Are You Messin’ With Me?

It’s about 3:30am, and I just finished doing up all of my bills and mail from the past week and a half. I said that I wanted to get it taken care of before the weekend was over, and technically that’s what I did. I really gotta work on my mail anxiety though, especially considering that the last couple of times that I let it bulk up like this, there was actually some sort of good news contained within. (But of course, as soon as I let my guard down, that’s when something will flick me in the sack… heh)

This batch also ended up being fairly harmless. I tend to pay ahead a little bit on my utilities… a habit that I picked up from my Aunt Carol… so both the electric and gas bills for this month had a credit listed, with no payment due. 😎 That was a good start, and then the envelope from the BMV was easy to open, since I’ve been expecting a 2021 sticker for my plate. But I saved the potential worst for last. 😳 A couple different, thicker envelopes from my additional “add-on” Medicare insurer.

But nope, those were good ones too. πŸ™‚πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ The first was a bunch of official looking statements about having contacted them for manual refiling of claims for the different medications that workers comp has been stiffing me on, and then the other one contained a check for over $900. πŸ˜―πŸ˜ƒ So between this check and the one that I got a couple weeks ago, that’s pretty darn close to the amount that I have paid out of pocket for most of my meds over the past three months. πŸ™‚πŸ‘πŸ» Really, really surprised that ended up working out, since despite all my calls and stuff that I mailed in – they totally could have ghosted me or just said “Nah, piss off.” and it’s not like I could have done anything about it.

Maybe I shouldn’t say that too loud, just in case I need to go through another prolonged, pain-in-the-ass process like that with them again for some other medication. 😏

EV Investment

I rambled on about Tesla for a while in a recent entry, and my mind stayed on it after I was done… ended up doing some more research on EV motor development, including news of Yamaha’s new high performance offerings. They’re currently in prototyping phase, but they don’t usually make high polish announcements like this if the product isn’t going to come to market soon. Soon, being the next 6 months to a year, I’d guess.

While the video is nice, it gets more exciting when you look into the specs that the various motor combinations can provide. It looks like they’ll have a small, medium, and large option… and they can be combined for all-wheel drive using the same motors on the front and back axles, or they can put a “large” in the rear and a “medium” in the front, giving the car a rear-wheel drive feel but also having additional power and stability from the front wheels.

A “small” dual-motor setup will provide 94 hp, which would be enough for subcompact cars or high performance off-road vehicles. A “large” quad-motor setup, with a motor on each wheel, would give a total of 536 hp… which would be ridiculous fast, no matter what type of vehicle it is in. Yamaha already has relationships with various car makers, and they’ve developed engines for quite a few cars that you may not have realized. It’s not beyond the realm of possibility that Toyota or another automaker could base an entire line of vehicles on those Yamaha EV motor combinatons.

Worth investing in? We’ll see. Definitely doesn’t have the momentum and crazy price ranges of a Tesla, stock wise, but I feel like it’s still worth looking into a little more. I only learned about all of this today, so I don’t really have much of an opinion one way or the other, but I’ll admit that it does look like they’re making some good steps forward in that segment.

Shoulda Coulda Woulda

I can’t believe how quickly Tesla stock has risen in the past few months. And yet again, I’m mentally kicking myself for not getting in on at least a little bit of those gains. Especially because I was really on top of it, back when the initial mini-crash happened due to the COVID stuff. Even though the financials didn’t make sense, there were plenty of reasons to believe that it was worth purchasing. And when I say the financials didn’t make sense, I’m mainly talking about their valuation versus former profitability, potential future profits, etc. But when it comes to those things, there aren’t many stocks that are trading in a way that makes sense… at least compared to how traditional stock ratings used to be thought of and traded on.

(I mean, right now Tesla is worth more than Chrysler, Porsche, Lamborghini, GM, Audi, Jeep, Fiat, Dodge, Ford, and Volkswagen COMBINED – while having a 2020 Q2 profit of only $100M. It’s fucking nuts… heh)

I’ve been thinking about it more, and I’m starting to think that I have to trust my gut and research when it comes to these things sometimes. It’s not that I have an all-encompassing knowledge of the stock market and believe that I’ll always know what’s best… but there have been times where I did know way more about a company than the general public, and knew enough to know that I should buy – even if I didn’t buy.

