Thinking Through “Kim Puts”

Yeah, the stock market is at record highs.  Not unexpected, and from here we may have even more upside ahead.

But, there is an ugly geopolitical mess half-way around the world:  Korea.  And the task this morning is to look at ways to possibly make a buck, or save some, when that whole thing “blows up.”

It’s a rethink on the old physics problem:  “What happens when an immovable object meets an irresistable force…”

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Bit-Crash: Bits Bite / Coins Collapse

I don’t often share content on the UrbanSurvival side of thing, but sometimes when we get it right…and timely…as BTC’s crashed to under $3,000 each this morning before the “buy the dippers” came in…

We also said: “Meantime, we’re not alone in our assessment of Bitcoin.  “Jamie Dimon Slams Bitcoin as a ‘Fraud’ – Bloomberg Jamie Dimon Slams Bitcoin as a ‘Fraud’. He is also reported to have said that if he was looking to hire someone, he wouldn’t hire someone who believes in Bitcoins because ‘they’re stupid.’
An assessment that we heartily agree with and, for the record, I hold that despite what the charlatans and poor prognosticators claim, it STILL makes more sense to own some tiny, fractional share of a company than to place faith and savings in made-up money.

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This is not to say that this is the end of the line for the crypto-currency promoters.  I know are lots of people who “foretell the future” and have been promoting BTCs since they were a under a buck.

Sometimes, though, you can skip the herd’s group-think, though by asking simple economic questions.

Like “What is the utility value of a BTC?

“Depending on which theory of utility is used, the interpretation of marginal utility can be meaningful or not. Economists have commonly described utility as if it were quantifiable, that is, as if different levels of utility could be compared along a numerical scale.[2][3] This has affected the development and reception of theories of marginal utility. Quantitative concepts of utility allow familiar arithmetic operations, and further assumptions of continuity and differentiability greatly increase tractability.

Contemporary mainstream economic theory frequently defers metaphysical questions, and merely notes or assumes that preference structures conforming to certain rules can be usefully proxied by associating goods, services, or their uses with quantities, and defines “utility” as such a quantification.”

Please note that classical economics (I like “old school”) is very pragmatic.  Yet the modern “revisionist” view says there is utility in being a proxy (substitute) for value.

Which is not quite true.

In order to be a storehouse of value there is the little matter of durability.  Good money (of any sort) must be durable, convertible to goods of value, transportable, divisible,  and some other things that slip this old addled brain.

You do understand that the lack of divisibility is what we don’t have diamond-based money, right?  A 6 carat rock has plenty of bling value.  But smash it with a hammer often enough, and Oilman2 will buy it for fractions of pennies on the dollar to coat his latest oil drilling bit.  That industrial app will be all that’s left of bling, you see.

In an internal combustion-based world? Oil is a fine storehouse of value.  Gold and silver meet some of our tests, too.

One solar flare, one “grid hard down” as my .mil friends call it…and BTCs are gone.

If there’s a soft underbelly to stocks (and there really IS) it is exactly this same notion:  That a fraction ownership position represented by a share of stock is only notional and electronic because everyone is trusting the Depository Trust Corp.  Ever try to get paper copies of stock shares, lately?

Back in the day, the stock market was more durable.  My first investment was in a convertible subordinated debenture in a company stock symbol EMF, long since vanished. (Symbol is presently Templeton Emerging Markets Fund,  but in not way related.  This was in 1970…)

But back in the day, when bought as “units” I got both shares and a debenture which entitled me to future shares at a favorable price.

Speaking of “old school” we don’t see debentures as being popular, anymore:

“A debenture is thus like a certificate of loan or a loan bond evidencing the fact that the company is liable to pay a specified amount with interest and although the money raised by the debentures becomes a part of the company’s capital structure, it does not become share capital.[2] Senior debentures get paid before subordinate debentures, and there are varying rates of risk and payoff for these categories.”

And by “convertible” it means I could convert the debenture to stock, at a low price ($4-bucks a share if I recall) when the current market price was higher.  I sold and converted then sold when the price was $7.35.

The disappearance of debentures, as part of the art of finance, is symptomatic of many things.  First is that computer systems like massive (but essentially simple) problems.

It’s easy to change the social security number from George’s to someone else’s for xx,xxx,xxx shares of something.  But think about the algorithm design for:  George buys xx,xxx units of a convertible subordinated debenture, then sells off the shares and then hangs on to the debenture for a year or two, then converts to shares and… (See the problem is mark-to-market for the debentures at time of exercise…where is a computer going to get that?)

With real paper, it works.  With real paper, I can own/control the shares and I’m a real fractional owner.  It still works with computers, too, but it becomes a big-ass database and that means a lot more potential for troubles.

Today?  Oh, sure, I have 200,000 shares of a little tech stock down in Austin (still in the “pinks” lol), but since I don’t have any paper (except for the trade slip from the online trading outfit) where is my proof that as a shareholder I would have “standing” as a fractional owner of a company?

In today’s world we have just “made up the answers of convenience.”  We call it all kinds of gobbledygook like “Modern Monetary Theory” and brand those who question each asymptote as cretins, throw-backs, conspiracy theorists, and worse.

Yet as another weekend appears at “Miller time” tonight, we have to wonder how many virtual financial virgins are being sacrificed on the Alter of Free Lunch with the BitCrash?

I have warned time, and time-again it was coming.  I thought the drop to below $3,000 would take longer (October November based on the slope of the curve).  But we see that in today’s world of skeptics and high-speed knowledge that the angle of price increases is lower and the speed of declines is faster.

Yet,  as an angle,  people are still wired pretty much the same.

Our Economics Concept du Jour looks like this:

Gosh, are we having fun yet, or not?

