Saturday, April 29, 2017

Why the 1% Want Driverless Cars

If you thought gated communities were bad wait until all roads are authorized access only.  

Friday, April 28, 2017

The Stuccos are Trying to Slip Out the Back

"Stuccos" are the 2004-2008 buyers stuck with a white elephant housing investment. 
Here are some examples.

OMG!  since preparing this post this thing has gone pending.  Let's see if it closes at $256/sf. 

Price History

04/08/17Pending sale$220,000$256Park Place Rea...
10/21/16Listed for sale$220,000-2.2%$256Park Place Rea...
Home built 1959. 

And 20 miles to the north in the High Desert:
Not so bad.  Except the $259,000 part. 

Fluffed to the max. 
Alternative street view to see the neighborhood.

One ow[n]er!  2006 new construction. 

Price History

04/18/17Listed for sale$259,900-24.8%$104INTERO REAL ES...

Thursday, April 27, 2017

3D Printing is Real

For a while 3D printing was an answer looking for a problem.  Computer modeling got so good so fast that "mock-up" was  in danger of being shoved in the drawer with drafting instruments and slide rules.  Price/speed/quality has now improved to the point that the actual product can be printed. 

On the off chance that readers are interested or might know someone who likes this stuff check out this electric R/C airplane.  

Here's the link.  Might need free registration but once you see the site you are going to register anyway. 

Housing posts coming tomorrow.  Revisiting the High Desert. 
3D printed wing panel for a scale model airplane.

$110 for the airframe.  Amazing.

Green Bonds, Bloody Profits

There is nothing wrong with social investment if that is your intent.  There is nothing but wrong in investing for false social results. 

The greenhouse gas impacts of cities are enormous and 70% of a typical large city has impact locked up in buildings. To stand any credible chance of greenhouse gas abatement, buildings offers one of the biggest opportunities. In the long run, green property bonds are expected to make up to 40% of the green bonds market but this will depend on confidence among investors that the buildings are making a genuine contribution to the transition to a green economy.
Article here.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

How Twisted Is US Immigration? This Twisted

Another project is the proposed Europa Village, a residential, hotel, winery and event space development partly paid for with $60 million from over 100 Chinese investors through EB-5 visas — a program that allows foreigners to apply to become legal U.S. residents in exchange for as little as a $500,000 investment in a business that creates or preserves at least 10 jobs.
A number of hotels and strip malls have been financed through Chinese EB-5 investments, dozens of homes have been sold to overseas Chinese buyers and a local education firm co-founded by former Walnut Mayor Joaquin Lim is placing hundreds of tuition-paying students from China in public schools in the neighboring cities of Murrieta and Temecula. To provide more housing for the students and others, Lim is in talks with China’s third-largest home builder, Country Garden, to build a hotel in Murrieta.

Totally messed up.  

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Civilzation In Decline

The outrages never seem to end and every revelation seems worse than the last. 

The University of California’s central administration has overcharged campuses to fund its operations, spent excessively on employee compensation and hidden $175 million in secret reserves in recent years.
Those were the conclusions of a blistering state audit released Tuesday that slammed UC’s Office of the President for misleading budgeting practices – and for interfering in auditors’ efforts to determine whether its wide range of duties and nearly 17,0000 employees could be slimmed down.
State Auditor Elaine Howle said in an interview that her report calls into question the university’s recent decision to raise tuition this fall for the first time in six years when it has additional financial resources available, more than half of which is sitting in a discretionary fund.
“Why did we need to increase tuition if the Office of the President has $175 million in reserve that nobody knew about?” she said.
She added that UC “inhibited” her office from completing a key component of the audit: to assess what functions are completed by the Office of the President and whether campuses find value in them.

SacBee story here.

Read more here:
 And what did her ladyship say when a tuition hike was imperative last month?

“We’re now hitting the point where we’re going to miss that sweet spot on quality – on really high graduation rates, on the kind of academic reputation that UC has,” Napolitano said. “There’s only so many years you can go without a rate increase or a small tuition increase that doesn’t sacrifice a lot by way of quality. As much I’d like to say we can sustain this forever, we cannot.”

Read more here:
 SacBee story here.

Side note for those not remembering.  Yes, THAT Janet Napalitono. 

And in case anyone questions my judgement compare the old UC logo with the new:

Aeronautical Tidbits

Sometimes stuff accumulates.  A collection of aerostuff. Click on the titles for original articles.