There have been several times where I could and should have gotten in on a company before it took off, and in all these cases I even talked about that fact with friends and family, even if just in passing. But there have been cases where I should have taken my own advice, but ended up missing the boat. eBay, PayPal, Netflix, NVidia, BitCoin, and now Tesla. It wasn’t even that I “knew” before the general public started getting a scent from these things, where it really would have felt as much like “guessing” as actually having confidence… but my urge to buy any of those stocks was early enough to have experienced the bulk of their gains.

I bet that even if I did make a purchase of any of those stocks back when it would have been super beneficial to do so, I bet I’d still be sitting here kicking myself for not buying more than what I did. You’re always gonna have that 20/20 hindsight thing nagging at you. But I think that’s where I need to start, if/when I spot the next one… with a small purchase that will leave me feeling annoyed that I didn’t buy more. Because there was one stock which I was pretty darn sure of, 3DFX Interactive, which totally shit the bed a couple years later – before the company was bought out by NVidia.

And I’ll go on record now saying that Tesla is still way, way overvalued – and even if there is a second crash that brings down market prices across the board, there’s a good chance that Tesla won’t recover in a way where their insane rise continues as it has been. Say what you will about “feeling” and investments, it still eventually comes down to profits… and Tesla is going to struggle to ever make money that would justify their share price. Granted, it’s not just the car company under their ticker symbol, but it’s a big part of it – and while they’ve got the EV market cornered right now, it’s not gonna stay that way.

As more auto makers bring EV cars to the market, the more that all of the operations mature, the more people will recognize that Tesla isn’t this untouchable leader in auto manufacturing. The same way Kia and Hyundai caused a disruption to the American and Japanese auto industry, by bringing cheaper / more affordable cars with similar abilities and specs to the market, legacy auto makers are going to bring “good enough” EVs to market in bigger numbers… and lots of folks will decide they don’t need all of the Tesla “bells and whistles” as long as they can get an EV with decent tech and similar range.

It’ll take still probably take a long while before Tesla falls off, mainly because the other big part of their company is battery tech… so even if car sales are affected by other companies’ eventual offerings, there’s a good chance that they’ll licence their tech, batteries, motors, etc to those other auto makers – keeping money coming in, even if car sales numbers fade. Meh, I could ramble on this for a while, but basically I’m just saying that the ideal initial run up where people make the crazy money… I think we’ve already seen it come and go, and especially with the stock split, I think it’s going to enter the phase of “normal” gains or losses pretty soon… although we should still keep an eye on the battery side of the company, where significant technological milestones could be met and surpassed. (And in that case, it’s almost unfortunate that “TSLA” is saddled with its car company component, which may end up holding it back vs if “Telsa Automotive” and “Tesla Battery” were two separate entities.)

A few more things re: Tesla. They still have some big things coming up that should provide several upward bumps to their stock price. Two things that are definitely going to happen are the CyberTruck and the electric Semi. CyberTruck is polarizing, but when it comes to price vs performance, it’s gonna stomp any other electric pickup that comes out in the near future. I don’t know enough about the electric Semi to know how many waves it’s going to make in that sector, but transportation / hauling is a huge (and somewhat invisible, to normal shlubs) market that Tesla could lock down for many years.

Some things that might happen in the next five years are a subcompact Tesla hatchback, and then the possibility of full self-driving. If Tesla can sell a basic hatchback for under $30k, with advancements likely allowing ridiculous good range and decent tech, that’s another segment that they could own. There’d be little reason to buy an ICE version if the EV version costs the same. Not only would folks with moderate incomes be able to consider one, but then all of the countries with their itty bitty roads or high congestion traffic areas… that type of car would be ideal for them. But full self-driving in the next few years? It’s hard to say how realistic that is. But if Tesla can pull it off, imagine what a paradigm shift that would be. One of those “we’re living in the future” moments, and one who’s affect on the stock value is hard to even guess.

