Retail’s Last Big Car-Buying Spree Saves America?

Yes, Retail Sales Matter and we have a fresh one just off the press over at Census. Here’s how it looks:

Advance Estimates of U.S. Retail and Food Services  Advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for December 2016, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $469.1 billion, an increase of 0.6 percent (±0.5 percent) from the previous month, and 4.1 percent (±0.9 percent) above December 2015. Total sales for the 12 months of 2016 were up 3.3 percent (±0.6 percent) from 2015. Total sales for the October 2016 through December 2016 period were up 4.1 percent (±0.7 percent) from the same period a year ago.  The October 2016 to November 2016 percent change was revised from up 0.1 percent (±0.5 percent)* to up 0.2 percent (±0.2 percent)*. Retail trade sales were up 0.8 percent (±0.5 percent) from November 2016, and up 4.3 percent (±0.7 percent) from last year. Nonstore retailers were up 13.2 percent (±1.8 percent) from December 2015, while Miscellaneous stores were up 7.1 percent (±4.6 percent) from last year.

Think I was kidding about Car Sales Save America?  Lookie here, bucko…


The main thing about retail sales is that it gives us an indication of how consumers are either sitting on their wallets or “going spendthrift.”  Year end auto closeouts rolled…

In a very specific consumer sector, we can already see how the current five waves up in the market will end this year (although early 2018 is possible, too).

Let me show you the Federal Reserve’s Economic Data dispenser’s view of consumer gasoline prices and two possible outcomes:


Remember, from the branching point is November Data and this chart (less my scrawls) will be updated next week when the new Consumer Price data (the gasoline data) comes out.

My personal expectation is for the red line’s track because that would make the most logical sense. In which case, overall consumer prices will begin rising (more, faster) and then along will come inflation at the retail level and then the Fed will have its rate-hike justifications and then we would end with a “normal” recession during the first year of a Presidency.

It may not be meaningful – just interesting – that Google’s news search returns 7.49-million hits on the word “inflation” yet only 232-thousand on the word Deflation. The reason it’s not necessarily meaningful is the government response to all crises is to simply print money and people have come to expect inflation, not deflation.

In my curmudgeonly view, there’s a hell of a lot of pent-up inflation out there and it’s one of the things that should send the stock market to the moon – just before collapse.

To show you what I mean, in January 2015 the Federal Reserve H.6 Money Stocks report showed unadjusted M2 was running $11.727 trillion. Fast forward to the latest data and M2 unadjusted was $13.341 trillion. That’s a 13.76 percent increase in money in the system in a month less than 2-years.

You might generalize this into 6.8% per year inflation to make life easy. And then look at yesterday’s Money Stocks update where the Fed says, in effect, “Oh yeah – in the past year we jacked up money supplies at M2 by 7.6 percent…


The Fed apparently doesn’t like Donald Trump, much, either: Notice the M1 (cash and short term money) has all but gone flat line now. And since we can look at monthly data, we see M1 was reduced from $3.354 trillion in ELECTION MONTH down to $3.3207 after Trump won.

This is not to accuse the central banksters of playing politics with the economy, but clearly they have not only slammed on the brakes, but they have the ABS buzzing on M1 right now.

Are the Bankers Planning to Sack Trump?

That becomes an interesting question.

Let’s consider the 10-year Treasury through its traded proxy the ^TNX which you can find detailed on Yahoo Finance over here.

Notice that days before the election, the 10-year Note was running around 1.78%. However, after peaking in the vicinity of 2.58% in December, the reality of “oh-oh, we may really slide into Depression” crept back into thinking and yesterday closed at 2.361(%).

This is a hell of a problem for the Fed. They have been on the rubber chicken circuit this week telling anyone who will listen that three rate hikes in 2017 is the plan because the economy will be…er….all…”all out indicators”…blah, blah, blah…

That’s all true…but only as far as that data goes. When you look at November’s Stupid Consumer Yoke of Debt Report (the Fed calls it Consumer Credit for obvious reasons – they look out for bankster), people were blowing out credit card spending at a rate 13.5% higher than a year ago.

Well hell yes, that would require some hefty hikes.

But I doubt it will carry through. As usual, I expect the Fed will fall victim to “continuation bias” and be ready to apply just the wrong policy – but they won’t see that one coming except in the review mirror since the report out this week (Jan ’17) reflects November ’16 result.

With two MONTHS of lag-time, the rubber chicken people are hearing yesterday’s news.

More useful, I think, is the Gallup Economic Confidence Index. Presently, it is spiking up (supportive of the Fed hikes planned) but I would expect it will decline as the reality of Congress keeping most if not all of the Obamacare tax revenue in place will depress people out here in fly-over country.

Should the Market hit an All-Time-High in the 21,500 range by, oh, March or so, that would mean by May the Fed would be moderating their tone – belatedly saying maybe it was too much, too fast. Or not… I mean we shall see.

But in the meantime the reality of “inflation buzz” has kicked gold up to the $1,200 area and if I remember, I’ll try to get an updated Elliott and trend chart cobbled up.

Best I can hope for is America is mired in a “muddle-through” right now. We have a bit of encouragement in the very short-term (less than 6-months view) but in the longer term we have not come to terms with things like anti-human tax laws and pro-robotics policy that actually kills future job creation.

Lacking a massive investment in R&D (to not only catch up with but to surpass China and others) we look like a middle-of-the-pack country where Peter Pan (Trump) is trying to lead the (Lost Boys/Lost Country) to a new paradigm by defeating Hook (the PTB) and no one wants to admit that 30-year duration investments are no longer viable in an internet/video world.

Even 10-years is a stretch.

The 54-year Kondratieff cycle is merging into our 83-year currency cycle and the purchasing power of the dollar is undeniably down 96% compared with 1913.

So if you have a hard time getting up this morning and getting motivated to have another “average” day at work, can’t say as I blame you.

The reality is that most people under 40 may never be able to retire and gee, kinda kills the buzz about going to work, don’t it? Just think where AI and Robotics will be in 25-30 years when “retirement” comes along. Good luck with that.

We now return you to the rest of today’s dismal.

Life in the Trumpy-Pulpit

Who needs a news network when we can just splice up Trump Tweets?  Go direct, cut out middlemen. From Twitter:

“Donald J. Trump ?@realDonaldTrump

2 hours ago

It now turns out that the phony allegations against me were put together by my political opponents and a failed spy afraid of being sued…. released by “Intelligence” even knowing there is no proof, and never will be. My people will have a full report on hacking within 90 days!

What are Hillary Clinton’s people complaining about with respect to the F.B.I. Based on the information they had she should never….. have been allowed to run – guilty as hell. They were VERY nice to her. She lost because she campaigned in the wrong states – no enthusiasm!

The “Unaffordable” Care Act will soon be history!”

All in favor of buying the president-elect a case of Ambien so he can sleep, please say aye…

Seriously:  Is there a correlation between Trump outburst intensities and moon phases?  Like isn’t this the full moon?

NY Times Trump-Bashing Redux

Does it ever end?

Now they’re after him for not enough women, not enough whatever. Forget the Trump numbers are what Bush rolled with…and is better than Reagan and…oh, where’s my nitro pill?

No, not fake news this (they get one point for that) but I can see where it goes: Next we will read not enough gays, trans, and misc. illegal offspring  to please the Northeast Liberals. 

If this sounds odd to you, too, it’s because Trump ran for an won office, not the NY Times, which is the point I was getting to.  They can’t seem to wrap around that.

But like the old newspapering joke: “Know what news is? It’s the filler between the ads.”


