Tues. July 16, 2019 – interesting…

80F and 98%RH this morning. Stayed a tiny bit cooler yesterday with overcast, but was still hot and humid.

Anyone else notice how much of our economy is people living off the ‘skim’?

From Greg yesterday-

“The record companies in the US have definitely stopped trying and are content to pocket streaming royalties from the last five decades of material in their vaults.”

It’s not just the record companies. Youtube’s whole model is getting paid for other peoples’ work. The entertainment industry in general does this, with the creative talent, the ‘artist’, often getting little or nothing for their efforts.

Amazon skims a little off of every third party transaction. Ebay and Paypal too. Google and facebook get paid for something quite different from the ‘service’ they provide to their users, interjecting themselves into the process of buying and selling, skimming a tiny bit from every potential transaction.

Doordash, grocery shopping services, delivery in general, all make their money off of someone else’s transaction. There are fewer and fewer primary creators, making things for people to buy.

The internet may have disintermediated some commerce, but it introduced a whole new crop of companies that interjected themselves BACK into the ‘value stream’. The end result is the ‘maker’ gets less, and all the new intermediaries all get a little bit more out of each transaction.

The financial industry is all about skim. All the algos are skimming from each sale, frontrunning and driving the cost up for the end customer. Interest and other financialization tricks are skim. Gambling in the stock markets is skimming money out of the pool….

.gov does it directly with taxes and regulation. Regulators are the first of the skimmers, adding cost, producing nothing. And of course the ‘taker’ class lives entirely off the skim from ‘makers’ and the earnings of the ‘skimmers’.

Huge chunks of our economy have been financialized, or become dependent on .gov.

Take a second or two and consider what happens to an economy built on skim when it contracts… What happens when there is no room in the price of a good for 4 extra intermediaries? What happens when people decide they really don’t need someone else to pick up or even make their dinner?

That’s when the downward spiral starts in earnest.

nick

64 thoughts on “Tues. July 16, 2019 – interesting…”

  1. It’s funny that you mention living off the skim.

    One of my revenue streams is based on making a little bit off the transactions that are processed because I’m involved in the events I time. When I time a race, I offer to set up online registration for the race. I charge nothing for the service, but I make a little off of the processing fees charged for the transactions. 20% of 6% or 1.2% (roughly) goes to me.

    I add value to the process thus:
    * I set up the race, leaving nothing but the financial side to the race itself.
    * I answer 95+% of all questions that come up, leaving the provider’s tech support to just deal with the most out-of-the-ordinary questions.
    * I make seamless most of the post-race processing. It “just works” for so many people because of what I do.
    And for those races that do not use me / my provider for registration, I provide none of that.

    So there’s a value-add involved in my part of the process, and I get paid for that. But that’s trivial compared to my primary revenue stream – timing races.

    I think Amazon, eBay, et. al., are providing a market for vendors. Much as the flea market provides a place for vendors to sell their wares on a Sunday morning. Yes, they make a little on the transaction. But would the transaction take place without having a place to find the good or service? Is Amazon bad for providing a place to set up shop?

  2. Oh don’t get me wrong. Most of the time there is a real value add. My wife is a rep who inserts herself into the specification and sales process. She helps the buyer manage orders and delivery, does drawings, answers questions, provides training- all value adds. Her skim puts food on our table. It does raise the cost of the goods that the end user is buying though. (perhaps not as much as if the contractors had to have her functions in house, they find it very convenient to have access to her design services and support without paying for it.)

    For almost every case I listed, there is a justification of the value add, even the algos will say they are helping provide liquidity in the market. But, if every transaction is supporting 5 or 7 ‘skims’ (tax, cost of meeting regulation, wholesaler, distributor, manufacturer’s rep, trucking service, supply chain management “cloud” service, etc) and price is inflexible, that leaves less and less for the primary maker. Fewer makers are supporting more skimmers, and that isn’t sustainable.

    It’s also, somewhat ironically, the opposite of the initial ‘disruption’ of the marketplace caused by the internet. The internet is supposed to disintermediate industry after industry. But the middle men aren’t going quietly into that good night, they are proliferating. The traditional ‘mediators’ (in ‘disintermediate’) are being replaced, but mediators are still there, and new ones are starting up every day.

    n

  3. I see what you’re saying.

    There are value-adds, and there are teat-suckers. Kind of like the internet sales tax baloney coming through now. It’s an incredibly complex set of rules, and only a teat-sucker is going to make it possible to do business online.

