Fall Colors

Fairlee Lake 11-03-2015

Fairlee Lake 03 Nov 2015 (posted after my travels)

I’m told that when I hit the road next week for parts in the Northeast, I’m too late for the fall colors. The Vermont Tourist Bureau reports: “While most of Vermont has moved past peak foliage conditions, some great viewing remains in all regions, especially in the Champlain, Connecticut, and Taconic valleys. Vermont’s widespread northern hardwood forests are still showing some excellent late orange and red hues. There are many swaths of oak woodlands that are still quite green and promising to go russet, along with the still-developing bright yellows of the later-turning aspen species. As the last weeks of another great Vermont fall foliage season wind down, we look forward to the coming winter.” While lumber dealers tell us they don’t necessarily share the department of tourism’s view about looking forward to the coming winter, I’m looking forward to follow-up visits with them – and trust that as long as World Series baseball is still in play, it must still be fall!

~Introducing Funkify~

Some may recall the Funkpit era many moons ago. Those late night escapes/creative collaborations with lifelong musician friends would eventually move to the Funkloft, our jam space today above an old autobody paint shop on Marine Drive. Most recently, fellow jammer/songwriter/guitar virtuoso Dave Friend asked me to ready my saxophone – and home computer – to add horn tracks on a series of originals in the works called Funkify. Talk about fun! Hope you enjoy the first offering Waterfront Station, which also features Shael Wrinch on B3 organ:

Howler Monkeys and Loud-voiced Traders

We’ve long been aware that phone voice matters. According to this article at Entrepreneur.com by Tony Parinella, it’s suggested that if we are selling to seemores for any length of time, the odds are very good that we’re also in the habit of holding back vocally, so as not to come on too strong and appear “too sales-y”.

Seemore buyers are described as low-level, analytically-focused buyers who always want to “see more”. Accordingly, we’re told that chances are that over time a sales pitch to seemore buyers is delivered without any emotion. Parinella states: “This may or may not be a good strategy for selling to seemores. My personal feeling is that it can be entertaining to shake seemores up once in a while. Regardless, I can guarantee you that this vocal approach is a lousy way to sell to VITOs (Very Important Top Officers). As a general but extremely reliable rule, VITOs love to emote and they love to use their voices to do so. What’s more, they tend to respect – and buy from – people who use their voices to emote. They tend to distrust, or at least avoid, spending any time with tentative speakers.”

But now also comes word from a recent study in which it’s been learned that monkeys with the loudest, deepest growls have the smallest testes. While emotional voicings have been determined to be a predictor of size of testicles in howler monkeys, to our knowledge there are no studies to date that suggest parallels might hold true for sales personnel – even lumber traders.

howler monkey

Photo Credit: telegraph.co.uk

Sunny Ways

Local reports of the Liberals’ federal election win capturing attention in world media reports have been confirmed by my dad in his email from Istanbul today:

Today we had about walked off our feet long before noon and with drizzly overcast skies in Istanbul this day spent most of it surfing the myriad TV channels. Surprised to find significant prominence given to Trudeau and the Liberal election win. There must be at least a dozen English all-news channels ala CNN International including English news channels of Russia, China, BBC News 1 and 2, Turkey, Dubai, couple of European-based all-news. We watched several panel discussion programs including a half hour one on Al Jazeera – all to do with Canadian election that surprised us by amount of air time and overwhelming optimistic outlook/expectations held out for how most perceived Canada’s role on the world stage to change. The hard copy of The New York Times international edition here this morning had prominent front page story under headline “Liberals’ win promises to alter tenor in Canada”. The secondary headline reads: “Offering ‘sunny ways’ Trudeau prepares major changes on policy front”. The article says “Mr. Trudeau promised to put an end to Mr. Harper’s often belligerent style of politics and diplomacy”.

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Pumpkin Push

After nine years of cross-border certainty, the Softwood Lumber Agreement (SLA) expires today. B.C. Premier Christy Clark says that the U.S. has so far been unwilling to start talks. According to this press release from the U.S. Lumber Coalition, it’s Canada that has so far been unwilling to enter talks. Suffice it to say neither side is talking. A 12-month standstill on U.S. trade remedy actions will begin at midnight. For one year, softwood lumber produced in Canada can be shipped to the United States free of export charges and quota constraints, just like pumpkins.

For the past several weeks, lumber buyers have been wary that upon expiration of the SLA, a wall of wood, gift-wrapped in devalued Canadian mill wrap, would surge south. Will it happen? Has it already happened? Perhaps the futures market indicates David Fortin was onto something when he spoke at RISI’s annual North American Conference in Chicago two weeks ago. The senior economist for wood products at RISI predicted that once people realized there wouldn’t be a wall of wood, lumber prices could rise sharply.

I’m not sure anyone predicted that on the day the SLA expired, surging cross-border shipments of Canadian pumpkins would be dominating the headlines. We’re told record rainfall in the top pumpkin-producing state of Illinois has prompted salvage-harvesting of barren crops. The Great Pumpkin Shortage of 2015
is driving up jack-o’-lantern prices across the land. Even some lumber wholesalers have shifted attention, carving out pumpkin export opportunities. My three-year-old hit the pumpkin patch in Southlands this weekend, to help ensure all them pies have filling just in time for U.S. Thanksgiving. As Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving today, there is much to be thankful for.. unless you’re a turkey. Happy Thanksgiving, eh!

“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.”
~ G.K. Chesterton

pumpkin patch 2015
Thanks to John Miller at ENAP, Inc. for sharing these beautiful Autumn images captured in Catskill, NY: