New York August 2022 Meet-Up

Cal, does the truck engine run? If so, does it have a lot of blowby when running and you remove the oil cap from the valve cover? If so or if it has low compression, it probably has at least 100,000 miles past what your odometer indicates. I bought my 1972 with 43,000 miles on the 5 digit odometer and it had sat for over 20 years. That said, through some forensic work (examining brake pads, hoses, filters, interior wear, glazing seals) I found out that it almost certainly had turned the odometer over once, so I'm saying it has 149000 on it now. The crazy barn finds do happen but more often than not, when we find a vehicle that has a 5 digit odometer, it has likely turned over at least once. It turned out that my engine is a 1984 Stuttgart motor, not original to the car, but original to the model and over a decade younger. This came down to the forensic work of doing the injection pump timing and finding that my camshaft did not match any of the series 2.2L engines from 1968 - 1976. The things to check would be the suspension and body bushings, and brake shoes. The bushings in a vehicle that sat will just be cracked while those in a vehicle that got used will both be cracked and smashed / extruded / melted / what-have-you.
Phil Forrest


The bushings are all new because they were all replaced a year or two ago from the owner I bought the truck from. Pretty much new ball joints, trailing arms on the rear, new idler arm, tie rod ends. The engine runs, but I think the head is shot because of unleaded gas. The oil burning I think could be bad valve seals.

The bench seat has a cover, and I was expecting it to be fresher than what I saw for 61 K miles.

But the body is remarkably fresh. OEM paint that has a patina.

The engine smokes, so it could be past the piston rings , meaning engine wear, or it could be the valve seals. Engine seems to be strong, wants to run and pretty much starts even when sitting for months.

At this point I have my doubts. It could have 161K or it could have just 61K. The body condition suggests 61K though and also it was bought and rigged for a camper which kinda supports only 61K. The wear on the bench seat suggests 161K maybe.

I guess eventually I’ll find out. Pretty much what I bought was a work in progress.

The exhaust has a pulse and is not a steady stream which indicates or suggests a bad head with burnt valves. In other words I feel the puff of each cyclinder instead of a smooth stream of exhaust through a tail pipe.

I kinda know this because I was king of the $200.00-$300.00 car. I would buy old junk cars that were eye sores and would keep them running for years all high mileage over 100K. One was a 1960 Falcon 4-door. No crankcase recirculating. The crankcase had its own exhaust. At a light people would tell me my engine was smoking, but this was the crankcase vent.

This 1960 Falcon also had pneumatic wipers, so basically getting on the parkway during a downpour was flying blind because the wipers would stop under full acceleration from the drop in vacuum.

On this Falcon I lost a valve and lost a cyclinder. When I pulled the head I saw a chipped valve. I was so poor that I decided to pull the head and send it out to get a valve job. Pretty much the excuse to keep the car was that the tires were still fresh.

Another junker was a rotary engined Mazda from 1972. The pollution control included an “after burner.” When I would turn off the engine I would leave the apartment garage and get to the door of my apartment when unburned fuel would explode sounding like a gunshot. Pretty much this happened every time I shut off the engine. The thing was that I worked nights and got off work at midnight, so about 1:00 AM a gunshot likely woke people up in my apartment building.

I laugh now, but pretty much I was a dirtbag. LOL.

I would like it if the truck had an engine with a solid bottom. A valve job and a rear crankcase seal I can handle. It would be great to have 100K miles left on the engine because I know how to keep old vehicles going, and I would have time to plan to perhaps create a Rat-Rod that has a 320 HP 6500 RPM Chevy 250 Ci with a pair of 38/38 Webber twin carbs. I would upgrade the tranny to a SM465 a truck 3-speed with a granny that is bomb proof. It would be a very cool truck either way.

I know unleaded gas kills valve seals. That’s where I place my bet at this point. BTW the glove box still has the dealer sticker for the optional equipment from when the truck was ordered. I will admit though anything is possible, and perhaps there is some wishful thinking on my part. Call me a delusional artist, but if I’m right and the valve job buys me time, then no doubt that my Rat-Rod will eventually get a crazy high reving I-6 that will have a thumps idle.

