Fri. Dec. 21, 2018 – another week gone, only a couple left

66F and less than saturated, but it feels really chilly, so who knows?

Nice yesterday and I got a few more lights hung outside. Hoping for more of the same today.

Prepping has ground to a halt for me. I did get a little bit of additional food, but all the rest of my time got sucked up by the holidays, rats, and kids. In other words, life happened to me. Which is the way it’s supposed to be- prepping supports my life, not the other way round. Sometimes I forget that.

At the same time, I haven’t been more concerned about the state of the economy since 2008. I really think this is the long overdue ‘reset’. I hope that things are different from 2008, but if anything, the problems of 2008 are still here, and many are worse.

I think we have enough of ‘down’ to call it a trend, and as more people say “yup, this is it” there is a self-reinforcing feedback that will bring it on. Not fun times. Further, everyone will be blaming Trump, and not the Fed policies that inflated the bubbles to begin with.

Well, more immediate things call…time to make breakfast for the family.

n

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41 Responses to Fri. Dec. 21, 2018 – another week gone, only a couple left

  1. JimL says:

    43º and raining here. Today is the day of the big Christmas Luncheon. Once again, I find myself the recipient of geegaws and doodads for which I have no return gift. One of the reasons I don’t care for this season is that I don’t think of these things, and wind up feeling bad.

    Meetings scheduled for today. Sheesh – can’t wait for this day to end. Then 4 days with the wife & kids, time with extended family, and away from this stuff.

    Oh – and gifts to extended family? I don’t, generally, but this year everyone is getting a pack of cards. Hope to rustle up a game of Pinochle on Tuesday. We haven’t done that in years.

  2. Nick Flandrey says:

    I tried to Gofundme for the wall and “there was a problem with my transaction” try again later… with 2 different credit cards, and several hours apart. I wonder if anyone else is having troubles.

    n

    (I like the public show of support for T, and I like the thumb in the eye aspects)

  3. Jenny says:

    Loser loser loser

    Haven’t written my earthquake report.

    Had some more family health crises. I’m fine. Husband is fine. Laying low until after the holidays are done. Growing older is not for the faint of heart. Beats the alternative.

    If I receive the gift of brain cells AND time in an overlap I’ll get my prepper perspective on our 7.0 earthquake written up but otherwise going to ground for a bit.

  4. Jenny says:

    @JimL
    I adore Pinochle.
    My wicked Great Aunt Dot taught me as a child when they were short a body. They must have been desperate. I prefer it to bridge but as an adult haven’t found anyone who knows how to play. It’s ridiculous how satisfying a game it can be. Haven’t played either since I married – spouse isn’t much for cards though if he chose to be he’d be an excellent card player. He’s got the right brain.

  5. Greg Norton says:

    I moved two EBay items this week. Kinda surprising, but I guess people are home and bored.

    Lots of newbie buyers as of late. I was still well within my posted 2 business day shipping window when I sent one item out this morning, and, by the time I got to work, my EBay email had a nastygram from the buyer threatening to cancel the sale unless I “make the effort to ship”.

    I’ll challenge a negative review.

  6. Greg Norton says:

    I think we have enough of ‘down’ to call it a trend, and as more people say “yup, this is it” there is a self-reinforcing feedback that will bring it on. Not fun times. Further, everyone will be blaming Trump, and not the Fed policies that inflated the bubbles to begin with.

    The a**hat quotient around Austin has been out of control this Fall, a sign that a bubble has gone on too long. The vibe is similar to Tampa in 2007 before housing fell apart. Just substitute Bird scooters for giant cigars in the hands of drunks in the “entertainment” district.

    The regulars I see on my commute who still haven’t swapped out their California plates need to go home. I thought Texas law was 30 days.

  7. JimL says:

    The vibe is similar to Tampa in 2007 before housing fell apart.

    I still think the bubble this time will be education. NO education is worth going $100,000 into debt for. Not at current values.

