Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Starting something new

There is something special about starting something brand-new. First, there is the risk of failure which always brings about a jolt of energy. Then, there is the uncertainty of what will happen which creates wonder and curiosity. Finally, there is just the novelty of doing something new which is exciting. I personally love starting new things. I just wish there were more and more new things to start in my life.

What do you think?

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Nightcap 4-19-16

Stocks closed mixed and oil held at $41 a barrel. Interesting results in the New York State primary. Trump wins big, Clinton finally beats Sanders, and Cruz got crushed coming in third place. Maybe this will give Trump and Clinton the momentum change they need to become the nominees? Maybe this was the deciding factor? The only other interesting story today was that Intel has announced 12,000 layoffs over the next 2 months! Ouch! That's 11% of Intel's labor force is going to be looking for jobs. I also wager that most of those jobs are not minimum wage jobs. Ouch again! Everyone is saying that the economy is getting better. Where? Besides the usual mess of things, there was nothing else of great importance in the news.

What do you think?

Being different

I have found that the vast majority people claim they want to be different but in reality they want to be the same as everybody else. This is especially the case is a person perceives that they are lacking something somebody else has. I think this is unfortunate because it is being different that makes you unique. And when you are unique, that is when great things occur. The reason people do not want to be different is that they do not want to risk failure. When you are like everybody else, chances are you will succeed like everybody else. When you were different, you risk failure and that keeps people from actually wanting to be different. I think being different is what is awesome and makes everything special. In other words, it is worth the risk of failure to be different.

What do you think?

Monday, April 18, 2016

Nightcap 4-18-16

Stocks rallied today and Oil hovered at $41 a barrel. It looks as if the president of Brazil is going to be impeached. My favorite quote from the whole ordeal was “I want to see all the corrupt politicians in jail,” said Gerivaldo Oliveira, a taxi driver in the capital. “Brazil needs a clean slate; otherwise we’re lost.” Maybe we all would like to see corrupt politicians in jail? What a mess. I lived in Brazil as a kid and I remember the country with great fondness. To bad human nature had to go and ruin things. There were several earthquakes this past week that took the lives of many. We are overdue a large quake here in Southern California. Hopefully it will not happen near me and my family. The New York State primary is tomorrow. It will be interesting to see what happens. Will this help make things clearer? I doubt it, but it will be very interesting. Finally, Texas is drowning in an epic flood. To bad they can't ship the water to California. There was nothing else of major importance in the news (besides the usual crime and mayhem and disasters).

What do you think?

Increasing the minimum-wage

People who want to increase the minimum wage have never taken an economics class. If they had taken in economics class they would realize that if you arbitrarily increased wages not much happens in the long run. In other words, if you increase minimum-wage all the other wages will increase as well. That will then force prices to increase to pay for those wages, and so those making minimum wage will still be at the same purchasing level as they were before the increase was made. Long term nothing much will change. Short-term you will just force a lot of people out of work and reduce the number of jobs in order to pay for the wage increases in the short-term. There is nothing good that comes from increasing the minimum-wage. At best it does nothing at worst it causes a mess in the markets. So, increasing the minimum wage is just a political stunt to get some attention and some votes.

What do you think?

Friday, April 15, 2016

Google maps

How does google maps know what the traffic is like? Where does it get the data? I find that fascinating. Are there sensors in our highways that send information to a server somewhere? Or is a gathering information from our cell phones? Wow, I have actually never thought about this before. Some very smart people have put this together. I just can't wrap my head around all the data that would be necessary to make it work. I can't even imagine where you would get the data. How about all the programming that needs to be done in order for it to function the way it does. That is just mind boggling me.

What do you think?

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Nightcap 4-14-15

Stocks were flat today. Oil remained above $41. Today was even more uneventful than yesterday. Yes there was a debate between the Democratic contenders, but I had no desire to watch it. Will it change any ones opinion or vote? Maybe, but I have no interest in wasting my time watching debates. There has to be a better way to pick our president. Besides the usual carnage and debauchery, there was nothing else of great importance in the news. Maybe there will be something tomorrow?

