Out Of My Mind On A Wednesday Mornin’

What is your favorite Super Bowl snack?

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The Moderna CEO stated today that the pandemic will be over by summer. The blue states have lifted their mask requirements, now allowing students to go to school without them and who cares about vaccines anymore. Why now? November 8. Most interesting is too see what happens if a new variant starts up similar to the Delta variant and what governments do then.

Is the “metaverse” the next social media phenomenon or just a hoax dreamt up by the CEO and founder of Facebook (oops, I meant Meta), Mark Zuckerberg? With his social media sites Facebook and Instagram faltering (YouTube still going strong), he needs a new hit. And right now anything related with the metaverse is sinking.

And speaking of sinking, looks like I was blessed not to appear on the cover of BusinessWeek or Forbes. Just recently Tobi Lutke, the CEO of Spotify got the privilege and the article was very impressive on how Spotify was the anti-Amazon. The stock was around $1600 a share and hit more than $1700. Alas now it is barely over $700 a share. Looks like Jeff Bezos is getting in the last laugh.

Amazon is amazing and it is no wonder they continue to run circles around Walmart and Target when it comes to online shopping. I needed a garden hose because the weather is turning warm and I have to power wash my garage (yes I am really out of my mind). The thought of going to a store to get a hose was revolting. So I ordered on Amazon in the morning and it was delivered to my home in the afternoon. Try to get that service anywhere else. They just launched “Reacher” on Prime, love Jack Reacher, he has been in more than 20 books by Lee Child. Just finished Ozark S4P1, what a climatic finish (Darlene had it coming though). Poor Ruth.

A bit of good news on the supply chain front. FCL’s are now heading towards $20,000, far better than $25-$30,000. If they get to $15,000, we will start to see some relief on the inflation front. But could be too little too late for farmers who are reeling due to higher costs. That means look for even higher food costs later this year.

Finally MGM is reopening Springfield and National Harbor spas and expanding their Vegas hours. Disney is reopening Grand Floridian but are keeping the remaining spas closed. Spas like so many other businesses have been hit by multiple causes and the thing is, demand for spa services has never been better.

Starbucks will overtake Subway as the largest chain of fast-food restaurants. The question is when will they be open on a consistent basis? Worse, the CEO announced new price increases which will bring the average latte to more than five bucks.

If you watch YouTube, you know just about every video now has multiple ads. So annoying. Of course you can opt in and pay for premium YouTube. But hey, since I am the CEO of TNG Worldwide and this is my blog, I can do an ad on every blog, it doesn’t cost me anything. Besides, chances are you will want the product because all our products are so cool and best in class. Today’s mention is our new ForPro Premium Rechargeable Callus Remover. What makes it special is our refill heads, beautiful blue and they really take care of callus build-up.

ForPro Expert Rechargeable Foot Care Callus Remover Kit

One of the best NFL post-season’s ever. Even the Super Bowl was good. Guess how many chicken wings were consumed in the U.S. that day? 1.4 billion. That is a lot of f—-g chickens.

Happy Wednesday!

Out Of My Mind On A Tuesday Mornin’

When was the last album you bought?

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BAM! The triple whammy is here and the question is how long will it stay? Unlike 2020 and 2021in which both businesses and consumers received trillions in handouts due to COVID related concerns, 2022 will have no handouts. This at the same time as record high inflation over the past 40 years, interest rates set to go up at least three times, unemployment at a record low, consumer confidence at a new low and small businesses especially restaurants and bars struggling to make ends meet. Bottom line to all this: If you are in business, you must survive without handouts or close, the government is no longer interested in financing small businesses. Most interesting is that more restaurants are shutting down now than the previous two years combined. And with Omicron still surging, people are staying home more and once again, supermarkets are running out of the most frequent purchased items. They claim supply chain issues and lack of employees to stock the shelves.

