Monday, November 29, 2004

To buy a house in Israel or not

Real money is made on long term options.

In places like Israel the currency has no value, some right now would say the same thing about America, but I am not so sure I agree. The issue is what do you buy if the money has no value. You have to store wealth somehow, and in Israel people do it in real estate. I must say in real dollar terms I can not think of a worse short or long term investment. The average wage in country is about $1500 per month, and a apartment costs at least $150k for something average. So if you look at the mix, it costs 8.3x the value of the the average salary to buy a decent apartment. In America they will not lend you money if you exceed 4x in a ratio. So to put it in real dollar terms it costs 2x in Israel what it costs in America, and these are pretax figures, when you take the taxes into account it gets even uglier.

When I was younger I could not image owning anything for more then 5 minutes, maybe 3 months, but as I am growing up I am learning how to bet, and the key thing that I think people forget is your time horizon. Every bet you make with money has three parts to it, reward, time to maturity, and risk. To take bond terms and use them here, it is very important to make sure that you lock your maturity in. You want to have the time for a deal to go upside down and back again without worrying, and that is what long term debt and other such stuff is for.

A great example of a deal that can not go sour if you can hold the duration is a 30 year mortgage in the US. Looking over the last 90 years the average rate of inflation was 3.49 percent. If you can lock a mortgage at 6% for 30 years you are effectivity paying assuming a 34% tax rate, less then 1% for your money. Pretax interest payments are worth roughly 2/3rs of their face value. The underlying asset in buying a home is normally sound, people need places to live and for the most part over the long term they at least go up with the value of money. If a period of high inflation hits and you have a fixed rate mortgage, the math can turn so the bank in paying you money effectively to borrow money from you in real dollar terms.

In Israel the best mortgages, are 60% LTV, US dollar priced variable rate mortgages. So if you want a $150k flat, you have to come up with $60,000 in cash, and take a mortgage for $90k. Now your earnings are not dollar based, but your mortgage payment and your loan are, so lets take the last 10 years for example. You started with an exchange rate of 2x, and now you have an exchange rate of 4.5x, so your payments went up in NIS terms significantly. If you had a $1000 per month mortgage you went from paying 2000 to 4500 NIS per month. The underlying value of the property probably did not go up much unless you bought in some pockets of the country like Bet Shemesh.

The issue is over the long term, what else can you buy in Israel that makes sense. There really is a dearth of quality assets to buy in the country so people still buy the overpriced real estate. This drives the rental yield to 2-2.5%. The fact is if you can hold the apartment or house for 30 years odds are you will make some money and you will probably do okay, if you could choose however to over the 30 years pay rent, and actually bank the difference in a savings account out side of Israel that was invested in the S&P500 you might do better.

The fact is people are still buying bricks and mortar even when it makes no financial sense like in Israel and that is probably because of social pressure and because it is a fairly safe investment for someone to make who has limited real options on what to do with their money. I think in the long term however if they can change the banking system or give a deduction for interest on home loans it will make more sense to buy, but for now I am going to not buy in Israel as it just does not make sense for me as I have other real options on what to do with money.


Thanksgiving Madness

This Thanksgiving was the start of a wild and wonderful weekend. You see we have moved to Israel, but the concept of thanksgiving for us was stronger this year then ever before. Thanksgiving is a holiday of giving thanks for surviving the season, and for the people who initially celebrated it it was thanks for surviving the move.

In America people make a 4,5,6 day weekend out of this holiday. Frankly it is the one time a year where we are almost European in our lavish time off. In Israel it is a work day, Thursday is the start of the weekend which helps, but it is a work day.

Now we just moved into a new apartment and I had to be in Europe the week after Thanksgiving so we have to get some used appliances I bought moved. We hired movers for 3:30, but they got to my house at 5:30. Now this normally would not have been a problem. They needed to move 3-4 things, a washer dryer stacker unit, a dishwasher, and a china cabinet for us. I assumes it would take 1 hour, but I was way wrong.

This washer dryer was in a Safety room, you saw that movie about the panic room, well every Israeli house has one, they are usually quite small and built like a concrete and steel bunker. Well when I bought the washer and dryer I never thought to ask how to get it out of the room. I should have included that in the price, my mistake.