What do you think?

What if?

What would our society be like if everybody actually did their jobs? I was just passing a street cleaner who is actually out cleaning the street. Wow, what a concept. What an amazing place we would live in if everyone did their jobs and did them well. Just something to think about.

What do you think?

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Nightcap 4-13-16

Stocks were up today and oil is still above $40. It was another quiet day and not much happened (other than the usual stuff). Several unimportant stories from the presidential campaign. A Russian jet made a menacing pass over one of our Navy ships. The pictures are pretty wild. There was nothing else of great importance in the news. Maybe there will be something interesting tomorrow?

What do you think?

California – gas prices

The price of gasoline has finally begun the fall here in Southern California. I was paying about $2.70 a gallon last week and today I paid $2.57 a gallon. So the switch to the summer formula is complete and inventory is starting to increase to the point where prices can now start to fall a little bit. Finally we here in Southern California get to pay lower gas prices. Unfortunately is still much higher than the rest of the nation, but at least it is going in the right direction.

What do you think?

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Nightcap 4-12-16

Stocks rallied today and oil was higher (though it is down a bit here as I write). Oil is still above $40. Nothing major happened today. Verizon workers go on strike tomorrow. Let's see what that brings about. There are reports that used car inventories are at their highest level ever. So it may be a good time to buy a used car. There was plenty of crime, and mayhem, but nothing earth shattering (unless you are the victim). It was actually another quiet day. Maybe there will be something important or interesting tomorrow?

What do you think?


Advertising pays for so much in our lives. But, how effective is advertising? I can't remember when the last time I clicked on an ad. I can tell you that very few people click on the ads on my blog (unfortunately). I think we have all become immune to the allure of mass marketing. So does anything still work? I think permission marketing works, but it leaves all the power and control in the customer. I don't think much of anything else works. Unfortunately corporations still spend billions on marketing and advertising. On the other hand, it does pay for all the free stuff we get to do and use (like Google).

What do you think?

Monday, April 11, 2016

Nightcap 4-11-16

Stocks closed slightly lower today, but oil held above $40. I bet some oil producers are feeling better about that (though it is way below what many of them need to fund their economies and governments). It was an uneventful weekend and and uneventful Monday. There was some noise on the campaign trail but I ignored it. Nothing big actually happened. The New York state primary is coming up. Both Trump and Clinton are projected to win, but it would be fun if they lost. Now that would be interesting and important. Other than the usual crime, mayhem, and disasters, there was nothing else of great importance in the news. Maybe tomorrow will be different?

What do you think?


Socialism does not work. Venezuela is a classic case. Government services have collapsed. In the morgue there are so many bodies and not enough personnel that bodies are stacked and rotting. The government has made every Friday a holiday because they can't afford to pay the workers nor the use of electricity. The stores are empty of goods. Venezuela also has the highest murder rate in the world. Water is rationed, electricity is rationed. Inflation is over 700%. Essentially Venezuela has run out of money.

How can a country with one of the largest oil reserves collapse into chaos and mayhem? Simple, socialism. You have to have a healthy private economy to pay for whatever the public sector wants to do. If you kill off the private sector, you run out of money. Socialism is all about increasing the public sector at the expense of the private sector. Eventually the public sector grows too big and you have what is happening in Venezuela, societal collapse.

Unfortunately our country is currently on the same path. If Bernie Sanders or even Hillary Clinton is elected, it will only happen faster. I am not so sure that electing any Republican would make much of a difference either. Maybe we are past the tipping point and we will all be like Venezuela in just a few short years? The truth is that only a private, free market economy works in the long run. It is not perfect and it is not entirely fair, but it is the only thing that works.

What do you think?

Friday, April 8, 2016

Windows Laptop & Chromebook

I have a Windows Laptop that I started to use more often. I still use my Chromebook when I just need to surf the internet and I use my iPhone for dictation. I am also using my Windows Laptop more often because I need it for a class I am taking. I am taking a web development class that is using Visual Studio. I can’t use Visual Studio on my Chromebook (though I could still do most of the work with just a text editor and FTP). Am I happy using my Windows Laptop more often? Not really, but I have no choice. I still like my Chromebook more. Too bad I can’t download Visual Studio to my Chromebook (or something similar). Oh well, I will just have to live with my Windows Laptop.

