A New Economic Paradigm?

This morning we take a jaunt into the very heart of economic thought.  We’ll be looking at the component-level as to what “makes up” price discovery.

What we come to is the idea that we have emphasized the wrong thing. E.G. the existing paradigm has promoted high unit-volumes of goods.  But, QUALITY has been abandoned because of our belief that “more work is good.”  With Robotics on the horizon, this is plain stupid thinking.  Which we will discuss more deeply after some headlines and where the charts and models have us heading next week..

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Coinsters, Banksters, and Jobsters

Before we get into the fresh press release from the Labor Department, a word or two about bubbles.  Bubble?  What bubble?  Oh…this bubble: Bitcoin hits $17,000 as bubble fears mount.

They never end well.  Read that again: never.

I mention this because we are witnessing the parabolic rise of Bitcoin.  Don’t get me wrong, it has been highly entertaining and all that.  When I checked prior to posting, they were at $15,447.  I know, the TB’s (true believers) in Bitcoin are oh so proud that they have a secure blockchain.  What they can’t seem to comprehend is that Bitcoin has turned every user of cryptos into a hacking target.  And then what happens? Bitcoin miner NiceHash reports hack, theft of its ‘wallet’ – USA Today.

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And there are issues like hardware failures…but look, have fun.  Bubbles and manias of this magnitude only come along once in a lifetime.

As of this morning, Bitcoins are worth (all told) $255-billion dollars.  It’s more than the annual GDP of Panama, or Greece, or Portugal, or Finland.  At present rates, Bitcoins value will surpass the annual GDP of Ireland this weekend and Singapore of the Philippines next week.

Now, about those jobs – for those who still have to work for a living, not being part of the Bankster class of Coinster class…

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 228,000 in November, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.1 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment continued to trend up in professional and business services, manufacturing, and health care.

Household Survey Data

The unemployment rate held at 4.1 percent in November, and the number of unemployed persons was essentially unchanged at 6.6 million. Over the year, the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed persons were down by 0.5 percentage point and 799,000, respectively. (See table A-1.)

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for teenagers increased to 15.9 percent in November. The jobless rates for adult men (3.7 percent), adult women (3.7 percent), Whites (3.6 percent), Blacks (7.3 percent), Asians (3.0 percent), and Hispanics (4.7 percent) showed little change.

Now the numbers that matter

  • Labor participation rate is unchanged
  • Goods producing jobs were up 62,000
  • The CES Birth Death Model actually was a minus number this month, so effectively no “made up” jobs.

And the futures are?  (What else?)

Showing the Dow up 66 at the open, but up 150 by the end of the day wouldn’t surprise us…

End of World In Sight?

The move of the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem is a very big deal.

Clashes Erupt Across West Bank Over U.S. Jerusalem Pivot.  In Israel, we find OpEds like “Trump’s Jerusalem Syndrome: Whose End of Days Messiah Does He Think He Is?: of interest.

The theory is that once the US Embassy move is completed, work will start on the “third temple” and that will take about 7 years…and (here’s the fun part) that will get us out into the 2024-2025 area where by some cyclical economics work we get to the “Insert World War Here” area.

For now, the Palestinians will have a new war, things will be hot…and from a pragmatic standpoint, it’s a fall-back position for the arms industries in case the projected fighting on the Korean Peninsula doesn’t kick off in early spring to save their balance sheets.

Here’s the more immediate blowback: Al Qaeda calls for attacks against US and its allies over Jerusalem policy.

Failing all that, there’s a chance of another Ukraine uprising…and gosh, does that mean the State Department’s chief cookie monster will have to start baking again?  Neocons on a roll, looks like.

Gee, don’tcha feel better now?

Flash goggles are fine stocking stuffers, you know.

Moving Right Along

The flames are going south of LA toward…..Flames engulf San Diego area in newest wildfires.

Global Warmist Notes du Jour

Snow, ice bring disruption after Storm Caroline.

Texas celebrates rare snowstorm from San Antonio to Houston.

We had a few flakes here at the ranch, too.  More like frozen rain but nothing stuck.  We put the skis away, very disappointed.

No Need for Elections

…because CNN has already called them in “How Democrats win the future.”

Thinking Clearly

Canola oil linked to worsened memory and learning ability in Alzheimer’s.

Is there a lesson for Wesson in there?