Stepping over to the white board (and taking a huff of the marker pen), Professor Ure continues:

“We hope that unlike Katrina-Rita, we do not see a market decline of 5% in the next few months, but what that would mean is a decline to 2,400 on the S&P can not be ruled out…”

And thanks to the crazy professors brainamp.xls Elliott wave tool, tomorrow’s Peoplenomics becomes a short, almost self-writing exercise today.  Because remember, kiddies, whatever happens this fall on the downside may be only an A wave.  The  location and magnitude of the B wave rally would be instructive in that it will point to the magnitude of our capital gains problems that will result from all the money made in the C wave downside.

Or, so we hope, lol.

No denying one thing:  Why the cast of clowns was selling Bitcoins, once again, UrbanSurvival was dead-to-nuts right and our long-term view was correct.

The rest of the ignorant financial media…the ones who have been pimping Bitcoin?  Not a peep.  40% drop inside two weeks and it’s like farts in church.  No one talks about them.  UREly amazing.

Retail Sales

Hot off the…

“Advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for August 2017, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $474.8 billion, a decrease of 0.2 percent (±0.5 percent)* from the previous month, and 3.2 percent (±0.7 percent) above August 2016.

Total sales for the June 2017 through August 2017 period were up 3.2 percent (±0.7 percent) from the same period a year ago. The June 2017 to July 2017 percent change was revised from up 0.6 percent (±0.5 percent) to up 0.3 percent (±0.1 percent).

Retail trade sales were down 0.3 percent (±0.5 percent)* from July 2017, and up 3.3 percent (±0.7 percent) from last year. Nonstore Retailers were up 8.4 percent (±1.6 percent) from August 2016, while Building Materials and Garden Equipment and Supplies Dealers were up 7.5 percent (±1.9 percent) from last year. ”

And if you don’t have an auto graphing plug-in for your cerebral cortex yet:

We expect the cerebral auto graphing module will be available with the iPhone 31 when it’s released for $42-million each in 2029.  Line forms over that way…

Terrorism is Back

Tubed in London.

But let’s turn it into a Trump bash, shall we? Trump’s Tweet Condemning the ‘Loser Terrorist’ in the London Attack Is Causing Some Confusion.

Jeez…next we will have shocking revelations about how Trump brushes his teeth…

From BBC Global News

Doesn’t impact anyone we know, does it? British man dies in Sri Lanka crocodile attack.

Almost as life-changing as Fox’s Ancient toys unearthed.

Still too many channels, too much “news capacity” for actual deliverables.

Where my cynical pills…need another handful.

Testing, Testing

North Korea fires missile.  Japan learns duck & cover.

NYT on it with North Korea’s Threat Pushes Japan to Reassess Its Might and Rights.

Coping: A Hobby that Rocks

Yeah.  I know.  “Last thing you need, Ure, is another damn hobby...”

Admittedly, between Elaine and I, we’ve been through a few of them.  Most recently, I’ve been taking a break every forty-minutes and hitting either the treadmill or the weight machine for 10-minutes of “high intensity training” on the theory that I’ll live long.  Been stories out this week about the dangers of sitting

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Still, with by buds off wandering the uplands of Arizona, struck me that they should be scouting turquoise and other decent stones.

While my mind was wandering, I got back to the Light Crown Project I have mentioned.  That’s where we pump the brain with specific light colors (infra/deep red, blue, and green) applied to the trigeminal nerve and “third eye” area.

And that got me to looking at a new book on my reading list which I’d gotten when the Light Crown work started (A Lapidary of Sacred Stones: Their Magical and Medicinal Powers Based on the Earliest Sources) and one thing led to another.

First thing you know, another book jumped out at me: the Revised Lapidary Handbook.

One thing leads to another and the first thing you know, I found that there are lapidary bits for the Dremel tool.  So the $19 Agile-shop 50 Pcs Diamond Tipped Coated Rotary Grinding Head Jewelry Lapidary Burr Grit is now coming our way.

Since the shop is well equipped, we already have some diamond burrs – another $15 well-spent.  Used previously etching out traces on PCB board material (and Vector boards) used in the Light Crown project.

I figure this is enough to get me started at least.  So with “the goods” either on hand (or on the way) it was time to talk to my unindicted co-conspirator.

George, you have the same problem I have – too many hobbies, too many interests, and we don’t have enough time for all of them…

Hmmm…certain truth to that.

When I was cleaning up the shop recent, I found an 85CC motorized bike kit project that I’d picked up on eBay back when.  After the end of the world, my plan was to hook it up on one of the mountain bikes and get some well-condensate from Clarence down the street and be able to go into town where nothing would be available.  Kinda like Houston the past couple of weeks.

Which has what to do with Lapidary?  Oh…yeah…so UNDER the bike to motor-bike conversion, I found that eons back I had picked up a double-barrel rock polishing system, 10-20 pounds of raw gemstones.

Explaining this to Elaine, she mentioned that she had both some uncut as well as some polished stones to work one, too, and yeah…that would be fun.

Except, neither of us has room on the schedule.  We you have 29-acres of land, you don’t own the land.  It owns you.  (We’re still snickering at having a guest room/gym.  There’s plenty of work and weight to be lived around here, so what is the point of a weight machine, again?)

From there, the conversation turned to business.

“Do you think there would be any business for a well-equipped shop like ours if we just, oh, you know: rented some of that cheap square-footage in a strip mall, now that shopping is all being killed by Amazon?”

She regarded my question as ‘fair to partly crazy.’

Lawyers, lawyers, lawyers.  And after insurance, what’s the point?

“Yeah, but think how many elderly people there would be in Phoenix or up in Payson who are retired, but don’t have a big shop.  So they can’t get on a 10 in saw or a big drill press because they have done what we’re talking about — downsizing!  Why, I can see it now: Renaissance Centers where the Industrial Arts are still alive.  Weld-your-own chainmail for the Renaissance Faire and make those new cabinets yourself!  Why, there’s be a line around the block!!!”

