1. "Let us touch the dying, the poor, the lonely and the unwanted according to the graces we have received and let us not be ashamed or slow to do the humble work." -- Mother Teresa
2. Next to my building is a small retail store area with room for two tenants. A hookah lounge has filled up half of the space for the last couple of years, but one of the spaces seems to change tenants every six months. Recently, a bartending school moved out and was replaced by a medicinal marijuana clinic. It's very nondescript from the outside, so I knocked and said hello. Two people, one male, one female were present. There were several very comfortable looking white couches. A large television was playing a Dave Chappelle movie or show. Here's a paraphrased version of the conversation:
Male: Do you have a license?
Me: No, I'm a neighbor, just saying hi. Most tenants move out after six months, so I just wanted to see who had moved in this time.
Female: [She was friendly and said she hoped to be here longer than six months, etc.]
Male: [Asked me for my business card after I said I was a lawyer. I produced my business card. He still didn't look very happy. For some reason, people tend to think I'm either a cop or a nice target when they first meet me.]
Ah, the wonders of California. Anyway, I wonder if this business lasts more than six months. I find it a little weird that the new businesses that tend to move in have some connection to legal drugs (e.g., booze, MJ, nicotine, etc.).
3. I have never seen so many vacant buildings in downtown San Jose, California--and I was here during the dot com bust. It is becoming clear that this recession will impact Silicon Valley for at least another year, if not longer. Meanwhile, the last of the residential five-year ARMs are coming due in 2012. Hard to see a recovery before then.
Also, according to a CBO slideshow presentation, the unemployment rate won't go below 6% until around 2014-2015. The CBO is an independent, non-partisan government agency.