  8. Greg Norton says:

    I still think the bubble this time will be education. NO education is worth going $100,000 into debt for. Not at current values.

    That will be a problem for the Treasury since the student loan program was effectively nationalized to fund Obamacare.

    We had to pass the bill to find out what was in it. Unwinding the mess will result in even more revelations.

  9. Rick H says:

    Big windstorm here opposite Mutiny Bay WA. Winds of 30mph+, gusts around 50mph. Widespread around the area. Lots of trees blown down. Six foot waves on the water; ferries were cancelled and the Hood Canal bridge closed due to sustained winds above 35mph.

    Had to wander over to Port Townsend yesterday morning (wife’s hair appt). Sat in the parking lot; gusts would rock the Highlander. Saw more than a few trees down.

    When we got home, the power was out. Two trees down on opposite ends of the village here. Power outages affected over 20K people here on the east Peninsula.

    When it became apparent that it would be a while for power to be restored – and it was starting to get dark (around 4pm here), I manually opened the garage door (new springs last year, installed by a professional, so easy enough to open), wheeled out the generator (6KV), and fired it up (pull rope, three pulls; the battery is dead), then hooked up the power cable to the bypass switch (self-installed; not hard). Flipped the switches, and generator power to several rooms of the house, plus the refrigerator and freezer.

    All the lights in the house are LED (can lights, mostly). The TV is also LED, so popped in a DVD and watched it. Wife’s oxygen concentrator also running on the generator circuits. Total load was around 2500 watts, so plenty of spare available.

    Power restored around 7pm. Flipped the switches on the bypass switch, turned off the generator, and rolled it back into the garage. Then zapped dinner.

    No tree damage in my neighborhood, so all is well here. (There are lots of tall pine trees around here.) Was pleased with the whole generator process.

    And I knew where all of my FLASHLIGHTS were.

  10. dkreck says:

    The regulars I see on my commute who still haven’t swapped out their California plates need to go home. I thought Texas law was 30 days.

    Kind of a kick me note on your back.
    And why would they not. Just running out the time on the current tags? I have no idea what Tejas registration fees are but it would be hard to beat Cali for absurd highs.

  11. JimB says:

    It’s National FLASHLIGHT Day!! Also usually the shortest day of the year in the top hemisphere – there might be a connection.

  12. Ray Thompson says:

    I have no idea what Tejas registration fees are

    About $52.00 for vehicles below 6K pounds. Still a little more than what I pay in TN which is $26.00.

    hard to beat Cali for absurd highs

    CA would be about $600 for a new vehicle. Since it is based on value of the vehicle you can deduct the amount from your federal income tax.

    Just running out the time on the current tags

    If I had to pay the Texas equivalent for a year for each month in CA I would keep the tags as long as possible. It is also possible they are military in which case there is no requirement to change the tags to your current state.

  13. Greg Norton says:

    Kind of a kick me note on your back.

    And why would they not. Just running out the time on the current tags? I have no idea what Tejas registration fees are but it would be hard to beat Cali for absurd highs.

    Ray might be right about getting their money’s worth from the CA tags, but I suspect they also do it to make a statement.

    Increasingly, wealthy visitors have their Teslas and other pricey rides brought out to Austin from CA on trucks in advance of their flights, but the regulars I see on my commute are Hondas (always Stevens Creek Hoda) and similar price range cars.

  14. Ray Thompson says:

    Ray might be right about getting their money’s worth from the CA tags

    Register your car in CA, then one month later relocate to TX. CA will not refund your unused portion of your registration. Bring in a one year old used vehicle, about $35K when purchased new in another state and you will be slammed with significant fees beyond just the registration.