Coping: With the COL vs. COF Ratio

Finance:  I laughed when I went back and read Thursday’s UrbanSurvival column.  Reason?  I’d forgot to mention that FOMO is ‘netese for Fear Of Missing Out.  Not that anyone flagged me on it; most of our readers have well-above room temperature I.Q.s.

Following up on the Coping article from Thursday – about G2’s pal who lives in her delivery van and uses her upscale gym membership as her auxiliary living space, we’re still impressed.  Because she’s nailed something incredible:  A perfect 1-to-1 ratio of the Cost Of Living (COL) to the Cost Of Fun (COL).  How many people can claim that?

Cost Of Living to Cost Of Fun doesn’t get as much play as it should, since life is about 20,000 days after you get out of school.  And that’s if you don’t step in front of a bus, smoke ciggies, get depressed, or get nailed by enemy gunfire (foreign or domestic).

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After the first of the year, Elaine and I will be changing out some of the way we do things around here.  Reason?  We want to “optimize” more and have more adventure in our lives again.

After living aboard a sailboat up and down the West Coast and flying out own plane on trans-cons, sitting at el rancho is, oh, slightly tame.

Not that our COL is high:  We essentially have no bills, and when we do put something on a  credit cards it is more convenience (and better points) than anything else.  We’ve never trusted debit cards, but with a credit card seems to us the risk more on (moron?) the bank’s side.

What needs optimizing is our COF – cost of fun.

I look at my son’s Cost Of Fun per minute. (COF/m).

It costs him about $25-30 bucks for a ride to 15,000 feet for skydiving.  Time from hop to pop? 60 seconds free-fall and then up to 5-minutes under the canopy for landing.

When I called him to talk about this, I got the expected:  “Yes dad, already run the number $5/bucks a minute…but they’re GREAT minutes. Gotta go, client’s waiting…

Hmmm.  There’s Elaine and me…so figure 16-hours a day of fun…$300 per hour…or $4,800 per day for the two of us.  Nope, that’s 1.7-million per year, so that ain’t happening.

More realistically?  Two jumps an hour, That’s still $1,000 a day…so…um… $360,000 a year…nope, that’s not working, either.

Ideally, we’d find something that would pay us something and give us adventure back.  Money’d be secondary…(or not, lol).

Here lately, we have been seriously underspending.  Not that stacking a bit of cash in the bank is a bad thing. It’s just not – you know – exciting.  When you’re on the final leg of the journey through Life, the issue is “What’s left on the experience/bucket list?

So we dance around what to take on as a new shared hobby.

G2’s GF is seriously into the same sports, hobbies, and pursuits as G2.

Trust me when I tell you that in the high 60’s to 70’s things change, we’ve discovered:  Jumping off the tractor wrong, for example, results in odd pains that didn’t used to be there.

Trying to speed fly during a base-jump off a seriously high cell tower near the edge of a cliff doesn’t seem like a thrill as much as it’s spitting in the Face of Death, unnecessarily soonly (if that’s proper Engrish).

No question, I’ve enjoyed the ham radio hobby immensely.  Still, in 2018 I will begin to downsize the collection of my HF stations.  How many ham stations can you operate at once?  Two or three?  (Data, slow-scan TV, and voice or Morse is about my limit…).  Do I need eight?  Maybe not, but that’s what OCD is all about.

Started looking specifically for hobbies that seem like they would at least have the potential of a 1-to-1 Cost to Revenue ratio.

Ham radio can have a reasonable COF over time:

If you buy something like a classic ham linear amplifier (my HT-45 Loudenboomer is highly collectible) you can keep up with inflation and better.

Some tweaks with the test gear, a dash of solder and some new capacitors and the odd resistor replaced… Why, you can buy a faltering unit, turn it into a gem, and resell for a few bucks more. Sometimes more than a few.

When I get done out in Old Man Labs, going through some gear one last time and selling it looms as the winter project.

What will the next hobby be?  One thing that caught my eye:  Metal Detecting.

Went so far as to read a book on topic…Metal Detecting: A Beginner’s Guide: to Mastering the Greatest Hobby In the World.  There were a lot of useful ideas in the book…so then I found an outfit in England that makes a kit for us electronic hobbyists:  It’s a pulse-type metal detector called a SURF PI.

The PI is not Pi and is raspberry.  It stands for pulse induction and reports are that it can get down 10″ or so which is what I was after.  The kit source, as well as other components is http://www.silverdog.co.uk/ but be advised that the shop is closed now for the holidays.  (Who gives these Brits so much time off?)