To make a long story short, imagine on Thanksgiving a communist Texan from where the president grew up, helping me a conservative business person (play along please), and an Israeli grunt who worked hard, but had 5 words of English moving a stacker washer dryer out of a room where the door was a bit tight :-).

Now to help with this image, we had to take the dryer off, but the electrical harness was still attached, and we had to do this appliance dance out the door with the equipment, with two appliances attached going through a door where they had to be fit though with a shoe horn and a bit of scrapping.

Needless to say I was late to my own dinner.

1-1.5 hours later I get home and we still have to unload the truck, we have 15 guests and my wife is really upset. The turkey is not done, the guests are here, the appliances have to be unloaded taken up 2 flights of stairs, and my wife does not think this is funny.

Somehow it just all worked out, in the future I almost want to setup moves for formal dinner parties, it really helps with the conversation. After we got over the whole concept that a bunch of non Americans, were sitting down to celebrate an American holiday with a Texan in the back around moving large appliances, I would say it was a wonderful dinner.

It just make the whole dinner seem like a very Israeli thanksgiving, nothing goes right in Israel, but frankly no one frets over it so it just does not matter. On the whole it just worked.

I must say the turkey came out okay, the food was yummy and the entertainment worked. Having said that we will talk about the Thanksgiving move from hell for the next 20 years.


Tuesday, November 23, 2004

New apartment is clean


I admit it I am a slob, and I need someone to clean for me. It is not that I am a snob, I can tell you that I am happy with a 20 year old car. Actually I love my Volvo I was planning on using it as a work horse for this book business, but I really just want to keep it for myself. It just says me in so many ways. But back to being a slob.

We lived for almost 10 weeks without someone who could clean and I can tell you that we muddled through but it was not easy. We just got a new cleaning person and the apartment is clean, and it just makes me so happy. I am learning about my mess tollance and it just is not as low as it used to be.

I am going to london for a bit of consulting work, it probably will be a short term project, but it will be fun, and I should be able to stay busy.

It is I think key to do work around the world if you are going to live here, as a good salary here is 5-7,000 NIS per month, and a high tech salary is 2-3x that, but still it is hard to live on that with the tax rate. I figure most people who live here either live on love for the land, or live on money from abroad.

My office is not heated, which should not be much of a problem except that it gets cold at night. I am thinking about getting a heavy curten for the window which is glassless to stay warm. I bought two very inefficent lamps which are providing about the right level of heat if I can close off the window.

Have a good week.


Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Mommy's Car (new Volvo Slogan by Avi)

We got a mommy's car tonight. We picked up our 1987 244 Volvo station wagon from the people who sold it to us. I must say it is so nice to be back behind the wheel of a real car again. The Dawoo while cheap to operate just feels like a tin can. They did not want to let it go, but it means so much to us to have a real car, I can not think of a better use of

Avi is ecstatic. It was a great evening going with him and sitting around at the buyers house drinking tea and then taking him for a drive to ACE. It just ended the day right. Some days you have the worse day of your life, but if you get in some really good time with your kids at the end of the day, it comes out square.

I must say I think Avi senior (Mr Volvo) would be so proud that Avi Jr (My son) loves Volvos so much. It just makes me so happy to make my kid happy with a car that we can share, especially a $2500 car.

It is the little things in life that matter. Good night.

Peace to the world,


Some times things happen for the good as well as the bad.

I wrote a big long blog ranting about today, the move, the AC going in the wrong spot, the problems with our old land lord. It was a pretty depressing 2 pages of ranting, and then my internet connection went down and it got deleted, which was a good thing. I needed to write it all out, but you did not need to read it. Frankly I wish I not toned it down as it was trying to make it publish able.

The sun is shining, and 20 minutes ago it was raining like no tomorrow. I guess that is going to be the moral of staying in Israel, some of the time like today it is just nasty and things are not going right, but when the sun come out after a rain storm you get the rare glimpse of what makes life worth living. You get to move on from what is completely depressing you.

I do not know what went wrong with my internet connection, but I am glad that my last posting was written and I am glad it never got published.

All the best,


Saturday, November 13, 2004

Sleep is good


That is the overstatement of a lifetime, but it is really nice to have shabbos. I might not be the best Jew on many fronts, but I love the ability to have a long sleepy days. I have started to go to Shul at 7:00 in the morning getting out by 9:00 and I am back in bed by noon for a 4 hour sleep. The net result of this is that I catch up on my sleep when I need it.

