Thursday, 11 February 2016

10:16 – Barbara is headed down to Winston to run errands and have lunch with a friend. Before she left, she followed me over to B&T Tire, where I dropped off the Trooper to have the check-engine light problem looked at. The guy seemed to think it’d be a minor issue, and I told him to give it a good once-over while he was looking at it.

I ordered a new Kindle last night, the basic Touch model. I was about to order one at $80 a couple days ago, but they frequently go on sale. Sure enough, last night the Amazon main page had it on sale for $60, so I ordered one. I’m afraid my current one is about to fail, so once I get the new one I’ll hard reset the old one and keep it as a spare. The new one will never connect via WiFi, which has caused major issues in the past with both Barbara’s and my reading Kindles. Also, Amazon has no need to know everything I’m reading.

I was pleased the other day to learn that USPS had not only restored support for Regional Rate boxes in their Click-N-Ship website, but had them priced at Commercial Base Pricing instead of retail. I’d planned to drop stamps.com and start using Click-N-Ship again. As of yesterday afternoon, I’d used up all but $0.20 of the pre-paid postage in my stamps.com account, and planned to use Click-N-Ship to run postage labels this morning for any overnight orders. Well, sometime between a few days ago and this morning, USPS eliminated CBP for Regional Rate boxes and started charging much higher retail-like rates. So it’s back to stamps.com or one of its competitors. Now that I can’t trust USPS, I should check out all the third-party alternatives. One that looks better than stamps.com is shippingeasy.com. They even have a starter plan that’s free (other than postage costs) and allows one to ship up to 50 packages a month. I’ll probably sign up for that and give it a try for a couple of months.


69 thoughts on “Thursday, 11 February 2016”

  1. Damn Kindle! Damn Amazon!

    So I am doing my usual listening to KSFO on my Kindle Fire 7″ and on comes this commercial for some stupid-ass gane, not on KSFO, blasting over KSFO and unable to turn off. I had to shutdown the Fire. This is the first time an “Amazon offer” has done that, normally you can just swipe the screen or pull down the menu and clear it.

    The other day I came across an article on how to use Android on the Fire without rooting and at the same time getting rid of the “with offers”. Got to go find that now.

    Edit: Found it, I had saved the page in Pocket.
    http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/install-google-play-remove-lockscreen-ads-amazon-fire-tablet-without-root/

  2. Yet another disaster to “prep” for … The Cascadia Subduction Zone
    http://www.cnn.com/2016/02/11/us/cascadia-subduction-zone-earthquakes/index.html
    Goodbye Seattle, Microsoft and Starbucks.
    “Cascadia can make an earthquake almost 30 times more energetic than the San Andreas to start with, and then it generates a tsunami at the same time … The Cascadia is capable of delivering a 9.0-magnitude quake — or greater …
    “You’re going to have three to five minutes of shaking, in California, they typically last 15 to 30 seconds”
    “We’ll lose a lot of bridges. We’ll lose our highway routes. The coast will probably be closed by down bridges or landslides or both.” Rescue crews will be overwhelmed.
    “Because there will be damage to all of the roadway, the various highways, various infrastructure, and it will be very difficult to get around and assess what is going on and how you might be able to reach people and provide them with some of the resources they may need,” said Maj. Richard Ouellette of the Civil Air Patrol’s Pacific region.

    So if you live on the northern West Coast of the US – move. And if you can’t move prepare for the worst.

  3. Yeah, even the federal government EM people who are responsible for this area have been screaming for years that major steps need to be taken right away or the death toll may climb into the millions. It could cut loose today, or it might not cut loose for another hundred years, but it is going to cut loose and when that happens it’s going to be an epic catastrophe.

    But even that’s minor compared to what will happen when the NMSZ cuts loose. Historically, we can expect roughly 450 years between catastrophic seismic events there. It’s been 200 years since the last one, but then earthquakes don’t happen on a timetable.

