New York NYC Journal

Yesterday I got a notice from Tiaa-Cref about limiting holdings in the Real Estate fund I own. Now there is a limit of $150K in this fund. I speculate that the smart money is putting their long-term holdings into Real Estate because it is tangible and a hard asset in a time where inflation could endure.

This is a very interesting development. BTW Tiaa-Cref is smart money.

In Canadian history they had their bond rating lowered from AAA in 1992. Even though they had a liberal government at the time, austerity and budget cuts were used, and it took a decade the Canadians to recover their AAA rating.

Pretty much here in the U.S. we are like consumers who are living above our means as if having credit cards. Currently we are approaching our credit limit. Something has to give. The money of spending our future means the money has to come from somewhere eventually, and austerity and budget cuts will eventually have to happen.

We live in an age of shortages, and supply and demand imbalance. Remember that over supply leads to deflation, and we are due to experience a long period of just the opposite. Can you imagine a decade of austerity in the U.S.? Also this will effect China and the rest of the world.

Germany is officially in a recession BTW, the largest economy in Europe.

It seems to me that EV and the government subsidies are not really sustainable. First off is the expensive cost of purchase, then there is a lack of range and infrastructure meaning the 25% more electrical grid and charging stations, then there is all the environmental damage and costs that are not green at all that are net polluters.

I take back owning an EV or making an E-10.

Add onto that that battery replacement costs…

The Deficit Ceiling has me concerned. You can’t live on credit forever, and eventually you have to pay down the debt. If we default then who would buy our bonds. No one unless we pay high interest to cover the risk of further default.

Where will be the cuts?

We have been living beyond our means for a few decades, could austerity last decades?

I find it satisfying having all 4 of my bikes all built out, tuned up, and ready for a season serious training. My training has a late start because of childcare, but after schools over it will be every day.

Today some of my spare tubes and a CO2 inflator was delivered. I still await my 24 inch tubes I ordered. I kinda loaded up the truck as to not run short.

The painted Ti Basso Road (Litespeed Classic) remains an 8-speed with XTR shifters and a straight bar from a mountain bike. The only thing I updated was an expanded range cassette where now I have a 12-25T instead of a 12-21T corn cob.

My bike spending should be complete and done. This last guitar will get built out and there also done. I figure I need to go into austerity mode to build out the truck. The money has to come from somewhere… I figure out of a budget of $40K I still need $30K cash.

There has been some talk with our agent involving Maggie’s book. Perhaps a gig or two from modeling could lead to a windfall and speed things up.

I can also see me doing something online to share bikes, cameras, C-10, and guitars. “Maggie” uses some platform for writing and photos. This is all I would need…

Looking forward to getting my life back after childcare. Taking care of Maggie is enough. LOL.

Cal, let me know if you two “need” a manual typewriter to complete your home decor, as well as having a working tool which does not require electricity nor display an ugly screen. Goodness knows I have enough typewriters.
Bethanne and I want to take some weekend trips this summer and I want to ride Blue Mountain, so I’d be happy to drop off a boat anchor typewriter. I love writing on one of a few machines I restored, but need more space.

I’ll mail you a trail map. 1500 acres and likely the most underutilized park.

I’ll be honest: I have a serious learning disability, and cannot process linear data. I can’t really spell too well either, and pretty much I am a one finger typist, although I have a MFA in Creative Writing.

I am sure “Maggie” would love the gift. She actually is a writer and can type.

I have a real sense of home now with the Baby-Victorian. I have had such an unsettled life, I moved around a lot, and never really had a sense of home until now.

The house I think is only about 1300 square feet and not the 1400-1500 that was inflated by the real estate agents. Really a tiny house, but on two building lots. Literally I am about two blocks away from Blue Mountain via my private entrance.

In the future when the house is completed I’ll have a guest room…

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Phil, it's great that you love your typewriters. I have also found it very satisfying and therapeutic to bang out a letter or two on my manual typewriters. Right now I've just got two: a 1927 Royal Portable ("Model P") and a 1950 Olympia SM4. Both are wonderful in their own way. I'm keeping my eyes out for an "ultraportable" like an Olivetti Valentine or one of the Smith Coronas. And I figure I should try to get a Hermes 3000 along the way, especially if I can find one with the Tecno font.

Have you restored your machines yourself?
A typewriter thread imbedded here is fine.

We go way off topic here and are friends.

A separate thread is also fine. Whatever you like.

There are a lot of posts by me about making my old house new where it has now evolved into a new/old house.

The same for my new/old bikes that have been updated.

The 1966 Chevy C-10 longbed will be a new/old truck.

Meanwhile my cameras are “restored.”

Typewriters fit right in the culture we have here.

