Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

Maybe getting a bit too relaxed on this Thanksgiving eve.
I hope everyone has a good Thanksgiving and for all my friends that read me from outside the country I hope you find some hope and grace in your life. 
Sometimes we have to make a determined effort to remember how wonderful life can be at times. Lets enjoy these moments as much as possible.

After Thanksgiving day I will go back to complaining about everything that keeps us all from what we can truly be. For now enjoy.

Faith Hope and Love with Charity and Peace for all

Thursday, November 19, 2015

A Loss for words (4th installment)

She was caught in the middle in more ways than one. She was between the two cars, but she was also between a new gang rivalry. A small group of a larger group decided they wanted their own territory and this was the area they were trying to carve out for themselves.

The first car came to a stop again in the alley and prevented her from going forward. There were five men in this car. The second car pulled up behind her blocking her from going onto the street. Her back fender pressed up against the side of their car. Just like the first time she blocked the other gang members from getting out of the side doors. Six young men drove in this car and they hurriedly exited the car.

She knew exactly where the gun lay, but for now she kept her hands on the steering wheel waiting to see who would make the first move. She didn’t know about the gang situation, but she could instantly feel a great amount of tension between the two groups by the way they lined up on each side of her car. She just wished they had originally built the alley wider and she would waste no time going around them, but this was impossible.

The first set of gang members starting shouting at the new set. She could hear them tell the new car this was their territory so she was their bitch. She sat quietly, but inside the anger began overcoming the fear.  The second set of gang members laughed and called them old and of no importance anymore. Both sides began yelling, cussing, threatening each other over her and the territory.

She saw a police car two blocks up pull into the alley. The car turned around. She did not know they would come back when they thought it would be safe to come collect their share of whatever happened. Seeing the car leave only increased her anger. One other fact that no one knew, including her, was that she was the only one who actually was armed outside of a couple of gang members in each car having a lead pipe. If she knew they didn’t have guns this might have ended real quick. She had multiple sleeves for her gun under the seat. Neither set of gang members had seen the police nor would they have cared if they had. Both sides focused on winning.

And the younger newer gang members wanting to assert themselves actually started attacking the first car’s gang members. The gang members met each other on both sides and front of her car. The younger gang quickly overwhelmed the older gang members and the outcome started turning very nasty. All members of the first gang were beaten into the ground and since they held a small 6 to 5 advantage one of the younger members could rotate amongst the others and add to the pounding. Blood was starting to flow on the ground in significant quantities. The yelling slowly quieted down as the older gang lay on the ground severely beaten. The younger gang continued to kick them in the head and body as the younger gang could not stop themselves from the blood lust they were feeling. 
She just watched in horror. She could not believe people could become so barbaric so quickly. She knew that sooner or later they would come back to her. Five minutes later there were now five very horribly beaten and dying men on the ground and on top of them were six dying men from multiple gun shot wounds. She had gotten out of the car and began shooting. The good news was that when the fighting started no one watched including the shopkeeper who hid in his store. No one wanted to be a witness because no one wanted someone to come back. She was able to go back to the car behind her and since they left the keys in the car she could quickly move it back enough to back her car and go home.

It had all happened so fast that she could not remember what happened. She just knew she had to do something to protect herself. She waited in her house for days expecting a knock on the door. It never came.

The police came back later that morning. And no one had seen anything. No one knew who had the gun. The shopkeeper didn’t know anything and his wife made sure he didn’t think he knew anything. The police were angry. They had one huge mess on their hands and there nothing for them. Even when they searched both cars they couldn’t find anything worth having. Just two old cars that barely had enough gas to drive. They became angrier each moment about the mess because the responsibility fell on them to make sure it got cleaned up and they did notice the fact that six were shot and shot a bunch. This scared them. They knew rarely shootings occurred. And this not because of lack of guns, but because no one could afford ammunition. The fact that someone could indiscriminately go through ammunition like this meant there was real trouble somewhere out there.

They completed the written police report for public record for formalities;  It did mention that some suspects were shot. And since most people were not well educated anymore it really didn’t say much more than that. Their oral report to the boss contained more details. The Boss was nervous since the older gang members were his. Did he need to worry more about new gangs or some unknown identity that had shown more firepower in a couple of minutes than most of his gang members could produce in total? He called his boss and relayed the information. Who in turn called his boss and so it went up the chain. And since both the written and the oral report never mentioned that she was involved many people up the chain were concerned since they could not understand who had this much power. Were there whole new gangs?