  4. Anyone else notice how much of our economy is people living off the ‘skim’?

    The Feds print $1 Trillion a year, and people are getting while the getting is good.

    I’ll admit we’re not totally clean since my wife is working for the VA for at least the next year and the toll road business is a boomin’ even without the coming congestion pricing of surface streets.

    We both do real work, however. We don’t drive spreadsheets and surf Facebook for 8 hours a day.

  5. It’s one of their loaner vehicles, <5000 miles, sold as new, almost $20K off msrp…

    It's still a $45k truck.

    EcoBoost V6, not a V8.

    Kinda scary, the depreciation on $60,000 trucks.

    New sales have been off for the past few months. The end of the quarter should be interesting.

  6. There are value-adds, and there are teat-suckers. Kind of like the internet sales tax baloney coming through now. It’s an incredibly complex set of rules, and only a teat-sucker is going to make it possible to do business online.

    Amazon, WalMart, and Google know which sales taxes apply for any given address, and the complexity increases every day. If governments really get militant about collecting, veryone else will buy the data from them or sell through their systems.

    In Vantucky, technically, we had state, county, city, and neighborhood sales taxes which had to be paid to be totally compliant. The two Best Buys in town never made a profit before closing down.

  7. ebay has started collecting sales tax for sellers. I’ve seen it added to my sales in the last month.

    n

  8. ebay has started collecting sales tax for sellers. I’ve seen it added to my sales in the last month.

    I haven’t sold anything in months so I wasn’t aware. If I move something, it will only be big ticket.

    I think the various government entities in CA are getting really tough about receiving their cut. WA State won’t be far behind.

    We paid almost 10% sales taxes in Vantucky only to have the highway medians overgrown like the special sections of freeway GA maintains semi-wild for shooting “The Walking Dead” series. We *never* saw a snow plow or sand/salt truck in winter, and my wife’s clinic was the de facto health department free clinic for that part of the county.

  9. More heavy rain today and highs in the mid 70s.
    The remnants of Barry have given us 3 days of 20 degree below normal temps and LOTS of rain. We are in our 3rd day of flash flood warnings. Everything is saturated and some big old trees have fallen due to the soil turning to mud.

  10. Speaking of floods,

    https://www.cablinginstall.com/data-center/article/14035852/study-data-centers-not-very-concerned-about-climate-change

    “The detail in this article is derived from the excerpt of the Uptime Institute’s ninth annual data center survey, which was completed during March and April 2019.

    The institute dubbed 8 data points as “key findings” from the 2019 survey. We list them below. However, one of the institute’s “other notable findings” is: “Climate change is not causing the data center industry a lot of concern. As in 2018, half operators said they are not currently preparing for climate change, with more than half of that cohort stating that their existing plans are sufficient (30% of total respondents). There were small increases in the number re-evaluating flood risk, site selection and their ability to deal with rising temperatures, compared with last year.””

    “Here are the key findings from this year’s Uptime Institute survey.

    The large, privately owned enterprise data center facility still forms the bedrock of corporate IT and is expected to be running half of all workloads in 2021.
    The staffing problem affecting most of the data center sector has become a crisis. Sixty-one percent of respondents said they had difficulty retaining or recruiting staff—up from 55% a year earlier.
    Outages continue to cause significant problems for operators. Just over a third (34%) of all respondents had an outage or severe IT service degradation in the past year, while half (50%) had an outage or severe IT service degradation in the past 3 years.
    A lack of visibility, transparency and accountability of public cloud services is a major concern for enterprises with mission-critical applications. A fifth of operators surveyed said they would be more likely to put workloads in a public cloud if there were some visibility. Hal of those using public cloud for mission-critical applications also said they do not have adequate visibility.
    Improvements in data center facility energy efficiency have flattened out and even deteriorated slightly in the past 2 years. The average PUE (power usage effectiveness) for 2019 is 1.67.
    Kilowatt (kW) rack density is rising, following a long period of flat or minor increases, causing many to rethink cooling strategies. Uptime Intelligence regards this as a medium- to long-term trend.
    Ten percent of all respondents said that their most recent significant outage cost more than $1 million (“most recent” could have been at any time in the past).
    The data center sector continues to be dominated by men. Only 5 percent of respondents said women represented 50% or more of staff, while a quarter had no women at all among their build, design or operations staff.

