A One Man Economic Daily Newspaper about the Second Depression in near real-time...
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Gee, That Was Fun Dept.
Now to Rally?
(Detroit, MI) I shouldn't read my own columns: Turned me into some who was reminiscent of the old day trading days. Into FAZ at 49.74 in the pre-market Thursday and out at 51, then flipped to the long side with FAS $22.54, and out at $23.01 about 20-minutes before the close. OK, so I left 24¢ on the table on the last trade, but I wasn't going to play "stare into monitors" all day after driving up from Dayton to Detroit. A 4½% one day gain in portfolio value (not counting Uncle's piece) is a respectable enough day while on the road. But with the futures surging to the upside, I feel like a cowardly idiot for leaving the rally early. No change there, eh?
Next issue is which way the market seems to resolve from here with the possibilities almost equally weighted up and down as things roll out this morning. Asia was up overnight and Europe was also up what might translate into a 'hundred-pointer" to the upside. Yeah, I'm a cowardly idiot, but if new highs are coming, we'll get a pullback.
But what happens today is data dependent and I'm not going to trade anything (oh, yeah, sure...) until I've had breakfast and then maybe we might see a pullback. No hurry to play any more until something a bit longer-term than a playable pop wanders by.
Which it might, but that gets us to this morning's data...Durables first..
And then there's the latest from the Bureau of Economic Analysis:
Hundred points up in the first hour? How about 15-minutes, then?.
Debt Talks In the Wings
President Obama and house speaker John Boehner will apparently work out the US path toward a balanced budget.
Wonder if they will 'take it outside' at the golf course?
Economic issues continue in Greece where the country has agreed on new austerity measures. But reader some of the dispatches from in country, like this Reuters report, we can help wondering if the middle class in Greece isn't feeling like they've been sold down the road.
Why imagine that! Who would have thought that multinational bankster cabal would be capable of such a thing - in Europe, or here?
All of which has gold dropping and the US Dollar rising again, at least in the pre-opening hours, which usually means the US market will fall, and yes, that's why I dumped the long position yesterday going into the close. Momma didn't raise no fool, or at least, a pretty damn cautious one.
If you know someone who works at the Fed, could you please slip a note to Fed boss Ben Bernanke for us? No secret what's in the note: Just a few suggestions which seem necessary based on the AP story that our "Economic trouble puzzles Fed chief, too."
Dear Mr. Bernanke:
A few talking points to cure your reported "puzzledness"...
People's emotions, as any trader knows, heavily influences markets. People are almost God-like in their industry and activities when there's a Great Common Goal. Someone needs to articulate a viable global, or at least national dream which people can get behind.
But is there such a thing? Nope. "Getting screwed less than someone else" is not a goal. BOHICA is not a marketing slogan.
Those 'international banks and funds' are only papering over the problems of the world by putting selfish liens on everything from the waterworks in South America to whatever collateralizes the Greece deal (which doesn't get talked about, except there a high tax load is promised, for sure.)
With global interest rates near zero, people awakening to the bankster-class rip are getting pissed and we're seeing GlobalRev as people worldwide use the people-to-people power to say "Enough of this bullshit, already..." It's not just the Middle East/North Africa (MENA): It's out here in middle America in "fly over" land.
Really: That's what disruptive technologies do and it's what networked computing is doing in front of our largely unaware selves. Tech revolution ended demand for draft horses in the first Depression, and don't look now, but its ending the need for a 'ruling class' in this one. See the 1933 classic by Ely "Hard Times, the Way In, the Way Out" and get to work kindling doable, achievable goals and dreams and stop selling "One More Global Refi," please.
Want to see the next global bank? Look to the peer to peer banking...no "authorities" needed.
Hey, look, if we can do it to the music industry, why not peer-to-peer away the banking industry? That's tech change for you.
Refinance global debt at zero percent and stop screwing the whole world into involuntary debt-servitude because as long as there's an internet, there's a workaround. Which is why our rickety time machine runs out of data in mid 2013...is that the plan? Close the net down as the ultimate barrier to entry?
Please let us know, since headlines about being "puzzled" are not very reassuring to those of us who are still playing nicely.
Thank you, respectfully (or, nearly so)... yada, yada, yada...End note to Ben. Oh, I can be reached at the Detroit Westin. Lunch Sunday? Might get the local business reporter guy interested, too...
Speaking of Internet Controls
I keep telling yah...here they come: This just in under the subject line "Hackers in Brazil"...
Yeah...er...you have a good weekend, too... the $1 Bank Job to get medical and slide to retirement age is something we've hinted at before: One way to retire with three hots and a cot, plus medical coverage and an exercise program plus maybe a degree with no student loans, know what I'm sayin'?
Future of Oil Prices
The International Energy Agency is releasing strategic reserves. Don't ask me why - since oil is already down from highs around $115. PR stunt or a way to punish traders who've bid up oil? No one is sure, but here's an interesting notion: What was the cost of the oil which went into the Reserve and what's the price coming out? Be an interesting spread to look into...
Call Me Confused Dept.
OK, so when the mayor of Harrisburg PA starts talking about 3-days of fasting and prayer to help the city through its financial problems, isn't that overlooking the line between state and church separation just a wee bit much?
I appreciate her honor's thought, its just that God doesn't solve money issues...that's done by banker and finance types, which may think they are deities, oh, you know...
Flood waters still rising in North Dakota. with more rain up that way, we're considering the name change from Missouri River to Misery River...
(more after this...)
Coping: With Detroit
1966 is a long time ago, but the reason for picking this as our starting point today is that we drove through Frenchtown Charter Township, Michigan on the four-hour trip from Dayton to Detroit Thursday. And this matter why?
Because it was here in 1966 that the US had one of its own versions of Fukushima with the partial meltdown of some fuel in the Fermi I reactor. Officially, no radiation was released. (Ahem...the word "abnormal" was probably then used a bit fast and loose.) We don't know whether John Fuller's book "We almost lost Detroit" was ever translated into Japanese, or not.
The poverty entering lower Michigan is almost palpable. I-75 coming up from Ohio is neatly quaffed, the roadside shoulder all strack with same 'feel' you get on post at a well-run military installation. As soon as your cross into Michigan, roadside trash appears and the visible grass is knee high along most of the drive north from there.
Reminded me of one of Pappy's observations years ago: It doesn't matter what the income level of people is, you can tell pretty close most times by just looking at their homes from the outside. Poor people don't seem to mow their lawns very often, and their houses often look weather-beaten. Yet paint and some gas for the lawnmower aren't that expensive, and with lots of unemployed time, you'd think unemployed folks could be industrious and get homes in shape.
But it doesn't work that way. Instead people poor in dollars forget everyone is equally rich on the inside - and they settle in to the comfort of misery.
That's not just the poor/low income area of Big Cities, since it seems to work that way for states, as well.