  4. And I just got email from Amazon saying that I have Kindles that are urgently in need of a software update. They want me to put those Kindles (Barbara’s and my reading Kindles) on the charger, connect to WiFi and tell them to update, and then leave them connected overnight. Yeah, like I’m going to do that. Neither of our old Kindles will ever connect again to WiFi, nor will the one I just ordered. I’ll load them with books via USB, and the day Amazon stops allowing me to download books to my hard drive is the day I stop getting books from Amazon.

  5. “… earthquakes don’t happen on a timetable.”
    True … but the Pacific Ring of Fire has been very active the last few months with quakes from Alaska to Chili.

  6. Of course I live less that 15 miles from the NMSZ. Bought earthquake insurance when we moved here. Have enough camping gear to live on the lawn for a while and stored food for several months. Am in a nice subdivision with widely spaced homes and two lakes. Having watched what the ’89 quake did in SF / Oakland I’m not at all confident I could predict what would happen in an 8+ shaker here. Probably loose the house but would the land rise / fall / split I have no clue. We are miles from the Mississippi levee and up on higher ground but after reading records of the last New Madrid quake I’m not so confident. If it let loose while I was at work in North Memphis, I may not be able to get home for days. Have fingers crossed it will wait 2 years till I retire far away from here.

  7. So if you live on the northern West Coast of the US – move. And if you can’t move prepare for the worst.

    Tokyo is in a fairly major earthquake zone with tsunami exposure. The Japanese have built car parking garages with automatic shutters to take the tsunami hit from Tokyo bay. I am not sure if the garages with take a 9.0 earthquake though.

  8. Most of the midwest is not built to seismic standards, nor for that matter is NYC, despite being in an earthquake zone.

    nick

  9. maybe today’s the day it comes apart this time:

    Fearful investors seeking safe havens send gold price to one-year highs at nearly $1,250 as global stock markets slump

    U.S. Stocks Join Global Selloff, Led by Financial Shares

    Lines Around The Block To Buy Gold In London; Banks Placing “Unusually Large Orders For Physical”

    JPM: “Things Have Gotten Out Of Control: People Have More Confidence In Gold Than In Paper Money”

    Janet Yellen Admits Fed Is Evaluating Possibility Of Negative Rates

    DJIA -338.59
    15576.15 -2.13%
    2:15 PM EST

    FTSE 100 Future -128.50
    5488.00 -2.29%
    1:57 PM EST

    EUR-USD +0.0048
    1.1340 +0.43%
    2:02 PM EST

    WTI Crude -0.61
    26.84 -2.22%
    1:37 PM EST

    Weekend coming up… got cash???

  10. I got no problem – and have had no problems – with updating my Kindles (or Nooks), or connecting them to my local wi-fi. Everything Just Worked Fine after the updates.

    In fact, I’d posit that doing the updates to your devices might actually fix a few things that you have complained about.

  11. Dow – wasn’t it just at 18000 not too long ago? Seems the 2nd dip in that double-dip was a long time coming, but it’s a coming.

  12. “Weekend coming up… got cash???”

    Nope. We ain’t been paid yet; wife has outstanding invoices for low $20K, total.

    “Two you may want to read today.”

    I gave up on NR a long time ago, after they dumped the late Sam Francis and the late Joe Sobran and also slimed Patrick Buchanan on their cover.

  13. @jimL, Yep, it’s all downhill from here.

    Note the WTI crude number too. Looks like we might get to $25, which was a shocking impossibility just a month or two ago. Bad for Texas, very bad. And since Texas has been the ONLY growth area (and some other oil patch which benefited TX), this is bad news for the country as a whole.

    Even in the Great Depression, people made money, and there were great bargains to be had….

    nick

  14. “Even in the Great Depression, people made money, and there were great bargains to be had….”

    Gee whiz, what a Debbie Downer! I’m taking in a webinar next week about all the swell opportunities in IT because the job market is suddenly booming, doncha know…what skillz should I have, etc. Should be amusing. The last such that I watched made it easy to see they were mainly talking about kidz in their twenties.

