Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tomorrow Is September

Record high heat here in Massachusetts today! It should be hot all week until both the hurricane and a cold front move in for Friday. Latest reports show no real storm up where I am, maybe some rain. Cape Cod and Nantucket could be hit with some heavy wind and storm surge. I think it will get pushed off to sea, but I am no expert.

Tomorrow Is September
Tomorrow is September. Where did the summer go? I remember when this meant school was starting once again. While Economic Disconnect has always been a scientist at heart, he also hated having to go to school for a year to learn stuff he could have finished in 3 months.

This September should be important for things economic. The whole crew return right after the holiday weekend:
-Wall Street Traders
-Other folks who checked out for the summer

This can lead to price swings and more importantly this year, a Congress that really needs something to happen to change election chances in November. Note I mentioned no party as either would be in the same boat at this point and I doubt very much current policies would have been any different either.

I would say "the next big thing" (TNBT) should be known by the end of September, maybe mid October at the very latest. What is that going to be?

At this point I think most anything is on the table. A cornered animal is always very dangerous and we have two to deal with; An on the way out congressional majority and top policy makers (FED/Treasury) with out much to show for plenty of wasted money. Both could admit they were wrong and change course, but instead I imagine they will double or triple down on the giveaway plan. There never was a plan B, remember?

The best way to do something you want to is to rationalize it. Via Tim Iacono we see Paul "The Krugmonster" Krugman making bond market observations on why spending has no limits:
The bond market is telling us not to worry about the current deficits. They’re happy to lend the federal government money at very low rates. What the bond market is telling us is they’re terrified of deflation and of a weak economy for a very long time.

Now one may ask why after huge stimulus and bailouts the bond market is still scared of deflation, but that answer may preclude another stimulus so leave that aside. Krugman is not the only one making these arguments. They reach very high on up.

Clusterstock notes a backdoor way for the Treasury to drop money from the air that bypasses Congress the whole way! Great work if you can get it, running a country with no accountability. Anyways the nuts and bolts of the idea:
So the only question is: Does the Treasury have some way of spending A LOT of money without Congressional approval? Because if it does, then no Fed mechanism is necessary, and presumably the political gridlock is no longer an issue.
And in fact Treasury probably does have a mechanism, via Fannie and Freddie (at least) to take over much more of the housing market, and deliver cash to homeowners. That's what the big rumor was earlier this month in fact, that Obama would find a way to push tons of cash to homeowners via the GSEs. So far the administration is denying this, but if Geithner and Obama want this, they can pull it off, have it financed by the Fed, and no GOP opposition should be an issue.
Many writers have taken the government at their word that this will not happen. They should know better, and if it comes to pass a simple "I am shocked" will not suffice as a cop out.

A Michael Pinto interview on King World (via Zero Hedge) has plenty of heavy duty ranting on some other ways for action to happen. This includes buying even more real estate and more stocks.

Of course the problem with a goosed stock market is most regular folks, and you may be shocked to learn that "regular folks" have very little money in the market, are walking away in droves. What good is S&P 1600 when no one is on board for the wealth effect? Jobs would be better, but what can you do?

Overall I think there is going to be plenty of support for the stock market. We could argue about why that matters if it is built on a charade, but traders don't care, they just operate. With a wink and a trillion or so from the gift givers those bears in the majority (I just don't buy this BTW) may want to have fast paws as overnight headline risk will be high. How about being short big time and waking up to this CNBC headline:
Treasury to buy indices 30% higher, says short term fear should not impact economy
That would suck, yes?

I am over playing this angle but I think you get the point. Beyond all the games that are already in play, some new stupid pet tricks will be put in place. Housing and the stock markets are the major targets, but State bailouts and some others novel giveaways are not far down the line.

What remains to be seen is how well these kinds of things are going to go over with the public. So far reaction has been muted or negative. Worth a shot though!

Have a good night.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Making a Move on Monday

Mondays are rough stuff after a great weekend!

Obligatory Robot Scare Story
I think I should be able to run a robot related story about every day! For consideration this Monday:
MIT Invents Oil Collecting Robots

Making a Move on Monday
I have not been active in the markets this year. Not much has stood out to me and a few positions I had wanted to open started looking a little ill right before I was going to buy. I did make a move today though and I will share my reasoning.

I opened a position in the iShares Silver Trust (SLV). This buy was a larger than normal purchase for me, about 50% of my trading account. What am I looking at?

The SLV chart is attractive and I think it is going to resolve one way or the other very soon, maybe in 1-3 weeks. At today's close of about $18.40 I am looking for an upside move past $22 and maybe even a run to $24. If the resolution goes to the downside a fast drop to $16 could occur. I like the risk/reward profile of this trade.

I have spilled pixels by the ton about why I like silver fundamentally for the long term. I will not rehash all that again right now. I hold a core position in physical metal that I keep for the long haul. I am using the paper silver vehicle here for ease of transaction.

This September should feature whatever plans CONgress, the FED, and the Treasury have to try and give out more free stuff and flood the world with more liquidity no one needs. With elections coming in November they will need to act soon to get any pop out of the actions and this would be silver positive.

Risks? This silver play is hardly novel and thus plenty of folks are seeing what I am. While this makes me moderately sure I am not crazy, this play is not exactly uncrowded. All that about a watched pot never boils can apply here. Add to this I think a huge move down in the stock indices could happen at any moment. Yes, silver will get killed if the S&P drops 10% though there are situations where that may not happen.

Understand, as always, nothing here is trading advice. I am just sharing my own ideas. If you want to lose money, by all means copy my activity!

Rumor Mill
At first I thought this rumor about the Bank of China Governor defecting to the United States was too silly to even be worth a read. Later on I thought it was SO strange, well I guess it could be true! Doing my part to spread false information:
Where In The World Is Zhou Xiaochuan? Stratfor Provides Update As 1 Month Chinese Repo Surges By 50%
If this turns out to be true (I highly doubt it) the tension it will create between the US and China will be worth grabbing a popcorn for.

Have a good night.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sunday Time Burner

Another weekend comes to a close. The wife is back and the trip went well. I did cook some marinated skirt steak tonight, but the memory card is full on the camera so no pictures this time. I used Stubbs Beef Marinade and let me tell you that stuff adds some serious bite!

On Legends and Folklore
My friend wrote about the legendary John Henry and included a cool Bruce Springsteen tune about him that I had never heard. Check it out if you like.

I am a huge fan of old legends and folklore. The best book I have on these things is a Readers Digest hardcover which spans the entire range of American lore. I was surprised to see a few available on Amazon, this book is pretty cool.

Some great tidbits:
-The Mezcla Man
-Captain Kidd and Screechams Island
-Old Stormalong
-Plenty on Billy the Kid, Sam Bass, and Wyatt Earp
The book has tons more, but those stand out to me.

Let's have a little fun with legendary themed things!