Not that Detroit isn't at least trying to fight back Depression 2. For example, the building where we had dinner last night was the famous Whitney Mansion which has been turned into quite the historical eatery. Our hosts for the event (one of the local newspapers frequently cited here) had one of their business columnists on hand, and if I followed the discussion right, the restoration of The Whitney has been a "Lazarus-type" event.
The Detroit Westin is a marvelous example, too, with a ground-up rework that began from a basement flooded 8-feet deep. It's an amazing place now, better than anywhere else on the trip, so far.
While we were at dinner, I noted our tour bus was still outside, and inquired if the driver could be brought one of our dinners, so he wouldn't feel so left out. So he got dinner (we paid for it), and my reason for mentioning this is not to get an 'attaboy' but to point out that if America's going to recover its once-great role of inventive, industrious, profitable, and magnanimous, it all springs from that "place of equal wealth" between the ears which people confuse with bank and portfolio balances.
If you're ever planning a convention or group event in the future, please remember to include the tour bus driver and other staff that help events work. Otherwise, it's mighty easy for them to be taken for granted and be relegated to a second-tier, service-class. They're as wealthy and anyone, though, and deserve to be reminded of it now and then.
I'll miss the first few minutes of convention speaking this morning, into order to get the GDP/PPI figures up, but session titles like "Crusading Columnists Panel," "Happiness is a Positive Cash Flow,." and "Building Your Brand" all sound really interesting.
Then by lunchtime, I'll learn "How to be an Algonquin Wit" which will be a major step up from "half.'
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Dow 1,701 Within Three Years: Depends on Greece
In last week's report, we demonstrated that there is a case to be made, using Elliott Wave theory applied to the broad socioeconomic spectrum, such as Bob Prechter has done at his www.socionomics.com website, that we've still got many years of seriously declining standards of living ahead of us, and if this indeed turns out to be the case, we might wish to address the pending (continuing) decline in the urban standards of living in advance so as not to be time constrained by coming events which could force suboptimal decision-making. Or, in less formal terms, this week is about dodging the SHTF before the fan is plugged in. Except the Markets may have one more massive rally of several months duration before we head for the scary Dow target!
Cookies Are Dangerous
If your computer runs slowly, you may have a problem with cookies. These little code snippets are how some websites (and spyware) recognize you, track your movement on the web and so forth. Here lately, as new class of super cookies has been evolved by the admen (and worse) that are resistant to normal cookie deletions through your browser's interface. Flash cookies, persistent cookies, and super cookies...all easily managed with the Maxa Research Cookie Manager.
Take it for a test drive by clicking here - and it you like it, activation is easily done. If you're a heavy web user (who ain't?) you may find like I do that you've accumulating a hundred or more cookies per day. Only a handful need to be white-listed, like your brokerage account or your bank. The rest? Software designed to spy on you that robs you of computer performance. Been using it for several years and pleased as the Dickens with it.
The "Do Drop Inn"
Amazing gardens in about 2 square feet of floor space: www.mygroponics.com
Post your weird dreams to help our research along:
"Live on $10,000" A Year
Having a hard time making ends meet? (Like who isn't, right?) A good starting point to better match up income with outgo is our $10 e-book "How to Live on $10,000 a Year...or less!"
It's an automatic download. It's written in an information dense style: The whole thing runs about 65 pages, but it gives you a vision of how to not only live on the cheap, but also how to migrate up the economic foodchain if you have a little hustle left. A bonus section called "How to Build Anything" should instill confidence if you've never taken on a home improvement/home creation project before, too..... Click here for the index and details.
Pass It On
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Thursday June 23, 2011
Dollar Rally/Crash Day?
(Dayton, Ohio) The market, as I was mentioning in yesterday's column, obediently fell over itself with the Fed rate non-decision out Wednesday. It doesn't take a weatherman to know this stuff: The Fed hasn't a clue, offered some writers. But others thought they caught of glimpse of something hinting at the Fed's timing for exiting the markets. What's the old kid saying? "If wishes were horses, frog wouldn't bump their butts when they fly..." Or something like that. I was never any good as a kid.
Today's low may look like a good entry point for some - or not. We've made it our plan to blow out of Dayton early this morning in order to be set up for online trading again in Detroit before the market close, since if we're going to get a playable bounce, buying low is a good thing. Robin Landry's indicators were pointing up, but that was a few days ago, so we need to talk today.
On the other hand, Robin Handler over at Options Signal Service sent me a note that "Forgot to mention, my count for the week shows Wednesday and/or Thursday to be the big down day for the week. Perhaps today's low finish will be the big down for the week, but there is a good chance tomorrow could show an even greater loss."
Which is why a chat with Landry is in order; if his proprietary indicator has turned from the short-term rally to new downer, then I suppose I'll have to go back to the short-side and wait for the street fight at (around) Dow 11,500 to sort out the bigger trend.
So we shall see what we shall see, BUT (and don't get angry with me on this) the fact that the Dollar is up and gold down (short term) once again underscores the correctness in my own account of holding some inflation hedges like the metals on the one hand, while holding treasuries as a deflation hedge. Bulls make money, bears make money, pigs get slaughtered, but in the end, Net Worth Building is what the real purpose of speculation is for us average small-time traders. Unless gold and silver start a convince move UP, the charts are drifting toward "the top is in" for a while; the implications of which are pretty serious for 'hot money' since when hot money flees, the retail investor usually gets a crew cut, or worse.
I plan to let my hair grow, and to hell with style. It that means clearing position, that's what I'll do. declining prices are not something I argue with although this is NOT INVESTMENT ADVICE.
Weekly Jobs Data
As long as the markets are going down anyway, how about the jobs numbers?
Bottle of Jolt, handful of NoDoz and a 5-Hour Energy Drink, please. GDP and Durables come tomorrow.
Since I brought along my historical charts to update on this trip, the May Layoff data out Wednesday is of interest, since if we get a double-dip recession (projected, orange trend line) it could doom the democorp plans to take Washington again:
Trust you saw where the US will fall behind India in international trade by 2050? I'll be pushing up daisies by then, or be an even more cynical 103, but it's really a shame to leave that kind of world to our kids when you think about it.
"What did you do during the Great Economic Shakeout Grandpa?" I can here the question already....
"Oh, gosh, grandchild, I helped major corporations shove senseless debt loads onto people and outsourced everything I could to India and the Philippines to increase corporate profits so boards of directors could get paid huge blocks of options offshore to avoid their honest share of taxes...and in return I got dog biscuits and screwed like every other minion.. which is why we're having dumpster for dinner again tonight...."
Not exactly what I wanna be sayin'...know what I mean? Milk will only be $1,800 a gallon by then.
Honshu Shake Out
Was a 6.7 earthquake overnight. Not a big deal, unless you're in Japan. But say, what was that 3.3 quake down in Arizona about? Up along the state's northern border. Also a couple of more quakes up in the Carson City, Nevada area.