If I had a car or access to one I would have went, but I checked Google maps and it's to far of a walk, Funny thing yesterday I went to Long Island City
my Cousin got an apartment there by Court Street Station it was a quick ride on the (7) train.


The N and R train is not far away. Check those maps again.

The C10 is a “Rat-Rod” where the patina and exterior condition is of no concern. I’m cool with allowing it to age further organically.
Wabi Sabi fan.
Me, too, Cal.


Kinda funny that I drove many ratty cars. The term Rat-Rod likely is a modern term LOL. I drove ratty cars because that’s all I could afford. LOL.

Pretty much a neighbor in the suburbs kindly asked me not to park my car in front of their house. I took no insult. LOL.

I remember getting up early to drive my Jeep Scrambler to get an exhaust system. I had just installed a ZZ3 Chevy crate engine, basically a Corvette engine 350 HP 400 foot pounds of torque, aluminum heads, 4 bolt crank, forged crank and pistons.

Anyways ever drive a vehicle with open headers no exhaust? Mighty loud under acceleration, and kinda quiet at speed. Anyways kinda risky to try and get away with in the Long Island suburbs.

At one time I owned 4 vehicles, and tha adage was true: “You know you are a hill-billy when half the cars you own don’t run.” At that time I had a 1967 Falcon 4-door that was half maroon-half surface rust. The passenger front seat had no floorboard, totally rusted out. One car was the 80 Firebird that I secured with the ZZ3 crate motor. Some British kid was living in the Hamptons in eastern Long Island, and pretty much he would do doughnuts in front of the South Hampton Police to initiate a chase. I met a South Hampton cop who clocked him doing 135 mph on Montauk Highway which in the Hamptons is a country road. Eventually they caught him and he had to get rid of the car.

My Jeep Scrambler had a 258 I-6 that had caught on fire. Somehow I stalled out right in front of a car dealership and they ran out with a fire extinguisher to put out the fire.

I has a Saab 900. It was a 4-door. This started me liking 4-door cars. Saloon is a term I heard that is slang for a 4-door. Stronger structurally and a reason why many rally cars were 4-doors.

A lot of people knew me or knew of me, even though I did not know them, The guy with a Corvette engine in a Jeep Scrambler with a half cab.

Also know that I had a guy who was a Harley Biker that looked like me. Max actually worked at Grumman and so did I. Had some girl approach me thinking I was him. “Don’t you work at Hempstead Harley,” she asked. Evidently Max also moonlighted at Hempstead Harley.

One day I went to Plant 2 on the Grumman 500 acre property that also had an airport. Plant 2 is 1/4 mile long and 1/8th mile wide. Pretty much an airplane factory. I kinda worked like a Navy SEAL within the Fortune 500 company and I went there to “liberate” some material I needed for my group in research. Maybe it was to get 5 gallons of high voltage oil though some one I worked with in the past. Anyways I was an “Operator” of sorts.

So I finally met Max my Double. Max was a “Pony” driver who moved carts filled with airplane parts or maybe a an airplane wing around Plant 2 on a propane powered cart. Pretty much a lanky muscular guy with olive skin, but Max is a Latino, and I’m Asian (Cantonese, meaning souther Chinese).

Anyways It seems I stand out pretty well. I’m an old car kinda guy. Anyways the old green truck that Clint Eastwood drove in the films “Bridges Of Madison County” will add to my legacy.

Next Monday the cedar shed gets delivered by Fed Ex. Pretty much we hand load the pieces into my driveway. Last time this happened it was a pergola.

So I inquired with the Fed Ex dispatcher if their business is slowing down, and the answer is yes. I remember back in 2007-2008 my UPS and Fed Ex drivers, who I got to know as friends, told me that business was so slow that they lost enough hours that they were falling behind on their bills.

Pretty much I use UPS and Fed ex drivers as my DOW Jones Transportation index. Pretty much they are the first indicator of a slowdown.

The Fed Ex dispatcher said things are definitely slower, but they still have enough work to keep everyone’s hours. So far just a slowdown, but will the exclamation point be when the heating season begins?

Also know that when I ordered the pergola there was a long lead time, but my Shed order not only was on hand ready to be shipped, but also came with a 10% discount. Some other items from this Canadian company had 20% discounts and or included battery powered tools supplied for “Free” as sales incentives.

