Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Tracking Tesla

Alright so I went a little off the deep end. I'm so excited about owning a Tesla Model III that I get dizzy just thinking about it. My brother told me to start a blog just about Tesla and stop clogging up my "What I Love" blog with the same thing over and over. So I did.

So, sorry about pasting any followers with my sudden Tesla fanaticism. If you are kinda crazy about Tesla Motors like I've become, you can follow me there at my Tracking Tesla Blog.


Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Something's Off about Citron's Shorting of $TSLA

I saw lots of buzz around this tweet yesterday:

After watching $TSLA stock go up for the last couple of weeks, it suddenly had a downturn yesterday. Well, not significant enough to cause any panic, but it did go down. And it returned back on the upswing again today. So much for trying to influence the market, Citron. One day of slight-but-not-so-much panic.

The thing is, Citron seems to be betting their short stocks on the fact that Tesla has had a problem supplying their demand in the past. I mean, it's possible that Tesla Motors may have some delays initially filling orders for the Model III when it comes time to ship (a lot is riding on their new gigawatt factories), and it wouldn't surprise me if there was a delay. But that's looking beyond this year.

While the Model III continues in development for now, this year, Tesla factories are focused on pumping out more Model S's and X's, and is increasing their output. Their aim is to once again double their production in the coming year. But even if they fall slightly short of that goal, there's no doubt that they WILL grow. The issue of the falcon doors on the Model X seem to settled now that they have gone with a different supplier. And the X's have started to show up at the buyers' doors. Whatever supply problem they had, they seemed to have weathered most of that storm and are back on track.

As for the Model III, there's no demand to fill yet. They don't go into production until late 2017, far after Citron's projection of a minus-$100 loss on each share. Maybe Citron's projection has merit for next year. But for this year, they are blowing their whistle way, WAY too early. I think they will be in for a big surprise.

I think Tesla stock owners know there'll be a ramp up in price leading to the Model III unveiling on March 31st. If Citron's trying to kill, or at least dampen, that upward trend, they are going to be in a losing battle this month. While $TSLA stock prices might go through a bit of a roller coaster after the announcement, I expect it to equalize shortly thereafter and return to its course upward.

Stock trading is a game, and we're trying to figure out who is reading it right. I'm not convinced yet that Citron has got it right. But what do I know, right? It's not like I'm an experienced trader. I'm just trying to do my homework and rooting for Tesla Motors to make a difference. So good luck, Citron. But for the sake of the future of sustainable transport, I hope it's not good...

Monday, February 22, 2016

Dear Elon Musk...

After months of reading up on Tesla and watching as many YouTube videos that I could find to get all the pros and cons of going fully electric for my next car, I finally got the chance to test drive a Model S today. It was an experience I'll never forget -- and it was everything that I had hoped it would be.

I'm writing this post because I believe I represent the type of car buyer who is eagerly awaiting the release of the more affordable Model III, and I want to explain my mindset when I shop for a car based on my limited income.

I am prototypically middle-class with a mortgage, and a full-time job with another part-time job on the side. I try to balance between making smart life choices while still wanting to enjoy the comforts of modern technological advancements. I have to troubleshoot through any purchase that's about $500 or more to make sure it's workable within my below-50K annual income. I don't have the luxury to be frivolous because I don't want to get myself into debt trouble. So when I shop for a car, I do it with the intention of paying off a debt. For me, this means years of planning ahead, making financial sacrifices like holding off on vacations in order to put money away in a savings account, and continuing for years afterwards to pay off the remainder of the debt. I'm happy with my life. I don't feel burdened for lack of money. But this still demands a vigilant eye on my daily spending.

If I decide to buy a brand new Model III, I am breaking two rules I've always held to when buying a car: (1) never buy a brand new car (why pay $5000+ for just a year's worth of use out of your car), and (2) never buy a first generation model. From this standpoint, investing in the Model III, sight-unseen, is an unprecedented risk for me. But I am willing to do it because there's something here that I believe in. I am not an engineer. God didn't wire me that way. So I can't build my own alternate form of transportation to reduce emissions. I need people like you to create an opportunity for someone like me to participate in. Even if electric cars are not the perfect solution, I think this is a sensible place to start towards a better future. It's a first step towards a massive move towards sustainable energy and I want to be a participant, not a by-stander.

There's one problem. I can't afford for this experiment to go bad. I don't have the financial resources for an immediate back up plan. This is it. If I buy a Tesla, it either makes the difference that I'm hoping for, or I crash and burn with it. This is by far the biggest financial risk I've taken in my life -- to put down my life savings on something that remains unproven. The bottom line is this: This chance I'm taking on the Model III must pull through. If it takes an extra year to make sure that it will work flawlessly, then do it. I don't care about broken promises on delivery times if it means delivering a better product. I just ask that you give me something that I can be proud of, not have to give an excuse for.