Promoting Paul Ryan

Stupid headlines about this morning: USA Today headlines “Paul Ryan: Russia a ‘menace,’ Putin ‘menacing’.”

Um, let me see:  Putin helped overthrow old-line communism in Russia.  Has Paul Ryan overthrown the good-old boy’s K Street lock on the Hill? No?

So who is the menace, here?

Here’s hoping USA Today’s favorable coverage works out for Ryan like it did for Clinton…

Facebook’s Brain-Control Project

Looks like it’s leaking out in stories like this one.

This topic could be extremely interesting. Not just because of what might be found (don’t worry the tech is decades from wireless) but because it could be pumped to government agencies.

Those spy agencies, when not tripping over their own pechewzelwhackers on decraptic fake news, have been busily building a huge file on EVERYONE in America – even people who haven’t committed crimes. The idea is to get all information about everyone into a single repository for all agencies to share.

Scary zhit.

Obama Schizo-gration

Memo: To UrbanSurvival Staff Shrink

WTF is with Obama now?

He obviously is trying to flood the country with unsavory illegals…but now he wants to return illegally entering Cuban refugees?

Is there some kind of secret commie-deal our favorite Alinsky-ite ain’t disclosing? I mean we kick out those from communist countries and teach Syrians how to use fake passports and dump ICE picks on unwary Southwest cities? Seriously WTF?

Why doesn’t Trump have ICE dump some in Chappaqua and outside of Obama’s new digs?

Coping: Another Millennial Book Note

Crisco-what-a-phobia? Oh!  Triska then…

Many items on the agenda this morning, so let’s begin with a note from reader Sherlyn on the Millennial’s Missing Handbook chapter from Thursday’s report. She writes:

“I would appreciate it if you could give a brief example of how these methods can be applied to our personal lives. I am retired, and due to health, will not be returning to employment nor starting a business. How would these principles apply to personal decision making for example?”

Great question!

I like to think of “problem solving” – as in your situation – as being much like a Master Process.

1. Begin with clearly defining is there a problem and if so, what is it? If there is a problem, the question is “Can it be solved?” This keeps unsolvable problems from wasting our time.

2. Assuming there is a definable problem, we then need to articulate what we are “solving for.” In your case, maybe you are not happy with your present living situation. Fine. But that’s not defining the problem tightly enough. What exactly is wrong with your situation?

3. Now that you have a list of what’s wrong you may begin making a list of solutions – Recipes – that can solve your problem. For example, going to the store is difficult. So you can come up with lots of potential solutions: Rent or buy around the corner from a store, get a school kid to bring heavier groceries, sign up for Amazon Fresh, learn to use Uber and find a driver who will wait while you shop…and so on.

4. Distill your candidate solutions to the best 3-4 on inspection and set them aside. Now flip back to step 2 and see what else is wrong with the living situation. Again, make the list of ALL possible solutions. Only this time, see if any of the other solutions from your first pass might solve another problem. In this way you get a kind of idealized solution. Maybe the house needs painting. Does the Uber driver know anyone who can paint? Or can the high school kid be taught to do passable weeding in addition to shopping chores…and so it goes.

Problem solving is never confined to the workplace. It is employed by process/recipe masters (and mistresses?) 24/7/365.

Because there is always another way. Usually, a better, more graceful, less expensive one, too.

Hope that answers it.

Ham Radio: Pile-Up in a Snow Cave

One of the joys of being an ultra-good ham radio operator is occasionally having one of those jaw-dropping conversations that other hams hear and immediately want to jump in for a contact.

I had one when the son-in-law was down for soldering school. He was soldering at the bench and I was tuning the 20-meter back and hear this station that was aeronautical mobile. Snagged him on the first call and he was /AM about 80-miles south of Gillette, Wyoming and headed for Atlanta out of Seattle. Cruising and 37,000 feet and it was a fun chat – impressed the SiL no end.

But it pails in comparison to last weekend’s ham radio adventures of George II: Click over to and read what was going on.

For those who have never heard a “pile up” before, it’s the rapid exchange of call-sign and signal reports.

Part one of the video from inside the snowcave is here and it’s what led to the pileup:

In Part 2, word began to get around quickly in the 2-meter community and here it goes…

Shows what a simple $30 handheld can do.

I told you about the trip down here in 2015 when he did a hop and pop and got on 2-meters over Houston…that video is here. Calls CQ (any station anywhere) about 1:25 min into the video.

Yep, makes the old man proud.

(I did mention that in addition my Old Man Labs here at the ranch, the G II’s version is Young Crazy Man Labs…?)

Any Columns You Remember from 2016?

Time once again for the annual submission to the awards program. Not that I ever expect to win, but it’s an excuse to go to New Hampshire this summer and call it “business” (it is).

My problem is I am the worst critic ever of my own work. I thought “Merry Christmas –from the Dead” was a pretty good one. But if there are others from last year you thought were good, please make suggestions.

Chinese Food Saturday

Quick:  When is Chinese New Year?

January 28th!

Since we like to start to party ASAP…

The “other” Elaine and her hubby are coming over tomorrow for Chinese food. I had Lychees (canned)  flown in this week. That and a few sauces. Should be a grand time. Since I grew up in Seattle Asian and Black community my buds are all over the place.  Home of Good BBQ to the old King Café down on 6th Ave.  Yum-yum hum bow.

Menu is Cherry BBQ pork with hot sauces. Wonton soup. Oyster sauce broccoli beef, sweet and sour chicken, shrimp and pork fried rice, and Lychees for desert. Ozeki sake (hot or cold the only choice) for the adult beverage, although my Vietnamese friends taught me the value of a single shot of a good single-malt as a warm-up act. I don’t know if Elaine (mine) will open up her Glen Fiddich locker or not.

Assorted teas and tall tales to follow.

A Word About Amazon Prime

A word about Amazon Prime. When you place a “free two day shipping” order double-check that the arriving date is really two days. Had an audio cable I needed for the studio that was to be here overnight – paid an $11.73 upcharge and it didn’t arrive.

BTW: Came in three days. (Me? Pissed? Naw… Just someone needs to pass this up the foodchain. )

BTW2: Don’t even waste your time looking for a single ¼” TRS to dual TS ¼” adapter at Wal-Mart. They may think they are going head to head with Amazon, but Amazon has huge depth of product that Wal-Mart doesn’t. Go shop adapters in a Wal-Mart store sometime. Yikes.

Holiday Monday

Ure workaholic buddy will be doing an abbreviated column Monday due to the MLK Day holiday. No bills arriving by mail. Sending quarterly taxes out today.

No rest for the wicked, I suppose.


Write when you break-even,

Spy-Punked: Trump vs. Shadow Government

Some FedSpeak and Import Prices in a minute. But first we need to point out the Kennedyesque risks presently faced by Donald Trump as he’s gotten “in the face” of the U.S. intelligence community by running his own “sting operation” on them.

We would not be surprised to see one of Trumps first actions after the Oath – a week from tomorrow – would be the removal of the top layer of each spy agency.

But the problems of the Shadow Government will not go quietly into the night. As we have explained previously, there is a layer in Washington of GS-15/GS-16 and up who are virtually fire-proof and wield powers far beyond those of ordinary men.

With CNN in butt-covering mode for its role in promoting what is arguably the Piece de resistance punking job, we will naturally be suspect of any attempts to brute-force Trump’s efforts into the “non-problem column.”

A further incentive? Too many Americans are are clear on the various Agency roles in bringing us the past several wars. Same folks who cobbled up Niger uranium and on and on it goes.

Worse, former acting CIA Director Michael Morrel strongly supported Hillary Clinton in the NY Times.