There is an option (depending on how much coinage there is in Ure pocket:  A White’s Surf PI Dual Field Pulse Induction Metal Detector w/12″ Search Coil waterproof to 100 feet, but that will kick you back $825 bucks.

After reading a fellow in the Bay Area – who has a great article on building the SURF PI kit over here – I decided sure, why not?

Then I made the mistake of asking Elaine something like “Hey, dear…found a GREAT new hobby for us…outdoors, exercise…everything we could want…”

When I told her it was “coin-shooting” (one of the slang terms for metal detecting) the room temperature dropped to below freezing and she locked-on with her “deadly stare.

You’re not going to become one of those old geezers who runs around playgrounds hunting for coins, are you?  Good grief!”

“Well, darling, there’s a good chance of making-back the price of the hobby…”  I ventured once the room  came back up to 50-degrees or so.

In the end?  No sale.  That room is still below 50.

Fortunately, since the unit has already been ordered, I can still build it, sweep the property here, and call it good. (I operate on the premise that it’s easier to ask forgiveness than permission with this kind of idea.)

After I do our property (and you never know where else) I’ll sell it on eBay or use it as a shameless promotional giveaway…something on that order.

The other hobby I’ve been collecting tools for is gem cutting.

As a child, I remember being intrigued with what’s inside rocks, especially when the family stopped east of Ellensburg, near the top of Vantage Hill and visited Ginkgo – the petrified forest state park there.

Gingko’s part of the Wanapum Recreational area…with a dam nearby with the same name (oddly, Wanapum Dam).

Since I was thinking Cost versus Returns, I noted that Wanapum damn cost just over $93-million to build and it produces a peak 1,040 megawatts of power.

Don’t mean to ramble here (Ure used to it), but check this out: That construction cost pushes out to 11 watts per dollar!  Imagine if you could buy a 10 KW home generator at the same rate!

That generator would cost $910…and then it would  run on rain. Amazing.

At the same cost/watt, a 300 watt solar panel would be…uh…$27.27 each…where was I? Oh yeah…distracted

Becoming a dam builder certainly doesn’t solve my “ideal hobby that makes money in retirement” problem.  Besides, since prime locations to build dams are not plentiful…all that’s left is maybe some low-head hydro on our creek.  Which would MAYBE light up an LED in the winter….

I know better than even ask E about this one.  Though curiously, with my eyes now well back to safe flying range (with contacts in)…the idea of an airplane resurfaces from time to time.

We can attest that owning an airplane is throwing money at the sky, the same as owning a boat is throwing money in the water.

That’s the problem of retirement when you come down to it, though, and that’s the point.

When you retire, there are some pretty firm bounds in terms of what you can expect income-wise.  And this, in turn, limits the kind and number of adventures somewhat.

Unless, of course, we sell everything, buy an RV and live outside a gym somewhere…

At some point, say 3- to 6-months out, I can see all my hobbies blowing up:  How many radios do you want to restore?  Gotta be a fixed number.  Ditto:  how much furniture-making can be done before there’s no room left in the house, guest quarters, shop, or office?

Too hot to open a bakery in Texas…too many DUI’s out there already to open a bar or tavern…Don’t want to clean restrooms, anyway.  Elaine and I have kicked around opening a pizza and beer joint…might be fun…but then you have to deal with the darn public.

We have also thought about applying for jobs in a casino.  Elaine’s got a touch of Cherokee in her background, but never ‘got on the rolls.’  Still, I think it would be a hoot to tend bar four to six hours a day.  Elaine worked serving in a bar way back in the day and enjoyed it, too.  Maybe if we found the right casino….It’d make a hell of a book, too.

Shooting a deer isn’t a thrill (and truth is neither of us is particularly keen on venison).  Gardening verges on real work…. hmmmm.

When comes down to it, G2’s girl with that 1-to-1 Cost Of Living to Cost Of Fun ratio has really done something remarkable.

The more I think about it, the more remarkable it is.

Maybe we should just put Uretopia up on AirBNB as a project studio for Dallas and Houston area musicians who want to retreat to the woods.  No telling who we’d meet…

More thinking to follow.  The problem is when you like everything and you can do anything, there’s a kind of “Senior Decision-Making Paralysis” (SDMP) that can set in.  Like being at the Big Smorgasbord of Life.  Do I start with a salad, or just start with a bowl of soup and the prime rib and see how it goes?