The Model S that I test drove today is more than just a great car -- it's a work of art. I am deeply impressed. And that gives me some hope. In fact, driving an electric car actually felt guilt-free. I mean, seriously, I didn't even know I actually felt guilty driving a gasoline car! So my expectations have been raised for the Model III, and I'm both nervous and excited.

I love what you are doing. It's fun to watch as your plans unfold and I've definitely turned into a fan. As for the Model III, I leave it in your hands now, Mr. Musk. I want to look back on this decision to buy a Tesla as the one of the best decisions I made in life. Please don't let me down.

Monday, October 20, 2014

How To Reheat Pizza

When you live on your own, ordering pizza inevitably means leftovers. Of course, many say they love the taste of cold pizza, but I say that's an acquired taste out of necessity.

Want to have warm leftover pizza in minutes?
Put your pizza slices in your toaster oven and TOAST THEM!
I place mine on a sheet of parchment paper (unless you have a pizza stone like in the picture), and set the toaster oven to just over medium toast (5 out of 8 levels of toasting) and they come out toasty hot! It's possible that it may not heat all the way through if you have a really old toaster oven, but I've never had a problem. Then again, I use the rolls royce of toaster ovens: the Breville Smart Oven. Still it's worth a try in yours!

The cheese will melt and get stringy again and may drip if you put it directly on the rack. Personally, I try not to let anything drip to the bottom of my toaster oven, but that's just preference.

I've been using this trick for years now. I hope this helps you enjoy your leftover pizza with less hassle! ENJOY!

Monday, August 25, 2014

I Love Garlic!

Yes I do! I love garlic. It's aromatic and enhances my meals like no other ingredient. This tiny inch long vegetable completely changes the flavor of many of my favorite dishes. It can be the most distinct seasoning in a dish when you use it, or it can play in the background to other ingredients and give that perfect touch of YUM that you need to impress your dinner guests. But choosing good garlic that has a round and beautiful taste can make or break your dish.

Garlic is the reason why I can use almost no salt in my cooking. It is the perfect "distraction" that both adds to the flavor of a dish, and enhances the taste of your ingredients. But again, using lower quality garlic can overwhelm your dish with just pure heat or fall short of flavoring the dish at all. And so to truly appreciate garlic dishes, you need to choose your garlic wisely.

Now I'm no expert on garlic. There are lots of sources on the wonderful medicinal and culinary advantages to using garlic. But this little piece of produce is so important to me that I would be willing to pursue it further if I am able. And a fire has been lit under my butt. I want to know more and be involved. I've pulled out a $7 garlic bulb I bought 3 years ago and plan to use it in my first home garlic plantation. I'm excited! (And yes, it has kept for that long in the refrigerator!) The more I read about the production of garlic and the sources of garlic in North America, the most motivated I get to grow it myself.

I have recently made the decision to boycott the little garlic bulbs that are most prevalent throughout North America. Those inferior bulk produced bulbs are the ones imported from China who account for 77% of the world's garlic supply. The next two highest grossing are India at 4.1% and then South Korea at 2%.

"So what?" you may ask. So what if the quality of garlic is far inferior and is created in bulk? It's cheap and not everyone has the money to spend on high end garlic bulbs from local farmers.

Consider this: Since around 1994 (20 years ago), China has been investigated for their violation of international anti-dumping laws with their garlic export. "Dumping" is when a country sells their product in another country at below cost of what they would sell it in their own country, or below production costs in order to take over a market share in the country they are exporting to. This is exactly what the Chinese garlic growers did about 20 years ago when they discovered a market for garlic in North America. This has led countries to introduce high tariffs on the import of garlic from China.

In Canada, the anti-dumping duty is around 375%. In the US, it's higher. But this is not stopping the Chinese companies. They have found ways to circumvent the tariff to continue to export their garlic to the North American market. For example, in the US, because the tariff is more lenient on new companies, the Chinese garlic export companies simply close down the company once they have exhausted this option and are discovered to purposely be avoiding paying duty, and then simply open a new company and start over again. US customs simply cannot keep up fast enough to put a stop to it.

So let's see.
(1) The quality of Chinese garlic is far below standard and doesn't enhance my dishes they way good garlic does and should do.
(2) This Chinese garlic which is the most widely available brand in North America (and worldwide) is here with a stranglehold on the world-wide market because of a violation of international law by Chinese garlic companies for the last 20 years.

Yup that settles it. I either grow my own garlic, or I buy locally.

And by the way, in case you weren't aware of this: a good bulb of garlic can last you the entire year. There's no need to buy it every week or two. It's not supposed to go rotten so fast. I suspect the fact that these low-quality garlic bulbs from China are unable to sustain itself over even a couple weeks is another way to keep you dishing out your money to buy more and more. Does this sound like cost-savings? I think not.

For more information about the garlic industry, watch their episode on garlic in Deconstructing Dinner. Or listen to their podcast.