    Current Registration: 55.00
    Current California Highway Patrol: 25.00
    Current Vehicle License Fee: 228.00
    Current County Service Authority for Freeway Emergencies Fee: 1.00
    Current Air Quality Management District: 4.00
    Alt Fuel/Tech Reg Fee: 3.00
    Current Fingerprint ID 2: 2.00
    Current Vehicle Theft/DUI 2: 2.00
    Current Transportation Improvement Fee: 150.00
    Non-Resident Original Service Fee: 21.00
    Reflectorized License Plate Fee: 1.00

    I have no doubts why people want to leave CA. I doubt anyone’s sanity that wants to move to CA. A person making between $50K and $250K will pay 9.3% income tax. Along with property tax if one owns property and a sales tax of 7.75 percent. Without owning property almost 20% of a person’s income is stolen in taxes. If you add in property tax of about 0.8% on average the tax on a $300K home would be $2.4K a year. If you make $100K that puts the tax burden at another 2.5%. Some areas have even higher property tax rates. None of this includes the city or county taxes. I fully suspect a person in CA is paying almost 25% of their income on taxes. Just for CA alone.

    My older brother moved to Idaho, retired from CALTRANS a couple of years ago. CA wanted to tax his retirement money and his health coverage from the state as the money was paid in the state. Even though he does not live in the state, gets no benefit from the tax, CA still wanted to tax the money. It was blocked by a judge but CA is still trying an end-around to extract a tax on the money.

    People should be leaving CA at the first chance they get, find another state. Anyone moving to CA should decline unless the job pays 0.5 million or higher.

    I would like to see CA go bankrupt. It would be a disaster with the feds picking up the damage. CA knows this and will continue to spend money on the liberal boondoggles and pet projects of governor sun-beam. CA knows the feds would bail them out, make other states pay for the CA’s stupidity.

  15. paul says:

    I have no idea what Tejas registration fees are

    For a half ton Dodge p/u:

    51.75 Registration fee
    11.50 Local fee
    7.50 Inspection fee
    4.75 Processing and Handling fee (yes, pay them to do their job)
    ——-
    $75.50

    Plus another 7.50 for the actual inspection and the time and hassle of having it done.

    My Streamlight lanterns arrived last night. Very nice!

  16. Nick Flandrey says:

    Mmmm, wall street gonna be short on bonuses this year??

    “Panic In The Air” – Stunned Traders Speechless At The Carnage”

    More:

    “[BRIEFING.COM] The S&P 500 fell 2.1% on Friday, as uncertainty surrounding a host of issues, which included politics and trade, continued to provide a justification to reduce risk. Friday’s decline pushed the benchmark index to a new yearly low of 2408.12 and a weekly loss of 7.1%.”

    ” MARKETWATCH FRONT PAGE (http://www.marketwatch.com)

    As the Dow Jones Industrial Average faces its ugliest Decembers loss since 1931, the time of the Great Depression, there is another notable way to put the severity of this persistent bout of losses into historical context. See full story (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/this-brutal-stock-market-rout-mirrors-the-1987-crash-in-1-important-way-2018-12-21). ”
    ]

    “December 21, 2018
    12:28 pm ET
    Amazon’s market cap drops below $700 billion to put it in 4th place, behind Alphabet
    MarketWatch
    December 20, 2018
    6:48 am ET
    UPDATE: Powell party pooper: Here are the worst-performing stocks after the Fed wrecks the market”


    Dow Worst December Since Great Depression – Worst Week in 10 Years – Down 4,387 Points Since Fed Reserve Threats in October
    by Jim Hoft December 21, 2018

    145Share 36Tweet Email

    The Dow Jones was down another 415 points on Friday over threats of a government shutdown.
    This was the worst week for the market in ten years.

    CNBC reported:

    Stocks plunged again on Friday, bringing the Dow Jones Industrial Average’s losses for the week to nearly 7 percent and ending its worst week since the financial crisis in 2008. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell into a bear market and the S&P 500 was on the brink of one itself, down nearly 18 percent from its record earlier this year.

    The Federal Reserve’s rate hike on Wednesday drove the losses this week and fears of an extended government shutdown only added to the pain on Friday.

