My 2010 Predictions

First, how did I do with my 2009 predictions?

2009 Predictions

1. Lakers will win the NBA championship. Bingo! I should get extra points for this one.
2. The Celtics won’t make it to the finals. HA HA!
3. My daughter will achieve a B average. If you factor in the one-grade bump for AP courses, she did it.
4. High foreclosure rate will continue. Uh huh. Looks like it might accelerate too.
5. The median price of homes will continue to decline albeit at a slower pace. Buzzz. Thanks to govt handouts and free loans..err stimulus…median price is seeing some increases
6. We will officially enter a recession. Yuppers
7. Prez Obama will claim he didn’t know how bad it really was. Nope, but he gets no props for not using this one.
8. Apple will become “mortal”. I think we are starting to see some chinks in the armor.
9. I will get a new phone. Yes, an N97.
10. West Los Angeles home prices will finally succumb to significant price declines. Prices are down, but I wouldn’t say significantly.
11. I will gain a new hobby. Darn. Missed this one!
12. I will maintain my weight loss. Yes indeed!

8 out of 12. Not too shabby. Better than last year’s 7 or 15.

2010 Predictions

  1. Lakers will repeat as NBA champions. (Yeah, I’m going to ride this one as long as I can!)
  2. The Celtics won’t make the finals…again. (ditto.)
  3. Higher interest rates will start, particularly long-term rates.
  4. Higher mortgage rates will cause havoc in residential home sales
  5. High foreclosure rate will continue
  6. High unemployment will continue
  7. The federal government will begin to see the problem with the the stupid idea of borrowing to get out of a credit crisis. In the long run, it doesn’t work for me and won’t work for Uncle Sam. My guess is that it will manifest itself with a difficulty to sell Treasuries, which will cause rates to rise and cascade into all kinds of other problems.
  8. A US state will declare bankruptcy.
  9. The equity markets will realize, like Wile E. Coyote, that you can only remain suspended in mid-air temporarily.
  10. Apple will release some type of tablet device and it will not only create a new category, but destroy the eBook device market (e.g., Kindle, Sony Reader, B&N Nook, etc.).
  11. Firmware updates to the N97 will finally make it a flagship device for Nokia.
  12. With respect to the economy, 2010 will be a year we’d rather forget than remember. It will not be a recovery year, but a year where hard lessons should be learned. (Gawd, I hope I’m wrong on this, but I know we have to pay the piper someday.)

No AT&T U-Verse for me. Staying with Time Warner Cable…for now

I nearly pulled the trigger to switch my TV and Internet to AT&T U-Verse, but after some research I found some show stoppers. Let’s start off with why I was even considering the switch. Two things really. Much faster Internet: 24 down and 2 up (was to be rolled out in a few months) and better features on DVR, including more storage. The show-sharing capabilities of the “Total House” feature seemed pretty cool too.

So why did I decide to stay? The biggest reason is that U-Verse limits the *entire* house to a maximum of only *two* HD streams, not matter how many boxes you have. Yup, you read that right. It’s a house limitation, not a box limitation. The fine print says, “Four channels can be recorded to the DVR or viewed simultaneously: up to two can be HD.” The way they word it, it almost seems like a good thing! ;-) Anyways, that is lame. I’ve got two dual-tuner HD DVRs now. I can be watching an HD football game and recording another HD football game on my TV, and Jac can be watching an HD channel on the other TV. Can’t do that with U-Verse. In fact, she could also be recording another HD show. And this can happen *every* Sunday during football season =), so it’s not a remote possibility.

The other issue may or may not be a problem. From what I read only one DVR actually records and the others can control or playback content on that DVR. So, some people have reported that you can only pause live TV on the TV with the DVR. According to the sales guy, our area will be getting only DVRs so each unit actually records. We shall see, since my neighbor is getting the service. In any event, although each may be a DVR, the entire house is still limited to 2 HD streams max. It has got to be a bandwidth issue.

In the future, they may increase the HD cap and I’ll revisit at that time. Until then, Time Warner still has my business, for better or worse. I am hoping, however, that this competition will force them to improve the DVR features, price, Internet speed, channels, etc. Competition is good!

FYI I’m still sticking with ViaTalk for my land line. You just can’t beat this service!

Awesome Japanese T-Shirts with profanity

You gotta love the Japanese (yeah I’m one!). Check out the SEXPOT ReVeNGe line of T-Shirts touted as the “Japanese New Punk Style”. Not sure why they are being sold by a Japanese CD site, but hey, I guess clothes and music are closely connected. They are about $30US which seems a bit high, but I suppose profanity done right has it’s cost.

Some of my favorite are:

Rude Spit
Screw You
F*ck You Baby
Screw You
Mother F*cker

*edited to keep the site PG-13 ;-)

My 2009 Predictions

First, how did I do with my 2008 predictions?

My 2008 Predictions
1. Housing will not recover in 2008. Right on
2. Gasoline will be $4/gallon and stay there. 1/2 right
3. Oil will stay over $100 barrel for most of the year. Check, altho I dived late.
4. The market will take a huge hit, but bounce back by year end. 1/2. It didn’t really come “back”
5. Republicans will somehow hang onto White House. 0
6. Lakers will make it the conference finals. Geez! Yes! Finals even.
7. Foreclosures will be at record levels. Yup
8. Apple will release a cool tablet which will basically be an iPod Touch with a larger screen. Nope. Still hoping though.
9. My daughter will achive a 3.5 report card…gawd I hope. Unfortunately opposite is occuring.
10. I will buy a new TV. Check. Old rear-screen died.
11. The Fed will raise interest rates. Dead wrong.
12. Neither Blueray nor HD DVD will gain traction. I’ll take this. Blueray isn’t catching on.
13. Supply of the Wii will exceed demand.  Nope, I think they are still relatively hard to get.
14. Steve Jobs will make some deal regarding stock option backdating and avoid having to leave Apple. Maybe, but we’ll never know.
15. Facebook will fade.  nope.

7 out of 15. Nearly 500 ball, but not very good.

2009 Predictions

1. Lakers will win the NBA championship
2. The Celtics won’t make it to the finals.
3. My daughter will achieve a B average.
4. High foreclosure rate will continue
5. The median price of homes will continue to decline albeit at a slower pace
6. We will officially enter a recession
7. Prez Obama will claim he didn’t know how bad it really was
8. Apple will become “mortal”
9. I will get a new phone
10. West Los Angeles home prices will finally succumb to significant price declines.
11. I will gain a new hobby
12. I will maintain my weight loss

I HATE calling tech support.

Spent on hour on the phone with Time Warner regarding a new modem that they sent me. A letter that came with the unit says “Your new modem will be activated automatically Friday, May 2, 2008.” I read that to mean that my modem's MAC address has been set up in their system. The tech person had me do the regular unplug, replug, shutdown, reboot, bypass the router, etc. etc. Oh yeah, I tried telling her that the IP address that was being assigned was 192.168.100.10 and that probably meant my modem wasn't authorized. Oh we STILL need to do all the steps and she assured me that the modem was set up.

After an hour of this BS she tells me she needs to connect me with the local people because they are the ones that do the modem provisioning!!! Yeah, the modem isn't set up yet!!! What a bunch of friggin idiots. I'm even stupider for doing what she asked me to do.

I'm not blaming TWC in particular because I think that most tech support is manned (mostly) by drones who have to follow a checklist. I'm just venting…