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Toshi's thread

Discussion in 'Northeast' started by Toshi, Apr 20, 2002.

  1. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    Median housing price / median income. Vancouver's caption got cut off in the graphic, but their ratio is 17.3.

    This explains why Seattle feels so much more expensive to me than Denver, for instance, not to mention that my field's labor market is distorted such that I'd make less in Seattle.
     

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  2. rideit

    rideit Bob the Builder

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    Haha, I wonder what JH index looks like...
     
  3. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    Jackson is ~823500 / 87400, or 9.4. Just a touch worse than Seattle. The deal with Jackson is that there's a huge gulf between median and mean income, with truly rich people skewing the latter super high.
     
  4. Westy

    Westy the teste

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    When I finished grad school the job market in Seattle would have paid me quite a bit less than back in VA. Thankfully a few extra years on the resume qualified me for a higher level position.
     
  5. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    I think I'm going to step into the brave new world and put an Amazon Key setup on our front door... but I'm not going to use it for Amazon Key package delivery.

    Instead it seems like a reasonably priced way to get the hardware I want given the free install:

    Non-Amazon Key setup enabling code access at door, programming codes via phone or otherwise remotely:

    - Z-Wave enabled smart lock, $180-200
    - Smart hub, such as the Samsung SmartThings for $78 since Wink supposedly is flaky
    - about an hour of my time to install and set things up, or $100 to pay an Amazon contractor to do just the install

    Amazon Key setup:

    - Amazon Cloud Cam w/Key, $140
    - comparable fancy lock, $200
    - no hub required (built into power supply cable for Cloud Cam)
    - installation and setup is gratis

    (and either of these setups would ensure I wouldn't be locked out of the house again...)
     
  6. Westy

    Westy the teste

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    I have a few spare keys hidden on the property
    Cost: $1.29
     
  7. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    For better or worse I've pretty much topped out in my field. I probably will be promoted come July, and after that's done with there's only one more jump (probably in 5 years?) realistically. There's a final jump beyond that but that rank's a rare beast: https://www.cu.edu/oaa/list-distinguished-professors . Note no one from my department on that list, afaik.

    Each jump gets me ~6% bump in pay, which I won't scoff at but is not life changing. Jumping to private practice in Podunkville could net me twice the pay but there's no free lunch: living in Podunkville and working like a dog. Private practice in Seattle would pretty much be a wash compared to academics here: more call but more vacation, and much more time in traffic commuting between sites.

    Nope. I think I'll sit here and fantasize about which electrified vehicle to get, and perhaps actually get to go skiing or biking in reality now and then.
     
  8. Westy

    Westy the teste

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    When I messed my thumb up I got images taken at the local prompt care. They were sent to a third party radiology consult. I imagined the doc doing the diagnosis spending 30 seconds looking at my images on a i-pad between putting coats of wax on his new boat.
     
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  9. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    Touché. Burying a few keys probably is better, and necessary as a backup for these electronic things. Hmph.
     
  10. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    But it's Seattle. He probably is nursing an ulcer brought about by the stress of a million dollar mortgage and "necessary" per his wife private school tuition for the kids.
     
  11. jstuhlman

    jstuhlman We noticed.

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    how’s the doc pay here in clt?
     
  12. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    Don't know about rads, but for what I dug up on primary care it's actually the highest paying metro area (by a percent or two but still not shabby).
     
  13. Westy

    Westy the teste

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    Housing is expensive here but the million dollar mortgage is extremely rare. Check out the >$500K map here:
    https://www.seattletimes.com/busine...me-buyers-already-dealing-with-pricey-market/

    Less than 30% of new mortgages in seattle were >$500K.

    It certainly helps not having 3 non earning mouths to feed and the required supporting square footage. I would certainly live somewhere cheaper like Denver if I could earn the same as here. I am keeping my eye open for company jobs in Portland. I could make the same salary with a cheaper COL.
     
  14. Westy

    Westy the teste

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    It doesn't have the techy flair of being able to let someone else in your house, but you could also tell someone where your key is.