    Other notable findings, as identified by the Uptime Institute, include: power loss was the biggest cause of outage (33%) while network issues were close behind at 31%; “

    — hmmm, data center operators seem to be more sensible, or have less slack, or less exposure to public outcry, than big companies.

    n

  11. @MrAtoz, since your pension is a form of deferred compensation, and a gamble at that, I wouldn’t put it in the teat sucker bucket….

    n

  12. RE: Living off the skim

    One of my businesses is running a string of ATMs in bars and convenience stores. This is all about the skim. I provide convenience of instant cash without having to find a bank for the fee of $3 per transaction. I make about $8K a month off this “skim”. Easiest money of any of my businesses. We spend maybe 2 or 3 days a week driving around filling my 20 machines. Once I retire, I plan to add 5 more machines to get me up to $10k a month. While not recession proof, we have seen that in hard times people still use the ATMs at cash bars and restaurants.

    And one nice thing is that our inventory is cash and completely liquid. So if SHTF I can raid my ATMs and have and extra $100K or so in hand in a day.

  13. While I might regard you as a teat-sucker (what have you done lately?), I find you far less distasteful than the code enforcement officer that hires others to perform inspections, but rarely (if ever) leaves the office. Or the fornicating anal orifices that require the ADA compliant corners be put in in areas that NEVER see pedestrian traffic, simply because “it’s the law”. You, sir, at the very least put your life on the line for 20+ years in defense of our country.

  14. The study article spent a good amount of column space lamenting about the lack of women in the data centers, but nothing on minorities.

    If you’re going to signal, you should hit ALL the buttons.

  15. ATMs – is the fee not transparent? If people are willing to pay for the convenience, it’s not teat-sucking. It’s the public servants that provide no service that are the teat-suckers.

  16. There are middle men who provide value, that is something that has always been true. Then there are middle men who provide gatekeeping/toll collection. Also always been here, more offensive to me. There are middlemen who actually decrease value. Very offensive.

    All of them suck money out of the stream, and there seem to be more of them than before, and they are entering the stream from outside, as it were. Consider Doordash. They have no relationship to the food seller, or the food buyer, came from outside the industry (restaurants). Do they provide a service? Certainly. Do they result in sales for the food vendor that might not otherwise happen? Possibly. Right now there is some flexibility in pricing, in that the people who use a service like this (or a grocery service) don’t seem to add the cost of delivery to the cost of the food and make a decision based on the total price. Eventually this will change, and at that time, either the food vendor or the delivery will have to reduce their charge. And a lot of delivery services will go broke. (also interestingly, this niche seems to be a great example of how pioneers end up with arrows in their back, and fail, while the follow ons succeed.)

    I’m concerned that we’ll end up with a pure service industry economy, where essentially everyone gets paid to give each other backrubs, which is fragile and susceptible to bubbles. As soon as enough people decide they can’t afford backrubs, then the whole thing collapses.

    n

  17. I make a distinction between teat sucking and skimming….
    n

    (although I did choose to use an inflammatory word, skim….)

  18. Consider Doordash.

    Isn’t Doordash still private equity?

    Private equity is Fantasy Island right now. Those companies have no connection to reality in the hope that they can snag “first mover” advantage before the investors run out of money.

  19. although I did choose to use an inflammatory word, skim….

    In the case of my Chinese in-laws, the skims are rackets in the full legal sense of the word.

    Low level drugs, prostitution, extortion, and running the most notorious after-hours bottle club in Seattle. Rackets.

  20. In this company, inflammatory ~= blunt. Call an eclair an eclair.

    I agree about the service economy. That’s been a worry for decades. The thing is, it seems to level off every single time. We make more things than we did 10, 20, 40 years ago. More efficiently than ever. Yep. Bubbles will happen, and some will fall off. That’s okay. Better to have small bubbles frequently, but they are as inevitable as a California earthquake.

    There will be skimmers, teat-suckers, leeches, and worse. Those that add value and make the product _better_ are fine. Those that do nothing but suck the lifeblood out of the victim deserve to die.

  21. And to address MrAtoz – you are no leach or teat-sucker. You performed a service to our country for a defined benefit. Your payment was not a guarantee because your survival was not guaranteed. I know more than a few that never came back. I don’t begrudge you a cent. I am, in fact, supremely thankful.

  22. Well

    It seems a discussion located in England near 1900, same, going from production economy to services economy.
    You could sell services onshore or offshore, but, in the end, the Roman empire sold services, (Legions), later they outsource this (Goths) and after that they vanish.

