5T Day: Tuesday’s Terrible Truths about The Trends

Say, don’t want to run this stuff in your face, particularly if you’re a Coiner and haven’t laid-back enough to buy a subscription to Peoplenomics (and pay all those short-term capital gains you’ll owe this year), but I just have to point out that with Bitcoins trading in the $12,250 range, you will want to look again at where we are per our trend channel work:

Does this mean The End is here (or near) for cryptos so dear?  See our Monday discussion of what “momentary” means.  Can’t say for sure, but when it comes, we expect it could “let some of the air out” of the stock market.

(Continues below)

 

What we see as as something of a rollover may be occurring, however.  The stock market futures were up +200 on the Dow when I looked.  This suggests that there is “new money” coming into the market from somewhere.

We have three suspects, or sources.

One is people realizing that with the tax cuts, this might be a good time to actually save a little something for a rainy day.  The money coming in this way is likely long-term dough and won’t increase market volatility, too much/. (knock on wood, right?)

The next source is the notion that some of the criminal element in Bitcoin positions has rolled out of “silk road” money and is looking for something more legit and less subject to confiscation as ill-gotten gains.

The reason I think this way is simple:  Bitcoin – and any other crypto, for that matter – is only has good as the media you have it parked on.

So, since real criminals are very, very, smart (think Raymond Reddington types if you follow The Black List) they will have figured out how many hours a hard drive (or how many read-writes a sim chip) is good for.  Best roll dough off them before failure because if they don’t, the “money” could be gone.

I won’t say who the friend is, but someone I know is already out $40K because of a “lost wallet” issue.  Remember where you read it first: Besides being much too slow to be a major money replacement, Bitcoin users are subject to hardware failures.  Poof!

And this gets us to the third kind of money that’s looking at the market and which could fuel a 1929-equaling blow-off which we sure seem to be in:  Fixed income money is looking at the rollover into inflation – and what may turn into hyperinflation and asking “What will go up in value?”

Ure’s thoughts on this are dirt-simple:  Metals, Oil, Foods.  The lack of hype out of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is hinting (to us, at least) that the 20-year boom from tech may be slowing.  Over time it has done what, exactly?

Well, tech has brought us the Internet.  This has enabled the end of conventional news distribution so ably capitalized on by the Tweeter-in-Chief.  The decline of ad power is driving the media to new levels of left-wing fear mongering, and oh yeah – tech has also brought us social media.  Which, as we point out in the Coping section to follow this morning is where networked computing’s version of DIGITAL LYNCH MOBS (a/k/a/ social just-us warriors) are being monetized right now.

Obviously, people in Bonds won’t want to see their portfolios decline, so they will likely put a little dough on the long side of the market based on the idea that something’s bound to go up.

And yes, it is, and it will continue doing so for a while.  We will have some firmer projections in Peoplenomics tomorrow, but for now, there is no end of the bull market in sight for stocks.  When I have lost money trading in the past year, it was because I didn’t follow my perfectly-performing trading model.  Who would have thought a few spreadsheets and some math could outperform the gut-trading human?  Which is why we don’t try to front-run the models anymore.

And the models say…well, more on that tomorrow on the subscriber side.  Meanwhile, though, the hype continues: Global Blockchain Technology Market to Be Worth USD 13.96 Billion by 2022. Trend channels say tread cautiously.

Need more blockhead hype? Maersk, IBM to launch blockchain-based platform for global trade.  OK, why?  Isn’t the present technology working?

Econ Data du Jour

NY Fed Survey:

Business activity continued to grow at a solid clip in New York State, according to firms responding to the January 2018 Empire State Manufacturing Survey. The headline general business conditions index, at 17.7, was little changed from last month’s level.

Dow may bust over 26,000 at open with futures +209.

NKs Planning Cyber Pearl Harbor?

We have been following snips that chief Nostracodeus programmer Grady has been culling from Twitter and other places around the net about B-52 rumored to be positioning into the Pacific.

We’re also not fooled by the NorK’s sending some athletes to the Seoul Winter Olympics and maybe an orchestra – all on the docket for next week’s hype-fest of useless media.