Meanwhile, back to the lab this weekend and maybe some antenna work…

Write when you get rich, call when Bitcoin Fever breaks, too…


Bitcoin: The Bubble and FOMO

I love it  Bitcoin was all the way up to $15,361 when I looked.  And, since I sold my short position in the market, I’ve been more than pleased to watch Bitcoin because it’s a sort of “coincident indicator” of the National Delusion we’re all presently living under.

Seriously?  A year ago Bitcoin was what?  Do I see any hands?  $768.  But everyone’s getting into the game now: Bitcoin to start futures trading, stoking Wild West worries.

That pencils out to just about exactly twenty-times its price of a year ago.  If you think this isn’t a Bubble, may we propose rehab?

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Not too many people have clarity when it comes to understanding cryptos.

True, it’s an alternative means of exchange, but so are gold and silver.  What makes cryptos  useful is they are hard to hack. Experts say, however, that when the first quantum computers hit the market (inside five years) the time-to-hack will drop to around a minute.

But we don’t have to wait: Digital currency exchange NiceHash says bitcoin worth nearly $64 million hacked.

The next thing to worry about is that legislation is likely.  One proposal would designate Bitcoin a “bank” and that would result in government reporting and THAT would blow one of the main functions of Bitcoins – secrecy in banking.  Start circumventing government intent and how you’ve got a criminal discussion.

And it gets better.

You see, Bitcoin is a limited production commodity accessible only through mining, at least from the outset.

That’s unlike the host of other cryptos that have come along.  Most of these don’t go through anything like mining.  There’s just a huge amount of coins set aside for the founders.

Follow this closely:  because there is no mining, and the only way to get some of these is by paying cash, that essentially turns the underlying “thing” into an unregistered security.  And that’s clearly illegal, even under present law.

About here, you may be wondering “With all these land mines and trip wires – and with all those sealed indictments around the country that no one knows that that’s all about…could THAT be what’s coming?

Hell, I dunno.  Could be that, maybe a massive arrest plan for South American gangs, human traffickers, kiddie-porn rings, or…who knows?

BUT one thing I was really clear on – when George Noory was so kind as to interview me on the new non-fiction book I have that’s just out (ebook and paperback, see Dimensions Next Door: Hacking Space-time) is that the market has a major Q1 problem to address in January or February.

We’re quickly running out of “good news.”

What’s in that timeframe?\

Well, the Fed’s got to crap or get off the pot on an interest rate hike. Mueller’s going to have to “put something on the board” to justify all the fishing expedition headlines.  Plus?   We’re moving dependents out of Korea, so that looks to blow in February or maybe early March.  Toss in oil prices and the glut will begin to disappear…and earnings will begin to drop in quality….why there are all kinds of good news items for now that could FLIP.

Which get’s me back to Bitcoin.

I don’t care if there go to a trillion…they seem to me to be about the best indicator of euphoria there is.  The price of BTC screams “The Bubble is Still On!” in notionals.

People I know, like my deflationist pal Jas Jain, pragmatically point at the failure of the 10-year bond to move and issue stern warnings to all who will listen.

Go over here to Yahoo Finance and look at the maximum time scale on the 10-year (^TNX) and you’ll see his case:  We have been in a 36-year, long wave bond yield decline and we’re now in what I’ve described previously as the unavoidable mechanics of financial collapse.

Here’s how it works.  (refer to the cocktail napkin below):

As the bond yield goes down, bond prices go up.  In the summer of 1981, they were over 15.5%.

What also happens (at that extreme) is that stock prices collapse – hence the major recession in 1980-1983.

Now the other way around:  When yields on bonds fall toward zero, the price of stocks can go infinitely high.  Which (if you haven’t noticed) is where we are now and where I guess we could be for another year – or longer.

This is all orchestrated by the Federal Reserve which has no idea how to get out of the “box canyon” they’re ridden into, to put it in cowboy terms.

They SAY they want to raise rates.  But the market obviously isn’t buying it.  It’s going the opposite way.  They know the Fed is BS’ing ’em.

THAT is because while the Fed talks a good game, the reality is that they have increased the money supply by more than seven percent annually.

BUT – and this is the box canyon part – they can’t just have a “come to Jesus” moment of brutal spiritual honesty and say “We have allowed the currency to become so debt-logged that it only has 4-cents of purchasing power on the dollar left.

