Tales Off The Script

Magic was the way of the land, though for some reason magic quit working. Business was created to take the place of magic. Instead of Wizards and Warlocks, there became Business Moguls. Powerful Businessmen who were able to achieve deals and gather power that almost equaled that of the great wizards of yore.

Each kingdom of the world had their own businessmen who peddled their wares across the kingdom. For some time everyone was happy. The most successful of the businessmen secretly wanted more. Like the rulers of the kingdoms they wanted more power, more wealth, and more prestige.

Although it was frowned upon, some of the businessmen started trading their wares with businessmen of other kingdoms. Not everyone was happy with the arrangement. Rulers of the kingdoms thought the businessmen who traded across borders were overstepping their bounds. After all, a businessman who traded across borders could become as powerful or more powerful as the rulers themselves, and what ruler in their right mind wants that to happen?

One particularly successful business sold a drink we shall call Hooch. Hooch quickly became the drink of choice wherever it was sold. The business named itself Hooch. At present Hooch was sold in multiple kingdoms, and many people were happy with this as they loved the taste of Hooch. Hooch was so successful in fact, it allowed the owners of Hooch to create a small line of products that also sold across several kingdoms successfully. Money flowed into the coffers of Hooch corp. Yet they were not satisfied.

Rulers of the kingdoms where the owners of Hooch was located were not at all happy with the success of Hooch and the companies newest products. It was becoming annoying to the king, hearing from Hooch, what Hooch did and did not like about how the kingdom was ruled.

Hooch became so obsessed with how the government should run according to Hootch, they tentatively dipped a toe into the running waters of the kingdom’s government. It was disastrous. No one wanted the owners of Hooch trying to direct how the kingdom was governed. People were happy more or less, and the vision for the kingdom the Hooch owners had was not shared by many in the kingdom.

Hooch corporation, after being flatly rejected for their ideas and the fact they were outside the ruling circles of the kingdom’s government decided a new strategic long range approach was needed to change the ruling of the kingdom into something that befitted themselves.

What Hooch did was quietly hire some of the greatest analytical minds to study the system of government and find tools Hooch could use to change government to their liking. Eventually a plan was formed. Hooch would not directly involve itself in trying to change the way the kingdom was ruled. Hooch realized a more camouflaged and subtler approach to getting their way.

The kingdom’s government, for various reasons was always in need of new people. People retired, fell out of favor, got lazy, or just stepped down from their positions for personal reasons. Hooch, in extending their influence in a quiet almost unnoticed manner scrubbed and manicured people they liked and had the biggest chance of gaining a vacant government position.

For many years nothing obvious happened, but Hooch was patient. Business was good and the people in the minor positions they started in were in were making minor changes to how business could conduct itself which just happened to favor Hooch as much or more than other businesses,

Little by little, very subtly, Hooch was changing the face of rule in the kingdom. After a few decades, they controlled several key government offices. It was now time to come out of the closet. Hooch was responsible for many of the people placed in key government positions and there was no longer a need to be subtle. It was time to unleash the real Hooch agenda.

Made up politics and stories are eventually found to be fishy

Through aspiring speeches, not quite defined promises, and other questionable methods, Hooch tried to turn the will of the people against the rulers of the kingdom. They told large groups exactly what they wanted to hear that would improve their lives. Maybe it was true, maybe it was smoke and mirrors. At any rate their methods were improving the position of Hooch in its quest to control the government.

Unfortunately, in this time, the King’s term had expired, which was fortunate for Hooch. Many of the candidates who could become the future king were and had been backed by Hooch for some years now. Of the several who pretended to be vying to become king, they were essentially all one. These candidates were so indebted to Hooch corporation there was no question about where their loyalty was. They owed their livelihood and success to Hooch corp, who could cut them off and put them on the roadside in a heart beat. Most of the contenders for the position of King promoted the Hooch agenda, and Hooch was not intending to improve the lot of the average person.

