Fishing for Huge Profits

What could sound more boring than “An investigation of waveform similarities between the current Wave 4 and the previous Wave 2?”

But I bet if I mention the potential for a 30-50 TIMES return in a trade of less than a month’s duration, you’d be interested.

You see, there is hardly anything more satisfying than wandering down the banks of a fresh water river that is running cool and clear, then enticing at monster trout to take a fly and playing him well on 5-pound test with nothing more than skill and 11-feet of hand-wrapped bamboo rod to help.

Well, maybe there is one thing that it equally rewarding as stalking the wild trout (or steelhead in winter):  Finding new relationships in the stock market.

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Housing up 4.7% Says Case-Shiller S&P Data

Hot off the press release:

New York, September 29, 2015 – S&P Dow Jones Indices today released the latest results for the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, the leading measure of U.S. home prices. Data released today for July 2015 show that home prices continued their rise across the country over the last 12 months.

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Coping: Directorate 153 on Electro-Terror

I have a new “conspiracy theory” to throw out there this morning.

It springs from an odd intersection of developments in life and specifically my weird dream the other morning about a problem with an electrical switch in a bathroom.  We’ll get to that in a moment.

The main tool we’ll fire up this morning, however is our purely hypothetical Directorate 153 that we’ve used many times in the past in order to gain otherwise obscure insights into odd situations.

The theory behind Directorate 153 is that it is extremely likely that in the wake of the Cold War’s latter days, the U.S. Government had major incentives to install a “government continuity” operation that would be able to provide independent counsel (and action) to a President and or Congress in the aftermath of the unthinkable – global war.

Directorate 153 would be a ‘special-purpose tool’ – the kind of thing you only take out of the drawer when you need it  – which hopefully is not more than once per decade, or so.  And then, it is for only the most dire of circumstances.

The kind of dire circumstances?

Well, the most recent one that comes to mind is the 9-11 “terrorism” event.

In that event, the purely hypothetical use of Directorate 153 was to recruit the 19 Saudi Nationals who perpetrated the events of that dark day.  Then, ensured that not only was it “pulled off” but that when things went wrong, key back-up personnel were in place to ensure that the desired illusion resulted, nevertheless.

So, for example, when passengers on the Pennsylvania crashed passenger jet stood up to the “hijackers” the result was that WTC-7 (widely discussed as the untouched tower that would have been  this plane’s target) was then “pulled”.

Functionally, Directorate 153 would have had to count this as a huge victory:  Not only was a major decline in global stock markets halted in its tracks, but in addition, government seized unimaginable powers in the form of the pre-conceived, pre-drafted “Patriot Act” and still enjoys those powers to this day.

You can see in this section of chart (which is updated in our bi-weekly Peoplenomics.com reports, how back in 2001, the market was fast-approaching a breakdown level in long-wave economic analysis where without 9/11 we would be in a huge Depression.

As past experience of Depressions informs us, massive economic displacements are dangerous to government continuity.

We have two “danger zones” where a super-computer powered “dark agency” moving only at times of maximum systemic stress to America’s foundations might be able to provide latitude for the president to operate in order to “save” the country.

The most interesting part of this is that the details and actual events seem to fit “theory” exceptionally well.

For example, this theory (of a dark agency) would conveniently explain why the U.S, never attacked Saudi Arabia, which was indeed home to the Wahhabi movement of Osama bin Laden fame.  It would also explain why it took so long for bin Laden to be found and dispatched.

Moreover, it gave the Presidents and Congress necessary time to work with the Bankster class to “invent a new bubble” – the no-doc loans – that allowed the decline in the economy to be stopped short in 2002-2004 from thence which sprang arguably the biggest Housing Bubble in history.

A genuine conspiracist would then speculate that when we were, as a nation, at the bottom in 2009, something happened which turned things around.  I have not figured out what cause the bottom to “be in” – it’s one of those infinitely debatable economic problems.

Of course, the conventional wisdom is that things had simply “run their course” but there was something else.  It was almost as if for a short time America touched her roots for a moment and we collectively made a decision to move the country “Onward and Upward!”

Was that a subtle psychological change in atmospherics, or was it just “how the herd behaves”?  It could be argued either way, I think with good points on either side.

Nevertheless, I believe there is much too high a level of congruence between operational policies of presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama, to at least give some support to the idea that there is quite possibly a “continuity of government” shop, perhaps an arm of CIA, NSA, DIA, or maybe custodianship of the operation simply “floats” to make it more difficult for auditors to nail down.

