Monday, October 22, 2007

Wind Damage

The cabana didn't like yesterday's 70mph gusts.

We are in a small window of "good air." 20-25mph steady winds with mild gusts. Things are better but it will be another 24hrs of watching and waiting. And in case you are wondering, no, there is nothing "wrong" with the picture. That was the color outside yesterday.


Lost Cause said...


Jim the Realtor said...

Looks like the BBQ survived OK.

Bilgeman said...

A Public Service Announcement in these trying times:

Akubi said...

Seems more like a public service announcement for meth or something along those lines. However, both the beginning (Britteny Spears -sp?) and the end (tweaked out old hag) look like shit.

Bilgeman said...

And...a little something to while away the anxious hours.

Lou Minatti said...

From the videos I've seen in SoCal, it looks like a Martian sky from one of the Rover cameras.

Seriously, I hope this is all media hype, making the situation there look worse than it really is, like Geraldo doing hurricane coverage.

Ogg the Caveman said...

Satellite image of the fires

Bilgeman said...


Jeeze...I've seen more smoke from Algore's backyard barbecues.

Rob Dawg said...

No bull. This is some serious sh¡t going down. We are talking about a measurable effect on the national economy. If there really are 200 houses lost in Arrowhead that is a quarter billion in insurance claims right there.

Ogg the Caveman said...

I have no idea if the California situation is at all similar, but the Forest Service is having problems in the Northwest because people aren't cutting adequate firebreaks around their houses. This is especially true when it comes to vacation cabins. Lots of folks want the full experience of forest living and are willing to risk their houses to keep it.

Funny Circus Bears said...

Robert, my wife and I drove through Ventura on our way home from Newport yesterday afternoon, so I know what you are going through. Starting around Calabasas, it was so dark at 2pm that all cars on the 101 had their headlights on and all the streetlights were lit. But it wasn't night-dark, it was brown-smoke dark with that orange glow. Very strange.

Hope you come through it with minimal smoke problems, and god help the folks in Malibu, Arrowhead, and San Diego.

Funny Circus Bears said...

On our way on the SB101 on Saturday morning, it was hot and extremely windy. I told Toots that I hoped nothing got to burning in those conditions or absolute bloody hell would break loose.

w said...

Breaking News: Angelo Mozilo was just on KSBY expressing his empathy with homeowners who are being affected by the fires. As a gesture of support Countrywide is offering assistance to Ventura County residents who will be able to shelter their koi at 410 Avocado Place in Camarillo.

MaxedOutMama said...

It is very likely to have an effect on the economy. Think of the number of businesses that are partially or totally shut down because they've been evaced or half the workers can't get in.

Thanks for posting, Rob.

Lou Minatti said...

So are the fires the "Northridge moment" for this housing bubble?

Lou Minatti said...


From your post yesterday (34.251,-119.081) I see that you have farms just north of your house. I thought they plowed under all the farms in your neck of the woods.

Peripheral Visionary said...

Ogg: "The most effective thing people can do is clear a large buffer around the house, but that only works if you can afford the land. Building the entire house out of brick, stone, and/or steel -- ESPECIALLY the roof -- would also help, but that has its own drawbacks including cost and summer heat issues."

Or you could just build your house out of three-foot-thick adobe and put a tile roof on top, which neatly solves both the fire resistance and heat management issues. Wow--it's like the people who used to live in California actually knew what they were doing and built homes and communities with both the climate and the potential for natural disasters in mind!

But it's good to hear that you're doing OK Rob, and I'll try and keep the snarkiness to a minimum. The bad news is fires are scary stuff for the whole family (and the pets are probably suffering); the good news is that if the fire misses your house, the cleanup should be minimal. We had the wildfires get close to the house a few times in Utah, but after the fire clears out it's just a matter of keeping all the windows open for a few days to air the house out, and that's about the extent of it.

It's a little too early to start considering the full ramifications for the economy, but given that each house is ~$0.5MM, there's a lot of money going up in smoke. Not sure how this will affect insurance companies, home builders, housing inventory, prices, etc. My first thought is that many of these homes will not be rebuilt, people will simply use insurance money to buy one of the new homes at a cut-rate price, so this may reduce inventory by quite a bit.

