Doyle's Fish & Hicky Bar


Friday, May 21, 2010

The Art of AD Carver

    My Dad is retired from the hustle of the working world.   He worked in the oilfields of Texas, Arkansas and even Montana all of his life.   He admits now that he enjoyed his work but I'm sure he wouldn't have back then.   Too much hard labor in miserable weather.     He spends his hard earned time now retired, fishing, and tinkering.   If you want to see some of that oilfield history you can visit the East Texas Oil Museum.
Lately he picked up his pocket knife and began to whittle.  (he doesn't call it carving)
     Whittling goes way back in my family and was a men's social tradition of sorts.   When  I was a child I remember sitting under Papaw's mimosa tree with the old men of the family.  Im sure some as young as 17 or 18.   They were all old to me.    As they settled down in the old colorful metal lawn chairs they would all produce a bit of wood or a stick found  underfoot and whittle as they talked.   Most of them didn't have to make anything either.   They just whittled away and  probably wound up with toothpicks.   Even me, I had a small pocket knife and would whittle away at whatever I could find to fit in with the men.   In those days you simply weren't a man if you didn't have a pocket knife.    I don't feel much different about that even now. Its something about being prepared to work at a moments notice.   It feels manly somehow and Ive tried to convey that to my son and others over the years.
     Dad I think remembers all this as well but with the added effort of actually making something.    Cool thing is he whittles scenes from his memories of his working life.    I'm very proud of him doing this and wanted to share it a bit.   The whittling art of A.D. Carver.


Saturday, April 17, 2010

Whiskey Dick's Bike and Car Show

Written  Aug 2001.

