ShopTalk Sunday: Elliott Waves and Deck Building

Housekeeping and Shortwave Radio Note first:

That killer quake in Haiti this weekend, 7.2 and at least a couple of dozen dead, resulted in the American Radio Relay League sending out an advisory to ham radio operators to give some elbow room to the emergency nets:

“IARU, Region 2 has requested that the following frequencies be reserved for emergency use during this event: 3750 kHz, 7150 kHz and 14330 kHz.”

If you’re a casual shortwave listener (or maybe have been dinking around with one of those cheap SDR receivers), remember to listen on lower sideband for the 3750 and 7150 kHz nets and upper sideband for the 14330 kHz net on 20-meters.  I’m pretty sure low power (100 watts) adjacent within 5-kHz would be appreciated, as well.  (Thank you – de ac7x)

Elliott Wave In the Shop

Economics sounds really fierce and like a big time waster if you’ve been out of school for a while.  Besides, what possible good could it do, around the house when you’re just trying to raise the family and/or live happily ever after?

The answer is a TON.  And, in the case of my Fall deck building spree (as the weather cools) it turns out my cost of decking will be more than  40% cheaper building in September as compared with building back in April when the urge first hit.

To follow along with how the “seasoned citizens” work this kind of “shop problem” the first step will be to get you some foundational knowledge.

Starting with Elliott Waves discussed on Wikipedia here.  (Go ahead, click over there and at least get the idea of how prices (and Covid, by the way) move in Waves.

Elliott is both about making money as well as keeping money.  That is, when you are in a third or fifth wave, you patiently wait for the wave to complete while trading with the trend.  When the wave pattern reverses, it may be (a little safer) to short the market and make money on the downward trend, as well.

As Bob Prechter has noted many times on his site, the drivers of Elliott seem to work in many aspects of Nature.  (Five tenets one-pager here.)

Then, if you go over to the Johns Hopkins data page here, and you focus on the weekly cases over the past year and something, you can sketch-in how an Elliott wave count might evolve with Covid.

“What About the Deck?”

Well, this same approach to the data  can also be applied to many other things in Life including (and especially) the price of lumber to build that Big Deck project you’ve been saving up for.

Going over to we’ll borrow a lumber chart and show you how we can apply Elliott and at least partly optimize our Deck costs:

We’ll skip my ad hoc use of numbers and letters (which to real experts like Prechter denote an impulsive or corrective wave series) and skip right to the point:

We might count a five wave advance in lumber, which came to a “tilted Head & Shoulders” (gray box) end in late May.  Since then, a C wave (*of iii) down has been HAMMERING (bad pun, couldn’t resist) lumber prices.  Then we SAW (ok, no apology) a possible D wave rally and could we be in an E?

If so, no wonder the Buyed-Em administration is all panicky about Lumber prices – it’s all SCREAMING deflation.

Time Series Disease

My buddy Gaye Levy and I wrote a book long ago (11-Steps to a Strategic Life, I think it was) and (*in part) it was about looking at life to use financial and other supply and demand changes for personal advantage.  Among much other fine thinking in the book.

What I’m getting to is the prices on FinViz are only a starting point.  Because they are wholesale commodity-sized lots.  It takes a while for the price changes to percolate through the system.

To see it, you need to have a kind of “Rain Man” (the movie, eh?) outlook toward data that flows through your life.  When you know you will need to replace a deck, for example, when you see the first signs of rot, start collecting data.  The circ saw and lumber yard trip will come later when prices are to your advantage, not the lumber yard’s!

Lumber Hysteresis

Back in April of this year, when Elaine came in and announced “The deck is getting soggy and I almost put my foot through it!”  The logical move was to build a spreadsheet and begin to track prices over time for the wood products I was interested in.  As of Friday, it looked like this:

For your convenience, in the chart above this snip, I put some yellow boxes in and from these you can get the idea that the lag between the spot prices and the retail prices is more than, oh, five minutes.  More like probably 45-90 days.

As one of the Lowes people told me  on the QT “Prices had gotten so high there was little sell-through.  People couldn’t afford to build things…but now, prices have started coming down and lumber is picking up.”

