Tues. Dec. 1, 2020 – it’s the final countdown… for the year anyway

Cold and windy.  Hopefully not below freezing.  [28F at 6am]

I spent yesterday getting ebay and auction stuff sorted into bins.  I also did a little bit of maintenance and finished the install of the range hood.

And cooked dinner- pork chops on the grill, thin sliced red potatoes saute’d in bacon fat with onion, and a steamed acorn squash for  a bit of sweet.  Family ate over 2 pounds of pork.  I’m glad I have girls, I couldn’t afford boys at this rate.  Range hood worked great with the potatoes.

Today I’ll be headed over to the rent house to meet the plumber.  If everything goes well, then over to the auction house to drop off 4 bins of stuff.  If it goes badly, I hope we’ll get everything fixed before my tenants get home from work.

So far, my tenants have been working and able to pay the rent.  When I was considering the advantages of an income stream from rentals, I didn’t consider the US going full commie and seizing landlords’ properties without compensation.  I’m glad I’m not in a state thinking about or engaged in rent forgiveness.  Like most commie schemes, the end result is the opposite of intended- you end up with no rentals available, or only run down shiteholes that no one wants to live in.  Formerly productive (and taxable) properties go fallow or become a burden on society instead of a benefit.

The slide has started.

Consider too, if you are rooting for a Biden win, what it means for our free and open society when people on the left feel emboldened.  Right now, when they think they are the underdogs, they are calling for an actress to be blackballed because her boyfriend might not be a Trump hater.  She was formerly a darling of the left,  supporting all the right causes.  They chase people off campus for what they MIGHT say.  They dox and hound and threaten anyone they don’t like.   How much worse will that be when they KNOW they are the protected golden children?  And the problem with radical orthodoxy?  No one is ever pure enough, or dedicated enough to satisfy the true believers.  So even if you are sympathetic, or supportive, you can still find yourself denounced and driven out.

And then where will you be?

Stack it high.  Prepare to pull back and close in.  If you’ve been free with your opinions, someone has already made a note of it, guaranteed.  If you aren’t prepared to recant, you better get ready to fight.

n

Author: Nick Flandrey

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

79 thoughts on “Tues. Dec. 1, 2020 – it’s the final countdown… for the year anyway”

  1. What gets me is that I live in California, where supposedly everything $costs. Well, maybe not everything, including property taxes, thanks to Prop 13 and having had our home for 40+ years.
    That is much more of a good deal. I can’t believe 13 has lasted so long, in spite of nearly constant attacks.

    From what I understand, Prop 13 protection is inheritable, which is the real fiscal insanity that turned average houses from places to live into generational wealth. Only a court is going to be able to walk that back.

    Just wait until being in the country without a visa is decriminalized. If you think CA real estate is pricey now thanks to Prop 13, it is nothing compared to what the prices will look like after 10-20 million Number One Sons from Asia show up with their family money.

    Florida’s “Save Our Homes” was similar to Prop 13 but non-inheritable and had a homestead requirement. Jeb!’s successor, RINO-turned-Dem Charlie Crist also inserted portability into the law, which sounds great on the surface, but ultimately, arguably, made the whole arrangement unconstitutional.

    2
    1
  2. I’m glad I’m not in a state thinking about or engaged in rent forgiveness.

    Yet. Abbott is getting a lot of pressure from the Progs in Austin and San Antonio to use the $3 billion left over from the stimulus to cover rents. The money has to be spent this year.

    Of course, once an entitlement is established …

  3. Consider too, if you are rooting for a Biden win, what it means for our free and open society when people on the left feel emboldened.

    Here’s the thing. Trump. I’m just saying.

    Joe and Kamala understand. We worked hard for what we have, just like they did.

    (The thought process in a nutshell.)

    2

  4. I just received my registration renewal notice for one car, and it rounds to $150.

    I pay $29.00 a year for my registration. It does not matter the age or value of the vehicle.

    use the $3 billion left over from the stimulus to cover rents

    This entire rent relief, postponement, whatever is going to come back and bite many in the buttocks.

    First I fail to see where the government can tell a private property owner that the owner cannot collect rent. That is effectively the government “stealing” the owner’s property and giving the property to others. Would people be so tolerant if the government reached into people’s paychecks for money to pay the landlords? What does the government expect the landlords to live on if they cannot collect rent?

    Second is that the rent was not forgiven, it was deferred, as in evictions were not allowed. That rent will become due at some point. If the tenants cannot pay now, they will not be able to pay later and make up for back rent.

    Third is that many of the renters will simply move and not pay the back rent. That is going to be a huge financial burden on the landlords who will now get stiffed for all the money owed. Even though the landlord must continue to provide maintenance, pay taxes, and make mortgage payments. Many will just abandon the property.

    Fourth is that this will put a lot of people on the street who can no longer rent. Failure to pay rent in the past is a big red flag for those that are renting to others. I suppose the people unable to rent could become squatters in the abandoned properties. No utilities, no repairs, massive slum buildings full of criminal thugs.

    Right now, when they think they are the underdogs, they are calling for an actress to be blackballed because her boyfriend might not be a Trump hater

    There have already been ideas floated around that people there were/are Trump supporters be identified. A person will have to show their allegiance to Biden and Harris to get any services or products.