Instead, read this backgrounder from out .mil whiz Warhammer  because itd IS important:

“Hi George,

Not just nukes, Rocket Man and terrorist attacks are on the minds of US defense leaders.  This interesting and admittedly frightening attack concept is occupying the minds of senior leaders in Washington lately (from AF Times News):

Head of DOD IT Cybersecurity: Monster Cyber Attack “Looming”

The Pentagon is “prepared for” an unprecedented cyber attack, says director of the Defense Information Systems Agency, touting continuous and ongoing success defending against attacks that are increasing in both frequency and scale. Army Lt. Gen. Alan Lynn called the anticipated attack a “terabyte of death,” hundreds of times larger in-scale than those in recent years. “We know it’s coming,” he said at an Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association event in Washington, D.C., according to a DOD release. Lynn commended the Defense Department on holding down the fort thus far, but said he’d found the scale of the cyber offensive against American networks “truly surprising and it still continues to surprise me just how robust the attacks have become.” For example, D?OD used to have to protect against one- or two-gigabyte attacks. “Now, we get 600-gig attacks on the internet access points and unique, different ways of attacking that we hadn’t thought of before,” he added.  The Air Force is working with DISA on redesigning its own network gateway infrastructure—the one defending those access points—climbing aboard a federal effort to conjoin the services into one, central highway for web traffic. Air Force Magazine dug deep into the cybersecurity challenges facing USAF in its January cover story. DOD is aiming to reduce stovepipes of cybersecurity policing and increase visibility and reaction time in its systems. This is an ongoing challenge, especially on the the Defense Department’s scale, where 3.2 million people interact with its networks, according to Lynn, who retires in February. —Gideon Grudo

Indeed, a well planned a comprehensive cyber attack can inflict almost as much chaos upon a nation as a high altitude EMP attack, but for a more limited amount of time.  Still, critical infrastructure would suffer, e.e. food, water, energy, gasoline and essential supply distribution would be largely halted and a great deal of the population inadequately prepped for such things would endure life threatening hardships.

How many Trojan horses are already in place, silently waiting in hard drives and processor firmware, ubiquitously spread across every imaginable sector of our daily lives.  Every new smart electronic device could contribute to the “Terabytes of death” scenario….”

And, are there still routers – made overseas, yeah? – which have backdoors in the code we haven’t found?

This threat is evolving quickly:  In August of last year a White House advisory group was on it.

There’s not too much that can be done about this as the personal level – other than hardening websites,  backing up data off the net, and such.  Lots of back-up, sure.  Can’t ever have too many.

But taken in concert with the early lesson on how much has already been lost in Bitcoin on data losses, we can only imagine what a digital Pearl Harbor would be like.  Especially one timed to coincide with mass distractions.

Like the Olympics and Mueller’s fishing…

In View: The End of Detroit

The big Auto Show is on in Motown.  It comes with the expected battle between the new ways and the old.

On the new ways side, we have GM with an aggressive plan to field driveless cars in 2019.  More to the old-school, we laughed as Nissan was trying to ‘splain to skeptics like me how their new Xmotion design concept is really anything new.

When we read this “...we’re drawing on Japanese aesthetics and techniques that have been passed down generation after generation to create a timeless visual impression...” the whole battle of the new tech versus the old became crystal-clear without the need of another latte.

Companies that don’t have plans for the arrival of driverless cars – which will mean the end of dealer networks and the like – are the corporate ostriches of the decade.

Oh – for our reader in Hawaii, notice this:  Japan broadcaster alerts North Korea missile launch that didn’t happen. What rolls downhill?

News That’s Noise

White House doc to provide more details about Trump’s health.  WHY?  So social media and the Useless media can second guess and diagnose?  Good grief!

Report: Death of Penn student investigated as act of rage.  Umm….aren’t most murders acts of rage?  I musta missed something.

The Latest: Pope begs forgiveness for Chile priest sex abuse.  Doesn’t he have more local issues on topic?

And if all this doesn’t disgust you yet, leave the breakfast table and read this one:

Man sneezes, blows hole in throat.

The Cigarette Smoking Man, perhaps?

Global Warming Strikes East Texas

18F at byte time:  31 for a high today.

A Half-a-Holiday Bitcoin Rant

There is no mail today.  Banks are closed.  The U.S. markets are closed…and what the hell am I doing up?

Well, this is another one of those half holidays we talk about.  Fine time to introduce non-subscribers (to our Peoplenomics newsletter) to some sharper thinking than appears in the mainstream.

Were it not for the pending winter storm (tonight in Texas) and a few headlines, you’d have been spared this morning’s report.  But, such is not the case.  You need to be lectured, again.

(Continues below)

 

Let’s start with macro-econ: there are two interesting things we’re watching.

One is the price of Gold which has quietly moved up into the $1,340 range, and silver has firmed nicely over $17-bucks, too.  So that’s one.  (Toss in oil prices firming, too…)

The second is the Bitcoin – which is always a source of amusement.

Since people come here mainly for our unorthodox views of the world, let’s not disappoint them.  Here’s what we think of Bitcoin right now:

This looks hopelessly confusing to people who don’t bother to try understanding charts – and are then shocked when events come along “out of the blue.”

So a “teaching moment” while we run through the chart lines:

You will see there is a level line off to the right from the tippy-top of the Bitcoin run-up.  The reason we extend this line is it becomes (in the world of technical analysis) “overhead resistance.”

