Alright, I know I missed November for the market update. So much has gone on since the last update. My Panthers went from 6-2 to 6-7 now and I suppose I will not be buying playoff tickets this year, so I get a bit of a savings plan there. My Louisville Cardinals imploded and went 2-8 and my $50.00 a year to the Alumni Association is now being used to pay off a former Head Coach who is getting paid 14 million dollars not to coach. Only in America, can executives or coaches fail and they get a huge payout. I never understand that, “You suck so bad, you’re fired, but we want you to accept this check for 14 million dollars to go away and not destroy our program anymore.”
Also, yes, I ate way too much for the holidays and the treadmill is making sounds every time my foot strikes it, I swear, I can almost hear it say, “Hey Fatty, lay off the biscuits and gravy!”.
Well, my Magic 8 ball was correct, we saw a drop in resin for November for 3 cents. I suspect another 3 to 5 cents to come off for December. Why do I tell you folks this when I sell film? Because, it’s my honor at stake. Everyday, when I’m offered a whirlwind of deals, I am also lied to about the pricing for the future. “Ron, the resin guys aren’t going to allow this to happen, the prices will be going up soon, this deal I’m offering you is good for today, wait, wait, just maybe I can keep it in place for a week, okay, I can extend it a month, but you won’t see a better deal.” These guys are more confusing than my optometrist,
Optometrist – “Okay, is #3 better or #4?”
Me – “#4, no wait #3. I don’t know……Can we go back to #1 and #2?”
I can almost hear the Optometrist growling.
I shook my Magic 8 ball and it said “Outlook Good” when I asked, “Will prices fall again?”
I had a meeting with our major supplier and we were told we would get more paper, for which we suffered through long lead times and allocation. I beamed a smile to them and asked them, “is relief coming in pricing?”. Suddenly, the room became somber and I could feel a chill come over my body. The lights dimmed and through the shadows an outline of the face of my representative appeared. He actually told me that we should expect another increase in the first part of the year in 2019. I learned long ago, fighting only antagonizes them so I ate my tirade and smiled really big, and said, “Well, if everyone gets one, I am in favor of increases,” After all, every consumer loves to have 5 increases in 18 months, and “I love how it compounds like interest.”
I don’t blame my supplier, every manufacturer in the paper industry is complicit but I would say, it’s amazing that they have the word, “NO” in their name. The paper industry was struggling for so long that it was in deep need of consolidation to make money. Remember though, money is printed on paper and these folks in the paper industry are printing a lot of paper, if you know what I mean.
I didn’t grow up ever knowing my grandfathers. My Korean grandfather died in the Korean War and my American grandfather died 4 years before I was born. My paternal grandfather became an icon and steeped in folklore about his kindness and feats of strength. I was told he died of a stroke lifting up a car to help save someone’s life. This was not the truth by the way, except the stroke part.
So, where I’m going with this story, is that I was profoundly affected by the passing of George H.W. Bush. He was in many ways, my grandfather figure. He made humility and losing gracefully so easy for all of us to watch that we didn’t realize just how classy he was. George H.W. Bush was my Commander in Chief when I was in the Army. I remember seeing him speak on TV after his presidency about how he survived his bomber being shot down by the Japanese in WWII. He choked up thinking about the responsibility he was saddled with and the guilt that turned into the obligation to do something for the good of mankind because he survived when his friends and crew didn’t.
George H.W. Bush was born into privilege and was a part of the Greatest Generation. That group who saved the world from tyranny and came back home to resume their lives and build America up. When he was running for president against Reagan, Dukakis and Clinton, he would tell people not to use his military career as a selling point. He felt too humbled by the obligation that weighed on him to use it for political gain.
George H.W. Bush became a surrogate grandfather to me as the stories and lore of my grandfathers were rolled into him. I read his book, All the Best, which were his letters to friends and family. I learned of his great sense of humor and his ability to deliver deadpan comedy with perfect timing. He made fun of himself and went out of his way to make the janitor and the dignitary feel worthy. He made everyone feel it was his honor to be in their presence. Losing George H.W. Bush was like losing the a grandfather I never knew.
I will miss this funny, kind and humble man. Mr. President, you have made an indelible mark on my life. You were my Commander in Chief during years that I could have gone either way. In some way, you helped shape me and like your son, President George W. Bush, I had to go through my own bout of challenges and seeing your example, it made my conquering those demons seem so much smaller. I salute you, President George H.W. Bush. You personified what we veterans say, “STILL SERVING”.