Headlines suggest that 30 year interest rates over 7% are high, but look at the averages that span decades:

Beginning 1970 7.31%

Beginning 1980 7.48%

Beginning 1990 10.13%

Beginning 2000 8.06%

Beginning 2010 5.14%

7% interest rates are only high relative to when Zero APR happened/began in 2003 or so.

7.624% is the average of these long term averages.

So 7% interest rates really are not so high at all and fit within the historical long-term averages. Perhaps a good example of regression to the mean.

Still the housing shortage continues. 40% of mortgages originated or were refinanced at record low rates under 3% making home owners locked in and locked down. Then there is a demand/surge in remodeling to make old houses new into ne/old houses.

Surely this is a defining moment for an era (long period of time). Clearly a time of inflation and shortages has begun.

Another area of interest is automobiles. Government regulations for pollution and safety has inflated prices. The costs of these improvements are held by consumers. Seems like at this point consumers are also locking down on keeping their old cars. The average age of cars on the road is going up.

Then there is a backlash against EV’s As well as states mandating or outlawing purchases of internal combustion engine vehicles.

I expect used car prices to rise because many people can’t afford buying EV’s that is being imposed on them.

There also is an anti EV culture…

A Currie Ford 9 inch rear with 6 piston 11 inch Wilwood disc brakes and a locking rear is $5142.00

No Limit coil over shocks rear trailing arm suspension and IFS with a power rack and pinion with Wilwood 13 inch disc brakes $8920.00. Includes motor mounts and rack fittings.

”Turnkey” Chevy ZZ6 crate motor using a 770 CFM carb for 405 HP 406 Foot-lbs $10,073.00 includes power steering pump, AC compressor, serpentine belt.

Aluminum radiator with dual electric fans $750.00.

T-56 Super Magnum tranny kit $5165.01 includes Flywheel, bell housing, clutch, throw out bearing, pressure plate, dust cover and hardware. 2.66-1.78-1.30-1.00 close ratio plus 0.80 and 0.63 overdrives.

There goes about $30K.

A/C kit is about $2K but subtract the compressor. Requires a new steering column, don’t forget wheels (I think 17 inch) and tires, and odds and ends like gauges.

All the body needs is a new deluxe oak bed about $1.5K.

The cost of building a new truck adds up fast and likely about $40K when done with all the little things. My budget got blown pretty fast and is likely to be about the $38K-$40K for a base model Chevy or Ford with no options. Building a new/old truck gets expensive fast, but it would be a very cool truck.

No ABS, no traction control, no EFI, no computer (ECM), no side collision avoidance indicators… but a simple and basic truck set up with a 6 inch rocker panel height, no bump steer, that basically only has PVC as the only pollution control.

I have the option of a 4 link rear suspension, but the trailing arm has more travel and is more compliant for comfort. The 4-link is better for drag racing, but that is not the purpose of this truck.

The abandoned house is now on the market and lots of traffic viewing this run down property. The price is low to set a bidding war. The photo’s show an interior that is cleaner than I expected. Remember three monster dumpsters to empty the house.

I was told that the living space was not so bad, but the attic and basement were jammed full and smelled bad. From the pics I deduce that the original house might have never been updated. Not a lot of good infrastructure, all old and outdated.

I say whatever price is too much and overvalued, but then again I sense the housing shortage is really bad.

Literally and figuratively this is the last house in Peekskill it seems.

My worries are that some poor family will move in and not have the financials to fix up the house. Pretty much the only good things are that it is in a highly rated school district, and like my Baby-Victorian it sits on two building lots.

Took notice today that there’s another hole in the garage roof on the side.

Anyways I’m very surprised how many lookers so far on this first day on the market. I have a feeling someone is going to overpay in a bidding war.

I was in the back when one guy approached me. I gave him the heads up about the Knotweed, the multiple holes in the roof of the garage, the house needing a new roof, and the possibility of mold.

I also informed him of the double lot, he already knew about the school district, and I found out he is an iron worker in the Union with two kids ages 5 and 7.

When I told him how I avoided using Roundup in my war with Knotweed he was on the same page: not good for kids; not good for the environment; and not good for adults either.

Ivan mentioned that his family is in the construction and remodeling business… I felt like he would be a great neighbor. He got a good sense that we have a great-great neighborhood. I told him I wanted him to not be surprised or not know what he is getting into.

Anyways I’m gunning for Ivan.

I am convinced that the $289K price will involve a bidding war and someone is going to overpay. Let’s see how crazy this gets.

Biking and guitar will keep me occupied without having to spend money at this point.

One is physically stimulating and challenging, and the other more mental and cranial offering a different kind of fatigue.

They say music is like learning another language…

Certainly these are two great occupations, especially in retirement.

The abandoned house was built in 1939, and it seems like the kitchen and bathroom are likely original.

Seems like the entire house would need an update.