No.  Too hot.  Besides, your target market is too old to use half the machines.  How many 80-year old’s are throwing full 3/4-inch sheets of plywood around?  Besides, look at our eyes…You SURE you want those people around power tools?”

Damn.  She’d nailed the business problem dead-to-nuts.  Lawyers, insurance and eyesight around power tools:  Yeah… I knew there was a reason I hadn’t quit by real life to run to Phoenix and open such a place….

The shop won’t really be ready for any lapidary work until the middle of October.  My consigliere and I will be busy with “Old Man Labs” and the hacking space-time project until then.  And, if we do manage to isolate The Ure Effect, well, then filing patents would be my next job.

More likely, though, CERN will rule bosons, Elaine will rule bozos….and the great Balance in the Universe will remain undisturbed.

Until the Dremel bits show up.

Don’t know if I mentioned my friend (‘the major’) is well known in medical circles for his training in subtle energy medicine.  (I skip some details here and there).

One reason we have moderate (egg) sized amethyst crystals around, is that if you place one on each of the cardinal headings around your house (4 of ’em, NESW direction) they tend of keep certain kinds of…oh-oh, off into woo-woo now.

But that’s precisely where the gemstones and “precious stones” stuff hails from.  But this part of the Lapidary of Sacred Stones write-up got me to thinking:

“Drawing from a wealth of ancient Arabic, Greek, Jewish, and European sources–from the observations of Pliny the Elder to extremely rare texts such as the Picatrix and Damigeron’s Virtue of Stones–Claude Lecouteux provides a synthesis of all known lore for more than 800 stones. He includes such common examples as the emerald, which when engraved with the figure of a harpy holding a lamprey in its claws will banish panic and nightmares, and beryl, which when appropriately carved can summon water spirits or win its owner high renown, as well as more exotic stones such as astrios, a stone celebrated by ancient magicians and whose center glows like a star. Lecouteux also examines bezoars–stones formed in animals’ bodies–as well as “magnets” that attract materials other than iron, such as gold, flesh, cotton, or scorpions.”

I had to admit that sounded like pretty cool stuff to tinker with.  Plus, homemade bling that’s one-off instead of dime-store crap, yeah, some Big Dog appeal to that, too.  (Woof!)

I can definitely see how by time we get to the “hot season” in Texas (which is sort of like the cold season in Hell) next summer, how we just might be “rockin'” more than the Kasbah.

Already cruising “lapidary” items on eBay and CL.  Like any new hobby, we begin by looking at equipment, prices, and the specialized lingo.

Until 20-hours ago, I had no idea what “dopping” was.

After watching this video?

Now, I think I could actually do it.  Badly?  Sure.  But that’s like any hobby.  My first few landings weren’t good, and I lost many sailboat races, bit it’s the thrill of the chase that keeps us young.

What’s your next hobby?  I don’t plan to die at rest,  and neither should you.

Write when you get rich, (more coffee?)

Nice Rally, Now what?

We have been holding our breath for the market to hit one of our long-projected highs.  To be sure, we got there Wednesday (picture in a second) but I would have liked to have seen it faster.  Like a month ago.

This is one of those “big uglies” in economics that no one likes to talk too much about:  The speed of the market is based on the speed of communication of price information.

Back in the lead-in to the Great Depression, there was no such thing as  SMS, the web, and such.  Instead, people had to get the afternoon papers, or the next morning’s in order to figure out how their stocks were doing.

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As a result, for the large fraction of America that didn’t live in NYC, that meant when the market closed in afternoon, they were still at work and wouldn’t be home until 5 PM.

Problem was, when there was local breaking news, the newspapers didn’t always wait for the stock market tables.  Instead, they would rush to get the breaking news out to people.

That’s one of the historical footnotes between the “morning paper” versus the “afternoon paper” battle in most markets.  The “morning paper” would have the previous day’s stock tables, but when someone got up at 6 AM, they would not have time to do much serious trading when the New York exchange was opening in a few minutes two time zones away.

This had a real impact on markets:  Speeds that news travels is mighty important stuff when comes to bubbles popping.  Our subscribers got the heads-up yesterday outlining our targets for Bitcoins.  They will appreciate, as suggested by our chart yesterday, that BTC’s are down in the $3,620 range today.

Back to forecasting, though:  Look at the green arrow on this chart which we have been holding up for subscribers now for almost six-months:

This is our Peoplenomics daily trading spreadsheet, so you won’t find the number correlated to anything but our own proprietary work. Yesterday’s close on our index, 20,592.32, means the market has our permission to promptly decline.

While it’s true that “techs lead the way” – at least it has been for a while – we are wondering now since Bitcoin is happily replacing the ’29 stock bubble, if perhaps BTC’s lead the way will become the new mantra foro the ages.

Time will tell.

Consumer Prices Just Out

We can only assume that they would go up by some amount.  The only real question was “How much?”  So here’s today’s answer:

“The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) rose 0.4 percent in August on a seasonally adjusted basis, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months, the all items index rose 1.9 percent.

Increases in the indexes for gasoline and shelter accounted for nearly all of the seasonally adjusted increase in the all items index. The energy index rose 2.8 percent in August as the gasoline index increased 6.3 percent. The shelter index rose 0.5 percent in August with the rent index up 0.4 percent. The food index rose slightly in August, with the index for food away from home increasing and the food at home index declining.

The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.2 percent in August. Along with the shelter index, the indexes for motor vehicle insurance, medical care, and recreation all increased in August. The indexes for airline fares and for used cars and trucks were among those that declined in August.

The all items index rose 1.9 percent for the 12 months ending August, a larger increase than the 1.7 percent increase for the 12 months ending July. The 12-month change in the index for all items less food and energy remained at 1.7 percent for the fourth month in a row. It has remained in the range of 1.6 percent to 2.3 percent since June 2011. The energy index rose 6.4 percent over the past 12 months, and the food index increased 1.1 percent.

