Sun. Dec. 9, 2018 – up late

45f and wet this am, but supposed to get some sun later.

Stayed up late last night reading. Finished the 3rd book in Frank Horton’s Borrowed World series. It’s taken the characters a long time (3 books) to get to the point where they are really starting to deal with their situation. Lots of deadly mistakes have been made, but people are toughening up. Good books so far, only a bit of the prepper book ‘info dump’ and a little of the overly specific gear descriptions. It is a prepper manual after all, so that’s really the style. I read and liked his Locker Nine books too. His writing improves with every book. There was even a line of foreshadowing in this last one. Anyway, I only meant to read a little bit and fall asleep, but I spent over an hour and finished the book. I will be reading the rest.

Now it’s time to feed the kids and start my day.

n

Author: Nick Flandrey

Mid 50s, stay at home dad, with two elementary school age girls. Love my family and my life.

39 thoughts on “Sun. Dec. 9, 2018 – up late”

  1. Play stupid games, win stupid prizes:

    A French ‘Yellow Vest’ protester had his hand blown off after reportedly trying to pick up a grenade in Bordeaux while a woman in Paris lost an eye during violent clashes last night.

    The device detonated when the man tried to pick it up in order to throw it back, the city’s deputy public prosecutor Olivier Etienne confirmed, Sud Ouest reports. ”

  2. “Paris Is Burning Over Climate Change Taxes — Is America Next?”
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/chuckdevore/2018/12/07/paris-is-burning-over-climate-change-taxes-is-america-next/#1f21fe94632e

    “French President Macron, deeply unpopular, just reversed course on the new green tax—Parisians are already paying about $7.06 per gallon for gasoline, almost half of that in taxes.”

    “If Paris streets burned over a proposed 25 cents per gallon climate change tax, imagine the global conflagration over a $49 per gallon tax.”

    “That’s what a United Nations special climate report calls for in 12 years, with a carbon tax of $5,500 per ton—equal to $49 per gallon of gasoline or diesel. That’s about 100 times today’s average state and federal motor fuels tax.”

    These people want to control us by controlling fire. We must fight them or become subservient to them.

  3. $49 in extra taxes? Un-adjusted for inflation, I’m sure. Ok, so, the tax will raise the price of everything and gas is going to cost, oh, $70 a gallon.

    What exactly are the folks pushing this expecting to eat? Food they start storing right now?

    The inner city denizens making $15 an hour are not going to be happy to pay $10 for a loaf of Mrs. Bairds bread.

  4. The inner city denizens making $15 an hour are not going to be happy to pay $10 for a loaf of Mrs. Bairds bread.

    The Global Warming crowd are planning on giving them checks to help subsidize their global warming payments in their purchases. It is going to be a huge “rob Peter to pay Paul” movement. It is going to make Social Security look like a penny ante operation.

  5. Ok, not the sharpest knife in the drawer over here.

    We bought a tractor. Mahindra. I forget the down payment amount. I have to find the paperwork to see what the interest rate is.

    Sixty payments. I mailed a check for the first payment. $251.09. The I set up auto pay with Frost. I rounded up. $255 a month for 58 months. I have five months left.

    My adding machine tells me my last payment to be $24.21. Because +3.91/month times 58 months = $226.78.

    I’m hoping for a refund because the extra every month should go to the principal.

    Buuuut…… I expect to find the fine print is not in my favor. Kind of a “sign this and you can’t sue us so we have to go to arbitration” thing.

    I’ll find out in May. 🙂

  6. The Global Warming crowd are planning on giving them checks to help subsidize their global warming payments in their purchases.

    Ah. More rape of the folks that work and pay taxes to support the freeloaders on welfare . But with less lube and a sprinkle of sand. Sex on the beach but … oh, ick.

    That’s not going to work.

  7. Had some good news last week that I am still digesting. The heart monitor harness that I wore Thanksgiving week showed that my heart ablation surgery on August 30 was successful. I no longer have afib (atrial fibrillation). So, I no longer have to take blood thinners which, I have been taking for eight years. Nice !

    However, I do have spurious heart beats called Premature Ventricular Contractions (PVC). I suspect that these took my afib and made it way worse. Enough so that I had to have the ablation surgery.

    So all in all, much better. And back to just just mild blood pressure medication, 25 mg of Metaprolol ER (extended release) per day. Plus a low dose Bayer aspirin per day.


  8. I’m hoping for a refund because the extra every month should go to the principal.

    Actually you will probably owe less on the last payment, maybe even nothing. That extra amount reduced the principal each month and thus the interest. If the loan is with Frost Bank you can get a statement of the loan. If with another company you can also get a statement. Required by lending laws. That extra amount on each payment should have put you ahead by about $250.00 or more depending on the interest rate.

  9. It is going to make Social Security look like a penny ante operation.

    Yeah. I really don’t know. But…. I’m gong to find out!

    I know I’ve paid SS from starting from my first job a $2.10/hour. I suppose there is a way to see how much I paid in, I haven’t looked very hard. I’m not expecting a lot from SS. Give me back what I paid with interest… seems honest.

    When that runs out, oh, well…. time to hit what is the 401k if it’s still there. After that, I guess I’ll be collecting cans off of the side of the road and paying $70 a gallon for gas to get to the recycle place and the grocery store.

    Medi-whatever, well. the old folks need to be taken care of.

    My Mom is in a nursing home. I can’t take care of her. They take all of her money less $60/month. Which just covers the utilities and taxes on her house. She has Tri-Care. For some reason Medi-whatever pays first and Tri-Care takes up the slack. Makes no sense to me.

  10. We bought a tractor. Mahindra. I forget the down payment amount. I have to find the paperwork to see what the interest rate is.

    Sixty payments. I mailed a check for the first payment. $251.09. The I set up auto pay with Frost. I rounded up. $255 a month for 58 months. I have five months left.

    My adding machine tells me my last payment to be $24.21. Because +3.91/month times 58 months = $226.78.

    I just refinanced my commercial property a couple of weeks ago. The current loan ballooned on Dec 22 so I had to do something. I refinanced to a 15 year term at 5.48%. I got a quarter point off since they could draft my checking account on the 15th of each month for the P&I payment. One of the clauses in the contract was that any early payments in the first three years would be subject to a 3% early payment fee. After three years, no early repayment fee.

    I want a tractor ! The wife says that I don’t need one and that I will kill myself on it.

  11. If the loan is with Frost Bank you can get a statement of the loan. If with another company you can also get a statement. Required by lending laws. That extra amount on each payment should have put you ahead by about $250.00 or more depending on the interest rate.

    I bank with Frost. The loan is with Mahindra Finance.

    I expect a refund. Not a huge amount. But… fine print….

  12. I refinanced to a 15 year term at 5.48%. I got a quarter point off since they could draft my checking account on the 15th of each month for the P&I payment. One of the clauses in the contract was that any early payments in the first three years would be subject to a 3% early payment fee.

    So paying extra in the first 3 years raises your interest to 8.48% ?? I’m baffled.

  13. So paying extra in the first 3 years raises your interest to 8.48% ?? I’m baffled.

    No, if I pay $100 extra then only $97 is applied to my principal. The other $3 is the early payment fee.

    I forgot to ask, does your Mahindra contract say anything about early payments ?

  14. No, if I pay $100 extra then only $97 is applied to snip.

    That makes sense.

    I have to find the contract. It’s here. In a safe place. A very safe place.

  15. I give up.

    It’s been cloudy and rainy for the last few days. Today had all of half an hour of enough sun to make shadows. It’s 42F last I looked.

    The heat pump is doing a good job. But….. Penny’s feet are cold. The dog that sleeps in a ball. Missy is warmer. My nose is a chunk of ice.

    Ok, I have a pellet stove. Turn the darn thing on! And dig into a hot bowl of baked potato soup.


  16. I expect a refund. Not a huge amount. But… fine print

    Loan contracts are fairly standard and highly regulated. I know you will not be surprised by the fine print.

    I bank with Frost

    I almost went to work for them in 1981 in San Antonio. Chose National Bancshares instead, about two blocks away at 430 Soledad. A competitor of Frost. NBC became insolvent with too many oil loans sometime after I left. Frost struggled at the same time but survived.

    I wrote the PULSE ATM software for NBC which was eventually sold to five other banks to use on PULSE. Interesting project as it was event driven rather than serial processing or teller transactions. Had to keep track of lots of things and respond to our ATMs even if PULSE or on-us bank was down. Frost had many problems in the beginning with reliability on the network. Eventually became quite solid. I knew the fella at Frost working the project and we talked a lot.

    Frost is a good bank to use. But even when I worked at NBC my primary banking was at a credit union as the rates were better.

  17. @paul, you should get a statement from SS every year showing all you’ve paid in, by year, for every year. It also has an expected monthly payout on it.