The people who knew everything though, knew and they never reported back down the chain. They were a bit fascinated, so they made it a point to watch her even more.

After a few weeks she started to feel comfortable that maybe there wasn’t going to be anyone coming. She didn’t know much, but she knew enough about the neighborhood that retaliation was quick. Hot head gang members were not ones to wait and the police always wanted something for their efforts and wanted to be paid quickly. So more and more she got out and again started trying to engage and educate the children that would walk by. The months then years began to pass. All the while children that stayed were monitored. They knew something was going on inside the house. They were patient though and she kept them vigilant which they knew they always needed to be.

To be continued

Monday, November 16, 2015

Some quick sports comments

I will be getting back to the A Loss for words story here soon. but there are other things going on.

First of all lets recognize FC Dallas for having a great year and lets hope they bring it on home.

And lets give credit to the Dallas Stars for such a really good start.

Now most of you know though I talk more about the Cowboys and Mavericks on a regular basis and this post is a commentary of sorts of the difference between those two teams.

I think there are more problems with the Dallas Cowboys and have been all along than Tony Romo's injury. Of course of late it is showing in a variety of ways one of which being a seven game losing streak. And some will say if we had Romo we would have done well and we might, but him being healthy would have masked some serious issues underneath the surface. What they are, I do not know.

Just think about this though. The Mavericks have struggled a bit at first, both with play and injuries yet the team is starting to come together and when three of their starters were out instead of folding many players on the Mavericks stepped up and the Mavericks beat the Rockets. Yes the Rockets were undermanned too and have been struggling, but the Rockets are considered a more talented team. The Mavericks played well with who played. Since Romo went out the Cowboys just haven't played well with anyone. You do not lose two games in OT and others in the last two minutes unless something is going wrong. And for the Cowboys something deep is going wrong.

So as I told some friends at work today, the wake is Friday and the funeral is next Sunday for the Cowboys 2015 season. Let's hope they get rid of some of the cancerous players and get back on track next year.

Tony just like Dirk is not getting any younger. The difference is Dirk has management and coaching around him that is at least finding players with talent and heart. And it looks like something even more is developing with them. Tonight is a trap game, but overall they are getting better. It is still a long way to go for the Mavericks, but at least they look like they have something much healthier going on as a team.

Saturday, November 14, 2015


First of all; our prayers, condolences, thoughts, etc go to all the people who lost a loved one, or are hoping a loved one survives, to all the people of Paris and France, and anyone else affected by this horrible, atrocious, and cowardly act.

Also our prayers go to all the first responders who are having to work extra and yet suffer along with their country men and women during this tragedy.

You can say words from far away, but I truly hope the people of France can overcome and grow again like they have multiple times in the past from WWII to Charlie Hebdo.

Now there is another insane story developing behind this senseless attack and that is all the politicians and people tweeting something like they have some miracle answer to the problem. No one has the answer and I know I have said this on multiple platforms, you cannot overcome what causes despots, dictators, and whatever ISIS is to exist just by winning a war. If that were the case, the world would have been a wonderful place after WWII.

You do need to fight them and not let whatever existence of evil is existing at the moment to survive, but to really overcome we need to win a fight no one ever tries to fight. The continual rise of the next evil is because we do not attack the root cause of how these situations continue to come back and haunt us. The Middle East unfortunately has been a breeding ground for problems, but there and in other times and places these tyrants exist because they take advantage of poverty, uneducated people to rise to power all the while lashing out at scapegoats so they can use this as an excuse for all the bad things happening to the people.  Right now the West and Western culture is the culprit for groups like Al Qaeda and ISIS.

This happens everywhere though. And unfortunately US policy worldwide sometimes tends to pick the expedient person to back for the multinational corporations instead of taking the harder road and working with the country to help them grow. Which in the long road would still benefit those same multi-national companies for long term business. This has given these current sets of tyrants and despots ammunition against us. We need to change our course. The US though is by no means the cause of tyranny.

People forget no one brought democracy or rule of man to the United States and Western Europe. This was a concept developed over time and we achieved it because men became educated and understood the value of life. It is not a product we can export much as we would like to.