Still, more declines are possible – and we will get some housing start data this coming week.  But for dads who have “helpers and tool shaggers” who might head back to school shortly, at least we’re now into a window where the long-delayed home improvement projects might get spooled up between now and September 6 which is the late Labor Day this year.

What happens after that is anyone’s guess:  Slow Joe is anxious to throw money at Housing.  If that happens, prices might quickly firm (greed is inbuilt) and a potential fifth wave to complete the lumber decline will fail and prices will start back up with gusto.

Or not…since who knows how bad the stock sell-off this fall will be?

Look at Price Impacts Already!

(There is a God, since George is getting to a point…)

Take a look at how a deck (and then some) worth of lumber has bounced around this year:

So, as you can see, if I’d gone out and NAILED the deck rebuild back in April, it would have cost about $1,431.  But had I ordered wood yesterday, it would have been $821.  A savings of $610.  Which is just great.  Laziness pays!

The two yellow squares tell me the comparison between doing the project with 5/4 by 8-foot (pronounced five-quarter decking) or using the slightly thicker 2-by-6s.  As you can see, the 2-by’s got cheaper-quicker.  Which means if I want to use 5/4 decking, prices should come down a little more in September.  Summer is home handy bastard deck building season.

Hope This Helps?

Economics does have real-life applications.  Like Pappy always said, “You can only spend it once.”  (There’s a bunch of fine print “…unless you’re the Federal Reserve, the BIS, and so forth.…)

Also, remember, there’s the seasonal beer adjustment not shown.  Beer tends to be inversely correlated to temperature for 10-20 percent of its price.

Have fun!

I have to go feed Elaine breakfast now.  You see, her foot went through the now quite-rotten deck at the end of July.  I’ve been  bringing her meals out every day since, till I tear down the old deck and free her foot.  She’s been a good sport about it, mostly.  But she’s anxious for lumber prices to come down, too…  (They just don’t make ’em like her, anymore.  I’m a lucky man.)

Write when you get rich,

32 thoughts on “ShopTalk Sunday: Elliott Waves and Deck Building”

  1. George

    “(There is a God, since George is getting to a point …)”

    As it is Sunday this is a good time to present this information.

    I am not a religious man but I am a man who notices data and information. With that said I will tell you that I have been searching for proof of the existence of God from a very early age.
    I was raised a Catholic but since that religion only gives out dogma and ritual but no hard data I quit them in my early twenties.
    I became an Agnostic by necessity of conscious!
    I have always been on the look out for any Tell Tales that a Devine Maker of the Universe May have left for us to find.
    I have always been a listener of the Art Bell programs. Art was a top talent capable of drawing out fine details from guest he interviewed.
    One such guest was Pam Reynolds who had an incredible Near Death Experience. Much of what she recounted was verified by hospital staff and family members.
    And for those skeptics who dismiss the reports from those who have an NDE S nearly the dying brains attempt to stave off death I say Grow Up and look at the data!
    Those who come back from NDE’s often give information that a nearly dead person could not obtain. Ghosts are real. I know this as I have seen one. That means that our soul exists and sometime sticks around this Earth.
    So the soul can leave the body and then return to tell the tale. Sometimes the illness suffered by that person is miraculously cured and not explainable by the doctors
    No one knows how many people have had an NDE but the numbers must be very high maybe in the millions.
    As for me the NDE is the proof I have been looking for. I now consider my self as leaning towards the Spiritual side of the God question. I believe that there is some kind of Energy that makes and controls Universes.
    I also believe that you do not need all the religious Mumbo Jumbo to be in contact with this Energy!
    Yes I know I am now considered a Heretic by many. ScrewEm!!

    So if you want to hear a most interesting Art Bell interview go here on YouTube:

    Art Bell Pam Reynolds Feb 2nd 2002

    It’s one hour and forty eight minutes long.


