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Ok I can now cross seeing him in person off my list of things to do before I die. I really have to wonder how that got on the list in the first place? In other news why would someone want to go into a volcano? Better yet what does going into a volcano(active) have to do with my job?
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People are now trying to find a way to fix the housing market so that it does not continue to drag down the rest of the economy. I currently can find two 10,000sft lots in the same area that are not selling at the same basic price. The difference in the price seems to be that the lot with the house on it is worth less then the lot with no house. Economics says this will only happen if their are other factors affecting the value. In this case those factors are all the laws surrounding house purchasing and valuation VS the ones for empty land. Any attempt to bail out the home owner is going to miss the mark as it requires an amount of logic that can not be litigated with the average american. Basically, if you try to help people you are inevitably failing to help people who have already lost their homes.

To fix the problem the government should take out the home builders. The US government has the authority to take personal property. They need to shut off the supply of houses and land. This one act would force the price of houses to stabilize better then any other available option. Cities generally control land development. They are very bad at it because residential housing brings in more taxes then commercial development. Thus most cities grown in a way that would make any residential planer cry. The government could help regulate this process in a way that would restrict the rights of cities to be bribed by easy tax money. Some cities would need to be rezoned and there would be a few exceptions for projects that are already in progress. However, cutting the supply can be done quickly, has a great environmental effect, and would allow for a recovery of house prices without pricing out anyone from buying a home. If you look at cities that have very tight land use policies it is apparent that the pricing of homes in those places is much more stable then places that allow sprawl for the sake of taxes alone.

My plan would not help people in bad mortgages directly and thus would be fair to all people in the market. It would take about a year to see a strong effect as that is the current housing backlog. This would allow housing to have a smooth recovery instead of the knee jerk reaction that will happen with any home owner bailout. It also allows the government to fix some issues with development that are simply to costly to the tax payer and at the same time "protect" the environment.

about time

Oct. 29th, 2008 02:57 pm
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I finally managed to prepare gluten free dairy free pata choux. This is probably the best bread to use for the hard to make gluten free hotdog and hamburger bun.
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Copy this sentence into your livejournal if you're in a heterosexual marriage, and you don't want it "protected" by the bigots who think that gay marriage hurts it somehow.

Spices

Oct. 27th, 2008 01:14 pm
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I keep wondering when the food community will turn back from fresh produce to spices as the key thing to good cooking. Went spice shopping at my favorite local specialty store and got some good Star anise to work with. Spices have more to do with the flavor of recipes then just about anything. If one is cooking corn on the cob that is not really a recipe its simply warmed vegetable and in that case the best produce will produce the best result. Now if one is making a corn chowder the corn does not carry the dish as much as the technique and spices. Many foods don't have strong taste profiles. Most meat, vegetables, and fruit are simply not that flavorful. You really need to cook them or combine them with spices, vinegars, or oils to get what I consider good flavor.

On another note met someone today who had lived through both world wars. She let me see one of her 1830's cookbooks.
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It was a long work day lots of people not doing what they needed to. But that is life. My best friend Jadesymb was also having a bad day so I got her one of these http://www.acer.com/aspireone/ for $350 it rocks. Got it all configured and setup for her so that she now has her own non-work laptop. It can even play WoW if she was so inclined.

Sanctuary

Oct. 15th, 2008 08:51 am
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Where to start ....
Forensic psychologist?? You study the motive and feelings of dead people? Why not just have him be a detective. They keep on calling him Sherlock Holmes why use a field of study so obscure that it may not even exist. Just checked it does kind of exist but is not what the character in the show does.

Cryptozoology is not a science. Biology is a science. Biology would be 1000% more useful as a field of study to one of the main characters and you think she would have realized that after the first 100 years.

Cliché - This show should get an award for including the highest number of clichés in a series opener. Parents killed by Monster, ex lover, nerdy tech guy, hot blond can beat you up girl, women are bad drivers, smart guy who is really dumb, jack the ripper, I can really go on for quite a while and that does not even get to the lines of dialogue in the show.

There are to many good shows out there that cover this genre that to spend any more time on Sanctuary would be completely unreasonable.

Update

Oct. 14th, 2008 09:30 am
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I voted today. To summarize my votes.
- Go Obama may you be better then Carter. McCain and Palin are bigots, erratic, and unstable. Not to mention have no understanding of the economy and support sex offenders.
- Vote no on prop to make it so gay people can never marry. Because bigotry is not good for anyone.
- Vote no on all my future votes being no if I don't vote. Who came up with this stupid idea?
- Vote yes on allowing the sale of bonds for community college upgrade. The thought being that if people were smarter I would not be voting on stupid propositions.

The race for the cure was fun on Sunday. I took 7th it was an odd feeling being out so far ahead of the rest of the pack. Honestly, it was not as much fun as running in a group. I believe their was something like 35k at the event it made me happy to see so many people getting out and supporting a good cause.

Been working on http://www.americanparkour.com/ it seems to fit my mindset the best as an additive to long distance running. MMA training is to prone to injury, and Shinkendo was a little to light on the physical aspects that I need.