The real growth of democracy and rule of man will come to other areas of the world not because we force it on them or we try to put someone in power, but by developing the people. We need to find ways to overcome the propaganda of local tyrants and start instilling in future generations a desire to learn and  want something more than what they are given. This will not happen overnight and takes a long range approach we have not ever attempted yet is our best opportunity to eventually rid the world of tyranny. This means we cannot put our self-interest above others. And like I mentioned before, if we take the more methodical approach we will actually create more success for everyone in the long run.

Unfortunately until we overcome our own shortcomings, what we truly represent can be twisted by others for their own benefit and we end up with situations where innocent people in France are murdered in not an act of war, but a murderous act by people mislead into believing utter falsehoods.
What isn’t the answer is all our idiot politicians trying to act like they have some answer that we can solve the problem by killing them all or arming all private citizens. And yes going to war and winning war may seem like “oh yeah baby, we sure got them” but sooner or later and most likely sooner another group will come along and replace them using the same tactics they did to get to power. Tactics that rely on bullying the populace, lying about what are the real problems facing them, strong arming the law, keeping them ignorant and poor and then we are back to square one. Yes we can win the next war, but we are losing more in the long run. And also unfortunately we may have to go out and win the next war because these tyrants are like fire ant mounds. You have to eradicate a mound to end the current problem, but until we truly find the root of the problem they will not go away. So for this situation we have to create the long term strategies, which may take generations, to truly see the success we want of ridding our planet of this ongoing cancer upon us as human beings.

I would love to wish everyone a good night, but tonight I wish you a safe night.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

A Loss for words Part 3

As noted in the previous post current events always need to be addressed, it is somewhat like what the children are missing in the story. They have no idea what is going on around them and nor do their parents. If you don’t or can’t pay attention to the world how can you make the changes to make it better.

And the story continues……………………………………………………………………………
It was shopping day. And she enjoyed shopping day. She usually preferred being alone, but as a human she did need communal interaction and so she set aside certain days to go out and get involved with what was left with the idea of community. And at times she missed him so going out and interacting took away some of the pain of him not being around anymore.

She got up early for shopping day, very early. Took pains to take out just enough money from where she had it stashed in a secret compartment under the house. A few years ago she had took out most of her money from the banks. Luckily this was right before all the banks were taken over by certain elements of the ruling elite. No one said it was a take over and to the general populace they didn’t know what happened. Yet the banks were continuously monitored to see if anyone was able to start saving or building a balance in their accounts.  Something always happened when a person started to get ahead a bit in life. All of a sudden their job was cut or their house would need an extrodinate amount of repairs. It was something that would eat into the budget and usually enough to make them go crawling to the secondary banking system for a loan. Once you obtained one of these loans your finances were never in your control again. It would have taken three full time jobs to truly pay these off completely and be rid of them. They became a round robin of refinancing just to make the payments for the previous one and then you never had enough for food etc. Unbeknowst to many, getting ahead was not the best idea or at least getting ahead where someone could know. She had decided that something was amiss so she decided to keep her money to herself. Fortunately for her, the timing was good. Even though the bosses wanted to look at the history of people’s accounts, since no one was trained very well or hours were kept scare no one had the time to historical audits of people’s accounts so only the present activity in the banks was reviewed.

She divided her money up so she could carry it in different places on her self and in her car. She knew that if she did get stopped by a gang or the boss’ men it would be better to have some in her purse for them to take their share than to try to hide it all. She had never been robbed, but having talked to the shop keepers over time she knew what the risks were in going out so better to act like you have contributed to the boss’ neighborhood good campaign than fight it. She knew how much she needed so hid that amount and then she made sure there looked like an appropriate amount was in her purse for someone shopping on a budget and hoped for the best.

And she knew to go early so she was out of the house about ten minutes before the shopkeepers opened their stores. Many didn’t have business till later in the day, but there were a few smart shoppers that would come out when they could so they wanted to be ready for them since these people were generally their best customers.