    If that don’t pan out, I guess I’ll move into the gun market real hard and fast; now THAT biz truly IS booming, haw, haw, haw…

    Thank you, Barry and Chuckie and Cankles! With a small hat tip to Joe Biden, who gave us tips on shotguns for self-defense.

  15. Note the WTI crude number too. Looks like we might get to $25, which was a shocking impossibility just a month or two ago. Bad for Texas, very bad. And since Texas has been the ONLY growth area (and some other oil patch which benefited TX), this is bad news for the country as a whole.

    The Goldman-Sachs predicted $25 oil about six months ago. There is a whisper going around for $10 oil now. Pray that does not happen.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lx4poQw1mZo

  16. $10 oil would be the best thing in years. Hard on oil producing areas like Texas, but the advantages for the country hugely outweigh the harm to oil producers and companies like yours. And $10 oil really hurts a lot of countries we don’t like. Your position on this, as on healthcare, is parochial, not to say self-interested.

  17. All the tanks are full, all the tankers are full.

    Gonna have to cut production….

    and that means people go home, and stop buying things, and that isn’t good.

    nick

  18. swell opportunities in IT because the job market is suddenly booming

    Son lives in Nashville. Gets calls a couple of times a week from head hunters. Says there are 700 IT jobs in Nashville that they cannot fill. He works with SQL server and writes queries for web applications that I have trouble understanding.

    All you have to do OFD to fit in is break out a tooth, headlight, and one brake light once you cross the border and you will fit right in. To be recognized as an old timer in the area replace one of the side windows in your car with a plastic sheet held on by duct tape. However, as you pass through Kentucky you have to use your mini spare and fill the passenger seat with empty fast food containers to blend in with the locals.

  19. “Says there are 700 IT jobs in Nashville that they cannot fill.”

    Shit. Ima gon talk to wife. Maybe we can get somebody to take care of the animals during weeks she’s gone. And I can move to Nashville; do IT work during the day (preferably RHEL sys admin) and at night hone my old-skool C&W songwriting skillz.

    Thanks for them tips on blending in; shouldn’t be a huge stretch. Is the long hair and beard OK? What about a Johnny Reb battle flag? Slouch hat? Or ballcap style?

  20. Forget that Nashville crap. Some Bakersfield outlaw seems more your style. Got some openings. Bucks long gone, Red Simpson just died and Merle ain’t been well.

  21. Kinda hot out there, plus rattlesnakes and chit. But yeah, I dig the Bakersfield Sound; tell the Hag I said howdy.

  22. Carrier, the HVAC people, announced yesterday that they would close their 2 plants in Indiana and move all HVAC production to Mexico. Company is owned by a Connecticut conglomerate and employs 2,100 in Hoosierland

    Our collective US tax code is abysmal, but one thing both the state and Feds do, is give tax breaks and even cash incentives to companies that will either locate here, or promise to stay if they are large employers. (Remind you of sports teams?) So, it seems Carrier got about $2 million in upfront money and more in tax breaks a few years ago. That money was part of a 10 year deal that Carrier will now be reneging on.

    Today, har, har, har, the state has asked them he, he, he, for that tax money back, ho, ho, ho. These Hoosiers—they kill me! Ha, ha, ho, ho. Ya think they will get it? My guess is, ha, ha, ha, fat chance. Maybe our governor can go knock on their door, in between campaigning the legislature for more anti-LGBT legislation. (No kidding on that—he’s at it again, wanting more, and damn if it doesn’t sound like he might get it.)

    Carrier’s parent company United Technologies has $65 billion in yearly revenue. But gotta have a few dollars more, don’t ‘cha know.

    I have never understood these tax break incentives. If you have to give them out, then something is wrong with your tax code in the first place. Tiny Town lost out on the Honda assembly plant about 8 years ago, because the town would not give Honda tax breaks, whereas Greensburg (43 miles south) was willing to give up years of tax revenue, and match state cash giveaways for employee retraining.

