Sunday, July 14, 2013

Mosquito Trap Made from Water Bottle

Got some pesky skeeters that have made it inside and biting on you all night?  I hate waking up to discover some bug has been feeding on my leg, only to itch all the following day.  Well, I don't recall where I seen this described before, but here it is - a skeeter trap.  Ever so often I discover that 4-5 or more of these pesky blood suckers have made it into the house.  Often I can catch 1 or two, but the ones that escape usually get to roam free all night and one or more of the household end up with bites in the morning.  I made one of these last summer and it worked pretty good.  When I discovered a herd of skeeters a few days ago, I was first thinking about buying some type of device specifically for indoors.  Then I thought I would give this little trap another go.  See below for pictures and items needed.  You can make it just a few minutes.  Out of the 4 or 5 skeeters that I had, they all managed to get into the trap.  However, I think there are still 1 or 2 I didn't notice before.  Might need another trap.

How the trap works:
The "magic" is the CO2 that is emitted from the mixture.  That is what I believe they are after, since it mimics the gas that animals exhale.  The inverted part of the bottle is what "traps" them from getting out.  When the skeeters get tired of flying around trying to get out, they fall down into the mixture and drown.  You can usually see them floating on the surface.
Items needed:
Water bottle
Scissors or knife
Scotch tape (or other clear tape)
Brown sugar

Water bottle mosquito trap,

Dead skeeters

- Make a clean cut around the top of a water bottle
- Place a teaspoon or so each of yeast and brown sugar in the bottom of the bottle
- Add water to the mixture and shake a little to mix it up
- Place the top of the bottle upside down back into the mouth of the bottle
- Use some tape to suspend the top of the bottle to the body of the bottle
- Place the trap on a kitchen counter or similar area.

- With one packet of yeast, you can probably make 4-5 traps.  If you just want one, save the yeast in a zip lock bag for later if you need to make another trap.
- If you still have mosquitoes  after 2 nights, make another trap.
- Make sure the cut is clean around the top and that the bottle top is suspended evenly so that there are no gaps for the skeeters to squeeze out the sides.

Friday, July 5, 2013

19 (and more) Reasons To Be Deeply Concerned About The Global Economy

Some say sites like are overly negative and never have anything good to say.  Another name might be "perma bear" or doomer or.... well take your pick.   You know what they say about opinions...everyone has one. The way I look at it, if the facts back it up, then why should we ignore it just because it doesn't fit the mainstream view?  The theme in the mainstream financial media today is that "things are getting better" and we are out of the "great recession of 2008-2009".  A more realistic view might be that we have merely "papered over" the mess that came to a head in 2008, and the pain is only going to be worse because its been delayed. In a recent article titled 19 Reasons To Be Deeply Concerned About The Global Economy, there is a list of things, which taken separately could be dismissed by some talking head on CNBC.  Taken together, they don't paint a very rosy picture.  The list includes mention of the sell-off in Treasury and other bonds, mid-east instability, fuel price/recession correlation and the derivatives market. 

Of these, I would pick the bond and derivatives market as being top things to keep an eye on.  However, the list could easily include a dozen other issues that have been mentioned seperately over the last few years.
- Number of people on food stamps at all-time highs
- Cities filing for bankruptcy
- China slowing down and its impact on emerging markets
- Japan's debt reaching unsustainable levels.
- Food prices rising everywhere
- Postal service on the verge of being insolvent

Sunday, June 23, 2013

A response to "bull market in stocks for the next 10 years"

In a recent post Bull market in stocks for the next 10 years, there are some that think the bull market in gold is done.  Then there are those think we are just getting started, because the mess in 2008 was just a warm up to the real pain that is ahead.  Some say the fed is going to stop printing.  Listen to a recent interview with Marc Faber who thinks that the fed will keep going to QE99.  In other words, the fed will ultimately come back in (maybe under a new chairman after Bernanke leaves?) with more QE. He likes gold and possibly the 10yr bonds, and thinks the correction that has started could knock 20-30% off the SPX from the recent highs in may.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Bull market in stocks for the next 10 years?

We  all know there are a long list of problems with the economy, both in the US and around the world, but stocks are up, so everything is looking up, right? With all the talk about the fed "taper" in the air, many are questioning how much further stocks can go, especially if the primary force holding up stocks has been fed stimulus.

Fed Taper -nahhh, we're going higher for the next 10 years

"Every ten years there's a rotation in the asset that's most attractive," Gardner says. For the last decade the asset of choice was gold. "The last ten years for equities has been pretty flat. I think it's going to be a great ten years for stock investors."

Hmm, really?

What happens when the bond bubble pops and interest rates start going back up?  I suspect it will lead to all sorts of things, including fewer available home buyers, reduced hiring, higher taxes and reduced government benefits.  This whole argument reminds me of the late 1990's, when stocks were assumed to keep going up forever, just because, or maybe late 2007.  Then too, everyone "just knew" that stocks were headed higher because home prices were rising everywhere.  Then the wheels fell off the buggy.  I think Peter Schiff put it pretty well recently when he said something to the effect of - either the fed keeps printing and the bond market tanks, or they stop printing and stocks collapse.  Either way they are stuck in the trap they built for themselves.  Be careful out there.