As such, it could remain small, perhaps not more than 100 people, and each with a nebulous business card identifying them as “special agents” or representatives of this never-before discussed agency.

A few years back, I suggested that it could float around in Cabinet-level agencies, too.  And if I were President, I’d probably park it somewhere like the Department of Agriculture where I’d dress it up as “food chain security” or other cover story.  Sometimes the best place to hide things is in plain sight.

Would a sitting President ever be able to give the order to turn such an operation loose on America?  That’s a difficult one.

Has Directorate 153 Been Used?

If this is such a “black ops” group, we know that it would have almost unfathomable computational horsepower.

There was a video I watched recently about how much can be known about how a person’s reactions reveal huge amounts of their inner “stuff.”

We have, in the last 20-years, into the world of augmented intelligence.  A good historical perspective on this revolution in human-computer relations comes from Quid’s Sean Gourley.  This is worth the 17-minutes of your time.

We can only imagine what the mood was like in the White House in mid 2001.  The stock market is tanking and in comes the director of this (hypothetical) Directorate 153. 

His briefing goes something like this:

“Mr. President: As you know our Directorate is charged with ensuring the long-term survival of these United States.

In order to accomplish this goal, we have developed the most advanced computer modeling capability in the world.  And using it, we maintain an ongoing outlook for America’s future.

Right now, things do not look good, sir.

The stock market has peaked, and there is a collapse in the tech stock sector that we expect will remove $8-10 trillion dollars of wealth from this country in  a best-case.

Unfortunately, sir, without your approval to implement a “special operation” we will likely see the following in the next five years:  The tech stock collapse is only what we call a Wave 1 down event.  We expect a very small Wave 2 sideways movement of the economy of the U.S.

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No Sign of My Rally, Yet. Good!

I ended up doing actual hard physical work Sunday, so I didn’t have time to run out the data that I told Peoplenomics readers would be important to get prior to investing in a potentially sharp rally in here.

However, since the market is gracefully providing a nice decline at the open this morning, I can  run over to the office after breakfast and do a couple of hours of serious number crunching, which we will review on Wednesday for subscribers.

In the meantime, a reader was wondering what I thought of the latest description from a certain unnamed financial pundit that the End is Near.

Not to blow the bubble here, but this fellow hasn’t been particularly right in anticipating major moves and getting people out of the way.  It’s been a mix of gold going to $3,000 any minute and stocks collapsing in a heap…

Neither of which is likely correct, although we sort of know that before Christmas we will slide under 1,850 and maybe touch 1,820 or even lower.

But that ain’t hardly a “world ender.”

We shall see, of course, over time.  Remember, I’m the guy who has been saying Out to Cash or outright short since early July.  Where, oh where, were these other oracles back then?

Data and Such

Personal income was up 1/2 of one percent in the latest reporting month according to new government figures out this morning.  That is a little better than the consensus which was for a 4-10ths increase.

You’ll want to vape up before this part:

Personal saving — DPI less personal outlays — was $615.6 billion in August, compared with $623.6 billion in July. The personal saving rate — personal saving as a percentage of disposable personal income — was 4.6 percent, compared with 4.7 percent.

Still hasn’t solved the market’s jitters, futures down 100 on the Dow when I looked.

Tomorrow we get the monthly housing report from S&P/Case Shiller.

Which means a two part report – the first part at the regular time and the update about 8:20 Central with the new housing poop.

There’s also a worthwhile speech from one of the Fed governors today.  Daniel Turullo was speaking in Paris this morning where he said…

My purpose today is not to offer specific proposals, or even a comprehensive conceptual framework, but instead to propose an approach for thinking about the purposes of capital regulation across types of financial intermediaries that will suggest appropriate starting points for shaping–or reshaping–applicable capital regulation. This seems to me a particularly important effort at a time when the financial system is undergoing significant change.

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Coping: With Dreams on a Blood Moon

Aha! 

Astronomy delivered what was massively over-hyped as a “Blood Moon” last night.  Even the mainstream got into it with stories floating about Oooing and Ahhing.

I regret to inform you, however, that if you actually stayed up for the celestial sideshow, you may have missed an opportunity to work with some very interesting energies that come by during events like this.

Although I am mainly a “science guy” numerous personal encounters with “other than this world” energies and communication leave me in the awkward place of believing both in the here and now of hard science.  But also in the other-worldly with equal certainty.

Where many people get confused is the well-marketed idea that the two realms are mutually exclusive.  If you believe in an Almighty Ruler of All, you obviously can’t be a serious person of Science, goes the thinking.