Let me put on my golf announcer voice…ahem…

On your leader board, gasoline is up 10.4% for the year, heating oil up 9.4%.”

We are especially entertained by the lack of a total medical cost number because that would out a) the big lies of Obamacare and b) underscore why EVERYONE IN CONGRESS SHOULD BE UNELECTED next time they want another change to ‘eff us over…  No total medical cost in the cost of living?

And the delusional crap about “All items less food and energy?” Another idiot’s number because take away food and energy and we’rea all starving and dying in the cold and dark.  (WTF are these pipple?)

We like to follow consumer prices pretty closely.  Not that it matters too much, since wages are what they are and such.  But in a nation which runs so close to the financial brink (and most people can’t skip a paycheck without the bottom falling out from under their financial position) the real things to be looking at here are the sectors.

By comparing the increases between energy and food, for example, we can make certain inferences about the nation’s economic future.

Meanwhile?  Scrooge McUre is 50% short techs.  Which will open down this morning.

DACA Claims

We notice the democrats are either hearing things (again) or the republicans are lying (again).  Either way, the basic storyline from the Associated Press is “What happened at dinner? Trump, Dems don’t see eye to eye” on DACA/Dreamers.

Is this “negotiating style” or delusion?

I do worry about Trump’s state:  I know the last thing I want to do is get up at 3 AM and leave my honey to go post some Tweet, or other.  And Melania is almost as cute as Elaine.  Just sayin’

On the other hand, Mr. T gets a gold star for acuity on this: “Donald Trump: ‘Crooked’ Hillary Clinton Lost the Election Because She ‘Had No Game’

Yeah…tell me again why the FBI and JustUs isn’t following up?

Stupid Political Correctness

You may not be able to see it living in the big city as you (statistically) do.

But political activism is starting to piss off a lot of people out here in fly-over country.

This bullshit with sports figures not standing for Our Anthem?  I will never buy a time for those pricks.  I vote every day – with my wallet.  Now baseball has it’s hands full too as a ‘Racism Is as American as Baseball’ Banner Unfurled at Fenway Park

Trump’s view during the campaign echoes as common sense now:  “G-won…get ‘tm outta here…”  Which Boston did so I can still watch baseball.  And if it’s not on, I have a can of paint I can watch dry.

A hat tip to Charlie Parker down at WOAI (San Antonio) for mentioning one Houston football player, J.J. Watt has raised $31-million for hurricane relief.

While it’s true the telethon raised $44 million, I couldn’t stand the political crap and climate sales job that was part of it.

Oh, and Watt was passing out relief supplies.  I haven’t seen a DiCaprio picture in the mud doing hands-on help…but I don’t get out much.

Coping: Seasonal Calendar Issues, Camping

I’ve been looking at the calendar a lot lately.  Coming up sooner than ever, it seems, on “the holidays.”

In Texas, holidays include the opener of the bow season for deer, opening of the youth season for deer (where an amazing number of 6-7 year olds are leased and immediately become expert shots with a .308), the regular deer season, any day it snows, and when the bass start biting in the spring.

More than astronomical data, or church tradition, Texas Parks and Wildlife runs the real holidays here.

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You don’t want to plan any important business the first week of deer season; most folks will be missing from their duty stations.

Since I don’t hunt, the coming replay of the Tet Offensive provides acoustical cover from my penchant to kill targets on the range out back.

If I were to be a hunter, the local herd comes through twice a day (around dawn and again in the evening) so there are 6-10 whitetails as a back-up food source on the hoof.

Planning for the rest of the holidays is simple enough:

  • Order any organic big  turkey.
  • Stock up on extra-big oven bags.
  • Figure who to invite over from Thanksgiving libations.

Christmas is even easier; Amazon has made the “opening packages” tradition an all-year even.  So a Danish dinner (leg of pork and high-calorie sides) and then all that’s left for planning is New Years.

Rock Salt

One of the to-do tasks on the list today is “Get 50-pounds of rock salt.”

No, we’re not getting pickled.

But there’s a good bit of discussion in organic bug-killing circles about how 50-pounds of rock salt, spread as a good line around your foundation, will keep termites away.

Theory is that the salt makes in-ground insects need water like mad and they essentially blow-up.  There’s a five-dollar word for it, but I can’t remember it at this hour.  Coffee hasn’t kicked in, yet.

No, we don’t have termites, but I figure a 50-pound sack of rock salt is pretty cheap insurance.  My plan is to sprinkle it around the shop (a pole building with cedar poles) around the foundation, especially near the doors since there’s lots of wood in the shop.

While I was at it, I reckoned it wouldn’t hurt to pour a couple of cups around the screen porch footings and around our three power poles that bring the feeder to a meter pole between the house and the shop.

Friends from back in my sailing days insisted that a boat, kept in saltwater its whole life, was not particularly more maintenance-intensive than fiberglass.  Both hulls needed annual bottom paint.

Unless, of course, you know the yards (in B.C. and Mexico mainly) that were still putting on high tin content paint.  No such places left – on environmental grounds.  But there is always a trade-off.

Back on point: I don’t know if termites would like iodized, or not.  Himalayan pink?  No thanks…

Prepping Note

I was going through our “seed vault” Wednesday.  Needed to free up some storage space and I noticed we had a lot of seeds.

Many seeds aren’t good more than a season, or three.   Most of ours were past their “used-by’s.”

We also did some reading trying to discover if hermetically sealed cans of seeds were worth the extra dough.  Jury is still out on that.

We’ve got some 5-year old canned seeds and it might be an interesting home science project to see what kind of germination rate (not to be confused with German Nation rates on the economic side of the house),

Glamping or Prepping?

My buddy Gaye and Survival Hubby are on their first expedition into the wilds of upland Arizona in their new bumper-pull.

Gaye’s got an article on her site about the 10-benefits of “Me Time.”  Glamping is the hybridization of glamor and camping.