    Good luck getting that money back, fools. Adios dólares. Hola muchachos! Dinero gringo para todos. My taxes in this case.

  23. The damage to the economy is very small and localized. The boost to the economy is huge and distributed throughout the country. When I fill my gas tank for $30 instead of $60, that’s $30 extra dollars I have available to spend on something else. The upsides to cheap oil outweigh the downside by 100 or more to one.

  24. Well since you ain’t paying enough fer gas spend that money on some almonds and carrots. All us hicks out here gotta eat too.

  25. “…in between campaigning the legislature for more anti-LGBT legislation. (No kidding on that—he’s at it again, wanting more, and damn if it doesn’t sound like he might get it.)”

    As most here know, I’m not a big LGBT fanboy, but goddammit why spend time and money and effort on bullshit like this? Morons. Must be distracting the rubes from some other more venial chit that’s going on out there.

    “Carrier’s parent company United Technologies has $65 billion in yearly revenue. But gotta have a few dollars more, don’t ‘cha know.”

    Making a decent profit ain’t enuff no mo. Gotta chisel every red cent outta everything. Even if it destroys the local economy and kills jobs. Greed run riot, morality and ethics be damned. Kill the golden goose immediately.

    “The damage to the economy is very small and localized.”

    Exactly. Like our shitty winter so far with minimal snow. The ski areas are taking a beating again, along with all the related businesses here. I’d rather have a ton of snow than week after week of subzero cold with the wind howling off the bay ice. But whatevuh. And some of us up here in New England still remember the Texans gleefully sporting bumper stickers that said “LET THE YANKEE BASTARDS FREEZE IN THE DARK.” Well, we may all be freezing in the dark soon enough. Chop wood and light candles. Let’s all go back to them golden days of yesteryear like Little House on the Prairie…

    “…spend that money on some almonds and carrots. All us hicks out here gotta eat too.”

    No problemo, hombre; we likes almonds and carrots here. Try some of our Grade B maple syrup and our Grafton Village two-year-old Aged Extra Sharp Cheddar.

  26. Try some of our Grade B maple syrup and our Grafton Village two-year-old Aged Extra Sharp Cheddar.

    Try to find real maple syrup anywhere out here that isn’t way way way overpriced. Sort of the same that happened to olive oil thanks to all the gourmets needing extra virgin only. Real California Cheese here. I think only Wisconsin still makes more. The cheese factories up the road look like refineries they’re so big with towers, tanks and pipes all over.

  27. Hmmm…I didn’t know Kalifornia made cheese, too. Olive oil and vino, sure. Cheese, too??

    Next time wife is out in Kalifornia, I’ll tell her to bring real maple syrup and our cheese with her and maybe she can meet up with ya and hand it over. She gets genuine chili powder and seasonings in large plastic bags from a joint in the middle of nowhere in New Mexico, ’cause no one makes that here. And brings back fish and scallops from northern New Brunswick. So it’s one of them pay-it-forward deals; she brings the syrup and cheese out to peeps who are as deprived as y’all.

  28. Have to disagree. $10 oil will cause huge loan defaults, wiping out some banks, and throwing the credit markets into panic. Very bad juju.

  29. [snip] Tiny Town lost out on the Honda assembly plant about 8 years ago, because the town would not give Honda tax breaks, [snip]

    Nearly 40 years ago, this town lost out on a Miller Brewing facility not because of tax abatement, but because the Jesus Freaks wouldn’t stand for it. They wound up in Albany Georgia, currently employing (per their web site) 550 people. And right nearby are plants that make aluminum cans for all that Miller beer, and cardboard boxes for all those cans of beer.

  30. Plenty of dairy. Tulare has the cheese down here Bakersfield has the largest ice cream plant in the world. Of course the greens find it all offense to mother earth. All them bovine make for lots of bs.

  31. “Very bad juju.”

    Which we’re gonna see a LOT more of, and it’s begun already. This year is gonna be a humdinger. Rock and roll.

