Monday Recap

Some random thoughts on things:

  • Most of the SPACs that I followed in 2020, have had a rough start in 2021. EV companies have also pulled back and there is certainly enough to be said that most of them are not making profits.
  • I continue to be a supporter of TSLA; actually ended up trading in the Model S P85 for a Model X P100D with FSD. It’s great for what I wanted — which was more space and plenty of options to carry a bike, more friends in the car, and the new tech is also pretty cool.
  • Went out on the boat yesterday with family — way too windy and everyone was a bit freaked out with the healing and the accidental gybe. It’s hard to single hand the boat in the choppy water with wind. Lessons learned, will only take fam out when it’s calm. If I had some more experienced folks with me on the boat, we could have had a good time. The main issue is the gusts that were blowing at 20+knts and creating instability.
  • BTC/ETH/and pretty much every crypto asset took a 30-50% dip. It happens. I have been through this plenty of times. New owners take over the assets as people panic sell. It’s OK. — it’s just satoshis.

My daughter was playing softball for the month. It was really great to see her have a good time hitting and fielding. She crushed some hits, and did well.

Watched some baseball with her late at night on a Met’s game going into the 10th inning. Loved hearing her questions about what was going on.

Figured out some strange electrical things that were going on after hooking up a pool heat pump. It didn’t power up the display. After grabbing a multimeter, I found the voltage was dropping way too low. Measured 170v, when it should read 220v. Turns out it was corrosion on the contacts. Cleaned them up with sandpaper, they sparkled, and then everything worked great.

Latest – 4/28/21

Played The Last of Us Remastered and The Last of Us 2 on PS4. I rarely play games, but when I stumbled onto these games – and I had a brand new PS4 in a box for nearly a year, I knew I had something to try out. These games are incredible and have more complexity and character development than any other game that I have played. Not only that — these games rival character development in movies and tv series. It was an experience to play both of these games. Note: these are exclusive to Play Station. The content is brutal, it’s scary, but it’s also has depth and emotion. Highly recommended.

The Last of Us Remastered

Sail Racing Tonight

Getting a chance to learn to race. I have been sailing now for a year, but have only been on a boat once that was practice racing, and I had no idea what was happening. There was so much tacking and quick changes, that I didn’t entirely understand what I needed to do, other than trim the jib. I expect to understand the details over the next month or so.

Morning Sails

Planning on sunrise sailing during the month of May. It’s early, and might require that I spend a night on the boat in order to be there in time.

Other items of interest

  • Polymarket – market for things that happen.
  • Testing out lending Uniswap token on Gemini. APR looks decent. >3.5%.

NFT Purchase

I was interested in the process of NFT purchases and how they work in DeFi transactions. Tonight I purchased The Kings of Leon, When You See Yourself NFT.

The process worked well for me, as I have some experience with Ethereum, wallets, transaction fees, gas, mp3s and all the associated understandings.

The album sounds great. If these types of online only purchases and items that are collectible in a way that NFTs offer, then this will need to be easier. Additionally the Ethereum network is far too expensive to small items. There will need to be a rethink on how to scale computational costs to users of a network. There should never be a situation where the transaction fee costs more than the item.

It’s a strange thing to wrap your head around, that you own not just the album, but a specific entity of the album. A limited digital token of the album.

March 9

As spring nearly arrives, I thought it was a good time to upgrade my desk, get some more standing time in — and treat work as a task: get it done, and get away from it. The standing desk seems to already set that in motion for me. Went all out with the Uplift desk customization — added grommets, power plugs, clamp on usb outlets, and the high-end controls.

The setup needs a lot of cleaning up of the wires, and there is a little more to do — but it feels great and the quality of the desk is excellent. It’s heavy, the motors are smooth, and the adjustability is fully flexible.

The market has had some growth this week after free falling for the last week or so. It’s good to see JBLU and XRAY see some gains after all red across the board. I believe people want to travel — and when vaccines are reaching a broad part of the population, we will see travel rally. Jet Blue has some great routes and I think they will see some decent spring/summer revenue. (I have JBLU shares and long term options)

The Covid stimulus of $1.9T has passed. Pretty wild the things that were embedded into the bill. I am all for the necessary measures to aid people in this hard time with government assistance, but there are some bailouts that are a huge stretch and have nothing to do with covid. ie. $86B in pension bailouts. WTF is going on there.

I have too many subscription services around media. But some of them are so good. I love Spotify, but I have to say that SoundCloud is so awesome to hear new and emerging music, remixes, and just experimental music. I even use it natively on my Denon CDJs. It’s worth a subscription to support the diversity of music.