Elaine and I have talked about camping.

Every time I broach the subject she reminds me on what it was like living in the mountains of Utah, running a water-drilling rig, welding pipe, cooking on a wood stove, and washing the diapers for two of her boys in a cold-water creek.

Hard to fathom, I know.  She also doesn’t look like she was in the Army and can field-strip an M-16, either.

Point is, we have these discussions and she’ll ask pertinent questions.

How much a night for a decent hotel…like that Hilton in Grand Junction, Colorado with the great views?”

I have to think back, since I used some points on that one.  “I dunno…less than $200 a night for sure.”

And the cost of a camping trailer, new, with the options, cookware, glamping stuff?

Again, I was stumped.  “I dunno, maybe $25K?”

“And for those people high-end Monaco-type diesel pushers?”

“Jeez…I dunno. $400K, maybe?

“So, 125-room nights in a good hotel.  Or, if we’re talking high-end RV 2,000 room-nights…”

Sure enough, she had a point.  “But what about the view and camping right on the edge of the lake?”

What about room service, movies, full bar downstairs, no dishes, and the golf course outside the lobby?

Seeing her point, I quickly changed topics.

But as a follow-up point to Irma and Harvey, I’d sure be interested to here first-hand reports of how the camper and RV crowd fared.

Especially with the power still out for so many.

Back-up, portable, well-stocked housing actually makes sense.

Especially if you can drive it to somewhere cooler like the Arizona uplands.

And double-especially if the fish are biting…  which, for Mrs. and Mr. Strategic, I hope they are.

The closest I’m likely to get is my outdoor cooking center on the deck.  One of our prepping items I’ve been saving for nuclear winter is about to come out of the box: A Camp Chef Camping Outdoor Oven with 2 Burner Camping Stove.

One of the best reasons for glamping, RV’ing, or even going fishing is that food tastes so much better outside. I don’t know what it is, but outside in the 50-70 temp range, something magical happens to taste.

Elaine acknowledges that, too.  Just so long as I clean up my mess and put things in the dishwasher when done.

And that gets us to the real question du jour:  How much of camping and RV’ing is driven by this food taste-change? Or is there a point to communing with Nature once in a while, to remember what it was like back in cave times?

Write when you get rich,

Bracketing All-Time Highs

I touched on this morning’s topic on the UrbanSurvival site Tuesday. Where will the high for this market hit?

This morning the details.  You see, it raises very interesting technical questions:  Do Elliott Wave principles apply to Aggregated Market data, for example?

And in our Focus section: A comparison of the 1929 stock bubble run-up and Bitcoins performance.  It’s just what we forecast in June. Tulips for breakfast is here.

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Trump as Hoover II: Top Approaches

We have been delighted this morning (since 4 AM!) to have found an upcoming “area of agreement” between two very interesting wave counts.  As you may know, we have a spreadsheet on the subscriber site that we call the “brainamp.xls

What this little gem does is it lets you put in any two points from a chart that looks like either a Wave 1 or an A Wave.  Then it calculates the projected Wave 2 (or B), the 3 (or C) the 4 (or D) and the 5 (or E).

This morning’s delight?

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We are coming to a major area of agreement between a long-term wave count and a short-term count.  So while we will remain long until our target levels are crossed, I don’t expect it will be too much longer.

This arriving point (which we’ve been anticipating) is one reason we have not been dancing and screaming at the top of our lungs that “The Top Is In.”  Sure, there was a potential top in early August that we mentioned, several times in fact, but now we are coming to what we think will be the real deal.

This top will be driven not only by the lack of tax reform, the continuing Obamacare tax (If it ain’t optional, it’s a tax…just like auto insurance is another tax; a discussion for a Peoplenomics report…) but by the realization that the recovery from two-state’s worth of hurricanes ain’t gonna come cheap!

We have penciled in about 5 percent of GDP this next year.  And in order to make ends meet, there are going to be several factors that could (in our humble view) run the current Trump Bump off a cliff.

The first is the changing of the guard at the Fed.  It’s below the perception threshold of most people, but last Wednesday, Stanley Fisher announced his resignation as Vice Chair of the Federal Reserve:

Stanley Fischer submitted his resignation Wednesday as Vice Chairman and as a member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, effective on or around October 13, 2017. He has been a member of the Board since May 28, 2014.
“Stan’s keen insights, grounded in a lifetime of exemplary scholarship and public service, contributed invaluably to our monetary policy deliberations. He represented the Board internationally with distinction and led our efforts to foster financial stability,” said Chair Janet L. Yellen. “I’m personally grateful for his friendship and his service. We will miss his wise counsel, good humor, and dry wit.”
Dr. Fischer, 73, was appointed to the Board by President Obama for an unexpired term ending January 31, 2020. His term as Vice Chairman expires on June 12, 2018. During his time on the Board, he served as chairman of the Board’s Committee on Financial Stability as well as the Committee on Economic and Financial Monitoring and Research. He represented the Board internationally including at the Financial Stability Board, the Bank for International Settlements, the Group of 20, the Group of Seven, the International Monetary Fund, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
Before joining the Board, Dr. Fischer was governor of the Bank of Israel, from 2005 to 2013. He was vice chairman of Citigroup from February 2002 to April 2005. He served as first deputy managing director of the International Monetary Fund from September 1994 through August 2001. From January 1988 to August 1990, he was the chief economist of the World Bank. He was a professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1977 to 1999 and associate professor from 1973 to 1977. Prior to joining the faculty at MIT, he was an assistant professor of economics and postdoctoral fellow at the University of Chicago.”