 Saturday the 28th of July was a rare day for me and my shovel.  Everything was working, nothing needed repair, the sky was blue, and the my lady wanted to ride.  As every item I just mentioned can go to hell in a couple a minutes, I didn’t mess around.  Off to Whiskey Dick’s we went  for the Bike and Car Show.  It threatened rain that morning and did actually sprinkle on me in the driveway.  That moisture made a lot of bikers and car owners puss out at the ice house.  We didn’t get a drop though.
     Why I relive this weekend is based on an article I just read of Gypsy’s.  I have read her often in the free motorcycle rags found in the bike shops.  When you read someone for awhile, you begin to feel like you know them.  At least a little.  Her burnout statement had made an impression.  I was introduced to Gypsy, unbeknownst to her, at Whiskey Dick’s by a red head named Alex or Lexx, or Alexia.  Now, Lexx, is your typical red headed- model- writer- music- editor- biker- babe.   She was very talkative and friendly as she pressed L2R propaganda on us.  I also had the pleasure of watching Fat Robert take a picture of her as she straddled one of the beautiful bikes.  A beautiful pair man!  I’m speaking of her and the bike of course.
     Oh, back to Gypsy.  I never actually met this woman as she seemed preoccupied and busy, like she was on a mission or something.  After reading her article, I realize now that she actually was.  I don’t know what I expected but Gypsy is a knockout!   A lot of guys forgot what they were doing for the moment in time it took for her to walk by.  A bunch of dumb bastards frozen in position from scratching their ass to polishing their bikes.  Did time stand still?  I don’t think I’m the one to ask as I blanked out with the rest of the them.  She was wearing this bikini top too.......
     Anyway, me and the group I was with were slamming long necks and jostling for position around the fans.  Whiskey Dick’s has no ceiling fans so we had to make do with about 5 floor fans.  They were those big round 4 foot tall bastards you find in mechanic shops.  The bar had just about half of what was necessary to actually keep us cool.  Then again, maybe staying cool was impossible that day.  Every time we would hear a  new bike roll in we had to run out side to stare at it.  Did I mention that there was a bike show going on?  And a car show?  We would be standing in front of Buster’s Leathers admiring these insane rides when heat stroke would near overtake us.  Buster’s woman would then spray us down with this mist thang.  Then, feeling momentarily human again, I would buy beer for us all.  Don’t know how many times this happened.  Heat, mist, beer.  Over and over.  Twilight Zone, only with a good ending.
     In the midst of this self-induced sun trauma some glib talking bro managed to convince two bikini clad cuties to wash cars.  What kind of car?  Who cares!  Did I mention that these two were wearing bikinis?  I do remember in the wavering heat that these two poor beauties were having to wash a black vehicle.  Sheesh.  Like trying to wash a hot muffler.  Then, a burly biker hurryed by talking about a wet t-shirt contest.  I grabbed my camera and joined the stampede into the bar.  I was distracted by two rather buxom young ladies stepping into this wading pool by the building.  I don’t know about the other men present, but I was dumbfounded as it dawned on me that I was about to watch two, for real, bathing beauties battle it out in this over size wading pool.  They circled each other warily then flounced, I mean pounced!  The war was on!!  I didn’t think my poor camera could keep up.  These beautiful Amazons straining the very seams of their scant clothes pummelled and tossed each other about brutally.  I kept my camera ready for the impending explosion of breasticles to come.  One poor guy, enthralled by these feminine wrestlers got a little close and was threatened about having his favorite appendage removed by a dark haired wrestler’s teeth!  Needless to say we all backed up.  The two battlers, finally winded and generally pooped, clung to each other for long minutes and climbed slowly from the pool and went into the bar to find a fan and rest.  I was left standing there with my camera throbbing, I mean smoking.  How they managed to be so seductively violent and acrobatic and NOT LOSE THEIR TOPS will be a mystery I will sadly ponder for years.
     We all ran inside and gangbanged fans.  Did I mention that I loaned the blond wrestler a pen and she bought me a beer?    Next time I’ll bring a typewriter to loan out.
     In the midst of all this they began the loud bike contest.  Not sure who won as I couldn’t understand a word anybody said for quite awhile after that.  I drank more beer to clear the ringing outa my ears.  Amazingly it worked!  As I was taking my new ear medicine the judges gathered and began to choose the best of the best in their categories.  While they were doing their nit picking I met a lithe young lady with a white custom dresser with 76,000 miles on it.  It just goes to show, you can’t judge an iron butt by its cover, or something like that.  How these judges choose between two seemingly perfect custom bikes baffles me.  They even had a single rat bike to look at!  Don’t see many of them anymore.
     After they handed out the plaques to all the winners the place began to thin pretty fast.  We were pretty much baked through and through by that point.  We gathered ourselves up and began to consider where to go next.  Never did see  where Gypsy got off to.  Maybe she entered the wet T-shirt contest but I doubt it.  She was probably on the sidelines somewhere doing her reporting thing.   She ain’t very tall so we probably just lost her in the crowd.  Maybe we should have invited her to run with us that evening.  My group had a large time of it mainly because we don’t do it as often as we would like.  It’s a pleasant change from our daily grind.  To others it is the daily grind and I hate that for them.  We traveled to two other bars that evening and made our way home pretty late.  The only mishap being the loss of low beam on my headlight.  I pretty much blinded my bro all the way home.  Oh yeah, I could have ridden in the front but he’s so picky about that little bit of oil I’m blowing.  Hey Dirk, it wipes off!
Till the next one.
Green skies, blue lights.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Adventures of Jay & Doyle #1