One strategy for making money holds that when something breaks above overhead resistance, a good bullish move is unfolding.  Often so.

There is a small asterisk to this:  That is, if the move above resistance is more than momentary.

Depending on who you talk to, “momentary” can be a few minutes.  Others will wait for a daily close over resistance.  More will demand a weekly close above.  There are even old-timers who (not running on internet time) will hold out for a monthly breakout above resistance.  Quarterly?  Just how slow do you want to play?

The horizontal line is also copied to the lowest point since the present decline began and is called “support.”

If this line is broken to the downside, and the break is more than momentary (*see previous discussion), then it’s time to unload and either go short or flipped into cash.

Trend Channel Lines

The two downward blue lines represents “trend channel” in technical analysis.  Two ways to construct them.

Method One (used by grown-up mathophiles) involves data downloads and calculation of a 2-standard deviation trend channel. This verges on work…which we can’t stand.

The preferred Method Two (because it’s simple, graphical, and fast) is to draw lines with whatever’s handy, eyeballing it.  Choice?  A ruler, graphics tool (we use CorelDraw), or even putting PostIts on the screen.  (I still do this now and then…talk about lazy…  )

Here’s the process to draw the lines:

Draw your first line from the tippy-top all-time high to the top of the first significant bounce.  Extend this line a good bit to the right.  That’s the top of the trend channel if things are going down.

Copy it and paste it.  This ensures that the line will have the same angle as the source.

Move it with the object tool to the lowest point between the tippy-top high and the Big Bounce high.  Again, it extends down to the right.

As long as Bitcoin is trading in this range, we are in the “academic learning mode.”  Since we have no money on the table (in this fool’s techno-folly) we are ONLY interested in seeing how the breakout happens.

This brings us to the two dashed lines.  The black one tells us the general direction things could be heading if we get an upside breakout.

SOME traders will buy when the upper trend line is crossed.  Even if overhead resistance isn’t eventually crossed, you can still make lunch money, on quick trades.  Black dashed line is the bullish dream.

The red dashed line is the bearish case.

This visually looks like the most likely outcome at the moment.  The going short or into cash to avoid carnage happens when Bitcoins – while staying in or below the trend channel – bust through the support line.

That’s when our Elliott Wave estimator tool which we have on the Master Index page of Peoplenomics.com gets fired up.

You put in an approximation of the all-time high, and then you put in the bottom of that first significant low.

From there, this lazy person’s thinking tool spits out how bad things could ultimately get.  With the Wave 1 down “in the bag” and with our Wave 2 expectations set by the brainamp.xls spreadsheet in the $16,279 range, we would not be surprised to see the Bitcoin breakdown to new lows in short order.

Still, hype springs Eternal in the hearts of men…so no telling what will really happen.

One can go back to the study of Tulip Mania and note that the first real price runs of that Fad Attack were tulips of a particular kind.  Just as the only true first crypto was Bitcoin.  Lead tulip.

Then, miraculously, just as the ancient Wave 1 down was put in, along came the clones.  Whether it was the red & white tulips, or  yellow, (fill in any crypto name but not Bitcoin) and you’ll see how these manias work.

Now that you understand how the chart works, consider how Darwin’s Origins of Species is a “template”  that explains technological species replacement as new cryptos come out of the woodwork, w

We’ve be content to stand aside and keep a sharp eye out for potential Darwinian predators, not the least of which is governments.  These, as an article of faith, won’t give up their lock on “what is money” without a fight – nor without legislation.

We are not alone in our skepticism toward Bitcoin.  Forbes seems to have the same technical view we hold as evidenced in Bitcoin Is Headed Lower – For Now.

Laughably, the big Miami Bitcoin Conference had to stop accepting Bitcoin because of fees and congestion.

If this technology is going to take over the world, it will need government behind it.

But wouldn’t it be a great world IF the illegal surveillance of Americans stopped and that big Secret Agencies spy center (the castle and moat) up in Provo, Utah could be repurposed to create crypto transaction?

That’s the level of infrastructure we see as necessary and for now, the trend channel says that a long-shot bet.

It’s the same scaling problem Fortune refers to here.

We hold that if scaling doesn’t kill it, regulators will as Bitcoin Halts Week-Long Slide But Battles With Regulatory Pressure.

Shills are everywhere – and what they have going for them is a virtual country full of politically-correct gullible idiots – so we will continue to hide-out in the Outback of East Texas waiting for an outbreak of reason and common sense.

Could be a long wait, but these sideshows are priceless.

Baked Apple?

House lawmakers demand answers from Apple on throttling older phones.

Social Media Ruination

Australian dictionary picks “Milkshake duck” as word for 2017.

Dreams of Wind Ranchers

Legendary U.S. investor Boone Pickens closes energy hedge fund after setbacks.

Unthunk Zero’s

We’re finally beginning to wrap our arms (belatedly) around grunge and such.