In the Highlander series episode "Homeland" Macleod returns home to Scotland to confront an ancient enemy. One of the very best episodes that was made. At the 3:00 minute mark of this clip we find out that sometimes the legends are true:

Very nice.

After the "No Mas" debacle in his second fight against Sugar Ray Leonard, Roberto Duran was struggling. Given an opportunity to fight undefeated WBA Junior Middleweight champion Davey Moore, Duran reclaimed his legendary status with a brutal performance. The fight was in Madison Square Garden in New York and Moore was from the Bronx, but listen to that crowd cheer for Duran (skip ahead to the 3:00 minute mark):

That crowd noise still gets me excited!

Do the Peralta Stones hold the final answer for the hidden gold in the Superstition Mountains?:


The legend of Keyser Soze:

I want a pay per view match between Soze and Anton Chigurh. I will go with Anton!

How about the Tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise?:

Artists rendering of Darth Plagueis here watching his apprentice practicing.

There is always the Legend of Billie Jean.

What about Legends of the Fall?

Of course some ancient lore should never be awakened. Gandalf fights Balrog but maybe one of the most fitting songs for a film ever and also one of the most beautiful is Gandalf Falls.

Ok, time to close up the shop.

I cannot embed this video for some reason, but there is evidence that this scene from "Young Guns" is mostly true in that Billy the Kid removed bullets from a mans gun so that he could get an edge. Enjoy!

Have a good night.

Friday, August 27, 2010

It Has to Do Something, Right?

It is indeed Friday night! Just me and the pug dog with the Friday Night show to come. I have plenty to do tomorrow so I have to keep things reasonable. But only just!

It Has to Do Something, Right?
You may want to sit down for this but I am about to praise Ben Bernanke! Are you sitting?

Today Ben Bernanke gave his speech that everyone was waiting for. Leaving aside all the crappy amorphous language that bothers me to no end, the FED Head was brutal honest for the first time in a while and for that I thank him. The whole speech boiled down to this for me:
We are ready to do a few more things if the economy keeps getting worse, but really these things are not going to do all that much.
Seems about right.

No we could discuss why the FED would buy more stuff if it really was not going to help much, but in politics (yes the FED is a political wing) it is better to do something instead of nothing. It the way it is.

Markets were pushed higher as whatever shorts were out there closed up the shop. My favorite two headlines that ran back to back (cannot find the links now) were:
-Bernanke says economic recovery on track
-Intel lowers guidance on slowing sales
It's all good, you betcha!

Friday Night Entertainment
Well you had to know this was going to be an extended show!

The Funniest Thing I Have Seen in Some Time
Today's must see video is for a fake product dubbed the "Cami Secret". Now I have to warn you in advance:
-this video is crude and rude
-there is plenty of harsh language
-it will make you double over in pain laughing
That all said (and really if you are easily offended don't watch!) here it is:


Next Level Time
Ok, you probably expect more out of me than juvenile humor!

-National Geographic has republished the original article from May 1923 written by Maynard Owen Williams which chronicles his entry into Tutankhamen's tomb shortly after it was found:
At the Tomb of Tutankhamen

-I had mentioned waterbears a while back, well now another microbe has been shown to be able to live in the vacuum of space:
Microbes survive a year and a half in space
Now tell me again how early Earth bacteria were not brought here by comets?

-Where once people camped out all night to get a chance to bid on a Florida condo, now they sleep out waiting for mortgage assistance:
Thousands seeking help with mortgages jam Palm Beach County Convention Center
Irony is not without a sense of humor, right Morpheus?

Book Excerpts
Read quite a few good ones as of late.
"So you arresting me? Don't you got to read me my rights?". More than a hint of a sneer in her voice.
"Sure," I replied. "Tell me, though. When was the last time you had some really good Chips Ahoy cookies?". She looked at me like I was nuts.
"A couple days ago. Why?".
-My favorite part of American Apocalypse II, Refuge by Nova
There was a sharp crack from somewhere on the mountain. Then another. It's just a falling tree, he said. It's okay. The boy was looking at the dead roadside trees. All the trees in the world are going to fall sooner or later. But not on us.
-The Road by Cormac McCarthy

A few selections to gander at.

When Duncan Macleod gets angry he gets very, very dangerous (from the episode "Reasonable Doubt"):

My favorite series since "The Highlander" had to be be HBO's "Rome" though the "John Adams" small series was spectacular as well. Here is a bone chilling scene that should tell you one thing, don't mess with Titus Pullo and Lucius Vorenus (Again, harsh language and violence disclaimer!):

Clearing a room indeed.

Ok, maybe a little heavy on the combat! Something for the ladies? Here is a scientifically proven way to grab a man's attention (via "Legally Blonde"):

Yes I have seen that film, and yes I like it! Snark remarks are expected.

Rock Blogging
And so it began on a Friday night, and all the readers saw it, and knew it was good.

Great to see Friday Night shows all over the blogosphere; plenty of variety out there and I find it fun to see what writers that I like themselves like to listen to.

A few too many requests this week, not all can make the show. I apologise in advance!

Leading off the show is reader Watchtower's request for "Candy's Room" by The Boss. I had never heard this tune and it was a wonderful surprise:

I like it very much. For a related theme see this Maiden tune.

I must be isolated or something, but Scharfy requested the Huey Lewis and the News song "Walking on a Thin Line" which again, I had never heard! A great tune and a great sentiment:


Another request by C-T Hilltopper was for one of both mine and the wife's favorite songs, so let's go with Depeche Mode and "It's No Good" (live is the only way to go with this band!):

What a tune! As a live show these guys are amazing. You can read my review here, complete with a writing sample. I am still proud of that prose. The comments were some of the best inspiration I have ever had as well.

Ok, sorry to cut short the requests, but this is MY friday night and my blog until the FED shuts me down!

How can one ever pick an Eagles song? It's easy, all are great! Here is "Peaceful Easy Feeling" and if you have never heard the section from 2:28-2:51 on a 12 string guitar, well you are missing out:


I think I have not played this in a while, so get crazy and wild with Iron Maiden and "Running Free":

Nasty good tune!

Ok so you think Ozzy and Randy cannot do slow and thoughtful? Hate to crash that party but enjoy the live cut of "Goodbye to Romance":

Almost too beautiful, did you listen to the lyrics?

Ok this should be one more, but you get two! What a deal and at all time low borrowing rates to boot!

One of my favorite CCR tunes, "Porterville":

Just too good.

Last call! Time to close the show. Are you ready? Are you set?

Rock out with a heavy thunder, dark tune like "Would" from Alice in Chains:

Love that tune!

Have a good night.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Wasted Time Chasing Balloons

Thursday has arrived at last! The end of the week is upon us.

Good news for Economic Disconnect, the wife and mom in law are going visiting tomorrow until.....Sunday! An entire weekend left to my own devices. I better set some bail money aside just in case.