     Me and Jay go way back.   Back when he was skinny and I had long hair.   Oh wait, I still have long hair.  Sorry Jay.
     We've hunted and fished together and worked at all the chores that pertain to that type of diversion.   His favorite chore is camp cook.    He goes on and on about the eggs, the toast, the bacon, etc.   He always ends his diatribe with a stern remark that he doesn't clean up.    I've probably heard this 50 or 60 times and by now am an excellent pot washer.  I can opt out of washing if somebody complains about the food.   Complaining results in instant KP duty.
      His excellence at cooking is only overshadowed by his snoring.    The snoring is a cross between the sound of a cement mixer and an industrial food disposal.    No that's not quite right.   Throw a couple of spoons in the disposal to get the proper effect.   Yep, that's the sound I'm talking about. 
     We had buddies show up at the camp house one evening.    The old house had several rooms and we had claimed one wall of the rearmost and built a bunk bed.    Jay on bottom and me on top.   He was afraid that he might fall out of the top so he voted me up there.  I mean if anybody is going to suffer a broken leg I suppose I'm it.    One of the new guys asked if he could throw a sleeping bag on the floor.
"Sure, you can but you better wear some ear plugs."   I show him my plugs like they are made of gold.  I hover my other hand over my hunting knife so he get's the idea of how protective I am of them.
He says, "Don't need no ear plugs.   It's only proper for hunters to belch, spit,  fart, and snore around each other.    This is the only place we can really do that sort of thing.     Don't worry about it."
     With as serious a face as I could muster, "I'm not kidding.   Get plugs of some sort.  Use a piece of newspaper or tie your socks around your head.   Old cigarette butts work in a pinch.    Jay snores worse than boar after a slop feast.    It's the most horrible thing I've ever heard.    Most men don't live to report it.   Before I had ear plugs and didn't know better I think I about ruin't this left ear.   I guess I could give you that ear plug out of charity.   It's all waxed up and ready to go."
     With absolute disgust he reiterated, "I won't need no ear plugs.   I'm just naturally tough to that sort of thing."   He looked down his nose at me and Jay and began to make his bed.
     After cards, stories, beer and whiskey, and lots of genial cussing,  we finally decide to hit the sack.    Jay warned me to go outside and relieve myself now since he didn't want a shower during the middle of the night.
     Dang that guy holds a grudge.
     We bed down and I insert my ear plugs and listen to Jay warming up.    Even though my ears were muffled I could still hear Jay snoring away.    Our buddy on the floor set up and looked incredulously at Jay.   I gave him a thumbs up.   He gave me the finger and wrapped his coat around his head.
After a few more moments I while I was watching him he sat up and started talking.   I removed the earplug to hear him whining about Jay.   Course Jay couldnt hear a thing.    He asked,   "Is that for real?   Is he doing that on purpose?   Sounds like he's strangling a pig!"
I look at him coolly.   "Ah, he'll stop in a minute or two."
The guy laid back down.   He had wrapped himself up till you could only see his eyes.
Jays snoring continued.   I drifted off.
Sensing a commotion I looked to see our buddy standing up with his sleeping bag in a wad on his head.   He stumbled into the wall and slammed into the door trying to get out of the room.   I removed my earplug to listen to him talking in a high and strained voice.
"I gotta get some SLEEP!"   He finally got through the door and fell over a guy camped out on the floor in the next room.
"What the he...!."
In a kind of a terrible man shriek I will never forget , "I gotta get some SLEEP!."
He made it to the front door, got it opened and the house settled back down.    Jay never halted his throaty, choking, fart of a snore.
I drifted back off to sleep.
Morning comes early.    Somebody's alarm went off and Jay hopped up.   I suppose hop is an exageration but he slouched through the house and opened the front door.    It didn't open right so he leaned his not inconsiderable weight against it and it slowly moved open.     Our buddy was sleeping on the freezing porch with only his upper half wrapped in his sleeping bag. He laid there shivering in a heap.   He opened his eyes and sat up to show an absolutely miserable morning face.   Eyes as red as fishing bobbers and protruding just like that.   Under those bulge eyes he had  bags as big as garden slugs.
He had slobbered in his sleep so his sleeping bag was stuck oddly to his unshaven face.   In the most pitiful voice I ever heard come from a grown man,
"I had to get some SLEEP!"
Jay says, "You should of just slept in our room.    It's cold out here."
Only my intercession kept our buddy from attempting to throw Jay off the porch.
Not sure what happened to that guy.   After the morning hunt he was simply gone.   As I gathered the pots and started washing it occurred to me that we have a little trouble keeping hunters lately.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