I am probably going to be cutting back on Ulpan to start to work again. I need to make some money and I need to stop sitting around. The fact is the Ulpan has really been good for me, but long term I am going to have a nervous break down if I continue to push that part of my life. I am not good at it and it is just so stressful, I compare it to a root canal on a weekly basis. I need to cut back to 4-5 hours a week and probably get a tutor for another 4-5 hours.

The book store also does not need to support me on a monthly basis if it is going to work.


Thursday, November 11, 2004

Its Thursday night and I want to party

Okay, we have two small kids so it is Thursday night and I am not partying. I did vacuum the rugs and I did some dishes, and I helped put the kids to bed. Iris managed to get glass in her foot, which was my fault as I did not clean up a bowl Sam broke with enough care.

Now it is time for reflection on where we are going. I am working on the book store idea and we will launch the first store in January, but it is not going to be a full time job for me. It is going to be a venture that will use a day maybe 2 days a week.

Iris is working at her firm and it is going okay, it is taking time for her to make sense of the speed of the process and frankly it is taking time for her to get used to Israel. Some days we really miss home, other days it is perfect here.

I should continue with Ulpan, but I think I have ventured way out of my comfort zone with languages. I broke down crying today in class and frankly it is hard to deal with the pressure of the class. I really want to get back to work.

I helped a friend yesterday work through the issues of buying a helicopter for a business she works with and frankly doing stuff like that where I have a problem and I need to find a solution is what I live for. I need to get a job, and I need to do it soon for sanity.

I could go back to what I was doing, but it very hard to work on a project without an end game a way to see where you are going. I like starting companies, but I need to be able to have mile stones and when I do not meet them I need to figure out how to either change the goal or admit that I am over my head.

On my last project for three years I pushed at all the angles that I could push at without spending big money. What needs to happen now is to have a real campaign to go after technical issues in a statistically relevant manor. The scary thing about statistics is when the underlying data is uniform, it does not take many samples to prove or disprove a thesis, but when the underlining data is a mess it takes a lot of work and proof to prove something.

The issue with the project is that we do not now need to find customers, or solve shipping issues, we need to run a clean technical program to either solve or not solve the technical process issues. The thing is I know about as much geology as I know Organic Biology so I am not the right person to run this program. We really need a partner and if we do not get one our highest value is probably to leave the project on the shelf.

I like days where I have to work on something that is clean, give me a problem and frankly I will do the research and come up with a solution and I can do that on a range of issues. The issue is when the problem is significantly technical and in an area that I am not an expert, I become a fish out of water unless I am willing to spend the 6 months to 1 year to understand the issues and the solutions.

There is time when I think I should be able to change the world, do great things and never hit a road block. This last 8 weeks has shown how small I really am. I am back to looking at a small apartment, we are driving older cars, and we are doing our own laundry and dishes (I am going to try to hire a maid next week). In many ways we are going through a rebirth and that means that I have to be able to understand that I might not make as much money, but we have done such a good job of slashing expenses that we can afford to make less.

Life here is easier in some ways then America, Gan for our kids is excellent, everything in the grocery store is Kosher, there is a minyan every 5 minutes, and did I mention the excellent parks. It is an easy life here, and the cost of living by world standards is cheap. We would pay for our apartment in London in an equivalent neighborhood (Hendon) 300 pounds per week, or just about what we are living on here. The apartment would be 4x more expensive. I can live on 20-25,000 pounds a year here and live a good middle class life style. That is an amazing thing.

Shabbat Shalom and may we have a peaceful weekend.


Nefesh B Nefesh


Looking at the stuff that makes going to Israel work, one common theme has been Nefesh B Nefesh. They have helped families move to israel that frankly would not have made the move otherwise. We made a decision not to take their money or apply to go through them because we felt that there were other people who had greater needs then us.

Some days you wonder if writting a blog matters, do people even read it or care about it. Yesterday I was angry at NBN. They ran some ads offering to help people with the Ayliah beurcracy in Israel. They explained to me that they would not help us because we were to complex.

Today they called back and offered to help. Frankly I am really glad to have the help.

Some days things go right, and after a really hard day at Ulpan I needed it.


Wednesday, November 10, 2004

GRRR........ some days

Most people do not take risks, frankly the whole concept of risk is very scary for them. They do not want to do anything that does not make sense to them.