Friday, June 14, 2013

This Is What Crisis Feels Like - A Tale From Someone Who Has Been There

Folks, I suspect that many of us, myself included, take way too much for granted.  We flip a light switch and the lights come on.  We flush the toilet and it just works (well most of the time).  We dont have to worry about trash service not picking up our trash for months on end, leading to some nasty disease outbreak because of unsanitary conditions.  We go to the store and the hardest part of getting out of the store, is deciding on which type of whatever food we are going to get.

In a recent post on Zerohedge titled "This is What Crisis Feels Like", I tried to put myself in this persons shoes for an hour or so after I read this.  It was a guest post from a young man who experienced the currency crisis in Argentina in the late 90's. Nothing really shocking that would make the evening news.  However, it was from the same point of view that I use with this blog.  That is, from the point of view of an ordinary person that is stuck with the system that they are living in.  Then, one day that system breaks.  Those that have not had the foresight to prepare in even the most basic way, will be subject to all the chaos of things falling apart around them.  Its easy to put things off, but you should learn to prioritize things in life.  I am speaking for myself as well.  Some people will never learn or listen however, as they are consumed by the normalcy bias and unwilling to get outside of their comfort zone.

Speaking of Argentina, I find it strange that Doug Casey, who is well known in financial circles for his bearish predictions, has moved to Argentina as of 2007.  However, as FerFal is someone who has lived there, comments on this, there is more to Doug's story.  

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Happy talk about economy soaring to new highs

Well folks, consider me puzzled concerning the last few weeks.  Precious metals have been clobbered and the $SPX has been making all time new highs.  There is a lot of talk out there about this being the beginning of some new recovery, as if all our problems are over.  Could it be that a bubble is being created to give the illusion of prosperity?  I wouldn't try to call a top here anytime soon, this could get into strange new territory, but this rubber band is likely going to be stretched some more.

CBO - US Economy Set to Soar On Obamacare
Really?  Wow, just wow.  Higher taxes and more government spending must be good then!  Debt?  What debt...

Dollar soars, stocks gain amid talk of Fed QE exit
The fed is about to start scaling back on QE...because things are improving.  Really?  We must be saved then!

Something Is Starting To Smell In The Bond Market
Hmm, so who exactly is going to be buying those bonds that the fed will be unloading (assuming they do)

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Obama budget to take aim at wealthy IRA accounts

Well, there has been quite a bit of discussion over the last year or two about the federal government getting access to your retirement accounts, namely the 401K plans.  So now, the Obama budget takes aim at wealthy IRA accounts.  Hmmm, I wonder how the definition of a "wealthy account" will change over time?  Ten million?  Ten thousand?  Should we brush this off if we are not among those that the government feels is "wealthy", or has a threshold been crossed now.  The example of what occurred in Cyprus over the last few weeks has set a new precedent, that when the financial system and the governments of the world get desperate, they will take funds from not only tax payers, but your bank accounts and retirement accounts as well.  Zerohedge ran a similar story - Obama Proposes Retirement Account Limit In First "Wealth Tax" Salvo.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Currency war simulation

So what happens as central banks around the world start printing more of their currency to keep up with what the federal reserve is doing?  This video lays out a worrisome set of possible scenarios that could play out in the near future.  It sounds as though the script was almost made for a Tom Clancy movie.

Jim Rickards has a book with the same title "Currency Wars" and discusses in more detail, the things mentioned in the video.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

US Taps Pension Funds To Avoid Passing Debt Limit

Gee, and here I thought these sorts of things only happened in places like Argentina and Spain.  So, now is Americas turn, as the US Taps Pension Funds to keep the spending levels in place without default. Seems like things are getting kind of desperate?  Calm before the storm?  How far down the road will this trick get us, a few more weeks?  Buckle up, it's likely to be a bumpy ride.  Americans are already feeling the pain of the new payroll tax increase.  Now government pensions are at risk as well.  How can they get away with it?

What $60 Of Toilet Paper Looks Like

It doesn't take much when going to the grocery store to add up quick.  The "official" numbers on inflation seem to indicate that things are "ok", but these numbers typically do not include food and fuel, the very things that most people consume the most of.  It would seem outrageous to some of our ancestors to spend the kind of money on such trivial things as we do now.  On a recent run to a Sams club store, I decided to load up on toilet paper.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Looting Breaks Out In Argentina Again - A Sign of Things to Come?

Argentina has had a rocky economy for decades now.  In 2008 the leftist government confiscated pension funds in an effort to stay afloat and continue their existing spending levels.  Ever since the economic crisis of 1999-2002 they have gone from one set of troubles to another.  Recently though, its heating up...again, as Looting Breaks Out In Argentina.  Could these things ever happen in the US? Naaah, this is the United States of America, the best country int he world!  That could never happen here, right?