    As it is now the Biden supporters all claim to be for freedom of ideas. Unless those ideas disagree with their ideas which in that case the Biden supporters will claim the other person is an idiot, stupid, ignorant, closed minded and deserves to die. The only ideas and thoughts allowed are the Biden supporter thoughts and ideas. One must learn to support the Biden regime or suffer the consequences.

    Once the “free stuff” starts flowing to those who don’t deserve it things will get much worse. Once the gravy train starts moving it will be difficult, if not impossible to stop. These people don’t realize that nothing is free from the government. That resource, or money, comes from the hard work of others. Remove the incentive to work, and people won’t.

    Biden’s plan to charge higher taxes on corporations is very much misguided, stupid and shows complete ignorance of economics. Corporations don’t pay taxes, their customers and clients pay taxes through the cost of goods. Raise the taxes and the cost of goods will rise. Economics 000, lower than Economics 101.

    The minions, the serfs, will suffer. Those that have placed themselves in positions of power will continue to prosper. The spread is large now and will get larger. People decry the difference between corporate CEOs and the workers. That spread will pale when the difference between the common riff raff and those that have placed themselves in a position of power.

    There have been complaints about how Wall Street has benefited during the pandemic at the expense of everyone else. So what? I benefited from my investments. Pension funds benefited. Companies, you know the ones that employ people, benefited. The only ones that did not benefit are the leaches on society that do nothing but take and contribute nothing, the ones complaining the loudest. Well tough fecal matter.

    2
    9
    3

  5. Anytime someone wants you to rush into something, you can be sure it is in their self interest and probably not yours.

    Quoted for truth.

    There have been complaints about how Wall Street has benefited during the pandemic at the expense of everyone else. So what? … The only ones that did not benefit are the leaches

    What? Either I’m not perceiving what you meant to say or I totally disagree. And I’m pretty sure that the guy who owned the local hardware store, who went out of business because he was not allowed to let customers in, would disagree that Lowe’s increase in stock value meant that the system is working. Ditto some other (former) owners of small businesses, forced out of business while Amazon and WalMart and Hannaford are doing great.


  6. Here is what we now face

    How do people afford to live in those areas? A $4 or $5K monthly mortgage is insane. And the houses are jammed together with a yard small enough that it can be cut with hand clippers. A high wooden fence to shield from the neighbors. Upstairs windows that look in on the upstairs windows of the people next door. No wonder people are leaving when they can.

    My house, 4 bedrooms, 3 baths, 2 car garage, pool, 0.75 acre, 3k+ sqft, driveway that can fit 7 vehicles would be worth several hundred thousand, well over 7 figures, in SoCal. I certainly could not afford my current house.

  7. “leading a greater share of home sales to be in the luxury segment now than at the same time last year.”

    –our quarterly HOA newsletter includes a page from a local realtor, and the same thing is going on here. Sales of the top tier homes outpaced all other tiers, and drove up the median price.

    Of course, in 2008 I paid $85 per sq ft for this house, roughly $200k for 2400 sqft on 9000 sqft lot. Mature trees, 50 yo subdivision, large and strong HOA but generally reasonable rules.

    Today comparable homes in my subdivision are $435k.

    n

  8. I’m not perceiving what you meant to say or I totally disagree.

    My comment was regarding individuals, not companies. People complaining they are not making any money while Wall Street continues climbing. These people have no savings, live paycheck to paycheck.

    As for the small businesses, many were hanging by a thread before the pandemic. The pandemic broke the small business. That is not a problem of Wall Street, that is a problem of clueless administrations that have set themselves up as lords. Imposing laws without judicial oversight, providing fines without legislative oversight. The local leaders all the way up to the governors have set themselves up as lords over the people and businesses.

    Health departments that have set themselves in the position of governing people’s lives and restricting freedoms. People who have not been elected nor taken an oath of office making decisions that affect people’s lives and livelihood. These people should have been stopped in their tracks with lawsuits, dragged through the courts, then racked and stretched in the public park.

    Their policies have forced people to turn to larger stores that provide delivery and other methods in which to get necessities and supplies. Bob’s Hardware does not have that capability and needed door traffic. The local, self appointed, emperors made certain that would not happen.

    Don’t blame Wall Street. The fools in the public offices have devised ill-conceived and poorly administered policies with no thought given to the real effects of their lording over everyone.

  9. It’s the upper middle class two income families. Take for example a teacher married to mid-level local government tax eater. The two probably have a combined income of $150K – $200K and with far more benies than any of us and a high pension to live on forever. They can afford a $5000 mortgage with taxes and insurance.
    Inflation isn’t doing any of us favors either.

    2
  10. IDK whether to blame firefox or windows, or a particular web site, but DANG someone sucks.

    When I sat down at my pc after breakfast the responsiveness dropped to zero, so I launched taskmgr and resource mgr. Half an hour later, I’m finally looking at rm slowly updating and I can see what I expected. ALL my physical memory in use, disk access at 100%, and FF HAMMERING my drives pagefile Memory faults are pegged too.

    Close 8 tabs in one instance, sit and wait, no change. Close tabs one by one in the other window and wait. Close zerohedge and suddenly mem faults drop, memory usage drops, and in a bit, FF stops hammering on pagefile.