Today it was cloudy so a bit dreary, but that did not dampen her spirits as she drove out of the garage and headed off to the stores. She did drive cautious with her eyes wide open. She knew to give in if someone attempted to claim a donation from her, but if they wanted anything else from her there would be a fight. She had no desire to become a victim like so many other women were becoming. And of course the police never were able to solve the crime. Some even suspected that the police were some of the worst when it came to crimes against women. No one could prove anything of course, most crime was blamed on gangs, yet the boss’ men and police never seemed to be where they were needed nor able to help women who had been victimized. She decided it would probably be the end for her if she fought, but she was going to fight. So under her car seat placed very carefully in a slot that you would not feel if you made a cursory feel under the seat was an older but well maintained Kimber 9mm semi automatic pistol. She had one that was made to prevent snagging if being pulled out of a holster or in her case from a slot or sleeve cut into the fabric under her seat, an Ultra CDP II. It was one of the guns he had got for her many years ago. He had taken her to the gun range many times. It was a hobby for him. At first she regretted going at all, but she loved him so she went to humor him and now something she was glad she had done. Even though she didn’t like shooting she had become very comfortable with one in her hand and being able to use it. She always made sure the gun had been reviewed the night before she went shopping just to be on the safe side. She also had two hunting rifles and a shotgun in the house. They were also well maintained.

She drove to the grocery store. A two store building built over a hundred years ago and being held together by sheer desire of the store owner. An older gentleman of around 60 years old. Since early it was slow so he saw her coming down the street and his eyes lit up. Yes he was married and he had no desire to do harm to his wife, but this woman was still very beautiful and he appreciated when she came in. His wife also saw her coming from an upstairs window. She stayed upstairs for two reasons. One she knew the lady was beautiful and all the older men fell all over themselves to help her including her husband, but two her husband always seemed to be a bit more amorous on the evenings she came. She still loved her husband even with all the difficulties, so a night where he would make advances and pay special attention to her was something she still enjoyed. They still felt good to each other, so what if some days this women provided a bit of a spark to him , he still ended the night with her. The other was she did spend money. The wife didn’t know where she got it nor did she care. She was a good customer and upstairs there were still items to sell in the store. The wife wanted to be up there to help her if needed without interfering with the woman’s interaction with her husband. They always needed the business and she was one of the best customers. And the wife knew not to say anything about her being a good customer. It benefited them and the woman for no one to know.

She arrived at the store and was greeted warmly by the shopkeeper. She had her list and he filled it hastily knowing the importance of anyone noticing she was in the store for any amount of time. If people were watching, a long visit might mean a large sell. He hated that he had to hurry, but he made every effort to finish the list. The lady went upstairs for a couple of items while he filled the grocery order. The wife and the woman had a short, but cordial conversation. The wife kept her up to speed on some of the goings on that she knew about. She appreciated having the conversation even if it was mainly gossip. It was still nice to talk to adults from time to time.

They loaded her car in the back taking out the bags through the rooms where the lived in the back of the store. Everything was going well and they were almost done. Then the car drove by the street and probably wouldn’t have noticed except one of the gang members riding was bored so he was looking down the alley and saw the lady’s car in the back. He knew what this meant so the car turned around and blocked the alley. Luckily they were almost done loading the car and had put the groceries in the trunk except for two bags of some of the least important items. The shop keeper and she knew just like the money situation you had to have something visible to pacify the gangs so they wouldn’t suspect there was something more. Gang members because of alcohol and drug abuse just weren’t that smart.

She had never been robbed before. She started to drive down the alley to hopefully force the gang car to move. It didn’t. She stopped just short of hitting it on the side of the car which prevented the guys from getting out that side so they all climbed out the other side and now were a bit angry. She stayed in her car while they got out. Once they got close she put the car in reverse and went back down the alley at a high rate of speed. The gang members got back in their car and started giving chase. The shop keeper and his wife watched in horror as this played out. People rarely ran. They would just accept the inevitable and move on. This was unexpected. She was a woman, alone.  A very dangerous move. At the end of the alley before she could back into the street another car pulled up and she came to a screeching stop. She was trapped. The gang members got out and began to yell at her. The shop keeper did what he was supposed to do and called the police. Not that he expected them to come, but being older this was something he knew what was supposed to be done.  The police operator said someone would be out soon. He didn’t believe her, but he had called.

The cars that had trapped her were not of the same gang. This made the situation even more dangerous.

To be continued…….

Truth is scarier than fiction

I am still going to continue my story in future posts, but a couple of news events just shows we have no idea what the future can bring us if we fail to hold our leaders and ourselves responsible for putting  people first.

