to achieve the SDGs.

I'm always leery whenever I see words like "holisitic." 

Interesting results.  An absolute must read for people worried about the sustainable agenda.  Interesting that Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura ranks so high.  O-TO-V ranks number 2 of the 100 MSAs for "Zero Hunger."  How is that measured?  Obesity, low birth weight and infant mortality.  Fascinating.  And who has the best education score?  Los Angeles.  Where does that come from?  Percent Enrollment, dropout rate, quality of higher ed, percent with college degree.  Not sure about that. 

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Florida's Land Boom of the 1920's

Florida History Org,  Land Boom

In the 1920's Florida was the focus of one of the greatest economic and social phenomenon in American history as hundreds of thousands of Americans of all types of financial strata poured into the Sunshine State and forever changed the global image of Florida. There were similar movements in the south of France during the 1920's, but the Florida story was so vast and complete in changed the entire scope of the state.
Two important elements played roles in the Florida Land Boom. For the first time Americans had the time and money to travel to Florida to invest in real estate. For the educated and skilled working American, the 1920's meant paid vacations, pensions, and fringe benefits unheard of during the Victorian Era. The United States also had the automobile: that indispensable family transportation that allowed you to travel to Florida. This "welfare capitalism" of time and money contributed to the arrival in Florida of a new kind of tourist - middle class families.

It was also important that millions of Americans were captured by the materialism and prosperity of the times, which seemed to indicate that anyone could become rich by simply investing in the proper instrument of instant wealth. Florida land appeared to be in 1921 one of those instruments of future success. It didn't matter if you lacked the money, credit was easy to obtain, with economic prosperity and a good job. 

Good thing we are past that nonsense.  

Monday, September 04, 2017

Irma Gonna Go Someplace

The "spaghetti models" keep shifting ever westward but look at all those models running straight up the State.  Keep a weather eye open. 

Friday, September 01, 2017

Off the Grid but Not the Sauce

 Quite the interesting drama.  Excerpt from the Napa Valley Register:

The Caves at Soda Canyon relies on a generator, not Pacific Gas & Electric, for power. It recently learned that the Bay Area Air Quality Management District won’t give a permit for the existing generator and that it needs a newer, larger model, a county report said.
“In our county code, we do not have a requirement that says, ‘Thou shall be hooked up to PG&E,’” county Supervising Planner Charlene Gallina replied.
That story begins in 2006, when the Planning Commission originally approved the winery. Commissioner Terry Scott, the only current commissioner who participated in that decision, recalled the generator as being a temporary measure pending a PG&E hookup.
Greenwood-Meinert said the winery has tried over the years to bring PG&E power to the location. PG&E required an easement across a neighbor’s property and the neighbor wouldn’t grant it unless the power line was underground.
“That undergrounding cost north of a million dollars,” Greenwood-Meinert said. “So that’s cost prohibitive at this point.”

If I end up building raw I too will be off the grid. 

For Houstonians:

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Acceptable Incest

The mountain lion population in the Santa Monica Mountains has grown by at least two.

National Park Service researchers say a female and male kittens, named P-59 and P-60, were found by biologists earlier this month in the central portion of the range.
Their mother is P-53, the youngest female in the study to bear offspring at two years old.
Scientists say this is her first litter.
The father is believed to be P-12, the only lion documented crossing into the Santa Monica Mountains from the north.
A biologist with the NPS says if the kittens's father is P-12 it means he is also their grandfather and great grandfather.


Cosmic Pool

An asteroid named Florence that will safely sweep past Earth on Sept. 1 is the largest object to give our planet a close shave since NASA began tracking these types of near-Earth asteroids, an agency official said.
The space rock measures 2.7 miles (4.4 kilometers) across. It will pass by Earth at a safe distance of 4.4 million miles (7 million kilometers), or nearly 18 times the distance between Earth and the moon.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Darwin Award Nominee

Deputies in Thousand Oaks say a man who may be a suspect in several residential burglaries was identified and caught because he left his cell phone behind at the scene of the latest crime.
They say that on August 4th there was a residential burglary in the 1800 block of West Hillcrest Drive in Thousand Oaks.
The victim said someone had entered the home during the day and stole several items.
But the suspect apparently left something behind, his cell phone.
The victim spotted it and deputies confiscated the device.
They got a court order to examine the contents and found texts, photos and other information about its owner who they identified as 23-year-old Cesar Ramirez of Thousand Oaks.
Detectives say that among the photos were items that were taken during the burglary.
Ramirez, who is on parole for grand theft auto and they say is a documented Moorpark gang member, was arrested Thursday.
They believe he's responsible for several other Thousand Oaks residential burglaries and expect to arrest him for those.