Radiation leakage in Japan, meantime, continues to be underplayed in many media. Still, stories about how the radiation is four times annual limits in the area 20-kilomters out from the plant are to be found.
Gaye at BackDoor Survival has noticed Pacific Northwest LEO's getting radiation monitoring gear. More they're not telling us, no doubt...
In North Dakota 10,000 people ready to move out as the Souris River rises. Good news is further south, St. Louis flooding hasn't been as bad as once feared.
As we're tracking the "fog" over the Nebraska nuke plants interesting to see the Reuters news service is tracking it along with the NY Times coverage earlier this week. Just watching the apparition in the fog.
While Ron Paul and Barney Frank may differ on many things, they are jointly sponsoring a marijuana bill, if you'll forgive the pun.
I've been up half the night trying to figure out the employment impacts of such a move. On the one hand, corporate prison operators would lose business and might even have to lay off some of those foreign nationals they've been bringing in to be cheap guard labor. And worse (on the unemployment rising side of the ledger) look at all the people who might be released if states decriminalize weed.
But, on the other side, this would be a huge employment boost for the ranks of the booze lobbies, which would then not only boost spending in Washington, but they would also have to train up cadres of lobbyists to run around to various states to make sure their revenues are impinged by free-thinking/rational states.
Might also cause new social organizations like Mothers Against Stoned Driving which has come up in the past as a buzz phrase, to grow...er...so to speak. Trank me....
Dig Deeper Dept.
Counties and states need to raise taxes...lots of them...if pension funds are to be fully funded. $1,400 per year more? Yikes!
Basis for Global harmony?
Word out of the Bay Area that "Jews, Muslims sue to block referendum on circumcision" has me conjuring up ways to get a Nobel Peace Prize by having the UN or WHO gin up some necessary reason for such a ban throughout the whole of the Middle East.
This way, Jews and Muslims would at least have a strong common interest in working together in that whole trouble region and who knows? Maybe they could move on to other issues as well.
I'll give you my address to send my Peace Prize to...engraved "Testosterone is a WMD" if you please.
You saw where Apple went ahead and removed the iPhone ap that was bothering Israel? But wait: Where is that line of social media going to be drawn in the future? The question isn't going away and I'll try to remember to point it out when it comes 'round again.
Coping: With Dayton Ohio
Wednesday morning's adventure was delightful. We stopped in at the renown eye doctor's place in Oak Ridge Wednesday morning where we got the 'cook's tour' of what a state-of-the-art refractive Lasik and laser surgery center looks like. Including discussions about which lasers are used for what; the infrared for one kind of surgery, the visible light lasers for another. In fact, if we'd stayed at a Holiday Inn last night, I'd go sit for the medical boards this morning. But...er...seem to have other things on our agenda....
The eyes are in good enough shape that when I get my third class medical refreshed next month, good for two years, I may actually buy a small air machine after all, but there's tradeoffs to that. Been watching the weather on the way up and most of it has been dandy VFR with good temps aloft and puffy clouds.
On the other hand, the thought of parking a small (as in "easy to tip over in hurricane force winds" single-engine job does cross my mind. And, with our own car, local mobility is easy as pie. Hard to pick much of anywhere to go on folding bikes carried in a plane, and stay at cheaper hotels (something's got to pay a hangar bill) isn't too enticing, especially after the Madison in Memphis, the Crowne Plaza here in Dayton, or the downtown Westin Detroit starting tonight, or the Lumiere Hotel/Casino in St. Louis on the way down to Robin Landry's place Tuesday of next week.
So far, I have to say, my turn-by-turn directions have been perfect...which shows that if you put the same efforts into planning a land trip, as a pilot puts into flight planning even a modest trip under visual flight rules (VFR), a crisscross road trip of the country is really fun. Well, except for the tractor trailer rig down in northern Kentucky yesterday which insisted on forcing me into an adjoining lane because at 74 MPH (in a 70) it wasn't close enough to his speed of travel (80+) and he was being a used Charmin about it, if you follow. Just a time to test skill, recovery, and dialing 9-11 in about that order. I wasn't the first to call about that idiot either, said the dispatcher.
If you have never been through the hill/mountain country of Arkansas, Tennessee, and Kentucky, you have really missed some of the best eye treats in the Midwest. A couple of readers have opined that driving in the south is more aggressive than the north, but as to whether the popularity of NASCAR is the cause or the result of such driving (which goes back to moonshine days, we suppose) there's no way to be sure. Names like Mitchum and Petty are still "stand up when you say 'em" words south of here.
From the south, dropping down into Cincinnati on I-75northbound is very impressive. you go along for an hour or so out of the southern Kentucky hills and you're looking at nothing but the rolling green hills and horses, and mini ranches and horse tracks...or so it seems, and then suddenly, there's a big down hill grade and Cincinnati is spread out before you.
The city is (near as we can tell) where the Navy got all their gray paint ideas from, and Cinncie still has a bountiful supply. It picks up the 'designer power lines everywhere' theme, which makes it worth mentioning if you don't think long-term exposure to high AC stray currents is an issue. Still, something has to keep the lights on in what's left of American Industry.
A little further up the road north on I-75, there's the GE Engine Plant, if I followed things correctly.
We slept very well in Dayton, despite the fact that the GE facility would be one of the key targets should nuclear war break out tomorrow. The same kind of feeling we got back in our sailing adventure days when parked at Port Orchard, just across the way from Bremerton naval Shipyard, out in Washington state, or ghosting down Hood Canal west of Bangor.
Meeting with mi consigliore at the rooftop lounge at our Dayton hotel was followed with a memorable trip over to The Pine Club Steakhouse. Which gets me to the interesting story of George Bush (I), and Dan and Kathy at the front desk at the Pine Club.
Seems once upon a time, according to local lore, ol' GB (the elder) showed up in Dayton, went to the Pine Club and announced he was there for dinner. Fine, his name went on the waiting list and he went back to the limo for 45-minutes or so, till a table opened up. That's where Dan and Kathy at the front desk maintained order and the integrity of the waiting list. Highly respectable.
Oh, and the point? Well, we got an immediate seat at the bar for about 3-minutes, just long enough to get our beverages and then seated in a cozy booth right away. Which left me damn-sure proud: There's one thing I can do better that George Bush the elder: Got seated at The Pine Club quicker.
Consequently, I've shelved my presidential aspirations for the time being.
Not only was the conversation great, since mi consigliore is extremely well-studied studied on long wave economics, but the food was absolutely grand and I understand by GB1 would wait. And, since we have the good sense not to drive, the refreshments of all sorts were unbeatable.
Interesting thing about The Pine Club: They don't take any kind of plastic. It's a cash-only place. I respect that, and if I were to ever own such an establishment, I think I'd run it that way, too.