    • What am I? I am conscience awareness. The Bible teaches us that our body is the temple of the Holy Ghost. Well the carbon based unit is the housing for conscience awareness to experience this created realm. Physic’s, 2 slit experiment shows us that conscience awareness creates! We CAs (conscience awareness) are interconnected even though we are not aware of this interconnectedness, we are connected, it is just that our ESP gene is shut off(junk DNA my ass). We collectively create our reality. Where attention goes, energy flows. Wizards and warlocks know this and use the media to keep our collective under their control. They are losing this tug of war as more and more conscience awareness sees through the lies

      I am, I am a spark, a chip off the block, of the Divine creator, we are all sons of the Divine, the source of awareness
      Well that is my thoughts
      You ever find yourself deep in thought, totally unaware of your immediate surroundings?
      If our ESP gene was activated in all of us humans, we would not need or tolerate politicians, the liars would have no place to hide
      most politicians are in service to self and NOT in service for others. They are easily bought off

      My soul is my awareness,,, the devil always wants my soul
      The Apostles Creed starts out “I believe in,,,,,” that my friend is an admission that you are agnostic. believing and knowing are two different things,,, don’t ya know,, well I believe so
      I terminated my TV cable service, it was stealing my awareness
      The magician uses misdirection to hold your awareness, while the hidden hand manipulates the truth.
      addiction is a father mucker,, it demands your awareness,, controls your soul

      • Some say we Humans are “IS-BE’s” Immortal Spiritual Beings. You have always been, and will always be, since you the ISBE cannot be killed.
        Once you really believe that, or “know” it, the rest of this life will never be the same.

    • At least they don’t bbq heretics now days! That has led to significant advances in how we perceive our natural world and work within it. The old version of controlling the narrative kept us in the Dark Ages for centuries until we could either enforce a separation from the Catholic paradigm or get away from the Urepean continent and start some new lines of thinking. I left the church long ago mainly because the denomination I was attending became more liberal/political for my tastes. I was raised in very conservative Lutheran churches as a kid and I’m not sure who moved but I became more and more aware that “Church” was a business as much as any other institution out there.

      I love to dive into the NDE videos and I don’t know of anyone that has had one that continues to be atheistic if they were prior to having one. Quite often the mind will have become open to or capable of greater abilities than it had before such as telepathic and forward viewing talents. I like to drop in on Penny Kelly’s videos but I think the pressure from her popularity has somewhat tainted her views over the past 6 to 8 months so I try and balance her views with Clif’s who uses pure technology. Penny’s experience, though, is interesting since, according to her, her “awakening” or Kundalini experience was a fully awake event. My brother thinks she had a psychotic break but he’s one of these people that is cynical about just about everything.

      I’ve said it here not too long ago that the Jesus/Yeshua story we have in “sacred scripture” is a very attenuated one since it says that He taught His disciples to do many of the things He did such as healing and other “miracles”. There are hints that He spent a lot of the 30 or so years of His life that the Bible is silent about in the Far Eastern cultures learning His craft there. Such abilities would have been too much for TPTB of the times then going forward to the present day to allow the common population to have access to. We are capable of much more than we commonly know.

      • “I became more and more aware that “Church” was a business as much as any other institution out there.”
        So true, IMHO also!
        Here I am a “nonagenarian” and I still have plenty of patience to enjoy making a trip to the HEAVENS ;-).

    • Hi George. You didn’t say whether you have had an NDE, but I did back in the late 70’s and I can honestly say it changed my life. What I got from it is, the universe is all about love. It’s not hippie bullshit, it’s true. The more love you can give, the more you’ll get in return and help serve the purpose of the universe.

      • And when it happens, the goal of life is to serve (AND love) others.
        In return for which, Universe looks out for you.
        the Original Fair Trade – and the only one that really matters.
        (sez the old geezer hoeing his code…)

  2. George,
    You have just harnessed the “Power of Positive Procrastination”. Congrats.

  3. Our Canadian Prime Minister just announced a Federal Election on September 20 with the theme “Build Back Better.” He saw how well it has worked out for Slow Joe and our American friends the past 7 months. God help us.

    Joe keeps the border with Canada closed tight. We have many close relatives in Southern USA. Thinking about a vacation in Cancun and a walk across the border to visit them.

    • “Our Canadian Prime Minister just announced a Federal Election on September 20 with the theme “Build Back Better.”