    Meanwhile, I notice that windows malware defender is using a lot of cpu and disk too.
    most of the FF processes that aren’t trying to read/write pagefile are involved with safebrowsing…

    So I suspect some combo of malware defender, safebrowsing in FF, and maybe uBlock Origin sometimes breaks something or gets loopy and sucks up all the memory, causing use of the swap space, which is slow and (difficult to keep up) when the demands are constantly changing.

    I now have all the same tabs open fresh, and everything is normal. Mem usage, disk usage, mem faults, cpu, all nominal.

    Freaking computers.

    n


  11. IIRC, 20 years ago when I was doing it regularly, it’s just a medical form most people fold up and shove inside their passport

    I remember carrying my yellow international shot record on every milspec deployment back in the day.


  12. –um, would you be objecting if they said the pneumonia killed him? Or if they said “complications from a fall” or even just “heart attack”?

    You sort of make my point. The announcement should be “Ben Bova dead at 88”. COOOVIIID is thrown in to politicize his death. Scare tactic. Control. I doubt at 88 he had no comorbidities. He was already 10 years past the average age of male death. I’m sort of not caring what killed him. It is probably SOP now to do a COVID test to get goobermint $$.

    2
    5
    2
  13. How do people afford to live in those areas? A $4 or $5K monthly mortgage is insane. And the houses are jammed together with a yard small enough that it can be cut with hand clippers. A high wooden fence to shield from the neighbors. Upstairs windows that look in on the upstairs windows of the people next door. No wonder people are leaving when they can.

    I got familiar with the math around eight years ago when I had the Apple interview. When you’re talking $1 million stucco-clad shacks, the process depends heavily on cheap money, loose lending standards and government programs. I also tell friends to avoid moving to a tech area on the West Coast unless their family is in a position to step in if needed — most of the time that help is necessary.

    The real estate market hasn’t been “real” in a decade, but CA is especially distorted. Unfortunately, everyone is invested in the state’s real estate remaining healthy through pension funds and 401(k) plans.

    The new H1B-oriented neighborhoods here in Austin build houses like you describe. It isn’t just CA anymore. Indian families providing a dowry for their daughter to marry a Number One Son with an “engineering” degree and winning ticket in the H1B lottery insist on buying new and big, large enough for an extra master suite or maybe two.


  14. I remember carrying my yellow international shot record

    Me too, 1974 through 1982, as a civilian. Same size as my passport.


  15. The new H1B-oriented neighborhoods here in Austin build houses like you describe

    Living in a mostly rural area my view gets clouded. Oak Ridge and Knoxville have housing plantations. But none where I live. Many houses on 1 acres plus. Modest, but nice homes. Some bring in double wide trailers, set them on a foundation, remove the axles, and it is now considered a permanent house. Some quite nice.

    Any time I go to Atlanta or San Antonio I feel cramped, crowded, almost overwhelmed.

  16. As it is now the Biden supporters all claim to be for freedom of ideas. Unless those ideas disagree with their ideas which in that case the Biden supporters will claim the other person is an idiot, stupid, ignorant, closed minded and deserves to die. The only ideas and thoughts allowed are the Biden supporter thoughts and ideas. One must learn to support the Biden regime or suffer the consequences.

    I believe the co-worker who stepped up to complain about my f-bombs and become management’s tool in the process of finally getting me fired was the whiny individual from Seattle who found my “lax” attitude towards Covid horrifying among other Prog beliefs.

    FYI for anyone in Texas: TWC is seriously backed up. My appeal hasn’t even crossed a desk yet, and, as of yesterday, I’m once again eligible for UI so it really doesn’t matter anymore. Not that I expect to win unless the company messed up the process — a definite possibility.

    1
    1
    2
  17. One of the reasons I left SoCal was the difficulty of buying a home. I was making good money working on the road, but couldn’t save faster than prices were going up. No way was I going to do a 3% down mortgage and pay PMI.

    “I remember carrying my yellow international shot record”
    –I carried mine too, and I’ve been looking for it. I can’t find it in my extensive piles, or my extensive files.

    n

  18. I don’t think I’ll be doing plumbing today. Plumber texted that he’d be there after 2pm which is when the tenants are back in the house. Grr. The whole point was to do the work when they were gone, since it involves shutting off the water, and occupying the only bathroom, not to mention, it’s a small house and they don’t want 4 or 5 of us in there at the same time.

    n

  19. One of the reasons I left SoCal was the difficulty of buying a home. I was making good money working on the road, but couldn’t save faster than prices were going up. No way was I going to do a 3% down mortgage and pay PMI.

    3% down with PMI means you are still a tenant, but you are renting money instead of property. The solution used to be family help or an interest-only mortgage with a balloon payment for the other 17% of the mortgage, but Congress capped the deductions for SALT and mortgage interest at $20k in return for a larger personal deduction — great in flyover country but lousy in CA.

    Right now, the housing market stays alive with cheap money, rapid appreciation in value, and the potential for another first time home buyer credit of $20k putting a floor of $700k in “starter” home prices aross the country as long as buyers can keep coming up with money for payments. The luxury market is, naturally, booming. Who doesn’t like granite and … mawhbuhl kawhlumhs.

    Janet Yellen at Treasury? Let the good times roll!