Yet statistics and experience argue something else.  You can, actually, embrace both views because they are (and I’m not sure this is a word) “co-valid.”

We know that people think differently under full moons…so they are already something special.  Lunatics.

But in terms of scientifically interesting observations, the moon has been photographed countless times and staying up late to photograph a Blood Moon is not likely to show any new or heretofore unseen craters, or anything of that nature. With home equipment?  Virtually no chance.  Period.

On the other hand, going to bed in a proper mood to be receptive to whatever comes along in the way of dream content during this time is highly productive.

So that’s what I did.  And the results of the effort were marvelous.

I may have mentioned that when in the dream state, many humans can “tap-in” to resources that are not available in every day, ordinary, waking hours.

What we don’t know though, is how the process of dreaming works.  At least with a high enough degree of specificity that it has yet been recognized for the wealth of opportunity for scientific advancement that it holds.

My first Blood Moon dream involved “The Classroom.” 

No  one knows where or what is the source of its material.  One idea is that “spirit matter
really does communicate with Mortals in order to deliver information that the world needs.

The anti Bigger Intelligence Than Us crowd is drawn to something else:  That because we ask difficult questions in our waking state, these problems will be processed by the brain in background when  we are asleep. BoB – balance of brain is there are working all the time, after all.  It’s just those neurons are the Thoughts traveled less often.

Since the logical waking brain (of most people) doesn’t connect with the unconscious well in the waking state (people get labeled NUTS), there is a simple way for communications to take place – and that is to allow the unused part of the brain to communicate with the dumbed down (sleeping) conscious brain through “the dream channel.”

Wednesday afternoon, Chris McCleary and I are planning to sit down over a cold one (or three) to discuss this.  Chris, as you will remember, is the director of the National Dream Center and has a deep and abiding interest in dreams.  Besides being a retired Lt.

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Q4 OL2: Lurching Toward Five & The Tech Vex

A simple (and short) report this morning as we conclude our outlook for Q4.

I could go on about how other stories will impact our outlook, depending on the news flows and the like, but the fact is we have made far more money (and resultant net worth increases) by simply playing the big long-term waves than we have ever made on short-term noise trading.

Geared toward people with retirement nest eggs like ours, playing the short side is always tempting in declines.  Fast, easy money is always tempting.  But we tend to enjoy the sound sleep that comes with long side plays and holding cash in the a TreasuryDirect account.

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Markets: False Drama, Predictable People

Yeah. 

So like I told you on Monday of this week (I hate to quote myself, but here it comes…)

“In the meantime, there is little point to getting worked up about the news this morning:  The futures were up about a hundred on the Dow when I looked, but by Friday, says our model, we should be flat to down a tad for the week.”

Behold the data:  The S&P, which opened Monday at 1,960.84.  By my reckoning, we should end today right about where we closed Tuesday (which would be a perfect down a little) at about 1,942.74.

Yes, the S&P experienced a momentary melt to 1,908.92.  But I’m holding to my expectation that the market will close today somewhere between 1,940 an d 1,950 that I told you about four morning’s back.

Please don’t take umbrage if I point out that the S&P closed yesterday at 1,932.24 or at my mention of the futures being up almost 27 points.

Ure going to be off!  That would put the S&P almost at 1,960 or better!  Ure an idiot!”

Hahahahaha!  No, my friend, remember that this is Friday and a little money will come off the table, more than likely, since traders have bar tabs to pay like everyone else.  I’ll stick with my outlook, thanks.

Now that I feel like I have the markets comfortably “dialed in” it should be interesting to see if I can make a few bucks on next week’s big rally.

What big rally?”

Come back and I’ll tell you Monday.

The point this morning is that after 40-years of occasional investing (money-sniping) I believe I may actually be getting the hang of this market stuff..  Tomorrow’s Peoplenomics.com report will be the second part of our Q4 outlook.

In the meantime, the only advice left to dispense this week is to remember that in markets, there’s a lot of “false drama” (*which made this week and next so predictable) and that means that yes, People are predictable, too.  At least when averaged in herd-sized groups.

Which we as a country is.

GDP/Spaghetti for Breakfast

Quick!  What is move convoluted than Hillary trying to slither and snake out of her email lies?

Why it’s the government GDP report just out and hot off the press today…

“Real gross domestic product — the value of the goods and services produced by the nation’s economy less the value of the goods and services used up in production, adjusted for price changes — increased at an annual rate of 3.9 percent in the second quarter of 2015, according to the “third” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the first quarter, real GDP increased 0.6 percent.