      My condolences…

  4. Hello, since this is Shop Talk Sunday, maybe some here are interested in the Shop of the Future. While some of us are hand wringing about the imminent collapse of society (rightfully so), Lockheed Martin has built the ‘factory of the future’ for its Skunk Works division (with our collective billions(thank you very much)).

    There are 4 short videos (worth watching), esp. the 2nd one, that are eye-opening (watering).

    Mr. Ure, maybe LM could loan you one of these robots to build your deck. (You probably paid enough in taxes to justify it, ha ha)

    • I hope that contributes to my Lockheed pension! Hey, I earned it fair and square as part of my compensation package.

  5. Speaking of prices in general and food specifically, the family just got back from a trip to San Antonio while I was “batchin'” it here at home. We almost always stop in to eat at Mi Tierra restaurant in El Mercado (breakfast with salsa mocajete and their coffee or Enchiladas de Pollo en Mole IS. TO. DIE. FOR.) and bring home a couple of boxes of empanadas of various types and other pastries. I opened the box this morning and got out a pumpkin empanada that was flatter than a pancake – literally – and cost just as much if not more than they did a year or more ago when they were fat and almost juicy. Shrinkflation has gone off like a bomb in that place! Restaurant portions have seemed to remain the same but the prices go up so fast in many places they may as well go to a digital menu to keep up with the price increases rather than protection from Covid! Buckle up my friends! Shades of the Weimar Republic.

    • To be fair there are better places to get your empanadas here in San Antonio. Without the shrinkage. The best places are the hole-in-the-wall, family owned ones. Just ask a local (or someone who has been here awhile) and know a little bit of Spanish to make your order.

      • No doubt. Over the years we’ve made some very well-worn paths through town to the point SA has become boring otherwise which is outlandishly counter-intuitive! I’m just disappointed in our old haunts going down hill in this manner. My wife loves to remember her Spanish and put it to use. I do my best to follow along. Put up a list and I’ll save it for later reference.


    • Yeah, why anyone would use real wood, with all the required cleaning and maintenance when in your subtropical environment is beyond me. I live in a tropical rainforest environment with 150 inches of rain annually. Wood decks here don’t last 5 years, no matter what you do. And as a bonus we have termites, too.

      The plastic/composite materials are the only way to go. You will come around to this thinking the second time you have to rebuild the deck. Once and done…. even if it costs a little more. Think of the savings of NOT having to do it again!

      • I truly fail to see the purpose of a deck! A concrete and steel patio or deck makes more sense to me. If I need to do the job more than once in a lifetime, it’s too often.

        At least a concrete patio can be turned into a carport or garage floor, and a steel roof can shield you from the direct sun. Who ever has the time to just sit on a deck? You can do that in your living room with A/C. Cameras and monitors will give you a panoramic view and more.

        An additional advantage is no bugs – at least none of the organic kind.

  6. Stacy Washington…

    I heard about 15mins of a rebroadcast of her show this morning. It would’ve been from one of last week’s shows, but no telling which one.

    A caller led her to the webpage related to the CDC’s “camps.” She’d never heard of it and began reading the page on-air. After a couple minutes she broke off and said: “My God. This is concentration camps. They’re talking about concentration camps…!!” She then said she would study the topic further, and possibly post a link for her listenership.

    If anyone else knows from which show this came, LMK please…

  7. like everything some really weird F%$#@ up numbers in commitments of traders in yellow dog . a catastrophe when the 92/96 goes under . fools led by car salesman

  8. This is my final comment Mr. Ure. I was forced into a situation. My bank account got overdrafted for reason beyond my control. I was left with nothing. My final pay check from moving furniture got gougged by same state agency. When I was current with them and the got over paid 4 months in advance and they tell me it will take 2-3 weeks to sort it out. Left me with my car on E and a couple pack of smokes and no food and my phone was going to get shut off and I have a few opertunities that are on stand by. I only had one bag of bread and some peanut butter and some oatmeal. For some reason beyond me, I can not get of this shitty financial situation. So I was a male prostitute tonight. For a female. So I could keep my phone on, buy food, have gas and cigarettes. I have only done it one other time. For $1000 for an hour. Middle aged
    lonely house wife. I feel so shitty about it. It’s horrible thing selling yourself to buy food. There is alot of other things I could have done which are way worse. I am quite capable of extreme violence. I’m still clean and sober. And that was that. I do the next right thing so much and I help so many people. In the end. Nobody is there for me when I need help. A lady messaged me and offered me money for sex. Told me what she wanted. Diner, romance, crazy sex you see in the movies. Which I can do that stuff because of how strong I am. So I put on a smile and I gave her what she wanted. In turn, all my current financial problems were resolved.