No worries, Friday Night is still a go and may be even more entertaining than usual, if that is possible. Some questions have come up about Friday night content, here are a few answers:
-I stop looking at comments and emails around 7-7:30pm on Friday night so that is the latest I would see a request.
-Some wonder what songs make it on the show that are requested. It depends. If it is your birthday it makes it no matter what (unless it is a Beatles tune, in which case birthday FAIL). The number of requests makes a difference, I like to stick around 7 songs for page loading speed. I play most anything but my mood and the tunes I have pre-selected may affect which songs I choose to play. How recently I may have played a request also factors in.
-You know you can request all kinds of things, not just songs right?

Anyways, it's on like Donkey Kong for Friday.

Wasted Time Chasing Balloons
I had about a million things I wanted to write about this week but I got killed on time and now it is Thursday. Boom Boom Bernanke's speech tomorrow is all anyone cares about so I will just make a few big picture ideas and leave it at that.

In regards to Quantitative Easing 2.0 (QE2) there has been a weird cacophony of headlines over the past few days that make the chance of it happening about 200% in my opinion. My best evidence? Check this out:
Citi Says QE2 Would Be End-Game For The USD
Now this is a Zero Hedge headline, but the Citi missive says that QE2 will be very dollar negative, which in today's perverse world we know it will not be so this is a contrary indicator.

And how about Mark "I love to be on TV" Zandi just a few weeks away from writing a paper on how the FED beat a Great Depression re-run is all aboard the QE2 train. What a sick joke this all is. Too bad it really matters.

QE2 is accepted by almost all big players as the "right thing" to do but they can offer no real explanation why that is outside of platitudes like "increase aggregate demand", or "cushion the misery" or other such crap. Even a big time economist writer like Econbrowser's James Hamilton writes "More thoughts on what to expect from the Fed" but in the end he just says QE2 is correct with no real argument for that other than a weak economy. What if it is going to be weak anyway? Why bother?

I do not want to spend all night on this, I have beaten it to death ten-fold. There is no reason for a small business to go ape shit expanding because their borrowing rates over 10 years goes from 3.5% to 3% or whatever. This is SMALL business, not multi billion dollar conglomerates where a small rate change can mean billions in funding differences. Why can't anyone see that?

I would even argue that cheap money has always resulted in terrible decision making. When capital is dear, only the best ideas get out. When cash is everywhere most of it is wasted or ripped off. That's the way it is. We have spent 10 years now chasing crap like Pets.com and McMansions in the middle of deserts. Where is the new energy research? Where is nanotechnology? Where is fusion? Where is my floating car? Where is tissue regeneration? Where indeed. I can show the round trip for CSCO stock or a map of ghost towns in Phoenix metro though.

(Note: I am not one of these crazies that think wasting money on science research (especially "green" energy) is all great by the way. Serious science is out there, but you need people that can evaluate it, which we are short of, most especially in the financial sector)

All this time (and capital) wasted chasing balloons instead of something tangible. Something competitive. Something to drive real growth of productivity or manufacturing. Instead we have an over capacity in malls and places to eat.

It would be refreshing to hear Bernanke speak to such things tomorrow, but I imagine we will get the good old "we will do what is needed to...." baloney. Throw in a all is well except we have to buy our own bonds and another shortsighted, misguided rally in assets no real man on the street has in any quantity will ensue. Whuppidi Doo!

Ok, sarcasm on way high (the dial DOES to go 11 you know!) but I am making my point.

Have a good night.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Rained Out

It has been raining pretty heavy the past two days which means two things:
-It's wet outside
-Massachusetts drivers park their cars on all the major highways

Thus I am home way late and have no time to write anything worthwile. This is good as you get to save 5 minutes of your life and I get to dig into the second half of American Apocalypse II; Refuge written by Nova of the Calculated Risk comments section fame. I read half last night and this sequel has really been excellent and I hope to finish tonight.

Rain Drops
A couple of blurbs.

-Former Minyanville regular Mr. Practical had a rare item up today that is a must read:
We're All in a Race to the Bottom
This guy is one of the very best out there.

-I did have a whole post outlined in my mind that was built on this Paul Krugman item:
Krugman or Paulson: Who You Gonna Bet On?
Krugman is happy to point out Paulson saw a recovery on the way while The Krugmonster just knew the stimulus was too puny to work. My article was to be centered around the idea that Krugmonster thought the stimulus measures were too small by a factor of 3 or 4X. If he is so right then should there not have been a structural recovery in housing, unemployment, etc only 3X smaller than he would have thought? As there has been no such thing, how does the Nobel winner explain this?

-Final item concerns robots once again. I find it funny that when I said the next bubble was to be in robots, I was all alone. Well here is another serving:
NASA Tests First Cylon
A new human like robot to assist in space walks. Just don't put him in charge of the bay doors whatever you do!

In a while when over investment in robotics blows up I fully expect to be remembered as a predictive luminary like Nostradamus and Joe Namath. Fear not, we can stash a couple of robots in all the empty houses to perform maintenance to keep the paper value of the homes inflated. Word of caution to all squatters; here is the future of empty in-home robotic security:

Have a good night.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

How Long Can We Afford to Pretend We Can Fix This?

Out of time so just a few thoughts.

How Long Can We Afford to Pretend We Can Fix This?
I would think the final nail in the coffin of the hopes and dreams for a housing recovery was on full display today when the existing home sale numbers came out. Chart via Calculated Risk shows the effects of both all time low borrowing rates and several selling tricks used by stupid programs to draw demand way forward:

Game over.

Already there are mumblings of another tax credit or other iteration of free giveaways but it is clear these tricks only sucker in the last few dummies willing to play this game.

I have written endless words discussing the huge issue going forward; with rates at all time lows any move up will eat away a large part of any home price appreciation. Can rates stay right here for 5 years? 10 years? I can only think the FED both thinks so and will make it so.

At this point I would think most accept that there is limited demand right now because people in aggregate are hopelessly overextended as is. Call it the "New Normal", a "return to normal", or "rational thinking" but the excess blow off top spending of the past is gone for some time. Policy makers would do much better to stop trying to return to the old ways and concentrate on how best to steward this economy into new directions to better serve the US economic interests in the future.

Boom Boom Bernanke has a speech set for Friday and I expect he is going to change his course even more so than he has and get pretty clear on what new stupid pet tricks the FED have in store for September. I wonder how long we can afford to pretend they are capable of doing anything? Sure, there will be a short term blip across many sectors (mostly stocks) but the half life of these things is decreasing all the time.

More flailing away while drowning is expected from the FED already (Sizeable Additional QE By The Fed), and Bill Gross me out just will not STFU about a nationalized mortgage giant paid for by the people. Hey Mr. Smartest man in the debt Universe, quick question: If you in all your infinite wisdom will not give mortgages because they are a suckers play, why should I as a taxpayer be made to? The standard "you will face misery" answer will not suffice, get creative would you?