  20. So far, my tenants have been working and able to pay the rent.

    Just got October payments from my rental management company. Tenants still paying rents and no new issues. They charge me 10% but it’s more than worth it to me not to have to deal with plumbing problems or chasing payments.

  21. She started in on how illegal that was and then I interrupted her …

    Yes, when they pull that on me, I interrupt and say: “All laws have a number, what is the number of that law which I must obey?” I never get the true answer, even if it is a valid law.

    2

  22. what is the number of that law which I must obey?

    Facebook or Twitter number?

    As that seems to be where most people get their information.

    1
    1
  23. From dkreck:

    Slim, are you a real estate millionaire now?

    Almost, we moved in as original owners in August, 1967. Very lucky, but for a good reason that I was 1 1/2 mile from work and wife was 20 ,in from part time job. Also, we had lived in a rental a mile away for a year and knew the neighborhood.

    About 1900 square feet, two story, 7,000 sq ft. yard. Extremely lucky, about $30,000 and now Zillowed about $50,000 less than a million.

    Yes, daughter will move back in for Prop 13. She has owned her 1200 square foot home for about 18 years and pays 4 times the property tax to screwsome.

    When bars are reopened, come on down and beer is on me at my favorite, Mother’s Tavern, in Sunset Beach.
    https://www.motherstavernsunsetbeach.com/

  24. Yes, daughter will move back in for Prop 13. She has owned her 1200 square foot home for about 18 years and pays 4 times the property tax to screwsome.

    The big downside to inheriting Prop 13 will be when the Progs finally get their imputed income tax. Gore was very serious about it in 2000, while the economy was hot and the stock market a distrction, but he lost. Obama didn’t try it in 2009 because the focus was healthcare, and all bets were off on avoiding the fillibuster once Uncle Ted assumed room temperature.

    I have no doubt the taxation scheme is on the wish list for next year if they get the Senate back and eliminate the filibuster. I don’t think the outrage would be enough to put CA back in the Republican column for 2024, but a lot of House seats will be lost which were only won when Impeachment was an issue.

    Here’s the thing. Trump. I’m just saying.

    1
  25. “COOOVIIID is thrown in to politicize his death. Scare tactic. Control.”

    — ok, I get that. and agree. Probably killed Sean Connery too, but was reported as pneumonia….

    no real reason other than curiosity that cause should be reported at all.

    n

  26. palmetto state armory has some decent prices and in stock today…
    n

  27. — ok, I get that. and agree. Probably killed Sean Connery too, but was reported as pneumonia….

    no real reason other than curiosity that cause should be reported at all.

    Connery had been circling the drain for a while, at least a decade. The long-standing rumor was some form of dementia.

  28. Yes, daughter will move back in for Prop 13. She has owned her 1200 square foot home for about 18 years and pays 4 times the property tax to screwsome.

    The big downside to inheriting Prop 13 will be when the Progs finally get their imputed income tax. Gore was very serious about it in 2000, while the economy was hot and the stock market a distrction, but he lost. Obama didn’t try it in 2009 because the focus was healthcare, and all bets were off on avoiding the fillibuster once Uncle Ted assumed room temperature.

    @Greg, I am confused as to how Imputed Income Tax will work with Prop 13 ?

    ADD: Are you saying that we will have to pay taxes on our Homestead Exemption with Imputed Income Tax ?

  29. I have no doubt the taxation scheme is on the wish list for next year if they get the Senate back and eliminate the filibuster. I don’t think the outrage would be enough to put CA back in the Republican column for 2024, but a lot of House seats will be lost which were only won when Impeachment was an issue.

    California dum-bro-crats have lost three House seats to the Repuglicans so far in 2020:
    https://www.realclearpolitics.com/elections/live_results/2020/house/

    1
    1
  30. @Greg, I am confused as to how Imputed Income Tax will work with Prop 13 ?

    Imputed income under the Gore plan would have been the money a taxpayer saved by not having to pay market rent in a given area for a similar house.

    Inheriting a Prop 13 house usually means the mortgage was paid off long ago and the only recurring payment is the property tax bill, much lower than market rent in the case of a house held by a family for 40-50 years.

    In his occasional rants against Prop 13, Warren Buffett cites the difference between the taxes he pays on his house in Omaha vs. his house on the golf course at Pebble Beach which, IIRC, he’s owned for more than 50 years. Of course the taxes on the CA house are lower. I’m not sure how inheritance taxes or title transfer works in that situation, however.

    I’ve had friends make pilgrimages out to kiss the rings of oldster relatives in CA with the goal of taking over a Prop 13 house, but I don’t get into details about the money issues out of politeness.

    My parents stucco shack in Anaheim which they sold in the early 70s pre Prop 13 for $20,000 is now worth $500k. I’m sure it will go to $700k under the $20k tax credit scheme. Maybe my mother and father were short sighted, but the prospect of raising kids in CA in the early 70s was beginning to frighten them.

    I have a lot of reasons to be torqued with my parents and still don’t talk to my mother. My old man is dead, but I wasn’t talking to him either for about 17 years before he passed. Missing out on a Prop 13 house has never even been a blip on the dysfunction radar.

    1
  31. And now, for your entertainment, we proudly present your daily dose of WTF?