The GDP estimate released today is based on more complete source data than were available for the “second” estimate issued last month.

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Coping: Flight Planning the Bermuda Triangle

This is an odd one, for sure:

From the Adventurer’s Notebook:

I am looking at the possibility of a trip in our our Beechcrate to the Bahamas next year.

Not that we have  to do it, but it would be a lot of fun.  It has been years since I’ve been to Eleuthera, one of the longer islands in the Bahamas.  We might even hop-skip down to the Dominican Republic, depending don time, money, and markets.

Studying a bunch of maps, as one does at this stage of adventure planning, it looks like the easiest route would be from West Palm, or maybe Boca Raton, and from there a short over-water hop (with all the recommended safety gear) to Freeport direct, or go further south and take a shorter hop over and clear in at South Bimini.

While part of the agenda would be sun and fun, and maybe a buck of three into the slots at Freeport or Nassau, the small matter of preparing to deal with the Bermuda Triangle comes up.

If you’re think “Ure’s gone nuts…that’s just all hype…”  I can assure you it’s not. 

I may have mentioned before a marvelous book written a while back titled  The Fog: A Never Before Published Theory of the Bermuda Triangle Phenomenon.

There’s a very good (and lengthy) description of what’s in the book, written by Rob McGregor involving the flying done by  Bruce Gernon.  From the Amazon  extract:

“Gernon was piloting their new Bonanza A36, a stable and smooth-flying aircraft. Even today, more than three decades later, the Bonanza airframe remains relatively unchanged and is one of general aviation’s finest performing airplanes. If he had been flying a slower and less stable aircraft that day, Gernon believes that he may not have survived the flight.

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Making Up “Money” Or Perpetual Motion Machines, II

A while back, I managed to drive off a fair number of (then) readers by telling them the truth about Bitcoin.

I’ve managed to hold my tongue (mostly) since my last big discussion of this mania in September of last year when I penned “On Circularity, Bitcoins, and “Demand Crumple.”

The reason for scrutiny now is so you can play along in the Home Version of Idiotic Manias.

Not that Bitcoins are alone:  We have also been watching Gold, the Iraqi Dinars mania, and any number of others. 

Reason?

Such manias have pretty good “under stories”.  In other words, people want to believe something fantastic even if it is demonstrably untrue.

Our outlook for gold (spectacularly right so far) may turn around in the future, as detailed in our Peoplenomics.com report Wednesday.  But the outlook for Dinars and Bitcoins is far more cloudy.

Any REAL currency needs to be malleable, divisible, transportable and lots of other requirements for widespread adoption.  I must be the only person around who either sees the risk of EMP, or who appreciates that a computer to “mine bitcoins” is now being promoted for November shipping.

A good article or two has appeared surrounding the The 21 Bitcoin Computer.

The idea is that here shortly, you’ll be able to get a Raspberry Pi based computer that will go off onto the internet to “mine” Bitcoins.

Well, maybe not quite.  You see, the real expected returns will likely be only a fraction of a Satoshi and only now and then. 

Once you crank in the power to run this “money machine” there is also the cost of bandwidth, and lots of other problems.

Still, there will be a few True Believers out there who will plunk down whatever it costs to buy this latest “golden goose” and pursue the dream of unlimited wealth being automatically created.

And it might work…except that Bitcoins this morning are still stuck at $231 and change, and as soon as people figure out that more miners will mean more Bitcoins, I wouldn’t be surprised to see an even further decline.

In most versions of the story, we see references to how the Bitcoin ecosystem could be used as a micropayments structure that could do away with online advertising. 

Huh?

Let me see if I follow:  I get one of this mining machines, use it to mine micro slices of BTCs and I put them into my PC with a browser add-on (never mind that it doesn’t exist yet) that will give websites I visit my micro-slices of BTCs in return for not subjecting me to advertising content?

Holy crap!  Sounds great.  Except for one or two major problems:  Like the numbers don’t work and websites with real advertising (including this one) are not supportable on the few micro-slices that such a system would involve.

Still, like the Iraqi Dinar becoming the biggest currency in the world, there is a certain visceral Free Lunch aspect of all this. 

Me?  I’m going out in the woods today and see if I can scare up one of these golden geese I have heard so much about.  The ones that lay golden eggs and don’t eat.

If you’d like to spend $400 bucks to prove me wrong, have at it. 

