Sunday, February 11, 2007

Bits and pieces:

Admittedly unscientific, but I don't think the prices for HD Tv's are any higher now than they were before Christmas. Maybe the Post-Thanksgiving prices were lower, but not by much. I wonder sometimes if the 'SALES!' at Christmas are really all that much better.

Writing a novel is NOT a daily blog activity, at least not the way I do it.

Watching home renovation shows just makes me tired.

The BAT is still spending a thousand a day on repairs. And I still think a small crew of enterprising fellows in vans could zip around town transporting everyone for cheaper. Or, again, that would pay for 100 ten dollar taxi rides....

There is a generational gap between my customers and I, when it comes to Transformers and G.I. Joe. Those two licenses have absolutely no resonance with me. Not the slightest twinge of nostalgia. But I recognize it when I see it.

I've often wondered how the Beatles and the Doors and Led Zepplin resonate with the young folk who missed it the first time. I wonder if it is like my nostalgia for the 'pulp' era of the 30's and 40's.

Retro-future is going to start doubling in on itself, as more and more predictions and illustrations and stories are proven wrong. Was watching 2001 last night, and the beautiful elegant space stations, and realizing we didn't even come close. But we should have......

Billions upon billions upon billions spent in that hell-hole Iraq, and still no universal health care.

Whether you like the Bush administration or not, I think it is becoming very clear that history is going to be very harsh. The scholarly books just keep coming out (Book T.V.- C-Span.) The Fox channel and the right wing talk radio are ephemeral, these books are going to be forever.

At some point in every fad, it becomes so ridiculously out of control that all you can do is shake your head. Then watch the inevitable decline. I think Bend hit that point late last year, and is still frothing over, but I think many of the developments that are being announced now will never actually be built.

We get these old art books and portfolio's in the BOOKMARK once in awhile, all the way back to the 30's and 40's. Black and white, with color plates. Now, I could buy much better, full color illustrations in almost any modern art book. But there is just something about the yellowed paper and touched-up color that really appeals to me. My mother was an art major in college, so our house was filled with these old books. They aren't worth a thing, and are usually too beat up to sell, so I take them home.

I've noticed that the House-selling scroll on the the local cable clusters like-priced homes together. So one day there might be nothing but 3.5 million homes, and the next there might be under two hundred thou mobile homes. Kind of disorienting. So you watch these 5000 ft. homes and wondered who needs that much space. Then comes a home for ONLY 900 thou, and you think, "That seems more reasonable." my dreams. It's all relative.


IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

At some point in every fad, it becomes so ridiculously out of control that all you can do is shake your head. Then watch the inevitable decline. I think Bend hit that point late last year, and is still frothing over, but I think many of the developments that are being announced now will never actually be built.

Can you say "The Shire"?

What is really interesting is being an advocate for moderation, Not excess, and being lambasted for it. The RE interests in this town are like junkies, and think the Bend RE bubble of 20-30% yearly gains was not a bubble at all, and besides even if it was, Bend is so great, that it very well can and should go on forever.

We are about to enter a very painful time in Bend. I'm not really sure it was avoidable, but all attempts to mitigate the pain, like bringing boom sustaining (cushioning?) jobs have been completely ignored by the city.

What'll be terrible is if our new residents realize how bad it is going to get, and they jump ship looking for greener pastures. Bend will be like the busted Alaska gold towns - completely hollowed out, left with vacant hulks of no use to anyone, and economically destroyed. Hopefully it doesn't come to that...

Duncan McGeary said...

Of all the bubbles I've observed, the housing bubble in Bend most resembles...of all things, baseball cards. With the very huge difference that you can actually LIVE in a house, whereas a closet full of baseball cards is a closet you could be using for clothes or shoes....

The pattern is what is most similar.

I got into baseball cards in 1984, which would have been like buying a house in about 1998; You can look forward to 6 years of explosive growth. I was left alone for 4 years, no competition from either the mass-market or fly-by-nights. The golden age.

But it was also nearly exponential growth, and I was careful and skeptical all along. I was the like the guy who saw that Nasdaq was overpriced at 2500, and then again at 3000, and at 3500 and so on, but who kept buying because the surge seemed so strong.

I had the feeling that supply caught up to demand in 1988, cards kept selling strongly through 1989, 1990, and then there was a bit of a collapse in 1991. That scared me, and when there was a dead-cat bounce in 1992, I began to extricate myself.

The hobby as a whole, however, kept growing strongly for another 2 or 3 years though the seeds of its destruction were already sprouting.

I was like the guy who got in early, who got overextended and overconfident, and who told himself that the market surely wouldn't drop more than half.

The real point of this is: cards over produced in 1988; the hobby didn't fully begin it's collapse until 1994.

Some of the builders and realters probably started to feel what I felt in 1991, last year. Some or going to really get hurt over the next couple of years. But I also think the froth will continue for several years before reality catches up.

I don't think, however, that Bend will fall into permanent decline. I just think it won't be easy for everyone to make money anymore.

dkgoodman said...

I believe the cost of HDTV's is dropping, so what would be the post-sale higher price has been offset by the decline in prices driven by competition and the efficiencies of mass production.

Jason said...

Can you say "The Shire"?

Funny, that's the first thing I thought of, too. My roomate sold her soul, working on that project.