Since my motto is "Everything's a business model" I could see a why: credit cards cost everyone money or value. First there are the processor fees, which last time I looked took a 3-5% cut of sales right off the top. Then there's the matter of how credit card companies can dispute charges. Not sure what percent of cardholders use that dodge to get out of paying for something, but I'd bet the number has increased in recent years as the economy has been flushed. I like cash, but admittedly, plastic does keep down street crime and in a place like, oh, Detroit, plastic makes sense from a life-extension standpoint.
By the way, two of the hotels we've stayed at (Madison, Memphis and Crowne Plaza here in Dayton, have been doing remodels. Very interesting to watch how the hotel refurb crews work. They keep to one set of floors, while the guests stay on the open floors. Interesting niche business in construction I hadn't thought about, but you know there's gotta be money in it. At least someone is making a reinvestment in America without congress having to pass out party favors.
The refurbing going on (both) includes new carpet, decor, flat screens, and so forth. Not that it matters much to us, since we haven't turned on a TV except to see the storm warning crawlers down in Tennessee. Speaking of which...
A Word From Mr. Bunnee
Our (stupid) lack of a flashlight on our persons at dinner night before last in the 'great winds'/ 'natural pressure washer' down in Oak Ridge has had two immediate results: First, my consigliore (without reading my column!) brought me -unprompted - some LED lights for key chains...Universe does this to us all the time; problem/solution. Way cool.
This gets us to a very interesting question: How many people who are professionals (he's a lawyer) actually consciously think about what to get in the way of office 'treats' or customer handouts? I was seriously impressed.
And then there was this from "Mr. Bunnee" - the hubby of Bunnee of Bunnee's Books/Amazon.
This gets to be a longish discussion, since flashlights (like sailboats, women, and scotch) are grave matters which take many years of personal deliberation to sort out. Since I use a flashlight every morning on the long commute from our house to my office (the building next door) I need something much more powerful - which lately has been a three or four D-cell MagLite with the high output LED's.
On the other hand, their verge (intimidating size) keeps them from being packed, and in any event, Elaine's purse is near enough requiring a hand truck as is. So we'll probably get a couple of the aforementioned, but in the meantime, the LED key chain lights are a dandy get-by.
If you notice dead calm winds for the next week in the Ohio/Michigan to East Texas corridor, that'll be why: We're ready for winds now. Oh, except for putting another case of water in the trunk and the cost of carrying around a couple of rolls of toilet paper is close to nothing, too....which gets me to thinking somewhere either I've covered what to put in a car "emergency trunk" before, or I should one of these first days...
Thursday at the WuJo
Odd reader dream here:
Yes. something is going to happen to the water, you aren't crazy, but as always, such dreams are often disconnected from current timelines. For example, I had a dream that we'd see a car going the wrong way (coming towards us) on a surface street as it's involved in a police chase. So in that case, the dream is specific and actionable, but when is a whole other matter.
Remember that time and everything else goes into your subconscious blender where the field of psychiatry makes good money sorting out which speed your mental blender is on.
Problem in psychiatry is that not everyone in the field ( a poor attempted pun on The Field: The Quest for the Secret Force of the UniversePhysics Books) and closely related to Dean Radin's Entangled Minds: Extrasensory Experiences in a Quantum Reality) has ,taken the time (or more likely is even aware of Daryl Bem's Cornell paper "Feeling the Future: Experimental Evidence for Anomalous Retroactive Influences on Cognition and Affect".
No, not that this is totally new, since I assume everyone with a burning desire to 'know the future' has read Dean Radin's 2000 paper "Time-reversed human experience: Experimental evidence and implications."
What I find so damn interesting is that there is a mounting body of evidence that yes, humans do leak information about the future (which Clif's linguistics work proves beyond a doubt to me, anyway) but we're not particularly adept, just yet and opening up the future a little bit and using it for higher purposes than winning a sports bet or market play.
So ultimately, the question of whether your water-saving compulsion in the dream-state is simply awakening to something hard-coded into your DNA (ancestral survivors of terrible drought) or whether it's a "soon come" event, peaking out from the future, that's where the difficulty in sorting arises.
So yes - something is going to happen to the water - but what - and more importantly when - is something you'll just have to jot down in your 'dream log' and watch for. With 5-10-cases of bottled water in the closet, of course, since a person without water in a complex system with as much systemic fragility as NYC really would be crazy to be without.
Wednesday June 22, 2011
After the Rally, Fed to Disappoint?
(West Knoxville, TN) I won't spill all the beans, but Robin Handler (Options Signal Service) "So George, what do you think the chances of a big dip Wednesday are? ;-)" The answer is pretty good, since we are now in the zone with Clif's predictive linguistics work, the market popped up to my goals I've been muttering about for a couple of weeks hitting the 1,295 S&P 500 range.
Still, the dollar going down in the early trading means that there could be some follow-on from yesterday's trading to the upside.
I think it was Rick Ackerman (of Rick's Picks) that made the observation that when the Fed announces, the common pattern is for the market to move - at announcement time - first in the direction the market is going to go, then a reverse move while the commercials pile on - and then a continuation of the original direction. So look for that coming to markets near you this afternoon.
The reason I might buy some of my favorite downside insurance (at market, at the open, since the luxury of price-sniping if off the table on the road out here, is that Clif's work, Handler's work, and an article on MarketWatch by Peter Atwater "Why 2011 is much worse than 2008" seem to be telling me to do so.
Still, word the Greeks have gotten through a key confidence vote means the financial neck will tighten further, but short term gold will drop (and that should mean the US markets with it) and, oh, does it really matter? Can we skip the messy summer and get to the fall collapse, please? Or is moving that up still game on?
Floods, Bots, and Fog
While the release of the next "Shape of Things to Come" report will likely not come out till we're closer to home in a week, or so, Clif's latest post about Fog and Water in advance of events, sure looks interesting if you have time (and the stomach) for it. That's because a) North Dakota is getting reading for possible record-breaking floods, b) despite earlier reassurances, we can now see the flooding and 'nukefog' in the makings (this stuff takes a while to develop in modelspace) since while we had plenty of assurances that everything's fine, the headline in the local media up around Lincoln sure makes it sound like not everything is peach pie. Especially the Journal-Star piece "Flood notes: River at record levels at Plattsmouth, Nebraska City."
By the way, there are two reasons to read Clif's Fog/water piece. One (obviously) is about the developing mental fog. If I've got this right (and we haven't talked yet this week, the road and cellphone coverage being what they area and me being a skinflint about brain-baking and minutes charges) we should all have popcorn and watch a 'confused' linguistic set roll out into a confused country.
Yeah, sure, sorry about the damn water, but Hey! Won't this be cool science to see unwind in our faces?
The other thing to study is the initial output of Clif's recent fascination/skill-building in making this & that's with composite materials - like the carbon composite rudder clamps on Q'oki -oki. I'm more a welder-guy, but damn good complex forms. Beats keeping a 100-ton hydraulic press around, fo sho.
More on Shape and being in the midst of a fulfilling prediction in the "Coping" section...