If it works, you’ll know it when I put up a daily reading fee that can realistically generate more than 350,000,000 Satoshis per month replacing advertising. 

Until that glorious day (and when Dinars are worth megabux) the $400 might be better spent on remedial math classes.

Think Sink, Flat and Shrinking Back Orders

Durable Goods are just out.  So hot off the press release:

New Orders      New orders for manufactured durable goods in August decreased $4.8 billion or 2.0 percent to $236.3 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau announced today.  This decrease, down following two consecutive monthly increases, followed a 1.9 percent July increase.

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Coping: Contrition Lost, Curses of the Past

That’s a joke today, isn’t it:  Separation of Church and State?

The visit of the pope to the U.S. (will he bless the congressoids?)  and his decision to insert himself into the immigration problem (the lack of sensible border control in the USA thanks to a misguided White House caretaker) keeps reminding us of ancient misdeeds and off-planet intervention.

It’s a complex tale so I will keep this short for you – since if you had any interest in their work, you’d have wolfed up the information at www.thechronicleproject.org yourself, though they don’t venture in the politics of religion and other economic business models as we do. 

I believe it is important to understand the larger historical context of the current “Diasporas to Overthrow Order.

The reason for war is conquest.  Yet we can see alternatives to stick-fighting in a couple of religions and in ultra-socialist politics.  There are two other ways to wage war “by other means” which I view as being used right now as reported in contemporary headlines..

Method #1 is by playing (and winning) The Sex War.  This is when a “religion” takes it upon itself to simply out-populate any competition.  The titular head of one such group will be speech-making in Washington today.  The Muslim side wasn’t invited to Congress this week.

As if this un-American approach to warfare used by Spain to effectively rape and pillage and wrest self-determination from South and Central America,  is not vile enough, let’s toss in an order or three of genocide against indigenous people.  As his policies read, the Washington interloper adopted the second alternative to war long ago.

The result of too many humans has always been nothing more or less than Border Crushing with tides of humans and the warfare over soil and resources that follow.

Toward this end, the population promoter is quoted (in part) as saying of illegal immigrants

The Church in the United States knows like few others the hopes present in the hearts of these ‘pilgrims.’ . .

Is THAT what illegal border-crushers who are attempting – with some success – to overthrow national borders globally are now called?  Pilgrims?  Hand me the ViseGrips.  I need a solid pinch.

The message (Pop-Bomb)  is convoluted, though, because the papal marketing machine used conflicted  “values” to mask the agenda.  On the one hand promoting anti-abortion measures to existing followers  while at the same time showing solidarity with the LGBT crowd whose beliefs are the antithesis of procreation.  Confused?

You are supposed to be.  That is how cognitive discontinuity works.  In this case, it’s all stitched together with “forgiveness” as the glue, so the context will appear to make sense at some level ikf you don’t inspect the idea closely.  It then gets into your mind like a worm.

The pope’s promotional program fails, as I see it, to adequately address one of the few surviving core concepts in the bible that has not been modified for expediency’s sake during the past 1,000 years of religious manipulations:  The little matter of contrition before forgiveness:

“Contrition:   the state of feeling remorseful and penitent.”

Someone comes at you with a weapon and deadly intent.  Do you forgive or disarm? 

To Ure’s logical mind, you first “disarm or dispatch”.  If the perp survives disarming, then forgiveness can follow (after trial, conviction, box time, counseling and  – here is the key – sincere contrition.

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Our Q4 Outlook, Part 1 Plus How to Chart Stocks and Metals

If you’ve ever wondered how I compose the charts and expectations used in Peoplenomics outlooks, this is the issue for you…today and Saturday’s will be “chart school.”

All those damn “squiggly lines” will not only make sense, but hopefully some money for you!

This morning we will interleave the drawing of lines on charts with a discussion of prospects for Q4 which should get us into the new year.

Normally, I would say something about how useful this information is to anyone – even people who think they are non-investors because they have their money in “safe.” retirement vehicles.

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Markets: What Did I Tell You?

Here we go again with another “I told you so.”

But did I, or did I not write in Monday’s column that “…The futures were up about a hundred on the Dow when I looked, but by Friday, says our model, we should be flat to down a tad for the week”?

Well, sure as Sheboygan, the Dow rose smartly on Monday about 125 points.  But since we like to hang around infallible, the Dow Futures are pointing down…um…lemme see here…down 232 points.

This should be on our way to an ideal decline this week of what? 