  32. “Tip Clo through your two lips”
    was my favorite dairy bulletin board campaign in California. There were others equally pun laden. I miss the cartoon cow Clo.

  33. “And $10 oil really hurts a lot of countries we don’t like.”

    That’s the thing about cheap oil I like the most: it screws the Saudis, amongst others. I don’t use enough to be that worried about price.

  34. Gravitational waves detected! This is huge for physics. No near term practical applications, but evidence that gravity works the way General Relativity predicted is another confirmation in for part of the theory underpinning a lot of modern physics.

  35. ChuckW wrote:

    “Good luck getting that money back, fools. Adios dólares. Hola muchachos! Dinero gringo para todos. My taxes in this case.”

    Isn’t there a contract?

  36. Friday now; OFD predicts for this year:

    1.) Major election shenanigans (OK, that warn’t too hard…)

    2.) Increasing Fed testing and vice-versa of dissident Murkan elements among the general pop (again, not too hard…)

    3.) Onset of another major “recession” which will be worse than ’08, the effects of which still kick our asses

    4.) Syria will prove to be a Sarajevo-level powderkeg and we won’t come off very well with it

    5.) Grid brownouts and blackouts increasing and juice staying off longer

    6.) Continued incompetence, stupidity, greed, ignorance, apathy, malice, and evil (yep, we’re back to ‘not a big surprise again…)

  37. “You kidding?”

    He lives in Oz. With rainbows, unicorns and kangaroos. Cute little koala bears. The Way Things Work Here is different than Down Under. Like elections and voting, for example.

    This year should be an eye-opener. We’ll see.

  38. Carrier must not believe that Trump is going to become President. His 35% import duty on EVERYTHING crossing the USA border will kill off a lot of these plants that were moved out.

  39. Did they measure the speed of the gravity waves? Are they FTL? Can we use them to power spaceships?

  40. Btw, I bought a new Ruud system this summer instead of Carrier because it was $1,800 cheaper. And both quotes were SEER 16.

  41. “that’s $30 extra dollars I have available to spend on something else. The upsides to cheap oil outweigh the downside by 100 or more to one.”

    That’s the theory, but it turns out in practice that people have been paying down debt, or buying food with cash instead of credit. In other words, no new spending stimulus.

    It presupposes a normal economy, not the one we have where EVERYONE (not counting us) is massively overleveraged, ie. deeply in debt.

    Cheap oil will destroy the only bright spot in the current economy, the domestic oil and gas industry. When you look at where the jobs were actually created, it was pretty much all from O&G. And as an example, a major manufacturer, international conglomerate, would have made NO profit at all 2 years ago, if not for Texas. I was at their annual awards banquet. All their profit, in the whole world, came from Texas.

    The Saudis can suck it for all I care, let them learn to eat sand and drink their oil. But we need oil prices to be higher. After the reset, sure, cheap energy will help with the recovery. But now? Cheap oil doesn’t help us when we don’t actually make stuff anymore.

    nick

  42. Way back when, when ole’ Henry was fighting the unions in Buffalo, he looked west. Turns out there was a bright spot in a little burg named Fairview, PA. Just west of Erie. Wouldn’t you know, the locals thought it was a bad idea to put a stinky, polluting manufacturing plant right there.

    So Henry went to Detroit.

    NIMBY, for sure.

    And lately, many similar stories. Transportation hubs, energy plants, sensible tax relief were all protested by the locals. (Sensible – the buildings are unused – reduce property taxes until they go back into use, then tax them again.)

    Hub didn’t happen. 100 jobs. Energy plant went to Ohio. I don’t know how many jobs. GE is moving the locomotive business to Texas. 4000 jobs, slow but sure.

    Idiots.

  43. And out here in the California oil patch county government is already threatening major service cutbacks due to reduced oil tax revenue. Of course it’s always services that people will be upset over, sheriff, fire and roads. No effort to role back inflated salaries.

