Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Quote & Comment

Who would have thought back then? 

What We Expect

One rule.  No one is wrong.  Well no one except Trump, Congress, FedGov, etc. 

Demographic Trends

My youngest needed a new take on an a classic image for art class.  This is what she came up with.

I will be using it as the tag graphic for future demographic posts for obvious reasons. 

• It is pretty.
• My kid did it.
but seroiusly,
• What better way to represent demographic trends? 

Click to see a larger version. 
Pew Research has an interesting article about what they call "unauthorized immigrants." 

20 metro areas are home to six-in-ten unauthorized immigrants in U.S.



Monday, February 27, 2017

Oscar Excursion

When I first moved to SoCal I took my little sister on the back of my motorcycle to the Oscars.  Shrine auditorium and long before there was security and road closures.  Weaving between Limos was great fun. 

This is the Dolby Theater.  Very nice venue.  From 6-7AM we were there for the Live with Kelly show.  Front row, first balcony just off center.  Lots of fun.  Easier to get into the US Senate Gallery.  Ahh for the first time I was there.  "Please place umbrellas in the stands provided."  That was it. 

Sunday, February 26, 2017

I Didn't Vote For That!

Oh yes, you did.  One of the sneakiest anti-democratic tricks is an "off-cycle" election. 

How about March 7th in Los Angeles?  anything so important that it couldn't be last Novemer?  Heck yes.  Mayor and tax increases.  Nothing like voter suppression to skew the outcome. 

not to worry.  The mayor is safe.  Let us discuss the tax increase. 

Measure H.  Reading the proponents message you'd be hard pressed to learn it means a 1/4th cent tax increase.  That means 9.5% from the current 9.25% in the City of LA.  Or properly El Pueblo de la Reyna de Los Angeles (The Town of The Queen of Angels). 

No one even blinks at 9.25% sales tax as high, regressive and counterproductive?  The Laffer Curve is currently in disrepute but there are elements that resonate. 


 What the Laffer Curve doesn't track is rising public obligations in the red zone.  Revenues plus expenses drives net benefits down much faster. 

Friday, February 24, 2017

Pineapple Distress

Great video of the recent series of storms.


The NorCal kids will get wet.  none are in any danger of flooding.  SoCal Dawghaus might get damp. 

Great news.  Mrs Dawg got me a present.  A chipper shredder.  I've since been style trimming the lot.  What would have taken at least two trash bins of branches now occupies a tenth of our weekly allotted single organics bin. 

WASS Legal Edition

In case you missed it.  A blind man can proceed with his suit of McDonald's.

Scott Magee, who is blind, filed a lawsuit in May alleging that only offering service to customers in cars at drive-thru windows when the interior of the store is closed is a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. A federal judge in Chicago ruled Wednesday that despite McDonald's attempts to have the case dismissed, Magee can go forward with the suit, which seeks class-action status.


What strikes me as odd is -why- a blind man would want a late night snack at McDonald's.  Anyway.  setting aside that I don't see any merit to the claim, the guy could take a taxi thru, what really galls is that he filed in May of 2016 and the courts only got to their ruling that the case can proceed last week.  WASS if this is representative of the legal "process." 

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Failing Infrastructure Example

How sad is this?  The Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge in Big Sur has been red tagged as being beyond repair.  California is already a third world country.  CalTrans says 6 months to replace.  Let's start a clock shall we? 

And before you worry... No not 'that' Big Sur Bridge.  The Bixby Creek Bridge was built in a different time.

Misallocated Infrastructure Spending

LA Times Article this week: 

'This is the worst I have seen': California's roads are in dire shape, says former Caltrans director

  Kempton, 69, who is retiring as executive director of the advocacy group Transportation California, said he is “frustrated and disappointed” that California has failed for decades to agree on a plan to pay for a $136-billion backlog of repairs on state highways and local roads. Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders said they will take another crack at reaching a deal during the next two months, which Kempton said is welcome news. “This is the worst I have seen,” he said of street conditions in California.
Kempton, a former Caltrans director, thinks the seriousness of the issue has sunk in with state leaders and residents to the point where action might finally be taken this year. He said he is encouraged by recent comments by Brown and lawmakers who set an April 6 deadline for reaching a transportation funding deal.

But Kempton said reaching a deal that includes raising taxes and fees will not be easy, even though the situation is dire.“The transportation system is in bad shape,” he said. “We have just underinvested in our transportation infrastructure for decades, and it’s coming home to roost. Particularly after the recent storms, our roads are in very, very bad shape.”

 See if you can identify the blind spot.  Hint: He's seen in the 12 year old photo riding in a new train service. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Location Location Re-Location

Image result for buyer seller fight 

The old adage of real estate is getting a slight twist.  At least for the vast majority who live in the houses they buy.  A new Zillow report discusses the geographic imbalances of relative buyer/seller advantage.