    Additionally, the rules would require most Nasdaq-listed companies to have, or explain why they do not have, at least two diverse directors, including one who self-identifies as female and one who self-identifies as either an underrepresented minority or LGBTQ+.

    3

  32. And now, for your entertainment, we proudly present your daily dose of WTF?

    You don’t even have to make shit up anymore.

    LET THE HEELING AND QUEERING BEGIN!

    2
  33. “leading a greater share of home sales to be in the luxury segment now than at the same time last year.”

    –our quarterly HOA newsletter includes a page from a local realtor, and the same thing is going on here. Sales of the top tier homes outpaced all other tiers, and drove up the median price.

    Of course, in 2008 I paid $85 per sq ft for this house, roughly $200k for 2400 sqft on 9000 sqft lot. Mature trees, 50 yo subdivision, large and strong HOA but generally reasonable rules.

    Today comparable homes in my subdivision are $435k.

    What is happening to commercial properties is unreal in the Houston area: 2,805 ft2 small office building built in 1995 on 1.44 acres for $1,200,000, off I-10 and Barker-Cypress. And they will get it.
    https://www.loopnet.com/Listing/18222-Kingsland-Blvd-Houston-TX/20897832/

  34. @Greg, I am confused as to how Imputed Income Tax will work with Prop 13 ?

    Imputed income under the Gore plan would have been the money a taxpayer saved by not having to pay market rent in a given area for a similar house.

    I remember that now. That is freaking crazy. People would never stand for paying income tax on imaginary rent on a house that you own.

  35. You don’t even have to make shit up anymore.

    What boggles me is that the marketplace, of which a stock exchange is the epitome, is an absolute meritocracy. Cui bono?

    BTW, in case you didn’t read the link, that quote is from the NASDAQ itself.

  36. I have no doubt the taxation scheme is on the wish list for next year if they get the Senate back and eliminate the filibuster. I don’t think the outrage would be enough to put CA back in the Republican column for 2024, but a lot of House seats will be lost which were only won when Impeachment was an issue.

    California dum-bro-crats have lost three House seats to the Repuglicans so far in 2020:
    https://www.realclearpolitics.com/elections/live_results/2020/house/

    Did Beijing Biden have coattails anywhere ? The House dum-bro-crats have lost 11 seats so far and a couple of more are coming.

    Ah, I see, two House seats in North Carolina and one in Georgia went dum-bro-crat.

  37. FYI for anyone in Texas: TWC is seriously backed up. My appeal hasn’t even crossed a desk yet, and, as of yesterday, I’m once again eligible for UI so it really doesn’t matter anymore. Not that I expect to win unless the company messed up the process — a definite possibility.

    I take it the new job did not work out ? If so, sorry to hear that.

    In Texas, if the new job did not last 90 days then the unemployment goes against the previous employer. I found this out the hard way when the cheerleaders in my organization were cheering for the loser when he gained a yard in four downs and forced me to keep the loser for ten months. I will now fire a new employee at 80 to 85 days when they are not working out.

  38. And now, for your entertainment, we proudly present your daily dose of WTF?

    Ah, another token representative. Hired for their physical dysfunction rather than their intelligence. I have seen this many times while working government contracts. Black, female, disabled; did nothing all day except to satisfy a contract requirement for diversity. The perfect trifecta. I guess now they need to add queer. A Quadfecta?

    1
  39. I got a card in the mail today from an Amazon seller I bought a product from over a year ago asking me to please leave a 5-star review of that product and email them a screenshot of the review and they will send me a $20 Amazon gift card. I reported them to Amazon.

    The piece of shit seller is Sopownic Direct


  40. Just ignore all those movies it made as a girl. Its career is failing so it is trying to get attention. Of course, no hardware is being changed to be male.

    There is plenty of “hardware” out there for it to *use*.

    1
    1
  41. The Californication Prop 13 froze the tax rate % of the assessed value and placed the limit on assessed value increase at 2% per year. It is that 2% limit on assessed growth that is keeping us alive.

    The assessed rate can be inherited by son or daughter if the live in the house and do not rent it.

  42. Just ignore all those movies it made as a girl. Its career is failing so it is trying to get attention. Of course, no hardware is being changed to be male.

    So he is giving up all residuals to “Juno” and the “X Men” movies where a key contribution to the success of the characters’ portrayals was the actor presenting as a vulnerable female believably because … she was actually female.


  43. Its career is failing so it is trying to get attention.

    Maybe it’s trying to get some of that sweet, sweet male privilege.

    And now we have the Chinese connection with the presidential election voter fraud.

    Nothing to see here. Just move along. What are you, some kind of conspiracy nut?

    2
    1

  44. The perfect trifecta. I guess now they need to add queer. A Quadfecta?

    Perhaps a cincofecta. I had to accept a totally disabled person with severe brain damage due to accident. Yes, BS degree in engineering from U of Michigan program subsidized by US gov tax funds. Unbelievable, assigned to Rocket/Launch vehicle propulsion group to do flight analytical studies for each launch. But I never assigned real launch work to him, just some unimportant, uneeded side issue work. My boss finally got him transferred out to another group that wanted him out after 20 minutes.

  45. The Californication Prop 13 froze the tax rate % of the assessed value and placed the limit on assessed value increase at 2% per year. It is that 2% limit on assessed growth that is keeping us alive.