The epiphany came on reading Inside the new ‘anti-gorgeous’ hotel.

Here’s how the young are rolling:  They ALL want more money, but they don’t want as many upscale ways to spend it.

Thus, with money piling up, they believe this to be responsible capitalism and a new miracle form mof capitalism.

I’m  going to take some pills now and go back to pillow-testing.

Let me know if the planet formerly known as Earth reappears.

Peoplenomics Server Maintenance

From our server team:

A number of serious security vulnerabilities affecting multiple CPU architectures were recently disclosed by Google’s Project Zero team as outlined in our support annoucement on Jan 4. In order to address the disclosed vulnerabilities, the physical hardware on which your website resides will need to undergo maintenance. This maintenance specifically patches the Meltdown vulnerability; the Spectre vulnerability will be addressed in a future maintenance cycle. We will inform you of these maintenance cycles via additional communications.

The maintence begins at:
Jan 13th 2018 – 11:00PM EST

During the maintenance window, Peoplenomics.com will be cleanly shut down and will be unavailable while we perform the updates. A two-hour window is allocated, however the actual downtime should be much less. After the maintenance has concluded, the server will be brought back online.

We regret the short notice and the downtime required for this maintenance. However, due to the severity of these vulnerabilities, we have no choice but to take swift and immediate action to ensure the safety and security of our customers. For these reasons, we must adhere to a strict timetable, and will not be able to reschedule or defer this maintenance.

They will have it up shortly.

Ah, the joys of high-reliability computing…

The Trumpstorm and Terraforming

As always in Peoplenomics, we are not whiners – we deal in solutions.  In fact, turning lemons into lemonade is our stock-in-trade.

This week, what the pseudo-media was screaming about (the Trumpstorm) is actually a marvelous opportunity to move in the direction of making America great, again.  But, you need to grok terms like neocolonial business models to see it.  When you do, Trump’s candor is distinctly anti-racist contrary to the MSM pitch.

We explain – after headlines and the charts…

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Markets Push-out Crash Date, CPI & Retail Data

Sure, we’ll get to this morning’s latest hysterical over-reaction to Donald Trump’s immigration comments in a minute.  But, honestly, there are much more important things going on that will impact your life in the short-term, so should be ready to deal with them.

First, and foremost, (because we are unabashedly capitalistic at our core) the market has just put in new highs, as we were hinting at in earlier columns.  The case is building for the S&P 500 to close OVER 3,000 in the not-so-distant futures.  And despite the hand-wringing of the media, this has come on president Warbuck’s watch, so a little less hysteria and  more attention to the bottom line, if you please?

Now, our first REAL story: Here is our latest calculation of the earliest possible date for a crash to occur – barring nuclear war or a planet-killing asteroid…

(Continues below)

 

Ready?

If, perchance, you hear Chicken Little yelling “The sky is falling!” hand him the dates and ask him to drop by later.  New highs were looking likely this today.  Which means Sell in May and Go Away could be the real deal this year.  Toss in a 5th wave up into August or September, and election jitters setting in for the fall could drive a major decline in late October.

That said, there is one other inference from all this – and meaningful in the short-term:  IF the market is going to take a header this fall, it would stand to reason that January will NOT close higher than December’s close.  In fact, we could have a modest decline any old time.  The calculations…well, that’s more a subscriber thing.  It’ll hold until tomorrow.

Meanwhile, think of it this way:  Modest decline to close January a bit lower, providing the Big Boys with a buying opportunity.  But, not so much of a decline as to wreck the storyline.  Which would mean? Because by time we get to the “earliest likely crash date” the market would be back to present levels (or higher).  Thus, the Big Boyz make money taking milk money from the kids.  Again.

About the CPI Data

Short version is this:\

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.1 percent in December on a seasonally adjusted basis, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months, the all items index rose 2.1 percent before seasonal adjustment.

An increase of 0.4 percent in the shelter index accounted for almost 80 percent of the 1-month all items increase. The food index rose in December, with the indexes for food at home and food away from home both increasing. The energy index, which rose sharply in November, declined in December as the gasoline index decreased.

The detail level looks like this:

Gas prices suck.  Futures point to a mixed market today – pushing back any crash date now done – and Bitcoins are still meandering around in the $13,500 to $14,000 level.

Retail Sails

Read the data and you’ll understand the headline…

“Advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for December 2017, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $495.4 billion, an increase of 0.4 percent (±0.5 percent)* from the previous month, and 5.4 percent (±0.7 percent) above December 2016. Total sales for the 12 months of 2017 were up 4.2 percent (±0.4 percent) from 2016. Total sales for the October 2017 through December 2017 period were up 5.5 percent (±0.5 percent) from the same period a year ago. The October 2017 to November 2017 percent change was revised from up 0.8 percent (±0.5 percent) to up 0.9 percent (±0.2 percent). ”

Picturized, looks like this:

Yet Another Trumpstorm

Once again, crooked left-bent media are calling president Trump a “racist” this morning.  As usual, they are reporting what they have “made up” rather than what he actually said.  Out of context is stock-in-trade of the crooks of the Establishment Left who are the playground bullies that the Establishment Right is too stupid to deal with.