Something totally unforeseen happened however. Out of nowhere came a new candidate who told the kingdom he wanted to be king. For the Hooch corporation it became even worse. Not only did this new person have no allegiance to Hooch, one by one he was dismantling all the careful planning Hooch had contrived and implemented over the decades.

Hooch corporation puppet candidates were shown to be what they really were. Puppets of an invisible master. They had no formal plan, no real agenda, and no goals other than Hooch corporation goals that could not be stated in public. Hooch corporation tried to bribe and reign in this new candidate for king, but they were refused. Worse yet, they were spurned by the candidate.

When it was all said and done, much of the planning by the Hooch corporation was ripped asunder. The new King it was found had no real agenda other than that which matched his own interests. Hooch was driven back i to lick its wounds and plan revenge. Hooch corporation was not about to admit defeat.

Hooch corp, did what it does best. It studied the new king and his actions from announcing he planned to be the new king to the present moment. Then Hooch went to work. Having enormous influence in the government and news services, they put their puppets to work. Stories were told about the new king. Most were factual and terribly polarized. Some were bent truths. All were intended to deface the new king.

To apply even more pressure, Hooch brought into the light information that had been in the dark. It may be all smoke and no fire, but it is damaging all the same. Then Hooch did something even worse. They started attacking the reputation and intents of the kings family and friends.

Almost alone stood the new king. Enemies at every turn, almost no one could be trusted. The media was gorging itself, telling and retelling each new bone they found, timely unearthed by Hooch corp. Hooch took its political business seriously and did not like being made to look fooling have their hopes and plans dashed on the shores of defeat. They wanted the new King shamed, punished and removed from office.

The kingdom and its government is at odds with itself. Hooch corp is working furiously to hide their own agenda and make the newly elected king look foolish and dangerous for the long term goals of the kingdom. How much Hooch corp can influence and change the king’s place remains to be seen. It may be mentioned that time is not on their side.

The people of the kingdom can only be complacent or fooled for so long. Eventually the kingdoms people will wake up and see how their world has been bent and skewed in such subtle ways they didn’t realize what was happening to them.

It is likely the people of the kingdom will run out of patience and there will occur a great change in the kingdom and the people will no longer be as complacent as they once were. New people will enter the government and they will answer to the people and not a corporation. Or maybe not depending on how many scraps are thrown to them.

Can Public Art Be Public Hate

Does art become hate? I’m having a hard time deciding. It reminds me of being a kid and looking at renaissance nude art and trying to decide whether it’s soft porn, or really art. I decided at the time some of the ‘art’ was erotic tending to pornographic, no matter what the ‘experts’ call it. I wasn’t old enough to buy it in a magazine, but I could ’study’ it in upscale books and see it in museums.

Some four hundred years ago, a Spanish Conquistador named Juan de Oñate, arrived at the Acoma Pueblo, in what is now New Mexico. What followed at Acoma Pueblo was a brutal battle which the people of the pueblo lost, along with the lives of hundreds of the pueblo peoples.

When does “art” cross the line into something else?

The survivors were taken prisoner and tried. Juan de Oñate severely punished the pueblo peoples. All male prisoners over twenty five had one foot cut off as punishment, and were sentenced to decades of servitude to Spanish families. Younger men were also sentenced servitude. Young women and girls were sent to Mexico City to serve as ‘servants’ to Spanish families.

Some Hopi men who were caught in the battle had there right hand cut off. All this was seen as proper justice back in the day. It mattered little that the Acoma People were defending their home and family from previous acts of Spanish injustice.

In the city of Espanola, New Mexico, a bronze statue of Juan de Oñate was put up against fierce opposition by people who believe Oñate’s statue would be a tribute to hate and genocide, and best forgotten. Up it went anyway.

On the eve of the 400’th anniversary of Spanish arrival celebration plans a group of people cut the right foot off of the statue of Oñate in memory of the brutality that he caused upon the Acoma Pueblo People. Of course people who think of Oñate as a hero were outraged.