 The nominations should be closed.  Lol. 

Houston Land Udse Management Issues in Focus

"Banks only require flood insurance if the first finished floor is below the FEMA 100yr floodplain elevation. This is FAR beyond any of our design standards. I'm a certified floodplain manager and very familiar with the topic if you want to ask any wonky questions." ~ Rubygoat

USGS/FEMA just went through a round of updating the flood maps around here.  Surpriselots more flood prone than originally suspected.  This was due to overbuilding.  Channelizing.  Eco-management practices.  I imagine Houston could add the substantial subsidence it has wrought upon itself. 

Do the flood maps adjust for subsidence? 

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Housing hits the Wall

Comerica Economic Alert excerpt:
Today we see that existing
home sales also fell in July. According to the National Association of Realtors, sales of existing homes fell by
1.3 percent in July, to a 5,440,000 unit annual rate. This is clearly below the post-recession peak rate of
5,700,000 set last March. So, despite lower mortgage rates, a strong labor market and a surging stock
market in July, home sales generally limped through mid-summer. Sales in the Northeast fell by 14.5 percent
in July. The Midwest slipped by 5.3 percent. The South gained 2.2 percent and the West was up by 5.0
percent. The inventory of unsold existing homes on the market remained at a tight 4.2 months’ worth. The
median sales price of an existing home was up by 6.2 percent in July over the previous 12 months.

Hard to tell if months supply is permanently altered by information availability. 

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Rich Is Better

Filed under life is not fair.

JPMorgan sent me their latest purchase and refinance rates.  Not bad but with a twist.

Assets & Balances of <$1m
Rate 4.000%  APR 4.008%
Assets & Balances of $1m - $5m
Rate 3.750%  APR 3.757%
Assets & Balances of $5m+
Rate 3.500%  APR 3.507%

Even more interesting are the HELOC 10/20 quotes:

Assets & Balances of <$1m
LIBOR + 3.000%
Assets & Balances of $1m - $5m
LIBOR + 2.750%
Assets & Balances of $5m+
LIBOR + 2.500%

So if you had a couple million worth of houses say, you could borrow against the equity at very favorable rates. 

Sunday, August 20, 2017

The Dawghaus Gets an Upgrade

The 22yo floor was getting tired and i had some left over from the big project so I did this.  Yes, there is some trim work to finish.  Seems that happens with every project

Monday, August 14, 2017

Overlords in Plain Sight

Reptilian, fanged, long tongued, scaly master right there for all to see. 

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Weesa All Gonna Dry!

Does everyone remember when California was going to enter an epic centuries long drought?  It was 10 months ago.  Seriously.  September 2016. 

Here is Bill Nye "The Science Die":
In 2014, Bill Nye said this while calling people who disagree with him names:
And in the case of the California drought, a recent study suggests that there is 95 percent confident that human-caused climate change tripled the chance of the development of a persistent high pressure system in the Northern Pacific Ocean, which is the cause of the California drought because it deflects precipitation away from the region.
The "Hot Blob" ran rampant in the news at that time.  No one talks about the "Cool Pool" currently in the same place. 

Aliexpress and the Global Economy

These just arrived:

Everyone has a "Dremel tool" but everyone hates swapping mandrel discs.  Solution.   $1.49 free shipping no tax from China in two weeks.  Ten mandrels.  No more swapping.  15¢ each.  Multiply over the global economy. 

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

No Big Deal in a Single Party State

Even the SacBee sees it.