How to Have a Terrible Garage Sale

Originally written Aug, 2006

Since I need  items to list on Ebay I spend nearly every Saturday  morning running all over my part of town going to garage sales.  The amount I buy, determines how long I stay out doing it.  Due to the heat in the summer here I almost always quit at lunch though.  If I get a lot of items I know that Ive loaded myself down with photography, research and listing to last me several days.  While garage sales are fun, they are also dead serious work.
     That's why it annoys me so much to see them done wrong.  If you really want to have a terrible garage sale please follow these steps.
1.  Use only one sign.  Be sure and place it on a pole that no one will see.  The lower to the ground the better.  Make sure that it can't be seen until the driver is past the turn.
 2. Also please don't use a large marker to write with.  Use pencil or a light colored crayon.  That way your buyers will have to slow down and obstruct traffic (possibly risking life and limb) to read the sign.
3.  Never use a sign larger than a child's paper plate or a single sheet of of school paper.  Write all over them in small print.  Also use a small stick to tape them to.  That way whenever the wind blows the sign will fold up and no one can read it. 
4. Never use an "arrow" on your sign.  If you must, make it so small that the buyer can't see which way it is pointing till they are past the turning point.
5.  If you insist on using colored cardboard for your sign then please use black ink on blue, red ink on orange,  gray ink on green , etc.
Now that we have the rules for signage figured out here are the rules for setting up your driveway for the sale.
6.  Never put a large sign at your driveway.  No balloons on the mailbox either.  Don't do anything to draw attention to your sale on your own street.
7.  When laying out clothing to be sold be sure and throw them down in piles all over the driveway.  Never hang them up or arrange them by adult, teen, children, etc. 
8.  Be sure and have lots of mixed up mismatched clothing, broken toys, inexplicable pieces of cracked glasses, plates, plastic, bent forks and spoons,  all in a jumble in a box.  Turn the box over so  they get stepped on a lot is even better.
9.  Let buyers kids play with whatever they can get their hands on.  The toys are pretty much used and worthless and the electronic items probably wouldn't have sold anyway.
10.  If you have books be sure and leave them in piles on the driveway.  If you treat them like trash then the buyers will too.
11.  If you are selling tvs, computers, toasters,  telephones, lamps, tables, etc.  never clean them prior to the sale.  Greasy fingerprints and cigarette tar/nicotine generally do wonders for sale items.
12.  If you are selling rugs and have dogs and cats in the house please remember to not vacuum them.  The new buyer loves to see thick animal hair all over their new purchase.  Makes them smell nice too.
13.  Hopefully there will be no parking on your street and you will have to stop every buyer from parking in your driveway just because you have that power.
14  If you can't speak English that will instantly cut down on a lot of your buyers.  Definite plus!
15.  Make it impossible to test electric items.  No extension cords, no outlets, no nothing.  Even better cut the plugs off all the appliances you are selling.  Just tell your customer to replace the plug and it will work fine.
16.  Never, absolutely never have any change.  Make it impossible to be paid with a ten dollar bill and expect change back.
17.  Always ask way too much (suggested retail is best) for your wore out crap.
18.  Never offer help loading, or bags, or extra boxes.  They should have brought their own.
19.  Never smile or say hello, and especially don't welcome anybody into your driveway.  Buyers are such an interruption anyway.
20.  Be sure and stop selling whenever you are tired of it. (no matter what the fine print on your sign says).  Remember to leave all your signs up too.  It's pretty funny to see your garage sale sign up for a month at a time.   Maybe you can mess up other garage sales just a little bit and they can have the same success that you had.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Barbque Time!

This is moved from a story a wrote in January of this year.