    I want love and connection, presence. Loyalty and respect. That is what I put out. And I even gave that to her, for money tho. Like I said, I only done that one other time. It was a 40 year old lady who had fantasized about with me since she 14.

    It’s not something I’m proud of. I feel gross. And it goes against everything I want and who I am. But I gotta eat. I got to pay the bills. I gotta have gas to get to where I need to go. So I did it anyway because no matter who I asked for help and no matter how much I have done for them? The answer was no. Which even makes me more sad. Because some of those people owe me their life. I literally saved their lives. I didnt bring up the fact that the car they were driving, I gave to them. The stuff in their house I gave to them. I didn’t bring up the fact I saved their life. I just asked for help. And every answer was no. Then a lonely lady who has everything she could ever want materially, more money than she knows what to do with. But is so lonely and just wants to feel desired and romanced. Asked me for thatfor money. So I did it. Is it wrong? Yes. But I don’t know what else to do. I told her it was only once. Same with the last one. And it was only once for her too. Do I feel dirty? Yes. But she felt loved and said she hadn’t felt that even tho she had to pay for it, in years.

    This world is full of bunch of selfish people. I rarely ask for anything for me. Nobody ever asks me what I want. They tell me what I want. They tell me all the time what they want. As if it’s what I want. Nobody genuinely gives without expecting payment or glory any more. It’s the saddest bunch of shit I ever seen. The storys on my website aren’t even a drop in the ocean of how much I have done in this world. Never expecting anything in return. Never even asking anyone for anything until today. I have never called in a favor or anything. Shouldnt have to remind people what I have done for them.

    So with that. My time on line is at end. As soon as I post this comment. I’m gonna go on doorfore and delete everything posted there. The website will no longer be available by the end of the month. Then I’m going to take my shoes off and shake the dirt from them as custom. And I won’t post again anywhere on line about the future or anything. Everyone can figure it out themselves. I quit. I’m done. Good bye. It’s been real. You have all taught me much.

    Let the world burn itself down with these selfish people in it. Let their appitites consume themselves. I will still be out there being me. Doing what I do. The rest of the world an fuck off. They are a stubborn race of people, selfish and unwilling. And they won’t listen. Not even when you save their lives. The only thing that bands them together is travisty. Not harmony. So let them all their fill of it.

    I’m fckin done.

    • Lot of that going around, Andy.
      Son G2 will be moving here, end of month. Says he’s done, too.
      Long story for another time, but people aren’t what you think mainly.
      Point is there’s a reason I live alone with Elaine. Living apart you can see things.
      Well but partially connected dots. (Good EQ call, though)
      Was sitting Saturday afternoon looking out the window of the 180 room –
      Enjoying The Dude’s marvelous world – windy and blowing the trees, a buck and half dozen does and some kids wandered from the lower field up the hill.
      Yet suddenly there was an overwhelming sense of sadness – like we were crossing a very bad bridge.
      I was painful – deep at the soul level – because while all should be good, there’s so much bad about to go down.
      Painful – like almost tearful.
      Take some time, do some sorting. Big cities? Not your friend. People don’t make America anymore. They’re making power trips and ego expansions, and me, me, me shit.
      Not good for any old soul. Death, hate, poverty – all communicable diseases.
      To change the outcome change the input. People are deeply addicted to the one-eyed electric Cyclops.
      It’ll kill ’em m – soon enough.
      Fair winds and following seas,

      • Lots of truth from you and Andy. IMHO, Andy did a reasonable thing and did someone a real favor(he could). Not all guys can do the romance thing with the correct affect for the desired effect. It was a legitimate value for value exchange.