Oil just hit a 7-year high which adds more pressure to inflation. Ports are still congested and container prices have come down a little but still stubbornly high. I was speaking with Tony Cuccio and he asked me when I thought this would reverse. I told him that as long as demand stays strong for goods, inflation will stay with us. Only when consumers stop buying and inventory levels start to pile up will we see a reverse. But when that happens is anyone’s guess.

In chess, there are mistakes, inadequacies, and blunders. Blunders are the worst. How many blunders were on exhibit last week with the wildcard football games? Perhaps the Dallas Cowboys committed one of the worst blunders in football history. Ouch to be a fan.

I finally tested positive for COVID. I only know this because we were going to Puerto Rico for vacation and you had to test negative before going. I had no idea and that is what being asymptomatic is all about. Four days later I tested negative and got out of dodge.

My oldest grandson turns 10 this month. I can’t believe it. Now I get to see what the teenager years are like but this time as a grandfather.

On the new product front, we just received our new ForPro Luxury Towel Warmers. What makes these so fabulous is that when you get out the bathtub or shower, you can luxuriate yourself with a nice hot towel. The bucket holds up to four towels and is great especially this time of the year. They are available in white and our signature blue.

ForPro Luxury Towel Warmer Signature Blue

I am also loving our new rechargeable hand-held fans. So cute. Makeup experts know that hand-held fans are a secret to setting makeup. But when you need a little cooling down, these fans work swell.

ForPro Premium Rechargeable Handheld Fan Blue

I bought a new album yesterday and my previous album purchase was Jimmy Buffett’s Life on the Flip Side (I know, shocking). Anyway, I bought Keb Mo’s new album which features his new hit Sunny and Warm (just the way I like it). Interesting story, this Keb Mo character, worth reading about on his website.

Happy Tuesday!

Happy F—–g 2022!

Should I continue to write the blog or hang it up?

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Here we are. Another year down, another new year here. 2022 is shaping up to be the year of total insanity: You are either going to be happy or you are going to be unhappy. There will likely be no middle ground. And BTW, if you want a real laugh (most of us can use one, learn the history of f–k by watching this great video).

2022 is the year to be happy especially after 2020 and 2021. I’m going with the glass is half full theory instead of the glass is half empty one. It is a proven fact the happier you are, the less stress you endure; you are healthier; and you have a tendency to love life compared to hating life. Mental health and suicides are are record levels, I prefer not to be part of those stats.

What is 2022 going to bring us? Here are just a few “Out Of My Mind” thoughts:

Omnicron: The virus variations are not going to go away anytime soon. Today the world experienced more infections than any other time since the pandemic. Undoubtedly there will be other variations to come. Like the flu which is roaring back, it will be around for many years to come. Live life accordingly.

Vaccination Cards: More businesses will require proof of vaccination for both employment and as a customer. The government will eventually update the archaic card to electronic status. Even airlines may start to require to board.

Stock market: Wow, 25% gain in 2021 with all the bullshit going on. Consumers will continue to spend, inflation will continue to move higher, supply chain issues will persist all year and most likely the S&P will be 5500 by yearend.

Politics: Mid-term elections will be riveting. Trump will announce his candidacy.

Travel: More and more difficult. San Juan now requires a rapid test 48 hours prior to arrival to enter. And now you have to provide a rapid test 24 hours prior to arrival in the USA from Mexico and other international destinations. Airlines are running out of employee options due to COVID. Could this be the boom of bus travel?

Supply chain: I thought the end of 2021 would signal the beginning of the end of supply chain issues. I couldn’t have been more wrong. We are paying $30,000 per FCL (full container load) and still waiting exorbitant periods to receive. Looks like the entire year will be like this, so not only will costs continue to escalate, supplies will be difficult to maintain on a regular basis.

EV’s: 2022 is the coming out year and we should see more models than ever before. But as of yet, while there are plenty of EV charging companies starting up, basic EV charging still needs to be addressed.