The first event was the Russian passenger airliner that crashed coming out of Egypt. If you have been reading the news you have heard there is a possibility there was a bomb involved. And now flights are being cancelled, people are leaving, and the Egyptians are losing tons of tourism business which their economy needs. It doesn’t take much anymore. We need to seriously look at the big picture and what we are doing that drives people to form and join extremist groups. Terrorism is not something that will be eradicated overnight. Yet we have to find a way to live fruitful and constructive lives and not let the terrorists drive our governments into such paranoia that our values and freedoms are compromised.  There are no immediate answers, but it is up to us to force our leaders to make better decisions overall for our own countries and the way countries treat each other and their people so we can slowly change the attitudes that cause people to be misled into these terrible crimes against people and humanity. At some point you would hope that we, as humanity, would grow positively.

The second news event is scary in a totally different way and is the scandal in a Colorado high school involving sexting. People seem to be obsessed with fame or popularity more so than values anymore. At some point we need to re instate a value system for our youth to follow. We do not have to go to the other extreme and make all women/girls cover themselves from head to toe, but some sense of worth as a person needs to be taught. It is a sad reflection of our entire society that this type of scandal exists. Everyone wants to blame the phones, the parents, the kids, yet no one wants to sit down and ask the hard questions of what it takes for not one or two children to lose sense of what they are doing, but a whole community of children. This is a symptom of some serious issues we need to address. I was talking about it with others and then even I let the conversation get sidetracked into bad jokes and creating a show called “Avoiding the Kardashians”. A whole series of bad SNL skits showing how we have lost track of what is important. And I am not saying this is their fault, yet their show is just another symptom of how lost of a society we have become. And yes teenagers will make bad decisions. I know I made more than my share as a teenager. Again though why aren’t we going forward as humanity? I do not think we will ever be perfect, yet at some point how can we instill common sense values into our lives so young people are not subjecting themselves to self-degradation just to be accepted. And even this acceptance exists in a fragile and fleeting moment in time.

Or basically sometimes we can all just have a Loss for words. Or wish we had cure all answers.

I will continue my story on the same track I began, but sometimes current events just have to be addressed. And I do not want to let current events effect my scenario because I just want to stay with one idea for now.  Anyway these stories upset my internal apple cart and wanted to get my feelings off my chest even if I had to get up on a soap box for a moment.

No matter what the cause lets’ consider the victims in these scenarios and think about what we can do to prevent more victims.

Hope you have a better weekend

Sunday, November 1, 2015

A Loss for words Continued.

And a few secondary comments

Why did I have this dream last night?

Because you were asleep.        Actual conversation     sometimes as a Dad you can be a bit droll

And just more on why writing the story   as you know I always say if the Democrats and Republicans had been doing their job well over the last four decades the middle class would be better off than it is, and that goes for just about everything in our country such as education, race relations, fighting poverty, overall growth of wealth for the vast majority, less reliance on government to solve problems (even though they aren’t being solved it is just the reliance) and so on. We are not getting leadership that cares for the middle class except for their vote. And because of that we still hold some sway in the future of our country. At least for now.

And as I alluded to before this story is just another outlet of my frustration as to why it is so hard to get done what is needed or what should be common sense.

And back to the story:

So she started trying to befriend the children. This didn’t go well at first. Most children instinctively knew there were things wrong, they just didn’t know what. And parents did teach their children not to trust anyone. The parents knew how bad the neighborhoods were. And that the street gangs or the boss’ men were always looking to harass someone. They whole system was based on what someone could obtain from you. No one had anything beyond a weekly paycheck at best and even those were very scant after all the “withholding” was taken.

Yet after some time and patience she began to know some of the children that would walk home after school. They were always in groups which she understood to be good. At first it would be polite conversation as they walked by her house while she pretended to water her bushes or trim them.
She learned much. And what she learned scared her. She realized with no education these children had no chance even in a world with little chances. So as they walked by she began to educate them. Very little at first. Most didn’t understand how to write. Yes they could write in short bursts. Basically only what was needed. Small phrases to use in communication devices. There was no need for anyone to be able to describe anything especially since there future would be based on military communication or maybe some factory work or service work. Why should the schools spend time teaching grammar, language, more than rudimentary math, or especially any topics like history, literature, drama, etc…? After hearing about their days she began to introduce some ideas that maybe they could learn more. She would converse with them teaching them how to develop a thought pattern or how to answer questions that began with why? They were all smart, they were just deprived.