    I also have a plan on how to break into the place if all else fails based on minimal effort to repair.
     
  15. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    That's the parent money effect as you've noted your neighborhood. For anything comparable to what we have house-wise in Denver it'd be $1M+ in a reasonable neighborhood (so West Seattle/Admiral, not White Center).
     
  16. jstuhlman

    jstuhlman We noticed.

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    clt too far from family/too “southern”?
     
  17. Westy

    Westy the teste

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    The parent money effect is real, but I would say rather rare. Average buyer in my hood is probably on their second home and carrying over equity. Most neighborhoods are still affordable for a two income professional family, that is for a house. The building boom has increased the supply of condos and townhomes significantly, my informal observations says that the cost of those are actually going down. The supply of traditional homes is actually decreasing as the standard single family lot can fit 2-6 townhomes. As the area become more urban the starter home is no longer a little bungalow but a condo or townhouse. If you want the suburban white picket fence experience and still want to be close to the urban neighborhoods you better have some cash. Otherwise you will end up in a condo or will have to live in pick-up truck land, or as you once put it, with Koreans and retirees.
     
  18. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    Yeah. It's Seattle or here basically, so here it is.

    Ah, Lynnwood. Actually, up there would have been the best place for us to be had I taken the Seattle gig, half in Everett, half in Capitol Hill. That her family is all in West Seattle wouldn't have helped things at all unless I was 100% in Cap Hill using the water taxi + e-bike up the hill.
     
  19. Westy

    Westy the teste

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    Your preferred locations in Seattle are probably more akin to trying to buy a home in Boulder vs your current location. West Seattle is expensive and nearly impossible to get to/from. Mukilteo and other less urban locations offer some pretty baller homes at not too crazy prices. Access to skiing and riding are similar to Seattle, great for a family, not so much if you are looking to walk to everything you need short of work or mountains.
     
  20. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    Our current < $200/sq ft house is in a neighborhood that has no analogue in Seattle:

    - good public schools
    - new/optionally green construction
    - parks and dog parks and open space baked into the plan
    - 15-20 minutes to downtown if no traffic, 25 minutes to DIA mostly on traffic-free back roads
    - restaurants and grocery stores
    - an actual back yard
    - 30-40 minute bike commute to work that's 95% on multi-use trails with no adjacent car traffic
    - fiber optic internet with everything including power lines under ground.

    The redevelopment of Stapleton came at just the right time for us. People have been living in parts of here since 2003 or 2004, iirc, but it's only lately when the restaurants and grocery stores, etc. caught up to the influx as the whole area becomes built out. (It's still not done yet but I have little desire to move, let alone to the mile square final patch that's further away from amenities.)
     
    #7020 -   Dec 27, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2017
  21. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    This isn't to say there aren't downsides, of course:

    - lack of diversity inherent to the house prices given that most units are single family homes (although the upside of this is that most of my immediate neighbors are ~33-40 years old with 2-3 kids and a dog and possibly a Subaru)
    - closest grocery store is a SuperTarget, which isn't comprehensive (but Amazon Fresh to the rescue)
    - homes on any given block are from a single builder, so although your house won't be identical to your next door neighbors, it may well be identical save for color to one 5 doors down from you
    - since everything's planned, no organic development of a random coffee shop here or there: it's all zoned in neat blocks, for better or worse
    - lots of local restaurants, but the good restaurants are on the other side of Stapleton, 15 minutes in the car
    - lots of porch package theft issues as of late
     
  22. StiHacka

    StiHacka Compensating for something

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    How far do you have to go for a decent (not necessarily epic) trail ride?
     
  23. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    This is just a hair over 30 minutes from my door:

     
  24. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    I spent an hour+ (almost all of which was being on hold) on the phone today and pre-paid my property taxes for the year via credit card.

    :banana:

    This will save me about $2,100 in taxes, as they'd effectively not be deductible next year due to the $10k SALT deduction limit in the GOP tax plan.