Rover Wheel Damage
I saw these abominations being designed/built at JPL.  I was so horrified the only things I said were to the machinsts "I hope you don't get blamed."  The whispered reply: "Never worry, we've made it clear we are doing exactly as directed and not what we know needs to be done." 

How cool?  Extra credit.  How long until the tow plane is automated? 

Some readers may recognize the design as very close to mine before I decided the weather buffet versus size/lift didn't make sense. 

Sunday, April 23, 2017


We keep checking our Zilguesses for fun and theoretical paper profit but the flip side has to do with affordability.

Here is an animated gif showing the shift in US major city centile distribution.

Not pretty.  Kind of a long way around to the US getting more like Europe. 

To help you do a little research try this nifty tool:

As Liz used to say, what cannot continue... won't. 

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Congressional Democrats Demand Oroville Answers

Sometimes this is too easy. 
Citing the near disaster at Oroville Dam, a group of congressional Democrats is pushing the government’s watchdog agency to investigate federal oversight of dam safety regulations.
The group, including Rep. Doris Matsui of Sacramento and five other Californians, called on the Government Accountability Office to look into the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s handling of the licensing of major dams.
The February crisis at Oroville “raises questions about deficiencies in FERC’s safety program and concerns over the potential for severe property damage, injury and even possible loss of life,” the group said in a letter released Wednesday.
Separately, the California state Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee will hold an oversight hearing on Oroville next Tuesday. The hearing comes as elected officials push the state Department of Water Resources to release more information about the Oroville investigation and repairs. DWR has sealed several key documents, citing security concerns.

Read more here:

 And related:
A multimillion-dollar resurfacing job on the Highway 50 bridge over the Sacramento River has failed – mysteriously, officials say – and will have to be scrapped and replaced this summer at three times the original cost.
The resurfacing, conducted in late 2014 on the Pioneer Memorial Bridge between West Sacramento and Sacramento, began failing immediately, state Department of Transportation records show. Cars and trucks shudder when they pass over ruts that are now more than 50 feet long and seven feet wide at numerous spots on the bridge.
Caltrans officials say the repair could run $15 million to $18 million. The original resurfacing in 2014 cost $5 million.

Read more here:
 Unfortunately the answer breaks the rule "there are simple answers and correct answers but never both."

The model of State governance does not scale to a region the size and population of California.  
Former garden resident.  Now lives in the barranca. 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Negotiating Treaties With Foreign Powers is Treason

SacBee: Gov. Jerry Brown jabbed repeatedly at President Donald Trump’s skepticism of climate change on Thursday, contending that China has stepped into the role of the world’s “great hope.”
Brown, at a conference on carbon reduction, also announced he would be traveling to China in June to promote environmental protection.
“It’s very paradoxical that we have a president who says two things: No. 1, climate change is a hoax. That’s his first value proposition,” Brown said. “His second is that it was created by China. And the truth is that China is on a path to do a hell of a lot more than the Trump administration in dealing with climate change. So, if there’s any hoax, it’s in the White House, not in Beijing.”

And this isn't the first time.  

Read more here:

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Why We are Screwed As A Nation

State officials say the Department of Water Resources is trying to balance the public’s right to information while also preventing critical design elements from falling into the wrong hands.

Read more here:
 Got that?  A 1960s earth dam technology is now a matter of national security.  

Bea’s analysis, which relied on inspection records and design specifications obtained before the state clamped down on releasing documents, found that the spillway’s concrete was too thin – as little as 4 to 6 inches in some places. While concrete-strengthening steel rebar was embedded throughout the structure,

Clamped down on documents?

Something tells me the hands of the wrong people are lawyers.

Read more here:
Clamped d

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Industrial Production, Unimportant Unitil It Is

Industrial Production supposedly increased a modest as expected but below the headline, factory output was way off.  A one month reversal from +0.3% to -0.4% is no big deal unless it continues.  Bears watching closely. 

The chart is equally worrisome.  One of those is wrong. 

I wish Dawg would stop messing with the garden. 

Monday, April 17, 2017

Sublime Subsidence

That was 2013 BEFORE the great overdraft.  Very bad.  

Not sure what these are but pretty.  New ID: Mexican Evening Primrose. 

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Uber Ugly

Why does this horror exist?