March 7

I fell off from writing. There has been so much on in various areas. Took the boat out for a motor cruise around the harbor a week ago. A February first!

After spending time away from the cold (spent time in Florida), it was still a cold and isolating time back in NJ. Continued with walks around the neighborhood as a way to still get some outdoor time and the occasional sunshine that warms up a 30 degree day.

The market has been a wild place the last few months. Wild gains that seemed to reach nearly all the sectors. The SPACs that I would buy at $10 would go to $17-20. Everything was running full steam until the 10 year note’s yield started to run up beyond $1.50, and then the brutality of the pullback became clear. Massive sell offs in tech, even while stimulus money continues to be released, and jobs numbers grow back in time for spring. I think the pullback is temporary — there is still a lot of healthy things happening in the market.

Next week are some warmer days, and likely a good time for a real start of the year sail. There is plenty of work to do on the boat this season. Planning on cleaning up the wood, adding some repair to the teak handrails on the deck, and adding some more tech. Considering adding AIS, radar, and hardwiring in the temporary solar setup that I have for the house batteries. This is all in prep to taking her out on farther trips. Would love to cruise down to Sandy Hook or just cut back and forth outside Coney Island. Eventually I also want to get into some longer motor trips — up the Hudson — was looking at marinas or Anchorage up past West Point. I think this would be a nice trip past the palisades, and past some of the iconic bridges that cross the Hudson.

12/28/20

Getting back to running has been fantastic. When it’s chilly or late at night, I just get on the treadmill in the solarium. I am working on getting back to running half marathons. I used to run a bunch of these each year. Maybe 2021 is the year to run a full — even if it is by myself.

The room heats up decently with a gas wall mount heater that I had installed last year. This 30k BTU vent free heater works fantastic to quickly take the chill out of the air in the spacious (otherwise) non-heated room.

Bitcoin/USD crossed $28k over the weekend in one of the wildest bullruns this year. I have been fascinated with cryptofinance since around 2012 when all of this was developing. The global BTC market is now over $500B in market cap, which sets up a bunch of interesting dynamics, including the potential to be used for massively large transfers of wealth. Everyday there is nearly $50B in volume. I think we are still looking at inflows of cash into BTC as money is pulled from other areas including equities, gold, and real estate.

As far as real estate goes — I speculate that commercial real estate still has a significant bear market approaching and REITs that cover commercial/urban residential will be greatly affected by the pullback. Basically, I would stay out of high yield investments in real estate that have historically been doing great. They won’t for much longer.

I was looking into different types of materials in clothing design. There are some wild things on the market, including a Solar Charged Puffer jacket from Vollebak. Looks freaking awesome. I do wonder about the long term effectiveness of the charge and the material fading over time. I think we will see more items like this in the future. If there was a more cost effective production of light emitting clothing, I think we would see more of this in industrial applications. Construction and seaworking crews could be fully illuminated at night. Really neat stuff. I went down this rabbit hole while looking into Dyneema and Graphene.

Image of Graphene

Graphene is insanely tough. Apparently it has been around for a long time, but only recently started to have applications. There is apparently a market of about ~$150M for graphene for the application of batteries and semi-conductors. I have read some interesting discussions on how the graphene battery works. Tesla Lithium Polymer Graphene Composite battery cells manufactured by Panasonic have about 20% energy density than older models. It appears that graphene allow safer charging at lower temperatures, due to the strength of the graphene composite.

12/21/20

On the weekend I repaired the Ariens Sno-Tek Snow Blower. The gas had went bad over the season, and it required a full flush. While I was at it, I replaced the spark plug. While I was at it, I cleaned the carb with Gumout.

There is something therapeutic with taking things apart and putting them back together, especially when you have the right tools. That is always the way — when you have the time and the tools, pretty much any task is accomplishable. I was really happy when the snow blower started right up after nearly three hours of repair and cleaning.