Add to all this that just like Jason Voorhees the Euro zone debt crisis refuses to die even after being buried as Ireland debt ratings get cut again.

I think at this point in time it would be best if the more well known writers/bloggers/advisers that have any influence or access to the FED/Treasury (you can figure out who that is) could get those up front to address like adults the real structural issues facing the economy and just how far they are willing to go to support a failed system. We should have fair warning and time to prepare ourselves.

Have a good night.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Here I am Stimulating the Economies

This summer has been especially amazing weather wise so the last two days of rain have not bothered me that much after last summers debacle of a season. It was actually nice to wear a long sleeve shirt in the cool misty air for once. Still, hoping for some better weather by the weekend.

Stuff You Should Read
I am short on time this evening so here are some items I think are worth a look if you want some real content.

-Interfluidity offers his take on the Treasury meeting with bloggers.

-EconomPic has a great post up relating mortgage rates and home prices. My favorite line:
While I am not claiming that prices will fall off another cliff soon, there is a significant risk of a further decline... especially if rates don't stay this low (for this reason I do expect rates to stay this low).
I have to admit I was wrong about how hard the Fed would push to keep rates lows and wrong about how willing the markets seem to play "stocks say economic recovery, but bonds say collapse, let's just keep going!".

-Illusion of Prosperity updates the "Cartoon Physics" graphs and the results are almost creepy in predictive value.

-Zero Hedge had this item titled "Gene Noser's 5 Suggestions On How To Regain Our Market Back From The Robots" which I though may fit in with our robotics discussions here, but it was just about algos.

-There is no bond bubble and debt markets are not being saturated with liquidity. In this way 100 year corporate bonds make perfect sense.

Here I am Stimulating the Economies
I did my consumer zombie part and stimulated the economy. Our kitchen was all original and while that would be great if it was a classic corvette or something, it was not working out for me as a room in the house.

You may wonder why a "doom and gloomer" would do such a thing? Why "waste" money? Why not buy gold and toilet paper? Well, the kitchen was almost unusable space; the cabinets did not even close anymore; I was sick of it. I had the cash to pay for this set aside for over a year but the designer we worked with last year was a total flake so we stopped the planning last go around. We will also not be going anywhere unless I win the lotto and retire to the Bahamas so this is not a trick to try and jack up a resale value. This was just for the wife and I.

That said, we kept withing a budget and did not over improve the kitchen. A basic overall was the plan and other than falling in love with a silly expensive granite, we kept things pretty tame cost wise. We gained so much space by dumping the monster wall cabinets the room seems twice as big now. All in all I am very pleased.

On to the visuals! I will try to keep the pictures grouped before/after in about the same shot to make it easier to visualize. Please note that my Pug dog is a camera ham and if we are taking pictures he tries to get into the shot.

Coming in to the kitchen from the hallway you could see the huge in wall electric oven. I hate electric ovens and wished for a real gas range. Here is the look before:

So what we did was move the refrigerator into the newly enlarged area where the old oven/microwave was. With the monster cabinets gone we were able to make a little alcove station for the new microwave and a nifty butcher block counter:

Here is the sink area and counter with a huge closet cabinet before:

Here is the new counter area and new sink/faucet:

The old cooktop gas burners (I hated these things!):

Brand new oven area with an awesome gas LG Range:

I have already used the oven twice and I am in love!

The fridge used to be on the opposite side of the room (hello pug!):

You can also see the crappy linoleum floors here. Another before picture of the corner:

Now this entire corner is one of those revolving "lazy susan's" . How did they get that name anyways?

Here is the huge wall of cabinets that ate up all the space in the room (Pug alert bottom right!):

And now the open wall after with new heater line:

The wife found the artwork I have dubbed "Ode to Pug". You can see the new floors here as well. Great cost saving tip, skip the tile! Here in New England the winter makes a tile floor not much fun when the cold sets in. This floor is a composite interlocking tile that is free floating so it stays warmer in the winter. Very cost effective as well!

Here is another shot of the granite we liked; thing is there is no more of it as the quarry from where it came started giving up stone that looked much different. We lucked out that someone cancelled their order for the slab we ended up with:

More space and much better functionality. Just what a scientist needs!

Still some things to finish up on:
-The main light does not fit the room anymore so I await the wife selecting a new one any day now (good thing she does not read my blog!).
-The trim around the window and doors as well as the garage door does not match the new cabinets. As I love to stain wood and make mitre cuts myself I will remedy this when the summer is over.

There will be other little things but I am pretty happy with the end result. Awaiting the final bill in the mail any day.....

Have a good night.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Saturday Night at the Races

Tonight is my favorite race of the season, the night race at Bristol Motor Speedway!

I love this race and look forward to it all summer:

If you hate NASCAR, you may still want to see some of this race, especially the end. The track is only a small half mile in size, but the extreme banking in the corners allows the cars to run over 130 mph because the force keeps them on the track! tempers flare easy here and often it will be a bumper car wreck show! Exciting stuff! At night you can see all the sparks and the rotors of the brakes get all cherry red. Love it!

Bristol is famous for great racing and rough endings. Of course the legendary Dale Earnhardt often featured in the outcome.

First, in 1995 Earnhardt chases down Terry Labonte and causes a big wreck right at the end (skip to the 2:25 mark):

Labonte saves the car but wrecks going across the finish line! he drove the totalled car into victory lane, it was so cool.

Ok, now 1999. Same two guys, different result (skip to 1:50 mark):

Oops! I saw that one live and it was awesome!

More Robots and Cybernetic Enhancements
I am sure all know Darth Vader's extensive robotic reconstruction and Luke Skywalker's cybernetic hand. Here are a few more related items from the Star Wars Universe:
Guri, a replica droid and easy on the eyes:

Arden Lyn had a crazy big robotic arm:

Bao-Dur and his replacement arm:

Cool stuff!

Have a good night.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Femtogram of Fun Friday

Nothing but cleaning up and a few nit picky things in the kitchen left! Things should be back to normal by tomorrow. I am working on getting some pictures together to show how I blew, I mean invested, a crap load of money.

I think I covered plenty this week and I also felt the content was pretty solid. I hope you all liked it.

Automation Observations
I have been harsh on the robot world in a few posts. I did it mainly as a funny thing, but I do think automation is an issue we will have to confront going forward as a job force. One of the best things about this site is the comments section and last post had a couple of additional thoughts I wanted to cover.