I had the great pleasure to be a BBQ judge again this weekend. We have a small rodeo here every spring "Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo" that has numerous qualifying bbqs held for the chance at the prestigious honor of First Place Brisket, Ribs, etc.
I judged only bbq pork ribs. I could have judged brisket and chicken too but hey there was 138 entries. Enough is enough!
I had the honor of tasting 15 entries at my table and on a scale of 1 to 10 I had mainly 7s, 8s, and ONE 9.
The best round of ribs Ive ever had the pleasure to test.
The beer was free too!
Prizes for this particular contest ran over $10K so it was dead serious competition.
The winners of this get free entry into the even larger bbq contest at the main rodeo at the old Astrodome.
All for a good cause, mainly scholarships and bragging rights, both of which go far in this part of the world.
After the event while visiting different bbq teams under their respective tents I found out about a benefit for the next day for our local flower lady.
FYI, our flower lady goes from bar to bar each Fri and Sat night and sells flowers. Mainly roses. She has done this with for 20 years and it has kept her afloat due to illness and other bad luck that has affected her and her family.
As things go she wound up with breast cancer. Her insurance paid for surgery. Not long after that her day job closed down so she was left with nothing but COBRA insurance which is outrageously high and flowers sales.
Shes looking for a job now. The benefit was to tide her over and keep her electricity on, etc.
After, bbq, silent auction, live auction, cake sales, karaoke bids, raffle tickets, etc, we managed to raise 25K in cash in one day for her. I dont know the final tally but that it went over the 25K range.
This wont fix her problems but it will certainly give her some time to figure something else out.
Going home after two days of charity and fun it just occurs to me to be thankful for this great place Im in right now. Things can change in the blink of an eye but hey, as long as you got friends in this world all is not lost.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

DIY...... The Movement!

     I was off on more DIY chores this weekend.
Still working on my swimming pool.   Its normally clear blue visage had  assumed the look of milky dishwater with a greenish tint.    The leaves on the bottom were barely visible and looked uneasily like a body.    I had opened the filter assembly a couple weeks back and sprayed down the filters.   No, I didn't take them all apart.    The water was very cold so I rushed through it.    You can call it lazy.   I call it basic DIY survival.  
     When I reassembled the contraption the pump pressure wasn't too high at all.   About 18 psi.    Cool!   I let it circulate for hours.       I went out to check the pressure later and found it up to 24 psi.   Hmmmm.     I did notice a lot of dusty looking pollen in the pool water but didn't snap to it till later.    I set the pool on auto circulate for a few hours every morning and hoped the water would slowly clear.    No luck.    The pressure kept climbing and the next moment I had to mess with it was this weekend.   By this time the pressure was up to 30 psi!     I disassembled the filter again to find it totally coated in what looked like gold dust.    Pollen.     This time I totally tore the thing apart, sprayed everything down and cleaned all the crap out.     When I put it back together and test ran it, the pressure was 14 psi.    Way cool.
     I then added 6 quarts of DE material and let it circulate all Saturday.    That evening I added algae killer and then this morning I added a double load of shock.     I even bought a new floating chlorine tablet dispenser and anchored it to a brick in the spa.     I know it sounds weird but my dog Mixie has decided that she must save us all from floating aliens in the spa.    She has killed several chlorine dispensers in the past.    Hopefully the brick will keep the little terror at bay.
     The above isn't bragging about my DIY skills believe me.     I have had to do many of these odd jobs twice and sometimes three times due to my inexperience and even ineptness.    If I had just hired a pro it would have been done perfectly the first time I'm sure.     Still, I'm somehow driven to prove that I can do this type of thing.    It's power or empowerment of some sort with the topping of potential money savings.
     Just this weekend I heard from two friends on their DIY projects.    Neither of these guys would normally consider this type of thing so I was surprised to listen to their stories.    Both of these men make their living with their brains, not their brawn.     One dug a 40' trench and replaced a gas line at his pool heater.    Sounded like some serious work.    He spent several days doing the labor and hunting down the parts.    Was it to save some money?    Nah, he could have easily afforded to hire it done.   Of course the money savings is a great perk but that doesn't measure up to the sense of accomplishment he now has.    Money can't buy accomplishments of this nature.
     The second buddy carried 7  yards of mulch in his pickup and hand moved it all over his yard.   His only help was two very cute and skinny little girls.    Not sure if you have ever spread a yard of mulch but I highly recommend it once.    Just for the experience.    7 Yards!   I don't know.    I do know that he has now bestowed a tremendous sense of accomplishment to two little girls.    They and he have just finished a chore that most people would have dodged.    He too could have paid to have it done.   Instead he chose this hard way. 
       CRACK!   (That was a beer opened.   Properly earned and deserved.)
Kudos to the both of you guys.    Maybe what we have here is a movement!    You guys might put manual laborers out of work temporarily.    Just kidding about that.   The people that do that type of thing for a living are very fast and efficient.   Just the opposite of most of us DIY types.
     What we have here is a reclamation of power, muscle, determination, the direction of our money, and the face we show the world and each other.    Nothing feels better than a job done well and done with your own hands, back, and brains.