More recently, in Mankato, Minnesota, 1862, 38 Native American men were hanged en mass per orders from President Lincoln as punishment for recent uprisings. The 38 men were hanged  in the town square with an estimated 4000 people looking on and cheering at the sight.

The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota saw fit in 2012 to allow a gallows scaffolding recreation be erected in the name of ‘art’ amid uproars and dissension from no small amount of people. Only in the last few weeks has this ‘art’ been deemed offensive and the ‘art’ gallows will be taken down.

I remember the public outcry some years back when and “artist” placed a crucifix in a jar of what looked like urine, photographed it, and put it on display calling it, “Piss Christ” (1987). The outrage over this was amazing. The picture was damaged beyond repair about two years later.

Looking back on that incident it seems, whether art is indeed art or something else, depends on how many people are offended by it, and whether they are a minority or not? When does ‘art’ cross the line to become a public display of hate?

The Recrimination of Harley Hanson – and Other Fiction

Harley Hanson was a loser by all accounts except for maybe his mother. Harley drifted from town to town and job to job. Harley was a scammer, petty thief, and guilty of most other minor offenses. Harley lived a hard live filled with alcohol and illegal drugs. There were not a lot of redeeming qualities in Harley Hanson.

Harley discovered by accident he had one talent that could make his life easier. At first Harley didn’t what to do with it, or how to apply his discovered talent. Harley, from so much time on the road, scamming and lying, found he was becoming very good at manipulating people.

With a little stretch, Harley learned he could manipulate street kids who no real purpose in their life who were looking for something, though they knew not what. Excitement was the key for these adult children, and Harley became their ringleader.

Harley was unsure how to apply his new found skill set. Harley toyed around with his newfound talent, manipulating different types of people, usually street people in their late teens who had pliable personalities and thrived on excitement to temper their otherwise bleak life.

Harley started out by having these street people provide him with food, cigarettes, and drugs. Food eventually graduated to places to stay where Harley could hang out, eating more or less regularly, taking hot showers and wearing clean clothes. Harley was starting to like this change to his circumstances.

As Harley worked on improving his manipulation skills, he found these homeless people wanted an authority figure in their life. Someone who would take control and direct them without being authoritative or to parental. Someone who would direct them without judgement.

Harley worked hard on ‘his’ people. They brought him what he needed and more importantly, wanted. They in turn were receiving something they never had at home. Someone who made them feel good and wanted without the strings attached by their parents.

As Harley continued to exert his influence, Harley found he had to be ever more creative in the excitement he provided for his group. The group was now larger, and the smaller childish pranks he was having them do to provide excitement, was now becoming more of the same to most of the group and they were getting bored and reluctant.

Harley found he had to make some major changes. First Harley had to apply more control and pressure to keep everyone in line, doing what he wanted them to do. Harley did this by elevating his own status, and manipulating the group into believing what Harley wanted was good for the group, even though individual members may question the benefit of good for the group.

Harley needed his core followers to believe in him, so they would provide the stick that kept the rest of the group in line. The crime games, which up to now had been pretty immature, consisting of scaring people, didn’t really give the group the thrill they wanted.

The street is real, they story is not,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Harley’s group of followers were becoming bored with childish pranks. Harley knew he had to raise the stakes, or watch his little group erupt and disband before him. Harley tweaked and prodded, moving the group towards higher levels of violence that both provided excitement at new levels and cemented the group to him and each other.

Who in Harley’s group after participating in mostly mindless violence along with three or four other group members could break away from the group? Harley was now learning to rule by fear and manipulation.Harley found it wasn’t that hard, and it came with benefits.

Individuals in Harley’s group were scared of what would happen to them if they left the group. Harley was now making unstated threats about what would happen if any of the group’s members tried to leave. They may escape the group, but there remained the fear Harley would send others out to harm their parents or other family members.