The real estate ad promotes the house as a “Craftsman” but it is not of that era. Pretty much sucker’s bait. They describe the yard as “wooded” instead of overgrown.

Whoever buys this house will be overpaying IMHO. Not one good bone.

Went to Stormville, a flea market held at a small airport.

Lots of junk to look at, but we bought two baskets that were kinda arty. One the seller wanted $30.00, but he took $25.00.

Separately I found another basket that was interesting, but “Maggie” with her second guessing, anxiety, and negative thinking thought it would be expensive. I walked over to a woman and got a price of $5.00.

I saw a small Sun tachometer being sold with box and papers for a marked price of $25.00, but it was only worth to me $15.00. I figured I might go back with an offer. The gamble would be if it worked. Also I kinda like a new AutoMeter tach mounted to the steering column. An Autometer tach would have a much bigger display, but would be more modern…

Ended up I bought a two-piece graphite surf fishing rod for $30.00 as my “Good-guy price” then I bought a Daiwa Millionaire Tournament 7HT reel for $80.00 NIB with papers, spare parts and tool.

The ten foot long surf rod has smaller diameter guides, and is marketed as a tournament rod. Evident to me that it was made for a conventional reel and not a spinning reel.

I figured the Daiwa reel had enough capacity for the 1/2 ounce to 2 ounce lure weight it was designed for and that I would rig it for 15 pound test. Where it can hold 370 yards of 15 pound test monofilament. I’m a light tackle fisherman so if I run into a big fish I have to play the fish to land him. This is not a meat-stick by any means, and understand that in the surf you want about 300 yards if a big fish runs.

Later I would learn that my $80.00 reel still is currently produced, is held in high esteem, and was produced in these tournaments that use pendulum casting technics for distance casting over land. This is a sport in England and this reel was designed for such use.

It lacks a level wind, so an educated thumb is required to not have backlash, which is where momentum unspools line and creates a rat’s nest. These reels sell for well north of $200.00, so I got a blowout deal.

Not everyone has that skill, but I do. Here in the U.S. spinning reels are more popular, but for distance casting conventional reels have less friction so longer casts are possible if you have the skill.

So my new surf outfit is hot because it is lightweight and very balanced. Much lighter than a spinning reel setup. It is a trick setup.

I need to get to a pro shop to buy some Cast Master jigs in various weights. I also need to buy some hooks tied with bucktail to build some of my teaser rigs. About 3-4 feet in front of my jig I tie a hook with a bucktail on a short one foot leader as my “Teaser.”

At times I get double hook-ups and the idea is it looks like a small fish is pursuing a smaller baitfish. Double hookups are not uncommon, at least for me.

I have not fished in decades, and in fact all the time I lived in NYC as well as the past 3 years in Westchester, in total maybe 25 or more years. It is very exciting to go fishing again and walking the beach.

Pretty proud that I secured a killer rig that has legs for no money.

I bought a spool of 15 pound test Trilene “Big Game” mono. I have enough to spool my reel twice.

The upgrade would be some Spiderwire braid that is UBER thin. The 15 pound test braid has the thickness of 6 pound test line which will increase my casting distance. Know also that this line does not stretch so I might return this line and and go heavier like 20 or 30 pound test braid. The 15 pound test mono would be for backing.

Now I learned that for conventional reels 20-80 pound test is recommended. My 15 pound braid is too light.

Braid is new to me, but in the past I used braided Dacron on a bait caster level wind.

So I thought out building out the 1966 C-10 as a muscle truck set up for cruising. I learned that this would require a lot of cash, and the devil is in the details where new brake lines and a wiring harness would also be new, as well as a new master cylinder. Of course this would require a lot of saving…

So now I consider a mor practical and pragmatic approach because of limited resources and because the truck after 57-58 years still remains very much OEM and would be a really great Rat-Rod. The idea would be to keep almost everything OEM factory original To maintain its value as is.

Front disc brake upgrade, but keep the rear drums. The rear sagged over 2 inches because of being weighed down with a camper for much of its life. Just lower the front end to level the stance (Drop Spindles). Try to keep the factory narrow steel 15 inch rims. Utilize the 3-on-a-tree tranny understanding that there is a 300 HP and 350 foot pound limit.

Also I now believe Phil was right: the truck has 161K miles on it and the 250 cubic inch I-6 is mighty tired. I looked into diagnosing whether it is valve seals or piston rings that is causing all the blue smoking out the tail pipe; and it seems most likely a tired engine with high mileage.

So a rebuilt I-6 either 250 CI or 292 CI. New clutch (old main seal on the engine likely coated the OEM clutch with oil), new radiator, new wiring harness, total rear brake overhaul, new front disc brakes. No aftermarket A/C. Body would need a new wooden bed ($1.5K).