To be sure, any retribution by the clown posse spy masters would be a stand-off affair, arms-length. But should anything happen to Trump, our suspect list would be very short – and at the top of the spy agencies.

No, they’re not all bad. I can’t think of better Americans than those on Agency front lines. But like Border Patrol, the subversion of American values has been installed at the top.

Naturally, we hope we don’t see more of this, but Glenn Greenwald’s column “The Deep State Goes to War with President-Elect, Using Unverified Claims, as Democrats Cheer…” articulates well the powers of the Shadow Government.

Already CNN is reporting that Obama’s National Security Advisor James Clapper is rejecting the Trump punking. Clapper submitted his resignation letter two months ago.

Two points. First a childhood rhyme: “The fault the finder, the stink lays behinder…”

Second: Those who have run afoul ThePowersThatBe in the past have paid a terrible price, and that includes I expect, President John F. Kennedy. I assume you have seen (or remember) on where “The FBI and the CIA intentionally misled the (Warren) Commission.” And more important: “A second government investigation [after the Warren Commission-g] came to a different conclusion” – and that was it was probably a conspiracy.

I’m an old-school reporter and I have seen this time and time again: When adverse conditions are similar, crooked people in power act in similar crooked ways.

Trump’s efforts at “Draining the Swamp” are in my estimate a good fit historically with where President Kennedy was as he questioned the Fed and growing the war in S.E. Asia.

Today’s aligators don’t seem and more likely to want their swamp drained. Especially while they orchestrate a second Muslim invasion of Europe and a first one of these United States. You know why the drug cartels are still big and why you never heard a satisfactory answer following Fast and Furious / Gun Walking? A few low-level players but no one “up the food chain” right? Yet who was Attorney General and who was Secretary of State?

And then remind me: what is the largest cash crop of Afghanistan and why are we there?

The aligators have a business model and past experience (history) teaches that when business models collide, one of them breaks.

It’s only a matter of which one breaks. We have 170 hours before the suffix “-Elect” disappears.

The mnemonic here might be the frame in the Disney 1953 film Peter Pan. Where Hook’s #2, Mr. Smee keeps hearing the crocodile that swallowed the alarm clock “ticking…”  (video reminder)

Same sound as the 35-page “crock” today.

An interesting psychological sidebar: We could spend hours discussing this, but sense parallels to the cartoon Peter Pan, with Trump doing the IRL (in real life, wake up!) Peter. Hook might be collective clown posse of spies and Smee might be out there right now running ops but maintaining plausible deniability for the modern Hook.

As Wikipedia notes: “Smee typically represents a humorous side to pirating, often portrayed as a portly man with a bulbous nose and red cheeks, although Barrie hinted at a darker side.” Might play not just with pirating but spying as well.

This time Peter (played by Trump IRL) is not leading “The Lost Boys.” He’s leading “The Lost Country.” Could we cast Melania Trump as TinkerBell?

It all stitches together a further question: Is it all a coincidence of characters or do the plays at the archetype level project outward into the here-and-now over time? Swamps and the Tic Tock Croc… (video ref)

Sheesh…getting too deep for this hour. Time to get back financial affairs…

Here Comes Inflation

Just out from the Labor Department:

“Prices for U.S. imports rose 0.4 percent in December, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today, after a 0.2-percent decline the previous month. The advance in December was primarily driven by higher fuel prices which more than offset lower nonfuel prices. U.S. export prices advanced in December, rising 0.3 percent following a 0.1-percent decrease in November. Imports All Imports: Import prices resumed an upward trend in December, rising 0.4 percent following a 0.2- percent decline in November. Prices for overall imports advanced 1.8 percent between December 2015 and December 2016, the largest 12-month increase since the index rose 3.5 percent in March 2012. The increase in 2016 was the first calendar-year advance since import prices rose 8.5 percent in 2011. Fuel Imports: Prices for import fuel advanced 7.3 percent in December, the largest monthly increase since the index rose 10.5 percent in June. The December increase was primarily led by a 7.9-percent advance in petroleum prices. Natural gas prices also rose in December, increasing 2.2 percent. The price index for import fuel advanced 25.0 percent in 2016 following a 41.0-percent drop the previous year. The 2016 increase was the first year that fuel prices rose since a 24.9-percent rise in 2011, and the largest calendar- year advance since a 62.2-percent jump in 2009.

Meanwhile, the Dow up almost 100 yesterday is set to give back a third of that at today’s open.

On the FedSpeak front, Philly Fed President Patrick Harker supports three Fed rate hikes this year, citing strong labor conditions and such.  Look for lots more FedSpeak later on.

Looking at tomorrow don’t forget your Q4 IRS payment although since Monday is a holiday, who knows how the mercy will be dispensed if late.

Big deal tomorrow?  Retail sales for December – and that’s one that could move the market if it’s either an up-side or down-side surprise…

Drop Obamacare but Keep the Tax Money?

The senate in a late night session worked on first steps to modify Obamacare.

The only good to come out of this is to show that senators can actually work until 1:30 AM in a pinch – which doesn’t happen often.

Eyes on Iran

Mad Dog doesn’t trust ‘em.  Mad Dog is right.

How many laws did Obama break sending them all that money? I mean if any of course.

Global Warming Evidence

Wind chill values between -40 and -45 expected in parts of Alberta …  Might have to get Nostracodeus chief Grady a heated keyboard.

More seriously, check out Antarctic Ice Shelves And Global Dynamics.

Coping: Millennial’s Book 2: [keyword: Process]

(book title then article begins if graphics are down)


Reader Note: If you are just catching on, each Thursday we’re are doing a chapter each week of a book I’m writing for Millennials – teaching the insights that will (hopefully!) allow them to live long and prosper – and be around to clean up after us Old People who made a mess of getting civilization this far.

There are three sections to each chapter. Something you can read to children, a general reader part, and the advanced/business section.

We pick up with morning like so…

We established in the first chapter that there is Recipe for everything we do.

Today, we will establish that everything is also rolls as a PROCESS.

The Baker’s Nightmare: A Tale of Process

Once upon a time, in a land far away, Tom the Royal Baker we met in Chapter 1, was having a jolly time.

Ever since becoming the Royal Baker, his life had been soaring. He was given a fine new horse to ride and a gold-leaf sign saying “Baker to the King.” He had gotten a raise and with more money and better clothing, people were starting to look at him with a new kind of respect. He was living large.

Until this particular Thursday.

As always, Tom was baking the King’s bread. A man approached him, looking like a ruffian. He was accompanied by two dangerous-looking men who were carrying clubs.

Unrolling a scroll he was carrying, the first ruffian read as follows:

“By order of the government, you are required to extinguish that fire because it is causing air pollution and that is illegal. Persons found creating pollution will be arrested and thrown in the Royal Dungeon!”

With that, the two other ruffians grabbed the helpless Tom and kick out his fire with dirt and in the process, they also destroyed the day’s bread Tom had been baking for the King.

Tom was taken back to the castle where he was thrown in jail by the self-righteous enforcers of the law. They reported to the Sheriff that they had arrested Tom the Royal Baker.

Nothing happened for the rest of the day, or into the next morning. Tom spent a miserable cold, damp night in a stinking dungeon cell with no food and only some stale water to drink.

Tom didn’t know it, but in the Royal Court, the King was about to change his life.

“Where is my Royal Bread?” he demanded of all present.

The Sheriff who had been told of the arrest of Tom the Baker stood up and said: “Agents of the Royal Environment Police have jailed Tom for violation of air pollution statues that you, yourself Majesty, have decreed as law.”

“What!!!??? Where is Tom the Royal Baker right now?” The king’s face became red with anger. Bring him before me right now…where is he?