This suggests a slowdown, and an over supply. Generally in a recession prices adjust downward on discretionary items like pergolas and sheds, but things like food and energy remain high.

So pretty much more street smut indicating a recession is happening, and the government does not recognize it as such. Eventually there will be a “Look out below” adjustment in policies and the stock market. This could get mighty ugly.

Today will be sub 90 degrees in Peekskill, but then starting tomorrow will be 3 days over 90. Glad I got lots of Knotweeding done.

I inquired with a wheel builder about sending them a used hub and a new rim I have to avoid delays from shortages. The reply mentioned that they are short staffed and that they are unsure if they can fit in the work to do a job when the hard to get materials are supplied. Maybe I can check back with them Thursday.

Wow, things are that bad. Seems like a job made easy, or made easier, is a hassle, or a problem.

This makes me want to pass. Perhaps I can have A.J. At my local bike shop order spokes and lace me up a wheel. I tried to order hubs in February, the wait was reported to be 12 weeks, then I sent an e-mail in June to inquire, got a response that they could be shipped at anytime. Pretty much another dead end.

Double wow.

Still waiting for the compressor to complete our Mini-Split installation. Now we have another heat wave.

So in a ways the world is shutting down. Businesses are unable to do work because of shortages. Too much work, and too much hassle. This bodes badly for quality.

I remember at the end of the Cold War. Grumman at one time employed about 30K people and was Long Island’s largest employer. All jobs were good and with mucho benefits. Having a job at Grumman was like being a Made Man and being in the Mafia. When you mentioned that you worked from Grumman it held prestige and status. Pretty much like being a Made Man you held power.

At the end of the Cold War buildings were emptied and sold off. There was a down sizing of the workforce. Grumman contracted to only 10K workers and I was among the proud, the few, the employed. I held out for about a year, but the workload was too much. Doing the math getting rid of 2/3rds of the workers meant that the load was transferred to the remaining third.

I got burnt out. When layoffs were rumored, there was mention of eliminating the severance pay. These rumors I would hear at the local deli in Bethpage always were true, so I asked my boss to lay me off because the timing was right for me to go to grad school, and I would need the severance pay. At that time unemployment benefits were extended to one year if you fit into a category termed “Distressed Worker” which translated to a victim of the end of the Cold War or Reaganomics.

This downsizing BTW was a dismantling of American industry. Know that we lost a lot of capabilities, a lot of talent, and a lot of capacity. In many ways it literally was being thrown away. I recovered a lot of parts and equipment that was placed in dumpsters. All taxpayer’s money basically.

So I see similarities…

My positive spin is that this is a time for a Maverick, someone who can be free because they have the skill, the talent, the time, and the background to do things on his or her own way in an independent way.

The world is surely broken, and the FED and the Government are delusional. The old, the normal is gone and we live in a new world. Better get use to shortages, and doing as much as you can by yourself. There is a change in culture underway and a breakdown in society as we knew it.

I hope this does not come off as some radical manifesto, but I do see that certain people like me might thrive under these conditions, but sadly many or most won’t.

I don’t see the problem with shortages going away. I believe the worker shortage is likely burning out people and burning through people, and to compound all this that quality and craftsmanship will suffer. We are on a slide of sorts that is a downward spiral…

Economically I think I have to move in the direction of doing more things by myself for myself. Since I’m retired I have time. The bathroom upstairs is the last task involving a contractor probably going forward.

The old adage is becoming true: if you want the job done right; you have to do it yourself. Now it pays to be an artist…

too bad it's not somewhere in NYC...

For 'Range-Rover' /Bob
it's too far from his normal commute to city to come to

Who thinks they will be there, besides Cal & I ... ???

Yes, I'll be there. Most likely I will bike unless it is raining, and schlepp some half camera baked projects to show.

We yesterday installed Karla's two channel video piece in the window at the White Box Gallery on the Lower East Side. It is only up until next Monday, and visible from the street 24/7. If anyone happens to be in the neighborhood, check it out! Or stop by Wednesday 5-7 for the opening.
In today’s episode of “I Love Maggie.” Calvin gets crushed by an overloaded clothes rack in the “Baby-Room” (smallest bedroom) when trying to gain access a window to rebuild a screen.