Covering Up Japan
As one reader put it, after reading that Japan now can't account for 30 power plant subcontractors, "JFC, this just keeps getting better..." Just wait for the fog...
We Wonder If, Dept...
The headline that president "Barack Obama and Pentagon split on Afghan pullout" plans is not what gets me thinking.
There's an obvious and a non-obvious set of things to consider. One of the MOST obvious is the new Gallup Poll which puts his plans to run for the White House in 2012 in a tough way.
But the non-obvious is that IF the nation goes into the major economic meltdown mode, wouldn't it make sense to have an additional 30,000 soldiers freed up and back stateside to help NORTHCOM maintain civility?
Long lead-time decisions and perhaps a touch of foreknowledge might be there for people willing to look at contingencies. After all, that earlier article reference to economic conditions "worse than 2008" beg the question "How much" worse?
Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner is calling for tax increases. Not that we have a problem with that, but since Ben Bernanke et all have rates so low, why aren't huge portion of the national debt being refi'ed as zero percent loans?
Creeping the Police State
Mother Jones article "Surprise! TSA is Searching Your Car, Subway, Ferry, Bus, AND Plane" which sure sounds familiar. Just can't remember where I've red someone writing about the creeping (y) police state.
About here, if you're adding up things "2011 worse than 2008" plus freeing up of troops, the Treasury Secretary talking about Washington taxing their own (e.g. the rich) and now this fine box score on federal creep? Hmmm...reminds me of the old Weather Underground "Don't need no weatherman to tell which ways the wind blows..."
Which will matter all the more when "the fog" arrives.
An Eye for An Eye, Ap for an Ap?
Israel is, according to a Reuters story, asking Apple to remove an ap which is billed as "intifada" software. No word on whether the other wise will call for removing opposing-side aps which could be used for similar purposes.... Maybe this is what constricts the net in 2013 so much: ap wars?
What's key to watch is how this is another example of the trend for social/mobile media to be turned into a 'revolutionary tool' in support of one side of this long-simmering conflict, or t'other.
Already, I expect gangs are using mobile aps to commit...whatever...and the open question I think might come down to this: With no present regulations except on threatening a public official with physical harm can texting now be criminalized, either at the ap level, or at the user level?
Right now the playing field is somewhat asymmetric, and clearly the US/Israel would like to keep it that way, hence the request to kill an ap. But I'm concerned that MS-13 or other SA gangs are already into the space, and if they go with decent encryption, and then the world will see GlobalRev with what would be the equivalent of all the Bolsheviks being able to text Lenin during the October Revolution,.
OK for the West in Iran, Egypt, and Libya, but not OK for opposing aps. And not the kind of world with seconds on Cheerios.
Want an easy to remember prediction? Just as the Geneva convention defined some behaviors during wartime, might there have to be a global Geneva Apvention? (Phonvention?) Or, share will pretend Western asymmetry will work out...for a while longer?
Like the old saying goes, "You're welcome to be free as you wish...within my boundaries." This is one of the fence lines.
Time to hit the shower and get on with our "Last Time Around the Old America trip..."
Coping: With Knoxville/Oak Ridge TN
We begin with the story of the "hurricane over land" winds which were mentioned in the last webbot run (or was it an earlier one, heck it's the middle of the night here and the last words from Elaine who is buried somewhere under the covers was something about "[deleted,], [deleted], Why couldn't I have married someone with respect for a clock? [deleted]").
We were in a good local hangout in the West Knoxville area having a long-delayed dinner with friends here (Oak Ridge area) when the torrential downpour and high winds (yup, the phrase "hurricane over land" was used by one of the local teevee stations here, according to a reader...who sent us this:
Well, yes, rather. Not as globally impacting as the death of three people down in Acapulco as Hurricane Beatriz came through, but sure interesting to local folks here in Tennessee.
Let me drop back into travelogue-style.
We left Memphis about 9:30 AM Tuesday headed for this here berg, and on the way sure as hell, those fleets of police that Channel 5 in Nashville had been reporting on really do hang out between Memphis and Nashville. We counted not the expected 3-4 in the drive 200-mile (roughly) drive, but a whopping 14 of 'em. Not all of them were in the anti-drug operations driving those 'power look' blacked out SUV's (they got the motif from the MIB's???) but there were four or five of those. The rest were the usual assortment of state and local vehicles.
So we get into the rolling hills west of Nashville and next thing that happens is we found ourselves behind a large accident on the freeway, which stopped us about two blocks past the last exit which would have trapped us. It was just starting to sprinkle.
Elaine (driving at the time) backed up on the shoulder and took the exit and we then got to tour scenic, but not on the travel plans Lexington, Tennessee (like "Knox" the world "Lexington" seems to be a favorite in the area. In the source of what turned into a 20-odd mile surface decline we got into the torrential rains. All-season radials and nav systems are a blessing.
Once back onto the freeway (I-40 at 69) we enjoyed the closest thing to an empty free I'd seen in a long time and things were uneventful until our dinner. Hotel check in was a breeze and so forth.
So there we were, recalling the adventures of the day when those "hurricane" winds showed up with over an inch of precip while we were munching. The rains came down, fine. But the lights went out a couple of times, too.
Which was really interesting because among all the males on hand, none of us had a flashlight handy - not even one on a keychain. But one of the women did - and that was a) surprising and b) how E found the liquids recycling room in the midst of the storm.
Arriving back out our hotel, we were about ready to collapse when I noticed there was some water on the floor of our room. The front desk dude (Chris) told us yeah "....we had some hurricane-force winds come through and that was blowing rain sideways, and it came in your room that way..." Wall mounted a/c.
So the rest of the evening (both minutes) was spent dancing around a wet spot that is probably 8-feet wide by 3½ feet wide; small in some homes but a significant patch in a room of this size. I slept fitfully, not wanting to find drywall and new carpeting on my room tab. and Friday I have umpteen emails to catch up on.
The adventures continue with us dropping by the medical office of one of our dinner companions of last night (the one whose wife had the flashlight in her purse) for our eye check-up, he being a renown eye-surgeon and my flight medical coming up in two months.
After that we head up some freeway to Dayton - wary a bit about the trip, since a couple of readers in Michigan have cautioned us about Ohio balancing state and local budgets on speeders.
We've had to decline some dandy offers of hospitality along the way. This is more a dash than saunter and besides, if we stopped everywhere we've been invited either my liver or stomach wouldn't be able to complete the trip.
More on the continuing adventures as they arrive, but besides being on hand for the wild "hurricane winds over land" ourselves, we're now watching the develops along the rivers west of us because of emails like this one:
One other "weather gets us all sometime" note: Looks like the ranch got some badly-needed rain in our absence...a good thing.
The rolling hills and watershed areas have made this area an extremely popular summer destination and after seeing the hills/mountains up here, at last the reason for settling down in Nashville now makes a little more sense. The country singers are really onto something....
