The 1st quarter is over! Thank God! All I’ve heard from people is that it’s slow and the barrage of phone calls from suppliers begging for business. This is how bad it is:
Sales Rep: Hi Ron, I know we haven’t sold you anything in 5 years, but remember at one time you bought a whole case of film from me. Do you recall that? I wanted to see how that worked out for you?
Me: I guess okay, I didn’t return it.
Sales Rep: Well, I want you to know, we are looking to expand and we were hoping you would consider XYZ for your stretch film needs. We are still around and we want to partner with someone like you. How many trucks would you like to order from us?
I have never seen so many NMDs in my life. NMD stands for Non-Market Decreases. It’s actually now sad to watch, have you ever felt sorry for an industry? I know they are eating well, but I can smell the desperation and I can see the beads of sweat. I don’t want them to get fired, well, not all of them at least. The market will push up sooner, but I have to say, I don’t know how they will ever get the pricing back up. I have to remember, as they seem so sad and desperate, when things tighten, they will become bloated and arrogant. So for now, I will let them laugh at my bad jokes and pretend to be interested in my stories.
The spot buy market has been more stable than a lasting Middle East peace. However, instability with the new sanctions from the Trump administration on Iran will cause some turmoil in the oil industry and this is like a scratch off lottery ticket for the resin suppliers. If they find a chance to move, they are going to take it.
PREDICTION: Panthers win the Superbowl, sorry, wrong newsletter – Stable for now.
I suppose the 1st quarter blues I’ve heard from others is finally affecting the paper industry. I am seeing some deals out there but what I have marveled about is the ability for them to pretend that everything is fine. I wonder if they went to the same school for boating that the Titanic’s Captain did? They say “no” so much, they should be an Insurance Adjuster. I feel like Jeff Spicoli in Fast Times at Ridgemont High in Mr. Hand’s Class. “I Don’t Know”, remember that scene, when Mr. Hand wrote it on the board and said, “I like that! I am going to give you full credit for that. Gee Mr. Sono-Rock, will the pricing ever drop even though we have much more supply? Gosh, Mr Grubbs, I DON’T KNOW.”
PREDICTION: SHOCKER, Stable with some spot deals
Many of you know of the past newsletter I sent out a note to my long lost brother. A brother I didn’t know about until after my father passed away in 2004. While he was alive, my Dad fervently looked for him as he felt his illness start to overpower him. I took a DNA test to try to find this brother, and apart from finding out I’m more Irish than Korean and evidently, I have a lot of Japanese blood in me, it guided a path. I put out guiding light that I hoped my Brother would be able use to find me. After trying to find his records and hiring someone to try to find him, I could only find the birth mother and the date he was born. The adoption records were sealed. All I could do is wait.
Then I received a call from a 301 area code number and since I have donated to political candidates, that usually meant I am on a list for someone to call, so I ignored the phone call. Next came the email, my brother’s name was Bill Reamer. I was in shock. I replayed over and over how I would react, but when the moment came, I was speechless. I dialed his phone number with the same amount of anxiety and caution I would approach a psychic hotline. Bill answered and he was more shell shocked than I was because in 24 hours his world was turned upside down. He had a whirlwind of new information that led him to our phone call. His voice trembled as did mine and for once, I was satisfied knowing that Rhonda, the quintessential former oldest, who was domineering and our leader, has now been dethroned!
What I found further remarkable about Bill is that like our dad, he enlisted in the military, went the officer route and retired after 23 years in the Navy. He was in supply and so was my father. As I talked to him, I could feel relief in both of our voices and I can honestly say, I have a cool older brother. He has two sons, both veterans and is engaged to a truly lovely woman. He is retired from Boeing and literally living in Margaritaville.
My next job was to tell him he had 3 other siblings, and for me to tell our sisters that I found our long lost brother. My sisters were all shocked as well and one by one, they reached out to him. All of them came back with the realization, and we were all relieved to know we have the coolest older brother.
I made a point to get down to meet him in person. Bizarrely, he lived in South Carolina. When he opened the door, I knew immediately, there was no question, he is my brother. We talked and showed pictures. We are both getting used to saying, “Our Dad”, instead of “My Dad”. My one wish for Bill is that he met his biological father before he passed. Our Dad would be so proud of him and all he’s accomplished. Most importantly, it brings joy to me to see his mannerisms and his beaming smile that reminds me so much of my, dammit, our father Most importantly, I asked Bill if he had a good childhood, because that would have meant so much for our dad. He said he had a wonderful childhood, a storybook childhood and had the most loving adoptive parents. I could feel, that beautiful day with the sun beaming down on us, had to be my dad’s smile as he watched us meet for the first time. We lost our dad, but how lucky for me and my sister’s that we gained a brother.