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Sunday, March 29, 2020

Catskills in Time of CoronaVirus - 3-29-2020, Catskills Real Estate

So Says Wesley Clair Mitchell, economist, in his 1913 book, Business Cycles - "In that organic cycle, entrepreneurs who think business conditions will improve become 'centers of infection and start an epidemic of optimism'. That optimism leads to a 'flood tide of prosperity' which washes away caution, creating euphoria that culminates in a crash, which, in turn, clears the way for recovery. Lather, rinse, repeat"
Or said another way, when the tide goes we see who is not wearing shorts. So while the current virus is the cause, the pain is acutely felt since optimism abundant, and business owners were forgetting that all economies have cycles, defined mostly by thinking that either 'this time was different' or that you will be the one that finds the chair when the music stops, like the Bob Dylan song from the early '60's where everyone thinks they will be the one that survives the nuclear holocaust and will be roaming the earth alone.



You know things have changed when you discover your ex-wife trying to smuggle two rolls of toilet paper out of your house disguised as fake boobs while picking up her kid.  Busted, she then shamelessly offered cooking/hosting a modern family Sunday night dinner, which I accepted, for one roll, not two.

And when you go to the grocery store - where the shortages were supposed to be because of the initial run on food goods - but each time you go the shelves are a little more bare.  The journey to the grocery store brings all sorts of thoughts to mind.  1, super interesting what is, and isn't being bought.  I'm glad Campbell's tomato soup, one of my favorite meals with a sandwich since I was 10, seems to be not a widely shared soup fetish, for while the soup area was mostly barren, the tomato soup was fully stocked - so I did what you do in those situations - I bought 3x more than I was going to.

In fact, even though I'm worried about shortages, and only have to feed me, my son and my dog, the scarcity caused an almost instinctual desire to hoard.  Why buy one, when you can buy 3?

Paper products - paper towels and toilet paper - have been gone for weeks.  Are they available on Amazon, I'm not sure?  But I'm self rationing, and trading my stock for valued goods and services.  I probably won't do it, but I could - since i buy the thickest 4ply offered in the marketplace, I could self-separate the layers, reroll them, and sell them off.  I'm sure there would be howls of protest, but a simple replay, beggars can't be choosey, should do the trick.

Interestingly, all this sitting at home has reduced my urge to spend money.  When things are rolling and I'm busy all day, I don't think twice about 1 stop shopping on Amazon, for items large and small.  And it's not really for budgeting reasons, it just seems like slowing down and staying put had an impact on my desire to binge buy, that random consumerism lost its glow for now.  I mean, truth be told, I really don't need much at this point, so it's just gluttonous anyway.

I haven't had a toaster in years - but this time at home has really driven home the point that using the broiler in the oven is a waste of time, and I end up over toasting most things, had an oven fire the other night when I forget to take out the Naan bread while talking to my sister, and I end up burning my hand on the cotton-picking broiler coils which hurts like a son of bitch.

I picked a retro model, with a top heating grill and cool gauge.

Russell Hobbs 2-Slice Retro Style Toaster, Black & Stainless Steel, TR9150BKR

NY State ordered all construction sites to close.  They didn't put a date on it, so I guess it might immediately.  That's an interesting development for sure and we will see what it means this week for small residential projects.  I'm really interested to understand how enforcement will work.

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