“He is in the Royal Dungeon, sire…” said the Sheriff.

A murmur went around the room. Everyone was shocked at how stupid the Sheriff was. Didn’t he realize that there was nothing the King liked better than his crunchy on the outside, moist and chewy on the insider bread and rolls that Tom the Royal Baker made?

A few minute later, Tom stood before the King.

“Tell me what happened, Royal Baker!” the King commanded.

“Well, I was baking your bread yesterday, just as I do every day, when these three men – ruffians from the government – showed up. They kicked out my fire, ruined your bread, and threw me in jail for the night, your Highness.”

“Sheriff – tell me what say you to this?”

By now, the Sheriff was beginning to catch on that he had missed a little something in Life. It is a simple Recipe people are supposed to learn early on. It is called R-H-I-P and in the land far away it meant Royalty Has Its Priviledge.

“All Men and Women are exactly equal under the Law, your Highness. I – through my men – the ones Tom called ruffians – was only enforcing the Royal Decree issued by you, yourself, your Highness.”

The King sat back, stroking his beard, not quite sure what to do. Tom was doing the King’s work for him, but then so were the ruffians from the Sheriff. What to do….hmmm…

“Bring me the Royal Consultant!” Commands were really flying this day.

Presently, the Royal Consultant arrived and the King laid out the problem for him. After thinking about it for a moment, the Consultant offered his advice.

“Your Highness, you have encountered the classic case where Recipes collide. To Resolve this affair, we need to invent something called Process.”

The King looked perplexed. “What is Process?”
“Well,” said the Royal Consultant, “It is a kind ofg Master Recipe or Decree that decrees how smaller Recipes are to be used, King.”

“What do I put in this Master Decree?”

“Oh, a simple decree like ‘No Decrees will be enforced against Royal appointments.”

“But what if there are some Decrees I want applied to everyone?” The King was worried about this new kind of Decree. It sounded like he would be making new Kings…

“Not to worry your lordship, you simply add an “Except when” clause to the Master Decree and your problem is solved. In fact, I would add a first exception right now: Except where the King’s power, authority, and convenience are concerned.”

The King looked relieved. He decreed it so.

Also relieved was the dimwitted Sheriff and so was Tom the Baker.

“Sheriff, have your men who ruined Tom’s oven and fire rebuild them at once!” ordered the King.

With that, great bread was returned to the King’s table by nightfall and the Sheriff still had his job.

And his head.

For General Readers

To live “outside the box” as a few of us Old People do, you need to grok the distinction between Recipes and Processes.

Recipes are a “specific way to do something” while processes are “the order or arrangement of doing Recipes.”

Let me give you an example from the early life of George II:

Case #1: George and the Pizza

In the fall of 1998, my son, George II, called me from home while I was at the office, to announce that he had been kicked out of school (again). This time, his offense was ordering several pizzas on his cell phone, while suffering through “in-house detention” for some sin or other against the sensibilities of organized education system the previous week.

It seems that the teacher, assisted by a vice-principal, had confiscated George’s pizzas when they were delivered to him at the school.

After being forced to hand over the hot lunch, George told me he had called the vice-principal “a bitch” but he only did that because he was so mad –outraged– that the school had taken his pizza. His pizza; bought with his own hard-earned money. He had ordered enough to share with his classmates in detention so it was not “eating in front of others.” He had been humiliated in front of his peers, too.

Making matters worse he was out about $23 on his MasterCard, not to mention getting suspended for three days. He was definitely not very happy about it.

The story took a bizarre turn when his friends reported that school staff had consumed the confiscated pizzas! Pictures!

Needless to say, George wanted justice. He ranted about committing a revenge crime directed at the school district and the persons -and he went on for a number of minutes till he finally settled down.

Finally calmed enough to where he would listen to the voice of parental reason, I laughed at his predicament.

“Look, George”, I told him “the school district is operating at a major disadvantage here and you have the upper hand. You just don’t know it.”

“You’re nuts Dad! Those jerks stole my pizzas and they get away with it!” he protested.

“Yes, but only for a day. You must understand that the school district is a unit of government and government must follow rules. Know the rules they must follow, and you will know their recipe. Your advantage here is that you don’t have to follow any of the rules they’re bound to. You have the power to write a better Recipe and implement the hell out of it.”

I then reviewed with him how Process works. Organizations, regardless of size, tend to develop both Stated and Unstated rules of conduct. In the case of the Lake Washington School District, there is a Rule Book. The Rule Book of the school district is the Policies and Procedures Manual. We could get that, although we wouldn’t need it to beat the District with Process.

I volunteered to take his case to the school authorities on his behalf.

At first, the school district said the whole affair was of no matter to me because I was not the custodial parent. They pointed to their Rulebook and said that according to District Policy, the non-custodial parent had no standing to discuss a discipline matter with the district. George’s mother and I had divorced some years earlier. The school district held to the view that only the custodial parent had a voice in the matter. That wasn’t me. And I got pissed.

My attorney, a brilliant family law practitioner named David Kastle, advised the District in no-uncertain terms that no, the divorce decree granted me equal say in important matters of a child’s upbringing should I wish to exercise my my rights. That was a Court decision, not a matter of Administrative Policy. David explained that father Ure’s rules came from a Court and their rules came from Administrators.

Remember the kid’s game “paper, rock, scissors”? There’s a paper raps rock Recipe in law that says essentially that Court (paper) raps rock (Policy book). The district was about to learn this.

You’ll find, as you start to view the world through process-oriented Recipe eyes, that when processes (and Recipes) conflict, the winner is invariably the side with the most powerful Rulebook. Courts rule over Administrative policies, which in turn rule over Verbal Traditions and Customs. Policies in writing prevail over verbal, just as in Contract Law, the written Contract is superior to the verbal contract.

Armed with this, I confronted the district with a choice: My son gets reimbursed his pizza money, or I would escalate to a higher level of confrontation. I made it clear that I was prepared to spend a fair amount of money to buy some Justice in this case. It was important for my son to learn that when you’re right, you can usually win, if you’re willing to spend enough time or money to do so.

“Picture this skinny clean cut looking boy on television explaining how the school district stole his food and ate it!” I advised the principal of the school at one point. “Then picture a non-deadbeat Dad, who’s a respected executive and one time broadcast journalist, explaining how the school district won’t let him become involved in his son’s education despite a Court ordering it so. How will that play on prime time?” I may have hinted at civil action, damages and such, too.

“There’s nothing in district policy that will let you steal food from a student and eat it”, I repeated. “That’s what you did and that’s not legal. I can prove that in court where I’m willing to go if you folks don’t step up and give the kid his pizza money back. I’ll hold the press conference with my attorney right in front of your school to announce it, too.”

Reason prevailed at George’s high school. I had them “dead to nuts” on the rule infraction for confiscating a student’s food and allowing staff eat it. They had screwed up and I found their pants down around their administrative ankles.

I let the three days suspension remain for calling the vice principal a bitch. I could have won that point too, because it could be presented as entrapment. But George II had a short enough fuse back then anyway and learning to hold his tongue in check a bit would be a good thing.

What about the money for the confiscated pizza, you ask? That was refunded upon presentation of his bankcard statement proving the amount due. What I got out of it was a slight reassurance that you can still get justice in America, but sometimes you have to buy it.

You have to know the Recipes and play Processes against one another.

For Advanced Readers

Let’s talk DJ names in the 1960s and 1970s when I was splashing in the broadcast puddle.

There was a process used to come up with DJ names. Names were tested for their stickiness by Program Directors. Like jingle packages, DJ voices and their names, and how they communicated with an audience determined station identity.

