Friday, May 25, 2007

Reality Check

This being the Memorial Day Weekend I will be doing my bi-annual ground level economy survey. That means I'll be looking that the yard sales up at the mountain cabin. This is both fun and educational. What are people selling? For how much? Is the house for sale too? Are they moving? Moving "down below" [to the hih desert communities] or far away? Driveway check for jet boats and 4x4s. Any home improvements halted halfway? Any activity on the empty lots? I need new ski poles and goggles and wouldn't mind an orbital sander. Wish me luck.


Anonymous said...

FIRST! This are mad IT skillz!

ratlab said...


Anonymous said...

It is the weekend after all~

Anonymous said...

To Dawg and RBOY.. just posted on the other thread..

R-Boy.. news IT IS LEGIT... you guys may wanna tune in tonight... cant say anything else.. had to do a uturn and comeback to the office to type this...

Now Im gone... might be hearing from me later though

Anonymous said...

Duane Said:

> news IT IS LEGIT

Oh, and you leave us with this right before a three day weekend. :(

Let's start a pool before the fraudcast. My guess is Galina kicked him out, he's moved back with the parents but doesn't see this as a problem ("she'll come around"). Still keeping the blog up ("hey I made the $1000, so what if I missed the other items I promised"). Major intervention planned by the family.

Alternative is legal action. Would have to be by one or more creditors. If it were criminal action, there wouldn't be a fraudcast tonight.

Anonymous said...


I feel like Snowflake with his new money....but, just like him, it will not last.....

Anonymous said...

@Sweet Cashback

" feel like Snowflake with his new money....but, just like him, it will not last....."

You, dear Sir (or Madam), are riding a wave of success. Wrap yourself in the perfect bliss that is FIRST. Do not concern yourself with the possibility of failure in the future. I mean, the future? It's a long time from now. Seriously. Don't even think about it.

Anonymous said...

After the FIRSTNESS comes the MURSTNESS. And thereafter follows the MOISTNESS.

The MurseMaster hath spoken.

kndmanz said...

What time does this thing start tonight?

BelowTheCrowd said...

How did snowflake managed to avoid owning a house in this Sacramento subdivision, zip code 95832, aka "bubble ground zero":


BelowTheCrowd said...

Just looked it up. Burdett Way is about two miles from the infamous "Richfield Way" cited in the above clip.

Yulia's place is about 3 miles to the north, in a rowhouse devlopment so new it is not even on the Google satellite pics, which just show an empty field at that location.

Casey may not have been at ground zero, but he sure was close.


R-Boy said...


That is better than being first, murst, worst, whatever

HECK YEAH~! Great News Duane. Please email me when you get a chance and let me know what's up. I'll be out having dinner with good friends tonight.

BelowTheCrowd said...

And more fun

Anonymous said...

You guys have started something, first there's all this secret stuff being passed around, possibly a newsbreaking story tonight...and I get pulled aside by my VP and told the CEO is stepping down, for family reasons, immediately.


(And the guy replacing him is a good guy, I like him)

Shaping up to be a hell of a Friday! I hope you guys have something good cookin'!

kndmanz said...

Never mind, I found it. Is there any way to listen without signing up for a Talkshoe PIN number and all that crap?

Anonymous said...

You guys are as bad (trolling) as snowflake - Secret stuff, can't say, haven't confirmed it.

Duane LeGate said...

R-Boy.. news IT IS LEGIT... you guys may wanna tune in tonight... cant say anything else.. had to do a uturn and comeback to the office to type this...

just post it already

Anonymous said...

One person's trash is another person's treasure as they say.

R-Boy said...


Anonymous said...

I like this post, it's what I'm gearing up for too - I'm gonna start tracking craigslist for some of the stuff I need/want:

New truck
Powerbook for a good family friend, or for myself and she gets my 17" G4 PB
New leather couch (can be used, cool with me)
Good kitchen stuff
A decent Les Paul (I hope the collectors market in guitars gets gutted, the effing boomers have driven guitar prices sky high, and what kills me is they buy a nice late 50's LP, which should be played and loved, and they hang it on the friggin wall or put it in a vault because they paid 50K for it. Same for vintage muscle cars.)

