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The S&P 500 hit it's high of 2,941 on September 21st. As I write this, three months later on December 21st, the index has touched  2,435 for a decline of 17%. The 2015-16 bear market lasted just about nine months and declined 15%. Very mild for a bear market (so mild in fact, that many don't even count it as a bear).

I'm sticking with my prediction that this bear will be shorter - and steeper - than the last one.

-- Scrib

I have to get my middle daughter a Nintendo Switch for Christmas, and I've been holding-out for a better deal, than the $299 retail price. I realize "have to" is a bit strong, but she's going into college for video game design next year, so it's...uh, "educational" too!

Anyway, the Switch is a hot seller! Trying to get a deal on one has been tough, although there's still six or so days to go, before Christmas. I threw in the towel this weekend, though, and picked one up at Target for $299, including a $25 gift card. Others are running similar deals, but with accessories. I figure with the gift card, she can get a case or a better charging stand.

I got to hand it to Nintendo - they are marketing geniuses.

Tillamook Medium Cheddar

I couldn't find this anywhere else, so kudos to MarketWatch for bringing this major under-the-radar issue to our attention:

About 1.4 billion pounds of American, cheddar and other kinds of cheese is socked away at cold-storage warehouses across the country, the biggest stockpile since federal record-keeping began a century ago.

I totally get people throwing shade on American and processed cheese, but cheddar (good cheddar, like Oregon's own Tillamook brand) is to tacos and cheeseburgers, what Cascade and Simcoe hops are to American IPA's. You can't tell me that Americans are eating fewer tacos and cheeseburgers. Gourmet hamburger joints are approaching Starbucks density!

Since Christmas is right around the corner, I think it's every American's duty to serve a cheese log, over the holidays. I know I will be.

-- Scrib

The news this week is all about the self-disclosed Facebook breach that exposed all photos uploaded to Facebook, even if they weren't shared on a users timeline.

Currently, we believe this may have affected up to 6.8 million users

6.8 million? Those are amateur numbers! Depending on who you talk to, Cambridge Analytica obtained personal data on 50 to 80 million Facebook users. There's nothing wrong with using Facebook. It's a great communication tool, but nothing on the platform is private.

-- Scrib

Uh oh, somebody forgot to cut-up Stockton's credit cards.

A team of independent researchers will pick 100 people to receive the money. The purpose is to study how an extra $500 a month impacts people’s health and stress level. Researchers are also looking to see if people feel financially secure.
-- CBS Sacramento

The plan kicks-in early next year, just four years after the city exited bankruptcy in 2015. California Über Alles!

-- Scrib

Surely I'm not the only one who's a bit burned-out on the subscription revenue model that's been sweeping tech, for the past few years?

At its Inspire partner event earlier this year, the company said that it wanted to target "professional consumers" by offering software and services to enhance their "Modern Life and Devices." The meaning of this is not entirely clear
-- Peter Bright

Other than my son's three (yes three!) Xbox consoles, there's not a lot that the company can do, to enhance my life. Microsoft will be happy to know that my company is a Google shop (hook, line & sinker!), but my group continues to use Outlook and Office, in defiance of the corporate goons. My home life is not nearly as set in its ways. Oldest daughter uses Google Docs for school, and I have Office on the "family" PC.

Subscription models may make sense in the corporate world, but for consumers? It's a bad deal. How are those cable subscriptions going?

-- Scrib