So great efforts went into the naming process. Every other country station had a Tex and you had to saw “Howdy” just so. Rock and roll required a name that fit with the machine-gun delivery made popular by the Drake-Chennault stations. 

Everyone was trying to leverage marketing and the names got to really be something:

World Famous Tom Murphy (also known as Tiger Tom), Rhett Hamilton Walker (the Third), Emperor Smith…well you get the idea. My first on-air name (assigned to me) was “Rick O’Shea” – one of several dozen around the country in the era of formula/Recipe rock and roll.  I worked for one of the dozens of Buzz Hill’s at the time.

Later, after reading that Greta Garbow’s name was not here own, but that it was a California university study that found hard G and R sounds scored highest on recall, I changed my “on air” name to George Garrett for use in Radio; for much the same reasons that Greta Lovisa Gustafsson had changed her stage name to Garbo.

I mention this for several reasons, not the least of which is to point out that there’s a ton of process (Recipe organizing) done in broadcasting. And mostly it works.

Next consider Process testing.

The star of this is Frederick Winslow Taylor (which would have been a good DJ name except he was born before radio back in 1856). Taylor founded the scientific approach to management. His monograph Principles of Scientific Management is summarized here.

I mention Taylor’s work because he was a Recipe detailer. In his studies of shoveling coal at Bethlehem Steel, he was the king of on-the-job performance measurement.

He approached the problem of finding the right way to move most material in an 8-hour shift with great precision; eventually settling on a 22.5 pound shovel working out best.

In the business setting this was optimizing a Recipe, but Taylor (with colleagues) were busily looking wider, too – at Processes. They looked at the whole industrial process model always with an eye to improvement.

Wherever you have two or more Recipes, you have Process. There’s a matrix you learn to think about: Recipe #1 first, then Recipe #2…or could we flip that around? Can we do them together? Are there dependencies between recipes?

To many of the Millennials coming up, this stuff is totally crystal, but if you’re in Senior Management and are among the Old People, algorithmic thinking may not have occurred to you yet, applied widely and to all aspects of your life except in drib and drabs that don’t frame your consciousness. It’s there but not ruling your head.

Today’s New People – certainty those with exposure to programming – use algorithmic thinking as second nature.

The “Recipe” is a discrete processor or SQL function call, action or routine, but the “Processes” all work together either in order, concurrently, or as discrete calls. I trust you remember GOSUB? That’s pretty basic. But the command in the process controller while that subroutine is a Recipe.

Similarly management of an enterprise follows basics of algorithm development. Usually the highest pay-back in terms of improved organizational performance is process optimization or what consultants call BPR – Business Process Re-engineering.

Like editing code, businesses may be optimized until an ideal state is reached. You may have to move pieces around, but in the end if you add bonuses or change personnel in the slow spots you can arrive at Taylor-like results.

Focus on your business processes as an Electric Railroad that runs customers on a track (the network). Then look at who is putting “what information” about the customer and order in at which work position. Could the information being collected be done earlier in the business process? Could it be done later?

In this way, process management optimizes throughput, just as that (not-quite DJ fellow) Frederick Winslow Taylor did with shovels and workflow/process studies at Bethlehem long ago.

Present-Day Applications:

Don’t see Processes in collision? Look again.

Recipe #1: President-elect Donald Trump totally grounded in Real Estate. He understands the business models of brick and mortar commercial building tenants. He is sympathetic to their future because it is intertwined with his own family’s. Fixed income managers at pension firms and insurance companies love commercial real estate.

But it’s quickly becoming a large CAPEX buggy-whip. Who needs an office if you have a phone and a brain?  Speech to Text keeps getting better, too.

Recipe #2: Amazon had great Christmas sales season. Amazon’s fleet of cargo jets is now probably up to the third largest air cargo fleet in the world. It was fourth largest when Peoplenomics began tracking this last year. We expect the number of stock-picking robots is now approaching (if not already more than) 70,000.

Processes in Motion: Here’s how the collision works: Macy’s is planning to close down 68 stores including one up the road from us in Tyler, Texas.

Unfair to mall owners at 68 locations?

We trust you remember the November report “Donald Trump said Amazon and Jeff Bezos have a ‘huge antitrust problem.’ Now they may.”

Meantime, trouble is opportunity for the King of Retailers as Wal-Mart’s online system is going great guns as a middle-ground, with their bricks plus clicks model.

I did mention my Wal-Mart supplied 49” Avera 4K TV (sale when I ordered at $267.50) arrive unharmed and works great?

We generalize the Business Models as three Process approaches: Bricks, clicks, and bricks-n-clicks.

Under more normal circumstances, we would bank on real estate interests since they “own the processes” since they have Big Money (especially with something of a “captive president” who came up to the WH because of mastery of that model).

But now? It’s all up in the air and we’ll have to wait and see who owns the high ground four years from now.

Neither political party has recognized (to the point of being able to articulate it) that robots and software are coming for us all and we need a new way of allocating resource other than made-up paper money worth 4% of what it was valued at (purchasing power parity) in 1913. Debt dilution, huh?

It seems to me that as powerful as Trump will be (shortly) he may have a tough time finding anti-competitive angles to go after Amazon’s Jeff Bezos. And since Bezos web services group is in tight with the Intelligence Agencies…Trump ought to watch his steps. We recall the Kennedy case. Like the Twin Towers, too many questions linger for those on the fringe and those who question.  Fake News is just not becoming mainstream, but was it long, long ago?

All parties in the current showdown have processes they can implement to defend their models and this fact alone will make 2017 a very instructive year for the aware student, indeed.

It also explains why the first/working title of this book when drafted in 2001 was “Victims of Process: How Unwritten Recipes Run Your Life.”

16-years later, it’s still how the World rolls.

Next Thursday:  [keyword: Invention]

Write when you get rich,

The Six Steps of Marketing

A kind of short-form companion to our recently presented eBook for subscribers on Sales, this morning we roll through the six stages of marketing.

Although mainly useful if you have a management position in a company, being aware of these steps will help you in many ways, including how you “size up” companies you are thinking about investing in.  Useful stuff…

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Climate Change!!! (Well, sorta…)

Here in East Texas, anyway.

And no, not really climate because that is really weather because climate is a function of multiple el Nino/ la Nina cycles over a good period of time, say 50-100 YEARS.

But let’s go along with the global tax scam promoters and remark on how earlier this week we recorded a low of 12.8°F here at Uretopia Ranch and last night it got down to a low of about 64°F.

So don’t look now, but climate is ALWAYS CHANGING.

Still, the 173 MPH wind recorded in California was mighty impressive.

Problem with such reports, though is they don’t give us geezers wandering around Old Man Labs enough real data. You see to us Squaw Valley Peak could be anywhere from 9,060 feet at the tippy-top summit, or down around 6,200 feet at the base. Either way, it’s a mile to mile and a half UP and yes sir, the wind acts differently up there.
NOAA Aviation Weather shows 60 knots still in 9,000 ft. winds forecast around Lakeview, Oregon and around Reno. Winds will move east across the Plains states today.

By this time tomorrow look for the headlines to be littered with wind damage reports. Related [Google news search].  Refresh once an hour, lkog changes, pretend you’re our Nostracodeus software, lol…

(Flight planning tip: Winds aloft at 9,000 ft. can wreck a cross-country trip this time of the year. I’ve seen days I could fly backwards.)

So instead, plan river rafting except where?

Northern California and Sparks/Reno on the Nevada side.

You realize it has been 16-years since Elaine and I skied NorthStar. 82” of snow there in the last 7 days and a base of 50 now…so Tahoians and refugee ski bums/bummettes from the Bay Area will have grand conditions this weekend, looks like.