    If you aren’t getting it in the mail, they probably don’t have your correct address, and you want to fix that.

    n

  18. The heat pump is doing a good job. But….. Penny’s feet are cold. The dog that sleeps in a ball. Missy is warmer. My nose is a chunk of ice.

    We just took Lady for a 1.1 mile walk in her wagon at 47 F with a 10 mph wind out of the north. Wrapped up in her blanket, she watched everything as we walked by. That got me nice and toasty pulling her wagon wearing two hoodies and a velour vest. BTW, Lady is now 16 years old.

    Take Penny for a walk ! And wrap her feet up. You will be toasty afterwards.

  19. Good news, Lynn!

    But… if your body is used to your blood being thinned and then you stop taking the blood thinner, bad things might happen. You’d better start using some do-it-yourself blood thinner. Bourbon should do the trick.

  20. Paul,
    When I was a kid, my mom & dad had a similar situation w/ the mortgage payment. We owned small businesses in a tourist town, so the family income could fluctuate quite a bit from one year to the next. After a good summer, a year or two after they purchased a house, my dad kicked in a couple of thousand extra towards the principal. His theory would be that they’d recalculate the loan, and that extra lump would reduce the payments every month going forward; insurance against lean years. But no, said the mortgage company, that lump counts as payments #360, 359, etc. So he went to his banker and signed a 1 year promissory note. Every fall, he paid the interest due, plus whatever towards the principal we could afford that year, and signed another 1 year note.. And that was the last time they ever had a conventional mortgage.
    I bought a modest house outright, rather than a fancier one with a death note, for much the same sort of reasons, and given the river of troubles that besieged me for ~ 15 years I’m glad I did.

  21. But… if your body is used to your blood being thinned and then you stop taking the blood thinner, bad things might happen. You’d better start using some do-it-yourself blood thinner. Bourbon should do the trick.

    Ah, no. Bourbon is nasty ! I prefer a baby XXXX low dose aspirin.

  22. @lynn, that sounds like great news. A nice Christmas gift!

    Back from my Christmas party. Had a nice time chatting with a couple of folks. Our Constable was there for the whole event with his wife and son, as were several deputies and of course, all of us alumni of the program. Kids watched a movie on a big screen, and the rest of us ate. And ate. And chatted.

    nice night out of the house.

    n

  23. Hmm, “young male”, knife attack, attempted head chopping, train station in France, women walking alone, anyone want to take a wild guess?

    “Three women are injured – including one stabbed in the neck – as knifeman launches attack at French train station

    The unidentified attacker reportedly stabbed three women in Mulhouse, France
    Witnesses said one of the victims was walking with her 10-year-old daughter
    He fled the scene but was arrested by police shortly after leaving the station ”

  24. We owned small businesses in a tourist town, so the family income could fluctuate quite a bit from one year to the next. After a good summer, a year or two after they purchased a house, my dad kicked in a couple of thousand extra towards the principal. His theory would be that they’d recalculate the loan, and that extra lump would reduce the payments every month going forward; insurance against lean years. But no, said the mortgage company, that lump counts as payments #360, 359, etc.

    I have heard of this before. Yup, a Rule of 78 loan. These type of loans are illegal for a reason now.
    https://www.investopedia.com/terms/r/ruleof78.asp

  25. Back from my Christmas party. Had a nice time chatting with a couple of folks. Our Constable was there for the whole event with his wife and son, as were several deputies and of course, all of us alumni of the program. Kids watched a movie on a big screen, and the rest of us ate. And ate. And chatted.

    Good times, good times !

    The wife and I helped out our friends this morning that run a church service in a nursing home in Stafford every Sunday morning. We went to our normal church service at 830 am then drove over to the nursing home for the 1030 am service. We sang a lot of Christmas songs, had communion, and one of my friends gave a very short sermon (his wife was giving him the kill it signal at five minutes which I found hilarious).

    Five of the nursing home inhabitants attended, all in their 80s and 90s. One of the guys was there with his 90+ year old mother who is having trouble getting around so he brings her to that service each Sunday from her room in the nursing home. Neat. Jesus told us that wherever two or more gather in his name, he is there also (meaning that church does not have to be fancy, just sincere).

  26. I’m hoping for a refund because the extra every month should go to the principal.

    When we bought my wife’s Exploder, BBVA Compas helped the F&I weasel hide $5500 worth of extended warranties in the payment thanks to a 2% rate, effectively stealing her down payment. I managed to claw back about $4300 of that into the loan principal getting refunds on two of the warranties, but we’re still stuck with a minimum payment above $600, as if we financed the whole vehicle. The loan simply gets paid off 6-8 months early — guaranteed cash flow for the bank in the mean time, however.