So, yeah, as you can see, it’s not like my chub for Tesla has gone away. It’s just that car companies and battery companies, both, are slowly going to catch up with what they are doing… and when that happens, Tesla better hope that they have something that the other guys still don’t. And with their manufacturing quality being pretty shit compared to other auto makers, it’s ain’t gonna be that.

Meh, okay, I wanna go do some more research…

C’mon… Really?

I had an afternoon and evening of absorbing all the coronavirus news, and once I settled into the recliner and started catching up on The Bone Collector… *poof* … the power goes out. πŸ˜ πŸ•―οΈ I grab the phone to check the outage map – and there were only 10 houses affected. Across the street is on, up the street where the lawn decoration people live was on… with their St Patrick’s Day lights all lit up… 😏 Could it really be just a few houses on my little block? (It wouldn’t surprise me… for whatever reason, this has happened before.)

I got up, put my shoes on, and walked out back (in the newly fallen snow, mind you… after summer-like weather just yesterday πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ) to see if it was really just ten houses, and right as I did – the AEP truck pulled up to the pole about 50 yards away from me, shined a light on it for about fifteen seconds, and then they left. 😐 Not sure where they went, but the power remained off for about two hours before it came back on.

When I came back in from investigating, I discovered that the beast had stolen my seat. πŸ€” It was getting a bit chilly in the house, so I’m guessing it was partly due to my butt having warmed up the chair… but yeah, she was there and wasn’t going to move. πŸ˜πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

You might have to click the little icon on the bottom right to resize this to fit your screen. But yeah, she plopped her ass down in my seat and obviously had no intention of giving it up. 😸 Of course I wasn’t going to forcefully evict her, so I ended up sitting on the floor and listening to this Dale Jr / Michael Waltrip podcast that I’ve been putting off for a while now. It’s over two hours long, and I’m still only about 3/4 of the way through it, but man… they’ve got some amazing conversations goin’ on. 😊

Interesting evening, for sure.

Tesla Cybertruck

Entry level model (specs below) starts at $39,900.

  • Exoskeleton of Ultra Hard Cold Rolled 30x Stainless Steel
  • Single Motor RWD (base) = 0-60 < 6.5 sec / Top Speed = 110 MPH
  • Estimated EPA Range of 250+ Miles / Charge
  • 100 Cubic Feet of Storage
  • Automatic Retractable Steel Cover – Bed / Storage Area
  • Glass / Polymer Composite Tesla Armor Glass
  • Towing Capacity = 7,500+ Pounds / Cargo = 3,500+ Pounds
  • Adjustable Air Suspension and Standard Autopilot Included
  • “Laser Blade” Light Bar (above windscreen) Standard

Tesla Motors is actually planning to make delivery on the more expensive and more “equipped” dual-motor and tri-motor variants first, helping to further increase revenue as the company continues to grow. Those models offer higher range, higher speeds, more towing capacity, etc… but having a base model that rings up at around $40k gives it the possibility of truly breaking into the “pickup man” market. Because even the base model offers performance and features that are on par with similarly priced ICE trucks.

Now, will that segment of buyers be able to get past the appearance? Hell, could the appearance become part of the appeal? The design is polarizing – so only time will tell, but so far Tesla has done a good job of predicting what the market will want, and I certainly don’t see this truck as something that buyers would avoid if they’re shopping based on price-to-value across the market.

You can bet your ass, I’d drive one… 😏

Shoulda Coulda Woulda

Fell asleep early yesterday, woke up at 3am, then fell asleep around 9am and slept through 2p. 😐

Yeah, so anyway… how about that Tesla stock, eh? πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ™‚

I swear, there’s been so many things that I took a look at when they were really low. Whether it was eBay, PayPal, Bitcoin… it’s a little frustrating to be able to say “Man, I actually pondered getting in on that.” now that all of those things have gone through the roof at some point. πŸ€”πŸ˜’