In spite of this, Harley’s little group continued to become bored with each uptick in the crimes Harley had them commit. Harley knew he had to pick it up. One afternoon Harley had a flash of insight and a fuzzy plan.

Harley started telling the group that they could commit serious crimes and get away with them. Think of the excitement of committing serious felony level crimes and having the crimes blamed on someone else. Harley was a little fuzzy on who would get the blame for the crimes, but that answer too Harley arrived at in a dream.

Harley’s group started believing they really would commit grizzly murder(s) and leave evidence showing the crime was committed by a group who didn’t yet exist. Who were the perfect group to blame the murders on, Harley wondered as he raised the level of excitement by talking about several grizzly murders and not just one.

Finally, Harley could not contain his followers any longer. The follower’s had talked themselves into how easy it was going to be to commit murder and blame this other group. They wanted to believe that Harley’s planning would protect them from discovery. Harley was now leader of a group of people who with little prodding wanted the excitement of murder in their otherwise pathetic existence.

To make a longer story shorter, Harley sent out his murder crews. Murders were committed, and Harley’s group eventually came under suspicion, were rounded up and arrested, charged with the murders.

Now comes the brilliant part of the story, which is well out of Harley’s control and knowledge. Harley, because he needed the attention so badly, never realized he was being manipulated himself. It never dawned on Harley, it was possible that he would be manipulated as easy as he had manipulated his followers.

The media was fed a fictitious story and they sucked it up without questioning a single detail. They practically fought each other, trying to be the first on the air with the newest turn of morbid events. Wheels of a master plan were set in motion, and the press drank it up and spewed it out without a second thought. So did the jury.

Everything that happened out of the ordinary during the trial was attributed to Harley. Harley could do things using apparently supernatural powers. Harley being in league with the devil was intimated, but never spoken out loud by the mainstream press. Harley being the star of the show, played along. Harley never realized what was going on.

How does a lawyer defend his client(s) who surely would be put to death for murder because the evidence is overwhelming, and the clients all but confessed to the killings? The solution was nothing short of brilliant!

One legal team with one defendant made it very clear to their client, that if they wanted to live, rather than being put to death, there was a way to do it. The legal defense team knew they couldn’t do it alone. The rest of the band of cold blooded killers had to agree to and help carry out the plan to sell it to the jury.

What choice did they have really? Either face a quick trial and the death penalty, or join the team and play roles that just might save their lives? Given the brutal reality of their choice, it did not take a lot of convincing for all the accused to play along as a team.

The fundamental idea was, it had to be a team effort and it had to be convincing. The defendants appeared to protect and then turned on Harley as a group, playing their parts to perfection. The play acting the group accomplished did not take a lot of new skills, as they were accomplished play actors in their own right, calling on their life skills of acting for the roles they were about to play.

It went without saying, it was Harley – who was drifter, lowlife, and human scum who would be the fall guy. It was not a hard sell. Brilliant choreography supported by solid acting was carried out. Each member of the murder team were consummate professionals, their lives depended on their selling this story.

The group under the direction of a superb legal team sold their story, which of course was never seriously questioned. Sensationalism in the press reigned supreme, and other voices were drowned out.

Harley enjoyed being portrayed by the press as all powerful, with the ability to control the minds of innocent adult children, stemming on the supernatural, enjoyed playing his part. Harley expected to be found guilty as he was already tried in the public eye, spoon fed by the press. Harley had been kicked around his whole life, nothing had changed, really. Harley decided he would play his role with enthusiasm and gusto.

To help make a long story shorter, Harley was thrown under the bus, made into a monster just short of being Satan himself. Harley was sentenced to the most severe penalties the State was able to inflict.

It went better for the group of murderer’s. By placing all the blame squarely on Harley, they managed to escape with their lives. The fate of a few of the group was much better than could have been hoped for.