The reason they can’t walk Obama’s old “transparency” myth is that under Modern Monetary Theory (MMT), as long as they are making up more money than is needed, the economy will keep giving the illusion that it’s working.

I’m just reading  Asset Pricing under Asymmetric Information: Bubbles, Crashes, Technical Analysis, and Herding (Markus Brunnermeir’s fine discussion) and the very first point he makes is that some market players will always have more, different, or less information related to price discovery than others.

What he doesn’t get into – but which would be a FINE PhD discourse for someone in today’s world – is How MMT effectively dampens the price-discovery oscillations.

In other words, when there’s an upward bias to the money supply, you have to start by “tilting your graphs just so” to reflect that you’re not playing in a casino with a level floor.

That, in turn, is where we refer back to the four classic information injection results described by Youssefmir, Huberman, and Hogg in  “Bubbles and Market Crashes” available online here.

Flip over to their quad chart on Page 17, and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

What’s hard to integrate into viewing present-day markets is that the Fed’s application of MMT (print festival) probably has two axial effects.

First, the casino floor tilts due to the abundance of “money” coming into the system.  Which isn’t a huge thing, but a factor for sure.

But the OTHER effect is it causes what in electronics would be effective “ringing” of a tuned-circuit.  In this view – there would be a compression of the steepness of the curves because “money” being so easy (the Fed makes it so) that the angle of bubble ascent becomes more and more acute.

It’s obvious when you think about it:  If there is no “new money” coming into a system, then in a simulation like the YHH paper linked above, you get semi-predictable results.

If money is going up at an honest rate, roughly corresponding to the growth of GDP, then bubble formation is less likely.  But what if unlimited money arrived today?.

Suddenly – if each of us has unlimited money, the formerly bounded price discovery gets taken out back at executed.  There is NO UPPER LIMIT with infinite money supply.

And that’s what all these models are about:  YHH look at the “pure state” and then Bunnermeir looks at bubble dynamics, and Ure’s sitting here pondering what the math relationship is between excess money injections and magnitude & duration of the bubble.

I think in non-mathematical terms.  But you don’t need much math if you can visualize selectivity in electronics.  

A research note for Jas:  See the discussion of how the Q-Multiplier in the O.G. Villard, Jr. paten is described on this page.

If you don’s have a PhD in DSP like Jas does, the notion is that as you “pull in the sides of a passband” that additional energy is translated to a “higher Q or peak due to sharp resonance” in an L/C (inductance and capacitance) circuit.

About now, I could delve into a HUGE discussion of the similarities between analog circuits and economics…gain, selectivity, Q, resonances, and the like.  But, since I’m not teaching a class on interdisciplinary studies, we’ll just pass for now…

Still, the point about MMT and excess liquidity isn’t all bad: CoreLogic Reports Homeowner Equity Increased by Almost $871 Billion in Q3 2017/

So it’s back to the morning’s news flow…

Job Cut Report

Toss me the press release…

CHICAGO, December 7, 2017 – U.S.-based employers announced 35,038 job cuts in November, up 30 percent from the same month last year, when 26,936 job cuts were announced. Employers have announced 17 percent more cuts than in October 2017, when 29,831 cuts were announced, according to a report released Thursday by global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.
So far this year, 386,347 job cuts have been announced, 22 percent fewer than the 493,288 cuts announced through November 2016. This is the highest monthly total since April, when 36,602 cuts were announced. November caps the lowest year-to-date total since 376,057 cuts were announced through November 1997.

“While job-cut announcements have remained low all year, major M&A activity, such as the CVS/Aetna deal and the possibility of Amazon buying generic pharmaceutical manufacturers, could lead to a spate of large-scale job-cut announcements to open 2018, especially at Pharmaceutical, Retail, and Health Care companies,” said John Challenger, Chief Executive Officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. “

Hmmm…remember that the crank in the woods out in East Texas told you:  Market’s going to run out of good news.

Then there’s General Electric to cut 12,000 jobs in power business revamp.  That’s show up in coming months…

Oh wait….NASDAQ futures still up 41 – someone must still be crazy…you think?

Congress’s (next) Trump Gambit?

Donald Trump Jr. Declines to Answer Questions About a Russia-Related Conversation With His Father.

Middle East Stupidity

This will be bad’: Clashes break out in West Bank over Trump Jerusalem speech.

