Everyday, I make an effort to speak to a maker, miner, driller, or provider of a service in the real economy.If you keep your head in the financial markets too long, it is easy tolose touch with reality. Yesterday, I spoke to a friend whose company produces large format copies of blue prints, making him a great leading indicator of building trends. His fall in sales has leveled off 40%down from the peak, and layoffs at client developers and architects seem to have dried up. There are some signs of life in shovel ready city and state projects directly benefiting from the stimulus package.A few small private remodels and additions are coming through, but there are absolutely no big projects on the horizon. He is hoping that his business will maintain this low level at least until the first few quarters of 2010. The scary thing is that I get exactly the same answer from everyone I talk to in every industry, be they the butcher, the baker, or the candlestick maker. This is not the stuff that economic recoveries or bull markets are made of. Perhaps this explains why the recent stock market rally has been absolutely devoid of insider buying,unlike previous upturns, as the two year daily chart below attests.When corporate managers and owners don’t want to eat their own cooking,neither do you.