    The markets are having their worst December since the Great Depression.”

    Looking uglier every day.

    n

  17. paul says:

    Prepping this week? Not much.
    A few LED lanterns, a dozen cans of Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup (98¢ a can instead of $1.58), ten cans of HEB corned beef hash in the little cans.

    I noticed on the 30 roll package of Scott TP it says it is a 30 week supply. “Based on average use.” One guy? Two women? Man and wife and 2.2 kids? A house full of people for a Holiday weekend? No idea. But it’s a start.
    Hmm… I have a 30 and four 18 packs. Two years worth by their reckoning. . Plus the 18 pack I brought into the house last week. 119 unused rolls. Add a 30 pack of some kind of HEB knock-off of Charmin I got for free as an employee.

    My ‘net connection is being a POS the last few days. I’ve re-booted PCs and power cycled the router and radio. “They” say there is nothing wrong. If it’s my stuff, it’s down to the new Netgear switch in the house or the dLink switch in the EDC. Which makes no sense, internal network stuff seems normal. Internet stuff is going from “zip” to T-Bird saying the connection has timed out. “whine”

  18. Nick Flandrey says:

    My ATT fiber has been dropping out every day. Only for a minute or two, but that kills the stream. Many times a day.

    I’ve checked across machines with different settings, and they all go out at the same time, so it’s not me.

    WRT TP, me, wife, two grade school girls, one roll a day on average. I’ve got lots more stacked…

    n

  19. lynn says:

    Hagar the Horrible: lost on a deserted island
    http://comicskingdom.com/hagar-the-horrible/2018-12-21

    It might be a long walk home.

  20. lynn says:

    “A. F. Branco Cartoon – Christmas In DC”
    https://comicallyincorrect.com/a-f-branco-cartoon-christmas-in-dc/

    “Congressman Adam Schiff and most politicians in Washington DC deserve a whole lot of coal for Christmas this year from Santa Claus. Political Cartoon by A.F. Branco ©2018.”

    Heh.

  21. nightraker says:

    And I knew where all of my FLASHLIGHTS were.

    Congrats! Prepping pays off.

    Other thoughts:

    I inherited my California uncle’s ’96 Dodge mini-van awhile back. Drove it and lake bottom instruments back to the Midwest via scenic touristy route. Yearly sticker was $109. Probably really oughta t’fer it to home state real soon now.

    Purchased 85 roll case of Scottie 1000 sheet TP on company internet Home Depot acct months after my termination. Paid with personal plastic $$ but caused some consternation when the invoice arrived at company office. 🙂 Still have 2 Costco 30-ish roll case for just me to work on before hitting that reserve.

  22. Greg Norton says:

    Mmmm, wall street gonna be short on bonuses this year??

    Lynn asked if he would ever get a chance to buy Amazon at 1000 again.

    Christmas Eve is a trading day this year.

  23. lynn says:

    “Trump, Democrats dig in as government heads for shutdown”
    https://apnews.com/1ccfe0de023c4ef986a396707e4d83ac

    “At a White House bill signing, Trump said the government is “totally prepared for a very long shutdown.””

    Hat tip to:
    https://drudgereport.com/

  24. lynn says:

    The Federal Reserve’s rate hike on Wednesday drove the losses this week and fears of an extended government shutdown only added to the pain on Friday.

    Wall Street’s issues are all about the Fed’s interest rate hikes, current and planned. I am so glad that I refinanced my commercial property with a 15 year fixed rate loan before all of this nightmare.

  25. Nick Flandrey says:

    I’m glad I got everything I could out of the market. I’m glad I bought a capital protection policy for the funds I couldn’t get out.

    I wish my wife had done similarly. I hope that she doesn’t end up wishing it too.

    n

  26. lynn says:

    “Goodbye to Saturn’s rings”
    https://earthsky.org/space/saturns-rings-disappearing-ring-rain-video

    Looks like global warming on Earth is causing the ice rings of Saturn to melt. Oh the shame !