    The assessed rate can be inherited by son or daughter if the live in the house and do not rent it.

    Florida is similar, but a child cannot inherit the assessment.

    OTOH, as long as it lasts before the entire Florida homestead statue gets thrown out as unconstitutional, the last revision of the exemption under Charlie Crist made the assessment difference portable. If I live in a house that was assessed at $125k 20 years ago, $185k under the growth cap today, $300k without the growth cap, I can sell, buy another property within FL, and move my homestead exemption, immediately applying the $115k difference to the assessment for tax purposes there. My new, larger $400k house gets assessed at $285k, which, typically, in FL means about $2000 savings annually in taxes.

    Florida also doesn’t have Mello Roos, an end run around Prop 13. My inlaws pay those living in Dana Carvey’s old neighborhood south of San Francisco.

  46. “USPS May Have Transported Over 250,000 Ballots Across State Lines, Whistleblower Alleges”
    https://bigleaguepolitics.com/usps-may-have-transported-over-250000-ballots-across-state-lines-whistleblower-alleges/

    “One of the whistleblowers is apparently a Pennsylvania USPS truck driver who shipped an “estimated 144,000 to 288,000 completed ballots across three state lines in October.””

    I listened to the testimony of the USPS truck driver on the Sean Hannity radio show. He testified that his trailer had over 250,000 ballots in it when he moved it from New York to Pennsylvania on the morning of Nov 4. It was not even his normal trailer that he moved every night, it was a substitute trailer.

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

    2
    3
    1

  47. But I never assigned real launch work to him, just some unimportant, uneeded side issue work.

    I’ve done that when saddled with lazy and/or incompetent people I couldn’t get rid of. By which I mean state employees. I’d often work on projects on which essentially all of the work was done by contractors and there’d be a state employee or two. And I’d have to pretend that they were just as good as real human beings and give them real work to do, just as if they were intelligent, capable human beings rather than housebroken chimps in business casual attire. It would have been much easier if they’d fully embraced their inner worthless no-good lazyass union “work”er and just gone on break all day, but some of them were Dunning-Krugered into thinking they actually had something valuable to contribute. And ended up trashing others’ work more often than not. I usually managed to find a way for them to work on nothing little make-work tasks which didn’t interact with the real humans’ real work. If they managed to use their week with the commercial report builder to design a report pulling from the database, great. If not, I could do it when I had a spare half hour. (Not kidding. One shining light needed a week per simple report, using Oracle’s Business Intelligence or equivalent, a tool which lets the non-technical user lay out a report in minutes or at most a couple hours. And her reports looked like crap, with columns misaligned and typos in the titles and such.)

    2

  48. How do people afford to live in those areas? A $4 or $5K monthly mortgage is insane.

    I have 2 brothers who live in Marin County California. Their taxes are about the same as their mortgage payments. When they retire they will have to pay almost $2 grand a month even with the house paid off. They could sell their little 1200 sq-ft homes for about a million and buy mansions on acerage back here in Indian country.

  49. It was 22f at 6am this morning. Southeast of Burnet a few miles. Go away Winter.

    I bought some stuff called “Res Care” from Amazon. It’s to de-lime the resin beads in your water softener. Not that it matters at all, but it’s a really nice shade of blue. You pour a cup into the float well in the brine tank. Well. It may be snake oil but it seemed to work. I used it a couple of times and then the softener quit working. So, new softener!

    Yeah, I bought three or four gallons of the stuff because quantity and shipping made it a deal.

    I used the Res Care to clean the lime rings from the dog’s water dish. Wow, super vinegar foamy action without the smell. Same for the kitchen sink.

    The washing machine was grubby from Downy. Since Downy went “improved and ultra” it congeals into something like cold gravy while sitting on the shelf. I thinned the last jug with RO water and a month later it was like Elmer’s glue. Which is better than cold gravy. I don’t need the annoyance. I can suffer with t-shirts that are scratchy for all of the five minutes I wear them in the Summer.

    Ok, more Res Care. Slopped on with an old sponge onto the agitator to soak a few times and then lightly scrubbed with sponge. The washing machine looks almost new. Actually pretty nice for a (guessing) new in 1990 machine.

    What a life. Cleaning the washing machine and getting sort of excited about it. Grin.

    No interest in Friday of Color Sales this year. Although Amazon did send an e-mail with an 82 inch Samsung “TV” for a bit over a grand, delivered. But…. 4 HDMI ports? Good. Optical audio out? Good. The remote has no number buttons. What? Oh, and there is no antenna input. It’s not a television, it’s a monitor.
    I want a TV. Not a monitor and then a tuner box to mess with. Because sure as heck, the volume controls… yeah, no. Not using one remote for volume and another for changing the channel.

    Time for Penny’s afternoon snacky cookie.

  50. “The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Inc. (SFWA) is pleased to announce that Nalo Hopkinson has been named the 37th Damon Knight Grand Master for her contributions to the literature of science fiction and fantasy.”

    Who ?

    Didn’t Dr. Pournelle used to occasionally interject the caveat that SFWA was tied into that Scientology but he felt that the upside of being involved outweighed the downsides.