Of course the problem to follow is how the bridges will be doing when the rivers work downstream. If you're on first name terms with ma Nature, I'd like to cross at St. Louis next Monday, thank you. Without a hazmat suit, if you please.
Roadside names in America continue to impress me, mostly recently "Frozen Head State Park." Oh, and the he-billy drivers in Nashville follow even closer than on LA freeways. Amazing in a Stephen King kind of way, especially with police cars thick as fleas.
Tuesday June 21, 2011
(Memphis) The is a key inflection period in predictive linguistics. We might very well see the market go marching ahead to S&P 1,320 or so, over the coming couple of weeks, since as we've postulated, the troubles of Europe might make the US look safe (and sane, in an odd way) by comparison.
People in Europe, should have song in their hearts this morning, as the Euro is rising, gold is up a bit and that means the Dow, too, should follow along toward my minimum 1285/1290 S&P dart, or Landry's higher number. Oh, as as long as they're singing might I suggest the old Dionne Warwick standard "Promises, Promises"?
Our latest "truth in marketing" decision is to revised another old saying to: "You can fool some of the people some of the time...and then there's Europe." The Financial Times coverage of the horse-trading over IMF bail-out dough and such, is pretty good.
Fed Meeting - Housing Data
Tomorrow we will see the Fed rate decision, and not too much additional economic news to report. Housing numbers due out later on this morning.
I'm not expecting the Fed to move rates, and more than anything their tone will be what will matter. An increase by the Fed might kill the nascent recovery (that what?) and lowering it would not be acceptable to the fixed income markets. Besides, with China and Russia selling off US debt paper, why not refi everything and zero percent, wiping out the compounding of national debt? But, of course the fixed income markets wouldn't stand for it. But, might work. Be a ballsy move, wouldn't it? Why, that could set up a dollar-gold carry trade like the Japanese did with the yen for a decade or so... which gets us to metals...
We're starting to see the Year-on-Year cargo stats out of the West Coast ports. Los Angeles says May traffic was up 6.58% with the outbound up 14+% while loaded inbound was up under 6% - which would be good for the balance of trade if it was coast-wide.
On the other hand, though, Long Beach was up 12.1% inbound and only 9.8% outbound for a total of
12.8% up for May overall, so yes there's a recovery, but not too much change in US exports, so yeah, balance of trade may still dig that debt hole deeper.
Up the coast, Seattle cargo was down 13.3% for the month and I think you're awake enough to figure that likely has something to do with a decline in traffic out of that small chain of glowing islands east of the Asian mainland, you think? Port of Oakland was down only a fraction for the month, but a small minus on what had been a 6.9% YTD improvement likely is related.
Watching Metals Prices
A couple of readers are wondering (rightly so) if the ban on US citizens trading metals on the FOREX upcoming might cause silver and gold to pop. Here's an example of email on point:
This is interesting as heck...I get reports like this all the time. Don't know what the hangup is in the supply chain or (the more likely?) metals price quotes are being manipulated downward.
Remember, though, that such a change (metals screaming upward) would likely drag along the Dow - and that's why the market (by Robin Landry's work) looks to be about to break out to the upside.
Notwithstanding a scare or reversal to something more negative out of Greece, of course. Then there's the chance of an asteroid landing on Wall Street, but we can't hedge everything...
It's one thing when you hear allegations of Goldman manipulating metals prices from small-time traders, but wot, eh? Business Insider story "Coca-Cola: Goldman Sachs i Manipulating Metals Prices" ought to vindicate masses of web posters who've been saying this for (in some cases) years...
"Maternity Tourism" should be barred, says a new Harris Survey out this morning::
Which seems to about reflect sentiment among people I know. Both of them.
Biggy in Chile yesterday: 6.5.
Roommate of the Year Contest
Say here's an interesting contest:
This might be fun to send along to my kids...with the caveat that no fair submitting calendar months as entries. You know, like (Mr. or Ms) Miss January, February, March....
Coping: With Memphis
Our Monday morning mad dash from the ranch to Memphis worked out just fine, and assuming I can push the right buttons on the computer, we'll be off on a tire-squealing adventure toward Nashville and then into the Knoxville area this afternoon. Tonight, there's a dinner with a couple of readers - which is something I've been trying to get done for several months; eye check-ups with a renown eye doctor in the Wednesday morning and then din-din in Dayton on Wednesday night.
In keeping with the old naval saying "The essence of good seamanship is an uneventful voyage" our trip was only slightly slowed by traffic coming into Memphis. Things were slow at the I-55-I-40 split west of town in Arkansas due to a fatal accident on the I-55 which killed a Tennessee Department of Transportation Worker. Even so, we made it to the hotel downtown within a few minutes of the estimated flight time.
There's not much to do on a long cross country driving trip, so I make up things. For example, comparing the speedometer of Elaine's car to the portable Garmin GPS's (both) that I brought along with me. Even on the straightest parts of the trip, probably Texarkana to Little Rock, the car would indicate precisely 60 while the GPS units would argue over whether it was 69.9 or 70.1, but that kind of error seems to have more to do with 2DRMS error than anything. Point is, the car speedo is accurate, something you really need to know if your cruising at exactly 3 MPH over the limit. Still, on average, we got here.
Since it was our first night out, I splurged on a good hotel and the valet - a very informative fellow - told us about the city's skyline a bit as he brought the bags up to our 11th floor perch.
"So what's that pyramid-like building off there to the northwest? I looks like a casino, or something..."
"That's the Pyramid arena. We used to have our basketball team playing there, but it got to be too small, we we've got a new arena, so it's kinda like a local sore thumb now. There's been some talk that Bass Pro Shops might acquire it for a new headquarters, but nothing's on paper, so far..."
I then told him how when we were living in the Pacific Northwest, how we were treated in about August 20000 (if memory serves) as we got to see the Seattle 'sore thumb sports complex' blown up; as the old Kingdome in Seattle was demolished to make way for the whatever it is that's there now...
I then went into how Seattle's stadium wasn't paid for when they blew it up and got into one of my rants about how government investments in real estate sometimes didn't make sense.
But Bass Pro Shops would make a fine tenant, since the arena is close to the Mississippi River, and I could envision BPS putting in a marine railway so execs could put some of there finest product on a a marine train...run 'em down into the Mississippi for lunch-hour excursions.
Don't know if I mentioned it, but up in Branson, one of the locals (last trip up that way) told us Bass Pro Shops has a 'test drive it' operation at "The Landing" and it took all the self-control I could muster, plus the odd thought of resulting celibacy, should I go back to a watery way of living.
Recession, or not, I counted four trucks in 8-hours of driving Monday that were headed West on I30/I-40 with loads of boars (half ski, half pass) and I remember thinking "That must mean that about 20-boats a day are being sold from the Arklatex west to El Paso or maybe New Mexico.
Something to be said for taking economic ups and downs in astride: I think anyone on unemployment ought to get a free fishing license; it would dull some of the pain of the job picture and might keep down demonstrations later on. Just thinking out loud, o' course...