  44. Carrier must not believe that Trump is going to become President. His 35% import duty on EVERYTHING crossing the USA border will kill off a lot of these plants that were moved out.

    Hasn’t Trump ever heard of Smoot Hawley? I wouldn’t have thought him capable of being as economically ignorant as Sanders. Obviously I was wrong…

  45. dkreck, yup, always teachers cops and fire, never cosmetology inspector, hispanic business council, roundtable on minority business, or any of the other thousands of agencies in the blue section of the phone book.

    speaking of teachers, in addition to the taxes I pay, our schools have a ‘foundation’ that raises money for the district, the PTA and other parent groups raise money, every team and club raises money, and there are corporate sponsorship messages on the BUSSES. So at minimum 5 different funding sources (not even getting into grants for special programs, or bonds for capex) and they STILL cry ‘poor me.’

    when they were told to reduce staffing, they just rehired all those folks as ‘coaches’ and consultants, and ‘assistants’. We have 4 or 5 levels of non-teacher teachers very few of whom ever teach students. Most are ‘staff development’ which is something I thought the Ed schools were supposed to be doing. It’s a racket designed to suck up as much money as possible.

    nick

  46. Have to disagree. $10 oil will cause huge loan defaults, wiping out some banks, and throwing the credit markets into panic.

    Being employed by a bank holding company in South Texas during the 1980’s and seeing the oil crash of 1988 and beyond, I will have to agree. Several banks within the holding company were insolvent and the only thing keeping them from being absorbed by the FED were the assets of the holding company. Each month millions were being set aside for loan losses.

    Many of the banks now owned largely empty large office buildings that were once owned by oil companies. The companies defaulted on the loans or simply walked away. The bank now has a large building that must be maintained with zero or few occupants. Expensive.

    That is the reason that I left. The holding company was in trouble. The IT department had been sold to MTech which was screwing up the entire system with their plan to convert everything from Burroughs to IBM. Then I got word that MTech was being bought by EDS. Sought another position and found one in Oak Ridge with a company that was doing the Navy Civilian Personnel system IT system using software I helped develop while in the USAF 10 years earlier.

    I didn’t know Kalifornia made cheese

    Massive dairies in the Norco area of southern California. My grandparents house sat on a bluff that overlooked a large valley. As far as the eye could see was nothing but dairies. When the wind was right the odor was also quite telling.

  47. And as for Cali, y’all are gonna be in a world of hurt when those civil pensions can’t be paid…

    And with a market correction crash ol’ Calpers and Calstrs and TiaCREFF are gonna be WAY underfunded…

    Think the grey hair army will rise up? Or will they meekly eat dried kibble?

    There shore are a lot o state employees, gonna be hard to wean them off the teat…

    nick

  48. And as for Cali, y’all are gonna be in a world of hurt when those civil pensions can’t be paid

    My older brother used to work for the state in highway maintenance in the Victorville area. At one point in the past he was paid in an IOU from the state. He then issued an IOU to the county for his property taxes. Court had ruled that since an IOU was good enough for the state it was good enough for the county so he took advantage of the ruling. When the state finally honored the IOU he did the same for the county.

    He is now retired on a retirement plan that gives him more money than when he was working. Not so much in actual salary, but in reduced cost for insurance and other benefits that are now paid by the retirement. He now gets more in his retirement check because the actual deductions are fewer. Health care is almost 100% covered with no premium costs. Yep, it pays to not work in California.

  49. Yeah, some banks will take a big hit. So what? Electronic balances representing fiat paper currency are not real assets. Things will find their own level.

  50. “Yeah, some banks will take a big hit. ”

    Or you could put it this way- many, perhaps most, of the 750,000 employees of the largest 4 US banks will find themselves out of a job, unable to feed their families, make house and car payments, or otherwise contribute to the economy, instead being added to the already swollen unemployment and welfare rolls.

    We’re not talking about some vague idea or concept getting hurt, we’re talking about real people with kids and obligations.