Our Aliyah process has been a story of problem after problem after problem. What is great about Israel is that the bureaucracy people just pass the burden and rather then helping us, just say ......

Nefesh b Nefesh was offering an Arm Chair Olim paper work processing deal. You get them the file and they will walk it around and get you your documents and get you through the line and finished. This is for people in the country who might be interested in making Aliyah

It sounded like a great deal and frankly it would have helped us, as between the Shaliach in San Francisco who never finished our file to the people in Israel who want us to refile, to the fact that we just have fallen through the cracks.

I just got off the phone with them, and their basic statement was that they will help people who do not have complex problems make Aliyah. What is so funny is that they did this advertising campaign, pushed this concept and they are going to turn away the vast majority of people who need the most help.

This is a project that is going to really mess with their good name, and put into jeopardy the whole concept of their business model. Frankly they have done great stuff with the Ayliya flights, but going into a new line of helping people and then turning back the people who most need the help is just going to kill their business model.

I would not be surprised to see some very nasty things said about them from the key people who they need to support them. I have the urge to send a message to the Ra'anana list and a few other places to talk about them. They do great stuff, but if they are going to offer to help with a problem and then pass I lose some of my respect.

If they turn down more people then they help with the program, which I think they will, they are going to end up with an undeserved bad reputation because they do a lot of good for a lot of people.

I wish them luck.


Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Swimming against the Tide

I am spending time watching the local scene for real estate and cars and stuff like that, and I want to make the comment that Israelis love something new, they want something that is shiny and nice, and clean and new, and once it is old it is gone from favor.

For example, some of the new Olim's in the Ulpans were discussing the cars that they are buying, which were Mazda MPV's, not cheap in my book and not cheap in an Israelis book. I think that even with the new Olim discount that they are getting they are still spending $38k on them. To put this in NIS terms these low end Minivans are running 216,000 NIS. Another way to look at this is that for 700,000 NIS it is possible to buy a livable apartment in this country. So for the price of 3-4 cars you can buy a livable house.

We took the opposite tack. We bought 2 cars for 21,000 NIS combined. We just see cars as things that go down in value and even if we only get 1-2 years of life out of them we can afford to replace them. The carry cost of a 200 NIS van is 12-15,000 NIS per year in interest cost that alone will pay for a cheap car. Not to mention we have two cars which is seen as quite a luxury in this country.

Looking at apartments or houses, we went for the lowest end space on the nicest block for our needs. This saved some money, but we figured location is more important then size or features. Living in a large Ivory Tower in a country full of parks, kids, synagogues and cafe's gives you a lower standard of living then living in a smaller place that lets you get out and enjoy the town. Not to mention that the savings is enough to pay for at least 10-12 dates a month, baby sitter included.

It is so easy to try to keep up with the Jones in this country, and frankly the Jones have it very good. They are driving cars that cost $60k in the US, and here have to cost 600,000 NIS. A sum that is 7 years salary for the average Israeli, who by the way drives nicer cars then me.

If you want to come and stay, figure out how to live on a budget and that involves maybe going for something old and blue over something new and shiny.


Monday, November 08, 2004

We are moving

Okay it is official, we are moving.

It is not very far in distance, but it is to a completely different scene. We picked an apartment that is very small 90 sq meters or 950 sq feet, with two bed rooms, one bath room and 2 covered balconies. On the whole this apartment is the smallest space I have lived in in over 10 years. By Israeli standards it is expensive but by Ra'anana standards it is very cheap, at $650 per month. To put that in pounds terms for the brits, 83 pounds a week.

We took it for a variety of reasons, first off we are never home as a family. Iris works during the day, and is home awake maybe 5-7 hours a day. Sam and Avi our two kids are around and awake only around 4-5 hours a day. These means we need an apartment for the evenings and for me to work from during the day.

This apartment we are looking at will work for that. It has the two half rooms, one of which will become my office and the other will become a guest room, slash living room space. Frankly it is a small apartment any way we cut it, but the price is right.

I am thinking about the things I want to do to it, and I am going to work on getting a shelf built over the fridge area and I want to get a counter top built at a higher level over another part of the area for a work area. Ikea might offer a butcher block table that will fit there, the issue is we want to be able to slot the dishwasher in when we are not using it.