Yesterday I got to wondering about the marketing tie-up between Lincoln Welders and NASCAR which I couldn't quite figure (unless it has something to do with building home race cars, so when I get home, I'm gonna fire my SP-175 up and start welding sheet metal and wings on my go-kart.
But I happened to notice Bass Pro Shops has a NASCAR affiliation, too. But this one makes more apparent sense to me: Hell yes, I'd want to drive fast to get out on the water.
In my next lifetime, I want to come back as a buyer for either Bass Pro Shops of West Marine. There's just some jobs that are unfairly labeled "work."
A reader suggested, speaking of fun, that between Dayton and Detroit we should schedule a stop at Fair Radio which is just a hop, skip, and a jump on I-75. Ham radio, being another personal addiction I'm deliberately not treating, looks to be a gold mine of high power amp parts, and so forth.
But again, in the interest of keeping my marriage intact.... I'll let you know how my in-car sales pitches go, but don't hold your breath.
Oh God, Part Deux
In yesterday's column I mentioned the "under God" part being edited out by NBC. That got some people's dander up:
Nope, not much of a joiner. I just hang on to traditions, but apparently this one isn't very lpong in the tooth since another reader offered this:
And there was this:
Another one more:
Here's the thing: I don't have any problem with "under God" since at their core, most religions hold to some kind of higher power, and even the most ardent atheist would have to acknowledge that recent near-death studies raise at least interesting questions.
Besides, for those with only money as their Deity, membership in the Church of the Almighty Basis point (still working on my franchise) could be fairly applied. Everyone's got a motivator, even atheists, or they wouldn't get out of bed in the morning, would they? I mean, if there's no Ubber Alles, why go to work? Unless money really is...oh, let's not....
So I think this makes me a traditionalist. America is, after all, a long series of traditions when you come down to it; some (like the Civil Rights Act of 1964?) more recent than others. But here's the thing: If we start 'repealing' parts of our traditions (like speaking a common language and such, too, as long as we're on 'tradition' why don't we just merge with Quebec of Mexico? Traditions count in my book.
But tell you what, instead of arguing over the Pledge of Allegiance, and as long as we're trying to be so PC as a nation, let's just fast-forward and move Thanksgiving to April 15th, shall we? That would be much more politically honest. It would align much more closely with our national behavior.
Whatever happened to minimal foreign involvement, peace, and prosperity? Bring back the American Whig Party! Whiggery vs. thievery at the corporate trough. A dose of protectionism would be an easy sell to the ranks of fire customer service reps and IT departments, but I digress.
But wait: As long as we're gonna screw with American traditions of x-many years, don't we need to change up the flavor of mustard at the ball park, too? Let's go to strawberry jam, instead.
Plants on Speed?
Oh, another web bot hit off the last Shape report:
Say, that's a wild one... By the way, the Mississippi this morning looks down a good bit at Memphis and some of the areas along the White River in Arkansas looked like they were coming down, too, since we looked at them 3½ week ago, plus or minus.
Speaking of ham radio (a few lines back) a reader wondered:
I will try to get on a couple of repeaters up in Detroit which is where we'll be. Repeater suggestions for both 2-meters and 440 would be appreciated: handhelds downtown. The top (and only) official of ESA (Elaine Security Agency) missed the computer bag search where I hid two handhelds(with chargers). I sooo look forward to her pat-downs, what can I say.....
Monday June 20, 2011
Will the Paper Hold?
There's been some speculation that the Greece crisis will be papered over and life on earth will continue happily forward. And, as long as people in Greece can do without electricity, food, water, jobs, or money, I suppose that's possible.
Asia and Europe didn't look particularly health in the early going, but it's possible there could be some follow-on buying today since it would be nice to re-enter short positions from higher levels.
When you look at a weekly chart of the Dow, you can see where it worked down under the psychologically important 12,000 level a week ago, but closed out last Friday a tad above, which could mean more downside to the 11,500 area.
Predictive linguistics suggest the 'stuff' will hit the fan tomorrow in Europe and thereafter will reach our shores/markets in two to four weeks, but calling the direction is always tough.
Not like the Greeks are aloan (yes, you may borrow that spelling...), the Spanish were out being rowdy in Madrid and the Brits are going through all kinds of demonstrations, too.
Silver Trading Note
Several people have asked what I think the impact of the change in FOREX rules against silver trading on that exchange will mean.
Not much I figure - the real trading is in commodity markets. See my commodity guy JB's morning take here.
The Weak Ahead
Not too much going on in the markets - just yet, anyway. I am expecting the Fed will hold, but may chance their tone (something that Fed-watchers live and breathe by) when they announce this week's rate decision. Wake me up for it? We should be in Oak Ridge, TN by then.
Tomorrow a government housing report with the FHFA housing numbers on Wednesday morning.
GDP, Durable Orders, and I think the Mass Layoff update come out on Friday.
There's been something of a trend for the market to rise following options expiration. Since the quarter triple witching was last week, a pop to the upside, at least to the EU crashes, is certainly a possibility and one which I'm sort of hoping for in order to get up into my short side buy zone, which would be S&P 1285-1290....but with a big MAYBE - depends on news flow - at the time.
NOTAMS Rising - Along With Fires
NOTAM's are Notice To Airmen, right? Can't help but notice the FAA has a no-fly zone in the Jasper Texas area. Some kind of relief work, likely the Jasper County fires down around Lufkin, TX, only restricted to 1,000 AGL, though.
The Southwest is stuck in all kinds of wildfires and as we noted over the weekend in our Peoplenomics report, this is not yet July and fires are running way ahead of everyone's recent memory.
God on the Edit Room Floor?
Not sure if you caught this, but NBC is apologizing for cutting " under God" from the pledge of allegiance.
Sorry, that doesn't pass muster. This smack too much of an outbreak of political correctness disease and a simple "not done to upset anyone" is insufficient to my way of thinking.
Cuts and Edits don't 'just happen.' They are decisions made based on content, flow, and above all in teevee land, time.
Thing is "under God" is less than only about 45-frames worth at 30 FPS, plus or minus time code error, know what I'm saying?
Until NBC comes up with a better answer, I'll just go with my belief that something else is in play here. And next time one of my friends says 'You know, there's a global attack on people of faith underway..." I will take them more seriously... a lot more seriously.
Maybe it was a time issue, or maybe it's something else: Like the Constitution, another American core value being assailed, edited, and "unofficially" rewritten by revisionists...but toward what end?
God (Universe), apple pie, and the Flag don't belong on the editing room floor.
Quality of Leaders
Oh gee, look surprised: Another politician in trouble. This one is a state senator from Idaho but it's making headlines in the UK which is just such a fine slap at the former colonies, wot?
...should come up several times this week with the House considering a block on funding for operations in Libya...the war...no, non-war....no....oh I give up.
