Cheat Sheet Q&A:
Today’s Topic: Brian play’s Hey Jude
Bottom Line: Today’s entry came about with a bit of prodding from a few listeners and Jim Edwards yesterday.
Ashley & I have been taking piano lessons since December of 2012. While Ashley is a successful business woman these days she is a classically trained musician who sang professionally in years gone by. She wanted to reengage with something musically and we decided that learning to play our piano (which we’d owned for a few years). About a month after we started taking lessons the owner of the business (Bobb’s pianos & organs) started an advertising campaign in which I talk about the lessons and various pianos & organs that Bobb’s carries. Anyway occasionally in the commercials I’ve played pieces of songs that I’ve learned to play. In January I played a piece of “Hey Jude”. I received a smattering of notes from people commenting on the piece and was asked to play the entire song. I scoffed at it at the time but it’s funny because when we have friends over I’m frequently asked to play that song. Yesterday the topic came up when we were talking about The Beatles and Jim said I should play the song for the show… So today I am. Here’s the rundown about the piece of audio below…
· I played this piece in January on my Baby Grand piano at home
· It was recorded on my iPhone (placing it on the piano)
If you have a topic or question you’d like me to address email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Audio Report (Hey Jude):
WWDC happenings... What Apple is up to – it’s a lot and we’re just getting started:
Bottom Line: In the first day of Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference there were many significant announcements. We’ll have to wait to hear about the next gen iPhones & iPads but we did get significant new product announcements. Among them:
· Apple’s smart home system
· Apple’s Health & Wellness Service
· New Mac OS (Yosemite)
· New mobile OS (iOS 8)
· New iSync (which works with all cloud storage systems)
· New Car Play
It’s clear that new wearable tech (likely an iWatch among other items) is coming. They’re laying the ground work for the new rollout of iPhones, iPads & Macs. The iSync working with all cloud storage systems and not just with iTunes is a big step forward. The car adaptation is laying the groundwork for a smart car system. It’s looking like the second half of 2014 will indeed be far and away the most significant for Apple & it’s customers since Steve Jobs was still with us.
Florida power plants that are directly affected by the Federal Government's EPA mandate on carbon:
Bottom Line: Yesterday the EPA issued the rumored carbon output mandates sought by President Obama. The reductions will impact many plants around the country. The US Chamber of Commerce estimates that the cost associated with compliance will be $5.5 billion per year between 2020 and 2030. So I researched plants in Florida that will be affected. I played it conservatively meaning that they may be other plants but at a minimum these eight plants will be affected and customers who receive power from these facilities could incur cost increases as plants are overhauled to comply in the future.
Here are the plants in Florida that I identified:
CrystalRiver: Progress Energy
ApolloBeach: TECO Energy
Orlando: Orlando Utilities
Palatka: Seminole Electric Co Op
Lakeland: Lakeland Dept. Electric
PolkCounty: TECO Energy
Gainesville: Gainesville Regional Utilities
St. John'sRiver: FPL
I’m a big fan of solar and other renewable energy sources but I’m also a believer in free markets and consumer demanded change rather than top down Federal mandates. More to come…
Housing affordability and why the recovery is about to level off:
Bottom Line: Much has been made of the lack of first time home buyers in the housing market. Typically about 40% of all homes purchased are by first timers. That figure is in the low 20’s currently which is the lowest figure since we’ve tracked the composition of home buyers. Also only 36% of adults under 35 who no longer live at home – own a home. That’s the lowest level since 1982 (at the end of the era of hyper inflation which is understandable). This is all part of a bigger story about affordability.
After two years of a housing recovery with double digit increases in prices year over year, the average home is no longer affordable for the average young adult with a full time salary. Unlike during the housing boom we won’t see creative mortgage products that temporarily allow someone to afford buying a home. The result is that a return to normal in housing prices is likely.
The average rate of return in housing is about 4% per year (in-line with historical income increases). The average income only rose by 1.8% last year and is only pacing 2% this year. That means that home prices will likely continue to moderate into mid to low single digit increases & that’s factoring in mortgage rates at current levels. If mortgage rates were to rise significantly that could further impair the rate of housing appreciation. If that were to happen, that’s when I’d become worried about the economy.
Current Atlantic steering currents as we start the hurricane season paint a good picture:
Bottom Line: Like many news geeks I’m interested in advanced information about many different aspects of everyday life including weather related events. Unlike many I don’t play into weather hype and I won’t go along with the obligatory start of hurricane related stories. Let’s have our get real moment. We’re all thinking adults right? Whether we choose to prepare or not it’s a decision we’re aware of making. We know that the forecasts for hurricane season are nearly completely useless (about a month ago I demonstrated that the Atlantic hurricane season forecasts have only been right 1 time ever and averages being off by 50%). What I’ve learned over the years is that the one factor that seemingly matters most if a storm is to develop is steering currents.
While it’s possible for a storm to fight steering currents it’s extremely rare that they succeed. So how do we stand in south Florida at the start of hurricane season? We’re in really good shape. Based on the current steering currents any storm in the East Atlantic would be pushed straight north through the mid-Atlantic. Anything starting in the mid-Atlantic would be generally pushed in a circle.
The only type of storm that would seemingly be pushed into us were it to develop would be a sub tropical type developing off the Carolina’s coast. These steering currents change frequently but the news is good for now. Here is a link to the current map: http://tropic.ssec.wisc.edu/real-time/dlmmain.php?&basin=atlantic&sat=wg8&prod=dlm1