But now for the “real” news…

Know why it seems like climate is “changing?”

Sun’s gone to sleep. Check out the latest NOAA Solar Cycle Progression Report:


Under-performing even the expectations – so what does that mean?

Well, sure we have that big iceberg kicking around the Antarctic, but we expect a cooler and milder summer this year due to the sun blinking out now. And until we get back over 100 sunspots on the next upleg of the solar cycle, say in 4 or 5 years, global warming will just have to remain marketed by tax-scammers as “climate change” and gee, with just a few global quintillions more in taxes, we could moderate the rains in California.

Forget that Ma Nature levels this xhit out without tax-scamming or carbon credits. Just stand with the herd…

The Shakes?

Philippines had one out in the Celebes overnight at 7.3: Green glob below…


Further Hand-Wringing???

Well, the Fools on the Hill take up the matter of Obamacare taxes this week and the NY times says the “Health Care Industry Is Quiet as Millions May Lose Insurance.”

But look at the bright side: With some tax relief likely, the Millennials and older set may actually be able to afford a life.

You know, between government REQUIRED spending, a lot of young couples today don’t have an economic prayer.

If government requires spending, is that not a TAX? So again, why can’t we write off car insurance? We get to write off other required spending like property and sales taxes, so why not the insurance “driving tax?” Don’t start me; the short answer is government and insurance have merged (in Ocare too) but if the outfit booking the revenue ain’t a .gov then you don’t get to .deduct. Still, crooked.

Ever read state personal financial accountability laws? That’s not there for LOVE, it’s there to say “Oh it’s not required…” Sure it is…the limits on personal accountability are so high it’s a joke.

<Look> They have mandatory healthcare costing out the wazoo. They they have to pay income taxes, then come the government-required things like car insurance – which is really just another TAX dressed up in capitalist clothing.

Yes, there should be required insurance to drive, but I just changed insurance companies yesterday because the one we’re with hit us (perfect records) with a 14% hike and we told them to go you-know-what up a rope.

The new company is 40% cheaper and tosses in comp and roadside for us…so the UrbanSurvival tip is simple: If you haven’t changed insurance companies in 3-4 years, make the calls. You may be glad you did, although YMMV. Insurance companies hate DUIs and accidents and these can be avoided by drinking at home and never getting to a car through a bottle…

Back to point of this whine: Mlive reports “Auto insurance costs a concern for new state reps as legislature returns.”

Insurance companies KNOW the best investment in profitability they have is the 20-to-1 return on buying lawmakers. Not overtly – they do it with contributions and rolling the grays out of nursing homes to vote.

It’s like the Mafia saying “We ain’t crooks…we didn’t kill anyone ourselves…we hired that out.” Hence we have state legislatures.

From the Mengele Files

A “Third of breast cancer patients treated unnecessarily.”

Tick-Tock – 9.5 to Go

Obama says goodbye tonight.”

Will we be the only ones playing “Count the Trump Bashes” home edition?

Econon Outlooks

Boring day… little scheduled in the way of news.

Not much to say except the National Federation of Independent Business reports “Small Business Optimism Skyrocketed in December.”

Dow futures are down 20, but we are still expecting the Dow to wake up again and move higher, but that’s based on our research that IS NOT FINANCIAL ADVICE.

So off to more coffee and see you tomorrow with Peoplenomics and Thursday morning we plan the next chapter of “The Millennial’s Missing Manual” and that chapter is [keyword: Process].

Bean me, Jack…time to roll.

Coping: With “Real-Life” Quantum Leaps

Hell of a “Recipe” this morning:

Ingredient 1: Remember the television series “Quantum Leap?” Wiki it sometime:

“Quantum Leap is an American science fiction television series that originally aired on NBC for five seasons, from March 1989 through May 1993. Created by Donald P. Bellisario, it starred Scott Bakula as Dr. Sam Beckett, a physicist who leaps through spacetime during an experiment in time travel, by temporarily taking the place of other people in order to correct historical mistakes. Dean Stockwell co-stars as Admiral Al Calavicci, Sam’s womanizing, cigar-smoking companion and best friend, who appears to him as a hologram.”

Ingredient 2: In Hollywood, “…the movie is the message…

Ingredient 3: My book “DreamOver” which was based on a few fragments of recalled dreams…

Add One Crackpot Theory: I’ve hinted at this before but I don’t think I’ve ever said it aloud: Suppose that there are multiple Realities and that at certain times and through a mechanism we don’t understand, the “veil between Realities” thins and becomes traversable…

Been doing a lot of thinking about this since Sunday nights two incredibly realistic dream-sequences. It was a night of back-to-back living in an alternate Reality.

Dream #1: The Hawk River Facility

I was supposed to meet a group of four quite religious people who were involved in some kind of broadcasting operation. Shortwave, I think, because they were in a four-place Cessna and they were “flying the radials” from a transmitter location.

To understand what this means, takes a bit of explaining from my youth. AM radio stations with two (or more) towers, used to make a radio station’s signals directional have to be measured periodically in order to ensure that the towers are properly phased and the resulting directional signal is not causing interference to other stations.

This religious group (the dreamer kept thinking they were Episcopalians but knew that wasn’t right) had two women on the flight and I was supposed to meet with one of them, although the reason was not clear.

In time, I wandered up to the airport tower to see if the controller on duty had heard from the plane, but no sign of them yet.

So I wandered back downstairs to the tarmac and into a large hangar-like building that had been open before and mostly just empty with some workbenches.

To my surprise, though, as I returned I noticed there were many backpacks of equipment and olive drab radios on the benches and soldiers were carrying them off to somewhere out of my vidual range.

Just the, a figure came up to me and started a conversation about Army boots. Turns out, he had made some passable imitations of Army boots that could be used for smuggling.

Then, seeing I wasn’t interested, the fellow then got into al discussion of new high-tech hand warmers. The ones he was showing me looked like a stainless steel watch, but they had an open back. Small pouches of powder were placed in this 1” diameter cutout and the device was placed on the back of the hand. He assured me this was a much better hand warmer than anything ever made because it left the fingers free for shooting and whatever soldiers carrying the gear around were getting ready to do.

Then I awoke…

Whew! I had never heard of the Hawk River Facility before, but wherever my brain had cobbled that up from was just doggone interesting. Seemed like it might have been a covert or National Guard shared airport of some kind.

The only Hawk River I could find was in Alaska and there’s a Night Hawk River in Canada, but no airport…so maybe it was a code name of some kind.

I had a glass of water, did some recycling and went back to sleep expecting peaceful sleep but that rolled right into…

Dream #2: Signaling with Treasury

Back asleep I quickly returned to the “same world” where all of my dreams are situated. It’s not a scary place…quite lovely in many ways.

In this “episode” (for they are not dreamlike at all) I was on a government project and was visiting a U.S. Treasury (might have been a Mint) location where I was in some kind of mid-level capacity.

I had been in meetings all day, but as the day was ending, I was taken to a set of stairs that went down into a deep basement, perhaps 20-feet tall walls, underground.

There, I got into a discussion with programmers about a new ultra high-speed game that rendered in 3D but was only available for demo on one of those old 16-inch amber CRT displays. The lines of code went whizzing by, catching only a glimpse of an outline and then some company name at the bottom which was notable because of the use of upper and lower case letters arranged XxxxXxxxxx, Inc. Danged if I can bring out the name of the place clearly.

Anyway, it got to be around 5:30 PM and we all went into a special fallout shelter. This was more like a missile silo than anything else: The sky was openly visible looking up, until about 5:38 PM, dream time, the top blast door was rolled into place and there we were in an area with lifts and lots of black and yellow striping on the floor.  Elevators and platform lifts and such.