Ooops Dept: Libya says NATO bombing killed 9 civvies. No telling who's telling what on this, though. Like any other war, there's always some driftiness.
Syria could still go either way as GlobalRev moves along. Syria's prez is doing double-speak...wonder if the US has coached him on this art?
Meantime, over Pakistan, the drones droned on.
While we watch to see if the two nearly soaked nukes in Nebraska pop, interesting to see how the flooding in China is going. Like here: Not well. More than 1.5 million evacuated, 175 dead and rising.
Still rumbles about the condition of 3 Gorges Dam, too...
On behalf of Texas, can someone send us some damn water?
We'll send you...er....how about Rick Perry in return?
Coping: On the Road Again
If it's true that "There's no rest for the wicked..." then I must be a seriously sick puppy because damned if I've had three seconds to relax all weekend, getting read for our trip out as soon as the column is uploaded this morning.
Let me put on my pilot-voice (from the cockpit):
Part of the reason for the time sink: I decided that I'd do my own turn-by-turn since NO ONE seems to have a decent mapping program. I just bought the newest version of Streets & Trips and except for "cain't find anything with the new icons", I can't see any change to the program. Our road is still mis-numbered which undoubtedly explains the lack of autograph seekers which I expect to show up here just any day now.
I'm going to try like hell to get this morning's report uploaded by 7 AM, shower, toss crap in a bag and go. Elaine has spent the last three days trying to figure out what's exactly the right thing to wear.
As luck would have it, the www.columnists.com convention has only one event (the Saturday night awards dinner in Detroyt) which requires a tie. I may still own one, but that problem will have to wait its turn, which according to my obsessive/compulsive notes should be between 7:41 and 7:43AM.
Our thanks to Panama Bates (our local one many army) for looking after the place while we're gone. Gives him some peace & quiet, forest fires and cats notwithstanding.
I promised my friend Bunnee... the gun lady, also known as Bunnee the tornado watcher and Bunnee emergency services dispatcher and....well, let's just say she's equipped with more skills than most...that I'd mention a new product she'd got called Strike Hold Team Professional at her Amazon store... If it shows out of stock, check back. Or buy the fire service emergency care book, which is a dandy to have half-memorized as part of your emergency medical training.
I've got it on my shopping list, and as long as we're on topic, I could mention that one of the joys of having a well-outfitted shop is having a wide assortment of fluids and sprays for just about anything that moves.
Beyond the obvious ant, roach, and spider spray, always at hand in scorpion season, the latest addition to the shop cans of stuff includes a new anti-spatter. This is a spray applied to the surfaces being welded and to the nozzle, tip and the operator doing any kind of welding. I'm convinced if a product doesn't carry a cancer warning, it mustn't be very good.
The rest of the sprays include BoeShield T-9 ()yes, developed up at Boeing back in the day) which I bathe most of the tools in with some effect, DeOxIt for the electronics and several related products, circuit cooler spray for electronic trouble-shooting, although when record temps come along, like they did this weekend, it's the fastest way to cool off a drink there is (apply to the outside of the glass only!).
WD-40 is one of those standard kind of shop sprays. Can't remember if I mentioned this: I found out a few weeks back from my neighbor Dan (who's a chaplain for the prison system) that inmates often use WD-40 as an arthritis and gout treatment; like I needed another reason to stay on the straight and narrow. I'll just pack colchicine and keep my freedom, thanks.
Besides a mess of sprays and liquids (Royal Purple synthetic gun oil is great), been thinking about adding to my hat collection. Got a couple of Kubota hats, and since selling off the 930, I guess the Porsche Turbo hat can go. The Winchester and Remington hats for gunsmithing are keepers. Elmwood VFD ball cap is just the thing for fighting forest fires.
Pappy used to tell me in order to do a good job of anything around the house, or in the home handy-bastard's shop, you needed just the right hat for each job. Just seemed to make things work better.
Over time he collected a goodly number of hats: A white painters hat, a black quilted mechanics cap [credited with fixing the transmission and doing a valve job on our '49 Chevy when I was a kid) not to mention the masonry, concrete and longshoreman's white cap buttoned-down brim hat for brick & block-laying. Carpenter hats looked suspiciously like baseball caps but were emblazoned with something that would intimidate testy job-site materials like "Weyerhaeuser" or "Boise-Cascade".
If a particular kind of wood was being difficult, the "Skil" hat (and a larger saw) came out.
Few people know this, but plumber's hats reduce the number of leaks in repair jobs by 20 percent, or so, and the right fishing hat is known to improve the catch by the same amount, or more.
Welder's gear is a little different, but I've figured that one out: The fixed tint two-eyed goggles are what I wear for gas welding (and cutting chores) while the auto-dimming, solar-powered masks are used for welding fencing or solar panel racks using the wire welder.
As a marketer, I a little stumped by the tie-up between Lincoln Welders and NASCAR. Near as I can figure it, the most dangerous thing to any racing effort would be someone like me coming into the pits with the right mask and and my SP-175 rig in tow looking to weld on something, Or, maybe there's a feature on the wire welder that involves going fast and turning left, but if it's there, darned if I can find it.
The one problem I'm getting into now is time: between all the damn hats, sprays, and tools, it's getting seriously hard to get anything done. Let alone find the one tool I need at any particular moment.
(Especially since the first 10-hours of each day gets sucked up by software upgrades.)
Monday at the WuJo
How's this one?
No worries on the net going away - at least until spring 2013. Then, it's another matter. So in the meantime, let's shop online like it's 1999...
(with apologies to Prince)
Going to go pack now - 5 minutes is all it should take.
Before the chart, a little background:
Once upon a time, a long while ago, I observed during my quest for 'truth' in economics, that the PowersThatBe, the talking heads on the teeve, and the other information sources that actively engage in the programming of humans not to think, had conveniently swept several trillions of dollars that disappeared in the Internet Bubble's bursting (since spring 2000) under the rug. Surely, it wasn't unnoticed by the thousands of people who called brokers and said "Where is my money?" "Gone, but hang in there as you're a long term investor!" was about all they heard back.
So one of our charts for Peoplenomics subscribers oughta be widely circulated - it shows that if you line up the peak of the Dow in January 2000 with the peak in early September of 1929, we're on a very very close replay track. Much closer than even the chart shows if you were to back out inflation, and put in the effects of 1929 deflation, but that'd be real work, and I'm sort of lazy if the truth be told.
No, it's not a perfect replay of 1929, but history doesn't repeat exactly, it only rhymes. So think of this as the rhymes and the crimes chart:
"George, that's only a coincidence!" your monkey-mind will protest.
Why sure it is...you bet. A 9½ year long coincidence...yessir....just a coincidence, we're like SO sure... (Shhh...don't tell anyone that major Depressions are two-part coupled affairs like the linkage between 1920-21 and 1929, OK? Damn, dude...don't spoil it for the sheep...)
Oh...don't forget to "Write when you get rich!"
George Ure, The People's Economist
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