Sad. The beaches down here, some of the most beautiful in the country, are ruined. Along with them goes the livelihood of hundreds of thousands of people who make their living off the tourist industry. BP may make billions a year, but there’s no way any amount of money, no matter what they do with it, will completely cover the loss resulting from this spill. Oiled beaches stay oiled beaches.

The Two Worst Months

Destin is a beautiful place, but it’s not perfect. Spring and fall are without a doubt the best times to visit here, November and December are both warm and sunny, and if you’re a fan of really warm weather (like I am) summer is smoking hot. But January and February both completely suck – the forecast for both months looks like this throughout. Yuck! Thankfully it’s only two months, and March usually brings 65-70 degree weather, sunny skies and, Spring Break. 🙂


Writing a small block of security related code that ultimately lands on 50+ million desktops worldwide can be a bit intimidating.

Thankfully things look good right now, bugzilla shows no new bugs related to the work I did on (PC World has a nice summary of what’s covered in the release.) Still, this was the first time I had to do something like this, and I was a bit nervous. After all, as I’m sure most developers out there know, software development is an inexact science. No matter how careful you are, how sure you are, ultimately, some system out there somewhere is bound to have an issue, or some user will find that something that worked previously now works differently, or does not work at all. (Even if the new behavior is more safe or ‘correct’, they’ll still be pissed.)

This kind of responsibility though is also why I love my job so much. : ) Here I sit, an anonymous developer in a little town in Florida called Destin, while a small chunk of code I wrote that improves user’s security slowly creeps it’s way out to millions of desktops all over the world. I am in your browser, making it more secure. Neat.


In the second quarter of 2006, only one ZIP Code in the county had more than 10 foreclosures. That was in Lancaster, where 93535 had 11. Many ZIP Codes in the county had one foreclosure or none.

In the same period of 2007, nearly a third of the 275 L.A. County ZIP Codes tracked by First American had more than 10 foreclosures. The Lancaster ZIP Code once again had the most, growing to 107.

But the problem is most acute in Riverside and San Bernardino counties, where the market has been enlarged by a building boom. Many recent buyers are first-time owners who made small down payments and have little equity in their homes.

Moreno Valley had 309 foreclosures in the second quarter of 2007; Murrieta, 290; Fontana, 156; Corona, 256.

Victorville, which was ravaged by the downturn of the early 1990s, looks to be starting the sequel: 184 owners lost their homes in the three-month span. Another 546 received warnings that they were in default, the first step toward foreclosure.

L.A. Times Link

I’ve noticed a few foreclosure auctions down here in Destin, although they seem to be isolated to the beach-side multi-million dollar homes so far.

I’m wondering about the tech boom in Silicon Valley right now, and whether or not a major housing recession in that area of the country could kill the 2.0 bubble. For example, what percentage of venture investors would be effected by a major decrease in the property and securities they own, and would an overall economic recession, even a mild one, dampen the free flow of funding to web 2.0 startups? Also, what about the companies doing the buyouts? I think we could stand a little bit of a shakeout, but a major hit could be bad for everyone, myself included. Another interesting point – I’ve not seen an article on TechMeme discussing this. Is the Valley oblivious at this point to what they may be facing? Are my fears unfounded? A quick search across TechCrunch for “housing” or “subprime” yield no relevant results. I would think the premier web 2.0 startup blog would have posted once or twice on the subject by now. This definitely looks to be off the Valley radar at this point.

While I’d hate to see this effect the overall economy it does bode well for anyone interested and liquid enough to purchase property assuming the Fed is going to lower rates in the near future. (Even if they don’t, a great bargain can be refinanced later.) Overall I’d say it’s time to work into a low debt, cash rich position.

110° In The Shade

It’s 95 degrees in Destin today, with super high relative humidity of about 75%. There’s so much water in the air you can see it. The combination of the two creates heat indexes that reach about 110 degrees during the day. It’s so hot my air conditioning can’t keep up, the thermostat reads 76 degrees, with the temperature gauge set at 72. Whew!


Housing Market Cooling?

What’s up with the housing market? I keep reading reports it’s cooling, but since January it looks like it’s heating up. I wonder if this is a solid turn or just a rush of investing at the last minute with buyers locking in lower rates. The graph above could also be due to a bad hurricane season, if so though it didn’t last long. I noticed this on Burbed as well, looks like some parts of California are experiencing the same “bounce”.