Now we are reading today that Janet Yellen had a breakfast meeting a while back with Ivanka Trump, leading to speculation she may be back for another term.  But there had also be a lot of lobbying for Gary Cohn. But if you read the NY Times carefully (which can take a while, admittedly) you would know that Cohn’s on the ropes and no likely to get the Fed nod:

“The new chief of staff has tried to shield Gary D. Cohn, the chairman of the National Economic Council, from Mr. Trump’s continuing wrath since the former Goldman Sachs executive went public with his disgust at the president’s response to the deadly violence last month in Charlottesville, Va.

Our Texas Outback in the Piney Woods analysis suggests that a misstep on the Fed appointment could have calamitous results.  Maybe not by itself, but….

2. Problem #2 is Congress inability to get much of anything done.  The republican party, which once stood for small central government, large personal freedom, and small taxes, has suffered a fatal collision with political correctness.

Professional problem stewards Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell have managed to thwart Donald Trump’s reform plans by failing to pass tax reform, by failing to reform Obamacare, and by holding up his nominations, and by…well, you know the list.

The problem which will implode the economy?  People out here in “fly-over country” are sick and tired of seeing the scum-sucker in office come home “to the district” from their junkets just long enough to say “I will fix it IF YOU REELECT ME!”

In today’s world, there’s enough political awakening and as one reader so aptly put in in one of the comment this morning  “We Need a Crisis.”  Granted, the author was talking about the idiots of Portland, Oregon, a fine example of how political correctness and too much dope results in urban collapse in slow motion….BUT it does scale nicely, since social diseases do seem to have a kind of “political load-balancing” scheme that any server farm would envy.

He won’t get a royalty but “We Need a Crisis” is now next to “Everything is a Business Model” in Ure’s Laws of How the World Really Operates, volume xiii.

3.  The last puddle of poo has to do with how long the insurance industry can go before it has to start dumping assets.  We know that insurance is complicated stuff, and we appreciate that our neighbor who’s an insurance adjuster now has several lifetimes of work stacked up, but eventually, someone will have to cut checks and dump assets to cover them.

On the Peoplenomics side, a week or so back, we ran  the numbers of Katrina/Rita.  That dark duo experienced a rising market for about 10-days after the impact.

However, what then followed was about a 5% market decline.

Now, you could argue there was no connection and that the decline was of a periodic, cyclical nature, and would have happened anyway.  But notice what has happened to New Orleans? Still not fully recovered.

As the WaPo reports this morning: Irma leaves millions in the dark in Florida.  Still, seems to us there are even more “in the dark” on Capitol Hill.

Meantime, on breaks from our comedic efforts, we will watch Disney stock on reports of Disney’s hurricane trouble.  Did Donald duck?  (Sorry, I was just being Goofy, I guess, garsh….)

Which financial tripwire will be the Trump wire?

Stay tuned.  Hoover II may be about to materialize.

Be Happy!

The National Federation of Independent Business has just published their Small Business Optimism Index: “The Index of Small Business Optimism rose 1.6 points to 105.2, preserving the surge in optimism that started the day after the election..”

We had to scamper back to the long side of the market Monday…but with futures forecasting the Dow up 60 at the open, we should be back in the green shortly…

More reason to be delirious? CoreLogic Reports Mortgage Delinquencies Remain Low in June.

This is What?

Time’s RSS feed is pointing to the “story” they have about “Why a $1,000 iPhone Isn’t as Crazy as It Sounds.”

Oh?  That a story or an ad?

While we admit that Apple is very much a religion (dressed up in tech clothes), that’s OK,  it’s still true that an Android has most of the feature set for a fraction of the price.  Just don’t get into a discussion with an Apple owner about it.  Most seem to have been through Apple Inquisitor training that teaches how to respond to the Great Unwashed, Unconverted, and Unrepentant.

One feature that may be interesting? What will augmented reality do on the new iPhones?  Don’t like the reality that’s not augmented, eh?

Sanction Brazil!

While we have mindless babble going on about “climate change” there is a HUGE and easily actionable story in Brazil.  If we’re going to “sanction Russia” what about other despotic governments?

Here’s a tip of the iceberg: AMAZON MASSACRE Gold miners slaughter 10 from remote tribe.

But there is so much more.  The wholesale clearing of land, destruction of the rainforests, failure to contain a soaring birth rate…runaway corruption.

Once again, those phony “leaders” in Washington remain asleep and with a blind-eye.  It leads us back to the ugliest truth of all:  Everything is a Business Model.  Even killing off those unable to defend themselves.

As Scientific American reported a while back “…most experts agree that we are losing upwards of 80,000 acres of tropical rainforest daily, and significantly degrading another 80,000 acres every day on top of that.”

I’m going to go puke now. I won’t buy products from Brazil. One wallet won’t change much…but maybe if three of four of us…

Coping: With Winter Coming, Shop Projects…

I came in from the shop, where I’ve been going through the woodpile.  As I explained last week, this is not something to be taken lightly.

There are now four kinds of wood in the Ure household.

One is scheduled for construction projects.  This wood is generally, or more feet in length, free of nails, and worth using on any project.  Outside is the treated wood version of this type.  Think of it as an annex.

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Long time ago, Echo Zoom sent me one of their “rocket stoves” and then a funny thing happened, though I can’t remember how: A second “rocket” type showed up.  When he comes by Friday to labor on the gutter project, OM2‘s boy will no doubt pick up one each rocket stove for their ranch.

But that gets me to pile #2.  This is wood that is solid, like no plywood because I always worry plywood smoke will make my pechewzelwhacker fall off, or something.  And the wood can’t have been primed, painted, stained, or preserved. When all those conditions are met, it gets cut up and tossed into a five gallon bucket which will wait for the next emergency.

A cloudy day, but not too cold emergency, and one without power.  That’s because on a cloudy day, the SunOven won’t work. If it’s too cold, then the big ventless propane unit goes into the house and a catalytic propane on a 20-pounder goes into the gym/guest room.  That’s only if it’s cold enough to freeze pipes, which usually amounts to 24-hours a year.