Yes, Trump was reported by the Washington Post as follows:

In a midday immigration meeting with senators in which they discussed the fate of certain immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador and some African nations, Trump became frustrated and made a reference to “shithole countries,” arguing that the U.S. should bring in more immigrants from Norway instead, according to several people briefed on his comments.”

Denied, by the way: admits to tough lingo, though.

We have long questioned the apparent left-wing agenda – to flood America with social system-dependent, eventual democrat voters – on the pretext of it being the “humanitarian” thing to do.

Which brings us smack into the larger question of humanitarian aid.

Trump – with a typical “developer’s mindset” – would view things like the Haiti quake long ago (it’s been seven years now) as an opportunity to rebuild an improved region.  Reinvent the country.  In other words, encouraging people to run away from their problems rather than FIX THEM doesn’t solve anything for the people who are stuck in so many of the world’s (pardon this) shithole countries.

As a poster circulating on the net explains:  Liberals think everyone should be equal at the finish line.  Conservatives think everyone should be equal at the starting line.

Obviously, everyone in the world can’t all come here, despite the irrational left’s efforts.  There’s simply not room.  But they COULD borrow our Constitution and get on the road to self-improvement.  Do they?  No…especially in third world what-holes…

Norway happens to be the 23rd most educated country in the world while the US comes in at #14 by some measures.  But World Economic Forum data suggests the US is #8 while Norway is #7…

Haiti, by contrast, is the 12th LEAST educated country in the world, eclipsed on the downside only by such utopian learning centers as Somalia, Chad, Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Afghanistan, and South Sudan.

Sadly, most people are easily manipulated into the “racism” cattle chute, rather than looking at data/ metrics dealing with the percentage of population with education attainment.

There is much more going on here than meets the eye, but we will save that for Peoplenomics subscribers tomorrow and a focus piece titled “Trumpstorm and Terraforming.

If you’re on the hate-Trump wagon – rather than thinking deeply about what the president said, considering the data, and finding solutions to benefit all, here are  suggested readings to keep you walking in the ruts of Obama and the socialist left:

Anderson Cooper, Don Lemon Call Trump ‘Racist’ Over ‘S-thole Countries’ Remark.

Donald Trump’s “Shithole Countries” Comments Are Racist, United Nations Says Amid Global Backlash.

Trump Alarms Lawmakers With Disparaging Words for Haiti and Africa.

Illinois Democrats assail Trump immigration comments as ‘vile,’ ‘racist’/

Tomorrow, we will roll out the hard demographic data that no one in American politics dares to talk about.  Because, as is so often the case, snap-reaction (cheered by the left) is to bash Trump.  Demonizing versus datafying – here we go — again.

Instead, we read the numbers and see how he got there.

It ain’t racism kiddies.  It’s called developer math versus the global socialist agenda.  More tomorrow.

The Money Miners

Are looking at this: Chinese bitcoin miners eye sites in energy-rich Canada.

Laughably, Bitcoin pricing is largely based on how much energy can be spent maintaining….Bitcoin.

The math phrase that pays here is “circular reference.”

People are too dumb to understand, but let me show you the kind of conclusions even a dime store MBA can lead to:

Bitcoins are Driving Global Warming!

Damn, the Truth hurts, don’t it?

Grandpa, what did you do when Earth was wasting its one change to become a space-faring world?”

“Why, I pissed away scarce resources making up hash codes, of course.  But, that’s how we got rich enough to buy this survival bubble from which we can survey the remnants of Earth….”

Well, time to blast off into the stock-o-sphere for another day at the Bubble.  have a great weekend and ya’ll come back Monday.  Y’hear?

Coping: An Oven for the Shop?

Making:  Ah.  Another weekend arrives.  And with it, the chance to get out to the shop and get some Make! on.

Don’t ask me why, but this weekend I happened to be looking at Craigslist and I noticed that where were a lot of cheap ovens for sale in our area.  One could get a used electric oven for about $65 bucks with  a little bit of shopping.

I started to kick myself.  About 5 or 6-years ago, I managed to put my knee through the cooktop of or previous kitchen stove.  Getting online, I discovered that I could buy a replacement element top (five elements in it, four cooking, one warming) for just $500 plug some shipping.  I hated the color of the stove, too:  Biscuit – WeTF that color is.  Never seen a matched color to biscuit work out.  So it was an easy choice:  Out with the old, in with the new stainless and black stove…

(Continues below)

 

Problem is, there was this broken oven to deal with.  It wasn’t pretty; can’t kid you on that.  It was a “drop-in” – not a stand-alone – so even if I’d kept it, because I’ve thought about this “shop stove idea” before, it would have cost a sheet of plywood to build up a box to drop it into.  Then some finishing.