    “The Banks” “The Oil Companies” “Wall Street” names and concepts that make it easy to forget that these are organizations of PEOPLE.

    I used to hear all the time about the evil of Haliburton. As if that was some mythical monster, instead of 70,000 individual people.

    It’s easy to say ‘fuck those rich bastards’ or ‘death to the banksters’ or ‘so what, some banks will fail’ but it’s not “The Bank” that shops at Kroger, it’s Tamika the teller. And Tamika, once out of work, has very limited prospects. It’s not “The Bank” that personally employs dozens of service providers, it’s Paula the VP of Customer Dissatifaction.

    To keep flogging this equine, it’s not “Those rich Oil Companies” it’s 9.8 million direct and indirect jobs in the U.S. alone. That’s more than the number of official “unemployed.” So lose half those jobs, and see unemployment increase 50% in one fell swoop.

    Or to put is another way, it’s not gonna be “The Bank” or “The Oil Companies” that are standing on streetcorners around barrels of burning trash, or roving thru your neighborhood looking to rob rape and murder. It’s gonna be the PEOPLE who used to have those jobs.

    nick

  51. Well, I’m pretty sure we’re going to see. I expect oil will drop to $10/bbl, but far from being an economic catastrophe, it may be enough to keep things going a while longer. I think you’re ignoring just how high a percentage of GDP energy costs are, and a huge reduction in those costs benefits everyone, both directly and indirectly. Sure, there’ll be job displacements, but those are just par for the course.

  52. Did they measure the speed of the gravity waves? Are they FTL? Can we use them to power spaceships?

    A gravity wave was not thought to be FTL, the measurements from his tend to support that, and we can’t use them to power spaceships. No Honor Harrington type ships for us. In fact, the ships in those novels are totally impractical – they would start melting themselves at first broadside due to heat generated from power losses. The reality is that spaceships need radiators to get rid of waste heat and a ship firing off terawatt grasers is going to need really big one.

  53. WRT state gooberment paying to get companies to come to their state:

    Tri-City Herald 2/9/2016: Pasco, WA – Washington taxpayers will invest nearly $3 million to bring AutoZone Inc. and its 200-job distribution warehouse to Pasco.

    The state is offering $200,000 in cash and up to $2.6 million in tax breaks to Memphis, Tenn.-based AutoZone to build a 443,819-square-foot warehouse at 3733 Capitol Ave. near Pasco’s King City truck stop.

    Those who read and participate in RBT’s Daynotes Journal are smarter than your average citizen, yet (an example only, no slight intended) @OFD was unfamiliar with California producing cheese.

    It’s like most people think WA State is all trees and mountains, wrong only about 1/3 of the state and most of that the Western quarter. Most people also think of apples when they think of WA State; but we too are big cheese producers, produce as much (and some years more) wine as CA, produce as much potatoes as Idaho, and produce 90% of the superior quality alfalfa hay required by the Japanese livestock industry. There is more…

    My oversimplified opinion of what is wrong with business today is that way too many or now owned and controlled by a conglomeration of banks, hedge funds, speculators, etc. There is no room in the Stock Market for the common man (deal with my lack of PC genderality), you are playing in a field with the Big Boys managed by the Big Boys so screw you the common man.

    There was a time, not so long ago, that you could point to a person/family that owned every Big Business. Complain you may, but those people felt a certain American Pride and Loyalty and, compared to today, actually cared for their employees. Look hard and honestly at all Big Companies today. None are really owned by a real person. No, not even Fakebook, Apple, Microsoft. Think about it.

    The fall is coming. It will be hard.

    So I really like @OFD’s “Here’s my effin vote:” The only somebody we can depend on is Nobody. @OFD +1000

  54. Cheap energy only matters if you can DO something with it.

    With no access to capital, new plants don’t get built.

    With no customer base, new plants don’t get built.

    We currently have a massive oversupply of just about anything you care to name. Companies kept producing, where possible, hoping to ‘ride through’ the downturn, but that hasn’t worked. Oil is filling every ship and tank available. GM and Ford have lots FILLED with unsold inventory. Laptops at Frys were available for $120 this weekend!