Professional Beauty: 2020 and 2021 have been very difficult years for salon professionals. But among all the angst, financial issues and ability to stay afloat, Olaplex went public and now has a value of more than $17B (yes, that is billion). Who got them there? Hairdressers. Once again, hairdressers made a hair care company beyond rich and what did they end up getting in return? Looks like you can take all the hair care companies from Paul Mitchell, TIGI, Matrix, Nexxus and all combined wouldn’t be worth the value of Olaplex. 2022 is going to be another tough year for those behind the chair.

Spas: Like professional beauty, the pandemic has been rough. Many spas are still closed and those that are open like in Las Vegas are operating on limited hours and offering limited services. However demand for spa services is extremely high and with a shortage of spa professionals, this is going to create quite a challenge in 2022. Already massage prices have increased more than 10-20% and it is now common to pay $250 for a 50-minute massage at a resort spa.

Retail Beauty: Alive and well, companies like ULTA are predicting double digit growth. Consumer spending is up and both men and women look to beauty as a need, not a want.

TNG Worldwide: I am very happy about our business opportunities in 2022. We just launched our latest version of our website (which is still going through issues which we hope to have resolved soon). You will find all our brands and for those that love our catalog, our 2022 e-catalog which features all our latest new products including our Expert collection of tools. January 2 we will update our B-to-B program (Diamond Partner). I see a new surge in PPE business (we are fully stocked on masks, gloves, disinfectants and foaming hand sanitizer) along with continued demand for Ginger Lily Farms personal care products. Our new 100% Morocco Argan Oil products is one of our best new launches and in 2022, we will launch a specialty line for thinning hair along with a kick-ass men’s two-in-one shower wash.

Overall: 2022 is going to be much like 2021 with an election tossed in. I think the post-holiday let-down, lack of government stimulus checks and long dark days of winter will be downers for some. For those with a positive attitude and wakes up wanting to be happy, works-out regularly, works hard and plays hard, 2022 will be just another year to live life and have fun.

P.S.: In a world of Tik-Tok You-Tube, podcasts and everything digital, is there really a need for blogs anymore? I am not so sure. It take a lot of time to write one and I can surely spend my time doing something else. As you are one of my loyal readers, you would know best if I should continue or hang it up. Please vote and let me know. Thanks for your readership and have a happy, safe and healthy new year! Happy f—–g 2022!

Hold On, Now It’s Omicron

Are going to get the Omicron vaccine when available?

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2022 was supposed to be the breakout year from the pandemic. In fact, I forecasted this back in March 2020. Oh so close. But hold on, now it’s Omicron and you have to admit, it’s a better name than Delta (I know Ed Bastian was not happy about this name) and certainly COVID-19.

While the CDC, WHO, scientists, Howard Stern, Biden, Alfred E. Neuman (what, me worry?), Fauci, Santa Claus and the rest of the experts decide what Omicron is all about, we know one thing for sure, it is yet another variant of the coronavirus disease. What makes this one so much worse is the speed at which is replicates; current vaccines are not as effective against it, and according to South African scientists, it could have evolved from a HIV-positive person. If this is true, we would have the first strain of the virus mutated from another disease. That could make it even more viral and difficult to contain.

Travel restrictions are already in place and more are coming. Biden and his team (which are now ranked dead last in the approval polls on handing the pandemic) want 24-hour testing before anyone enters the USA. They are even talking about getting testing within 72 hours after arriving. This would cripple international travel that was just starting to recover.

Then again if you don’t travel internationally, what’s the big deal? The big deal is that the planet with nearly 8 billion people on it are no longer separated by continents and oceans because people travel effortlessly and pass on the virus to others at will. Unless you are locked in your home 24/7, there is always risk of infection.

Even before Omicron, Michigan was the leading state in the country for new virus transmissions. Our hospitals are at 80% occupancy and many are completely filled. What happens when Omicron is identified in Michigan? Did you happen to watch the OSU vs. UM game last Saturday and the sea of fans on the field, all without masks?