Know that the overloaded room is a fire hazard. The room is filled with women’s clothing, shoes and bags.

Even though Maggie has a PhD and two Master’s Degrees she does not have any understanding of basic physics like “center of gravity,” the force of gravity, and momentum.

Seems like she could be a great terrorist because she ambushes and sets booby traps all over the house that catch poor Calvin by surprise all the time. Then if she threw out the paper tags that she leaves all over the house Calvin would have a lot less work.

Of course the clothes rack was overloaded to the extent that it was too heavy to lift upright without unloading, and of course the clothes rack was set at maximum extension for the most leverage and crushing force, and lastly of course the overloaded rack needlessly was also set at maximum extension for no good reason.

Pretty much the CG was so high it only took a touch to create an avalanche to burry Calvin.

Calvin worries about the grand children and expresses concern for their safety. Crickets… was the response.

Boy is Calvin glad that Maggie does not drive. Ralph Nader’s report could apply to Maggie, “Not safe at any speed.”

Anyways the thing with Calvin is that he is stubborn and somehow repaired all the torn and holed screens in the Baby-Victorian without getting killed.

Anyways Calvin should know better than getting “Maggie” a bike.

Yes, I'll be there. Most likely I will bike unless it is raining, and schlepp some half camera baked projects to show.

We yesterday installed Karla's two channel video piece in the window at the White Box Gallery on the Lower East Side. It is only up until next Monday, and visible from the street 24/7. If anyone happens to be in the neighborhood, check it out! Or stop by Wednesday 5-7 for the opening.


Extended congrates on Karla’s exhibition.

Now that the kitchen is complete, it might get finished later in the week. Thursday the spacers, a painted panel, and the base for the crown moldings will be delivered, then all we need is the carpenter to come and install them, then the kitchen will be finished.

“It took a long time,” I say.

Lately I’ve been working slow, and not killing myself. I have time to set a mild pace, and I’m not frenzied. The thing is lots of small jobs and details fell through the cracks, but enough of them to leave me a bit overwhelmed. I have been addressing many of these small tasks. Today was replacing the rest of the screens in the house, and installing two new motion detector lights in the front backyard.

I feel human and I’m not in a rush. Actually feels great to set a slower pace, after a stressful six months when the kitchen kinda took over my life. The upstairs bath should be less work and stress. The kitchen also included the powder room.

My attic lacks any ventilation, that’s O.K. Because I think I will get closed cell foam sprayed in, but the first step is getting an attic staircase.

I hate dismantling a wheel just to have a hub I need to build another wheel. Seems like a waste. The old retro wheel has a narrow rim, and back in the day wheels were built lighter and narrower. This old wheel set is perfect for making the Ti Basso into a 1x11 “Newsboy,” basically an urban bike. Even with 2.1 wide Maxxis Cross Mark tires could be under a 20 pound bike and maybe less.

The newer wheels for tubeless tires are wider and heavier. Because rim brakes have been surplanted by disc brakes modern wheels are built a lot heavier. Wheels are rotating mass and are like flywheels. Of course it takes more energy to accelerate more weight. Also rim brakes are a lighter setup. The leverage generated radiated from the hub on disc brakes requires stronger heavier spokes.

In the end the old retro wheels are good to keep, and they serve a purpose being of lighter weight.

Lately “Maggie” has been posting shots of us with me without a shirt. Lots of response, and they find us an interesting couple. Vanessa I think figured this out early.

Yes, I saw you looking like Marky Mark on the Accidental Icon IG. No wonder you have a neighbour-stalker.

The main thing is I'm glad you're totally recovered from your infection.
Yes, I saw you looking like Marky Mark on the Accidental Icon IG. No wonder you have a neighbour-stalker.

The main thing is I'm glad you're totally recovered from your infection.


Did you notice my bandage in the shots? Pretty much a wound deep to the shin, I learned pretty much in that area is just skin, a thin layer of fat, and then bone. Luckily the infection did not spread to the bone. This was a big worry.

I’m a wounded warrior.