Gross Operational Revenue: $20 billion.
Company Revenue: $ 6.5 billion
Loss: $2.8 billion
Market value: $68 billion

Uber's revenue hits $6.5 billion in 2016, still makes large loss


Uber has been rocked by a number of setbacks lately, including detailed accusations of sexual harassment from a former female employee and a video showing Chief Executive Travis Kalanick harshly berating an Uber driver.
The company is in the process of hiring a chief operating officer to help Kalanick manage the company, repair its tarnished image and improve its culture. (Reporting by Sangameswaran S in Bengaluru; Editing by Bill Rigby)

And this from MarketWatch
While Uber’s revenue growth is at least outpacing its losses, the red ink is still staggering. If it were a public company, Uber would have ranked among the 10 biggest money losing companies, MarketWatch reported Friday. And the revenue total of $6.5 billion is suspect, as it includes full fares from the company’s UberPool service, a ride-pooling service, instead of separating out the driver’s take.
In total, these carefully selected and crafted numbers don’t tell the full Uber story, and could be a smokescreen to distract from all the negative press Uber has faced of late, which has also included a boycott protest and a high-profile legal fight with Waymo, Alphabet Inc.’s GOOG, self-driving unit. The picture we do get from the numbers would struggle to command the going rate for Uber, which some were doubtful of already.

Edit:  Some Easter photos;
Gordy says; "You weren't thinking of planting this catnip were you?"

Behind the weeds on the rock wall. 

Middle hillside weed reveal. 

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Find the Commonality

Spate Of Oxnard Violence Claims Sixth Life

KVTA News Friday April 14, 2017

Oxnard police say the man who was shot last weekend on King Street near Wooley Road has died.
They say that 32-year-old Angel Ortiz Ramirez of Oxnard was gunned down Saturday night and was pronounced dead from his wounds several days later at VCMC.
Police say Ortiz was the father of four young children and was involved in the community as a Little League and youth basketball coach.
Major Crimes detectives are still trying to determine who killed Ortiz and why.
This is Oxnard's sixth homicide of the year and continues a rash of violent activity that has occurred within the city the last thirty (30) days.
● On March 13th, 44-year old Raul Mandujano was shot and killed in the 100 block of Dolores Court.
● On March 27th, 17-year old Luis Rodriguez was shot and killed while he rode his skateboard in the 400 block of N. Bonita Avenue.
● On April 12th, 22-year old Andres Rocha was shot and killed while riding his bicycle in the area of Featherstone Street and San Gorgonio Avenue.
Detectives say some of the killings are probably related and some are probably tied to gangs.
Police say they've also seen an increase in carjackings, some involving teenage suspects.
They plan to increase the number of officers on the street in areas where many of these crimes have happened and they're asking for community help in the effort to stem the tide of violence in the city.

Only a dozen miles from some of the "safest" cities in the nation. 

Friday, April 14, 2017

Because Everyone follows "AluminumInsider"

Hongqiao Files Defamation Lawsuit Against Short Seller Emerson 

Embattled Chinese aluminum firm China Hongqiao Group opened a new front in the war against short-seller Emerson Analytics this week when it began a defamation action against the firm in Hong Kong’s High Court.
According to a report by Bloomberg, Hongqiao is pursuing an order from the court enjoining Emerson from publishing another report on the firm. In addition, the world’s largest aluminum company is seeking an apology from the short seller and compensation it says it suffered as a result of Emerson’s reports. The amount of damages sought by Hongqiao were not given in media reports on the subject.
Emerson’s report has also led to the delay of Hongqiao’s 2016 annual results, as Hongqiao’s auditor is independently investigating Emerson’s allegations.
Hongqiao’s stocks have not traded on the Hong Kong exchange since March 22, when Emerson’s allegations first broke. Hongqiao requested suspension of trading the morning after, when shares dropped by 8.3% in the half hour prior to the halt. The sell-off came due to Emerson’s accusations that Hongqiao has amassing a debt load of CNY21.6 billion (US$3.15 billion) by under reporting and related-party subsidies. Emerson says that the best-case scenario for Hongqiao’s stocks has its actual value at only 40% of the price at which it is currently trading.
Hongqiao responded on March 31 by categorically denying Emerson’s allegation, demanding that Emerson withdraw the report, issue a formal apology to the firm, and reimburse Hongqiao for its legal costs. The firm also announced that its stock will not be traded on Hong Kong’s stock exchange “until further notice,” and that it continues to be financially sound.
China Hongqiao was established in 1994 by Zhang Shiping. The company began producing aluminum in 2002 and steadily increased production until it overtook Russian Federation’s UC Rusal as the world’s premier producer of primary aluminum in 2015.