An anonymous reader offered (bold my emphasis):
Meh - its just the economy's way of signaling what will be important and what will not in the future.
OK so no jobs hammering down spikes. What about a guy or a team of guys to design the spike hammer robot? Maybe another guy or team of guys to service the spike hammer robot, etc.
It also allows for advances in human society (albeit at the expense of now obsolete workers) - but that's the way its always been. Time was, we needed to dedicate all our human capital to manual labor in order to function. Now with machines doing much of that, it frees up human capital to think about, and work on things we find important.
You are probably a great example of this - molecular biology was a pipe dream until this century. There was simply no way we could allocate a decent % of our workforce and human capital into this field. Imagine this back in the 1800s. Hey honey, I successfully manipulated this gene which will cure cancer - unfortunately I didn't have time to tend our field and now we will die of starvation - pity!BTW, that's the main reason I think that education is so hugely important and what we need to focus on more in this country. As machines do more and more of what we humans can do with our arms and legs, the only advantage we have is our brains. We use it to innovate, to create the machines or the processes that make more of our manual labor obsolete. If you don't have an education to do one of those innovative type things, be warned - those educated people are right now thinking about a machine machine can outwork you any day!
Several great points and I think a great comment overall. I certainly did not mean to say machines were "bad", just observing their rapid progress. As Anon says, it has always been this way. I wonder though how far this can go? An interesting thought experiment.

Reader Watchtower adds:
What strikes me as strange is now that we have all of these machines doing a lot of the manual labor that we used to, we are shelling out $40 - $100 a month to go to the gym and 'exercise'.
Not only that, but we are using machines to provide resistance (work) in order for the human body to function as it was meant to (smiley).
Oh the irony indeed! Good one.

Friday Night Entertainment
Friday night's post: 80% of the time, it works every time!

Treasure Hunters?
Thieves broke into an exhibit and stole a 75 ounce gold bar that came from the wreck of the Santa Margarita, which sank in 1622:
Gold bullion stolen from Florida treasure museum
I remember some idiot talking about the stock OMEX, which specializes in deep sea recovery of wreck treasure. Yeah, that worked out!

This is How the Zombie Apocalypse Will Come to Pass
First off, some research:
Parasite Infested Zombie Ants Walked the Earth 48 Million Years Ago
A parasitic fungus called Ophiocordyceps unilateralis that infects a plain old carpenter ant and takes over its brain, leading the ant to bite into the vein that runs down the center of a leaf on the underside. The ant dies shortly thereafter, but the fungus gains the nutrients it needs to grow this crazy stalk out of the ant’s body and release spores to create the next generation of ant-controlling fungi.
This cryptic cycle has been going on for at least 48 million years.
Uh oh.
Here is some troubling video:

Try and sleep tonight!

Facebook in History?
EconomicDisconnect does not use Facebook. As I understand it, it's main function is to allow old flames to find you, or allow you to search them out late night after too many wobbly pops. There are a couple I would be afraid of finding me (crazy!), and a couple I would be afraid to find (too hot for words).

What if historical figures had Facebook? Here is an awesome work up using such things as Abraham Lincoln, The Titanic, and the Dinosaurs:
If Historical Events had Facebook Statuses
Very original.

Happy Birthday
On this day in 1977 Voyager 2 was launched.

Pictures for the People
In color even!

Give the little guy a fist bump already!:

That was a really good one.

Great artistic rendering of a top battle from the expanded Star Wars Universe:
Corran Horn vs. Shedao Shai


Note: the funniest FAILBlog I have seen in some time was out today but this is a family blog so I left it off. No reason you cannot click to see it if you want though!

Rock Blogging
At last, we come to it!

Lurker requested Patsy Cline and "Crazy". Not sure if he thinks I am, the markets are, or something else. In any case, here she is in all her glory:

Timeless that one.

Gawains wanted some Marshall Tucker Band and "Can't You See". Yet another song I really like and had no idea who performed it! Thanks!:


I had never heard "Jailbreak" by Thin Lizzy, but it was pretty good, via Watchtower:

I have always loved this song by Tracy Chapman. Please enjoy "Fast Car":

That song hurts.

What did mama say? L.L.'s said "Knock You Out" I believe:

Best way to stop an opponent in boxing is by body shots. They just go down and they are clear headed, but do not want to get up. It's crazy to watch happen.

Two songs left. A duo to send you off on the weekend. What to play?

One of my favorites, The Who and "Behind Blue Eyes":

In the studio on one of the iterations of the line "But my dreams.." (1:43 mark) you can hear Roger Daltrey's voice quiver, but they left it in to better capture the emotion of the song. I think that was genius!

Last call! If you were a sailor heading out to sea, well, behave accordingly!

I used this list of the greatest metal songs ever for the next selection. Not MY list, but a good list any way you look at it. Uh-oh, I may have played all of them! Ok, let's go with Motley Crue and "Shout at the Devil":

Nasty good!

Have a good night.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Not That Anyone Asked

The remodel is about done, and I am pretty happy. A few touch ups and we should be good to go.

Tomorrow is Friday night so you should know what to do by now.

I am a bit on the unpleasant side of the ledger this evening so I hope this post goes off cooler than I feel.

Channeling Economic Disconnect
While having another thinker in the world does not make you right, it does make you feel better that you are not crazy! From Minyanville comes this piece by David Stockman titled:
How Pimco Is Holding American Homeowners Hostage
This final transformation of American taxpayers into indentured servants of HIDC (the Housing Investment & Debt Complex) has been underway for a long time, and is now unstoppable because all principled political opposition to Pimco-style crony capitalism has been extinguished.
Nothing can stop it now.

Robots That Make me Mad
I used to work with my Dad doing railroad work on weekends and most summers when I was younger. We did everything, from installing switches to new rail installation. The worst job was the new rail installation. This required extremely hard work to lay ties, drill the spiking holes, place the plates, align the rails, and a spike the rails down. Labor intensive. It would take a crew of 6-8 about 3 days of murder effort to lay 100 yards of rail. We did this quite a few times. We had hand tools.

I watched a railroad job done in Cambridge the past couple of days that was at once amazing and scary. The job was railroad tie replacement. These are the black wooden things the rails sit on. They go bad over time. To do this you have to unspike the rails, remove the ties, dig new tie placements, get the ties under the rails, replace the plates, and then spike them down. Rough stuff. Not anymore. Now a series of robots do ALL THAT WORK in about an hour or two. Two hours! The robots do everything! Here is a link about the robot that hammers in the spikes and below is a picture:

I used to try and beat my Dad in a contest to spike down two full rails (I think it was 50 feet and maybe 100 spikes) but I was never even close. Nobody could beat this monster machine, not even John Henry.

In addition to the automated laboratory item I wrote about a while ago, this piece from Kid Dynamite today (not robots per say but automation could replace these workers one day soon), and high unemployment all around I can only say I am afraid of the robot revolution! They already do 70% of stock trading as well! There will be no quarter.