  27. lynn says:

    I’m glad I got everything I could out of the market. I’m glad I bought a capital protection policy for the funds I couldn’t get out.

    I wish my wife had done similarly. I hope that she doesn’t end up wishing it too.

    I am riding the market out. Experience says that the market will rise again some day. It could be a decade though. Or two.

    Of course, half of my IRA is invested in land with a very long term perspective.

  28. pcb_duffer says:

    Taxes: I recently got my property tax bill, and a few days later the bill for my automobile tag. First, I have to tip my hat to the local tax authorities. In Florida, the tax bill is supposed to go out November 1, and is based on the status of the property as of the previous January 1. Our bills were a little late, thanks to the abnormal weather event of October 10, and when people started getting bills for a domicile or business which had been destroyed a month earlier there was a very predictable outcry. But the Property Appraiser is promising to re-rate anyone who suffered damage, and the Tax Collector let us keep the maximum early payment discount (4%) through December rather than November.
    Having said all that, I will write a check next week for $853.26 for a house which would easily sell for $150,000 right now. The posted millage rate is 12.51700, the effective rate is less than that thanks to the homestead exemptions in Florida. This is expected to increase next year, when the various governing bodies get a better budgetary handle on the true costs of the storm.
    As far as my automobile, a two year renewal will cost me $142.95 for a 2002 Dodge Grand Caravan. This is not just the regular Florida plate (based on the vehicle’s weight, I believe), I pay extra to support and promote a cause that is near & dear to my heart.
    We pay 6% sales tax to the state (most groceries & medicines are exempted), 1% to the county, and just about every municipality tacks on another 1%. And of course if you rent a condo or hotel room on the beach you’re going to pay a bed tax.

  29. ITGuy1998 says:

    I haven’t changed anything in my retirement accounts. Still investing monthly according to plan. I have at least 20 years of working left….I have time.

    I have a few thousand in a Robinhood account. It’s my play account. I’m up for the year. I don’t say trade, but buy and sell fairly often. I did some buying today.

  30. Nick Flandrey says:

    I had a huge chunk of my retirement investments disappear in the 2000 crash. but I had time, so I reinvested in tech and high gain funds. Then I lost about 50% in 2008 and had one fund frozen for about 2 years while they figured out what they would do. I rebuilt from there with different funds and a 401k with matching. Before 2016, I decided I really couldn’t afford to lose half every 8 years and got out. I have not regretted it.

    n

  31. lynn says:

    Ok, this is wild. My father-in-law’s girlfriend is hearing that the mall where she works is closing after Christmas. Nothing firm yet, just strong rumors. She is 93 and has been working 6 hour or 8 hour shifts every day since Thanksgiving in Dillards selling perfume. She normally only works 2 or 3 days per week. She is wondering about finding another job in the new year. Yup, wild.

  32. Greg Norton says:

    Ok, this is wild. My father-in-law’s girlfriend is hearing that the mall where she works is closing after Christmas. Nothing firm yet, just strong rumors. She is 93 and has been working 6 hour or 8 hour shifts every day since Thanksgiving in Dillards selling perfume. She normally only works 2 or 3 days per week. She is wondering about finding another job in the new year. Yup, wild.

    Several YouTube channels cover dead or dying malls in various regions. Punch in the name of the mall and see what happens. Some of the the X-er “vloggers” are really plugged in to retail problems in their area. My generation’s nostalgia like drive ins to our parents’.

    I’m subscribed to Retail Archeology, but he covers Phoenix.

    Points to the girlfriend for wanting to get up and go in 2-3 days per week. Even if my wife had made decent money in the Northwest, I doubt I could have remained up there and kept my sanity playing stay-at-home parent.

  33. brad says:

    So the US is having a kind of “shut-down light”. In the language of Trump, what a great opportunity! All of the people who’s jobs are deemed not-really-necessary? Make their absence permanent! Of course, I’ve thought exactly that with every shutdown ever.

