Mon. Sept. 9, 2019 – gonna be a long slog for the Bahamas

Cooler and humid.  Hot later.  ‘Cuz that’s how we roll…. [79F and 89%RH at 845am with mixed clouds and overcast, sprinkle of rain earlier]

I put up a link to some of the video finally coming out of the Bahamas in comments yesterday.   In areas that were hard hit, there’s very little salvageable left.  There’s almost no where to stand to use the lever either…*

My goals for this week involve more rotation of my secondary location, finally getting my primary garage storage sorted out and modified with lessons learned from the rat invasion, and getting more <s>carp</s> er, stuff, out of my driveway and off to auction.  All while trying not to have heat stroke.

Somewhere in there, I need to get the electrician out to hook up the gennie, get some garden stuff done, and get some more antenna work done.  All while gearing up for the Fall holiday schedule and school demands.  Oh, and hopefully ebay sales pick up and I start making money again.  (several small items have sold in the last week, which is encouraging.)

In larger economic news, there is more talk of recession and market flameout in the press.  My personal sense is that the real economy has been in trouble for a long time, didn’t get significantly better, and is in fact bad.

One of my proxies is trade magazines.  I get a bunch of them and they are all getting THIN.  Some are down to almost pamphlet sized, 32 pages.  These were all bound volumes during better times.  Even Machine Design and EC&M are thin shadows of themselves.  Machine Design was always the fattest (and most general interest) of them all.  One other indicator is in bad times, you get solicited for new trade mags.  IE, the publishers of mags you get start trying to increase their subscription base, pushing mags that are only marginally or even not at all relevant to their existing subscribers.  I got a bunch of new .mil, defense, and aerospace mags this month.   I love it because it gives me a window into places I wouldn’t normally be able to see.

Another proxy is getting emails or calls from businesses I haven’t had contact with in YEARS, possibly even a decade or more.  Suddenly, they are mining their old email lists trying to drum up new business.  When times are good, they’ve got enough customers as is, when times are bad, they start reaching deep looking for more.

Closer to home, thanks to Rick for modernizing some things around here, without changing too much.  Anything that helps Rick to maintain this place is a Good Thing ™, and anything that keeps him engaged is also a Good Thing.  I certainly can’t do what he does, and appreciate his efforts.

Thanks also to a couple of new commentors, and people who have commented after a long period of silence.  It is the commentariat and the community here that make this place what it is.  Hearing from someone new, or an infrequent commentor helps me ‘keep the faith’ that this is more than just an echo chamber of and for grumpy old men.

With that, I better get my day started.

 

n

 

 

*”give me a lever long enough and a place to stand, and I’ll move the world…”

32 thoughts on “Mon. Sept. 9, 2019 – gonna be a long slog for the Bahamas”

  1. Closer to home, thanks to Rick for modernizing some things around here, without changing too much. Anything that helps Rick to maintain this place is a Good Thing ™, and anything that keeps him engaged is also a Good Thing. I certainly can’t do what he does, and appreciate his efforts.

    I second that. And a big shout-out to Nick as well from this grumpy old guy!

    And speaking of ebay, several times in the past couple of months there have been unsolicited offers of a lower price on items I watched for a couple of days without bidding on them. Methinks some sellers have acquired a lean and hungry look.

  2. @mediumwave, thanks, and it’s my pleasure.

    WRT the ebay offers, ebay has been sending sellers a note if someone is watching their items. It says “Someone is watching your item! Reduce the price and make the sale! If you reduce the price by x% we’ll let your watcher know!” or similar wording…

    and yes, sellers are getting nervous to move inventory. At least the ones I talk to are.

    n

  3. Quite a while back I recommended Thomas Sowell’s Black Rednecks and White Liberals. It’s an eye-opening book. If you haven’t read it yet, why not? 🙂

    Today I’d like to offer up for your consideration his revised and expanded Discrimination and Disparities.

    I’m not going to attempt to summarize the book except to say that it is a powerful antidote to the Left’s lies and distortions in re racial politics in America. You’ll find it very useful in weathering the propaganda storm leading up to the 2020 election.

    The video: Thomas Sowell on the Origins of Economic Disparities.

  4. and yes, sellers are getting nervous to move inventory. At least the ones I talk to are.

    People are increasing low on what Jerry Pournelle called “beer money”.

    I noticed last night that Ford is offering $20k incentives to move the big trucks.