Treasury Meets With Blogger Part 2
I had no idea the Treasury meeting with some bloggers was going to be a recurring thing, and I have yet to get my invite! As it is here is a good recap by one of those to be selected John Lounsbury:
Further Thoughts on My Treasury Meeting
You can get the full attendance list at his write up and he was to update other blogger entries on the subject as well. Key take away:
The housing discussion crystallized again for me the overall policy direction that started with the previous administration and has continued with the current one. I have joined many others in using the term “kick the can down the road”. That is in fact the formal policy. It is nowhere written in bright lights, but that is the fundamental basis of policy.

With housing, the policy has been to diffuse a foreclosure problem over a longer time frame to reduce economic shock. With finance, the policy has been to create a “workout” time line for large banks to “earn” their way out of balance sheet problems.
Ok, pretend and extend. Nothing new there. I did offer in the comments:
Kicking the can down the road has always clearly been policy. What I wonder most about is if money/process focused people miss the damage done by such bailout policies and free rides to cushion the storm. The structural shift in consumer/borrower psychology will be different going forward due to these policies and missing that key point is a huge blindspot for policy makers.
It is hard to get more elaborate in a comment, but 6 people "liked" it so that is good I guess.

What I meant is that all the playing for time stuff maybe would be fine, but you have now taught terrible lessons that will not soon be forgotten. On the banking side the "we will get bailed out" hardwired belief is now a guarantee. More troubling, consumers may well be of the mind to get crazy again (should credit ever get extended) with thoughts of 2 years payment free in a home as well as two years of pretty good unemployment benefits. Not a good mix. Add to this you have a huge number of folks looking around and thinking they are doing things not only the hard way (paying what they take out) but possible the stupid way as well. Another great short sighted effort by our leaders.

When will they sit down with Denninger, Mish, Iacono, and Tyler Durden I wonder?

Know Your Role
Anytime I write about the bond market I know I should have hit "delete". I hate bonds and all debt instruments by nature. Anyways, I had said the rush to bonds was getting a bit crazy, well here is what I wrote last post:
The bond market is not making much sense right now; why bid up an asset (US debt) that can (and will?) be issued in unlimited amounts? I have no idea, but that short bus is as crowded as it gets without snapping a leaf spring.
Of course today there were several top flight rebuttals of the possible "bond bubble" meme. To be fair I never said they were a bubble, just that I did not get the stampede.

EconomPic eviscerates some math used in a WSJ article in an item you really should read, like now.

My favorite way to get all tied up in intellectual knots is to read a Pragmatic Capitalist item on debt and another pretzel was served up today:
Why The "Bond Bubble" Is A Total Myth
Now reading one of these things is like "crossing the streams" in Ghostbusters so I will tempt you with this:
What exactly is the U.S. government bond market? In a country with monetary sovereignty in a floating exchange rate system (USA & Japan, for instance) the bond market is really nothing more than a mechanism through which the central bank controls the money supply. It doesn’t actually fund anything as it does in Europe or under a gold standard. This is best understood by studying the bond auction data in the USA. Despite constant shrieking of a potential lack of buyers in government bonds over the years we continue to see incredibly high demand for US debt. The auctions are always oversubscribed. They never fail. Why is this? Why do the buyers keep coming back for more? The simple answer is because the government puts the buyers there. The auctions are designed not to fail. How is this you ask?
So when you hear that nothing is bigger than the bond market that is just a misunderstanding. It is a book keeping exercise. Nifty.

I would always defer to David Rosenberg on most things but a part of his commentary today got my wheels turning. Here is the relevant section:
So maybe Ma and Pa Kettle are moving to correct this mismatch on their balance sheet and adjusting it to capture more income, limit their risks and preserve their capital. We do know with certainty that the median age of the baby boom cohort is approaching 55. As strategists we have to come to the understanding that a powerful demographic trend is gathering momentum, which is generating this insatiable appetite for yield — an era of correcting the underweight in bonds in the aging (but not aged) boomer asset mix while correcting the lingering overweight in equities. This may prove to be a secular shift and it just makes sense to come to grips with what is likely to be a continued divergence in bond and stock performance in the future.
Again, Rosie has the goods and I would not argue with any of this really.

The over riding thought that jumped out at me was this and I have thought about it all day:

First everyone bought the Dot-Bomb stocks and had their butts handed to them. Then everyone bought a monster home, leveraged it to the hilt and got bankrupted. Now in an effort to pay for bailouts and extend the can kick everyone is piling into government debt to pay for it (except it doesn't?) as well as getting taxed higher to do the same (do taxes finance anything PragCap and if so what about 28 out of 30 years of deficits?). Just seems to me like the proverbial "everyone" is a serious chump.

Have a good night.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Elaborate Musings

Almost done, almost done! I had quite a few errands after work so I am pressed for time.

Care to Elaborate?
My post last night generated some questions over at the Seeking Alpha publication so I wanted to elaborate briefly.

I think that the mega refi/loan forgiveness deal is going to happen. I feel the US government will absorb the costs. I have no idea what the numbers will be, and I do not think it really matters. The question of morality and fairness to others is a waste of time as it has never stopped anything before so just leave that one out totally.

Now that said, many would wonder how the US can fund such a transfer of debt. My only answer is you have seen a bunch of it happen already. Consider how much additional debt was floated over the past year and now go check on some bond yields. See any problem? I do not. This in no way means I agree there will not be, but the first leg of the experiment went swimmingly well.

You can see what I mean whenever Paul Krugman writes a blog post titled something like:
"We spent a trillion (I wanted 10) and nobody batted an eye!"

The bond market is not making much sense right now; why bid up an asset (US debt) that can (and will?) be issued in unlimited amounts? I have no idea, but that short bus is as crowded as it gets without snapping a leaf spring.

I would add that much of this action has moved to the big US banks through FED enabled trading games with guaranteed profit. Where are the bond vigilantes? Making cash hand over fist thank you very much don't bother them.

It is rare I disagree with Ilargi of The Automatic Earth, but in today's missive he opines:
Millions of homeowners get to live cheaper, enabling them to spend more, home prices would go up, and it would cost the government nary a penny. Why didn't anyone else think of that? Well, all you need to do is look at who indeed would pay the costs. Which is the lenders, who would now receive 2-3% less in monthly interest payments. Wall Street would never accept it, unless Washington makes up the difference. Which Washington would never accept to do.

I totally disagree.

If things are pretty good and getting better, why do we get a piece by PIMCO's Managing Director Paul McCulley that contains such wild statements as these (via Tim Iacono):
But that could change, if the risk of a return to recession continues to rise, spooking the equity market. A few thousand points of Dow might be what is needed to get the attention of Austerian legislators wanting to get re-elected! Am I forecasting that? Not yet, but the odds are rising, I think.
Hey, you have been warned. This is how monetary policy is made nowadays, by kneejerk reactions to asset prices. Some more printing press euphoria:
To generate increased growth in aggregate demand, some sector of the economy must be willing to pro-actively lever its balance sheet. And that must be the fiscal authority, if the private sector is intent on delevering. Yes, I know all about the perils of long-term fiscal unsustainability. But I also know that in the long run, we are all dead. I see no reason to die young from fiscal-orthodoxy-imposed anorexia.
This line of thought is workable if two things are true about you:
-You are already rich
-You are closer to the end than the beginning of your journey

When some of the biggest players and smartest people are talking crazy and using really large numbers you should be ready to have something handed to you, none of which will be fun, well for you anyway.