My ‘tude improved immediately:  A stand alone used oven would cost less than keeping the old broken-top one.  Maybe this was OK… Still, taking anything of value down to the transfer station hurts two ways.  Once because it’s like admitting defeat (“I’m to dumb and uncreative to figure out some clever use for this scrap whatzit…“) while the second insult is how much they want to charge to dispose of the evidence.

Maybe a $50 stove would show up?

The brain began to hum.   What was it, exactly, that I was thinking about at the time.   Hmmm….what had me thinking about an oven in the shop.

Then it came back!  Why powder-coasting!

Forget the little details that Elaine would mention.

Things like:  “You’re almost 69 years old and you’ve never needed to powder coat anything in life so far, so why NOW?”   Or, equally harsh “Oh?  Running out of projects?

In truth, what got me to looking at this as a project was the next item up on my Make List.  I want to weld up a small 3-foot high table, about 14-16 inches in size, so Elaine can have a painting table in the guest quarters, which is also the gym, which is now another writing spot (since a computer appeared), plus video game sanctuary (Wii) and now it’s Mrs. Rembrandt’s studio as well.

She has a couple of easels, and a couple of painting to finish…and I figured it would be useful to build her a table for the paints.  You can never have too many tables, right?

It’s the table that got me riled-up on the oven idea.

The first reason is that I love the look of Cabot Gloss Spar Varnish.  The stuff gives a nice yellowish (UV protectant) shade to the wood and it’s fairly tough once it drives for a month (or two).  Until then, it is a bit soft, off-gasses and what-not.

So I figured an oven (on low) that doesn’t get over 200F (so as not to release moisture in the wood as steam) would be ideal.  I would just design parts small enough to fit the oven.

All made sense to me.  A day, or two in the “warming” (checked by that non-contact digital thermometer I mentioned earlier this week) would be ideal.  Something could come out “cured” and ready for duty.

Then there was the bonus:  I could use such an oven for powder coating metal.  The lack of need for a powder coating oven for the first sixty years of life seems like a poor reason not to have an urgent need RIGHT NOW.

All I needed to do was come up with metal design for something that would need powder coating.  The brain went into overdrive.

Maybe I could powder coat the wheels on the pick-up?  Or, some ham radio parts?  Or….or….

The process of powder coating goes like this:

  1.  Get a piece of metal that needs powder coating.
  2. Clean it.
  3. Not good enough.  Clean it again.
  4. Put bolts in holes, and tape the bejezus out of anything you don’t want coated.
  5. Now hook up the powder coating machine.  Try a starter Chicago Electric Power Tools Portable Powder Coating System 10-30 PSI with Powder Coating Gun, Foot Switch, Power Source, Inline Filter and Two Powder Cups if you don’t already have one.
  6. Electrostatic cable goes onto the part.  The other part of the circuit (circus?) is the gun’s material.
  7. Apply powder to the part being careful not to inhale.  Mask, right?
  8. Gently place in an oven and bring it up to 400F.
  9. Hold at 400F after the part shows it has come to temp, about 15-minutes.

Then you open the door, let the part cool, while you have a cold one and admire your handiwork.

That’s about as far as the research got this week.  There were lots of other projects ahead of this one, but I’m starting to collect ideas for the “shop stove.”

Another one that comes to mind is turning the stove top into an enameling kiln.  Some basic enameling gear can be had from Fire Mountain Gems for ab out $65 bucks, but that doesn’t include the copper or the heat source.  Amazon’s got “next level” kits which look good, except for the grown-up kits start to close in on two hundred-dollar bills.

A little more research blew-up the idea of stovetop enameling, since you need to get up to nearly 1,800F, or so we read over here.

Still, the stovetop could be used as the surface to set the kiln on.  Wait!  What kiln ?  I haven’t even started on this one yet.\

Back to woodworking, then:  The stovetop would be an ideal heat source to make a wood-bending steamer.   Google “steamed wood art” as we did here, and you’ll find some interesting ideas.

Do I have plans to run out and buy a used stove with a working oven on CL?  No…at least not this weekend.  But you never know.

Between the “Tools” and “Material” and  “Free” sections of Craigslist, no weekend need ever be an empty one.

Write when you get rich, or your to-do’s are all done…

George@ure.net

Your Thursday Fishing Report…

This is getting to be a lot like fishing.  I mean, with apologies to Robert Mueller, the markets are where the fishing is much better.