I asked about what was going on and a very odd explanation followed from one of the chiefs of programming.

“A long time ago, the upper non-elected levels of our government developed a way to signal back and forth with the Russian government. When instructed by a central office in Washington, we go into the blast shelters and roll the doors closed. What the coding is, I have no idea, but there are two facilities in our region that are closed up right now. It’s like an ultra-slow signaling system available only to us and the Russians and using the flyover times of the Russian Molniya orbiting satellites. Later ones had optics so it’s a useful way to communicate that no one else knows about….”

“Oh, that makes sense…” I said, although I was in the dark about it.

The man who was briefing me explained the upper layers of government, what I called Shadow Government, wanted its own peer-top-peer into Russian government so this system was evolved away from the DC-Moscow hotline that gets too much attention.

Just then, I noticed my new crown on the lower right of my mouth that come loose. As the blast door finally opened, maybe 10-15 miles later, I remember eating an MRE or something like it with the crown still in my mouth needing repair.

When I awoke, the crown was just fine and hadn’t moved at all.

But I was left with the impression that this was my “marker” and it would signal which side of “the veil” I was on…. solidly attached on the waking state side. 

Whew….woke up.

Elaine had strange dreams Sunday night, too. Hers involved being able to personally fly.

There hadn’t been anything out of the ordinary for dinner: Panko coated chicken, red wine…We were both quite pleased with the adventures but not sure how it all fits together.

I mean assuming there’s any kind of fit at all.

Still, I hope you don’t mind my using the column to note some of these more outstanding (and extremely vivid/realistic) dreams as a report.

If Death is simply the Big Sleep, I’m in for some grand adventuring in the Afterlife.

New Car in the Family

Congrats to daughter Denise.

Found herself a 2014 Prius – dealer loaner car with 17,000 miles on it. Great deal and at 50 MPG, the eventual recovery of oil doesn’t frighten her a bit.

Dad is proud…good decisions by today’s young should be noted.

Peoplenomics tomorrow: Evolutionary Marketing and its Impacts

Write when you get rich,

Dow 20,000 Due This Week

Going Away Present for Obama?

First thing we noticed this morning was that Dow futures were down about 30-points. But since the Dow closed last week around 19,964, knocking 30 points off at this morning’s open shouldn’t amount to a hill of beans.

On the other hand, remembering our old edict that “Techs lead the way” the NASDAQ Composite set a 52-week high Friday before pulling back a bit at the close. My point? We traded into a record with the NASDAQ so the blow off for the Spring is seemingly game-on.

Much the same with the S&P as well: Traded up to 2,282.10 Friday before settling out the week at 2,278.98.

What does it mean?

A powering-through of 20,000 on the Dow with our Peoplenomics subscribers eyeing the area around 22,000 as the possible terminus seems a shoo-in.

When it happens, you are likely to hear all kinds of cheers and me-too reports from people saying they “predicted it all along…” But there’s a lot more going on here.

For one thing, the US dollar is gaining strength. And that means foreign investors are figuring out that even if the US market was flat (which it isn’t) drop in the improved US asset valuations thanks to the foreign exchange swing, and now you’ve got at least one technical reason that is “making America Great again.”

Can it last? Time, friend, time.

For those not accustomed to investing in foreign markets either directly or through ADRs (American Depository Receipts), let’s do a hypothetical to understand it a bit deeper.

Let’s say we figure out that German’s money will double in relative strength to ours. So we would go out and buy native lander Volkswagen. Put aside pollution testing and let’s play with money, OK?

So we take $1,000 and buy $1000 worth of shares. Nothing changes now, except the currency positions. The German (stronger Mark) double as our figuring suggested, so when the $1,000 worth of Volkswagen “comes home” it comes home as $2,000.

Nice, huh?

British Currency “Pounded”

This movement in currencies is not always so “nice.” Just this morning, the British Pound has fallen to the lowest level in a couple of months in the ongoing melodrama over whether the Brits really have the cajones to walk out of that bankrupt association of nations known as the European Union.

The backstory on this is prime minister Theresa May says the Brits can’t just hang on to “bits” of the EU they like and trash the rest… That’d be akin to being a “little bit pregnant” when you think about it.

So today, in the Swamp (DC) the Brits will be trying to reach out to America for another lifeline. If you’re keeping track, this’ll be the third major lifeline to England since the AmRev in ’76: We saved ‘em in WWI, again in WWII, and I should not be surprised if we don’t have to save them again from yet-another terror spawned in continental Europe.  Wearing sheep’s clothing this time, natch.

I have warned you history-rhymes, right?

Blowing Up Culture

Say, ABC seems to have stuck its foot in it as reports here on how “liberal…”  “ABC Enrages NFL Viewers With Anti-Trump ‘Black-ish’ Promo…

As we have repeatedly advised: Everyone’s the same color on the inside.

Much of what goes on in American media is designed to carve us up from being a Unified (One Nation under God) into something more easily digested by the corporations of the world.

The whole narrative (we call ‘em lies) is designed to keep people separates and stirred up so government and corporate interests can exploit by sector which I hope you’d agree is bullxhit, but the way things are done IRW (in real world) circumstances. Spare us…

The Liberal-Backed Hack Attacks

If you had a bit slower time getting UrbanSurvival to load Friday, no fault of mine or yours.  Seems like some angry leftists are attacking sites that dare to speak the truth.   Here’s what it looked like:


The spike is about 1 GB of GET requests.

Even the Drudge Report is on the hacker’s hit list as Business Insider headlines “Someone is trying to take down the Drudge Report — and it’s a mystery who’s behind it.”

Mystery?  Hahaha…I assume it is a Clintonesque /Obama sour-grapes left/liberal attack. But it could be Shadow Government (GS-15 and up types) who don’t like being called what they are.

We’ve been running attack logs all weekend which will be turned over to As we have advocated before, attacking free speech on the web is a hate crime and if commerce is involved, then there should be a felony count for that, as well.

If you’re a street thug and black, media wails about the injustice of it all.  White pricks with agendas overseeing hacks?  Why they must all be Russian, right?

Miss my paranoia meds? Hardly.  See:

SCANDAL: Is Obama shutting down conservative websites to “get back” at Russia?…

We expect they will  taper off around January 20th so if you have trouble loading Urban, check back around then.   (Warned you about Provo, didn’t I?)

Meantime, could Russia be to blame for all this? Why sure they could be. USA Today is selling that idea…hard.  When they sell I make it a point not to buy.

I’ll leave the Feds at to track it.  Maybe we’ll see “Yes it was the government, but it was for their own good…trying to get their web shields up…”  But I think I know who…

Meantime:  Must be something here the PTB don’t want you reading…

Ramp-Up the Climate Scare

As headlines roll this morning about how “An enormous iceberg is breaking away from the Antarctic…” which could raise sea levels, depending on how much (if any) was grounded above natural floating levels before….

And as California gets wet and snowed

Yep, by late this week the Climate – already changing for million upon millions of years without a freaking dime of taxpayer money – should be all over the news afresh as “startling new discoveries” would be ideally timed about then. (Add your own favorite hype phrases to instill panic and a sense of helplessness…)

I mean if the real agenda is to spread groupthink and shake people down for still more money for non-causes…what would be expected, right?

!2 Days Left

Seriously?  What is in Chicago’s drinking water as I read “Sweet: Obama’s legacy — he will always be Chicago’s president…”

Coping: Advanced People-Watching

A report from Old Man Labs and the question about whether Food dictates what you learn, but first….