    What do y’all think? Will Trump stick to his guns, and leave the government in shut-down until he gets his wall? Or will he cave?

    Meanwhile, the US is handing out $billions to Central America…why? Which corporate interests are going to secretly benefit? There must be a game there, if only the media would do their job and dig into it. They aren’t, and haven’t, which maybe gives us the first hint.

    And finally, Mattis. Here, the story is that he resents Trump reducing the US role as “world police”. OTOH, the US continues to have a massive presence in the Middle East, even if finally pulling out of Syria and Afghanistan, where nothing positive has been achieved anyway. What do y’all think about the situation, or what’s the story in the US media?

  34. Greg Norton says:

    What do y’all think? Will Trump stick to his guns, and leave the government in shut-down until he gets his wall? Or will he cave?

    Cave. If nothing else, next week will be a big week for Honor Flights, and you will have the non-stop optics of 90-something WWII vets turned away at the Memorial in the media in major markets.

  35. Nick Flandrey says:

    @brad, in the words of the meme, if the .gov shuts down, who is going to spy on me, steal my money, and spend it on cr@p I don’t want?

    Yes, lets find out who is “non-essential” and clear out the deadwood. If we’re gonna get a financial meltdown anyway, let’s at least get some long term benefit.

    It’s ALWAYS political. Forex, the FCC sent out notices that they would SHUT DOWN THEIR WEBSITE for the duration. That is purely a middle finger, as the site hosting and bandwidth is surely paid for.

    Or the Park Service spending money to barricade areas that aren’t controlled or monitored during normal service times.

    I don’t know or even have a strong suspicion about what T will do. He’s a deal maker. He doesn’t seem to see any absolutes, so he might not see something as a betrayal that a single issue voter does. This bump stock ban for example. Or maybe he’s cunning, and knows it won’t go anywhere so he supports it once, and then lets it die. No idea.

    I’m buying food, started buying ammo again, and getting more ‘conservative’ (non-political meaning) with every day.

    n

  36. MrAtoz says:

    And finally, Mattis. Here, the story is that he resents Trump reducing the US role as “world police”. OTOH, the US continues to have a massive presence in the Middle East, even if finally pulling out of Syria and Afghanistan, where nothing positive has been achieved anyway. What do y’all think about the situation, or what’s the story in the US media?

    Mattis looks like a good guy and straight shooter. However, as a twenty year Vet, I’m all for withdrawing our troops. The “meme” that Syria is an ally is bogus. Who wants an ally that can’t help us back? The UK is our only real ally. Let Europe, Russia and the Middle East countries deal with this shit. We have done absolutely nothing in the sandbox and muck that really makes a difference. Stop using National Security and Western Democracy to continue the never ending war.. Japan and Germany aren’t going to happen in these shirthole(-r) countries. Let them fight to the death.

  37. lynn says:

    What do y’all think? Will Trump stick to his guns, and leave the government in shut-down until he gets his wall? Or will he cave?

    I am hoping that Trump will stick to his guns even if it goes through May of next year. One of my friends (IRA agent) got laid off today, he posted a funny meme about it on facecrack.

  38. lynn says:

    And finally, Mattis. Here, the story is that he resents Trump reducing the US role as “world police”. OTOH, the US continues to have a massive presence in the Middle East, even if finally pulling out of Syria and Afghanistan, where nothing positive has been achieved anyway. What do y’all think about the situation, or what’s the story in the US media?

    Mattis can go pound sand if that is the way that he feels about. It is our blood and money that he is spending. My son, former USMC with two trips to Iraq as a grunt, wants us to totally exit the middle east. Now. Today. If anyone gets too uppity, send in the nukes and make their kingdoms into glass. Stop sending 18 year olds just so we can have the most blooded military forces in the world.

  39. paul says:

    Um, I’m going to give MrAtoz a +1000.

    We don’t need to be there.

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