    Not sure how those of you elsewhere can do this (if you'll similarly run afoul of the $10k SALT limit), but for Denver the process is:

    - call 311, wait about 10 minutes to be connected, say you want to prepay property taxes
    - get transferred to Treasury, wait about an hour (or more!) on hold, complete transaction in 3 minutes
    - ...
    - get receipt in January or so and petition mortgage servicer to modify escrow for the year
    - ...
    - Profit!
     
  25. StiHacka

    StiHacka Compensating for something

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  26. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    I did double check last year’s return to make sure I didn’t get hit by the AMT. What I paid was for this year’s assessment so I should be in the clear. I do ageee that the bill was very rushed, though, and there will be many more unforeseen side effects.
     
  27. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    My babies are cute babies



    (and Christmas trees + the 135/2L wide open makes for great bokeh)
     
  28. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    I'm just about caught up at work (short staffed but holiday volumes drop a bit for the elective studies), so more bloviating:

    I think the bit about the Outlander PHEV not being something I'd want long term is key. Something about it just doesn't do it for me, and as I've found out this week I'll choose the keys of the nicer vehicle (PacHy) over the more efficient but not as nice one (RAV4 EV) consistently. (This shows I'm internally consistent since 2009, for the record.)


    Not a terrible interior, but quite reminiscent of the Tesla-Toyota bodge that I have now, not to mention that the infotainment screen is even more dated yet, like the 2011-2017 LEAF...

    So what instead, with some more oontz since whale penis leather is apparently what I crave? I would like a wagon, or a small or midsize SUV--the Prius Prime would have been a shitty ski vehicle, honestly (but a great snowplow!). AWD. Ideally a PHEV if the pricing works out to be sane (PHEV price - $5k state - whatever it's eligible for Federal ~= non-PHEV price). Most definitely with full-speed dynamic cruise control, with extra autonomy always welcome. Fancy stereos also a plus.

    Thought the first:




    That'd be the new Geely Volvo XC60, although if you thought it was an XC90 at first I wouldn't blink.

    In the Inscription trim level the T8 (400 hp, 472 ft-lbs, twin-charged 4-banger plus PHEV bits good for ~20 miles electric) runs $10,400 more than the base T5 (250 hp, 258 ft-lbs, uncouth 4-banger on its own)... but the kicker is that in Colorado I'd get $10,002 back between Federal and State tax credits.

    :notbadobama:

    It's oontzy enough, has Pilot Assist semi-autonomous this and that, and while pricey with options is significantly less than the equivalent XC90. Too bad that pretty Sensus touchscreen is supposed to be horrid from a UI perspective--but then again I'd consider a Tesla Model Y, and that'll probably have a similarly stupid touch-only interface...

    Hmm. This is much more appealing, but if I go down such an oontzy route (or other European similar offerings) then I need to get my financial house in order beforehand. Prudence before luxury, and sometime 2019 or 2020 might work...
     
    #7028 -   Dec 29, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2018
  29. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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  30. Nick

    Nick My name is Nick

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    behind you, don't wait up.
    :cheers:
    Fun morning!
     
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  31. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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  32. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    Ski trip math time:

    - started from a full charge, which implies about 12.6 kWh usable from the nominally 16 kWh pack, which is in keeping with how the Volt does things and also is consistent with 2 hour flat charge time from flat with a 6.6 kW EVSE when accounting for charger inefficiency
    - started from a full tank of gas
    - ended 3.629 gallons short of a full tank (same pump at same station), and with 0% reported state of charge on the battery
    - that gas + initial from-grid electricity + regenerated electricity propelled the PacHy 74 gas miles and 53 electric miles yesterday

    If electricity is not counted then that's 35 miles traveled per gallon of gas used. Counting the gas-only portion strictly would be 20.4 MPG, but the flip side of this would be 4.21 miles per at-battery kWh, or about 140 MPGe. For context, on flat ground/in a normal testing cycle the PacHy is rated at 2.5 miles/kWh.