The only remaining condition was silence. Harley Hanson was a nobody, and would be thrown away. Harley was so in love with his imagined prestige, he kept playing the part. The rest of the convicted had to be forever silent. Living by the pretext they were wayward adult child innocents who were manipulated against their will by the fiendish monster Harley. They have done it, and so it is.

Cracked Skin Relief is Cheap and Effective

I have had problems with cracking skin for a long time. Cracked skin comes on with the dry fall weather and comes and goes over the winter until spring. Cracked skin hurts. Cracked skin hurts more when it becomes infected.

It is not a strong pain. Just a reminder every time you step or pick up something that your skin is cracked. Many people have said the obvious. Use lotion. While lotion helps, lotion does not seem to be any kind of fix. I have also been told to wear plastic gloves. Again not a good solution.

The main problem with cracking skin is thick dry skin I have found. Especially around my heels. The skin gets thick from the summer weather when I tend to go barefoot more often. Also my hand skin sometimes cracks. Usually it is on the tip of my finger on either side of my finger nail. Occasionally a crack will show up on the edge of my hand.

The best fix I know for fall and winter cracking skin

The best fix I know for fall and winter cracking skin

After so many years of trial and error, I still do not have a good method in place to prevent my skin from cracking. I have however found a method that helps. When my skin now cracks, I found I can heal my cracking skin faster than normal. This method heals up a skin crack in the fastest possible way. I will share it with you so you can try it out too.

Cracking skin left alone, because it is only an irritant and not real pain often becomes infected. Then a mild irritant becomes a major pain. Then we wish we would have done something about it before the skin cracked.

For feet and hands where the skin is thick, I find a nail file works very well. Often just filing away the dead skin keeps the skin from cracking. I also found an item that acts as a skin rasp collecting the shaved skin for deposit rather than letting the skin fall to the floor.

A nail file works well on its own. Just put a sheet of paper under the area you are going to file to catch the skin dust. The more aggressive the nail file the faster the dead skin build up is removed. I have found the nail file tends to leave live skin alone.

When my skin cracks anyway, I have found a simple solution. Hydrogen Peroxide and lotion that coats the skin, although any lotion will work. Using a few drops hydrogen peroxide on the cracked skin area disinfects the cracked skin. Infected skin does not heal well.

After a few applications of hydrogen peroxide dry the cracked area. I have found toilet paper works fine. Hydrogen Peroxide is like bleach and will bleach a colored cloth, so unless it is scrap material, cloth is not a good choice.

After the cracked area is dry, apply a drop or two of lotion. Some lotions work better than others, although even olive oil will suffice if lotion is not an option. Allow the lotion time to dry.

I have found cleaning with hydrogen peroxide and coating with lotion three times a day promotes the fastest healing. As the cracked skin heals, dead skin around the crack should be removed daily by filing or sanding. This promotes the healing process and allows the skin to mend quickly.

The most effective deterrent to cracking skin I have found is the nail file or skin rasp. Skin that is supple and not covered with callous is much less likely to crack than thick dry calloused skin that is being forced to flex.

This is the best method for managing winter skin cracks I have found. If you have fall and winter cracking skin, I hope my method helps you.

Driving with Deer

Driving with the possibility of having one or more deer dart out on the road varies by where you are driving. This article applies to driving on a road where the probability of deer being present is high. When driving in deer country, the way you drive should be modified, especially at night or in other poor visibility driving conditions.

Take notice of the landscape you are driving through. What is the terrain around the road you are driving on. Can a deer run out on the road without being seen until the deer is on the road, or do you have  clear view of both sides of the road?

Always heed Deer are present in area signs

Always heed Deer are present in area signs

 

Is it day or night time? Deer are most active during dawn and dusk, but if they are being bothered by predators such as pack dogs, they will run. Running into the road may be the only direction a deer can escape danger in.

Evening or poor visibility changes your driving options

Evening or poor visibility changes your driving options

What season you are in makes a difference. Deer breed or ‘Rut’ in the late fall. When this happens male deer known as Buck, rounds up as many female deer, known as Does, as he can, hoping to breed with each of his new found harem. Often some of the Doe’s are not in the mood to breed at the moment and try to run off given the chance.