The thing is a 2 bedroom here costs around 1200-1600 NIS less then a three bedroom. You can find a cheap three bedroom, but even those can be hard to find. So when I look at space saving ideas I can quickly in 2-3 months of savings outfit the 2 bed room so it can be used equivelently to a three bedroom. The trick is getting furniture that fits and then not over stuff the place.

All the best,


Sunday, November 07, 2004

No time, No time

It is 9:40 at night and I am wiped. Okay, at some point in every ones life something has to give.

Currently I am working on helping set up a book store, taking care of the kids in the afternoon, cleaning, cooking shopping, and did I mention spending 22 hours a week in Ulpan with another 14 hours a week of home work. Today, I woke up at 6:30, was at Ulpan at 7:50 after making breakfast (Oatmeal) and dropping the kids at Gan. Ulpan lasted from 8-1:15, and at 1:25 I was at the new store helping lay things out. Then I spent 3-4 hours working on issues with this store. At 6:30 we went out to dinner, and at 7:30 we were at our new apartment to sign the lease. We only got back home at 9:00, put the kids to bed, I had a drink and now it is 9:43 and I have a mountain of homework facing me and I frankly want to go to sleep and forget about Ulpan.

In the next two weeks I have to get a roof rack for the Volvo, new tires, shocks and brakes. I have to get light fixtures for the new apartment. I have to pick a carpenter for the book cases, and I have to live life on top of that I promised myself that I would stay in Ulpan, but I must warn you Ulpan is a full time job. Of the 28 original students who are in the class only 9 remain, and frankly at this point I am at the bottom of the barrel. I was in the middle of the pack, but the pack dropped out.

I guess I am ranting and raving about life here, but on the other hand every time my son opens his mouth and says Toda, or something like that with a smile. Every thing I notice it is November and I am still wearing shorts, I remember life is good. I am just used to having Sunday off, and taking part of Friday off as well. Now I work a full day on Thursday, and by Sunday the week has started.

Doing 12-16 hour days 6 days a week is just not good for a person, and frankly I am going to need to slow down. Ulpan might be the first thing to go, which is sad as I am learning in it. I do not think I will finish my homework tonight, as I need sleep more.


Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Bombs and walls

I vowed when I came here that I was not going to be scared by terrorism, but I probably was lying to myself about it. Terrorists do not kill that many people, frankly the roads and cancer probably kill more per year in Israel. The scary thing about terrorists, is that they are selling fear, and that fear results in far more people upset then if 5 random people died.

Last week 3 people were murdered in Tel Aviv, last week 10,000 people were close to the scene, everyone from my friend Mary who husband was supposed to be in the area, to Shosh who was planning on buying cheese at that stand. Everyone sees a bomb and mentally thinks this could be me, and once they have that thought process they then go and tell everyone to cope with the stress resulting in even more people being stressed.

Personally I am not scared of bombs, since I have landed here 2 months ago under 30 people have died, that is less then 1/2 per day, and less then 1 out of 40,000 over a year. I have better odds of dying from cancer. In America Cancer kills one out of 600. If the terrorists were killing Jews at that rate there would be 10,000 dead each year.

The problem is Cancer can not be avoided, people get it and some people die. With terror each innocent life taken on both sides hardens the hearts of all involved. At this point Israel is going to declare a peace with a wall, with boarders and with economic destruction of the West Bank and Gaza.

Bombers are killing the life blood of both sides. We have shut our boarders to cheap local labor. Philippines are learning Hebrew, as they take jobs that pay $700 per month doing domestic and other work. But I must say that I want the wall, I want the segregation, I want to be safe. I also want peace, but I am not willing to have peace that costs lives of people who are shopping at markets.

Peace is going to have to come with education on both sides, but as long as people bomb innocent people, walls both physical and spiritual are going to continue to go up, and we all know that once walls go up they do not come down.


Nothing much interesting

I am not sure what to write about today.

I could talk about ulpan, but frankly I am starting to get that sinking feeling in my stomach as I am being forced to hear how certain words are shaped together, but are separated by one or two key vowels. It is very hard to train my ear to ignore the end of the word and focus on the middle to get the information out of it. When every word has at least 5 that I know of ways to write it, and that is ignoring the future and the past tenses, you start to panic.