The third wood pile is useless.  Too short to much damn use for anything.  I built a box out of 3/4 ply (7X17X9 tall) and while I’m sure there is somewhere I could hang it (like a catch all for small air tools, nozzles, and crap like such-all) it would be neater just to clear off the shelves in the air tools, nail gun, and glue cabinet.  You see how this is going, right?

Then there’s the “Elaine Pile.”  This is some of the oddest stuff you ever saw.  Thin slices (2-1/2″) luan ply, dowels, and bamboo enough to make you think you’re in Asia.  But woe to the man who questions what’s in that pile.

Cleaning the shop up has uncovered three more decent-sized projects.

One is the “rediscovered” of my “box wood stove.”  It’s one of those foot & a half square, 30-inch long jobs made out of cast iron and a single layer of refractory brick in the bottom.  I remember buying it, thinking it would be a grand long-term inflation indicator.  New it was $99-bucks with tax.

Just for the halibut, I went snooping at what they’re going for nowadays:  US Stove 1269E Small EPA Certified Cast Iron Logwood Stove, 54,000 BTUs is pushing $400 bucks.

I’ve been thinking of selling it, since it has appreciate more than  my lone gold coin, here lately.

Another gem I can across was my double-barrel stove kit.  This is a series of metal casting that will let you turn a 55-gallon drum into a stove. It’s the Vogelzang U.s. Stove Bk100e Bsk1000 Stove Barrel Stove Kit which these days will set you back $87-bucks, more if you want the double-barrel version.

I can’t imagine being without a collection of empty, useable 55-gallon drums on a ranch, but for those who don’t have a home assortment (a few 42 barrel types are nice, too) you can buy one from Amazon for (gulp!): $110!!! Vogelzang DR55 Drum, 55-Gallon. I don’t know as there’s anything sacred, blessed or holy about this one, or not.

A little more research discovered a $55 barrel kit: US Stove BSK1000 Cast Iron Barrel Stove Kit. When you fire one of these up the first couple of times, plan on not getting usable heat.  You’ll have the doors and windows open  – the roof too, if you can – because the paint burning off them is miserable.

The not bright, but venturous can skip the hole-drilling with either a 9 MM but hollow points will make a mess.  .22’s work if you then file them out.

Speaking of esoterica in the shop, got an air file?  $28-bucks for a Central Pneumatic Air File With Flat Cut, Half Round, Round and Triangular Files.  Just the ticket if you are…um…lazy like Ure friend is.

To go with it, since we’re talking lazy-man metal work: $24 bucks will get you a High Speed Air Metal Saw.  And then, to clean up all the goobers, you’ll have to have an air grinder kit. Another $24, please: Compact Air Die Grinder Kit (with 1/8” collet, 1/4” collet, three aluminum oxide mounted grinding stones and two wrenches).

Assuming you have some .22 longs to punch in holes to a barrel, that might be the quickest way to get an inside stove. Yes, you have permission to use STOVE BOLTS, lol.

But you see, this is where having a shop gets to be fun.

Honey, darling, dearest, I need a plasma torch to make my stove so I can burn all the boxes all these tools are coming in….”

Since we already have a wiring guy (me) and since we have 220V in the shop, I’ve been looking at a plasma cutter.  The prices on these have come way, way down.

For example, check out the PRIMEWELD 50A Air Inverter Plasma Cutter Automatic Dual Voltage 110/220VAC 1/2″ Clean Cut Portable which runs about $289.  The only drawback to this is it’s a contact tip type plasma torch.  The alternative is a hundred bucks more: PRIMEWELD 50A CUT50DP NonTouch Pilot Arc Air Inverter Plasma Cutter Dual Voltage 110/220VAC 1/2″ Clean Cut.

If you have any strong opinions on touch vs. touchless plasma torches and have REAL hands-on experience, please let me know which way to lean on this.  I love welding and with the temps this week (and for the next three) still up in the too hot to glove-up for long, it’s getting on time to tune up the metal-cutting band saw, toss a new wheel on the metal chop saw, and start eyeing our scrap heap with lust.

Winter doesn’t have to be a girly-girl, run to the Sunbelt deal.  There is always the option to put a stove out in the shop, turn on the compressor, put a coffee cup on the stove, top it off with the Thermos, and air tool yourself into believing there’s a point to all this.

My “dream project” – once we get the next couple of books done – is to get an old junker car and make a “rat rod.” Always admired the work of George Barris.

Yeah, I know:  Why a rat rod, for heaven’s sake, after owning a string of Porsches.  Like the time-worn joke:  You know the difference between a Porsche and a porcupine?  (Has something to do with the one has the pricks on the outside).

People who make their own cars, ground up, are a lot like airplane builders.  Makes it more exciting to drive (or fly) what you yourself have built.

And that, my friend, is why God made shops, hangars,stoves, coffee, winters, scrap lumber, cardboard, compressors, plasma, and hardfacing rod.  Everyone oughta plan to use several more bottles of shielding gas before going to the Big Sleep.

After we get done hacking space-time, that is.

Do one spouse-project for each of your own and it’s amazing how fast tool acquisition schemes can pay off.

And this week’s Tool Slut Find of the Week:

Write when you get rich,

How Much of a “Relief Bounce?”

The headlines are an odd assortment this morning:  One of the big ones features the Dow showing a 119 point rally in the works, per the futures, as we hit the pixels.

But beneath it all, we see some signs of weakness not to be under-estimated.  While it’s too early to talk about damage from Irma, the Harvey toll on the public side of the ledger is coming up on $200 billion.  I penciled out that the private insurance and un-insured losses will likely come close to that, so between the two storms perhaps $750-billion to $1-trillion which are is said and done.

At the macro-economic level, that’s like having 5-percent of the US GDP splatter.

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Short term, average news readers are still on “news flow overload” yet we see a few stories that are more thoughtfully economic in tone.