    In many places, especially those that used to emphasize manufacturing (your cheap energy beneficiary) you can’t even give away existing housing stock, and they certainly aren’t building more.

    They are parking cargo ships, and have halted construction on new. It cost about $150 last time I checked to move a container by sea from China to the US so there is a massive oversupply of shipping capacity, yet there is less to move now than before.

    The biggest private consumer of electricity in the US is google, followed by Wal*mart, IIRC. Any decrease in energy cost for google is not gonna help you or me. Wal*mart is also not exactly famous for giving any BACK, and they recently announced they are closing hundreds of stores.

    So, like you, I see a coming economic disaster. I see value in preps. I’m even glad the 5-10000 miles a year I drive will cost me less. But cheap gas doesn’t matter if you have no job to drive to. You certainly aren’t participating in the ‘summer driving season’ if you are broke, no matter how cheap gas is. In the mean time, cheap gas hasn’t actually helped the economy [citation needed- to busy to look up the articles on zerohedge, but it hasn’t helped]. And cheap oil is destroying the one bright spot in the US economy and the only regions with job growth.

    nick

    (maybe that is the catalyst for the collapse in your novel. look at the real effect of wiping out the O&G industry, and the subsequent massive retrenchment.) Seems more likely than a NOK EMP anyway.

  55. Carrier must not believe that Trump is going to become President. His 35% import duty on EVERYTHING crossing the USA border will kill off a lot of these plants that were moved out.

    Hasn’t Trump ever heard of Smoot Hawley? I wouldn’t have thought him capable of being as economically ignorant as Sanders. Obviously I was wrong…

    I remember the last billionaire running for pres. Rush Limbaugh’s hand grenade with a haircut. Anyway, he complained about the giant sucking sound from Mexico as the middle class jobs moved down there. He was right. He just did not mention China, India, Bangladesh, etc, etc, etc.

    BTW, Trump has a degree in economics from Wharton. He seems to have done ok for himself financially.

  56. Did they measure the speed of the gravity waves? Are they FTL? Can we use them to power spaceships?

    Most of the slots in Vegas are powered by gravity waves. The rest by The Mighty Trump’s ™ genius.

  57. Did they measure the speed of the gravity waves? Are they FTL? Can we use them to power spaceships?

    A gravity wave was not thought to be FTL, the measurements from his tend to support that, and we can’t use them to power spaceships. No Honor Harrington type ships for us. In fact, the ships in those novels are totally impractical – they would start melting themselves at first broadside due to heat generated from power losses. The reality is that spaceships need radiators to get rid of waste heat and a ship firing off terawatt grasers is going to need really big one.

    Bummer, gravity waves at 800X the speed of light make neat story lines. BTW, you do not fire off terrawatt grasers for very long. I suspect that they are actually pulse cannons with a very long pulse.

    “Gravitational Waves”
    http://xkcd.com/1642/

  58. Yeah, much as I enjoy the Honor Harrington tales, it is very much space opera, as opposed to science fiction. As long as one doesn’t mind that bit, they are very good tales indeed.

  59. Yah, Mutineer’s Moon is a good one, and The Armageddon Inheritance was even better. The Harrington series started out good, but eventually David Weber became DAVID WEBER and apparently uneditable.

  60. “He lives in Oz. With rainbows, unicorns and kangaroos. Cute little koala bears. The Way Things Work Here is different than Down Under. Like elections and voting, for example.”

    Very perceptive.

    Yes, things are different here. I’m not saying the government always gets our dough back but they do sometimes. Sometimes the company does a cost benefit analysis and decides it’s not worth staying.

    *All* of Australia’s car manafacturers will be closed within a year or two. Formerally a large manafacturing industry and utilizer of semi-skilled labour. GM-H, Ford, Mitsubishi did their sums and decided it was cheaper to import cars.

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