        If you do something as a gift(favor), any expectation of return is specious. It’s quite likely to result in disappointment and should only be offered from a place of “why not?”. It’s a sad but real commentary on the human race that many/most are takers, some are givers, and the rest are transactional. Doing favors doesn’t bank value in any way other than in your own soul. Yes, it’s good to help others selflessly, but only if you’re overflowing with the kind of value that you’re giving away. Creating that value is a worthwhile life endeavor. My thought is that Andy needs to contemplate the reality that he really imporved someone else’s lot in life, and she seemed to appreciate it. Going forward, she has a memory that will be with her for life. Andy now has enough to move forward – hopefully with love, grace, and power.

        Thanks for this site, and the value wthin PN. It does matter. Thanks to Andy for sharing what he has. The future seems a bit dark from here, and we may need to bring our own light.

      • “If you do something as a gift(favor)”
        I am so sorry to hear of your situation.. it is a hard one.. my daughter went by looks got married and he tried to kill her.. then to find out there was a reason why he was still single at fifty.. he had tried it before twice.. because of his personality.. the police did nothing.. he dragged her through three states she had to leap from a car driving at eighty miles an hour and the only one that cared was some woman in a car that seen it all.. anyway.. she should have gotten to know him.. luckily she survived.. the guy is still running free.. momma and daddy have money and political connections.. sad..
        as far as giving someone a hand up… ANYTIME.. you help someone no matter if it is family friends or some one off the street…
        Be empathetic to others but NEVER expect a return in any way shape or form..
        I help those that have been displaced, sick, hurt, or just destitute all the time. I pick one that has fallen through the cracks once a year to help them back onto their feet.. It is something I feel compelled to do and make it happen.. Keep things separate never expect a return..
        there is normally enough drama in ones own life to deal with than to drag someone else’s drama into yours..
        IF.. you want to find a good lasting relationship.. then be the BLIND man.. don’t go by body size weight height race or religion.. open your inner mind and judge them for WHO they are not WHAT they are..
        men and women are driven by hormones.. and the ancient instincts.. good looking women know they are good looking and at any age know that they will have a hundred more men seeking their attention. You never go by looks.. as you grow older the list of available good women drops considerably. there is a reason why they are still single the same with a man.. why is what you need to know…. you have to go by who not what..
        this is what I would tell a child of mine or a grandchild it is the lecture.. good luck in all your endeavors.. be at peace.. enjoy and put the dam blindfolds on.. go slow get to know..

  9. for G2 and others: it’s recommended to look for another job before quitting the one you have (you look more employable than the couch potato with no job!)

    But if you go ‘freestyle’, when dropping your present employer’s health plan, you’ll have to pay your er’s portion in the COBRA plan while you search for new employment, in TX, looks to be $634 per month:

    • Health insurance is not required by law. It may or may not be a good idea depending on the individual and luck of the draw. To my knowledge, G2 has no dependents and is in good health. I lived my life without health insurance. I don’t recommend this for everyone, but it worked for me. Eyes and teeth cost me a bit, but insurance wouldn’t cover some things I’ve had. Going bare(without ins) is simply assuming the risk that you try to insure against. It’s a personal choice, like everything else.

      Insurance companies are in business to collect premiums, not to pay claims.

  10. “for G2 and others: it’s recommended to look for another job before quitting the one you have (you look more employable than the couch potato with no job!)”

    Amen… they also want someone that’s dependable and will stick around for a while.. what was hard for us was age. Medical facilities have an annual witch hunt were they get rid of older employees within a time in. They try to keep young lower paid. One year they got rid of 500 at one shot. My doctors nurse was one. if your lucky to avoid it after your there better than twenty your wife made its couple of decades and thought she was safe .. but they wanted me off of the health insurance and she was at the top income..
    We found out then fifty to sixtyfive your pretty much unemployable.. and you cannot get unemployment…
    We went a year without an income the double whammy was she had had a minor stroke so there was som limitation with one hand.
    The thing is when your young and jobs come easy..I was a workaholic when my health took me down I was working two full time and a part time jobs..
    Then discover everything you were taught was a lie..

Comments are closed.