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The Pandemic is worsening. Ford has serious appeal. Be wary of falling knives. Birds aren’t real.

Covid is worsenng.

It’s spiking higher than ever. More infections. More hospitalizations. More deaths.

Please be careful.

Get your booster shot. Stay masked. Stay away from people like me.

Electric vehicles are very very hot

You need to own shares in Ford. I keep buying more and more.  From Review.Geek. Click here:

Ford this year. it’s going higher.

There are many things to love about the new F-150 electric Lightning. Among my favorites is the fold-down gear lever which converts into a massive front seat desk — big enough for two laptops and paper.

Best of all (at least to my tiny brain) is the newly announced (badly named) VIIZR. It’s a software productivity tool for Ford small business owners. This is from the press release:

  • Built on Salesforce Field Service, VIIZR is a custom solution to help tradespeople schedule field appointments, send invoices and manage customer relationships from one integrated, cloud-based platform
  • Ford Pro delivers solutions to commercial customers of all sizes to increase fleet productivity, improve uptime and lower operating costs through connected services and work-ready internal combustion and battery electric vehicles
  • A recent study found that only 10% of small businesses believed today’s business productivity software tools are designed for businesses of their size; most contend such solutions are tailored to much larger companies.

Subscriptions will start at $39 a month. You can read the entire press release here.

I love the idea of a boring old car company becoming a software-as-service provider, and getting ongoing revenues.  Ford sells about 900,000 F-150s a year. Multiply that by $39 by 12 and you can see a revenue stream of $421 million a year — without having to build a factory or scrounge semi-conductors from Taiwan or Arizona.

I’m juiced. I just bought more Ford shares.

Tesla owners love their cars

I asked readers how they loved their Teslas. I could have asked them how they love free money or free sex. EVERY ONE of them is ecstatic. Here’s a reply from a reader called btcutter:

+ How can one not love how Tesla drives once you’ve driven one?! Took delivery of Model Y long range in Portland. Drove up to Seattle and back. Driving is fun again. Significantly less fatigue on distance driving. One pedal driving on the mountains is just fantastic (done it at Yosemites).

+ ICE (Internal combustion engine) vehicles are like lipsticks on a pig. Only so much lipstick you can put on one. OLD OLD technology.

My son, Michael, just bought a Tesla Y long range. He can’t stop enthusing about his car. He writes:

+ Excellent “autopilot” while on the highway. That means it safely moves on a multilane highway on its own. It is not self-driving, to be clear. But it makes driving a heck of a lot easier.

+ Great, clear and visualized lane departure warnings, warnings of the action of other cars, etc.

+ Great braking, acceleration, etc.

He feels safer in the car, and far less exhausted after a long drive. I’m glad my son is driving a safe car.

More dying industries

+ Human real estate brokers. There are exceptions — like the $48 million apartment I wanted to buy in the Steinway Tower in Manhattan — but, in the main, houses are houses. And the online guys a better job.

+ Duane writes: “How about brick and mortar banks?  I rarely go into a bank anymore.  Only thing they are useful for is to deposit cash (but ATM’s can do that). Honestly, what is there that I must go to a bank for that I can’t do online?  I can open an account from my computer at home, move funds, get cash from an ATM, direct deposit my paycheck, pay my bills, deposit checks, contribute to charity, send cash (venmo, zelle), without ever going to a bank.”

+ Lawyers or notaries. You can buy houses/apartments without them, now we have DocuSign.

+ Hotels. They’re boring. They’re dangerous. They don’t offer half the benefits of Airbnb or VRBO.

+ Retail stores — unless they peddle their own stuff — like Etsy. Oops, Etsy is online.

+ TV repair. You can buy a new TV for much less than repairing the old one.

I listed other dead or dying industries yesterday. Click here.

Friends are making money off Alibaba

They buy when it dips and sell when it rises.

I don’t have those skills. I am afraid of falling knives. I’d rather play tennis.

Useful stuff

+ The best place to buy prescription eyeglasses is

+ New Zealand is banning smoking. Soon you won’t be able to buy cigarettes there. Good on them. It’s also very hard to buy a gun in New Zealand. Good on them.

+ Stop using credit cards. Stay with Apple Pay on the iPhone. You get instant receipts by email and you won’t lose your credit card — as I did yesterday.

+ My Apple Watch series 7 is a joy of constant discovery. I can answer calls while on the tennis court. The voice quality is much improved on the series 7. If I’m wearing my watch, it will unlock my iPhone — even when I’m wearing a mask. I’m getting healthier. It encourages me.

+ West Side Story, the Steven Spielberg movie,  opens tonight.

Ansel Elgort as Tony and Rachel Zegler as María

Here’s a great review from the Wall Street Journal’s  Joe Morgenstern. Click here. 

+ My friend had a Rolls Royce, which broke down. Stopped dead. He called it in. The operator corrected him. The car was not broken down. It had simply “failed to proceed.”

Birds aren’t real

This is is one of the most impressive political campaigns ever. Read about it here.

Educational cartoons

It’s getting close to Christmas

One year, I decided to buy my mother-in-law a cemetery plot as a Christmas gift…

The next year, I didn’t buy her a gift.

When she asked why, I replied,

“Well, you still haven’t used the gift I bought you last year!”

Christmas is vacation time

Murphy dropped dead the moment he arrived home from a vacation in the Caribbean.

He was laid out in the coffin for friends and neighbors to pay their last respects.

“He’s got a great tan,” Mrs. Doolan from next door mused. “The holiday did him the world of good.”

“And he looks so calm and serene,” said Mrs. McGuiness.

“That’s because he died in his sleep.” explained Mrs. Murphy, “He doesn’t know he’s dead yet, but when he wakes up, the shock will kill him!”

Suffering pandemic isolation

Nineteen months of living at our country mansion. I’m finally learning where most things go — which is useful for emptying the dishwasher.

I’m still a work in progress.

Today I hung our Christmas/Hanukah wreath up — upside down.

Jews know how to hang wreaths?

The bow is meant to be on the bottom. Who knew? I do now.

I sold some Nvidia, but it keeps falling.

See you Monday. — Harry Newton