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Why Goldman Sachs Thinks You should Dump Bonds Now - What To Make Of This?

The last few months has seen a rising tide of commentary about the imminent popping of the "bond bubble".  I typically take "recommendations" from Goldman Sachs with a grain of salt, so this article on Yahoo titled "Why Goldman Sachs Thinks You Should Dump Bonds Now" kind of surprised me, as I have been looking for signs that the bubble is getting ready to pop.  Where things go from there, who knows, but it will be hard to keep interest rates from rising when this starts.

Will Japan Spell Trouble For US Stocks?

The return of Shizno Abe has signaled trouble ahead for JGB's (Japanese Government Bonds).  Japan is about to embark on a massive new phase of stimulus (see Abenomics is Back).  That's just a fancy name for what others know simply as printing new money.  This is currency devaluation on warp drive, and the numbers that Japan is talking about are huge, even by federal reserve standards.  So as the Yen depreciates, it will likely put upward pressure on the US Dollar, which will in turn likely put downward pressure on US Stocks.  Clear as mud?  Of course once you start going down this road, you never really know what the next surprise might be, as the unexpected has a way of happening. This has all the makings of the trigger event for things that have been speculated about for the last 10 years or more.

Willfully Ignorant and the Normalcy Bias

If your reading this, you probably have at least some doubts about the present-day world around you.  Maybe its the uncertain economic situation, or the constant chaos in other parts of the world. Its also likely that you may have expressed concern to some of your friends or relatives, who promptly brushed you off and suggested you not "worry so much".  If you have encountered this, you might be surprised that there is actually a name for this type of reaction, even when they are presented with evidence of the situation you suggest as being possible.

Pressure Canning Basics

Do you recall your parents or grandparents talking about canning food? I do, and recently I decided it was time I try it for myself. Its pretty easy once you get the hang of it. There are tons of resources on the web to learn and discuss issues dealing with canning, but again, the basics are pretty simple.  What got me interested enough to actually purchase a canner was the desire to preserve meat.  After doing a bit of research online, reading reviews etc, I bought the one shown below.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Spain Plunders Its Social Security Funds To Finance Debt

Do you think social security will be available when you reach retirement age?  The funds are supposed to be off limits to our elected officials. Governments and central banks everywhere are getting desperate to find ways to finance their current spending levels.  Spain recently started plundering 90% of its social security funds to keep funding its ongoing debt-ridden economy.  Will the US and or other countries do this?  Some say that the US Social Security fund is already empty, having been spent years ago.

Max Keiser: 2013, Year of The Great Crash?

Below is an interview that Alex Jones gave recently with Max Keiser, discussing his views of what could possibly transpire in the VERY near future, as in an April-May time frame! It will be interesting to watch the timing on this. Peter Schiff called the 2008 financial crisis and real estate bubble, but his timing was off somewhat.

First let me say this. With any of the information or comments suggested here, please do your own research and decide for yourself whether any of this is accurate or not, and what you should or shouldn't do about it. If you think Alex Jones is a nut case and completely refuse to listen to anything he says, then you probably need to go back to watching cnn, fox news or dancing with the stars, because I can't help you.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Fed Members Question QE Future - Whats Next?

Stocks got off to a bang the fist few days of 2013, but yesterday members of the Federal Reserve raised questions about the current program of buying US Treasury bonds and whether the current QE program should end sooner than expected. See Fed becoming worried about stimulus side effects.  Yield on the 10yr surged higher.  Is the beginning of something or the end of something else, or both?  Long standing rumors of manipulation or not, precious metals took it on the chin.  Remember, as yields rise, so does the cost of the US Government debt payments.

Suggestions For 2013

Another year has started and the world as we know has not come to an end yet, as some may have been worried about with the Mayan calendar rumors.  For one, I tend to think in more "practical" terms than some, as there are things I can simply not do anything about.  However, an economy that continues to go from one crisis to the next, is something that if you don't make an effort to prepare for, will erode your standard of living until you have very little room to handle the "surprises" that come up.  So here are some things that I have mentioned before, and some I am still working on myself.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Will The US Collapse Quickly or Decay Slowly?

There is no shortage of doomsday type discussions involving various scenarios with the US economy collapsing in ruin, decay and chaos.  Just hit YouTube and search on "dollar crash" or "us collapse", and you will find plenty to keep you busy.  Some of those discussions you find will involve well known economists, as well as average folks sharing their thoughts (and predictions).  Along with the search results you find, will likely be episodes of "Doomsday Preppers" which has been airing on the National Geographic channel, along with others who call themselves "preppers".  One thing is certain, at least to me, is that not just the US, but the entire global economy is in "uncharted waters".  So what is coming next? Will it happen quickly or be drawn out over years or decades?  Are there things waiting out there that could spark a new bull market?