  27. Wells fargo got busted doing that too.

    I had a guy try that at the Izuzu dealer outside of LA. I was a subprime borrower at the time. We talked about rates, payments, etc, then he gave me the monthly payment number. I multiplied it by the months and got a MUCH bigger repayment than I thought I would have. Under a bit of pressure from me, he admitted that on subprime loans, they add in an extended warranty equal to the amount of the purchase financed, “so they know there’ll be something left of the vehicle if they have to repossess it.” Thieves. If I hadn’t done the math, they’d have doubled their money. The really sh!tty part is that it make it harder for the buyer to actually pay off the loan, making repossession MORE likely. Which is a feature not a bug from their point of view. Thieves. I did not buy the vehicle.

    n

  28. Somebody explained to me that the lower tier used car lots do not even want to sell you a vehicle for cash (no matter how much) because they make so much off the loans.

  29. @Lynn: Wow, that’s excellent news about your heart surgery! Congrats!

    On the subject of cars (If I mentioned this before, write it off to early senility): The Swiss train system has just come out with an interesting deal: car lease + insurance + maintenance + taxes, plus parking spot at most train stations, plus unlimited annual train pass. All for about $1k/month.

    It’s pretty clearly targetted at commuters who drive to a train station, park, and take the train to work. For us, it’s me who takes the train all the time, and my wife who needs a car. Whatever, it seems like a hell of a deal – we’re definitely going to look into it in more detail. What is especially attractive is the insurance/maintenance/taxes, all of which are pretty expensive here.

    All of the cars are electric. Three “ordinary” models to choose from, like the Nissan Leaf. Or you can get a Tesla S for literally twice the price, i.e., an additional $1k/month.

  30. On the subject of cars (If I mentioned this before, write it off to early senility): The Swiss train system has just come out with an interesting deal: car lease + insurance + maintenance + taxes, plus parking spot at most train stations, plus unlimited annual train pass. All for about $1k/month.

    Remember what they say about frogs in pots …

    Ford and GM are experimenting with similar all-in-one leases. For now, to data mine the customer preferences, the tradeoff for the added cost is extreme flexibility about terms.

  31. Under a bit of pressure from me, he admitted that on subprime loans, they add in an extended warranty equal to the amount of the purchase financed, “so they know there’ll be something left of the vehicle if they have to repossess it.”

    I got the line about the “value” of an extended warranty from the F&I manager when I started raising hell, but the Ford customer service phone line rep gasped when she heard how much we paid for their coverage.

    For the latest car, I went in with an approved number from the credit union, they reviewed the loan afterwards, and the F&I weasel didn’t even bother with the warranty pitch.

    I also didn’t use Costco again. I know that has worked for some regulars here, but the auto buying program let us down in a big way with the Exlploder situation. Plus, when I submitted an inquiry just to see what number would come up this time for comparison shopping, Costco responded that they couldn’t find anyone willing to work with me at the trim level I wanted.

  32. When I looked at the Costco auto buying program, they didn’t have any ford trucks at all. LOTS of GM product. I guess ford doesn’t have any problem selling trucks on their own.

    n

  33. @Greg: You’re right, but…this frog doesn’t mind being cooked. Or, in this case: I see private car ownership as something that’s going to drop dramatically in the next few years. Maybe not so fast in the US, but certainly here in Switzerland.

    I have two friends my age (late 50’s) who do not own cars. One figures that the savings easily pay for the occasional taxi. The other one will rent a car when he needs one. That’s my generation. My kids? Both are in their 20s, neither has even bothered to get a drivers license. Same argument as above: what for? Save the money, pay a taxi for the rare times that you really can’t get where you need to go with public transport.

    With self-driving cars coming soon enough, this will become even more common – including in the US. You don’t get the pleasure of driving (not that commuting is any sort of pleasure), so the sexiness factor of “wow, look at my hot car” disappears almost entirely. So I really expect to see the self-driving cars largely owned by Uber/Lyft-type companies, with individuals just calling up the service for pickup.

  34. When I looked at the Costco auto buying program, they didn’t have any ford trucks at all. LOTS of GM product. I guess ford doesn’t have any problem selling trucks on their own.