    Yo could add layer after layer of services, designed to facilitate the, but, in the end, all the people gets teh value of education of the last in the chain.

    Example:

    30 years ago (40?) a datacenter operator earned money enough to live, to educate and to grow a family, only one working, this amount of money now is splitted between a lot of people, who needs a lot of datacenters (PCs) to have a, well, earning.

    But if the user perceives a quick way, they doesnt use the facilitators, or have someone to pay per use, this is gig economy (now)

    Best

  23. @ayj, yes, exactly, we are moving from an extractive economy (where what you have is most important), thru productive economy (where what you make is most important), to the new economy, perhaps a facilitator economy or maybe a distributive economy where what you do, or what you can give away becomes most important.

    Perhaps this is the natural result of a large comfortable population. The percentage of really smart, capable people (makers) decreases relative to the overall population. In the US, this was as a result of importing poorly fed, poorly educated, badly indoctrinated masses from third world countries, a decrease in educational standards, an increase in drug use, and coddling of a non-productive segment of the population. In Europe, it happened perhaps as a consequence of killing off two generations of young men in their prime, and spending the money on WWI and WWII.

    We were so focused on ‘consumers’ that we failed to consider what would happen if we lost our ‘producers’. (almost) Anyone can ride a scooter and deliver McDonalds. Fewer people can fix the scooter, fewer yet can design the scooter. The balance between the producers, the consumers, and the ones who are good only for stealing from one and giving to the other is out of whack.

    n

  24. There will be skimmers, teat-suckers, leeches, and worse. Those that add value and make the product _better_ are fine. Those that do nothing but suck the lifeblood out of the victim deserve to die.

    Cough … middle managers at large medical clinics … cough.

    In Vantucky, my wife’s clinic manager kept his job only because of my spouse’s naieve and trusting nature. After she turned in notice, he assured clinic management that replacing her wouldn’t be a problem. He lost his job within six months of our departure because he couldn’t find a replacement.

    Five years later (as of the beginning of the month), they still haven’t found a replacement.

  25. @Lynn–

    If you are tired of your Expy in the shop, you probably aren’t gonna find a better deal than this…

    https://www.planetfordsales.com/inventory/new-vehicles/vehicle/1FMJU1HT4KEA26910/2019-Ford-Expedition-Spring-TX

    It’s one of their loaner vehicles, <5000 miles, sold as new, almost $20K off msrp…

    It's still a $45k truck.

    No thanks, I don’t buy used vehicles. How did you know that I had my truck in the shop last week ? I got new plugs and a decarbonization treatment to stop the misfires that my 5.4L V8 was having under hard acceleration. The misfires were throwing me into the worst limp home mode (yes, there are several). The new plugs and the decarbonization treatment worked, all is good now. The tech wanted to replace all 8 of my coils since they “looked horrible” but I said no.

    This is the first time that my Expy has been in the shop since last August when I had the a/c evaporator replaced. Great investment at keeping me freezing cold.

    And, I am not going to buy another Expedition. My next truck will be an F-150 crew cab 4×4 extended bed with limited slip and max cooling, white. I will put a camper top on it for keeping my crap from getting “borrowed”. I am waiting for the new uber F-150 hybrid but that seems to have slipped a year. BTW, all F-150s sold now are mild hybrids (stop/start, etc).
    https://www.trucks.com/2019/02/05/spy-shots-ford-electric-f-150-pickup/

  26. @lynn, you mentioned your expy was back in the shop for limp home failure.

    It is ridiculously hot in my driveway. 105F and 50%RH.

    Just a few minutes without a hat or vest has me breathing rapidly.

    F that noise.

    i’m headed to an auction pickup and my secondary to do some more cleaning and organizing.

    n

  27. @lynn, you mentioned your expy was back in the shop for limp home failure.

    Ah, I’ve slept since then. I forget everything from the previous day. Week. Month. Year.

  28. “Mitt Romney: Trump’s ‘Go Back’ Comments ‘Destructive,’ Has ‘Failed Badly’ at Uniting U.S.”
    https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/07/15/mitt-romney-trumps-go-back-comments-destructive-has-failed-badly-at-uniting-u-s/

    Mitt Romney, sit down and shut up ! The adults are talking. You and the rest of the never-Trumpers need to go sit in your own corner. AOC and her squad are being taken to the woodshed. If things go well then the rest of the dumbocrat socialists will take on their stench too.