The children loved spending time with her. They were soaking up what she had to say and staying way too late. Some of the parents became suspicious of her. Others became scared that someone might notice they were actually learning something and might be considered dangerous. These were the parents who still had memories of some schooling, that there use to be more to life. Their parents had tried to instill in them the need to fight what was happening to society. Over time though no one understood what you would fight for and for the remnants of people trying to change the way things were becoming, either bad things happened to them or they just disappeared. Most people learned one main fact. Survival. So for the parents watching their children come home late with all sorts of notions of wanting the schools to teach more. These parents gently nudged their children away from the lady down the street into more normal pursuits by letting them have more game time ( a privilege since power was expensive) on the TV or finding other chores for them to do at home.

Some children would be able to stay after school for some time and they did start to grasp there was more to the world than they knew, but no one child could ever really spend enough time at her place to maybe take a leap forward. Sometimes it was the parents keeping them away, sometimes their friends weren’t as interested so peer pressure kept them away, and sometimes because of all the movement of families they just moved away. She never gave up though. Each day, each week, each month of the school year she would wait outside after school to converse with the children sometimes letting them try to read through her books hoping that maybe she could help them out. Or maybe one or two might be inspired to take on a fight that unfortunately that they would never be able to grasp was needed

And of course this was observed. She knew the neighborhood bosses knew what she was up to, but even them were not educated enough to know she was teaching insurrection in her small way. She didn’t know the few people who actually knew what was going on were also watching her. They started keeping real close tabs on her. And it wasn’t hard.

Also her days were kept trying to live her life without anyone knowing she actually had money and resources. This meant she cultivated relationships with some of the local shop owners. Most people went to the superstores. The ones that were located centrally among a few neighborhoods. These were the largest employers for most people in the neighborhoods. Yet every now and then in some neighborhoods a few small shop owners still carried on banded and bonded together in very small clusters.  She knew one area and did most of her shopping with them. It was tough for these shop owners. They were always under the threat of being robbed if anyone of the gangs thought they had manage to have a good day’s business. The police existed, but were under instructions not to help them too much. Every now and then the police would make a show so the local politicians could continue to justify the outrageous property taxes charged on the small businesses. The shop keepers were in business more for the independence they felt from the corporate stores than actually earning enough money to make the effort worthwhile.

She supported them as much as she could. Easily all her business would go with them, but many times they just weren’t able to keep the shelves stocked on a regular basis. The business owners were also pressed out of goods by distributors forced to make sure the corporate stores received all the business and only would supply them when the corporate stores were overstocked. This actually happened frequently since many people’s budgets were so tight because of their wages being garnished or having withholding for so much that people just couldn’t afford to buy enough regularly. So this strange control of people’s wages through tax withholding, insurance, the boss’ payoff percentage so a person could keep their job and a host of other small endeavors that were withheld kept some of the people trying to take advantage of the masses unable to earn enough for themselves. Too much graft and corruption had emptied the pie most weeks. The stores were always squeezing workers hours to make up for lost sales so the system was always struggling even though it was supposedly set up for all to thrive. Lost wages meant less sales which meant less hours and everyone struggled. Well almost everyone, there were people who managed this economic conundrum very well. They were very few and far between though. And they watched for anything that might disturb this world even in the most minute detail. Yet the small businesses survived because there was always some overstock items they could receive for their stores. Or was it they survived because they absorbed mismanagement of goods.

 She was a very good customer and the store owners kept that very quiet. They knew that if it got out how well she shopped with them they knew the day she shopped would guarantee a robbery that the police would come out to investigate, but oh so sorry not be able to solve the crime or arrest anyone because well you know….. it was hard work police work….. criminals were always very crafty and got away. But the police always ate much better than the rest of the neighborhood.

She would go early in the morning. Most people did not get up early because well there wasn’t much to do if you didn’t have a job, but join a gang and be up all night terrorizing someone or party all night engaging in some very inexpensive way to “get high” which basically involved ingesting chemicals so cheaply made that it eventually destroyed brains and killed people after only a few years at most. The shopkeepers would always get up early each day in hopes that this might be a day she would come. It actually kept them in good shape hoping for her business. So with any customer they were very prepared, aware, and considerate. This made shopping with them by anyone that paid attention a joyful outing. Much more pleasant than going to the corporate stores so the small businesses survived.