Doyle's Fish & Hicky Bar


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Making Acorn Bread and Not How the Indians Did It

 My daughter asked if I would like to take a foraging class with her here in Houston.    We had spoke of it before and thought it would be a cool father/daughter thing.   Her only touch on foraging had been hunting dew berries across the road from my mechanic shop when she was younger.    She's over 30 now and to this day we talk about when the berries will be ready every spring.    We may or may not pick any, but we are aware they are there for the picking.
      My foraging background is basically what Dad taught us boys about the surrounding woods in NE Texas.    We could identify and eat most berries and wild fruit but really not much beyond Poke Salad and what we called Sour Weeds for anything else.    I come from a family of hunters and farmers as most people did in my neck of the woods so you had to know a bit just to get along.   As for wild plantlife, you learned quickly what Poison Ivy and Bull Nettle was.   Nothing is much worse than running through Bull Nettle in short legged pants.   Do it once and you won't forget.   Ever.
     She even paid my way, (I love having grown kids!) and we showed up and listened to  Doc Merriweather.    A rapid fire speaker with way more knowledge than he could impart in the few hours he spoke to us.    Like most things it was just a taste of the free food nature has for us and he opened our eyes to this manna from heaven virtually at our very feet wherever we walked.  This guy showed us 30 sources of food within 50 steps of the building!
     I was on fire to find something growing in the wild and eat it!

     I looked and looked and studied the finds on the internet and remembered the words of our teacher.   "This shaped leaf means its good for you, while this shaped leaf means its poison and will likely make you very sick or even kill you."
For some reason I couldn't rid myself of that KILL remark about  ingesting the wrong stuff.    I was and still am pretty reserved about eating something I don't know what is exactly.    That's why running up on this overburdened oak tree was such perfect timing.    I KNOW what an oak is at least.
     I was walking my pups with my bride Sandi when I brushed through some oak branches and all these acorns fell on me.    I whipped my baseball cap off and started loading them up right off the limbs overhead.   The nuts literally fell right out into my hat.   It took just a few minutes to fill my cap up to where I couldn't carry anymore.    I wasn't picky either and realize now I should be more so.    Any acorns with little holes in them, just throw away right there cause they have worms in them.    I know Doc Merriwether says they are edible but unless Im starving I will pass.   Plus don't keep the little ones.   Only keep the biggest fattest ones you can find.   They are the easiest to shell and have the most acorn nut meat for your labor.

     When I got the pups back in the house I went online looking for acorn recipes.   It seems that the Indians would gather and dry and pound the seeds, wash or leach them in a creek,  then cook them on flat rocks over a fire.   I decided to update that a bit.  
     I found several recipes and kind of made my own up on the fly.     I went back into the kitchen and dried the acorns in the oven for about an hour at 150 degrees in a flat cookie pan.    I think I was a bit too hot and will do the next batch at 125.   Some of the kernels were pretty hard and dried out.    I let them cool off and then got a pair of pliers and began cracking the shells and extracting the nut meat.    It took awhile as I watched tv that night.   In fact I didn't finish all of it.    I took it back up the next evening and finished shelling the acorns.     By this time my nuts had gotten pretty hard.    I wrapped them in a towel and pounded them with a hammer to soften them up again.   I made crumblies out of them.   My experiment made about a cup and a half to 2 cups of nuts when shelled.

     I got a 2 qt pot out and filled it half way with water and got it to boiling.    When the water was at a rolling boil I dumped the nuts in and turned off the heat.     I let that sit for about 30 minutes.   Note the water was nasty looking brownish.    I didn't think to taste it.   I understand the water is good for washing clothes though they may begin to be acorn colored.   0.o     I will pass on that for now.
    Then I took the pan over, drained and rinsed and tasted a nut.    I could still taste the bitter tannic acid  in the acorn.   I drained the nuts through a paper coffee filter.
     I filled the pan back up with fresh water and got it to boiling again.   Threw in the rinsed nuts and turned the heat off.     At the end of 30 minutes  I drained, rinsed and tasted again.   NO TANNIC ACID.   The acorn was actually pretty good to eat at that point by themselves.   They were just getting soft.
     I laid the nuts out on a cutting board and tried to mash them.   Nothing really worked very well.   Finally I got a food chopper out and chopped the nuts to a corn meal consistency.
I threw them into a mixing bowl.    Then I covered them with plain white flour and mixed around until each crumbly was covered.   I then blended in one egg.