Saturday, March 20, 2010


     First lets start with plumbing.    I had a rough day at work last Monday.    I tried my best to be superman and you can imagine the outcome.   Far too many tasks to juggle because I was short handed and my ability to actually complete any of them sorely tested.     At the end of the day it was a marvelous whirlwind of activity and I paused for a moment in wonder at this business I've built.
     As I was leaving the shop at about 7 PM I noticed a large water leak in the mechanics bathroom.  "Mechanic's Bathroom" you ask?    Yeah, this building was a mechanic shop for the last 25 years.   A whole other rant believe me.
     I checked under the toilet and saw a steady drip.     The hose going into the tank itself.     The connection was loose.    Simple tightening did the job, thankfully.      I got some old shop rags and threw them all around to soak up the water.   
     Its all part of owning a building I figure and being blessed with handiness.   Like my Father before me,  I'm a pretty good handyman.
      Later,  as I was detailing this remarkable day to my close buddies in the TBG (a discussion group on Ebay) I had several mention that I should stop doing this type of repair and call a service person.   My time is too valuable for this type of thing and I should be doing far more important tasks.    I suppose if my entire day had come to a halt for major plumbing I could agree but as you've read the repair was small and quick.
     Now forward to the next Saturday morning.     I've reserved this part of my week for fence building.    It wasn't very much of a fence actually.    I measured the length at 28 feet.    I knocked down the old fence with a hammer and pry bar and found that I had to dig up the entire corner post, concrete and all.   All the other posts I could just break off at ground level and dig next to them with post hole diggers and set my new posts.  
     As I was was doing this chore I could just imagine the hoopla I would create with my business peers as they berate me for doing such work.      I actually chuckled.       I can't really think of another chore that I like as much.     Digging fence post holes is my least favorite part though.      Thankfully the ground was damp so it went pretty fast.     While I dug the holes and measured the ground my mind is  free of the  everyday worries of my business.     It's quite pleasant  JUST hammering away and watching the results of my labor.   No phones, no irate customers, no questions, no emergencies.      I'm able to think freely and work and concentrate on the small details of the fence.   I'm reminded of the old book, "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance".  
     The outdoors can be cleansing mentally and emotionally too.   The smells, fresh air, and in my case rain.   It didn't rain hard but lightly.    Just enough to soak me pretty good but not stop me from my weekend chore.      After the posts had been leveled and supported with scrap wood to hold steady, I poured a small sack of concrete mix in each hole and shoveled a bit of dirt around.     The days work was done.    When the posts set up firmly I will build the frame work of 2x4s to hold the fence pickets.     I will wait overnight for the setting and install the pickets tomorrow afternoon.
     I highly recommend this chore to anyone who needs a bit of distraction from the daily zoo of business.   It is totally relaxing and enjoyable.     It costs a lot less than the gym and you get a lot more out of it.     Mainly peace of mind, tired muscles, money saved, and the joy of pure work and effort that pays off in a beautiful stretch of wooden fence.   