I’ve never been a stock investor and likely never will be, in part because my history with silver isn’t great. It’s silly to let one investment chase me away from the idea of investing in something else, especially when it’s not like I’m doing bad. Silver is pretty damn low right now, although there seems to be a really small recover curve going on… but my investment in that, my purchased averaged out – I need it to be at around $22 an ounce before I can even break even. 🀨 I’ll be holding on to that for a while, it seems…

If we could only predict the future. And while I get why there is hype behind the company and their products, there’s no reason the stock should be this high. πŸ˜… Their financials are a bit of a mess, Elon is a wildcard with all of his antics and sometimes-questionable investment choices, so to see the stock go from the $200 range to the $900 range in six months’ time… it’s kinda ridiculous. 😯😧

tesla

Model 3 production rates have helped, along with the excitement (and sometimes confusion) about the CyberTruck, and with China being almost 15% of their market it was a smart choice to build their most recent GigaFactory there. But even though they tout the $35k starting price for a base-spec Model 3 as being an “entry level” price, I don’t think things will really blow up until their market segment includes shlubs like me.

The early Roadster was their sports car, then the Model S came along as their near-luxury sedan, followed by the Model X to serve as a crossover, and then the Model 3 (basically a smaller Model S) for the mass market. Vehicles coming down the pipeline are the Model Y which is an updated crossover, the CyberTruck for the pickup segment, and then the semi. πŸ€” Now, I understand why he’d go after the transport industry, injecting a bunch of money into the company to further whatever “the next thing” will be, but it’s disappointing that Tesla is not yet able to provide a small, $25k range subcompact hatch.

If Elon and crew can ramp up the production lines to where they can really produce on the Y and CyberTruck, that’s when investors need to start looking for hints about the next vehicle. First hint is China. New factory in China, lots of people there wanting to buy, and cities outside of the United States have a lot of roads that aren’t built for bigger cars – or they are dominated by mass transit. πŸ€“ So not only would customers benefit from the lower price, a smaller car would also be infinitely more practical and, therefore, marketable. πŸ€‘

Meh… don’t mind me, this is just one of the thousands of things that come and go from my brain at any given point during the week. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ˜ I kinda wonder how it has the room or processing cycles sometimes.

Two Good Stops

I waited and saved my Christmas visiting until the day after Christmas. First stop was at Pizza Cottage to pick up a pizza for me and Dad. We’ve been texting a lot, but since I’ve been sick for the past week and a half it’s been a while since I had been in for a visit. He got himself a new set of wheels, much better than the last one… took it for a test drive and it handles good and has a comfy seat for my crappy back. 😏

After a couple hours there I had to take off so I could make it over to Bri’s and have some time there before it got dark. When I got there, Bri let me in and told me that the kids were out back in the playground / courtyard area, and as soon as I walked out the back door Brantley saw me and said “Hey Uncle Bobby, come watch me skate!” as if he had seen me just yesterday. πŸ€”πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ˜ƒ Last time he saw me in person was at his birthday in July, and before that… well, it had been quite a while… probably like a year and a half. πŸ˜•

The first three years of his life, I was around all the time. (Including his birth.) In fact, it was in my front yard that he learned to walk. 😌 (Safer out there with nothing to run into, and mooshy grass for whenever he stumbled.) Plus, the Easter Bunny left clues and eggs and a basket here at my house for him, and he followed them all and found his way to the basket. There’s too much to mention – but it went from three years of me being around, then poof, he was with his dad for quite a while. 😟 Now that he’s back home with his mom, I thought for sure that he would have forgotten all the time he and his mom spent with me.

But I went out to where he was skating… and falling… a lot… πŸ˜… and I said “Grab my arm if you want me to help hold you up.” and he replied “No, I can do it…” as he continued falling. πŸ˜„ But he was having a good time, and was proud of the little bits he was able to skate. Then we went to the basketball hoop and threw the ball around some. Two of his little girlfriends also came over to play, and those kids were sinking shot after shot, granny style. Shooting with my good arm and continuously missing, one of the girls said “You suck.” and I agreed. πŸ˜‚ She wasn’t being jerky, she said it in a funny way…