    GM has been pushing loaded Texas Edition Silverado trucks and the GMC equivalent into fleets. National at Austin-Bergstrom was offering the truck as a free upgrade to the typical expense account-approved midsize when we had customers fly in last month.

    Something about current GM truck product just feels “off”. I can’t explain it any other way.

  35. GM has been pushing loaded Texas Edition Silverado trucks and the GMC equivalent into fleets.

    A “Texas Edition” Chevy is, if it works the same as for Dodge, a plaque on the tailgate. Same thing for the “Montana Edition”.

    You still have at least a Dodge Ram SLT, and maybe the optional leather seats and the power rear window.

    As far as I can tell, for my ’02 the missing options are the power rear window, leather seats, CD changer, speakers in the dash, radio controls on the steering wheel, power passenger seat, dual (driver/passenger) climate control, heated seats, theft alarm, a fancier overhead info cluster, and that’s all I can think of. And 4WD. And a HEMI.

    A lot of stuff to break. About all I’d like to have is the fancier overhead info cluster. Which is silly. What I have is distracting enough. The theft alarm would be nice. Then again, Mom’s Ford van has it and I have yet to figure how to activate it beyond it being a blinking light on the dash.

    The shop manual talks about central locking that works with the key. If I have that, it’s broken.

    It’s crazy. More more more. My Dad had a ’69 deVille with leather and power everything and self dimming head lights that mostly didn’t work. Including ash trays and cigar lighters in each door. My truck has even more “stuff”. Dimming dome lights…. oy.

  36. A “Texas Edition” Chevy is, if it works the same as for Dodge, a plaque on the tailgate. Same thing for the “Montana Edition”.

    IIRC, the Texas Edition trucks are built at the plant in Arlington, TX. If lots of those vehicles are going to Texas rental car fleets, that plant must be backed up with product on the lot.

    The government unloaded Ally financial so GM and Chrysler dealers no longer have an easy financing option operating outside of standard market forces.

  37. @paul, you should get a statement from SS every year showing all you’ve paid in, by year, for every year. It also has an expected monthly payout on it.

    You are right. I received one a few months ago. It’s in a safe place. Somewhere. They did skip a few years….

    When I was a kid, my mom & dad had a similar situation w/ the mortgage payment.

    I had a credit card pull this on me many years ago. I forget the company. Other than perhaps $15, all of my monthly payment went to interest. I /was/ stupid to be owing five grand. When the dot-com crash happened and our household income dropped by half, making that $400 payment was hard. After a year and a half, hey, let’s make a payment plan? No, we don’t do that. Ok, fine, you get nothing more from me.

    PITA to change the phone number. But really, 18% interest? Monthly. And after a 18 months at $400/month my balance is down to $4500? Not proud of this. It might finally be off my credit report after rolling through several collection agencies. I really don’t care.

  38. I almost went to work for them in 1981 in San Antonio. Chose National Bancshares instead, about two blocks away at 430 Soledad. A competitor of Frost. NBC became insolvent with too many oil loans sometime after I left. Frost struggled at the same time but survived.

    I wrote the PULSE ATM software for NBC which was eventually sold to five other banks to use on PULSE. I

    That’s pretty cool. I’ve always thought the whole PULSE system was “good stuff”.

    I opened my account at Frost in ’80 or ’81. The nearby S&L wouldn’t cash my $140 deposit refund check from the apt in McAllen. And it wasn’t enough to open an account. The other nearby banks had the same attitude. Hell, I rode my bicycle down to First City on Congress Ave in Austin and they wouldn’t do business. That the guards put their hands on their pistols when my scrawny 135 pounds walked in the door…

    It’s all cool. NONE of them are still in business.

    There was a Chase National Bank on 183, almost to I-35. They cashed the check… I opened a savings account and had $50 for groceries. A princely sum at the time. I forget the exact timeline but it soon had the Frost star on the building. And then became Frost Bank North Austin. Before branch banking was a thing in Texas.

    Before branch banks. aka one bank with lots of locations, it was holding companies. Almost, sorta, bank branches. IBC blew that door open.

    As far as I know, the nearest Frost came to taking a bail out was when they bought what was left of FirstCity. After FirstCity crashed the second time.

  39. I use IBC for business checking. It’s free and they don’t really require anything…

    Their online banking is primitive. Their people are undertrained. There are hand written notes threatening the employees if they don’t lock up properly, stuck to the vault door… and they don’t allow concealed carry. BUT they are free business checking, and their ‘gunbuster’ sign isn’t legal.

    n

Comments are closed.