Friday, November 12, 2010
1. You buy a house and sign a mortgage note.
2. The note is sold to a variety of institutions.
3. Circumventing the county recorder's office, the note is recorded as transferred in a banking holding company (that has no employees BTW) called MERS.
4. You then default on your mortgage because you lost your job.
5. A bank or mortgage servicer calls you to foreclose on your house.
Now it gets fun.
6. Two more banks call you to foreclose on your house, as the note transfer was erroneous or recorded improperly.
7. You pull a "show me the note!" requesting that the entity that has standing to foreclose on you actually owns your mortgage.
8. All three banks that called you cannot produce your original wet signature, as it's been destroyed after the mortgage assignation was put into MERS. However, existing law demands that this document be produced to foreclose.
9. Banks start creating mortgage notes retroactively (google "robosigning") to be able to foreclose mortgages they think they own.
10. Homeowners find out about #9, #8, and #7 and dig in their heels with court proceedings.
11. Foreclosures drop.
As you can see, the reasons foreclosures dropped is because banks engaged in a game of three-card-monte with your mortgage to the point where no one including them knows who owns it, so the rate of foreclosures had to go down.
Prices are still too high. Don't buy. Don't buy. Don't buy.
Saturday, July 10, 2010
I choose not to get involved in third party conflicts unless there is a threat to me, my best friend, or immediate family. If I see someone getting mugged/beat up, I'm going to call 911 and be a good witness. That's it.
Here are my reasons.
- There are too many variables, and things are not always as they seem. Undercover cops, some consensual role playing sex game between men or women, the victim being the opposite of what it appears, a domestic where both parties will attack me if I intervene, etc.
- A third party under lethal threat has just as much opportunity and right to CCW as I do. The fact they choose not to does not obligate me to risk my life, money, and freedom to save them.
- In all likelihood, those I would save probably think that anyone not the police who wants to carry a gun should be classified as a dangerous felon mental case, and will sue me if anything goes wrong.
- I am not the police. The police have machineguns, helicopters, radios, but all that does not matter. The most important thing that the police have backing them when they intervene in cases like this is the blue wall of silence and millions of taxpayer dollars to pay lawyers if they screw up. I have neither.
- Much of violent crime consists of one criminal getting even with another criminal over some business dispute or show of disrepect. Why save one criminal from another?
Thursday, July 8, 2010
There was some discussion of how companies need to pay more for entry level positions, and how not doing so meant missing out on the "Ubers", people who were very productive.
Myself being a present "Uber" at designing wireless and storage products (not my words, my old CEO's) and having worked with several Ubers at various companies, I have some knowledge of how this works.
I can say that an "Uber" to use the terms of the discussion does not cold-call companies or really ever apply for a job anywhere after they attain a certain level of notoriety. They are continously employed until they choose not to be, and if suddenly laid off a recruiter usually will call them in a few weeks. Ubers have a good network, and if they say "hey, I lost my job" it spreads through the network and people call *them*.
And with Ubers, there usually is no interview at all, the resume and reputation speaks for itself. Companies calling an Uber know that they are very likely employed now, or if they aren't it wasn't their fault, and in order to lure them they have to meet their demand. If someone is sending out resumes and looking for work and getting no results, they are by definition not an Uber, and you as a CEO are not "losing out" on an Uber if you circular file a resume that asks 175% of what you have budgeted for the position. If they're an Uber, you already know about them, know what they make, and whether you can afford to hire them.
As such, I've been cold-called by a company, they put the offer out for a job (no interview), they said "$120K plus stock", I said "$175K flat" because I knew the company management and knew it was going to be a death march, they balked, I shrugged and kept working at my $120K job, and they went under 26 months later.
A lot of Ubers just want to work on cool stuff and don't want to deal with running a business of their own, they just want people to hand them cool projects and a team, leave them alone, and pay them. Sure, some get the business feva (like myself) and will start to strike out on their own, but not everyone is like this.
Your level of Uberness will depend on the economy, the direction of the field, and the day of the week. My old boss's definition of Uber was if you get 2 cold-call job offers a month in a down economy. Sometimes I got that, sometimes I didn't, but I didn't really care. It used to really torque my ex that I said "They laid off the entire R&D department including me today. Eh, someone will probably call me soon" and have it happen.
But that doesn't mean I think I'm invulnerable. Not in the least. I'm cautious with my finances, network like hell, subscribe to 5 technical journals and read 10 more at the library, maintain a blog so my network knows what I'm doing, and work on my own projects to keep all the mental tools sharp and ready to go, even ones not related to my present job or consulting project. I know that if I slack, the industry passes me by. If I get arrogant, I stop generating value add at the same rate and my $150-200/hr loaded consulting rate does not look nearly as good.
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
I'd say they're as safe as any other pistol. I consider myself very open minded, but I wound up not getting one, instead, I have a CZ P-01 that I'm pretty happy with.
After reading into Glocks when thinking about getting a G19, I read a lot about "Glock leg". I found that a prime cause of Glock NDs resulting in injury is reholstering with something not your finger (shirttail usually) stuck in front of the trigger. On a DA/SA gun with a hammer, you can holster with your thumb holding the hammer forward - if it moves when reholstering, you know you should stop. Also the DA pull is pretty heavy. With a gun with a safety, that's also mitigated as the gun physically can't fire while reholstering.
Some other reasons I didn't get a Glock were that you can't do dryfire practice with it (recocking every trigger pull gets old), and I carry in a Smartcarry so the gun is pointing very close to Mr. Happy. I've found that under stress shooting, I never ever have noticed the transition from DA to SA trigger pull weight. Also, the worse thing than having a gun go bang when it wasn't supposed to is having a gun not go bang when it's supposed to. In this video, you can see that Glocks limpwrist badly and repeatably, like if you were shooting wronghanded or injured.