I do not have much time today. I have to go and get my kids in 5-10 minutes. I am waiting for next week when we can start to move into this apartment. I need to hire movers, and I need to figure out what I still need to buy to live there.

I also need to arrange to pickup our Volvo from the people we bought it from. You have to love driving a 1987 240 Volvo wagon in a country with gas prices at around $5 per gallon. It is not I think going to be a daily driver, but when I need to take the kids places and go shopping and stuff like that it is going to be really nice to have. It is also a double purpose rig as it will be the transport for our bookstore for the first couple of months until we can afford to get our hands on a replacement rig. The issue is we need a freighter that has at least 4 seats as we will need to carry kids as well as cargo lots of the time. This is not a cheap rig to find, and we also wanted it to be safe, and lets face it, if you hit us in a 2 tonne Volvo in a country of ford Fiestas, I am not worried about the Volvo.

Lots of little stuff to talk about, but the most amazing part of it all is how quickly the weeks are flying by. I figured I would be climbing the walls going crazy by this point but I am actually really enjoying life. I get to go north tomorrow to visit my Aunt Nina for her birth day. I am going to frame one of Iris's prints and take it with me to give her.


Morning elections

It changes the tenor of the day when you get to listen to the elections in the morning. I woke up and the polls started to close. It is an amazing feeling to be so close to America and so far from America at the same time. I am going to be late for Ulpan, but I do not care.

Democracy is great.


Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Some days you just want to sell them

Okay I wanted to write about my kids, but when you start to write about your kids when you are stressed out at them you start to understand how little of a person you are in comparison to them in some ways. But I must say a 1 hour temper over using the key on a door is enough to take the varnish off of a US Army Ranger's boots.

I am cleaning today, now you are probably laughing your heads off at that statement, but I am getting so sick of the state of our space that I am actually taking time to mop, and do dishes, and horrors of horrors there is a load of laundry in the machine. It is amazing but at some points even I have a mess tolerance and it is amazing how quickly I meet it and pass it. It is a 2 hour a day job to cook and clean for a family. It really can not be done in less time. I am quite quick on the cooking, but the cleaning I am really slow. Frankly I can not stand cleaning, but I am putting a sign up at the absorption center to try to hire a cleaner.

Some days I wish I had the freedom to come and go when I please, to not be at gan at 3:50 to pick up the kids to not have the responsibility to lots of people. Frankly as you grow older the more people who are beholden to you, and when you can not deliver you get really stressed out. Mind you sometimes when your kids smile in a way that says I love you and they give you a hug it is much easier to get through the day.

Off to Yad Izaac to shop.


Okay I am starting to miss winter

Winter has still not come, fall is here, leaves are starting to fall, but I have had it explained to me that winter does not come until December and then it might last for 2-2.5 months. I must say wearing shorts for most of the year gets borning, but when it is almost 90 degrees pants, are just hot. I must say having a problem like this is exactly oposite London or Portland where the weather is cold and wet. I think it rained last week, and they made a national holiday out of it, I wish I was kidding.

I am getting the full pleasure of dealing with wire transfers between America and here. I need to get one done and it just is not fun, but that is life. I have to pay for the store we are leasing and pay for my new apartment. It combinded is not a lot of money, but I still have to push the paper. Some times I wish Ra'anana and Portland were like 3 hours drive from each other rather then almost the other side of the world.



The great stroller heist

Okay, well that is a little over melodramatic, but I am starting to understand what it feels like to be a long way from your supply lines. I America they make stroller, what I mean by this is that they make rigs that are designed for one kid, but can hold a couple, they make rigs that can carry the family groceries and they make rigs that have proper sized tires. In Israel they make some really great fashion accessories, but nothing that is going to get two kids to gan in a rush for under $250.

Yesterday our stroller went missing, yes it was gone from the stroller corral at the local Gan (kindergarten), this was a big upsetting because I had been using this stroller as a car replacement, and I could not replace it without getting another one from America which is quite expensive.

The one thought I had was if I feel this upset about loosing something while in Israel I wonder what it feels like to be in the Arctic or on the Moon and misplace or break something key. I can buy for some amount of money a replacement part, but what happens when the freight just costs way to much.

Now I want to say that I was rational and I slept on the missing stroller and it showed up the next morning. Someone's grandmother borrowed it by mistake, but I am going to go by a bike lock for it now, as I can not really replace it.