  51. “HPE says it is relocating HQ to Houston from San Jose”
    https://www.marketwatch.com/story/hpe-says-it-is-relocating-hq-to-houston-from-san-jose-2020-12-01?siteid=yhoof2

    “Shares of Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. HPE, +1.44% were flat in after-hours trading Tuesday after the information-technology giant reported fiscal fourth-quarter results, and disclosed it is moving its corporate headquarters to Houston from San Jose, Calif. ”

    Oh goody ! More libs relocating to Houston because it is too expensive to live in Silicon Social Media Valley. Especially for old hardware companies.

    Maybe they will move back into the old Compaq headquarters. I think that HP still owns that building. Maybe the entire campus.

  52. I bought some stuff called “Res Care” from Amazon. It’s to de-lime the resin beads in your water softener. Not that it matters at all, but it’s a really nice shade of blue. You pour a cup into the float well in the brine tank. Well. It may be snake oil but it seemed to work. I used it a couple of times and then the softener quit working. So, new softener!

    How do you know when the water softener is not working ? Asking for a friend.

    I have a proposal for a $6,000 water softener, whole house filter, and backwashing charcoal filter in my inbox. With shed for freeze protection. The wife wants it but she is not sure about the price. We have ALL of the problems listed on his website.
    http://hsw-llc.com/

    1. hard water
    2. iron staining or yellow water
    3. foul smell
    4. water does not taste good

    I fixed the foul smell by throwing away the old water softener that had the awesome electrical short with the electrical cord through the bricks and sheetrock into a bedroom socket. We won’t be doing that again ! I wonder what the new 150 ft GFCI line is going to cost ?

  53. So it looks like we are going to have a $600/week federal unemployment benefit forever. Which, means that it could be the basis for the new Universal Basic Income program.

    Wow. My UI is $500/week, but I doubt I will ever see the money.

    1
  54. Oh goody ! More libs relocating to Houston because it is too expensive to live in Silicon Social Media Valley. Especially for old hardware companies.

    Maybe they will move back into the old Compaq headquarters. I think that HP still owns that building. Maybe the entire campus.

    Libs? Try Subcontinent. HPE in Austin is so dominated by H1B labor that the theater across the street features Bollywood on half the screens every weekend.

    Of course, Subcontinent votes Dem when they become citizens. As with Asians, the perception is that supporting Republicans is not what a “smart” person does.

    Compaq went with the HP printer/computer company. Who knows the status of the real estate.

    HP played musical chairs with their various facilities in Vancouver, WA. I don’t think they own anything outright in the area anymore.

  55. My wife is reading Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 2012 biography. “Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story”
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1451662432/?tag=ttgnet-20

    It is actually interesting. When he graduated from high school in Austria, he joined the army as a part of his required service. He managed to become a tank driver, driving the US built M46. They were out for a drill and spent overnight out in the wild. As the tank driver, he slept under the tank. When he woke up the tank was gone. He looked forward and it was in the lake, the main gun stuck in the mud. He had forgotten to set the parking brake !

    He was actually a millionaire before he became a movie star since he was Mr. Universe and selling books and pamphlets about body building. My wife is reading about the first Terminator movie right now when he went in to interview for the Kyle Reese part and walked out as the Terminator after James Cameron talked him into playing the “bad guy”.

    I bought a copy to give my mother for Christmas as she likes biographies.

  56. Compaq went with the HP printer/computer company. Who knows the status of the real estate.

    Ah. I had forgotten that HP split in two companies.

    We have at least one Bollywood theaters in the Houston area. Probably more.

  57. He was actually a millionaire before he became a movie star since he was Mr. Universe and selling books and pamphlets about body building. My wife is reading about the first Terminator movie right now when he went in to interview for the Kyle Reese part and walked out as the Terminator after James Cameron talked him into playing the “bad guy”.

    Michael Biehn was born to play Reese. Biehn plays the “bad guy” on this week’s episode of Baby Yoda, squaring off against the Mandalorian.

    George Butler’s “Pumping Iron” got a decent DVD transfer about 20 years ago. It is the flick that made Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferigno.

    1
  58. We have at least one Bollywood theaters in the Houston area. Probably more.

    Exxon went heavy H1B two years ago. I saw the resumes of the people who got cut and we interviewed about a half dozen that summer. A couple of the former employees had to train their replacements for the full severance.

    There are worse things than being fired. My last management offered me two weeks of severance in return for waiving my ADEA rights at termination. I bit my tongue to keep from saying, “Oh, f*ck, no”. I was already, ostensibly, in trouble for naughty words.

    1
    2
    1
  59. Houston has at least 2 AM and two FM radio stations that play indian music 24/7 with commercials in whatever gabble they speak, Hindi maybe…

    Their pop music is actually quite nice, and I have two of the stations saved in my truck radio.

    n

  60. Oh THAT black feminist, lesbian writer. FIVE whole books in 22 years. Couple of anthologies and short story collections. Wow. That is some output. Which universe of hers has people writing millions of words of fanfic? Oh right, none. Which enduring classics did she write? Of course not. I’d bet that most of it has very little to do with SF. The year I voted for the Hugos and read all the barfed up nonsense the darlings of MRK and the rest of the Tor idiots, almost none of the nominated works could be called SF or F in any but the most superficial way.

    Ringo may not be writing literary works of art, but he writes 5 a YEAR and has sold millions of copies. They are UNDENIABLY SF&F too, the don’t just use a trope as a mcguffin.