To be sure, some of it looks like silly/happy-talk.  Take this story, for example: Global shares return to record high as Irma loses strength.

The British Footsie, for example, trading 7,410 this morning is a good distance from the 52-week high at 7,599.  Germany’s DAX was 12,437’ish this morning vis a 52-week  12,951. The French CAC-40 was circling 5,170 today – a long shot from their 52-week high of 5,442.

Asia?  Well, down-range Japan was nibbling 19,546 against a 52-week high of 20,318.  This leaves the only major market we track that’s even close:  The Hang Seng (*Hong Kong) which was rolling 27,955 overnight against 28,128 for a 12-month high.

This is not to say that the Reuters story is wrong, after all they cite the ACWI-MSCI – an index measured by Morgan Stanley.

My point is simply that in our Aggregate Index view of things, we have a good bit of trading to the upside before we will get all “gushy” about global records.  In the meantime, if you like a 47 country index that includes places like Pakistan, Philippines, Columbia and several others we find less than inviting for any number of accountancy reason, and you want the Kool-Aid of “Happy days are here, again!”?

Then have at it.

As in sports, we’ll keep our eyes on the majors.  There’s a reason the farm clubs are called “the minors.”  Batting .350 in the minors is a little different than batting .350 in game 5 of the Series, right?

You tell us the number you want to hype, and let us pick the markets, we can deliver reports foretelling everything from the End of the World to the Second Coming.  Not free, however.

U.S. Department of Funny Money

Our Canadian  news analyst, who we hope we’ve not offended by failing to admit Winnipeg is the Center of the Universe, offered this on the comment side that is worthy of your attention, particularly if you have “miner league” syndrome:


Chinese open internet thinkers are banding together in an effort to free us from global metadata oligarchs. Exodus has begun; the serfs are chafing at the chains.

Speaking of which, Apple has reversed course and so far allowed the Bank of China to place a blockchain payment app on iTunes. Perhaps if the mandarin version is well received, an English version will follow for the Babel of indentured masses?

Always a polite people, we don’t usually ask our Canadian correspondents to use the formal “Sir” greeting.  “Your Ultimate Royal Highness and Prophetic Galactic Principal” will do fine.

Please note that our previous preferred method of address, Financial Deity Incarnate Composer was halted by counsel on the grounds FDIC sounded like it might infringe on another mark.

Blockhead’s Delight?

Not hardly:  Bitcoins were down to $4,181 when we looked this morning and that looks perilously close to the back-side of the hyper blow-off could be at hand.

We will see how this works out, but gold and silver were soft metals, rather than hard currencies in the early going as well.

Another reason we’re wondering how long the Irma’s gone buzz will last…


What with the hurricanes receding onto back pages, or at least they will shortly, the U.S. Media Empires will need to resurrect their fave bogeyman.

Roll with the WaPo‘s “Bannon: Trump firing of Comey was the ‘biggest mistake in modern political history’.

America’s Nazi Clones?

If we are, as we hold, in a replay of the end of the Roaring Twenties in America and the early 1930’s of Germany, all rolled into a big knish, then here’s a story that will wrinkle your brown shirt a bit: Antifa throws smoke and projectiles at police at Portland rallies; 7 arrested.

Sounds more and more like a criminal tribe of wannabe-be revolutionaries, does it not? Got a better description of ’em?

Meantime, Portland PD is showing it’s led by idiots as Portland police reportedly scrap gang database over fear of labels.  WTF…whose side these ol’ boys on?

Football and Guns Don’t Mix

COWBOYS PARTY CHAOS 8 dead, including gunman, after shooting in Texas.  Time to register fans?

16-Years After

US commemorates 9/11; thousands expected at ground zero.

Why I am Not a Doctor

Docs are supposed to keep up on stuff, continuing ed units (CEU’s) and all that.  But sometimes you see stories that would leave you scratching your head, regardless of how many years of practice.

Take this pair of stories:

Respiratory tract infections in young children linked to asthma and worse lung function.

Versus Children with asthma are being prescribed unnecessary antibiotics.

So, don’t give them antibiotics and risk asthma and worse?  Huh?

Zeus, get me CDC on the phone…maybe they could explain. Zeus! No, the number is not 1-800-CYTOKINES…

Three Suckers a Minute?

No, P.T. Barnum didn’t really say “There’s a sucker born every minute…”

Besides, when the phrase was working its way around, the USPop was one-third of what it is now.

Updated for population, therefore, we project there are now three suckers born a minute.  And you know how we can prove this?  Open up the NYT this morning and behold:

With a $1,000 Price Tag, Apple’s iPhone Crosses a Threshold.”

If P.T. Barnum didn’t say it, could Tim Cook?

Seattle UFO?

Son G2 called me from Kirkland, Wa this morning to report a UFO out over the Redmond, Wa area.  Since he’s got almost 500 skydive jumps and has been around airplanes a lot, it isn’t like he doesn’t have some idea of what he’s looking at.

The screen snag off Skype didn’t come out good, but it was low to the horizon and sat there for 45 minutes spinning off small swirly things.  Police are looking into it…

Meantime, there are reports cropping up in the National UFO Reporting Center run by Peter Davenport of several very long duration sightings this month.

Winslow, Maine on the 2nd.  Then in Lewiston, Illinois for 52 minutes, same night.  A one-hour sighting in Billings, Montana on the 7th,  Stoney Creek, Tennessee for “hours” same night,

Lyons, Nebraska for 4.5 hours on the 8th.  And now today from my son in Kirkland, Washington visible for 30+ minutes.

Could be a “morning star” but doesn’t seem likely. One police officer said after checking his star app, “Likely Venus…” to which another cop said “Does it move like that?  Did you see it move? Planets don’t move left and right…”

We will go with Cop #1’s take.  Venus rose today at 3:59 AM and will hit transit at 11 AM.  Still, Seattle has been a hot spot for UFO sightings since 1947