My blood pressure is dropping to below 110/70 with a resting pulse of 50 BPM.

”Maggie’” shortness of 5’2” makes me seem mighty tall, even though I’m only 5’10”, average height for a U.S. man.

I’m not hip. I’ll have to Google Marky Mark. The thing to riff here is that Maggie has style, but pretty much I don’t follow trends to the extent that basically I have no style. I am a frumpy dresser who likes old clothes that are comfortable. Maggie says I wear all the same clothes all the time. Pretty much a wrinkled shirt, unironed, works for me. I love being a sloppy dresser.

Maggie wears my Paul Smith shirts and other menswear, but she dislikes when I wear a woman’s shirt because it is sized to fit me. Right now I’m wearing a green muscle shirt that has a “V” and Vermont logo. Basically it is a woman’s large basketball top. It also has a bleach stain, but I still wear it. Maggie hates this shirt, so I wear it to annoy Maggie.

Realize that the white T-shirts I wear are Hanes size large in a boy’s size. My Kapernick football Jersey is a size 15 meaning designed to fit a muscular 15 year old.

I am also wearing my Panerai, a rather huge watch.


Thanks for the intended compliment. I did not know that Marky Mark was Mark Warburg.

Did you know that his past includes being convicted of hate crimes against black people and Asians, specifically Vietnamese.

Anyways he tried to have these crimes removed from his criminal record citing he was young.


Mark’s build is bulkier, and he is only 5’8’’. I bet he outweighs me by 15-20 pounds at perhaps 160.

I’m 5’10” at about 140 and in a fight I would put the money on me despite the age difference. “The best assets to bring to a fight are speed, agility and experience,” I say.

I grew up looking like the enemy during the Vietnam era. During that time Asians were less than half of one percent of the U.S. population. I stood out and was target before the term hate crime was used.

I have a lot of rage, and my deepest fear growing up was killing someone because I was capable of doing so. Rage is a super power in my book.

BTW the first thing I learned in kindergarten was how to fight, and by 3rd grade I was good at it.

Anyways he tried to make reparations and he tried to apologize to a a victim of one of his hate crimes who happened to be a black woman. She had permanent scars, both physical and mental, and could not forgive him, even though decades have past.

How can anyone ever be forgiven for these crimes?

Also if I ever lost control and did kill someone as an act of rage and conditioned response would a jury understand? Or would I serve time for manslaughter?

BTW I have PTSD.

Cal, I didn't know that history about Wahlberg. I enjoy watching him in his movies but with this new knowledge I'll have to reconsider. I shouldn't have compared you to him but I was reminded of him in his Calvin Klein modelling days.
He was also in Boogie Nights, so there you go!
Cal, I didn't know that history about Wahlberg. I enjoy watching him in his movies but with this new knowledge I'll have to reconsider. I shouldn't have compared you to him but I was reminded of him in his Calvin Klein modelling days.
He was also in Boogie Nights, so there you go!


I still appreciate your intent to compliment me.

This particular attack on a group of black people was reported to be a gang assault. Without the facts and details I assume this was a rather brutal attack.

”Rage is a Superpower” is a very strong anthem. I think I will write down this phrase because it deserves exploring and an explanation. Kinda sets a hook to engage. It begs an explanation.

Perhaps it will evolve into something… It has “The power to provoke.”

BTW with Maggie I did some content for Calvin Klein also, but not in my underwear. Also know that I bought a bunch of Calvin Klein T-shirts that say “Calvin” or “Calvin New York.” Pretty much I co-opted their branding. To me I’m the original “Calvin.”

When I wear those Calvin Klein T-shirts, I say when I can that, “I’m hiding in plain sight and that I’m wearing a disguise.” LOL.

BTW to have those ripped abs I would have to weigh about 5-8 pounds less (last time I was weighed 143 pounds when hospitalized). Pretty much I could loose 5 pounds easily by getting dehydrated. Water gets stored in the fat around the abdominal area, so know that Sylvester Stallone and Mark Warburg certainly were dehydrated to get that level of definition.

When I get dehydrated “Maggie” says I look like a strung out Heroin addict from the 70’s. “She yells at me, “You are too skinny,” she says. Water weighs. About 8 pound for a gallon.