    Either way that's pretty good, because even though gas is cheap these days, electricity is cheap in the Colorado winter at 5.461 cents/kWh as drawn from the grid, and free when regenerated on the way down were it not for the gas used to push the vehicle uphill in the first place.

    (In other words, I have no idea how the system efficiency should be summarized neatly. Everything's intertwined!)



    Edit: I guess the logical thing to do would be to translate it all into MPGe using the EPA's 33.7 kWh/gallon of gas conversion. Then the usage would have been 3.629 gallons + 12.6 kWh/33.7 kWh/gallon == 4.00 gallons, or just over 32 MPGe combined.
     
    #7032 -   Jan 1, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2018
  33. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    Today was another 8 AM-10 PM day. The extra money is nice, but I'm getting burnt out, especially after last week (Tuesday 8A-10P on effectively no sleep, Wed 8A-5P, Thu 8A-10P, Fri 8A-5P, Sat a very busy 7A-5P, Sunday skiing...).

    For February I will sign up for 0 of these extra shifts and see if that + Wednesdays off to go skiing get me to perk up. Paying off debt so that I can buy toys like that Volvo, perhaps, is one thing, but feeling burnt out kind of negates that benefit.
     
  34. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    Video of limited interest except to @Nick and @stoney and perhaps my dear mother



    Raw footage from actual skiing type bits. See if how you think you look matches up with how you look!

    Nick @ 0:00
    Stoney @ 15:12
    Toshi @ 18:38

    I cleaned up the exposure and white balance a bit. Still doesn't look great because the light itself wasn't great, but looks better this way, especially with the 60 fps smoothness, than on that quick Quik video with music.
     
  35. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    Wednesday Jan 10 is my next planned ski day. I shall try my hand at driving the RAV4 EV to Vail.

    There maybe even be some snow! Right now Vail is at a sad 21", but there's 3-6" in the forecast for this weekend and another storm supposedly due to hit in the mountains on Wednesday/Thursday or so.

    I have a sheet of paper and a pen in the passenger seat already, with the relevant waypoints (e.g. Hwy 40 at Empire) and how many bars of charge I should have left at each of these points. I probably should also put in the relevant EVSE stations for an emergency charge into the car's GPS so I'm not reliant on cell signal.

    Speaking of cell signal if I do somehow misjudge things badly and end up totally bereft of charge, if Verizon's coverage map can be believed I shouldn't have an issue...



    In the worst case it'll be an adventure--I'll have warm ski gear with me and won't starve any time soon. :D

    In the best case it'll prove the range calculators right, will be super inexpensive, and will be associated with a day of fresh tracks (albeit over a meager base) +/- demoing some appropriate skis for free at Christy Sports.
     
  36. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    Relevant reading:

    1) Slashgear: Volvo Pilot Assist II Winter Testing

    I agree that this sounds far from ideal. As a visual example, note the inconspicuous cruise control icon in the bottom left of the image. That icon changing color is the only thing alerting the driver to whether the car is steering itself at the moment:



    2) The Drive/douchey Alex Roy writing a good thing for once: The Battle for Best Semi-Autonomous System: Tesla Autopilot Vs. GM SuperCruise, Head-to-Head



    This steering wheel kind of sums up the article with the added context that the author couldn't keep SuperCruise engaged on the pictured FDR Drive for more than a few seconds: Tesla's Autopilot works in more settings, but when it disengages it does so in a subtle, problematic manner a la Volvo. This ambiguity of whether the car or you are actually driving at a given instant is the same resultant problem.

    GM's steering wheel solves this two ways:

    A) It monitors whether the driver is paying attention, with infrared (+ apparently visible spectrum) emitters flanking that currently-green light on the wheel and an infrared camera on the top of the steering column. (Incidentally the 2007-era Lexus LS, or at least the LSh of that generation used similar technology on a Driver Monitoring System package.) This is key because if it senses your eyes are open and on the road then it doesn't require a hand on the wheel. This hand on the wheel while the car nominally drives is part of the ambiguity with the other systems.