What do you think?

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Nightcap 4-7-16

Stocks sold off today as did oil (which has rebounded). There was nothing else of major importance in the news. It has been a rather quiet spell lately. Maybe tomorrow will be more interesting?

What do you think?

DVD video rentals

Are DVD video rentals dead? Not quite I don't think. You would have thought that DVD rentals would have died by now thanks to Netflix and being able to rent movies from the Internet, but that is not the case. DVD rentals are still alive and well for now. Redbox has kept the industry alive. Is the business dying? I am not sure, but I think that it will hang on for a while longer since it does seem to be profitable enough for Redbox to continue renting DVD’s. I am surprised that there is no competitor to Redbox. You would think by now that somebody would have figured out how to make the same type of vending machine and make it work. Maybe that is the Redbox competitive advantage? In any event, DVD rentals are not quite dead. And as long as Redbox is around, I will keep renting movies.

What do you think?

Wednesday, April 6, 2016


The last couple of days I have not been able to write very much. One of the main reasons is that I have not had the opportunity to use the dictation app on my iPhone. The reason being is that I have not been doing very much driving. Now, I had time to write in the way I used to write, which was by typing. But having used dictation extensively for the over two months now, it has started to change the way I write and create my blog post and my other writings. In fact, I think it has changed the way I write completely. First, my mind does not seem to be as agile when I have to type. Second, I find myself getting frustrated with typing because I'm not the best typist in the world. Third I write so much faster when I use dictation. Maybe my mind just needs the extra speed? Finally, I just think that I've opened a new chapter in my writing life and it includes dictation. That is very interesting to me. I've been writing the old way (by typing) for decades, could just a few months of dictation change how I write? I think it has. It sure has changed how prolific I can be.

What do you think?

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Nightcap 4-5-16

Stocks were lower today, but oil was higher. Ted Cruz and Bernie Sanders had wins today in Wisconsin. Ted Cruz might be able to force a brokered convention and Bernie sanders is picking up more and more wins. Things are definitely getting interesting the in the presidential campaign. California and New York signed legislation raising the minimum wage eventually to $15. Though some people will get a raise, many more will just be replaced with technology or not get a job in the first place. California is a basket case already. How much more could this hurt? Actually, it might be what pushes the state into insolvency since there will be fewer and fewer workers to tax. Way to go California. Nothing else of major importance happened today. Let’s see if there will be anything interesting tomorrow.

What do you think?

The original Star Wars

I watched the original Star Wars today for the millionth time I think. Since it is one of my favorite movies I never get tired of watching it. I do miss the original though, I am not a huge fan of the CGI updated version. No it's not a fantastic movie. I like it though because it reminds me of how I felt when I was a kid. I remember sitting in the theater and just being blown away by how amazing it was. Now watch it and I realize that the effects aren't all that great and the story isn't anything special, but at the time back in the day it was magical. I don't think there is ever going to be a movie quite like Star Wars was. That's a shame because it was a magical moment that I will never forget. I wish my kids could experience something like that.

What do you think?

Monday, April 4, 2016

Nightcap 4-4-16

Stocks closed lower as the rally in stocks finally takes a breather. Oil got hammered over the last few sessions and is down to $35 a barrel. The rally in oil is clearly over. Is it telegraphing what is in store for stocks? It was an uneventful Monday (except for the usual crime, mayhem and disasters). Honestly it has been rather calm and quiet these past few weeks. I feel something big is about to break. I can't say what, but something wicked this way comes.

What do you think?

Fresh start

I took a few days off from posting to my blog. At first I took some time off only because I could not think of something to write about. That then became a short vacation from blog. Now though, I am ready to start again. Sometimes we do need a vacation. This applies to many areas in our lives. Clearly it applies to work. It also applies in any creative endeavor we pursue. So this is a fresh start.

What do you think?