It was reported that Sylvester Stallone was on the verge of heat exhaustion because he was so dehydrated when filming “Rambo.”

Anyways what happens when I get dehydrated is that my body strongly resembles the body of a muscular 15 year old that is athletic.

Around my yard I sweat a lot doing pretty much chain gang labor, digging, excavating, and moving around lots of material. I get dehydrated a lot. I could do a Calvin Klein underwear ad, but it would display a boyish body. Even using my unmotorized push mower drenches me in sweat.

A long ride became a 2 hour ride and a long hike. How did I get a roofing nail in my rear tire in the woods?

Anyways a lot of bike handling skill development. Sections of rocky climbs that are technical I cleaned that I could not do before. Also I got the blood really pumping because the climbs are like interval training. I am a relaxed tired.

I learned that I need to tilt the nose of the seat more rearward.

I started to venture into more technical trails. I ended up by the gun range, as usual. I backtracked to find this trail that is on the map, but is unmarked called “My Favorite Trail.” I can understand the name, but what I like about it is that it connects with a trail called “Rocky Glen.”

Going downhill on the short wheelbase IBIS is tricky because the bike has a high bottom bracket and a high CG wanting to tip forward. The trick is to go slow to limit momentum.

Climbing is where lost momentum and getting a wheel trapped is a problem where pretty much you get stuck and loosing all momentum. Basically maintaining balance on a still bike is key to staying up on the peddles. Body English applied in the right way at the right time can rescue from stalling and having to put a foot down to save you from tipping over.

So these trails are not so difficult. Certainly there are sections that require more advanced skill, but now for the most part the loop I’m developing is ridable.

With guitar the key to being able to play fast is to be able to play slow first. Seems like a similar adage is true for Blue Mountain. I love that these are trails that are not highly used and pretty much are underutilized. It is as if they are private trails, or my private trail.

I think I figured out a solution to the hub shortage problem: I will have A.J. Build me a 24 inch 32 spoke wheel. I have the rim and a White Industry “Eno” which is a single speed hub.

Basically I could make the Ti IBIS a 3x1 that would have gearing for Blue Mountain. Pretty much all I need. All I need is another 24 inch single speed rear wheel. All the other stuff I need I already have to build this out. Bonus is that the Ti IBIS will remain a very light. Know that I am set with a tricked out Rock Shox Judy that has been upgraded.

The weather on Sunday looks to have changed from rain to a mix of sun and clouds. Hope the weather is cooperative.

I’m gearing up to start lifting weights and doing strength training, something I have put off. The forecasts were predicting a week of possibilities of rain every day, so now I’m developing a plan “B.”

Went to my health food store to bulk up on protein, bought 3 half gallons of double skim milk that has double the protein. Presently my build is only a result of being a house slave and working around the yard.

So I guess I’m going to take this modeling seriously and see if I can make a go of it. Pretty much I had a head start, but now I need to build on what I have I figure.

A big part is diet, and I could not really do what I need to do without having a kitchen. Glamping and eating out is not conducive to the healthy clean eating required.

Pete’s comment was of a man who was just coasting on his good genes, and now it is time to get ripped.

I lowered my blood pressure well into the normal range at 110 over 70, but know that I have recently recorded it as low as 100/60 and my heart rate at times drops below 50 BPM.

Looking forward to grilling some wild caught Salmon tomorrow. Just had some fresh Cantaloupe that I got at the Peekskill Farmer’s Market mixed with fresh strawberries and yogurt.

A new consideration is just changing the 12-21T Dura-Ace Cassette to a 12-25T with a new chain on the Ti Basso Road. Pretty much another bike to use that has not seen any use lately.

It’s now dark and I’m going to see how I did setting up the motion detector lights I did the other day. Was it yesterday?

Seems like spotty weather over the next few days where there is a chance of afternoon thundershowers. Perhaps a hedge over the unstable weather where anything can happen.

I saw a report that suggests that interest rates on Mortgages will have to hit 10% to stop rents from increasing. Because house affordability is so bad landlords have been able to raise rents, and housing costs are a big part of inflation.