  It was pretty gritty looking.    I then mixed in about 1/3 cup of maple syrup.    Finally just a touch of water to smooth it out.   Might use milk in the future though.
Hey, even the Indians would've added a sweetner if they had it.    At this point I realize now I could have added raisins, sugar, berries, etc.    I prefer it sweet.   Or at least sweeter than this batch was.
     I oiled up a cast iron skillet and then pushed the mixture into it.   I flattened it out with my hands.  Looked like kind of a wet cement, mud pie sort of thing.

  I prewarmed the oven to 350 at Merriwether's suggestion and cooked my acorn bread for 30 minutes or until a toothpick came out dry.
     I pulled it out of the oven and wondered how to get it out of the pan.    Sandi said turn it over like cornbread and just plop it out.    That's exactly what I did and wallah! It was a perfectly beautiful little flat bread. 

 I pulled a tiny bit of it off and popped it in my mouth.     Nutty with a hint of oak.
     Im not kidding either.    I promptly got some butter out and smeared it on top and chomped away.  Not bad at all.   I will increase the sweetness for the next batch.    It is a bit dry.   Will have to figure a way to add moisture.    Perfect with wine.    But isn't everything?

     Thank You Dr. Merriwether for convincing me that I could do this.    That I could reconnect with my ancient human family.   Gosh they weren't just neanderthals after all.   Thanks again for the push I needed to see manna from heaven all around me. 
We are surrounded by God's gifts and have only to open our eyes to find them.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Cast Iron Horseshoes and why Everyone Needs Some

Umpf,  HORSESHOE  ....what is it good for!
Exchange WAR for Horseshoes, and you will probably recognize the song I was humming.  
No that song doesn't have much to do with horseshoes but it does have a lot to do with helping explain what cast iron horseshoes are good for.

First, Cast iron horseshoes are oddly versatile.
 I know, you are thinking "get a grip, I don't own a horse!"
Well slow down grasshoppuh, as I'm about to elucidate you.
We got these decorative cast iron horseshoes that are absolutely perfect for decorating your pad if you are into country, primitive, cowboy, rustic, or western decor.  Just add them in an artful manner to end tables, bases of lamps, on the wall and especially above the door.
  "Why above the door?" you ask.  Well in ancient lore a horseshoe placed above the door pointing up is good luck!  You point the ends of the shoe up to hold the good luck in.
Or, since a horseshoe carries in itself inexplicable good luck inherently  they are perfect favors at weddings.  Perfect in that they are small pony shoes at about 3 " tall, and they are inexpensive and memorable and practically unbreakable if the reception gets wild.
They are also great crafting items for kids.  Again they are cheap, tough, and safe with adult supervision.  I've seen children paint them, tie ribbons, feathers, and colorful string to them and glue beads, penny's, and lots of other whatnot.  They can be a uniquely made piece of art for any kid.
As for art, there is even sculpture made of them. 
There simply isn't any limit with a little imagination.
The one, the only, the crazy - versatile cast iron horseshoe.