One thing we do know: Lockdowns are OUT. With the Supreme Court battling abortion rights, politicians know they cannot dictate lockdowns, vaccines and even masks unless the local/state government mandates it. And even then, good luck.

Now there will be a booster shot for Omicron. But where does it end? Does it end? Are the variants going to be like hurricanes, named each time one appears? Hurricanes are here each and every year, will the coronavirus be just like hurricanes? The answer most likely is yes, at least through 2030.

2022 is going to start off very interesting based on the facts gathered over the next few weeks about Omicron. I can see indoor mask mandates effective through the winter especially in public buildings and large event areas like stadiums. But as far as the end of the pandemic is concerned, we are in for the long haul. The USA is 60% vaccinated and until it hits at least 80%, the virus will continue to win the battle.

In the meantime, the need for masks, gloves and other essentials will increase and you can be rest assured TNG is fully stocked (for the moment). I just learned that Biden did not extend the tariff exemption on nitrile gloves which is shocking because you cannot legally manufacture them in the USA. This will add 25% to costs overnight. This is total bullshit and hopefully someone with two cents will override this decision. Then again, when was the last time two cents was worth anything?

Warm & Cozy

What is the thermostat set in your house during the winter?

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I don’t know about you, but the end of DST changes everything. Sure it is lighter in the morning for a bit, but the whole thing about getting dark at 6:00PM and next month at 5:00PM is enough to put you in a state of sleep until April.

Add the fact that I live in Michigan. While it may be 50F and sunny today, cold and snow is on the way. So instead of coming home and putting on shorts and a t-shirt in the summer, it’s about putting on warm & cozy long sleeve t-shirts and soft pants.

This year more than ever, is going to be about warm & cozy. Creature comforts will be in demand like never before. [Side note: Rent-a-Santa’s are in the highest demand in history due to the labor shortage and businesses wanting Santa to show up]. TNG has always been focused on creature comforts and now with the holiday season and winter season ahead of us, we are launching what will be your new favorite warm & cozy products.

ForPro Premium XL Towel Steamer

ForPro Prem XL Hot Towel Steamer

Amazing for salons and spas. However also amazing for home use. There is nothing like a hot towel after a pedicure, massage or just warming up your hands.

ForPro Classic Hot Towel Warmer

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Our ForPro Premium Hot Towel Warmer is the #1 best-selling warmer in the USA. Now we are introducing the Classic model with a special twist, an open door so you can see the towels inside. Like the Premium model, the Classic model features EPA-registered UV sterilization. Inventory will be in stock later this month, white model arriving in December.

ForPro Luxury Towel Warmer

ForPro Luxury Towel Warmer Signature Blue

Available in our new signature blue and also in white, the ForPro Luxury Towel Warmer will be your new best friend after taking a bath or shower. The warmer holds 2-4 bath towels and heats up in only 15 minutes. Features digital timer readout and can stay warm for up to one hour. Once you get used to warm towels, you will never go back!

ForPro Premium Wood Multi-Purpose Table

ForPro Premium Wood Multi-Purpose Massage Table

There is nothing like a warm & cozy massage and sometimes going to spa is not an option. One of our portable tables like the ForPro Premium Wood Multi-Purpose Table is perfect for home use especially with so many apps available to book a therapist. Make it extra special with our new ForPro Black Flannel sheets!

ForPro Premium Flannel 3-Piece Massage Sheet Set Black

ForPro 10-Minute Paraffin Treatment

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Soon available in our new Fragrance-Free formula, there is nothing like warm & cozy paraffin to help restore cold, brittle and dry skin. Best yet, you can use this at both the salon/spa or home and is good for up to 3-4 uses. Available for feet too!

Cold, dark and winter there is nothing we can do about it except for one thing: Make the best of it and it surely better to be warm & cozy than cold and miserable!