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

  29. BTW, all F-150s sold now are mild hybrids (stop/start, etc).

    Automated Start Stop. A.S.S. That’s about the right term for it.

    My co-worker who has a 2019 F150 says A.S.S. doesn’t offer a setting to disable the “feature” permanently.

  30. Mitt Romney, sit down and shut up !

    Mittens!

    He let that Netflix documentary go to his head. They still hate him.

  31. Not gonna happen as this is Google’s core technology. They use it directly for their advertising business which is 98% ??? of their revenue.

    They could make the API available in such a way that they could still target ads, but without as fine-grained control over who sees what. They have to fingerprint the browser to maximize their revenue.

  32. BTW, all F-150s sold now are mild hybrids (stop/start, etc).

    Automated Start Stop. A.S.S. That’s about the right term for it.

    My co-worker who has a 2019 F150 says A.S.S. doesn’t offer a setting to disable the “feature” permanently.

    Nope, it resets every time you get out of the vehicle. All of them are like that. My friend’s 2016 F-150 turbo 2.7L v6 with the first start stop system gets 20+ mpg for his 35 mile drive each way to downtown Houston for his job. His old Explorer got 15 mpg.

    The current start stop system has a 36 volt motor generator set built into the 10 speed transmission. The new F-150 hybrid is reputedly replacing the 36 volt motor generator set with a 480 volt motor generator set and a 16 kwh battery. Good for 80 miles at 80 mph on battery only. Can be plugged in to charge the battery.

  33. And to address MrAtoz – you are no leach or teat-sucker. You performed a service to our country for a defined benefit. Your payment was not a guarantee because your survival was not guaranteed. I know more than a few that never came back. I don’t begrudge you a cent. I am, in fact, supremely thankful.

    Thanks for that. Many LibTurds disagree (except for the $$ they get for one term in Congress). After twenty, you can be recalled at “the Pleasure of the President.” When the race whores and pimps drive a revolution, I might be flying Blackhawks again.

  34. After twenty, you can be recalled at “the Pleasure of the President.”

    Again, thank you for serving !

    It is worse than that. My former USMC son has been told to keep his phone number and address on file at the Marines Corp since he was a full corporal (equivalent to a sergeant in the Army) when he left. He does not.

    He has been “unofficially” told that as a combat vet, he could be called up if the USA goes to a “serious” war until he is over 45. He was active duty for four years and inactive reserves for four years. He had a Marine Corps General tell him that he would personally order him into the active duty reserves for life if he could do it. Obviously, he could not.

  35. He has been “unofficially” told that as a combat vet, he could be called up if the USA goes to a “serious” war until he is over 45.

    At this point, combat operations significant enough to require a draft or other form of forced service would, to quote Dennis Hopper in a throwaway early 90s role, “make the 60s look like the 50s”.

    Trump and the Dems starting a shooting war now would mean a Mayor Pete Presidency. Jimmy Carter 2.0, Tulsi Gabbard as Defense Secretary.

    I caught Hannity the other day on an early commute home. He seems to like this line about “fighting wars from Tampa”. God help us all — he has no idea what that means.

  36. The current start stop system has a 36 volt motor generator set built into the 10 speed transmission. The new F-150 hybrid is reputedly replacing the 36 volt motor generator set with a 480 volt motor generator set and a 16 kwh battery. Good for 80 miles at 80 mph on battery only. Can be plugged in to charge the battery.

    At least they didn’t try to do it with a 12 volt battery and motor. I didn’t want a 2019 Camry with A.S.S. using that arrangement so I bought one of the last 2018s the dealer had on the lot.

  37. Yesterday, we were discussing new music vs. that of the past. There was a lady I was trying to get involved with last year, my age, who is very much a fan of modern music, so I tried to give it a listen. Lots & lots of auto-Tune, four or five lyricists per song, and no musician credits – it was just programmed. No thanks.

  38. Lots & lots of auto-Tune, four or five lyricists per song, and no musician credits – it was just programmed. No thanks.

    Auto Tune is out of control, but people buy it.

    I think the SNL sketch nailed it when the writers pointed out that people may be afraid to say that they don’t like Beyonce. I think that’s true of a lot of music in the Facecrack era.

  39. My mother had her fourth hip surgery today. She has been in Methodist hospital in the Houston medical center for over 100 days. In fact, my parents celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary there last week.