But, even at the “best spot on the lake” sometimes you just sit in the boat, take a bite of sandwich, wolf-down more coffee and…..wait.

The Dow, S&P, and NASDAQ are off recent highs. But historically, we get 55-days from the peak to significant downsides.  While we wait, there’s damn little news.  So instead, we endlessly game how the Future might arrive.

(Continues below)

 

If the recent highs stand, we can look at the dates laid out previously.

Mid-March might be a fine time not to be in North Korea.  Might also be the Ides of Crash, but of course that’s all subject to change with a market break to new highs.

That’s because new highs would “reset the shot clock” and we’d go back to the sandwiches and coffee for a while longer.

One thing typically done in periods like this is market sages come out of the woodwork with predictions.  A few will, undoubtedly, be proclaiming shortly how “We’re replaying the pre-crash of (take your pick) 1987, 1929, or 2008/2009.”  Worry sells newsletters.

No stranger to such works, we’ll just enjoy the quietly rocking boat.

There’s damn little changed data out there, and items like this morning’s Producer Price Index, Final Demand, are not particularly useful.

You see, reports that look back a month or two, bore us to tears.  Applying that to investing is like trying to drive while looking in the rearview mirror.  Sure, it can be done, but it’s not the usual practice at Indianapolis or on the F1A circuit.

Having mentioned the Producer Price Index…

“The Producer Price Index for final demand fell 0.1 percent in December, seasonally adjusted, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Final demand prices advanced 0.4 percent in both November and October. (See table A.) On an unadjusted basis, the final demand index climbed 2.6 percent in 2017 after a 1.7-percent rise in 2016.

Most of the December decline in the final demand index is attributable to a 0.2-percent decrease in prices for final demand services. The index for final demand goods was unchanged.

Prices for final demand less foods, energy, and trade services edged up 0.1 percent in December after rising 0.4 percent in November. In 2017, the index for final demand less foods, energy, and trade services climbed 2.3 percent following a 1.8-percent advance in 2016.”

Pulse-pounding excitment, huh?

The real data comes tomorrow: the Consumer Price Index and along with it, Retail Sales.

Since the Fed’s latest “Yoke of Debt” report (misnamed Consumer Credit because bankers are creditors and you’re the debtor-sub) showed revolving debt (credit cards, right?) was going better than a Spacex launch – soaring at an annualized +13.3% in November.

Do remember our rearview driving warning?  Bills arrive this month.

The retail sales figures should report robust sales, the Consumer Prices will continue to firm, and in no time at all, people will begin pulling in their spending again, if they haven’t already.

Meanwhile, the KKR Global/Macro 2018 meanders in that direction, too:

““As we are poised to enter the 104th month of economic expansion amidst the second longest bull market on record in the United States, it is definitely harder to get ‘what you want’ when it comes to uncovering new and compelling investment opportunities. The good news is that our work shows that investors can still ‘get what they need’ in order to generate returns in excess of their liabilities.”

We’re entering into what the fisherman out on the lake hates & loves, all at the same time.  The waiting.

The fish – big advances in markets where we can all land a bunch of dollars – are beginning to seem more scarce.

Innovation!  That’s what we need!  The most exciting thing out of the consumer electronics show in Las Vegas, so far, was the lights going out yesterday.

When the main story (Power Outage Dims Lights on Tech at CES Show in Las Vegas) out of a trade show is the lights going out, fishing for growth (that damnable driver of profits) maybe be safely predicted to be turning to weaker.

Only a few will see it (at first) but this is how “the social mood” rolls over.

We’ll just sit here with a boatload of data, munch on the sandwiches and coffee, and wait to see if anyone is getting bites around us.

90-minutes before the open Dow futures were up 40, Bitcoin under $14,000 again.

Free Advice for the President

Once again, Donald Trump has missed a grand opportunity to communicate clearly.  Although in watching his press conference with the Norwegian prime minister, you might have missed it.

Trump figures he is unlikely to meet with Fisherman Mueller.

We think he should.

But, under EXACTLY the same conditions that (what’s her name?) met with investigators to bury her email scamming.

Trump should agree to a “meeting” where:

  • Investigators take no notes.
  • There are no recordings made.
  • He’s not under Oath.
  • It happens on a holiday weekend with minimal press coverage.  And?
  • The exoneration has already been drafted in advance.

We don’t expect him to take our sage public relations advice.  But it’s worth the price.

Instead, we can already see Mueller transitioning from fishing a junior gestapo Thought Police operation.

The whiff of this comes in a couple of stories.  First: he’s hired a cyber crimes prosecutor for his team.  Which might mean even unsent, unposted communications seem likely to be “fished.”

But the real hint at Thought Policing comes from the Project Veritas (“American Pravda, Part 4) report that a Twitter employee has out’ed…no, just go read “UNDERCOVER VIDEO: Sr Network Security Engineer Reveals Twitter Ready to Give Trump’s Private DMs to DOJ.”