Been working on more pastry skills recently did some eclairs last night that turned out good. Looks like at this point my first week in November will be spent in Costa Rica.
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Wife needs chocolate injection something fierce so I decided to make her truffles.

The recipie
1 lb chocolate bitter sweet in this case ghirardelli
1 cup heavy cream
a dash of light corn syrup
some vanilla
some butter

Scold the liquid ingredients then poor them on the cut chocolate. Mix until the chocolate is smooth about 5 mins. Don't incorporate air in the mixing. Chill the mixture in a pan in the refrigerator. Might want to line it with parchment paper like you would for a cake extraction. remove after an hour cut into small squares slightly larger then a grape. coat in unsweeted coco powder mixed with confectioners sugar.

keep cool until serving
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I was able to buy my first share of Berkshire Hathaway today. It was only a BRK.B share, but still it makes me happy. This is one of the companies that I always wanted to own a piece of and the credit crisis let me get in almost at a 52 wk low. With any luck I can pick up another share in a few weeks and then have one for each kid. I would love to be able to give this share to Landon at some point it makes the economist in me happy to think about.
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Rock Band 2 is significantly better being played in one's bedroom with three beautiful women then being played in Best Buy.

Mike has talked me into trying Pirates of the Burning Sea. I don't think it was that difficult for him to do. I will post my view of the game after playing some.

I like getting good news in the morning and have to thank Brasslizard for that.

The new SM codex is well worth the cost even if you only play the RPG. If you play Dark Heresy you should pick it up.

I am still trying to figure out why French food is so much better then any other type.

Also Drukpa Kunley should have a movie made about him.
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The market was up today on the idea that they might change the accounting rules to allow companies holding home backed securities to set the price of those securities any way they want. Right now they must set the price at "market" value which means the value they would get if they sold it today. So in the end they have to mark the stuff down quite a bit because it does not have a current high value. If you let them choose the value they use the stuff to cook the books. It is great for the company, because you just made it possible for them to literally do just about anything with their balance sheet. All of this would be hidden from the investor and thus would lead to very shady business practices.

The best solution to start with is to require the securities to be traded the same way as OJ. That way an investor can look at the balance sheet at any point. Get the current market value of the security and do a quick calculation to see how a company is doing.
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If someone in your presence says that the current financial crisis is like 9/11 you are constitutionally obliged to punch them in the face.
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You and 100 other people buy a home for $100. These 100 loans are bundled together then divided by 500 and sold individually to 500 separate people. These 500 are each broken into 500 pieces and sold. The value of that home drops to $65 causing 20-80% of the people to default and pay nothing on the $100 loan. The people who have a claim on the house now equal 250,000. Since the contract is binary such that everyone gets paid or no one gets paid the value of the claim drops to 0 on the open market. You can not sell the thing you just have to wait to see if you get paid.

Now the people who have these debt products wan the government to purchase them. So the Gov will likely sell bonds to purchase all 250,000. The Gov will then own the 100 homes. The goal is to sell them back to the banks at a profit. However, the problem is the Gov is allowed to bid for bonds. Now if you own a bank and know you can buy an item for 65% of the value you will take it if you have the cash. However, banks have less cash then the Gov so they will always lose the bidding war.

If we are lucky the Gov will earn money on the investment by getting the cash flow from the remaining home monthly mortgage payments. In effect if the "Plan" is to raise taxes on the people who pay their home mortgage at the same time allowing the people who can not pay their loans and the banks to get a free ride to invest only in the best securities.

If you believe the Gov will give the money back to the tax payer at some point in the future you are a optomist.
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The government is trying to kill the middle class. Let me do the easy math for you on the current proposed fix. With 700 billion you can buy most of the bad debt from the banking system. This will not make them lend money because they would not lend money on a declining market. We put in 250 billion on Thursday and the banks simply kept the money they did not loan at all.

With 700 billion you could give each person regardless of age in the US $2,303.96 so if you had a family of 4 you would get $9,200

With 700 billion you could give each tax payer $5,072. So the average 2 person house hold would get $10,144

The point is we have already put over 900 billion into large corporate banks in the last 12 months. It has not worked why not try giving the money to the people? At least they would spend it.

Thank You

Sep. 19th, 2008 03:03 pm
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To the person who let me download Skullcrusher Mountain for Rock Band 2
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That T. Boone Pickens is turning into L. Bob Rife?
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Right now the government is debating taking all the "bad" debt and then selling it to the tax payers. This will give the Banks even more money as they dump every home loan to the tax payers. What this means is that Banks will have money to buy stuff like other companies. On the other hand it means the housing market will continue to crash. You can only barrow so much money from people and give it to the wealthy. As it stands right now the Gov is forcing a 2 class system ultra rich and ultra poor. So if you have more money then me congrats you get to be one of the upper class. If you do not have more then 100+k liquid assets then you get to be poor. On the upside it looks like the Gov has a few people who understand that this is bad. Lucky for us they are even in the finance industry. Wish them good luck or get ready to live the next 20+ years in a new form of excess or day to day living depending.
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