I had my iPad with me, so we went back to the porch where Bri was still sitting and started watching some of the videos of him from when he was here at the house doing this and that, and he really did seem to remember most of the stuff he was seeing. πŸ˜―πŸ˜ƒ I wasn’t sure that 5-year-old brain would have memories of 2 to 3-year-old brain stuff, but it seems like it did. He opened the gift that I got him, and then helped open his little brother’s gift since Bryson is only 8 months old and would probably take a few hours. 😏

It was nice though… he took to me as if no time had passed at all. I guess everything I did when he was younger made a good enough impression, so that makes me happy. We looked at some more old pictures on the iPad, he showed me his tablet that he got, and he was playing a game that I actually have on my phone – so we got to sit and try to figure out some puzzles together. πŸ™‚ Granted, it’s Christmas, but still… he seems really happy there, and the fact that he remembers so much about me makes me happy too.

After watching the videos, he asked if they could all come back out to my house sometime. Heh… poor kid, my house is boring as shit… 😏 but I’m glad that he liked it here enough back then that he’d wanna come back out now. Maybe I’ll straighten the place up a bit and have them over some evening to watch a movie or something. Oh, and I do have my shelf of collectibles (aka “toys“) to get into if he gets too bored. 😁

It Saves You Money, But Okay…

Woke up yesterday and finally dug into my mail, did my few bills, and presto – I now have double the doctor appointments in the next seven days. 😐 I guess it’s good I opened my mail when I did, but I now have more days reserved for doctors than I do for myself. πŸ˜’ The super-earlyΒ involuntary one is all the way up on the NW side of Columbus.Β Another “We want you to see our guy.” appointment mandated by workers comp, to determine (yet again… I’m losing count) if my injury/disability is worthy of the meds I’m being prescribed. πŸ˜”

Keep in mind, it was only a handful of months ago that my doctor was told WC was no longer going to cover my monthly doctor visits, because (as they were allegedly claiming) I missed appointments and didn’t pick up the meds that I am subscribed… just a bunch of nonsense stuff. πŸ™„ So me, trying to do anything to avoid more forced exams, more industrial commission hearings, the potential refusal of payment for my meds… I actually asked my doctor to switch me to something different, but with what sounded like similar positive treatment results. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ‘¨πŸ»β€βš•οΈ I did this because I wouldn’t have been able to afford the monthly Lyrica prescription if they decided to stop paying, and also because I legitimately never feel good and was hoping that the change might not only help me feel better, but also cost my former employer’s WC insurer much less – a possible win-win, which I foolishly thought would make them happy and maybe leave me alone.

But no… just a couple months later, now I have to see another examiner under the premise of justifying what I’m now being prescribed. 😣 I hate that the shit they’re doing is working… almost always delays in getting certain meds filled, that weird phase where they were making false claims and threatening to stop paying for visits, etc… and it worked. πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ It spooked me, so I made a change that I stupidly thought would make those things go away, and instead that’s probably what triggered this new exam. “If you were taking (that) for so long, why are you now okay with taking (this)?” is the direction I’m expecting this to go. Yeah, I’m sure the guy who will have seen me once will know better than my doctor who has been treating me forΒ over a decade.

Of course this couldn’t come at a worse time. More on that in a later entry, maybe. πŸ˜”

(Unrelated…) I honestly don’t feel like doing anything. My chill is pretty much gone for the day. 😠 Oh, and the “wait, there’s more” from my “Chaos” entry the other day, when part of the town was without power? Nothing surprising. Everyone forgot how to drive, everyone was in a hurry and mad at anyone who dared to treat a dead traffic light as a 4-way stop, rude ass people in the stores acting as if the fucking sky was falling, and just the general unraveling of all the fragile humans’ brains pretty much like you’d expect. (GREAT idea, Skippy… rush to the opposite side of town to buy a whole bunch of fridge/freezer food, while also complaining that you have no idea when your power will be back on. πŸ™„πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ˜’)Β And then while driving again, this bizarre woman who had the right of way at our intersection actually started waving her arm wildly, mouthing something at me with an angry scowl on her face… which was her “polite” was of telling me to go ahead and turn in front of her, I guess. Fucking humans, man… a few hours without electric and they’re basically fucking cavemen again.