The Buck, herds the Does moving them in front of him in an attempt to keep them together and distance himself from rival Bucks attentions.The Does, are being pushed or herded, so stepping out on the road in front of a moving car is no different for them than moving through the woods.

Your view of the road and sides of the road is much better during the daylight hours. You have a better chance of seeing a deer moving toward the road than you do when the lighting is poor. Deer are adaptably colored. They are difficult to see any time of the day or night.

Look for movement first and the shape of a deer secondly, while scanning both sides of the roadway. Our eyes are better at noticing movement than they are picking out a deer partially hidden by shrubs or grass.

Travel at a reasonable speed. The distance you can slow down, stop or swerve if need be is more important than how long the trip will take. The trip will take much longer if you hit a deer and you are hurt and your car damaged.

If you are driving at night, slow down. You have to observe everything you watch in the daytime when deer may be present. With it being night time, you are now depending on your headlights to light the road for you. Most car headlights do a better job of lighting the road ahead than they do lighting the sides of the road.

If memory serves, about fifty-five miles per hour or eight-eight kilometer per hour is about the fastest one can drive and have a reasonable chance of avoiding hitting a deer with ample visual warning.

Any faster than these speeds and you greatly increase the probability that you are overdriving your headlights. Of course road conditions and visual warning times are the best indicator of the speed you should drive at.

Be careful of overdriving your headlights. Drive too fast in the wrong conditions, and the deer you see becomes the deer you hit.

Overdriving Your Headlights

 

“Overdriving your headlights means not being able to stop inside the illuminated area ahead. It is difficult to judge other vehicles’ speeds and distances at night. Do not overdrive your headlights—it creates a blind “crash area” in front of your vehicle. You should be able to stop inside the illuminated area ahead.”

When possible, ensure a vehicle is in front of you or on the side a deer is likely to come from

When possible, ensure a vehicle is in front of you or on the side a deer is likely to come from

Whenever possible after you have taken other precautions, get behind a blocker vehicle. A blocker vehicle is any vehicle you can follow that will hit any deer that come onto the road. In the picture below the vehicle, semi-truck in this case is in the far right lane. Any deer venturing on the road is going to be hit by the truck, and not by my vehicle. I have a clear view of the left side of the road giving me plenty of time to stop or swerve if need be.

Common sense rules the road when driving on roads known for having deer in the area. Requirements vary from location to location on signage. When you see a road sign notifying you there are deer in the area for the next xxx miles take heed. Deer warning signs are posted whenever a certain number of deer are hit or killed in a specified time.

I took this picture this morning. I took the picture through my car window. Deer can and will be anywhere.

Unless there are high fences, deer can be anywhere

Unless there are high fences, deer can be anywhere

Fall and the Walking Path

As I walked along during the spring and summer, I was curious if my stopping to pull weeds and pick up trash from the side of the walking path was worth my time. I am happy to write: A spring and summer of pulling weeds along the walking path I take has come to fruition.

Here are a few pictures for you to enjoy from my walking path. Included pictures are of Desert Willow, Wild Aster, Wild Geranium, Sunset.

The Desert Willow, which can be purchased locally, is a volunteer along this path.

Can be purchased locally, but this one is a volunteer,

Can be purchased locally, but this one is a volunteer,

 

Wild Aster did well this year and are plentiful

Wild Aster did well this year due to the weather.

Wild Aster did well this year due to the weather.

 

Wild Geranium was not so happy with this years weather, it is not as showy as usual.

Not as showy as previous years, but still pretty

Not as showy as previous years, but still pretty

 

Finally what is the Southwest, without a sunset?

If you love sunsets, visit New Mexico!

If you love sunsets, visit New Mexico!

 

I hope you enjoyed these pictures of Albuquerque and New Mexico in general!

