Thursday, January 03, 2008

Short NYT survey of the career of great American director Paul Thomas Anderson (above left). I've seen every one of his films (even the obscure ones, like this excellent Michael Penn video), and am eagerly awaiting his new adaptation of my favorite Upton Sinclair novel, Oil!

A lot of me contained in Anderson's Punch-Drunk Love (2002): "[a] truly strange movie told mostly in long, slow, unbroken camera moves, interspersed with abstract color patterns and partly scored with a harmonium. . . ."

Hot Flash, III, 10p., 5.8. Dreaming of spring. . .

Say, it Smells Like a Pool in Here!

Screaming little girl runs up and down the aisles, waving the plastic rats around. Parents totally oblivious. As it turns out, this is only a warm-up for her encore: pissing all over the floor.

You fill in the rest.
Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Oriented strand board (Wikipedia)

Choosing Between Oriented Strandboard (OSB) and Plywood

OSB Prices and Industry Consolidation

Current OSB producers:

Ainsworth Lumber Company Limited
Boise Cascade Holdings LLC
Canfor Corporation
Collins Companies Incorporated
Columbia Forest Products
Flakeboard Company Limited
Grant Forest Products Incorporated
Great Lakes MDF LLC
Hood Companies
Hoover Treated Wood Products Incorporated
Huber (JM) Corporation
Hunt Forest Products Incorporated
International Paper Company
Knight-Celotex LLC
Koch Industries Incorporated
Langboard Incorporated
Louisiana-Pacific Corporation
Martin (Roy O.) Lumber Management LLC
Norbord Incorporated
Plum Creek Timber Company Incorporated
Potlatch Corporation
Roseburg Forest Products Company
SierraPine Limited
Stimson Lumber Company Incorporated
Temple-Inland Incorporated
Timber Products Company
Tolko Industries Limited
Weyerhaeuser Company

An interesting (and potentially profitable) exercise for the new year: calculate the current market share of each participant above, the sustainability of that share, and predict the eventual members of the oligopoly described by the second article above.
Grey sky. Storm-light along the western rim of the visible horizon, like those theatre lamps that shine up from the base of an old wooden stage. Statistically slowest day of the year, the ancient neon OPEN sign flickering off and on. A chill in the air, my cheap landlord now economizing by turning off the boiler on weekends and holidays. FOR RENT signs scattered through the neighborhood, a few long-term local retailers having skedaddled in the middle of the night. That recession that those media types keep going on about? It's here. My evidence? Trade slips dated 2000, 2001 and 2002 being used to purchase Christmas gifts. The major competitor who offered to sell me his business over time -- essentially a "pick up the keys and let me get the hell out of here" arrangement, which I turned down after establishing that the monthly sales are covering the rent and not much else. "There's tons of potential here. With your ideas and a little hard work, the sky's the limit!" Anyone who wants to sell you on the potential of anything -- a used bookstore; a gold mine; a retail lease; your free labor on a new social networking site -- is lying, guaranteed. So: slump, malise, recession, retail funk, whatever you want to call it. Full-blown and here and licking its long yellow teeth. I don't fear it -- though I was lying awake in the dark the other morning when K. called, contemplating the long-term sustainability of my jerry-rigged "retail model" vis-a-vis my inner equilibrium -- but a lot of my competitors should. Example: the guy with the ostensibly "successful" business who's worked his way through an inheritance, a bank loan, and a real estate equity cash-out. The question of an apparently successful business versus an economically successful one. The subsidy model, whether "buying one's self a job" or disguising the real opportunity cost of being in business in the first place. The old joke: what does a bookseller say when he wins the lottery? "Guess I'll keep selling books till the money's all gone. . . ." A grain of truth in there.
Sunday, December 30, 2007
Neutral Milk Hotel's bombastic Holland, 1945 on the deck:

But now we must pick up every piece

Of the life we used to love
Just to keep ourselves
At least enough to carry on. . .

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