(Don’t rush me, I’m an old man…)

To about S&P 1,926 by the close Friday.  Plus or minus a stick of chewing gum, or a cheeseburger, depending on which one fits best at Miller Time Friday.

As long as we’re in the “Told you so” mode, we might as well keep going. 

Remember our source (“the talon”) who said his read of the numbers as a high-powered fixed income guy – was that the Fed looks like instead of raising rates, they would roll with another quantitative pleasing to pump up the Street?

Quick!  Look surprised as John Stepek wonders “What if the Fed’s next move is to print more money?”

Well, yes, that’d be along the lines of a QE-4, and we’re good with that, since we already know the markets will light off in…nope…that’s in the Peoplenomics bailiwick, but you get the idea.

If there is one job I curse myself for not pursuing as a young man, it was planning to grow up and be the guy who sells the specialized inks to the U.S. Treasury.

That should have been a slam-dunk Big House on Long Island, for sure.

Japan was down 2% last night, China is alive, and Europe is  trtying its best to drop 3%.

My wild-ass investment idea of the day is thus this one which I figure should cause the phone to ring off the hook with job offers for the rest of the week:

How about I start a hedge fund that invests only in countries that have strong borders and sound immigration policies?

Here’s the initial position:  I would be shorting most of Europe right now, America would be a hold, and island nations which people would have to swim to (like Australia which is wisely shutting up on the military-aged me from Muslim countries) would be longs.

I would also be long countries that we losing the riff-raff.  So long Mexico, Central America, and so on.

All because, as any damn-fool-conspiracy-nut should be able to figure out (I mean besides me) is that with the PanaMex highway deal coming, and with the Ultra-Rich having already bought up most of the land along the best beaches, and such, the reason for walking immigration is to lower the population, drop prices one last time, and move as many criminals to the USA as possible.

This gives the PANAMEX corridor people all the more opportunity, provides millions in future corporate prison inmates to the USA, which will justify even more H1-b visas for Nigerian prison workers.

You see?  It all fits together in a unique (sick and twisted) sort of way.

“Think like a Ruler!” is what I’m always reminding Elaine. Everything is a business model and we are all ruled…

All that remains is for (*the Mexican state of) Quintana Roo to put gambling in from Cancun down to its southern end and presto!  The new megalopolis of the rich.  Complete with water features and antiquities.  How does it get better?

Papal Hype

Headlines like how the “Pope brings tough love to America” lead me to suggest that the Vatican start accepting more refugees.

He’s welcome to pack up his “tough love” stuff and take it with him.  We have enough problems, and most start at the top…not with the silent majority.

VW Bugged

Yes, the scandal with  [we have to say allegedpollution fibbing is widening and now involves 11-million cars.

I’m still looking for a low priced VW Thing, by the way, if you happen to run across one in good condition.  Love ‘em.

Booing Cruz

Stephen Colbert and Ted Cruz went at it last night – the account of it is here.

Cruz believes the 10th Amendment leaves gay marriage decisions to the states, apparently, and that didn’t set well with the 3.8% of the population that is impacted by the issue.  A loud percentage, I will give you that.

Meantime, Scott Walker’s campaign is toast

Robo-Sex

Love this headline:  “No sex please, we’re robots!

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Coping: George Takes a “Bureaucracy Day”

Maybe it is not the best use of my time, but Elaine’s not keen on doing it, so it falls to me to suffer through one of our periodic “Bureaucracy Days.”

There are only a couple of things I have to work on that are specifically related to this marvelous system of government we have, but they are the sort of things you can’t live without.

Take getting the car license current, for instance.

I sent in what used to work in Texas to get the car licensed.

That included a check for about $70-bucks, a copy of our current car insurance, and their forms.

Should have been done with.

But Monday’s mail brought an “Application declined” letter stating that I had failed to include a copy of the current vehicle inspection report.

Not to bore you with details (but I will…) Texas used to have an inspection sticker program.  The old way was simple:  You went to an authorized inspection station, paid them $14-bucks, and they would issue an inspection sticker.

The county auditors (who issue the car license) didn’t used to give a rip.  They just wanted proof of insurance and money.

NOW what has happened is Texas has done away with the inspection sticker and in its place is an electronic system. 

Yeah, with license plate readers any sticker system is outdated, stupid, and sucks, but hey, this is Texass.

Here’s what the bottom line is:  Whereas before, you could get the inspection sticker when it was convenient (and there was a 5-10 day grace period after the end of the sticker month) NOW you need to get the insurance first (or the inspection station won’t check the car), THEN  you get the inspection certificate, and this allows you to go to the County Auditor’s Office whereupon they will THEN accept your money for the registration sticker.