Saturday, February 04, 2012

Deliverance Weekend

Thursday, August 16, 2007 11:04:25 AM
saved from an email way back.....
WELL, this last weekend was weird. It ended with me and my wife with cuts and bruises and caterpillars crawling out from our hair and clothes, soaked in sweat. Sounds great huh?
This was a political trip for a hanging I built last year. My commissioner is relatively new to art, and actually new to being able to afford art, who invited us up for the weekend at his lake house. He wanted me to see the finished work hung up (which I refused to help with, Thank God!) and be introduced to his circle of friends. The carrot he dangled in front of us was lots of new potential art customers and a relaxing weekend at the lake.
We kenneled our little dog (with doggie day camp!), and drove the 3 1/2 hours to BFE. I should have known something was up when the cell phone stopped working. We arrived to see my buyer grilling chicken on an outdoor grill. After being congratulated for making the trip we sat at an outdoor table where the buyer made himself a plate and ate his lunch in front of us. Just him, with no offer to us whatsoever. It was a little uncomfortable since etiquette wasnt followed at all. This was the second hint of our fabulous weekend.
We were shown our quarters in a separate house. They were quaint with a nice view of the lake. No problem there.
My host immediately showed me the piece hanging from an A frame porch. I was struck with it and stared for some time. Its cool to like your own work because it doesnt happen every time. I did note that it was placed in kind of a shadow and that the stop-rust coating made it too dark. I sold the job based on a natural or rust condition that showed up well against a dark background. This piece virtually disappeared against the background. I didnt point it out but instead told him how great it all looked. His house is in some odd repair process so I didnt mention that either. He was replacing some old wood with new wood but only doing so in a sporadic manner here and there. I got my camera and took a bunch of photos hoping that one of the shots will be good enough for my site.
After that we all went to his boat dock to ooh and ahh over his collection. Only four in his family but they got 6 motorized boats plus a paddle boat. We climbed on his pontoon boat having already dressed in swimsuits and accompanied by loud country music from his all weather stereo began to move slowly in front of his lake home. I obliged this and took about a dozen more photos. He loved that I did that and pointed out all kinds of angles that might be better for showcasing his "compound". We finally struck out across the lake to find some friends. The temperature outside then was about 100 degrees.
Needless to say, we baked quite well and had our ears pounded by some poor hillbilly soul whose wife left him. We slowed down at a neighbors boat dock and they hopped on our pontoon. We were introduced all around as the artist and wife who built the "thing" on the porch. The conversation quickly petered out so we went back out on the lake. About half way across the bay our host yelled that it was too hot and that we should all hop in and cool off. Which we did. My wife however, hopped off and hit her hand on something sharp and sliced open her little finger. She was bleeding profusely in greenish brown lake water. I honestly didnt know what to do except get her out of the water. Surely fish poop laden water isnt good for an open wound.
She managed to climb back on board the boat with blood running down her arm and dripping off her elbow. No doubt it was a pretty good cut to bleed that bad. Our host though was annoyed that she hurt herself. He basically called her a dummy for getting hurt on his boat and then he followed her around with a spray hose to keep blood from getting on the floor. She took all this in good form admitting that she could be a klutz. But that wasnt enough for our host. He went on and on about it for the rest of the day. Not once did he ask if she maybe need a stitch or even a bandaid. His wife finally found some butterfly strips and put them on her hand. The other guests too jumped on this delightful bandwagon about how dumb my wife was to get hurt. It was getting old but we didnt know exactly what to do.
Bored with insulting my wife and the heat approaching 102 the host decided to go back to the neighbors house and we would float there for awhile.
All this time we were drinking beer and bottled water. My wife mentioned that one reason she landed oddly when she jumped out of the boat was that she didnt was to get her hair wet and then have to deal with that later. She does have a great mass of hair.
This started the abuse all over again from host and neighbors. The neighbor lady said something about her being a city girl and all foo foo. My wife finally had enough of lip and riled up on them. I cant repeat what she said but it was clear she was going to show her some foo foo if she wished. My wife works out several days a week, one day being kickboxing.
We finally left that gathering and went back to the hosts dock. There we found his parents who live next door floating in the water with life jackets on while still fully clothed. No one said anything about it so I didnt either. It just looked odd.
I took more photos of the artwork, none of which were going to look very good, and then helped apply more bandages to my wifes hand. It looked terrible and was still seeping.