Hummingbird Feeding in the Fall

When it comes to Humming birds and the fall, people hear things about Hummingbirds they tend to believe. Around here it is a Labor Day event. Well meaning people faithfully feed Hummingbirds starting in the early spring, throughout the summer and into the fall.

Once Labor Day arrives, to many people pull their feeders because it has been passed from mouth to mouth so many times it must be true, “Hummingbirds need to head south for the winter after Labor Day”. Unfortunately, no one has ever told the hummingbirds.

In the fall, first year hummingbirds are still putting on weight for the arduous flight ahead. The parents, who spent the summer feeding their offspring, finally get to keep all their food to themselves. Can you imagine what happens when the Hummingbirds come to their feeders to find they are missing?

Taking in hummingbird feeders too early, is like hauling away your refrigerator on Labor Day. What do the birds do for the energy they need to head south? They are forced to start their migration early, because unlike a natural process where the food supply goes away naturally, the go from feast to famine overnight.

Not only the effect on the local birds, but pulling your feeder from the yard effects any hummingbirds who are looking for food on their flight south. They may remember there was food their last year and head for your feeder. Only to find air where the feeder was last year.

There is a number of weeks between Labor Day and frost. During these weeks, local and traveling hummingbirds need your feeder. Leave it out with fresh syrup. It doesn’t cost much, and the hummingbirds will remember your feeder on the return trip.

I have two pictures here. One about syrup, and the second about cleaning your feeder. I have two feeders, so the process is simple. I fill up the second feeder with a ratio of 1:4 sugar to water. In my case that is 1/2 cup sugar to 2 cups water. Some people use less sugar and others use more. The water needs to be fresh and clean. Try not to get your fingers or other containments in the mix. I use room temperature water, and the sugar dissolves within minutes with steady stirring.

Many people use a 1:4 sugar to water ratio

Many people use a 1:4 sugar to water ratio

This second picture is how I clean the feeders between use. Feeders are community food bowls for Hummingbirds. They get dirty and moldy, so I take care to clean them well. First I wash and rinse them just like any pot or pan. Then I soak the feeder in a bucket of water and bleach. On the third morning I take it out to let the feeder dry out. Later in the day, I make a fresh batch of syrup and put it out in the now cleaned feeder.

It's a good idea to bleach any bird feeder now and then

It’s a good idea to bleach any bird feeder now and then

Nuts About Nuts

Nuts are something I never gave much thought to until recently. I had been buying premium brands of tree nuts for some time now. I eat tree nuts daily. In one of the stores I shop in, tree nuts for baking and cereal are in the same aisle. When I looked at the ingredients of the ‘Premium’ brand I noticed the oils listed are not the nut oils, but other oils used in frying.

What's in your nut?

What’s in your nut?

I went to the bakery section and looked at the oils contained in a package of baking tree nuts. The only oils listed are the natural oil of the nut itself, no other oils listed as ingredients.

Whose nuts are better?

Whose nuts are better?

Being curious I went to the web to find out about the differences. I was surprised by what I discovered. What I discovered made me change from buying premium tree nuts to the less expensive baking brands.

Most people who make nuts a part of their diet, do so for the oils the nuts contain. Nut oil is thought to be healthier than off the shelf oils and a good healthy source of fat in a diet.

Premium nuts as I understood from what I read are generally deep fried. Premium nuts do not really have to be premium in all respects. They do not need to be fresh, or packed with their own oils. Any nut that meets the processor’s requirements, is not too old or rancid, can be a premium nut.

What I did not find out was if the nut oils are intentionally extracted. If the nut oils are extracted, then premium nuts are not premium at all. These nuts are a by product of the nut oil extraction process.

Whether what I understand is true or not, two things are obvious about nuts. Baking nuts are less expensive than premium nuts. Baking nut oils are the better, natural nut oil, not a lower cost oil used for commercial processing.