It all goes into the cop accessible computer system, and you get something to block your vision to put in the windshield with is 99 kinds of stupid.  More civilized states have plate tags.

Since this is September 22nd, and we are off traveling again on the 29th or 30th, and since we will use the old Lexus to drive to the airport, I can’t trust that mailing in the certificate will work.  Car goes in the hangar when we travel.

If I get the certificate today (which is a fair assumption), and were to bring it home, Susan the Post Office Delivery Representative (or whatever the politically correct and approved designation of the mail carrier is, anymore) will have already been – and gone.

So the Ure mail-in application – (form, check, insurance whizzy, inspection certificate) – would not be picked up until the 23rd,  which means it would arrive at the Clerk’s office on the 24th and be ready for pick-up on the 25th, which is Friday.

To Postal Person Susan’s credit, it might get here – or not – on Saturday.  But if it doesn’t then  it would be at least Monday.  And I will be busy getting ready for…

Thus, to eliminate the postal time-lag, I will be doing everything in person.

It will take me one hour of travel time and likely a half-hour of monkey-motion (wasted do-nothing time standing in line and such) of my extremely valuable time in order to get a sticker.  I can recapture 30 minutes by reading the Kindle while waiting.

That’s the car.  Now, let’s talk about drugs.

When you get older (and if you take any prescriptions) there are mountains of small details that mount up into half a day of bureaucracy time.  For example, some of my time today will be spent begging with the local pharmacy to let me get more than 30-days worth of medications so I don’t have to come into town so often.  More than once a month gripes me.  They fall back on “policy” which is a buzzword for “made up rules you can’t question” which makes me see red.

“Look you stupid so and so – I am not planning to die for 90 days, so why not do three months instead of one?”

They won’t give in, I’m sure – but that’s how corporate-government bureaucracies work.

George, that’s not a whole day’s workUre exaggerates again/still…”

Au contraire!

The car and the pharmacy are just the warm-up.  After I get this one, the rest of Bureaucracy Day will be spent on two more “must do” projects…

The Medicare Mayhem

We are only a couple of weeks from the annual Medicare Roulette Game. 

Every year, us seniors get to bet our lives and finances on beating the insurance companies.  They spend 365-days a year trying to screw money out of everyone, we only have a few weeks to sort it out, and in the meantime, life goes on.

This year, I’m doing my damnedest to be ahead of the curve.  Since we’re both over the 66 barrier, here’s what happens according to the Understanding Medicare Dates flyer over here  (which I don’t):

If you are not on Medicare yet, all I can tell you is that in order to make an intelligent decision on which plans to buy, you need a week or three to weed through all the options and smoke out what makes sense.

As they have come in, I kept all of our “Monthly Prescription Insurance Benefit” papers.  (*One of the joys of our high speed Fujitsu ScanSnap iX500 Deluxe Bundle Scanner for PC (PA03656-B015) (Except ours is the earlier one that came with Adobe Acrobat 10 but it was a few more bucks)  I can pull anything out of the hat and look at the cost benefit.

How the Prescription Insurance Scam works:  I take several prescriptions:  The generic Singulair, an Albuterol inhaler (lifetime of asthma) , HTZT for blood pressure, and Allopurinol for gout prevention along with with more vitamins (and a baby aspirin)  than you can shake a stick at. 

The monthly cost of “insurance” is about $30 bucks, or $360 per year.,

I have co-pays which come to about $180 per year.  So my out of pocket is $540.  The annual cost of the drugs is about $480, so the insurance company wins this spin.  Bastards.

It’s even worse for Elaine.  Her cost – like mine – is around $360 per year for the prescriptions and she doesn’t have any meds at all.  Just a glass of Riesling with me on the deck every afternoon around 4 PM. 

But, because you can’t buy the coverage when you NEED it – you have to plan in advance…we look at this as a complete waste of money…which is what home insurance is, too, at least till the house burns down or the burglars show up when you’re out shopping.  There;s precious little difference between government insurance of any kind of sex workers.  Everyone will get screwed seems to be the deal in either case.

Still, since you were wondering (or not), this is how I will spend the rest of my Periodic Bureaucracy Day.

Not to put a bug in the ear of Organized Labor, but should we each get a couple of days per year as paid holidays to do things like sort out Obamacare, Medicare, Car licenses, Drivers license, annual physicals, time to appeal property taxes, and so on?