 Is it just me or is everything looking like Iomega these days? 

Save the Turtles

Courtesy KCLU. 
Web article.
Audio link.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Easter Early

Just got back from Early Easter.  The whole clan in one place even if that place was Woodland, CA.  Interesting big little town. 
"Scooter" inspects the goodies.
It is true.  Everything Joel Kotkin said about a flyover state within a state.  If Dilbert Doofen were here he'd suggest rightly several flyover states.

Fresno, Bakersfield, Ontario and San Bernardino are rapidly becoming the Bantustans — the impoverished areas designed for Africans under the racist South African regime — in California’s geographic apartheid. Poverty rates in the Central Valley and Inland Empire reach over a third of the population, well above the share in the Bay Area. By some estimates, rural California counties suffer the highest unemployment rate in the country; six of the 10 metropolitan areas in the country with the highest percentage of jobless are located in the central and eastern parts of the state. The interior counties — from San Bernardino to Merced — also suffer the worst health conditions in the state.

Excuse me now while I check my insulin levels.  

Saturday, April 08, 2017

Report Like the Lamestream Misleadia

Horrors On The White House Grounds

Washington D.C. - In front of dozens of children President Donald Trump proceeded to bite the head off of a bunny and spout extremist platitudes and play to his religious zealot supports.  Breaking with tradition of an Easter egg hunt on the east lawn for the under privileged, this year's attendees had an average net worth of several millions of dollars.  As the unwitting dupes of this heinous publicity stunt searched for Scotch mallows and other similarly racist and religiously insensitive treats an unnamed member of the reporting pool observed that the event was in keeping with Trump's oft mentioned desire to have people work for benefits. 

And in case I appear to harsh, the news cycle this morning is reporting that Trump's airbase attack is a failure because aircraft are taking off again.  One went to far as to suggest it is alright for Assad to bomb his people, just not gas them.  

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Trump's Saturday Tweet Preview

Sometimes the news bites you.  Sometimes it plays into your agenda.  A screen shot.  You can read the name and crimes and google them yourself.  I don't want to be linked. 

What's wrong with this list?

Hint:  There is some serious double counting going on.

Sunrise Dawghaus looking north 06 Apr 2017. 

Inventories as Indicators

Economic Scene; Inventory Pileups And Recessions

NEARLY every economist attempting a forecast these days ends on a foreboding note.
The economy is very robust, they say, and although some of this vigor will soon disappear, the resulting slowdown will be mild. But then comes a worrisome postscript: Maybe the slowdown will not be so mild, after all. As Roger E. Brinner of Data Resources Inc. put it this week: ''A classic recession, beginning in 12 to 18 months, remains a serious risk.''
If a recession were to develop, the first sign of it would probably show up in rising business inventories - a pileup that would go unnoticed for a while. Before almost every recession since World War II, unsold merchandise has accumulated in company warehouses. Inventories, in fact, are rising now, and they might be reaching excessive levels, according to Walter Joelson, chief economist at the General Electric Company.
Many other economists disagree. But no one really knows. Excessive inventories are hard to spot until well after the fact. This is partly because the Commerce Department gathers monthly inventory statistics late. The June numbers, for example, will be announced this Friday - six weeks after June ended - and the August numbers will not come out until mid-October. 


Note that I blocked the date of this NY Times article.  First lets see if this is on the right track.



Looks to me like inventories are only good for predicting the ends of recessions.  The article was from Aug 8, 1988. 
Morning dew on a trap spider web. 

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Set the Wayback for 2009

Remember this Exurban Nation post from 2009?

Let's see how things turned out.

First in the comments it was discussed:

tj and the bear said...

That place isn't worth the 2000 price.

Where do you think this one could eventually go, Rob? [Not talking the next sale, mind you, but bottom price.] I'd venture 50ish, but you're the Wrightwood expert.

Rob Dawg said...

Hard to tell. It may sell now for $64k and rent out until used up (not long) and as such won't transact at the low. That said $45-$50k sound right.
And the results?


04/18/09Listing removed$89,900

03/14/09Price change$89,900-24.4%

02/14/09Price change$118,900-8.5%

01/10/09Price change$129,900-11.2%

12/10/08Listed for sale--

12/02/08Sold: Foreclosed to lender$146,250+8.7%

 So I called it for the time and conditions.  And for the buyer?  How did they make out?  You aren't going to believe this: