Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Housing Market Chart Porn

Presented with little comment. After all, what is there to say about the "housing recovery" over the past six years when the volume of applications for home purchases is the lowest since August 1995? Add to this the fact that the all-cash buyers (AKA hedge funds) have dried up. 
Keep believing that lower rates will support home prices. Keep believing the Fed's QE infinity is working. Alternatively, we could all face the facts that this is not your mother's housing market anymore. 
Charts courtesy of Bloomberg.

The long term: Six years of recovery?

The long term:

This is called a broken transmission channel. Every artificial spike in the homebuilder stocks is a chance to add to short positions.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Tails from the Back Seat: National Parks are for the Birds (and Cats and Other Lesser Species)

National Parks??  We don't need no stinking National Parks!!
--Adapted from Mel Brooks' "Blazing Saddles" 

A world without wilderness is a cage
--David Brower, Founder of Sierra Club

Our names are Karly and Jake
Adventures we like to take
Rivers, mountains, and beaches
All best without leashes :-) 
But National Parks we cannot partake!!

For reasons we don't understand
Trails on which we are banned
Why the horse rules
Including the mules
Aren't we the best friend of man??

And so we share our recent adventures in the Flathead National Forest outside Glacier National Park

Boondocking in leash-free paradise

I can already taste the sweet smells of the glacial outdoors...let's get goin'!

This is my kind of weather...and hiking!
Wait for me!!!

Let's take a break and enjoy the view
(North Fork of the Flathead River, designated a National Wild & Scenic River)
                                                                                                            --Karly & Jake

Okay, Susan, we'll keep you company now
                                            --Karly & Jake

Fine, we'll pose for a photo too
                              --Karly & Jake

Whoa, that's quite a drop!
Karly, what do you think?

Where there's a will, there's a way!
Thanks for showing the way
Come on in, John, we dare you!
                                 --Jake & Karly
Hey Jake, the view is spectacular, but I have a stick...come and get it!!
So many smells, so little time.....
                                                                  --Karly & Jake

So many fun things to chase too, especially this poser!
                                                                 --Karly & Jake

(Deep Creek, Flathead National Forest)
Nothing like a "room" with a view...
...a stick is nice too
Did someone say Happy Hour???  Don't I look happy???

Oh yeah.....
I loooooove happy hour!

And yes, you can take my photo again, Susan....

So ends another wonderful dog day afternoon

Oh yeah!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

From a thousand shades of green to a thousand shades of brown

It's good to pull the band-aid off fast. In less than a day we went from the verdant greens of Northern Idaho to the brownish tan sage lands of Eastern Oregon and Nevada. For the next six months or so the brown/tan will dominate our landscapes.

Sure there are some other colors in these areas. Arizona has its fair share of red rocks and blooming deserts, but the canvas on which these landscapes is painted is always some variation of brown.

Even in the desert, find a little water and you'll find some green.

The Pillars of Rome are definitely off the beaten track. No tourist amenities for 100 miles. That's OK, we had them all to ourselves.


 This was one of the few lakes/reservoirs in Eastern OR and Northern NV we've seen that still had a little water in it. Even so, it's about 95% dried up. It's a nice free boondocking spot that used to be right on the shore of the lake. Now the lake is a mile away. The drought in the West is still serious.