If the FED has to crash the real estate market, “look out below,” I say. Hope you have a hard hat and protective gear when and if that happens. At best the fed has to try to have housing go “sideways” for perhaps a decade or more. Generally the long term average of the increase in property values is about 1 1/2-2 percent over the rate of inflation. So say we have an inflation rate over 9.1 percent, add 1 1/2-2 percent on top of that and the math kinda makes sense.

Crazy as it sounds, if you do the math, interest rates on Mortgages hitting 10% is not so outlandish and kinda makes sense. This happened in the 70’s BTW. The inciting incident back then was the 1974 oil crisis, but high inflation (double digit at its peak, not far from where we are now) endured into the early 80’s.

So the FED kinda created a housing sich-E-A-tion of causing a housing shortage a while back in 2007-2008, then reinflated the economy buy creating a hot housing market. Simple economics that involve a supply and demand imbalance. Very basic and elementary, but did you know that Jerome Powell, the FED President, is basically a lawyer and not a bankster or economist?

I can see how this will be a long time to unwind. It took 15 years to get to this point, and it will take perhaps a decade at least to reverse things. Evidently not only is there a shortage of homes, but also a shortage of places to rent. At least this is true in the NYC Metro area.

So I also see the housing market being like a check-valve that allows flow in only one direction, and at best prices remain stable because of shortages. I also mentioned in another post how record low mortgage rates and refinancing kinda locked in home owners into a situation of locking in record low interest rates that would be foolish to replace with higher rates.

Effectively since these homes will likely/probably never circulate and effectively are removed from the pool of housing, the actual housing shortage in effect is worse. The underbuilding since the 2008 housing crash would take at best a decade or more to build out a supply to meet demand, but this is unlikely because there are material shortages, inflation, higher interest rates, and labor shortages. Don’t forget falling productivity…

So I still don’t see how the economy can be said to be growing with all the delays and bottlenecks. The measure of productivity to me seems like funny math. Say my kitchen remodel took 5-6 months to complete, well in truth it is not done/finished yet because there are details that need to be completed, and the contractor has not been paid in full yet because technically the job is not done/finished. I do have a functional/working kitchen.

So to be fair this included a tiny 5x7 “Powder Room” remodel also, but easily this job took more than twice as long to complete, and it still is not complete…

So how is productivity measured when a job takes twice as long? Anyways I know my example is a gross exaggeration, but somehow the slowdowns, the delays, and the shortages that are bottlenecks are either being dismissed, discounted, or not counted at all.

Do you really believe the economy is growing? Do you believe this sich-E-A-Timon is only temporary? Do you think this is the new normal? Do you believe or understand “regression-to-the mean?” How long do you think it will take for things to “Normalize?”

Have to drop off a print for “Maggie” at an artist couple to get a gifted limited edition archivally framed. I could do it, but it would be on the back burner…

This artist couple work from home, and in other words there is no pro frame shop in the area. Pretty much if I wanted a business and hung a shingle, pretty much would corner a local market. Anyways I figure that I will build out a wood working capability so I could frame just my own work. Economically it makes sense because archival framing is mucho expensive, and the capitol outlay pretty much not only would pay for itself, the equipment would be a resource and be used for other purposes.

So I delve into competitive pricing, and investigate quality. You kinda get what you pay for, and then there has to be a profit margin. Understand that this is a one-off custom job, and in my work framing would be modular and have economy of scale because my prints are a standard size of my own creation. Then realize because I print big that these costs get amplified. Then compound this by the fact that I actively print a lot.

So visiting and meeting some local artists is exciting, but also is a matter of industrial espionage to make it playful and fun. This is my morning task. Then in the afternoon we have a call or zoom with a lawyer to move forward with estate planning.

Pretty much we live in sin unmarried, so thing get complicated fast if anything sudden or bad happened. Pretty much we are trying to avoid being a chapter in the book “Rich-House: Poor-House” or replicate the situation just across my dead end.

Doing a strength workout is a quicker down and dirty that fits into my schedule. Pretty much another busy day that moves us forward. All are kinda important and have meaning. I wonder am I judgemental when I think of some people who are kinda aimless or in a way lost with no meaning in their lives. Am I being harsh?