    The surgery was to put back a hip implant. The first surgery put in a stainless steel hip implant. The second surgery investigated the bleeding and infection. The third surgery removed the hip implant and replaced it with a plastic spacer infused with antibiotics. This surgery put in a titanium hip implant.

    The surgeon said the surgery went well. He did find a pool of old blood (leakage) that he is concerned about and cleaned out. No matter what, this is her last surgery. She will be on antibiotics the rest of her life for the possible blood leakage. She did not request any pain meds in recovery which I find strange.

    This whole nightmare started last Christmas Day when she stood up out of a chair and her hip broke. Hopefully she will get back to some semblance of normalcy soon. The leg nerve is still paralyzed below the knee and hopefully will restore within a few weeks.

  40. I test drove a F150 with the ASS the other day, weird. While at a longish red light it turned itself back on, I suspect to keep the a/c cool.

    I’m not a fan, just more stuff to fail, despite the impressive towing capacity and comfortable ride.

    I am looking at a RAM now.

  41. He has been “unofficially” told that as a combat vet, he could be called up if the USA goes to a “serious” war until he is over 45.

    At this point, combat operations significant enough to require a draft or other form of forced service would, to quote Dennis Hopper in a throwaway early 90s role, “make the 60s look like the 50s”.

    Trump and the Dems starting a shooting war now would mean a Mayor Pete Presidency. Jimmy Carter 2.0, Tulsi Gabbard as Defense Secretary.

    We have around 2 ? 3 ? 4 ? million combat vets in the USA now below the age of 50. Any serious war will go after them first. No basic training required. They can be called up at the request of the President.

    A friend of mine retired from the Air Force inactive reserves as a Captain three months before Desert Storm One when he turned 50. 20+ years in the inactive reserves, he gets a couple of hundred bucks a month for the rest of his life. He figured that he was going to get called up and sent to Kuwait to man a clipboard on the jet line but they never called.

  42. Hmm, the old Thumper rule. “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all”.

    The MSM is uniformly labeling Trump’s comments about The Squad as “racist.”

    So much for journalistic objectivity.

  43. The current start stop system has a 36 volt motor generator set built into the 10 speed transmission.

    I did not know that Lynn. I have a 2018 F150 and have studied it fairly extensively. As far as I know; it has a standard 12V battery, alternator, and starter. Let me know if this is not the case please – would be interesting info… I do like the 3.5 with 10 speed. Has a nice turbo whistle with the windows down about 2500 rpm. Almost makes me not miss my 1999 7.3 Powerstroke ~ sob. I hate what they have done to diesels. But that is a different rant…

    There is a lot of discussion on various forums about disabling the auto start/stop without having to push the button every time. The easiest way I have found, I learned from my wife’s Audi. You keep the brake pressure just above what it takes to keep the vehicle stationary after a stop. That prevents the auto stop. After you do it a few times, it becomes second nature. The Audi requires more brake pressure to enable the auto stop, so that is how I figured it out. The Ford is more sensitive but not a big deal once you get the feel for it. BTW, there is a cottage industry of fixes on the start/stop, but I find “brake pressure minimization” to work fine.

  44. We have around 2 ? 3 ? 4 ? million combat vets in the USA now below the age of 50. Any serious war will go after them first. No basic training required. They can be called up at the request of the President.

    Calling up the vets still wouldn’t sit well.

    For what? To keep the good times rolling at MacDill? 20 years is enough.

  45. I did not know that Lynn. I have a 2018 F150 and have studied it fairly extensively. As far as I know; it has a standard 12V battery, alternator, and starter. Let me know if this is not the case please – would be interesting info… I do like the 3.5 with 10 speed. Has a nice turbo whistle with the windows down about 2500 rpm. Almost makes me not miss my 1999 7.3 Powerstroke ~ sob. I hate what they have done to diesels. But that is a different rant…

    Do you have the start-stop system ? This page somewhat explains it:
    http://www.f150hub.com/trans/10r80.html

    “An integrated electric transmission fluid pump permits the “start-stop” feature with minimal delay.”

    I have no idea where I read that the F-150 plugin hybrid was going to put a higher voltage system into the transmission to become a much more higher powered start-stop system. I thought that was absolutely cool when I read it though.

  46. Regarding 100+ yr old people: My mother is 99, turns 100 in February next year. Still healthy mentally and physically – other than a ‘dowagers hump’.