    B) The light strip communicates what the car is doing and, importantly, is about to do:


    No light == disengaged.


    Green == engaged.


    Red == about to disengage. This is key.




    So does a Cadillac CT6 sedan have any relevance to my life? Well, maybe. It's expensive but so is that Volvo. As a RWD sedan it doesn't have a great ski vehicle form factor, admittedly, but with Nokians anything can be made to work. Finally, there's a $12.5k combined tax credit-eligible PHEV version replete with an 18.4 kWh 120 kW battery...



    ... but the CT6 Plug-In has three catches. One is that it's built in Shanghai, which I don't care about that much. The second is that it's only available in limited states, not inclusive of Colorado. The bigger catch is that as of now the PHEV isn't available with SuperCruise. Maybe in a year or three the PHEV (or ideally a PHEV AWD XT6) would have SuperCruise and a lower pricetag.
     
  37. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    Another car thought for if the RAV4 EV doesn't make it to Vail on a single charge (and if we don't stop at two kids):

    Honda Clarity Plug-In.

    $36k nicely equipped pre tax-credits, so $24k in reality because the pack is big enough for the full Federal credit. 17 kWh pack for 42 miles electric range before gas kicks in. Hideously ugly on the outside, yes, but supposedly nice and roomy on the inside. Wouldn't be as much of a snowplow as a Prius Prime and 42 miles electric >> 22 miles for real-world use. Autonomy level is akin to that of the PacHy: full speed dynamic cruise and a probably ineffective lane keep assist.


    Not a looker: Prius-esque Kamm back + awkward Honda styling elements + chunky fenders/haunches + big overhangs.


    The interior pleases me, though.

    If it came to it (which would mean yes kid 3, no RAV4-to-Vail-reasonably, no to Volvo whale penis-type hedonism) then it'd be an interesting choice between the Honda whale-mobile, which has a nicer interior and the reliability of gas for range extension, or the forthcoming ~60 kWh Nissan LEAF, which would force me to choose ski resorts based on charger availability (but maybe ok to round trip to Loveland/Keystone/A-Basin?) but which would drive itself a bit more.
     
  38. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    In a non-car related post, thoughts on camera angle:

    As is evident from my videos, I'm running a GoPro on a chest mount with a gimbal. Even with SuperView, the largest field of view, one only gets a hint of handlebars/front wheel or arms/ski tips.

    Ideally I'd have a drone following me, 10 feet back, avoiding trees, capturing perfect over the shoulder video game style footage. This would be dangerous, annoying for other users, and is banned pretty much everywhere, though, so that's not happening despite it being technically possible.

    The GoPro Fusion is intriguing because it comes a bit closer to this ideal:



    For an idea of what it can do:



    What it does is have two cameras, each capturing a huge field of view at 5.2K so that one can sample but a portion of their fields of view and still have adequate resolution. Then one post-processes to get everything from a crazy 360 sphere view to a normal field of view. It handles stabilization in this step, too.

    The catch is that it seems to be meant to mounted on a pole: held on a selfie stick or otherwise mounted away from the user. I could certainly sacrifice using poles for skiing and get footage this way if held out in front, but it'd need a long stick held behind oneself (mounted on a chest mount with triangulation but a breakaway for crashes?) for my video game style POV footage that I think would be the ideal.

    For biking it would make even less sense.

    So I'm not sure it'd work for biking or skiing but maybe some day...
     
  39. StiHacka

    StiHacka Compensating for something

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  40. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    Super useful. Illustrates some of my points nicely:

    - short rod looks awful, and he didn't seem to grok that no amount of post-processing will change that the footage is acquired 1 foot away from one's body (thus the comments about the distortion--yeah, that's because you had to make the field of view ridiculously large to get you and the trail because of the mounting location)
    - helmet mount footage as a rule looks awful

    I think this would work if one could rig up a mount 4 feet back and maybe 2 feet up, emanating from one's back. Again, it'd be tough to engineer something that'd be stable yet safe in a crash.