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Lots of booms. Lots of backorders. Super optimism. Why Disney is a great buy.

If you’re a housing contractor in Columbia County, you’re only limited by labor (there’s a shortage) and appliances (there’s a shortage).

“This is the busiest I’ve ever been,” one smiling contractor told me this morning.

People want places outside big cities, like New York City. People want to fix up the places they already have.

There’s no shortage of money to pay for it all.

Emergency generators are backordered nine months. Go Generac. GNRC. High-end refrigerators and stoves are impossible to get.

The virus has done weird stuff to the old world. The new world of work from remote home has been enabled by high speed Internet (I have a one gig fiber line in a rural community). And I have Zoom (which just reported about the fastest growth numbers of any company ever).

I have friends out of work and suffering. I ask myself: Why don’t they recognize their old job is dead? There are plenty of new ones. In fact, oodles of new ones. One local restaurant is buying closed local restaurants, readying them for coming boom times – about summertime, when we’re all vaccinated. By then, we’ll be desperate for outside dining – real non-leftover food. And having someone else wash the pots and pans.

It’s just a year since we fled New York City and the virus. I’m rare. I like being a hermit. What’s not to like? I play tennis every day. I take a nap warmed by the afternoon sun. I get to think about stocks that are doing well….And I’m graced by FaceTime and PhotoStreamed grandkids.

Lots of people are getting real depressed by lack of social contact – especially with their workers. Buy a cheap office building. It won’t be cheap for long, when the workers, newly vaccinated, flock back.

My young friend, Hugo, 24, emailed me:

+ Your advice of “buying stocks from a company you’ve bought something from” is very good. It’s helped me specifically with Disney. Never bet against the mouse.

+ Have you looked at their streaming numbers and how they beat them in past 6 months? Looking forward, they’ll absolutely crush it once their theatrical releases start making it back to cinemas along with full opening of their parks.

Here’s Disney for the last year:

Today was heavy. I gave back 40% of yesterday’s gains. We live in very volatile times.

I remain very positive and 100% invested in equities.

A young black woman writes

How Does A Black Person Know If A White Person Is Racist?

Really hard for a privileged white man born overseas (me) to understand race. Read the article here.

Useful stuff

+ Everyone over 65 should drink a glass or water every two hours.

+ Red meat and drinking too much seriously increases your risk of colon cancer.

+ Labcorp and Quest have offices everywhere. Your doc can call in the tests he needs for you. They’ll send him the results. Saves an office visit (which, for me, is 127 miles).

Why do I think this is funny?

For $58.27 at Amazon, I can buy 72 bottles of my favorite dishwashing soap.

I am not recommending you buy this. These are tiny three ounce bottles. Cost is 25 cents a ounce, versus the one gallon size which delivers 14 cents an ounce. Click here.

I’m on a kick to reduce our consumption of plastics.  Little three ounce bottles freaks me completely out.

How fast is your laptop?

Used to be easy to figure out. Intel used to name its processors, so you could easily tell which one was faster. These days not so easy. No manufacturer — Dell, Lenovo, Apple — tell you how fast their laptop is. Except that it’s “fast.”

I use an on-line tool from a company called PassMark Software. Click here.

Silly cartons to amuse me.

China is Charging Ahead with its Digital Currency

But it’s not like bitcoin, whose anonymity is its major charm. China’s digital currency is designed to keep track of every transaction. It’s decidedly scary. Fortunately, I don’t live there. For the full story, click here.

What is wrong with Texas?

Texas is lifting its mask mandate, Gov. Greg Abbott said today, making it the largest state to end an order intended to prevent the spread of the coronavirus that has killed more than 42,000 Texans. The mask order was only ever lightly enforced, even during the worst outbreaks of the pandemic.

Oy veh.

No Texas trips for me, soon.

See you tomorrow. Harry Newton