    She says that “every morning when I wake up I am surprised”.

  47. She says that “every morning when I wake up I am surprised”.

    Me too. Usually pleasantly surprised.


  48. Yesterday, we were discussing new music vs. that of the past.

    The eighties was my music and I detest the modern music EXCEPT for EDM. EDM is entirely computer generated and everyone knows it. Instead of race/dead dogs/gangsters it’s all about creating a mood. It’s not for everyone but it works for me.

  49. “Trump Points Out The Obvious. Everybody Apparently Loses Their Damned Minds by Thomas Kendall”
    https://accordingtohoyt.com/2019/07/15/trump-points-out-the-obvious-everybody-apparently-loses-their-damned-minds-by-thomas-kendall/

    “People who are here and want to talk about how terrible America is? LEAVE. Vamoose. Go. We’re not a socialist state that restricts your ability to leave. That’s the whole point.
    Fit in or F*ck off. I’ll help you pack your bags. – SAH*”

    Wow. I am so pleased to see people who get it.

    Best comment so far:
    “In 2016 I was given a choice between a vulgar clown (or so he was depicted) and an arrogant scold. I voted for the clown, expecting nothing more than four years of lowbrow entertainment. I have been delightfully surprised.”

    Second best comment so far:
    “Had HRC won and AOC acted out as she’s been doing we’d be hearing of a sad tale of multiple self inflicted gunshot wounds.”

  50. For a couple of years the first word from my mouth and the first thought thru my head every morning was “shit!”. I’m a lot happier person now.

    I was so tired this morning I did something I try not to do at all, and really haven’t done more than once or twice in years… I got up and reset my alarm for half an hour later, then got back to sleep.

    I’m convinced hitting the snooze or similar antics is counter productive and bad for you. After literal decades of hitting snooze, sometimes for more than an hour, I decided to just set the alarm for the latest wake up, and get up. I’ve been doing that for years now and it is vastly superior to hitting the snooze. Once you learn to trust your alarm, and to put it somewhere across the room so you get out of bed, it will transform your morning routine.

    @lynn, I hope this solves your mom’s problems. I ‘m sure she will feel a lot better when she is mobile and out of the hospital.

    I like the F150, or 250, but I really like my little ranger. It does everything I need right now. I drive the Expy whenever I need the enclosed back or am carrying the kids, so I’ve got a pretty good idea what the 150 would be like. I like the smaller size of the ranger a LOT. Yet I can still get a full sized pallet flat between the wheelwells.

    n

  51. @mark, I find most current pop music to be generally horrible. I’m a child of the eighties, so I like the music of my high school years (New Wave), but mom had Dave Brubeck records and dad liked old school country. That broadened my horizons considerably.

    Youtube does a great job with their suggestion algorithm and I’ve found lots of new music that way. I love electroswing for just background, and some variants of that. Xefox Music puts together some nice mixes if you want to check it out.

    When I get bored with XM channel 33, I head up to BPM or one of the other edm channels. It’s soothing without being narcoleptic.

    Current rap just sucks, especially the Houston style. I like old school, but it sounds so SLOW to my ears now. Ska with a lot of horns is always good, and zydeco in small doses; with Chicago style “House Rockin” blues, not moaning by Delta harmonica players, making me smile. Check out alligator records for artists, but you can’t go wrong with Big Twist and the Mellow Fellows.

    n

  52. Second best comment so far:

    “Had HRC won and AOC acted out as she’s been doing we’d be hearing of a sad tale of multiple self inflicted gunshot wounds.”

    Had HRC won, the 2018 midterms would have been a disaster for the Dems. The party never would have allowed Chakrabati and the cocktail waitress to primary an established incumbent.

  53. My fear is that people will vote for a new crop of crazy. Clearly they reflect something in society atm. Also clearly TDS counts more in their decision making than facts. So T demonizes (rightly) the crazies and their fellow travelers, and a certain percentage votes for them just because T doesn’t like them.

    That would be bad.

    n

  54. Calling up the vets still wouldn’t sit well.

    For what? To keep the good times rolling at MacDill? 20 years is enough.

    Truth. It would take a shit-hit-the-fan situation for a call up.


  55. When I get bored with XM channel 33, I head up to BPM or one of the other edm channels. It’s soothing without being narcoleptic.

    Agree. BPM is my favorite. Every so often I get a thing for the 80s and spend a week listening to random 80s on yt, then I get sick of it for a couple of months.

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