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Bad Vendors

     New business rant this morning.    One thing I really hate is poor service.    Im not sure what it costs to get a new customer for some companies but I can only assume it is just a few pennies.    Seems like they don't care if they lose you as a buyer at all.

"Why care?   There are plenty more buyers where you come from!"

From the beginning.

     I travel to wholesale buying shows two or three times a year.    I generally go to Las Vegas but may include New York this year.   This is a considerable expense for me.   I must buy product to make the trip worthwhile.   I go to the     ASD/AMD show mainly.
There is a terrific assortment of items from military surplus, tools, dollar store, closeouts, toys, and even jewelry.   While the show may not be appropriate for a lot of ecommerce businesses, it works out well for me.  Many of the type of items can be seen on our site.

     However, some of the merchants leave something to be desired when it comes to service and warranty.   One such company is Gripon Tool.  These guys sell all kinds of hand and power tools.
     I bought a pallet of brand new laser levels from them last August.   Since I'm a retailer it may take me a while to sell that many levels.   I only have about 12 cases left.   Problem is the  levels starting having a problem.   I have had to warranty about 8 of them.    We are now completely setting them up and testing them before they ship.    Some are good, some are not.
     I called the company to ask about this problem.   I actually called twice and sent a fax once.   They finally  returned my calls today.     The company representative says the items I bought were a closeout with basically no warranty.    They don't carry the item any longer.   He said he apologized for the problem but there was nothing he could do and wished me a good day.
     I certainly am not starting out with a good day with this news.    I wrote him back and told him that I can see why they didn't order anymore of the levels and that I strongly doubted that I would do anymore purchasing from his company.    He again apologized and wished me a good day.
     I'm surprised some effort at placating me wasn't offered.    I obviously have little to NO value with this company.    Not only will I never buy from them again but I'm offering this blog entry as a review of their company.
     Luckily for me there are plenty more tool vendors out there.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

The Fragile Business--Losing Employees

     I didn't know it but my small business is really pretty fragile. One reason is that there is only four of us. But there are other reasons too.
     I generally prepare for every contingency I can think of. I keep extra printers on the shelf, extra ink, a separate laptop, netbook, and even an air card. Plus I keep extra boxes, tape, and every other conceivable supply that could stop our daily sales. I pay one of my guys extra to handle all incoming shipments. That frees up my time quite a bit.
     The fragile part that I should have expected to come apart is the couple I hired to handle my shipping and my office clerical work. A married couple in their fifties. Neither doing too well heathwise. Both have had cancer. My shipping guys has a bad back and has had a heart problem in the past. My office lady can barely walk with a bad hip.
     No problem though. It was a little charity on my part but surprisingly these guys performed well. I was very easy going too. I paid them both by the piece they produced so there was no stress for them. If they got tired they could just take a break. Which was pretty frequent. It's to be expected when disabled people are hired.
     As time went on I became more attached and tried to help these two in small ways. I gave them a bunch of frozen chicken, cash cards, extra work, a small loan and I even did their taxes. Just things I could do at the time that they needed them. They worked for me for almost two years.
Sadly enought they just told me they are quitting and going back to Ohio. It was a shock. I was right in the middle of finding them an apartment. They amount to 50% or more of my workforce leaving all at once so whatever I can do to help them also helps me. After talking with them a bit I finally realized they are just tired and are going home. Health problems can sap your energy so badly.
     I just hired a new guy and I will take over the office for the time being. I won't have as much free time, if I ever had it, as before. I will try and send my guys off this Friday and show them the appreciation they earned.
     Hopefully my business will get stronger because of all this.  Though I loved these guys  I won't hire a husband and wife team again. Having half my workforce quit at once is just too much risk.