Have a good night.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

How I Know Housing is Dead for a Long Time

The final steps are being done on the kitchen! By Thursday all should be ready to go! I think it is looking very good and the new use of the space will allow a much easier time doing things in there.

How I Know Housing is Dead for a Long Time
I will lay out the long version below but the short version is:

Housing is dead because the banks do not even want any of the action

So simple really.

Ok, the long version.

Today's big conference on the future of housing finance was a mix of pure baloney and hints at the future. I am surprised at this hour in the evening there has not been much substantive discussion on the meeting, there were fireworks in my opinion.

First off, the baloney. Tim Geithner opened the show stating such things like Fannie and Freddie need overhaul and that taxpayers will not support housing in the future. The Treasury head also said the government needs to be smaller in the housing sector, while at the same time guaranteeing mortgage funds and low rates for all. Try squaring that jumble of mess!

The big dog of the day was PIMCO's Bill Gross who luckily dispensed with the double talk and playing make believe for the children in attendance. How does Mr. Gross see things in the future? You would already know if you have been reading as I have predicted this event for some time. From Yahoo Finance:
Banking execs say gov't needs to back mortgages
The call from business for less government has a notable exception: the mortgage market.
The Obama administration invited banking executives Tuesday to offer advice on changing the government's role in backing the mortgage market. While they disagreed on the exact level of support needed, the group overwhelmingly advocated for the government to maintain a large role in the $11 trillion market.

If the government pulled out, millions of Americans wouldn't be able to convince banks to take the risk of giving them home loans, the executives said. Ending government support could lead to a spike in mortgage rates. That could deter many from buying homes, and banks, mortgage lenders and Realtors would lose money over time.

This is pure disgusting, but at least it is both honest and shows what really matters to the bankers.

Bill Gross, the managing director for bond giant Pimco, suggested Fannie and Freddie should be formally merged into the government. He also called on the administration to allow millions of homeowners to automatically refinance their loans to help stimulate the economy....

Gross said Fannie and Freddie's function should be consolidated into one government agency that would issue mortgage-backed securities. Without such a solid guarantee, mortgage rates would soar, he warned.

He also told the administration that the economic recovery required more government stimulus, particularly in the housing market. He suggested the administration push for the automatic refinancing of millions of home loans backed by Fannie and Freddie.

Refinancing those loans at the lowest mortgage rates in decades would give Americans more money each month. That would boost consumer spending by $50 billion to $60 billion and lift housing prices by as much as 10 percent, he said.

Without such stimulus in the next six months, Gross said, the economy will move at a "snail's pace."

Obama officials say they do not plan to enact such a program, which has been the subject of intense rumors on Wall Street in recent weeks.

So how many time does the biggest bond firm in the known Universe have to ask?

The set up here is slick as all get out. The components:
-Threaten lack of lending for mortgages
-Scare everyone with tales of higher rates
-Threaten to step away from lending
-Government is now "forced" to make a move
Where's my "Easy" button?

You can forget about merging FNM/FRE into the government balance sheet, that is not going to happen. They will instead just keep it in some off the book type of setup. The last line about all this being a crazy Internet rumor will come back to haunt quite a few people later on. This IS the plan as far as the banks are concerned, there is no back up.

What will be interesting to see is how the government will make a mortgage market with rates set at say 4% for the next 10 years should rates rise outside of the program. Any housing plan will have to figure out a way to skirt the structural issue of so many homes being financed at all time low rates, any rise and it is an instant loser for the homeowner. Expand you balance sheet much FED?

Stepping back, what was started today is the transfer of housing market responsibilities to the US government. The banks made a bundle on the way up, lost a bundle on the way down, got made almost whole via bailouts and selling bad paper to the FED, and now they are stepping away all together. They do not see a way to make any money in the housing market. Maybe the only smart thing they have done in a while. This will not be good for any of us though.

Have a good night.

Monday, August 16, 2010

All Systems Progress Towards Disorder

The countertops are installed! All that is left is to hook up the appliances and finish the electrical outlets! I will be posting the before and after of the project, I am so glad it is almost over.

All Systems Progress Towards Disorder
This post is going to be a serious jumble of random stuff. Not much grabbing my attention in the markets today so I got sidetracked big time.

Gold Home Made Video
The Big Picture has a video up today (made via xtranormal.com) which is so funny I almost hurt myself laughing. Check it out already!

New Boss 302 Ford Mustang
A few readers here are big fans of the Ford Mustang. I was always a GM muscle car man myself, but I love the new throwback Mustangs and the new Boss 302 looks like a winner as well. Enjoy!

Missing "Return of the Jedi" Scene
If you are a serious Star Wars fan, like me, then you know in the novel "Shadows of the Empire" Luke Skywalker constructs his new green lightsaber on Tatooine. A scene was filmed for this but was never used in ROTJ. Well here is what is looked like! (EDIT: sorry if the video does not work, the Lucas police must be on the thing! In case, I think you can watch it here.):


Vintage Games
Lost in the crazy world of gaming we have today, I could not help but remember a few old school games I used to play back in the day. This was before Nintendo, this was before Atari, these were the dark times!

Blue Max
My uncle was a nerd, and he had the Commodore 64 when they came out. I used to play this game called Blue Max, well when the game would load that is! You just flew a plane and shot stuff while trying to find fuel. Really grabs you, I know.

The Oregon Trail
This was another one I got to play on the Commodore 64. In The Oregon Trail your mission was to make it out to Willamette Valley from Missouri. You had to have enough food to get there and variables included weather and disease. I actually liked this game.

Ok, now I am going old school!

This was an 8-track tape player that used the forward/reverse buttons in such a way as to make an interactive teaching game! This was really cool (at the time) though the robot's flickering red eyes could be scary!:

2-XL history on Wiki. Here is an interactive page to see what I mean.

Extreme Microbe
Ever hear of a Waterbear (Tardigrade)? Interesting creatures:
Tardigrades are polyextremophiles and are able to survive in extreme environments that would kill almost any other animal. Some can survive temperatures of -273°C (-460 °F), close to absolute zero, temperatures as high as 151 °C (303 °F), 1,000 times more radiation than other animals, and almost a decade without water. In September 2007, tardigrades were taken into low Earth orbit on the FOTON-M3 mission and for 10 days were exposed to the vacuum of space. After they were returned to Earth, it was discovered that many of them survived and laid eggs that hatched normally, making these the only animals known to be able to survive the vacuum of space.