A commissioner of California’s political watchdog agency met secretly with a lawyer working for Senate Democrats while advocating for changes to campaign finance law that would help retain the Democrat’s supermajority in the state Senate, The Bee has learned.
Commissioner Brian Hatch, a Democrat and former lobbyist for the firefighters union, met privately, talked on the phone and exchanged text messages with the lawyer as the Fair Political Practices Commission considered flipping a longstanding legal interpretation of campaign finance law to favor Sen. Josh Newman in the fight to retain his seat.

See that Red Star in the corner? 

Read more here:

Tau Ceti

Astronomers have found four planets similar in size to Earth orbiting a star resembling the characteristics of the sun.
An international team of astronomers detected the four planets with masses as low as 1.7 Earth masses orbiting tau Ceti, a star about 12 light years away from Earth and visible to the naked eye.
The discovery represents the smallest planets ever detected around nearby sun-like stars, with two of the planets located in the habitable zone of the star and possibly able to support liquid surface water.
The astronomers found the planets by observing the wobbles in the movement of tau Ceti, which required techniques sensitive enough to detect variations in the movement of the star as small as 30 centimeters per second.
“We are now finally crossing a threshold where, through very sophisticated modeling of large combined data sets from multiple independent observers, we can disentangle the noise due to stellar surface activity from the very tiny signals generated by the gravitational tugs from Earth-sized orbiting planets,” Steven Vogt, Ph.D., a professor of astronomy and astrophysics at the University of California Santa Cruz and co-author of the study, said in a statement.

R&D Magazine.  

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Cool Bird ID Chart

Ever wonder what the heck kind of bird that was you just saw?  You don't have to buy the poster in order to scroll the graphic at high resolution.   Click and roll over. 

Friday, July 28, 2017

High Speed Rail not Exempt from CEQA

Ohhh... SHINY!
SAN FRANCISCO — U.S. law does not allow state-owned rail projects to completely bypass California’s strict environmental regulations, the state Supreme Court said Thursday in a decision that ensures further legal complications for the planned $64 billion bullet train between Los Angeles and San Francisco.
The high court overturned a lower court ruling and gave renewed hope to those who have used the California Environmental Quality Act to challenge the high-speed rail project championed by Gov. Jerry Brown.
“It basically says that California has a right to control its own railroads and decide whether they should be required to consider carefully the environmental impacts of their projects,” said Stuart Flashman, who represents several San Francisco Bay Area cities in a lawsuit that claims the bullet train project violates the state’s environmental law.

Oh what a tangled web we weave... 

Monday, July 24, 2017

Sacramento a-go-go, Going, Going, Gone

Excerpt from SacBee story on outmigration:
Many go outside the state. A record 5 million Californians left between 2004 and 2013.
The most popular metropolitan areas – Reno, Las Vegas and Phoenix – are relatively close, affordable and familiar.
Texas has proven hugely popular with Californians. About 600,000 residents left for Texas between 2004 and 2013, the most of any state. But Michael said he was surprised Austin had outranked much larger and less-expensive cities such as Houston, Dallas and San Antonio in receiving Sacramento transplants during 2015.
It's funny to watch people inside an echo chamber discuss why others are leaving the echo chamber.


Read more here:

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Quick Garden Update

Real post a bit later but the garden is finally starting to yield results.  That's a white cucumber, some black cobras, regular peppers,a white pepper and about a quarter of the tomato varieties I planted.  No duplicates in the picture. 
Don't touch the Black Cobra peppers barehanded. 

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Anti-gentrification Activists

Targeted Boyle Heights cafe hit by vandal
Anti-gentrification activists have marked the shop as a symbol of displacement.

By Ruben Vives
A small coffee shop at the center of multiple anti-gentrification protests in Boyle Heights was vandalized Wednesday, according to its owners.
Footage from surveillance video at Weird Wave Coffee showed a person — clad in black clothing and a black mask — stepping out of an alley, then quickly using what might have been a slingshot to shoot an object at the shop’s logo. The object cracked the coffee shop’s glass door.
It’s not the first time a business has been vandalized in the community. In November, someone scrawled profanity in front of an art gallery. The month before that, police said three acts of vandalism involving galleries had taken place. No details were provided.
A growing arts scene has taken root in the industrial section of the Eastside neighborhood, which is heavily Latino. Some residents say they worry the galleries will change the neighborhood, increase rent and push out working-class families.
Along Cesar Chavez Avenue, activists fear the coffee shop will do the same for businesses.
“It’s disheartening,” said Rachel Chang, 31, a Boyle Heights resident and frequent customer.
Granville Ampong, 47, said he has seen the neighborhood change for the better and hopes it continues.
“Social change is coming,” Ampong said.
“We’re blessed, blessed, blessed to be here,” Defa said.


