Humanity by Dalai lama

dalai lamaThe Dalai lama, when asked what surprised him most about humanity, answered “Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recapture his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future: he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.”

U.S. Chamber of commerce is NOT the voice for small business

The Chamber of Commerce is actually in the pocket of  just 16  corporations and does not represent over 93% of the 3 million small businesses it claims to represent.  Look at this graphic display showing their lobbying efforts and their stands against progressive measures in the past.

Why It

The chamber of commerce is bullshit.  Out to make the rich richer is all.

Snow day sledding

Kate and the grandkids (Atticus and Olallie) took a day off and we went into the mountains looking for a nice place to sled.  It was the day after MLK day so the normal spot we go was quite worn down, very icy and hard.  We found another place near Rainbow lodge area that had nicely groomed hills and after a small charge of 10 bucks to park we were all set.  Here are some of my favorite pics of the kids.

My poor RV

Last November I ventured to Wrights beach for 3 days, during a big storm BTW.  On the way there I pulled away from a curb, at our Colfax Post Office, only to be surprised by a crunching sound.  A low hanging limb of a tree bashed my top right corner.

Rv bashed

It bent the curved trim piece plus tore the plastic sides in two place.  I temporarliy fixed with duct tape, thank god, because a huge storm came in that night.  It held just fine.. amazing what duct tape can do.

Anyway, ever since then I have been reserching and planning how I am to fix this.  I found a trim piece in Arizona.  I found  a rv salvage place on the net, sent a photo and lo and behold the guy there had just the thing.  $75 for the part and $120 for shipping.. but what ya gonna do?   This is an ’86 Winnebago and I was lucky to find a new piece for it.


Next problem is fixing the tears.  I thought I was going to have to fiberglass from the inside, meaning tearing out all the insulation, paneling etc.  However, I found an RV repair shop in Reno that looked like it handled stuff like this.  Paramount Auto Body.  So I emailed them with a picture asking how much it might cost.  In probably 15 minuts I got a call from them explaining exactly what I could do to easily fix the tears.  ProFlex.  I didnt have to tear out the insulation as it would have been a mess since its glued to the siding.   Anyway, I was so impressed with these people helping me out like that instead of trying to discourage me or sell me something.

So.. when the weather warms up I plan to be out there fixing this thing and can only hope it will go smoothly.

Jan 29, 2013 Consumer Confidence drop

The Conference board reported that consumer confidence in January dropped to lowest level since Nov. 2011. I find this interesting in light of the stock market nearing its all time high (S&P high was 1576 in 2007). Also in light of the rising retail sales numbers. Maybe fear brings about escape through spending. The stock market is up because the Fed keeps pumping cash into the system and keeps interest rates near zero. Also because there seems to be that bubble mentality brewing.

Look how the stock market used to move in tandem with confidence and how its now diverging dramatically.

Consumer confidence vs. SP500

Next look at how retail sales are strong yet confidence is weak.  The sales figure, however, lags the confidence I believe.

Consumer confidence vs. retail sales

And lastly here you can can see the historic consumer confidence levels for the past 6 years.  The top part of the graph is actual CC numbers and the bottom shows rate of change.  Now it has obviously turned negative and is accelerating to the downside in velocity but will it really plunge or bounce up from here?  Who knows, but it will be interesting to see if next month shows a trend.  Also there are several measures of this, we have to see if they all confirm.

Conference board consumer confidence

Update 2/1/13

The Univ. of Michigan consumer confidence came in at 73.8 up from 72.9 in Dec.  so go figure… Amazing how these different polls vary and who knows which one to trust.  Also today, the unemployment rate rose to 7.9% but more importantly only 157,000 jobs added which is pretty weak.  On the other hand the total added jobs for 2012 was increased up 335,000

SP 500 at 1/18/13

The S&P appears to be on its way toward 1576, the high in 2007. Looking at the daily and weekly charts, everything is pointed up and now that it took out resistance at the Sept. 2012 highs, and the debt ceiling issue has been put off for 3 months, or appears to be… I don’t see much to stop it. The ADX is not in overbought territory so there most likely wont be a pull back for a while yet.

S&P chart

And on a weekly basis all indicators are pointing up, what appears to be the beginning of an uptrend. I would not want to be short the mkt here. Definitely not overbought territory.

sP chart