In some markets, buyers are finding themselves in strong bargaining positions relative to sellers, confidently paying less than the asking price on a home they had months to consider. In other markets, it’s the sellers ending their days not lamenting the one to come, selling their homes within days after bidding wars pad their pockets more than expected.

Link: Best Areas...

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Debt Is Not Just Mortgages Anymore

Calculated risk posted the following Mortgage debt to GDP chart:

Here is total debt to GDP debt to GDP chart:
Not as reassuring. 

Monday, February 20, 2017

NY to Fl and CA to TX, God help us all

• New York had 69,289 migrants to Florida 

• California had 65,546 migrants to Texas

 Again from the latest American Community Survey.

If we can't vote them out, we'll migrate them out. 

Image result for californian in texas


Sunday, February 19, 2017

Fire Truck Falls

If you missed it, A San Bernardino fire truck toppled into a washout:

Link to the video: http://abc7.com/news/fire-truck-falls-over-side-of-15-freeway;-no-injuries/1760972/

Breaking Sunday, California Water says the Central Valley should be prepared to evacuate.   A precaution but big. 

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Spot the Station

How cool is this?  Back in the age of stone knives and bear skins I was "cool" in a nerdy way for knowing constellations beyond the Big Dipper.  Every once in a while there was a satellite.  Now you don't have to do the math in your head.  Just ask NASA.

This is the least i could do since Liz didn't get her launch this morning.  Of course this presumes you live in a portion of the planet that remembers what clear skies means. 

Welcome to the Camarillio Islands

7th fairway looking back from the green.

The "spillway" formerly the front walkway.

Rainfall total as of Saturday morning.  5+ inches.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Scary Guns

(Photo of Royal High School from Copter 3 during Wednesday incident)

A fake rifle used by the drill team at Royal High School in Simi Valley touched off a tense morning for students, teachers and parents Wednesday.

School authorities and police received a report around 8:20 AM that a person carrying a rifle was seen on campus.
That prompted a lockdown not only of Royal High but also Santa Rose of Lima Catholic school across the street.
Royal Avenue and other streets were closed while the Simi Valley SWAT team scoured the campus looking for the "gunman."

The sheriff's Copter 3 and media helicopters swirled overhead and worried parents waited nearby.
Then, around midday, after the SWAT team and searched for the suspect, investigators determined that the "gunman" who was seen was actually a member of the Royal High School Drill Team, and the rifle was actually a ceremonial fake gun used by the drill team and not a real firearm.


So many things had to happen for this to occur.  

Moderate Drought, GMAFB

Apparently the Central Valley is either Abnormally Dry or in Moderate Drought.  Ask the residents.  No.  And as expected those of us in the tiny kidney bean of red Extreme Drought are even more incredulous.  Golfing this morning one sand trap was a lake and one fairway was partially under water.  The region in red has already seen 2x normal rainfall and is expecting another half years' worth of precipitation over the next 36 hours.  Power is not relinquished easily. 

Thursday, February 16, 2017

So Close!

Scoring is a strange thing.  Sometimes a low score is better.  Golf.  Other times there's nothing higher than a particular score.  Bowling.  But to really mess with "winning" you have to hand it to economists and particularly their use of indexes. 

How much do you weigh?  If you were an economist you could adjust for muscle mass, bone density, time of year and phase of the moon to weigh anything you wanted. 

Summering in the Hamptons?

https://encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQs9L98L5vgUG0Z1LNjFpi7cdt6u8SuU9kxJAVzw9FFDJXvE9e6 Well then, here's a nice guide to the hamlets and villages with a little historical background.

Hamptons Preview
If you’re looking to buy a home in one of the exclusive New York beach towns that make up the Hamptons, now is the time to start looking for your new summer getaway.
But before you dive in, it’s important to do your homework and learn about the uniqueness and charms each area possesses.
In this special series, Mansion Global will guide you through all you need to know about buying and living in Amagansett, East Hampton, Southampton, Westhampton, Sagaponack, Bridgehampton and Montauk.

And no, they aren't all multi-million dollar mansions.
421 East Lake Drive

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

A quick Oroville Update

Amazing how things that cannot happen do happen.  More amazing is how often cannot be done can be done.  Anyone following the California water issues for longer than a month should be by now fully aware that the safety of the people has been kicked around as a political football. 


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Producer Prices Unexpedly Rise

The PPI for January reported a +0.6% increase for the month. While only one month if annualized it is near 8%.  It also follows a trend of accelerating inflation.  Consumer grumbles of headline inflation not matching their experience at the store are once again in vogue.  More with hopefully CR style graphs a bit later.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Weather and Water Links

Rob, where do you get your stuff?
For water and snow and weather here are a few:

The view of Yosemite Falls:

The home page where you can pick a Sierra Cam:

The lower half of Dawgifornia rain data map form:

California latest reservoir levels:

Three region snow pack levels:

Feel free to poke around. Oh, and the ski area near the cabin:

Saturday, February 11, 2017

$200 Million Dollars

In case anyone is not keeping up there was a failure of the Oroville Dam spillway this week. It remains to be seen why or who will be blamed except it is a certainty that the culpable will not be accused never mind indicted. At a noon briefing, DWR Acting Director Bill Croyle estimated repairing the spillway and the damage caused by its malfunction could cost anywhere from $100 million to $200 million. Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/article132154774.html#storylink=cpy This is beyond merely criminal. This is treason of the highest order. We are talking about fixing a cement water sluice gap a couple hundred feet long in an existing developed site. Low millions. Once again California takes advantage of any event.

Floriduh and the Rest of US

Head Injury is number one. Shocked. Surprised. Just kidding.

In Case Anyone Wonders Why i Put Up With California

January 23rd, 2017

Friday, February 10, 2017

A different View of California

Not the usual shape.  Political boundaries rarely respect geography.  This is a representation of the hydrological State.  And yes, before you ask, that tiny kidney bean of remaoining extreme drought is me.  In the south a bit is ceded to Arizona.  A bit is added from southern Nevada which i don't exactly understand while a bit more is given back up around Lake Tahoe.  Eastern Oregon gets pasted on up north not that there is anyone to notice. 

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Assurance is not Insurance

From: Average Cost of Homeowners Insurance 
More interesting is the State by State chart at the link. 

For one i had no idea that i basically pay 1/8th what people in Florida pay.  I guess I have to update my stodgy ideas about California being always more expensive.  I'd still bet that earthquake insurance is cheaper there. 

Vancouver housing ranked 3rd most unaffordable

From the CBC.


For yet another year, Vancouver has the dubious honour of being one of the most unaffordable cities for housing, according to an annual international study.
Vancouver ranks 3rd in the 2017 Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey, down one spot from 2016 when it was second.
The survey compares 406 metropolitan housing markets in nine countries: Australia, Canada, China, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States.
It's the 13th edition of the report, which links median house prices to median household incomes otherwise known as the "median multiple." 
A value 3.0 or under is deemed affordable. Vancouver's median multiple is 11.8.


 Quite the discussion of the Chinese effect here:


This will impact real estate around the world, but Vancouver is a particularly popular place for Chinese buyers. Using the foreign buyer data from the B.C. Ministry of Finance, we can see 4,515 units bought between June 2016 (the first month tracked) to November 2016 (last point available). The average price of units during those periods is CA$1,012,372 (US$776,091), around 14x the median household income of a BC family.
Not every one of the 4,515 buyers is going to default, but that’s the tip of the iceberg. B.C. has only been tracking foreign buyers for 6 months, and Vancouver has been a popular destination for Chinese buyers for much longer.  

 From the embedded Demographia link in the first article:

There are 11 affordable major housing markets in 2016, all in the United States. Rochester is the most affordable, with a Median Multiple of 2.5, followed by Buffalo (2.6), Cincinnati (2.7), Cleveland (2.7), Pittsburgh (2.7), Oklahoma City (2.9), St. Louis (2.9) and four at 3.0, Detroit, Grand Rapids, Indianapolis and Kansas City.
I don't know about you but I can think of lots of reasons Rochester NY is affordable.
As to Vancouver, be sure to play: http://crackshackormansion.com/part2.html

Good to be Back

This is what I saw when getting the morning newspapers.  Pardon me if I don't post until I get back in an hour or so.

Use the comments to make suggestions for topics you'd like to discuss. 

Well that break in the "Stay Away!" weather didn't last long.  At least my short game is getting better.
 Last year the camera would have to zoom out twice as far to show this many shots. 

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Americans Moving at Historically Low Rates

I love the American Community Survey (ACS). Perhaps the most deep "dive worthy" public dataset we get from the Census. Let's just look at a few highlights including the post title. http://census.gov/newsroom/press-releases/2016/cb16-189.html • The percentage of Americans moving over a one-year period fell to an all time low in the United States to 11.2 percent in 2016, according to tables released today by the U.S. Census Bureau. Here is what I wrote 11 years ago:
No matter how the pain is spread, there will be consumer pain. Likewise because of govt spending policies that resemble the proverbial cricket in summer we can expect massive deficits and even larger tax increases. I hope everyone likes their neighbors because nobody is moving for a very long time. The new immobility class has moved in to stay.
Other things I said weren't perfect but this was spot on. Back to the present. Nobody cares about 11 years ago as LLiz has noted on so many occasions. Memory fades. What does this mean for now? IMO • Among those who moved, 42.2 percent said they moved for a housing-related reason, such as wanting a new or better home/apartment. In comparison, 27.4 percent said they moved for a family-related reason, 20.2 percent said they moved for an employment-related reason, and 10.2 percent said they moved for some other reason. I imagine the 42.2% moving for housing reasons are experiencing rising rents or other income/outflow issues.

Sunday, February 05, 2017

For America!

Boston Patriots, New England Patriots, seat of liberty, etc. Red, white and blue. [These colors don't run?] Atlanta Falcons. Red, Black and White. We know those colors from history!