  • Started using Todoist for task management. Pretty easy natural language processing of recurring dates and tasks. I have used a lot of task software over the years, and the hardest part for me is investing the time to see how to really work with it. I have usually given up and switched back to Outlook tasks and Calendar. Todoist is really smart and I see a lot of potential.
  • There is so much happening in the SPAC equity market space. I just keep seeing M and A activity creating huge market opportunities. Think about it, cash is plentiful in private capital, and there are plenty of ways to create mega companies by merging a few in a given sector.
  • Bitcoin had a huge breakout last week and into the weekend. It has take time, but BTC, ETH, and alt-coins are powering many transactions beyond just speculation. I have been a long time Bitcoin proponent and have been buying weekly since 2012. At some point BTC will stabilize. On the other hand – we have yet to see this happen.
  • Curious – will there ever be competition to LinkedIn? It’s interesting how they found their niche and brand loyalty. I suppose there are others for recruiting, but I hardly think folks will update their pages on multiple sites — à la Myspace / Friendster / Orkut. Ok I took it there. Found this interesting article on the subject.
  • While I am on the topic of business — passive aggressive emails from biz dev or inside sales folks is just wrong. Writing a message like, “you probably don’t want to hear from me, or why are you ignoring me” will only get a small fraction of folks. I find it unprofessional and would not hesitate to block instead of delete.
  • Had our Mercedes GL repaired at the local shop. On the last oil change from a different tech, they put a self tapping screw into the oil plug. No idea why, but a $3 screw nearly killed the car. The oil drained into the pan the engine had nearly no lubrication. Luckily I knew something was wrong and the local guy fixed it.
  • Starting to plan some sails next year. Thinking of a few:

Week Recap – Dec 18

The snowfall was decent in NY and NJ. Unfortunately, I didn’t do the preseason checks of my Ariens slow blower. I had bad gas in the tank and lots of gunk in the carb. Started to clean in; and while doing that we had some kids pop by looking to shovel. Gave them the job of digging out the driveway.

When weather permits I will fix up the snow blower. It really does make sense to winterize (or summer-ize) the gear when it’s not running.

  • Google News on the web now has dark mode.
  • Made it over to the boat to clear the snow and run the Diesel engine.
  • Our swimming pool cover pump is frozen or the hose is. I wonder if there is a way to keep the hose from freezing. If the pump was able to blow air through the hose to drain it — that would work.
Snow at the helm.

The Week – Dec 14 2020

Had the Tesla Model S repaired. The rear passenger window failed, as the cable that connects to the motor snapped. Apparently, it’s a thing. I chatted with the mobile tech that came out to fix it. He informed me that he was fixing a few today. While my car is no longer until full warranty, and the cost is not cheap to fix most Tesla issues, I still find this car to be great value. Plus, getting the repair performed in my driveway vs. going to the service center is such a service.

I used to have a Bloomberg Terminal for years ( I worked there ), and they are amazing. Since moving on, I have struggled to find decent investment analytics sites or applications. Lately, I started using Koyfin. It’s pretty amazing and the features and richness of data is more than most of the free and paid charting sites out there.

There is snow predicted for this week. Hoping to get over to the boat before the storm rolls in to ensure everything looks right.

  • I heard good things about WakeOut – and app for doing exercises.
  • Watched an interesting video from David Zhang about using a 4k TV monitor with a main workstation. Interesting. I use a AOG 49″ ultra wide monitor connected to my Mac Book Pro. I keep the laptop closed and use the Magic Trackpad 2 with a Vulcan keyboard. It’s a lot of space for chrome windows.
  • Looks like iOS 14.3 is out. Will try this out on my iPhone X Max. One of these days I need to pickup the 12.
  • The weather has been chilly and wet. Ended up setting up my old treadmill. It was great to get a good mile or two in this morning.

Long range e-bike trips

I have an e-bike (Juiced Bikes Rip Current S) which is simply amazing. The range, the speed, the quality of the bike are all super impressive. With a 1000w peak power to the motor, this thing hauls!

The range around towns for decent distance is there. It supports 70+ mile range assuming not too steep climbs, and some pedal assist. But what if I wanted to ride even further, and have an adventure?

I started thinking of ways to do this, and initially it involved looking around for places with AC outlets (libraries, public parks or buildings, cafe’s). The trouble is that it’s not that easy to plug a big battery inside a Starbucks. And even if you do, it means leaving your bike.

What I have always wanted was a way to get access to public level 1 and 2 chargers around the country. I charge my Tesla Model S mostly at Super Chargers, but on occasion I use public or private chargers with either J1772 or CHAdeMO plugs.

I saw some DIY boxes to support J1772 plugs for an ebike, but those looked pretty messy. Finally I found this J1772 to NEMA 5-15 EV Plug.

The opportunity is that I should be able to carry my auto switching 110/220v charger with XLR 2amp output, and then plug that into this 1772 to NEMA 5-15, and that should give me decent AC power on the go. Later, it might be possible to explore higher amp charging, since the battery itself supports 8amp. But picture if you will, you are riding from town to town, you find a public EV spot, you hook your bike up to it, eat a meal, stretch out, and come back with some more energy in your bike’s battery.