    But he sells books with guns and icky politics, and like Larry Correia isn’t a “real” author.

    n

    2
    2
    10
    1
  61. Years ago I attended a science fiction convention where Jim Hogan was GoH. He read from Proteus before it was published, and the audience reaction was a standing ovation.

    Then he took some audience questions. We got a few thoughtful inquiries from fans, then a [redacted] got chosen and started with “I haven’t actually read any of your books, but on page 8 of [???] your description of a woman was…”

    He got through it with his typical grace.

    We were talking later and I apologized for letting someone from Canada in without a disclaimer sign.

    4
  62. Ringo may not be writing literary works of art, but he writes 5 a YEAR and has sold millions of copies. They are UNDENIABLY SF&F too, the don’t just use a trope as a mcguffin.

    But he sells books with guns and icky politics, and like Larry Correia isn’t a “real” author.

    Oh, they have blacklisted all of the Baen authors except for one. Lois McMaster Bujold.

    Lois McMaster Bujold got out of the Baen blacklist since she has gay and bisexual characters in all of her books. She even wrote a space opera book about a planet with only gay men on it, “Ethan of Athos”.

    David Weber is the most slighted SF/F author of the current generation. He has sold 12 ??? million books and they could care less. It may be 20 million books now. But he does not have gay characters.

  63. Word processing on computers and using the internet for research and communication has changed the craft of writing.

    Do away with typewriters, carbons, snail mail, and all the other retarding influences, and the literary landscape might look very different. Would there be 50% more Burroughs and Heinlein? Twice as much Asimov and Creasey?

    On the Road would have a different mythos.

    1
    3
  64. @Lynn
    SF fandom started down the road to hell when they let gamers put their noses in the tent.

  65. Do away with typewriters, carbons, snail mail, and all the other retarding influences, and the literary landscape might look very different. Would there be 50% more Burroughs and Heinlein? Twice as much Asimov and Creasey?

    Orson Scott Card wrote “A Planet Called Treason” in 1977 using a typewriter after he wrote the “Ender’s Game” novella. Then he expanded “Ender’s Game” into a novel and sold a bajillion copies.

    Then he had his mother type “A Planet Called Treason” into Wordperfect in 1987 from the Dell paperback and rewrote it as “Treason” using Wordperfect. His wife printed the first copy and fixed the typos. His sister redrew the maps for him.
    https://www.amazon.com/Treason-Orson-Scott-Card/dp/0765309041/?tag=ttgnet-20

  66. “The side effects of the new vaccine by Moderna”
    https://www.thefirsttv.com/side-effects-of-new-vaccine-by-moderna/

    “Virology Professor Vincent Racaniello joined Mike Slater on Monday to break down the known side effects of the new COVID-19 vaccine from Moderna.”

    “Similar to other vaccines, side effects include soreness at the injection site, fever, muscle aches, headaches, migraines, malaise, and lethargy.”

    ““Those are usually common side effects you get after getting an injection… the real question is: are there going to be more serious effects?””

    Most of the severe side effects appear within two months so that is why they are delaying until Dec 10.

    The youtube video is at:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxgIK1-VqWs

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


  67. Additionally, the rules would require most Nasdaq-listed companies to have, or explain why they do not have, at least two diverse directors, including one who self-identifies as female and one who self-identifies as either an underrepresented minority or LGBTQ+.

    I am willing to self-identify as female if the compensation is lucrative enough. I might turn out to be a bit of a lesbian, though.

    3
    2

  68. Most of the severe side effects appear within two months so that is why they are delaying until Dec 10.

    Given the anticipated delivery schedule, it will be sometime in January before it gets into wider delivery. The first round of vaccinations will be to health care workers (21 million people), including the staff of nursing homes. It is possible that nursing home residents will be included in this. (Phase 1a, 21 million people, 6 weeks to finish) After that is a bit up in the air, but the next up may be essential workers in education, food and agriculture, utilities, cops, firefighters, transportation. (Phase 1b, 87 million, starts week 4 and done by week 15) Then those with comorbidities. Then those over 65 w/o comorbitities. (Phase 1c 100 million comorbidities, 53 million 65+. Starts week 8, finished in week 18) That will take about 4.5 months (based on 10 million doses/week to start, ramping to 20 million in 3 months). Then general adults start (week 16) as the the phase 1 starts to end, and kids are last. This seems to be based on only the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. If the J&J vaccine comes online, it will speed things up.

    There is a possibility that nursing home residents and the like (3 million) will get pushed to the 65+ category if vaccination of the staff of the nursing homes is considered enough to keep them safe. That’s one of the calls the CDC committee has to make.

    Example comorbities are:
    Obesity
    Severe Obesity
    Diabetes
    COP
    Heart Condition
    Chronic kidney
    Cancer
    Smoking
    Solid Organ Transplant
    Sickle cell disease

    The Warp Speed people have already got the -70C freezers set up in strategic places around the US. They have been doing dry runs transporting the vaccine containers to the freezers with the dry ice in them on military and commercial planes. The sites will be guarded by the military and National Guard units. Polling on desire to get vaccinated indicates they will get good coverage of the Phase 1 people.

    In short, this (and the peace agreements in the Middle East) will be the signature accomplishments of President Trump’s administration.

Comments are closed.