Wow! Here is a picture of one:

Have a good night.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Smoking Fatties

Well I told you a big cooking post was on the way.......

Smoking Fatties
No, nothing illegal! Today I wanted to try making fatties. What are fatties? Basically big meat logs filled with stuff and slow smoked. You can be sure I picked this item to write the title of this post as well as to say "I did a fattie" so we can all laugh and chuckle. Hee hee.

Anyways, the setup:

Now there are a million iterations of this, but what I did was:
-One Jones sausage fattie filled with onions, mushrooms, peppers, an cheddarjack cheese
-One hamburger meat roll filled with mozzarella, pizza sauce, and pepperoni. A sort of meat calzone!

The best trick to do this is to use a 1 gallon ziploc bag. You fill the bag with the meat and use a rolling pin to flatten it out. Then add your internal ingredients. Here they are before rolling:


Getting them to roll up nice can be hard, but it came out ok:

On the Big Steel Keg they went. I set up the smoker with indirect heat and some drip pans. Cooked at 350 degrees for about 90 minutes, or to an internal temp of 165 degrees. Here they are almost done:

The little foil piece was a patch to fix a small hole that opened up on one of the fatties.

After I took them off I gave them 20 minutes to cool. Here is a cross section look:


They came out very good and the taste was really great. This is a heavy meal, especially the sausage fattie! I had 2 pieces each but I could not finish them. Usually some alcohol is required to get with a fattie, but I did these without any aid! If you are looking to try something different on the grill remember fatties need attention too!

Kevin Harvick Wins at Michigan
In a totally dominant performance, #29 Kevin Harvick wins at Michigan today:

That guy can really drive!

Have a good night.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

What a Find!

As many of you know, I am a mega boxing fan. When I am not reading Wikipedia articles for hours, I tend to watch boxing matches on YouTube for hours. Almost any fight you can think of is stored there and it can be a real treat for an avid fight watcher. I actually used to have a huge VHS tape library of fights, then a DVD collection. Now I just watch them on YouTube. In case anyone is wondering I have no affiliation with YouTube, I just use the site!

So while I was watching a few fights this evening (Leonard vs Benitez, Pryor vs. Cervantes, McGuigan vs Pedrosa) I saw the following fight listed in the "related" side bar. What a find, and a real treat. From the late 1970's here is Thomas "The Motor City Cobra" Hearns vs Aaron "The Hawk" Pryor in an amateur title fight:

Pryor would win the decision, but the respect and class Hearns shows after the decision is yet another reason to love Hearns.

That was a great find!

Have a good night.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Time to Go Home, the Streetlights are On

Another week in the books! It was a busy week all around. The Kitchen will be done by Thursday of next week and that is going to be very good indeed. The New England Patriots played their first preseason game last night and while I refuse to get too excited already, they looked really sharp!

Meat and Potatoes
I think I covered all I wanted to this week on things economic. If you MUST have solid stuff, then check these items out:

-The FHA will now make million dollar apartments part of their operation. You read that right. Can anyone stop these guys? The answer is NO!

-When Stoneleigh of The Automatic Earth gets going, you don't want to miss it!

-Great overview of where things are over at the Cafe.

-A MUST read, here is all you need to know about making a proper Tin Foil Hat for personal protection. I will be like Calculated Risk and suggest strongly that you learn these important techniques.

Friday Night Entertainment
What time is it? It is time for the Friday Night Show!

Free Material
The first fun item of the night was written for me, I only had to copy a couple of links. Check out these headlines:
Hong Kong Has Run Out Of Space To Store Ashes Of The Deceased
and now
China Has Enough Empty Apartments To House 200 Million People
Give the apartments away and include a free urn. Problem solved. I should work in government.

Did Someone Say Iconic Movie Songs?
I was in my element when I stopped over at Kid Dynamite's corner and found this post:
Iconic Movie Songs
Now we are talking! There is plenty of great stuff in the post, and the comments section has plenty more. I may have left a comment or ten, sorry KD! For reference, the 4 I listed (the first post anyway) were:
1. Tubular Bells from The Exorcist
2. Lunatic Fringe from Vision Quest
3. Bad to the Bone from Christine
4. The Road of the Gypsy from Iron Eagle
Of course there are millions more! Of note as well, it is Mrs. Dynamite's birthday today. Well Happy Birthday to you!

Apple Lovers Beware
This may result in an avalanche of angry comments, but I just love this ad via Geekologie(click for larger view):

That had me cracking up big time.

Visual Cues
Because you know seeing it in pictures is better. It just is.

Cats do not like water at all!:
funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures



Film Clips
You may have noticed that I have a slight problem with being addicted to films.

For the skateboarders out there, this Natas Kaupas vintage clip is for you!

Ok, I read the Cormac McCarthy novel "No Country for Old Men" on Tuesday and Wednesday night. The film is a direct copy with just a few differences. I loved it of course. McCarthy does not use dialogue punctuation, or any punctuation for that matter in his novels. It was a little strange to read. Anyways, obligatory scene from the film is up! Here is Chigurh and Wells having their final conversation. In the novel after Wells tells Chigurh that he can get him 14k at the ATM, he adds it is a good payday. Anton responds: "It is, but it is in the wrong currency" and that should have made it into the film. Oh well:


A touching moment from the funny film "One Crazy Summer":

Too funny.

Rock Blogging
It would seem Friday Night music is becoming popular and that is a great thing!

My friend from Michigan would like a Madonna tune. I actually do like Madonna quite a bit, and my favorite is "Live to Tell". I did just play that a little while ago. I dug up a cool live performance of "Dress You Up in My Love" that should work:

I like it.

Will it be an all ladies night? Lurker would like to see "Cruel Summer" by Bananarama:

This song is in the film "The Karate Kid" (the REAL one). Do you know which scene? You know I do!

BASS, How Low Can You Go? I need a heavy bass line and the radio provided me with The Greg Kihn Band and "The Breakup Song":

I like that one very much.

Blogger C-T must have a huge crush on the band Talking Heads, and they are pretty good. Here is "Road to Nowhere":

Interesting that this is one of my wife's favorite songs..........

Ok, who remembers this version of "Walk this Way"?:


Only two left. We must always respect The Rule of Two:
"Two there should be; no more, no less. One to embody power, the other to crave it."

How about a little C.W. McCall with "Convoy":

Anyone see that film?

Last call! Now do not be upset, there is always next Friday and I usually throw out a post on the weekends as well. It will be ok I promise.

Closing the show with a real ripper, one to get you up and ready to rock the whole weekend. Take a ride with Judas Priest and "Breaking the Law" complete with vintage video:

Ha! You all thought an Ozzy/Randy tune was coming but I did not do it.

Ok, I lied! I am an unreliable narrator!

Have a good night.