    (I wonder how long you are locked into the Ford Credit loan. Six months? A year?)

    As for EBay, the immediate response from the seller to me finding an issue (faulty DVD tray mechanism) with the laptop I bought was an accusation of fraud. Non-tech items I bought for my low volume buy-sell operation over the last year have been grossly misrepresented and were mostly returned. I’d be concerned if I was an exec at that place since they’re highly dependent on buyers spending “beer money” — EBay never made the leap of becoming mainstream retail like Amazon did.

    BTW, the current status of my standoff with the laptop seller is non-communication. I offered to eat all the postage costs each way, but he’s decided to roll the dice on being out $36 to pocket $100 if both EBay and Paypal decide in his favor after separate reviews, which is doubtful given my record. Crazy.

    EBay income must be “rent money” rather than “beer money”.

  5. I’d be interested to see what percentage of ebay sales is alibaba type stuff direct from china and grey or black market retailers selling legit product in illegit channels for lower prices. I see a ton of normal retail stuff on ebay these days, stuff competing with amazon.

    n

  6. BTW, the current status of my standoff with the laptop seller is non-communication.

    Last Wednesday I bought a couple of items from one seller. After I contacted him regarding combined shipping, I got a lukewarm response the day of the sale and nothing since. Yesterday I caved and paid for the items to be shipped separately.

    After the items arrive I will be giving the seller a neutral rating (for “failure to communicate”,) only the second non-positive rating I’ve given in all my dealings with ebay.

    If the seller had merely forthrightly denied my request for combined shipping I wouldn’t be as annoyed as I am now. 🙁

  7. I see a ton of normal retail stuff on ebay these days, stuff competing with amazon.

    Before buying anything on ebay it’s best to check that the same item isn’t for sale on Amazon at a lower price.

    Don’t ask me how I know. 😐


  8. Before buying anything on ebay it’s best to check that the same item isn’t for sale on Amazon at a lower price.

    Same for Amazon.

  9. After the items arrive I will be giving the seller a neutral rating (for “failure to communicate”,) only the second non-positive rating I’ve given in all my dealings with ebay.

    As long as I get my money back, even if EBay/PayPal have to get involved, I always give a positive rating with details in the comments section.

  10. Before buying anything on ebay it’s best to check that the same item isn’t for sale on Amazon at a lower price.

    Don’t ask me how I know.

    If a seller sends you an Amazon item as a “gift” after winning the auction, the seller may or may not be violating the terms of their Prime “consumer” service. If you’re suspicious, especially if something is wrong with the item, check with Amazon.

    There is a Prime “wholesaler” service, but the fees are higher.

  11. (I wonder how long you are locked into the Ford Credit loan. Six months? A year?)

    I think that it is 90 days to keep from having your incentives reversed.

  12. ‘(I wonder how long you are locked into the Ford Credit loan. Six months? A year?)’

    I think that it is 90 days to keep from having your incentives reversed.

    For $10k. What about $20k in incentives?

    God only knows what GM is doing with the Arlington plant output. They were already rental fleet fodder this time last year.

  13. I am in trouble at the school. Nothing that I did incorrectly.

    I took away a freshmen female’s phone. Told them when class started “I see the phone, I take it”, “I see you using the phone, you and your phone go to the office”. One girl decided to be sneaky and I saw her using her phone. I went back and said “you were using your phone.”. She said “No.”. I then asked “where is your phone?”. She had the phone hidden under her leg, where she hid it when I approached.

    I sent her to the office and informed the vice principal of the incident. Told the vice principal that the class had been warned. Girl is claiming I never told them about the phones and am just picking on her, being vindictive. Regardless, it is district policy, no phones in class. So far the school is supporting me as they always have in the past.

    That is all I know at this point. Who knows, she may expand her story. It may go no further. Little cretin freshman who think being sneaky is OK and they will not get caught.

    Since a parent has to pick up the phone at school, that now concerns me. I know her father and he is a hot head. Depends on what she tells her father. She may not even live with him.

    Sad really that these kids, rather than admit they were wrong, or accept their stupidity, blame the incident on something, or someone else. No ability to accept responsibility. This is the generation that is being raised. Brought on by their parents who think their child can do no wrong and the fault must lie elsewhere. Probably democrats.


  14. I’m not going to attempt to summarize the book except to say that it is a powerful antidote to the Left’s lies and distortions in re racial politics in America.

