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Monday, August 17, 2020

CNN, Norman Mailer's Harlot's Ghost, and Lumber Pricing (and my lost website)

 I'm a big news guy.  Less TV news than newspaper and digital, but since the Plague started, I've been ramping up on my news, and have settled into CNN, which evolved into a crush on New Day's host Alisyn Camerota.    Today was her first day back in the Studio since the pandemic started, and you could tell she was a little more made up and polished with the professionals on staff.

CNN's Camerota calls out her former employer Fox News - CNN Video

Then it turns out one of my client couples who we are building a home with, who I had the unenviable fun task of communicating the lumber inflation issue to, turns out the wife of the team is an executive producer there.  So, of course, I'm immediately thinking about angling for a meet and greet with Ms Camerota, but then, in a moment of rare insight, I know I'd flub it up, tongue-twisted, nothing to say, so I let the thought pass unspoken.  But who knows, maybe some day at the White House Correspondent Dinner I'll be sitting right there.    Then it turns out their neighbor who I am building a home for is an executive producer for 60 Minutes.My 11 year old 84 lb 5'3" son gets a real kick out of telling the story about how my one girlfriend after we parted moved to California, like somehow the events were related.  

So, as I was dreaming, I was also making my way through Norman Mailer's Harlot's Ghost, a 1300 page book about the 50's and 60's CIA scene at the beginning of the Castro area, Bay of Pigs, Marilyn Monroe death (who he might have been married to), JFK death.  A meandering, sort of pointless book that kept my attention throughout.  I'm not sure when I started, I'm sure I blogged about it prior, but now I'm finished.  I might move onto another of his, maybe the Executioner's Song, which I remember running as a mini-series in the mid-70's on one of the 3 networks.  The book was sort of so well crafted that it's meandering nature with non-finite alleyways almost makes me wonder if that was the point, that spy work is meandering, many times pointless, and hardly tangible.

On Friday I wrote a blog message about lumber inflation, which is real and scary.  Scary because it was scary in the way empty shelves at the grocery store was scary 3 months ago - it was as much and more scary because it indicated that the future is uncertain, and what is around the corner of disruption is unknown.  Confusing sentence but I'm keeping it.

It's scary for as much as what it may forecast than for the actual event.

So anytime my lumber guy calls me up, it's never for good news, because good news just goes to the rest of the team, usually in the way of deliveries, shipments, availability, etc...  He calls me up when there is an issue, and this issue turns out, he says, lumber is up 25% and still going, which I wrote about Friday, since it was such an unprecedented event and that's what this blog is for.

So, I dug into it Saturday morning while the kid was sleeping and found out that 25% is the minimum prices have risen, and 35%, 45% in some products like plywood were evident, and that's to me, one of their larger customers, god knows what the small fries are encountering.  So far, no disruption in the products that are needed, but plenty of scarcity on the fringes and margins of what is necessary and you have to wonder when the item you need won't be available, things you take for granted like a 2x10x14 flooring joist (yes, i know, all the ladies are crooning over my lumber talk).  The whole pandemic benefits from a steady hand at the helm for sure.

The new website is coming along nicely, but a ton of work, needing a time investment I don't have but have to invest.  Also developing a nice lawsuit against https://www.linkedin.com/in/jesscoburn Jess Coburn of Applied Innovations for his negligence.   It's funny how many companies/people have nice website, but not necessarily ones that live and breath the air of the company, and have sailed the business seas with me, the proprietor.  Not the best site, didn't work on great on mobile, was sort of backward in the backend (that's what she said), but it was a real live digital partner in my 2 decade journey.  It was recognizable and stable, 2 hard to find friends in the lively course of business building.  It's like this Jess Coburn tossed a digital match my way and watched my life's work burn.

I'm actually getting over it - I'm on like 'Depression' on the 7 stages of grief, which leaves me with just 'testing' and then the grand daddy 'acceptance'.  Which would be fine, but the 'no time, no capacity' thing makes it harder.

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