HWood Stupidity

Harvey Weinstein lied about sleeping with Gwyneth Paltrow to attract other women, report says.

Hot times in HWood continue as Southern California wildfires force mass evacuations in Los Angeles.

Uh…this is rareMan rescues rabbit from the flames

Corporate Tax Scam?

When I grow up, can I be a multinational, please?

ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell paid no tax in Australia for 2016.

Or, a lawyer? AT&T/Time Warner antitrust hearing to focus on trial date.

Consider the Source

What baby talk sounds like around the world reports CNN…

(Oh boy, we’re on a roll this morning…)

Our Kind of Headline

Why demand for British wool is unravelling.

And Here We Go Again

Fashion models expose sexual harassment.

Coping: Gaming the Housing System

Housing:  I hadn’t heard too much from my son for a while – and got to wondering what was up with him so I rang him up and he’s got a new GF.  No news there EXCEPT:  The new GF has figured out how to totally game “the system” in a crowded big city – like Seattle.

I won’t give away any personally identifiable information, but this is totally cool.  As my son put it “It’s up there chill-wise like when you moved onto your sailboat…”  Which I did in 1989, or so, and I wouldn’t change even a single part of that whole experience.

I was on it for almost 11-years and even when we moved to Florida in 2002, there was something comforting about having the ultimate global bug-out platform at the other end of a plane ride to San Diego and a short cab ride out to Shelter Island.

Reason I loved the boat experience?  It was gaming the system then – and it’s the kind of thing that can still be done today.  Except, of course, being a liveaboard sailor just sticks in the craw of government.  They are so determined to put everyone in the same stupid box…it sucks…but they can still be gamed!  Let me tell you how she’s doing it…

(Continues below)


The first thing is this young woman is totally not into materialism.  She’s a first-class adventurer, and that’s something we prize very highly around here.

What that means is freedom.  I will fictionalize this a bit to protect her identity, but let’s say that she’s a world-class rock climber.  She just lives to climb rocks.

The problem that she identified was that in order to fly all over the world climbing rocks, she would NOT be able to afford both the trappings of an apartment AND being able to pursue her passion.

Her solution?

She bought a fairly late-model, low mileage high-roof cargo van.  Her rig has only 30,000 miles on it.

Here’s the surprise:  You can buy a new vehicle like this for around $30,000.  Here’s an example on eBay.  Higher mileage than perfect?  Maybe, but diesel and extra cooling…  Look at the pictures and figure out what kind of “mini home” could put cobble up.

Next, she tricked out the inside:  super locks, darkly tinted windows so no once can see inside, blackout curtains, a few fans, and G2 is helping her put together a small battery-powered dehumidifier.  Winter’s here and whether you’re on a boat, or in some kind of vehicle, people breathe out wet air and that can lead to mildew and such.

Then she designed her schedule.  Goes something like this:

  • Wakes up in the morning.  Tosses on sweats and work clothes (she’s in medicine, so no big on that).
  • First stop is the gym.  Has coffee with friends, morning…er…routines
  • And then she does a few miles on a treadmill and some weights…
  • Then she hits the shower and freshens up for work.  (“If you don’t spend $1,600 on an apartment and more on utilities, an unlimited package at a gym is next to nothing…“)
  • Off to work, she has another vehicle or…well, we won’t spill all the beans.
  • After work is done, it’s off to spend time with friends.
  • For dinner (having saved $1,600 on rent) it’s no big deal to go out now and then.   Three or four times a week.
  • After that, and more chill time, it’s back to the gym for some climbing, another shower, and then off to the van.
  • In bed by 9, she gets up by 6 the next morning (rinse and repeat).
  • Driver to a laundromat when necessary.
  • Don’t park where a permit is required.

It may not sound like a huge deal, but is really is.  The way she’s got life rolled, there’s about $25,000 a year to spend on her passion.

Will she ever break down, settle down, do the “family thing?”  I wouldn’t bet on it.

She also has some very clear views on RV’ing.

I looked at those but they are not stealth and they break down too much.”

I can see why G2 finds her so interesting…he’s got the minimalist genes, too.

They’re working out a “rechargeable lunchbox” battery box for her to charge while at work.  I pointed G2 in the direction of the not-terribly expensive sealed lead-acid batteries that go in uninterruptable power supplies.  I just replaced 7 amp-hours of SLA in one of our Rockfish UPS units in the office and it was $21 bucks.  Can’t beat that with a stick.

