Wednesday, June 24, 2009

rental car history

For no particular reason, a breif recap of all the rental cars I can remember driving:
Ford Focus
Chrysler Sebring
Ford Fiesta
Chrysler PT Cruiser
E-series Ford - This was a U-Haul van that got an epic 8 mpg during my trip.
Toyota Prius
Sabaru Outback
Nissan Altima
Dodage Dakota
Chevy Cobalt

And some of the vehicles I have driven at work:
Ford Crown Victoria
Chevy 1500
VW Passat
Skoda Octavio
Nissan Pathfinder

part of why gas is more expensive

This is part of the reason gas prices are going up. (You will have to change the scale to go back to March 1 on your own. The chart is keeping the date range from the link for some reason.)

The good news is that natural gas priceshave been staying down.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

social security = epic fail (if < 40)

Social security will be bankrupt in a couple dozen years. (Pretend to look surprised.) We've visited this topic before, but I actually enjoy beating dead horses. It's a good core workout when done properly.

I am most amused by the gall of this quote:

Besides, while workers in their 20s and 30s may not get a full return on their payments, they do benefit from older workers' and retirees' innovations, says Bernard Wasow, senior fellow and economist at the Century Foundation. "The premise that there shouldn't be any transfer between generations doesn't make much sense. All the inventions, improvements, and technology that my generation generates will be passed on to my kids," he says.

What? So previous generations enjoy the innovations of previous generations and get social security but my generation only gets one of those things? What do innovations created predominantly by people when they are working have to do with paying money to people who are retired? Nice attempt at connecting the ideas, but that sleight of hand is a bunch of crap. Besides, I'm not exactly enamored with the recent crop of financial innovations that were cooked up recently. I guess the 'transfer between generations' he references is about the massive amount of debt that we've managed to accumulate.

My social security program goes something like this:
* Pay money into the system.
* Expect nothing from the system. Ever.
* Save a lot.
* Save some more.
* Buy guns and ammo.
* Retire?

Sunday, June 14, 2009

some oil and gas videos

Here are some videos that might help add some color as to what happens at a drilling rig and other aspects of the oil and gas exploration process.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

polyhedral dice

For no particular reason, I've been thinking about polyhedral dice. Perhaps I was reminiscing about my D&D days. Wait, I never played Dungeons & Dragons. But we did have Wizards & Warriors.

Friday, June 05, 2009

a touch more financial commentary

One more link for the collection from a couple days ago:
* How many bankers is too many? Apparently, however many there were about 9 months ago. Now, if only the lawyer bubble would burst.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009


Congratulations on the decision to be partners and not man and wife. This gives you more options in case either of you ever opts for gender reassignment surgery. For the record, you will get a blender from me. Also, you do talk too loud, but it's part of your charm.

general financial commentary

If you are not reading The Big Picture by Barry Ritholtz (and friends), I must recommend it. Over and over and over. As you can tell by my highly monetized site, the only compensation I get is that you will be slightly closer to understanding the realities of the financial world.

Several links form the site:
* Great commentary on how the the bailouts hurt smaller banks that were well run, conservative (like they should be), made prudent loans, and had both the interests of themselves and their clients in mind.
* The lifestyle many people should have been pursuing when they were chasing McMansions and SUVs.
* A bit of unintentional comedy, but maybe we should be worried about how much longer it will still be true for.
* This links diurectly to a .pdf. A great breakdown of why things will get worse, possibly much worse before theyt get better.
* Corporate profits are getting squeezed. Well, duh. This reminds me of the latest SLB earnings conference call when the issue came up about the better-than-expected margins and the timing of cost cutting measures. Disciplined cost cutting is not the path to economic growth. It is simply a stop gap measure to protect margins and maintain slightly better financial health. And it is not repeatable.

haw and excursions

I saw a Ford Excursion today. In Szeged. Not exactly the typical European car.

And this next bit is for the taller half of CC-squared: I found haw-based candy in the grocery store today! Not the round flakes, but some chewy pieces about the size of a postage stamp, but more rectangular. I had to buy some even though I was just there for bread. And juice. And noodles. And soy sauce.