Peripheral Visionary said...

Interesting article:

Civility reigns at San Diego stadium

SAN DIEGO - Like Hurricane Katrina evacuees two years earlier in New Orleans, thousands of people rousted by natural disaster fled to the NFL stadium here, waiting out the calamity and worrying about their homes.

The similarities ended there, as an almost festive atmosphere reigned at Qualcomm Stadium.

Bands belted out rock 'n' roll, lavish buffets served gourmet entrees, and massage therapists helped relieve the stress for those forced to flee their homes because of wildfires.

"The people are happy. They have everything here," Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger declared Monday night after his second Qualcomm tour.

The Katrina comparisons are coming, and they are not going to reflect favorably on New Orleans. This isn't a racial issue, as goodness only knows that San Diego is multi-racial; it's a culture issue, and, critically, it's about people's dependence on the government, which is far less in Southern California than in the (former) Welfare State of Louisiana.

Speaking of race, however, I'm not as worried about the inevitable Federal government response, as there isn't the White Man's Guilt factor to contend with (or the Presidential Neglect Guilt factor, for that matter.) Many of these people are wealthy, many are white, and I suspect the general consensus will be to let the local governments, insurance companies, etc. sort things out rather than have the Federal government come in and save several million government dependents from their own incompetence. Oh, and it also helps that the local government in San Diego isn't the most corrupt and incompetent in the country . . .

Property Flopper said...

Not to detract from fire coverage, but Countrywide is being "nice" today... I guess someone in accounting figured out it was better to keep people in the houses than hold the declining assets.

Sweet Cashback said...

The question will be whether they can survive with any one of these two options (defaults or cheaper loans). They have to pick the better of two evils and know it will cost them shitloads to refinance those toxic loans....

Legion said...

Screw CFC
When I read that the piece of shit that is Mozilo had put in to sell even more shares up for sale before the quarterlies this week...despite being investigated no less..I said fuck em.

Shorting them @ 15.58

Peripheral Visionary said...

Legion: Emotional investing is a serious mistake. Now, shorting CFC might be a sound move in the long run, but on principle it could get you in trouble. There's a real possibility that CFC will melt up a bit before it inevitably melts down.

Rob Dawg said...

Prop Flop,
You should know that nothing is off topic on EN.
Apology, I put your link to Calculated Risk and didn't give you the credit. Countrywide is just getting out in front of what they are going to be forced to do anyway. Not that there are all that many portfolio loans of subprime with verfied income and strong payment histories. $16b is what 40,000 houses?
CFCs retained loan portfolio is also $216b so they must be thinking they have permission to modify performing loans as a function of their being the servicing agent on their $1.3 trillion under service. That will be interesting. Imagine being an investor and having your returns cut on performing loans. Full lawyers employment through the recession.

Rob Dawg said...

Legion, those puts below 15 look pretty expensive.
I think PV is right, look at all the open options interest 15.00-20.00 and understand even unwinding those positions will make a lot of people rich and cause the stock to melt up.

Property Flopper said...

> You should know that nothing is
> off topic on EN.

True, but hijacking threads is bad form.

> Apology, I put your link to
> Calculated Risk and didn't give
> you the credit.

Not a problem. I read there occasionally, but don't post - nobody would have recognized the name.

Besides, I'm stealing your "acquired distaste" comment from the other day, so we're even. :)

> having your returns cut on
> performing loans.

To be fair, they are targeting loans they expect to become non-performing as they adjust.

> Full lawyers employment through the
> recession.

God I hope so... married to one.

H Simpson said...

Couple of observatons & questions:

1. Country wide is stating the money will service ~ 80,000 loans.

2. Anyone know if homeless guy is safe in Northern California?

3. Is it me, or does Gov Terminator have so much make-up troweled on his puss that his is starting to look like Nancy Pelossi?

4. It is a shame they cannot use Casey or Mozilo as human firebreaks. Give them a chance to see what eternity is going be like after they become worm food.

5. I am hearing some of the initial fires started when the high winds knocked down power lines.

To those of you in So Cal, good luck.