The smut on my industrial espionage was a cool experience. I find out that this is the place to go to in the lower Hudson Valley for framing, run by a husband and wife from their home right here in Peekskill, but on the northern end of the city.

The house dated back to the 1880’s, had a wonderful wrap around porch, and was built by the Dain family that still has a lumber yard on the waterfront in Peekskill. I was asked if I knew of Dain’s Lumber, and I was able to say I’m friends with James Dain one of the owners.

James did me a few favors planning down some heart pine planks that were glued together to make some custom saddles that matched my flooring. They do mill work and have the real deal big machines. The work was done as a favor while I waited, and of course no charge. How cool is that?

One room that back in the day, might have been a dining room was kinda like a showroom with molding samples and displays of different colored mats, along with a large 4x8 table. The porch windows ran floor to ceiling and were 12 and 6 lites along with 9 1/2 to 10 foot ceilings. The house was rather grand being a corner house, and pretty much was about 3 1/2 stories tall with a foundation that came well above ground level.

A pretty grand house, but it gets better, in the back was a huge barn perhaps 1200-1400 square feet spread over two floors.

So pretty much a cash business and totally pro. About 2-3 week turn around.

This business is run by two artists: the wife a painter, and the husband a sculptor. Side hustle for the woman was selling real estate in mostly Cold Spring and Garrison the two river towns north of the city of Peekskill.

At one time, this woman said she was snobby and when clients asked about Peekskill she basically blew them off. Certainly she made more and bigger commissions in the more upscale town of Cold Spring where she lived, and the snooty rivertown of Garrison. Remember Peekskill was a place to avoid…

Today it is a different story: a nurse from my hospital stay said she sold her parent’s house and her house (the house next door) and moved to Peekskill. One of the main reasons is that Cold Spring, an nice upscale river town, has brutally high taxes. Garrison has no businesses and pretty much is all residential with 4 acre zoning. Taxes in Garrison must be UBER brutal.

Peekskill is not a place to avoid anymore and it is in fact the place to go for art, music and food.

Kinda crazy that they bought this monster home not far from downtown Peekskill only 7 years ago for $385K and now it is easily a $900K home.

Not for nothing, what artist could refuse having a barn for a studio. Of course I was green with envy.

I mentioned my humble two car garage. My new friend recommended parking my truck and car in the driveway to make way for studio space. “Maggie” is not so cool with the Audi in the driveway. She is rather attached to the car. A 400 square foot studio would be mice for poor old Calvin I say.

Anyways this woman painter currently has an exhibition, and by way of introduction I was asked about my work, so I pulled out my micro portfolio of images on business cards. I was told to show my work to the gallery owner where she now has an exhibition because I can definitely get a show. Problem is that I will likel;y need to get my work framed, and that is not inexpensive.

Considering it cost about $550.00 to frame a 20x20 inch square image (Rolliflex wet print) into a 24x24 frame with museum glass at AI Friedman about 12 years ago, the cost of another 20x20 print is $380.00 cash, no tax out the door with true view UV acrylic. The acrylic only cost $42.00, but the upgrade to museum glass is $180.00.

So accounting for 12 years of inflation the pricing is great. My problem is that I print big so my 20x30 images printed on 24x36 paper I would think would cost 50% more, or about $750.00 a print for museum glass archivily framed.

Anyways you can see how I would have to figure out a way to do this framing myself. The equipment would pay for itself.

Also got the smut that this large outbuilding right next to Blue Mountain preserve is owned by some fine art printer. This was basically maybe a horse barn and is much huge. If I see a car parked there I was told I should knock and introduce myself.

So I’m still trying to stay under the radar, “I’m just minding my own business,” but I can feel a ground swell of sorts happening regardless. I’m trying to relax, but all this stuff going on around me seems to be sucking me in.

Anyways I think my smaller garage would be a more cozy and comfortable studio… Also I like living next to the frog ghetto right on the fringe of the city. Blue Mountain Preserve don’t forget is almost my back yard, and in fact Dickey Brook is just beyond my back-backyard. Kind of a mini Croton-Harmon with all that marsh grass.


They keep promising rain but it never comes...

If I remember there is overhead coverage at the beer garden so even if it rains while we are the we can stay dry.