And I ain’t done yet.

Airplane O-Ring Madness

If you haven’t figured it out yet, Elaine and I are taking off next week to fly to the national Baby Beech fly-in which will be held in an unnamed city on the upper Mississippi.

The long-range weather forecast is calling for rain.

Although our airplane has already had a ga-zillion dollar annual inspection, complete with engineering for an Alternative Means of Compliance and bureaucracy of the FAA adventure, and did I thank Waylon up at Mags E.R. in Arkansas for the most excellent 500-hour overhaul (with fresh yellow tags) for the mags?

Back to point:  We may be flying through rain.  And I think the FAA and Beech left Service of the Gas Caps off the annual inspection list. 

If it’s already been done, we’ll do it again, anyway…mainly because I know how gravity relates to air speed.

It’s not a big deal to overhaul them:  Remove a cotter pin, the castellated nut, and take out the plunger – latch post.  Put on a  two-bit 1/4” O-Ring with a bit of lube and reassemble.  Which the Mechanic will do so it is signed off to the bureaucrats satisfaction…

Thanks to some fellers in the  Beechcraft club (a wonderful resource) I found the required O-Rings to replace the existing ones…and then found no end of debate on which lubricant to use.

One school of thought says Easy-Turn, which is a fuel lube.  The other school of thought says Dow Corning DC4 – which is silicone-based is better.  I got both.

Here is where Bureaucracy steps in. 

The O-Rings come to $5-bucks.  The lubricants *(since I got both) to put them on right, come to about $30.  (A drop of oil would work back in the old days, but not in “modern times”)

And since there are two sizes of O-Rings, do I need to buy a Certificate of Compliance ($15 each size) to put that in the logbook?  Or, do I need a certificate of compliance at all?

The odds of this ever being an issue (legally) are infinitesimally small.  If I flew for hours on end in rain (no fun in itself) and water got into one tank, could I experience enough water to have one tank fail?  Not after maintenance…but it’s one of those things.  Plan for the worst, route for the best – and no rain if possible.

IF we flew through horrific rains and if both tanks got so much water that the engine stopped, just how sleazy would an insurance company be?  (The correct answer is “as sleazy as they would manage in order to avoid a claim…).  So:  how much paper trail do I do now?

This little gem too, is on my “Bureaucracy Day” list – a chat with the Jeremy the Mechanic about how many of these certificates, if any, will be necessary if I fly through repeated torrential downpours on the way to hang out with equally crazy people…And when can I fly the plane over to his place to have him perform the maintenance and sign the logbook.

What we have here is a peach-dandy example how a $3-dollar preventative maintenance issue which I ought to be able to do myself balloons into a $250 problem consisting of certificates, special lubricants, two shipping charges, 20-minutes of Mechanic time, a piece of emery cloth plus 1.3 hours of flight time ($65 of fuel plus engine reserves plus two landings)…

This is how The System provides for Full Employment.  And maybe that’s why John Kerry is in such a rush to bring in military-aged Muslims and let the Mexico border keep leaking problem kids.

I must not appreciate something about how all this all stiches together into a robust country, but I’m not sure what I’m missing, exactly, either.

The Problem with Damascus, II

Oh crap. 

We were talking about Damascus…and after a flurry of emails with Chris Tyreman of www.thechronicleproject.org, come to find out that the description is not “Ruinous Heap” at all.

Yet another mis-translation seems to rear its head in the bible.

What translates using Self-Defining Hebrew (SDH) is not “ruinous heap” but is really more like the word Diaspora from the city itself…and friend, we are there right now

But more on this Thursday, since I will be huddling with Chris on Skype  hopefully about 1 PM his time today so I can jot down more notes and expand on the details in Thursday’s report…

Hangar Talk:  Baked Wood

I happened to catch a new alternative to pressure-treating wood that made it into one of my (too man y) woodworking magazines. 

The idea is that some hardwood kiln operators have found that if they keep “cooking” wood which goes into a kiln for drying, an extra-long time, the wood changes.

It’s being sold on the market as thermally modified wood – and it is both harder, more insect, and more rot resistant that conventional wood.

It’s also not cheap.  But it’s the new “trick pony” for us wood scrapper types.  The Wikipedia entry on it says in part:

Thermally modified wood is wood that has been modified by a controlled pyrolysis process of wood being heated (> 180 °C) in absence of oxygen inducing some chemical changes to the chemical structures of cell wall components (lignin, cellulose and hemicellulose) in the wood in order to increase its durability.

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