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.