Not seeing a lot yet, but I'm in no rush. The Bay Area seems to be holding it's breath, but I figure by Xmas, I'll see deals galore as deperate and fucked homeowners try to raise cash for one last blowout for the holidays.

I've been watching rents...holding steady, but some movement there. Lots of vacancies, and the most interesting was a new block of designer condo/lofts went up next door, were supposd to be sold, now they're renting...and I'm not seeing many move in at $1750 to start for a studio, when that gets you a 2 bedroom with w/d in my complex right next door.

The home improvement stores in my area are ghost towns now.

I wish I still talked to a travel agent friend of mine, they can be good indicators too.

My dentist said he's seeing a lot less cosmetic work come in, more people making payment plans, and lots of people not paying. Last year around this time, he was telling me how busy they were with capping and cosmetic work they were doing, they were booked months in advance, and trying to get a 3rd dentist in the office.

Me, I'm renting, paying less than a 1/3 of my monthly, and living well. My job is secure, and I'm saving money.

Rob Dawg said...

Anon 2:09,

I love the list. A few observations.

Powerbook? Macbook really is so much better it is hard to justify anything except a really really low price. Then again if it comes with office and creative suite...

Got my leather couch last year just this way. $75 freakin' bucks? Insane.

Kitchen and antiques, just be careful about being owned by your aquisitions.

Les Pauls are not even a market anymore. Serious collectors are just shining on them because of counterfeits and speculation.

Keep on keeping on. You are on the right track.

Anonymous said...

@2:09 PM, Anonymous

I have a LesPaul Goldtop.It is an early re-issue in medium to good condition and it sits unplayed. Do you have a valuation?

Anonymous said...

Repre-sentin'! Nine-five-eight-three-two

It's all good!!!!!

Mouse And Pencil said...


Powerbook for a project I want to put together. There's a forum where people are making Cintiqs (touch sensitive monitors) from Wacoms and lcd monitors, I want to make a PB Cintiq....but I'll take a MPPro. :) ( for the project)

I own Creative Suite 3, so no worries there. :)

As for antiques, I'm picky, and I know what i want, maybe one or two small pieces. But I hear you - my rule now is I don't own more than I can cram into a reasonably priced storage unit at short notice. I've been shedding possessions for years...the book are the hard ones, but I did it, and replaced a lot of them with e-books. But I kept my (almost complete) Heinlein collection!

As for LPs, I'll take an 80's repro no problem, but having played a lot of 58's and 59's...I'd drop some serious money, if I had it. I can dream. :)

lawnmower man said...

New post at IAFF.

Caseypedia summary.

Super-short summary: Larchmont sold cheap, waaah!, what $50K note?, adcast plug.

lawnmower man said...

No mention of the rapid demise of the "talk thingy".

kndmanz said...

How does he have access to the MLS?

Rob Dawg said...

and replaced a lot of them with e-books. But I kept my (almost complete) Heinlein collection!

Ahh yes. Seeing my teenagers reading "Farmer in The Sky" or "Green Hils of Earth" unbiden is a great thing. Especially since their brittle yellow pages contain margin notes from my aunt.

PB Cintiq

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:09, The old Les Pauls are like Royalty - you have to be grandfathered in.

My Dad had a 1969 Les Paul he bought when he was in college - still works, still sounds great. He gave it to me when he moved.

It's a work of art, and i will never sell it - besides, i am more of a Fender man myself

Unknown said...

While we are doing guitar talk, my setup/reasoning

Fender Telecaster
Fender Strat 72 reissue
Vox Cambridge AC-30 Amp
Fender Hotrod Deville
Korg SDD-2000 digital delay
all sorts of pedals

My gutiar inspiration is The Edge from U2 - thats what i learned to play. My first concert was U2 in 1997 (i'm young, 25 now) so after that concert i had to know how to play like that.


Anonymous said...

poor schlubs spent their nest egg thinking theres some money to be made flipping houses!!

Housing Market Has Fallen Off The Table In Florida

From Money Magazine. “Steve and Carol Daimler retired to Florida from Virginia two years ago. The Daimlers spend most of their time consumed with selling two investment properties they bought shortly after the move, holding open houses, distributing fliers, cold-calling realtors and catering to prospective buyers.”

“The properties remain unsold, draining nearly $6,000 a month from the Daimlers’ dwindling retirement kitty. The couple had thought the properties would help finance the lovely new life they planned to lead in Florida.”

“To supplement their retirement savings of $260,000, they figured they’d buy fixer-upper homes to renovate, then sell at a profit in the state’s hot housing market. ‘We thought we’d make $100,000 without batting an eye,’ says Carol.”

“But when the housing bubble burst, so did their dreams of a real-estate funded retirement. The properties have been on the market for nine months without a serious offer, and the carrying costs are killer: The Daimlers pay more than $65,000 a year on their mortgages (including loans for their primary residence and a vacation house in North Carolina), plus tens of thousands more for property taxes, insurance and maintenance.”

“The couple are pulling out $15,000 a month from savings to cover their expenses, and they’ve already run through more than half of their nest egg.”

“Exactly how fast the local real estate market was deteriorating wasn’t clear in August when the Daimlers bought two three-bedroom, two-bath houses: one in a Daytona gated community for $235,000; the other in Palm Coast for $120,000.”

“To finance the purchases, they took out a $400,000 mortgage on their home. They spent $31,000 on renovations and listed the houses in September. But since then the market has been flooded with homes for sale, and the Daimlers have been caught in the changing current.”

“With just $120,000 left in his 401(k), Steve decided in March to go back to work. One thing hasn’t changed: The Daimlers remain staunch believers in real estate. ‘If the financial pressure was off, we’d still look for opportunities to invest,’ says Steve. ‘For now, though, we just don’t have the means to hang on.’”

BelowTheCrowd said...


Sadly, this is the outcome of a world in which the powers-that-be have convinced us through years of easy money that savings and investments are the same thing. They are not.


kndmanz said...

According to the MLS FAQ, you have to have a California Real Estate license to access their MLS. I think we should report him.


P.S. Thanks to Sprezzatura for the "clicky links" tutorial!

Anonymous said...

My own sweet fantasy:

Murse-Boi is on Talkshoe live when the feds bust in to cuff 'em.


Anonymous said...

I posted this at IAFF...doubt his new person will approve it:

So do you still maintain that you haven't hurt anybody?

If you do get lucky and make some serious money (with you, it WILL be luck - NOT skill) and don't pay back your debts you do realize that is dirty money right? Your potential success means that you can lie, cheat and defraud in order to have a "story" to make money from.

Mouse And Pencil said...

He's probably using an account from Chris or Nigel, you can get them in hot water too.

As for Below's comment, I hate the consumer society we live in. I hate that advertising is now more important than free speech, that corporate profit more important than national security and human rights, I hate that we are screamed at day and night to buy, buy, buy - and our government is spending future generations money with little or no regard.

I contemplate this sipping coffee from my thermos, Safeway Espresso blend ground fine (no blade grinders in my house), a little whipping cream and sweetener, while my cube neighbor drinks a cup of stale coffee from the cafe downstairs she paid $4 for. It's not even Starbucks. For the price of to Starbucks, I get a week's worth of coffee, that's not stale, is brewed fresh, and is better quality.

But...I'm "cheap", because I bring it in a thermos.

Okay, whatever.

BelowTheCrowd said...

Mouse and Pencil:

This is what I wrote about my grandfather recently. I wish to someday be completely worthy of his example:

What Will The Neighbors Think?


Sprezzatura said...

P.S. Thanks to Sprezzatura for the "clicky links" tutorial!

You're welcome. Enjoy!

Akubi said...

Since everyone seemed to think Casey to Karl Rove was so easy, there's a new 6 Degrees of Casey Serin™ game that should be more challenging.

Mouse And Pencil said...

Nice article, Below. It's a shame, that kind of attitude was attacked and destroyed by Madison Avenue starting in the 60's, and now it's all about impressing everyone else. I really hate it.

I measure people by what they can *do*, not what they own.

Sadly, I'm somewhat alone in that belief these days.

Anonymous said...

What the neighbors think....

I have to admit to being deeply ambivalent on the topic of material things and their relative worth:

1. We live in a free society, one strongly associated with capitalistic activity. I like that. I have drawn deeply from the well.

2. That said, there is a heap of excess, and a lot of craziness. For instance some posters above were ruminating on old guitars, and seemed willing to spend big bucks on old specimens. I understand that TO A POINT, but guys, I have put together a little $99.00 Mexican Strat, that with $12 of copper foil shielding, some caps and a couple of other tidbits/tweeks spanks the living daylights out of the original (or will exactly match it, left alone). And please don't tell me that the older one is better in some intangible yet important way, like a Stradivarius. Not so in this case (Strats/Teles) I do love old mechanical stuff. So, I have a car I love to drive, that is 67 years old (Yes, that is correct.)It's an interest I have, and I have the means to scratch the itch.

But I do see that people tend to romanticize and buy into marketing/cultural hype to a degree that is deeply embarrassing, sometimes.

I generally try to choose stuff 'cause it fits a need, or serves a function well, not because of magic cachet supposedly picked up by association.

So even while I do enjoy my material goods; like 'mouse' and 'below', I am also reappraising my true needs, especially as I get older, and realizing that sometimes less is really more.

Anonymous said...

I'm wondering... if you don't have a looser W-2 job, do you get to take Monday as a relaxing day off?

Do 3 day weekends mean anything when you don't work?

Anonymous said...

Mouse and Pencil:

It's all about priorities.

HD Thoreau, a man much smarter than I, once said, "That man is the richest whose pleasures are the cheapest."

Mouse And Pencil said...

While it may be true that a $99 strat is a good enough guitar (I currently play a very nice $300 Ibanez), the reasons for the older gear is mostly because you cannot get the kinds of wood they used back then anymore, which makes a HUGE difference in how the guitar sounds.

But i don't own one, probably never will, and that's fine. I'll live. :) But I can dream!

(It's truly how they sound. A vintage LP that's aged welll and was taken care of just sounds "right" to me, especially through a vintage Plexi...)

segfault said...

Do 3 day weekends mean anything when you don't work?

Special occasion. Jamba Juice and Chipotle, followed by a vacation with no consequences for not being back by Tuesday.

Anonymous said...

@ segfault

Special occasion. Jamba Juice and Chipotle, followed by a vacation with no consequences for not being back by Tuesday.

He does have his beggar funds to blow...

Mouse And Pencil said...

Akubi: Easy:

Casey - Nigel - Ian Zering (TV - Beverley Hill 90210) Shannen Doherty (TV - Charmed) Max Perlich (Movie - Drugstore Cowboy) W. S. Burroughs

Anonymous said...

>>My gutiar inspiration<<

My fave is SLAYER, driven by an Oxygen 8 controller. Then, the "bum" licks (usually every second or third note) are corrected in SONAR, and various fx modulations and vibrato and so on are drawn in as envelopes. It's the way it was done in the 1600s, and I'm sort of resistant to this newfangled "playing a physical instrument" stuff.

BelowTheCrowd said...

Memorial Day I will go to a barbeque. I don't want to, but the guy throwing it is a guy I am trying to land a contract with. So I'm going. It's work.

No such thing as a day off for the self-employed or independent consultant. You're always looking for the next gig.