    Yes, and I absolutely believe that my forbears from Northern Europe were NOT slaves of those royalties that lived in the castles or chateaus up on the hilltops.


  15. I am in trouble at the school. Nothing that I did incorrectly.

    IIRC, also a similar event in a prior school year?

    Don’t get me started on the fraud of restorative justice.


  16. IIRC, also a similar event in a prior school year?

    Yep. Apparently fairly common when the child is “wronged”, at least in their mind. Blame someone, or something, else for the issue. Teachers suffer from the same thing. More so when the child does something that gets the child sent to alternative school.

    Teachers get used to it having to deal with it all the time. Freshmen are the worst as they think they are big time now and can really work the system. Know it all, can do no wrong, no one can tell them what to do, etc.

    School administration has always supported me so good for the administration. A few kids really hate me. Big deal. As the sub training stated more than once, “You are not there to be their friend.”.

  17. From @Greg yesterday:

    I will concede that we need a new washer, however. About 15 years ago, my wife and her friend took it upon themselves to try fixing one of the chronic problems themselves instead of waiting for me to work down my list. Needless to say, the body of the washer hasn’t been right since then, missing too many screws from the disassembly attempt, making resolution of that chronic problem an all morning job wrestling with sheet metal.

    I am just impressed that she tried to fix the washing machine.

  18. Where are you seeing $20K in incentives ? My possible truck lost $700 in incentives on Sep 1.

    I saw a commercial last night during the local news in Austin.

    It was Ford too, not just a Group One come on. Of course, “Up to $20k in incentives”.

    Not much of a deal if you’re locked into a 72 mo. 8-9% Ford Credit loan for six months (my guess).

    Austin’s big Ford dealer in the heart of the “motor mile” car shopping district is awful. We were burned there on the wife’s Exploder since they were the Costco dealer.

  19. @Ray

    Another option is to ask the person to unlock their phone with a wrong password several times, assuming locked phones have a ‘wrong password timeout’ of several hours.

    Although confiscation works. Maybe a sign that you point to “Use a Phone, Go to Principal”.

  20. I am in trouble at the school. Nothing that I did incorrectly.

    @Ray: Would you wearing a body cam be an option?


  21. Sad really that these kids, rather than admit they were wrong, or accept their stupidity, blame the incident on something, or someone else. No ability to accept responsibility.

    It’s not only kids. Lots of adults do the same, though by adults I really mean superannuated children, so I suppose you could say it’s only kids.

    re the economy, I really don’t know how it’s doing. I do know that a lot of people who don’t have regular jobs are having trouble: Uber cutting payments to drivers, freelance creators having to hustle a lot more and take lower rates, and such. And I know that health care costs — or rather, the insurance premiums for coverage that doesn’t really cover much of anything — is breaking a lot of people’s backs.

  22. The News isn’t helping.

    Oh, the poor folks in the Bahamas!!!! Oh, Woe we have to do something!
    Why? It’s a British territory of some kind. NOT our problem. Any more than Cuba is our problem.

    And the whole Sharpie-gate horsehockey thing. No, really, I think I saw a path where the hurricane was going to go across Florida. But drawing lines on a poster is cause for impeachment?

    They have to be tripping. On what? I don’t know and I don’t want any…

  23. I am just impressed that she tried to fix the washing machine.

    About once a year, the washer will start leaking half a cup of water with every cycle unless I take it apart and clean the fabric softener dispenser. No big deal so it isn’t high on my list.

    I don’t remember what was higher priority that weekend, but I made the mistake of saying, “Just put a towel on the floor until I get around to it.”

    I understand the fundamental flaw of what I said, but it is amplified with friends and family if the other person in the marriage has a medical license. I’ve lived it for 20 years.

  24. Heh.

    The Chinese relations in WA State made a big deal of one cousin’s honeymoon in Italy.

    I had to contain the laughter when the girl and her husband complained about being unable to find pepperoni pizza like they were used to here.

    And *I’m* the hillbilly.

  25. planet ford has been running radio ads, $20k on F150, $12k on ranger….

    Huh. I did not see these on their website.

  26. Italian pizza is great, but it doesn’t have a lot in common with “pizza” in the US. Which is also yummy, just not very Italian.

    The best pizza here comes (IMHO) from a local kebab place, with a local Italian place running a close second. No American pizza available in our area, but some cities have a Pizza Hut.

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