Who knows “Phase 2” could be the muscle truck build way down the road.

Meanwhile the C-10 could be useful for some side hustle.

Anyways this seems to be the interim way to go.

Joe, is that an Olivetti Lettera? Looks great...I've never tried any Olivetti's but definitely would like to have one sometime.
Yes, a Lettera 22. When properly cleaned and serviced they are very nice. The challenge for amateurs is, because they have a full tabulator system, gaining access to the escapement is nigh well impossible without fully removing the carriage. I’ve had three of them, the escapement gets clogged with eraser crumbs (from previous users) and starts to skip spaces.
Erected the cedar fence. Took a lot of time and had to do some trial and error fitting. Ended up using two posts that are staggered near the garage to fill a void that was awkward.

Realize that leveling and supporting an awkwardly big and heavy doorway and eight foot long section of fence by yourself is a challenge.

Lots of people checking out the abandoned house. Not use to all the strange cars and all the people. My neighborhood is kinda private, but not these past two days.

Lots of drive by lookers. The house is so bad that some people don’t even get out of the car.

One of my neighbors is interested in buying the abandoned house. I met someone in my hood that lives a block away. Mike came by to check out the abandoned house, and I learned from Mike that there are three cash offers by contractor/developers.

Tomorrow I have to do some priming of the fence and then a coat of white paint. I’m pleased with how the fence dresses up the house. It is very Art Deco. BTW likely the most expensive 12 feet of fence in Peekskill. I hope it lasts more than 20 years.

The corporate big boys, Airbnb type outfits, aren't going to buy anything that is not dialed in already. So in regards to the unoccupied house my guess would be prepared to watch it change hands a couple times quickly unless a retiree wants to do something like your doing. Someone will buy it fix it and flip it otherwise. A retiree would be the best outcome. High interest rate and tight credit is in your favor I think. If they start gutting it make sure you have your termite service up to date!
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I have an up to date termite service and also for other pests. Any pests will try to find and migrate into a new home.

With three cash offers by contractors the ugly house will likely trade ownership at least twice as the house gets flipped.

I see what you say about the Airbnb.

The ugly house likely will not be eligible for a mortgage because the front stoop is not safe. And the garage roof has holes in it to the extent that sections are collapsed. My friend and neighbor’s bid likely is not a contender. He will offer 20% down and needs a mortgage.

According to another neighbor the photo’s posted are not reality. I was surprised that the interior looked kinda clean, but my neighbor said the photo’s had to be photoshopped.

The amount of volume and traffic to view the fugly house is impressive.

Some people don’t even get out of the car. They drive into the dead end and just make a u-turn.

Then comes the sad part where I see young couples considering this house as a starter home, and then big immigrant families who would consider the house for them as move in condition. One big family of 9-10 I can imagine trying to live in a house that is well under 1000 square feet. Very evident that things are slim pickings.

I’m so glad we bought our house when we did. Record low interest rates, and we got the house that spoke to us.

The ugly house has about the same footprint as my house, and is two stories, but the second floor has knee walls so the upstairs is a fraction of the size of my Baby-Victorian.

I figure the Baby-Victorian is 25x25 or 625 square feet per floor. The ugly house only has one bathroom and at best the second floor might be 300 square feet. 625 plus 300 equals 925 square feet. Can you imagine family of 9-10 living is such small space?

Really sad is our luxury apartment in Madhattan was only 650 square feet.

Price is $289,900. The cheapest house in my neighborhood, because of the school district, is $500K today. A plain ranch down the block that uses propane for heat sold for just under $600K and it is nothing special. Prices still are insane because of lack of availability. My neighbor who is bidding on the house thinks it could top out at $375K if someone really wants it. This price is for a wreck of a house.

We figure a flipper will invest enough to make the house mortgageable and then at least one flip if not several. I hate to say this but the price point will hit a high enough level to exclude the lower income people where this house is move in ready for them.

Not only did the real estate photoshop the pictures, they added walls to the attic which is the second floor. Another lie is they are marketing the house as an Arts and Craft, but it was built in 1939 and is not of that era.

Last night at 9:15 I went outside to confront a dude with his girlfriend/wife who was wandering around the ugly property with a flashlight. I grabbed my Milwaukee tough guy flashlight and confronted the dude and suggested that he come back today when it was light out to see the house.

The dude explained he was from Ossining, but then I explained, it is night so you really can’t see the house, the house is vacant/abandoned, and if you want I can call the police.

I guess I am use to my privacy, and having the ugly house as a tourist attraction and people using my driveway to turn around annoys me. I kinda blocked my driveway with my garbage cans. Also I have been working on my fence so I had my gear and tools all about.

I love my privacy.

My neighborhood usually is so quiet that you take notice of a car or dog walker, so you get to know the dog owners and all the cars in the hood.

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