This was predictably followed by Twitter distancing itself from those claims.

In the sea of weasel words, the “phrase that pays” (to watch) will be “valid legal requests.”

Would a “request for information” from a “special prosecutor” be valid?  Depends on one’s political disposition, we suppose.

IF one were anti-Trump, sure, here’s the sent and all the drafts of Tweets.  If pro-Trump, the answer would be “Show me your warrant or get out of here.”  Curtain #1 sounds more likely.

While we wouldn’t be surprised by the former, even the latter remains possible because of the large number of Obama appointees on the various court benches.  It makes “judge shopping” fairly straightforward on the prosecutorial side.

Other than continuing the “grand distraction” (I think one network official called it a “nothing burger” going from memory) it’s a great way to spend public money, give the democrats something to whine about, because without it, they would have dried up by now, and  in its place a more useful, libertarian party, could be stepping up to fill the void in common sense.

We like the American Whig Party, as a framework, but hardly anyone can be expected to remember what the Wikipedia entry says about it.  After all, that was long, long, ago:

“It emerged in the 1830s as the leading opponent of Jacksonians, pulling together former members of the National Republican (one of the successors of the Democratic-Republican Party) and Anti-Masonic Parties. It had distant links to the upscale traditions of the Federalist Party. Along with the rival Democratic Party, it was central to the Second Party System from the early 1840s to the mid-1860s.[6] It originally formed in opposition to the policies of President Andrew Jackson (in office 1829–37) and his Democratic Party. In particular, the Whigs supported the supremacy of the United States Congress over the Presidency and favored a program of modernization, banking, and economic protectionism to stimulate manufacturing. It appealed to entrepreneurs, planters, reformers and the emerging urban middle class, but had little appeal to farmers or unskilled workers. It included many active Protestants, and voiced a moralistic opposition to the Jacksonian Indian removal. Party founders chose the “Whig” name to echo the American Whigs of the 18th century who fought for independence. The underlying political philosophy of the American Whig Party was not directly related to the British Whig party.[7] Historian Frank Towers has specified a deep ideological divide:”

Divide?  Oh!  You mean like the Brits trying to run “the Colonies” through the British-American Establishment, also known as the PowersThatBe, or in professor Quigley’s fine books, The Network?  Who’d have thought?

Progressive on social issues, fiscally responsible and against deficits of any kind… peace AND prospertity. Think Bernie with a balanced budget and a strong allegiance to the Constitution.

Of course, that would mean on-shoring manufacturing from China, draining the swamp,, and…maybe Trump should found this Third Party and replace the Democrats?  Never been a better time, as we see it.

That’d be the power move.  Which also explains Mueller:  Keep Trump too distracted to fix the structural issues.  Which makes sense from The Network’s point of view.  Which is why the media networks….oh, why do I bother?  You see it, or you’re blind.

Let me help, though:

Search Engines Don’t Lie, Or???

Google this morning gave me 25,600,000 returns on the news word search gay.

And, 8,570,000 returns on the word welfare.

Similarly, 8,100,000 hits came up on social justice.

Black Lives Matter  returned 2,820,000.

Now Ure’s point:

There were just 2,140,000 hits in the same news search for the term federal budget.

I found that shocking *(but not surprising) as the country is heading into another federal budget crisis that could bring a government shutdown.

These data points scream to me that the media is pushing their agenda.  Not something fiscally sound.  It’s socialist-globalist agenda, not a sensible accounting-driven one.

Accounting might wonder if MONEY is really just 8.35 percent as important as sexual preference.  I can assure you, they used to be more equal.

Gay people I’ve known are more like 90% money- oriented and 10% preference, although YMMV.

On the other hand, divided peoples are easier to manipulate.  Big money in that…and maybe that’s the point.  We don’t have much left to monetize…

Meantime, no one has bothered (in the mainstream) to point out the reason there’s no show-stoppers at CES is that as a nation and right on down to the company-level, we are underspending on R&D and overspending on “division, marketing, and hype.”

49-years since we went to the moon.  For what?  Social media?  FMTT.

Expect Outrage

Since 7-11 stores in 17 states have been visited by immigration officials.

What’s more, there will likely be many more such “visits” as the Trump administration makes effective efforts to enforce existing laws.

I think my first round of I-9 employer certifications was in 1987, or somewhere back there.  Not like it hasn’t been on the books.

Nothing people hate worse than existing laws being enforced.  Everything from speeding to spitting with a turn through Washington.

Send A Bleeding Heart to Mexico

Don’t mention that The U.S. Has Issued Its Highest ‘Do Not Travel’ Warning for Five Mexican States.

Ask ’em about “the wall” before they go and then again when they get back.