Important stuff for people who eat nuts on a daily basis. Depending on which type of tree nut you buy, you may be missing, what you think you are getting from the tree nut. As for taste, well that is an individual choice.

Customer Satisfaction and Cleanliness are not Disparate

Hello,

I dined at…with my wife last week. As usual we had a wonderful meal. My wife had…and I had…. As always, service was superb and the food cooked to perfection. The meal for me however was diminished by my view of the backs of the two booths.

I know with lighting dim, and shift workers in a rush, cleaning flat surfaces is a low priority. I attached a picture as it says more than words. I was facing the cooking area, so the location should be easy to find.

I wanted to bring this to your attention as I know you may wish to do a super clean before booth cleanliness comes to the attention of other customers.

We have been…customers since the eighties, and…has consistently set the standard for…not only in…, but also the state. No reason why…will not continue to lead.

Thank you,

Is cleanliness a lost art for a non fast food business?

Is cleanliness a lost art for a non fast food business?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I took this picture as I was not happy looking at smeared food and thought perhaps I should share my view with the restaurant. After a week or so I decided I paid enough for the meal and should not have to see smeared food.

I checked to see if the company had a website. They do and have an email address for leaving comments. As you read above, I left a comment. Notice in my email, I did not ask for anything. I was not looking for a free appetizer or free meal after they clean up the premises – thinking they did act on my email.

This is a quality oriented business and they take their product very seriously. So what’s the beef? At the least I expected some sort of non committal reply, stating they received my email/comment and would look into the situation.

Better yet would have been some sort of apology for having a customer, me in this case, looking at smeared food on the booth backs. Maybe we have been spoiled by chain fast food establishment cleanliness standards?

If this were a hamburger stand, or a family restaurant I would understand, stuff happens, and kids are creative. However, this is an adult oriented upscale dining establishment which charges accordingly. This was not fresh food on the booth backs.

On the other side. If I had sent an email saying what a great meal it was, how good the beer tasted, and the whiskey chaser for desert really hit the spot, would I have received a reply?

If you own or run a business, and take pride in your business, give your customers an avenue to provide you comments, you owe your customers who leave a comment the benefit of a reply. Lack of a reply is a disservice to the customer, and a detractor to the business. Much like having a employee bulletin board of policy that no one reads.

More Words than a picture

A picture may be worth a thousand words. Having an on-top of it Manager overseeing your business is worth much more as seen in the following pictures.

The first picture is of a placard at a local Applebee’s. The business of this Applebee’s at least is customer satisfaction through employee perfection. The greeters, wait staff, cooks, and bus staff are true professionals. They work and maybe live the slogan (below) they walk by going to and from the kitchen area. I only stop in for lunch, and while I am there, I think, “Wow, what a great place this must be to work at!”

What every business should strive for - property of Applebee's

What every business should strive for

This store on the other hand is one store of a national chain. In this case office oriented products from paper to printers. One look at the trash can was enough to catch my attention about the state of the business at this particular store.

The outside grounds between the store and parking lot were filthy. The store itself needed better lighting. It looked like saving on the electric bill was more important than the customer experience. Not one person smiled as I was asked if I needed help.

It feels dirty and have not even entered the store yet.

It feels dirty and have not even entered the store yet.

The thing is, people notice. A very few people like me look around from the parking lot to the bathroom. For other people it is just a feeling that the business feels sort of icky and they want to get out as quickly as possible even. Customers in this second dingy looking store spend less time pondering whether they should make a purchase. Customers are quicker to leave and spend their money at a place that feels cleaner and fresher.

If you serve the public, and you want to make the best impression, look at your business as your customer’s do. Starting with the parking lot, is everything clean and tidy? Is the lighting appropriate? Do your employees look as if they want to be there? Do you want to be there?

Having a dirty building front, visible smoking employees, old gum and trash near the entrance, poor lighting are some of the things that turn off repeat business. The biggest hit to the bottom line is your customers spending their money somewhere else. Clean up your business so your customers want to stay and return in the future.