How do you compromise or negotiate with people like this? 

48 Years Ago

How much would it cost and how long would it take to duplicate a feat that was done without composites or computers all that long ago?  Could it be duplicated? 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Cermets Rule

I know that everyone reading shares my interests so this won't be news to anyone but I just had to comment. 

Ablation-resistant carbide Zr0.8Ti0.2C0.74B0.26 for 

oxidizing environments up to 3,000 °C

 Isn't that exciting?  What it means is that hypersonic aircraft are far more practical.  

"Current candidate UHTCs for use in extreme environments are limited and it is worthwhile exploring the potential of new single-phase ceramics in terms of reduced evaporation and better oxidation resistance," says Professor Ping Xiao, Professor of Materials Science at Manchester. "In addition, it has been shown that introducing such ceramics into carbon fiber-reinforced carbon matrix composites may be an effective way of improving thermal-shock resistance."

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

CoreLogic Loan Performance Apr '17

First the good news.  Delinquencies are continuing to trend down.


Now the bad news.  Delinquencies are continuing to evermore not heal.
If the link works the Full Report is here.  CoreLogic is a valuable resource. 

Monday, July 17, 2017

Sacramento Dodges the Boom/Bust?

From the SacBee:

Past booms resulted in more than 20,000 homes being built during peak years in the Sacramento region. In 2011, the low point of the housing market’s meltdown, only 2,000 homes were constructed.
Last year, 7,000 single-family homes were built, a 33 percent increase over 2015, according to the latest figures from the University of the Pacific.
The current year is shaping up even better, but housing growth will remain well below the historical average of around 12,000 homes a year, according to the latest UOP forecast. It projects 9,600 houses being built in 2017.
What’s surprising about that figure is that past recovery cycles took from two to seven years to go from bust to boom, when at least 15,000 houses were added each year. The Great Recession technically ended in 2009, eight years ago, yet construction remains relatively low.
 Equally interesting on the same web page is a video bemoaning the shortage of housing construction workers.

The 9ft trellis extensions are working well. 

Read more here:

Friday, July 14, 2017

Why California is Screwed

> The appeals court affirmed Shubb’s [Senior U.S. District Judge William B. Shubb] findings, writing that “almost all of the evidence of alleged fraud” already had been delivered to Sierra Pacific through documents provided by the government before the company agreed to settle the case.

Got that?  The appeal is invalid because the victim was aware they were being extorted and should not have agreed to the extortion.

Here is the lede:

> A federal appeals court on Thursday rejected claims by Sierra Pacific Industries that government prosecutors in Sacramento engaged in fraud and deception when they arranged a $100 million settlement over the massive Moonlight fire that torched 65,000 acres in 2007.

A bulldozer accidentally started the fire.  Price $100m from the deepest pocket.  SacBee LINK

Read more here:

Read more here:
Got that

Classic Habenero. 

Black Cobra 30,000 Scoville.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

"Peak" U.S. Crude Oil Production

The reddit thread got real nasty the other day.  Seems some people don't like long held beliefs like the Hubbert Curve contravened.

I fully expect additional records to be set once market conditions support more extraction. 

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Dated Dowager Demands Dollars

Before you start laughing keep in mind this is a mistake... errr I mean estate.  As an estate, all 1.1 acres, the price shouldn't be all that important.   Now, it this were an upscale middle class tract home from 1988 then you'd have a point.

2114 Applewood Ln, Santa Rosa Valley, CA 93012

6 beds 5 baths 6,196 sqft

Rather than bore you with he expansive grounds and opulent accommodations I'll just show the bathrooms:

 Price history:

06/30/17Listed for sale$2,200,000-18.5%$355



08/06/99Sold$1,062,500+23.5%$171 Record