Son-in-law took off for the PNW Sunday morning, but not before giving us some fine pointers on his creatively-evolved art of “people-watching.”

Since he had a couple of 2-hour layovers in Dallas between Uretopia Ranch and Seattle-Tacoma, he explained how he was always vastly entertained.

The trick, as he explained it, is to look for something out of the ordinary and see how other people react to it. Some people will react as one block – taking “action” on what they see – while others will be “deniers” and they will try to “be cool” their way past the reality-blip.

Others will be the “obliviars.” These be the folks who you could set a pant-leg on fire and they wouldn’t notice until it got to the pocket area.

On the way down last week, he spied a water drip coming from the ceiling. A drip every couple of seconds.

One of the drips hit him, drawing his attention to it, so he decided to go “prop a wall up” and just watch reactions.

Sure enough, one man who was with his family (about five in the party) was hit on the forehead with a marvelously-timed drop. He broke off from his party, went to the nearest airline podium and proceeded to have a very animated conversation.

Mostly, people were Obliviars – oblivious to the large wet area of carpet. But there were others, the deniers, who saw, thought, and continued along dis-involved but counting for the next drip.

Fine paradigm for people in all kinds of situations, is it not?

Nice way to start the week if you find yourself with time to kill: Watch the upright apes at their nominal “work” – and classify them according to behaviors.

Come summertime, you can sort in other ways, such as sexuality levels which are advertised by clothing. And there are “geek levels” all according to what kind of phone and computer is in tow. Grand fun, and makes going to the airport fun.

Which is more than can be said for Ft. Lauderdale.

Nostracodeus – All in the Data?

Had an interesting email from chief developer guru Grady up in (frozen like Texas) Canada Friday evening:


With these words becoming hot, his email suggested:

Taking a chance on interpretation.

There will be an Iraq airport attack. people will hide from war terror. There will be fear of a shooting, Netanyahu will fight terrorists.

In Iran some people are or will be hidden. There will be war attacks, shooting and terrorism. Netanyahu and a terrorist fighting concern.

Syria people will again experience an attack and will hide from war, shooting and terror. Netanyahu will fear fighting terrorists.

The ISIS war is partially hidden. There will be shooting attacks. Netanyahu and terrorism. He will be concerned about fighting.

Israel will experience an war attack. Netanyahu will need to hide and will be fighting fear. The army will fight the terrorists.

A Saudi shooting will be hidden. Netanyahu attacks, fighting terrorism with his army and there will be concern.

Turkey will have another shooting attack. Netanyahu hides fighting terror. Turkey’s army fears fighting terrorists.

Egypt Netanyahu hidden fighting attacks. Army terrorism will fight a terrorist. Dubai will be a concern.

Lebanon Netanyahu will attack fighting. Some will hide from army terror and fight their fear. Dubai terrorists.

Israeli fighting using hidden army attacks. They will fight terrorism. Dubai terrorists killing will be a concern.

Our statistical concern now is differentiating a “terrorism” event from the more general “Middle East Mayhem” which goes on all the time.

Meanwhile, that was 7:30 PM (Texas Time) when I received the email and then along comes the Ft. Lauderdale attack.  A few hours earlier at Grady’s server.

The computational (relative word frequencies) approach to futuring is just a grand mental exercise. Not so much fun on the algos and programming side, but worth of our continued work at the Old Men Labs.

Lab Tools

Speaking of labs and such: Something you may wish to add to your armament if you have declining eyesight or just work on really small xhit: Plugable USB 2.0 Digital Microscope with Flexible Arm Observation Stand for Windows, Mac, Linux (2MP, 10x-250x Magnification).

They run $35 bucks and free shipping with Amazon Prime and we love it.  Download the software for it at

Let me show you why: suppose I want to have a look at how well my left contact lens is centering over my operated eye. Ready? (Gross-out warning!):



This is actually way-cool because you can get up to 200 power out of it.  Hmmm…split eyelash ends?  Contact riding a bit off, too much salty food this week (and yes, it makes a difference…).

Oh, that black area is the pupil and that arc from lower to upper left is the edge of the contact which acts as an ‘artificial’ lens on the outside of the eye, in front of the anterior chamber lens which we have were telling you about with the four eye ops last year. And all’s well that lands well – no issues flying with 10/30 except I miss 20/15 six ways to Sunday. But that’s what instruments are for, I suppose.

USB Carding

My ham radio (Kenwood TS-590) just won’t talk to the new $150 refurb Win-10 Core-Two Disaster but with 8gb and a 1 TB drive, what do you expect?

So today I’ll be putting in a new USB-3.0 card. Let you know if that helps.  I know it has already helped the 3.0 card-maker, lol.

Soldering School

Son-in-law (47) had this really cool – almost childlike grin – when he turned on a solid-state kitchen timer he’d made and it worked right off.

Nice to see people getting into new learning.

My “soldering school” went from two twisted wires, to twisted with flux to board with no flux to board with the tiniest amount and two kinds of pencil tips.

Again, for Millennials, this is how you learn a new skill: Do the simple, harder, hardest, then repeat until you’ve built something useful. Recipes are grand.

And speaking of recipes…

Crackpot Food Theory Department

I was actually going to start with this discussion this morning, but chose not to:

I was wondering if there was any correlation between what people EAT and how they are inclined to THINK.

I don’t think I’ve read anything definitive on this, so if you find any resources, please share them in our (always interesting) Comments Section below each article.

While this didn’t apply to SOLDERING, necessarily, I was wondering if anyone had done any academic work on whether EATING the same food as the COUNTRY you might be studying, could help your perception of how things work?

Let’s say I wanted to learn Mandarin Chinese.

Would I be any better-able to learn if I were to go on a pure Chinese food-only diet before and during the learning effort?

Before you dismiss this as the same kind of bunk that phrenology is made of, back up a second or three:

Is it POSSIBLE that people’s languages evolved as they did in different parts of the world because of their DIET?

Take our Chinese Food and Chinese Language model.

Eating Italian food (which trying to learn Chinese) would produce a whole different spectra of neuro peptides and thus would change how our brain chemistry works at some very low levels.

I have noticed a lot of great – but subtle – effects from using the Light Crown (light pumping into the nervous system as photons are produced when neurons fire, as we have yada, yada, yada…) so why not something as in-your-face as FOOD?

OK, then: Let’s refine the research problem to neuro-peptide strata mapping and see if there are learning effects that have been categorized.

You know, Dead People (parents and grandparents who have escaped to No More Tax Land in the hereafter) have long held that “If you want to learn the language of a country, go there!”

Sure, a good portion of the effect are (as any Defense Language School grad will attest) attributable to the “full-immersion” in a language. You want something? You ask for it in the correct way or you don’t get it…that kind of thing. Just like real life (IRL)!

But how much of the “learning” was because of the foods eaten?

I’ve never seen much on this, but after munching on some pizza and a glass or three of Pisano wine Sunday I came to believe Sophia Loren was a beautiful woman for the ages. After Elaine, of course.

The pizza? The Wine? Or was it Memorex down in the DNA.

Get back to me on that, wouldja?
Write when you get rich,

MMT: Have You Been Hoaxed?

We were talking about Recipes this week in our Millennial’s Missing Manual (Coping section Thursday) and we have a dandy discussion this morning of Modern Monetary Theory and how it works and what does it mean.

The short answer is:  Formulas cloud thinking.  But it’s a kind of turf war between the math-leaning quants on the one hand with the more clear-headed behavioral economics believers on the other.

Bottom line is “What we all believe about the future tends to manifest” but there are some interesting :reasons why” in MMT which are worth talking about…

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