And the other savings?

No furniture.  Ka-ching!

No electric bill.  Ka-ching.

No sewer, water, or internet bills.  Ka-ching, ka-ching, ka-ching.

And with three days a week off (gotta love them 4-10 plans) when she takes off for the weekend, it’s kinda like when Elaine and I would shove off on the boat on Friday afternoons.

By around 7 PM, we would be in a whole different city with a fresh assortment of restaurants and entertainment venues.  And we never had to worry about “forgetting something at home” because home was always with us.

Are there downsides?

Eventually, she might want to put a name on the van so it looks more like a commercial rig.  X and Y Plumbing always sounded good to me. Plumbers can go anywhere.  So can electricians, but with the price of tools and copper, plastic pipe tools seem less of interest to the no-good-nicks.  Or, how about something like “Mildew Recovery” – who’d want anything to do with that?  (Bug spray outfits use smaller rigs, but be creative.  Piano mover?  Acme Services…

Toss in a passenger plate (don’t want to get a CDL, right?)  “HI RCKR.”

Well, yes; downsides.  No big screen.  But you can follow most videos on YT or others on a 6-8 inch phone, right?

A pee can for the middle of the night is useful.  But we discovered a device called the Little John that we took in the airplane.  (You can’t fly without coffee!)  That was useful in the sky, but it would work in this situation, too.  There’s a “ladies adapter” for them.  They also don’t leak, so off to the gym and… well, there’s that.  Hole in the floor for when it’s raining, maybe?

Mail could be an issue, but if you arrange with your employer to get mail at work for a while (“moving between apartments”) then you have an address and that’s what you need to get a mailbox set up…

All in all, pretty slick way to live.

Different, sure.  But with very little housework, and always time for an adventure literally every weekend, why not?

Would it be something to do each and every year for life?

Hell no.  But it’s one way that someone who is determined could live on the cheap, stack a bunch of cash, and try the minimalist lifestyle approach, for sure.

Write when you get rich,


What’s NOT in "Dimensions Next Door"

Ure is tired this morning — that’s what happens when one stays up all night and talks on CoastToCoastAM with George Noory.  As a result,, this morning we will have a blissfully to-the-point discussion of the charts and the new book (and print edition with free Kindle version) is just out, Dimensions Next Door: Hacking Space-time

You see, the problem is I left something out – and it’s important.  So we will get to that after a few headlines and a look at the market..

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Markets: Shortage of “Good News” Ahead?

A special note for CoastToCoastAM listeners:

(You will need to click on this post to see the chart)

We have been tracking the apparent “resonance” between the psychological mood of the country now as compared to the Roaring Twenties.  In the chart below, you can see how closely the advances fit.

(Continues below)


Just be cautious that things are not completely the same!

The main thing to remember about markets is that they tend to front-run actual events.  And right now we may be looking at a forward lack of “good news.”

Some examples?

  • The Fed is increasingly likely to raise rates.
  • The US dollars has been very strong.
  • The Trump administration continues under attack on many fronts.
  • The Mueller investigation is a wild-card.
  • Some US Navy ships have gone to resupply in Japan and elsewhere, so is a Korea resolution in the works in background…at least the appearance of one for a while?
  • The fate of cryptocurrencies is still frothy to say the least.  Bitcoin is an “honest” one in that it was only available via mining.  But others?  Might those be considered securities?
  • GM plans an Uber/Lyft-like business model but with DRIVERLESS CARS IN 2019.

Think long and deeply on what this will mean for a lot mainstream American companies.

Look also at how Amazon and Wal-Mart are the “Barbarians at the Gates” that are changing shopping mall traffic and that’s another big whack at traditional economic investment opportunities.

Unknown:  How will robotic investments be owned?
Shouldn’t we be looking at things like taxing robotics – right now – while the special interests don’t have so much power, at least in that field?

Toss in the congressional races will begin forming in the spring and it looks like the GOP doesn’t stand for much of anything but a “hollowed-out brand” and you have the POTENTIAL for the market to begin worrying and discounting a LOT.

Remember, the manic swings are when psychology swings from HALF FULL to HALF EMPTY.

We’ve enjoyed the Trump Bump for a year, but now it’s time to look ahead…and that’s where we get into a world of politicians and job-displacing robotics.

And that could spell massive market revaluation.

There…now, go buy my book on applying science to woo-woo…