We gathered about dinner time on the front porch and talked and drank more beer as the sun went down. My wife still taking barbs about getting hurt and bleeding on the hosts boat. It got darker and later until it was full night. It occurred to me that it should be getting time to eat dinner but no notice was given to that effect. I saw one of their children eating something and mentioned it to the host. He said sure, go in there and find something. He had a pot roast on the stove top. I went in and sure enough there it was nearly ice cold. Somebody said grab a plate so I did and went back to the table to eat. I went outside and told my wife to come eat. She looked suprised and asked the host if dinner was ready. He looked suprised back and said it was if she wanted to eat. I can only suppose that they are an unstructured family when it comes to mealtimes. It was never announced, no plates were set. We just fended for ourselves hunting forks and spoons down. There was also nothing else served or ready. Just potroast. Still, we were appreciative as it was way better than nothing.
After the loosely held dinner we gathered outside again and our host talked of going out on the lake again and to see the stars. We did, and that was the true highlight of the trip. I had forgotten what a field of stars looks like on a truly dark night. It made me feel less alone in the universe. We made the trip back without any problems and said good night.
As we were settling into our bed I turned on a ceiling fan that made a clacking sound like a train on a track. Then the central air return being right by the bed sounded like a load of gravel slowly being poured on sheet metal. It was a marvelous cacophony of sound that made me sleep like a baby. My wife did get up in the middle of the night to take some painkillers for her hand but I didnt know it.
Next morning, me and my wife were already talking of leaving early and going to get our little dog out of the kennel. She had had enough of being insulted for getting hurt and of not being exactly being fed and getting heat stroke on the boat. I agreed so we went over to the main house and visited with the entire family on the front porch. It was about 9:00 and already 95 degrees outside. Our hosts wife produced a foil wrapped set of sasauge bisquits and we gratefully ate them. Nothing else was offered for breakfast. Just coffee and water and if you wanted it, go get it.
Our host asked about our leaving time and after we told him announced that we must take the nature tour and that it only took 15 minutes to get there. Trying to be socialble and looking at our watches we apprehensively said sure, lets go. After all it would only take 15 minutes.
We went to the boat dock and instead of getting on the pontoon climbed into the flat bottom boat. Maybe I should have been concerned right then but I was lulled into the 15 minute remark and thinking further that my obligation would be over in just a few more hours and I could go home.
The flat bottomed boat was slightly uncomfortable as I have a bad back. I cant sit in the position required for very long without it becoming excruciating. Plus it was very hot and incredibly humid at this time. Oh well, only 15 minutes.
The baking, jarring, painful boat trip took at least 30 minutes across the lake. Our host cheerfully oblivious to our distress. Still making remarks about how dumb my wife was to get hurt and to please be careful today. We both smiled and ignored him as best we could.
We finally crossed under a small bridge and entered a quiet creek amid lush near tropical foliage. I kept expecting a hippo to rise up and tip our boat over. It was all quite beautiful but dreadfully hot as we lost even a vestige of breeze.
Our host talked of aligators and snakes and giant loggerhead turtles and went further and further upstream. He gave us paddles to help keep the boat straight and to keep briars and other bushes from pushing us out of the boat. The stream got smaller and smaller and sometimes was no more than 6 feet across. He constantly plowed the boat into briars on the bank that not only scratched us repeatedly but dumped all kinds of vermin on us and in the boat. My wife, hating spiders, began an extermination attempt with her paddle but she couldnt kill them all. All the time the host thought this was the funniest scene he had ever witnessed.
This type of fun continued for two more hours. We were drenched in sweat, leaves and sticks and other debris stuck to any vacant skin available, scratched from head to toe, bugs crawling all over us, boat full of spiders, and my wifes wound bleeding again from all her exertion.
All the while being laughed at by our host.
Did I mention my back was killing me by this time?
He finally tired of torturing us after my wife mentioned that this reminded her of the movie Deliverance. All she was waiting for was the little funny looking kid to start banging a way on a banjo somewhere. If it all wasnt so true it would have been funny.
The ride back felt like we were in a furnace with hairdryers blowing in our face. We survived to the lake house and basically made our getaway. I didnt bathe or anything. Hell with it, I can bathe at home!
We made our goodbyes and hurried out. Three or four hours later we picked up our little dog who was exhausted from Doggie Day Camp and promptly fell asleep in my arms. On the way home my wife looked at me and said God intended this weekend to go this way no matter how bad it seemed.
I looked at her and said that Hes still laughing over our decision to do it in the first place.
We argue over Gods actions frequently. I think He has to have a strong sense of humor.
So ends the tale of dealing with the nuveau riche. They only play at being frugal now since they dont have to anymore, and make small attempts at showing their status by buying art and artists. It reminds me of an old saying , you can take the boy out of the country but you can never take the dumb ass out of an ignoramus.
I may have added to that a bit.

Speaking of Perfect Children....

OT Speaking of perfect children
Jul 13, 2009 05:19 PM
posted from a forum

     My daughter, Cara, was mad at me. She kept trying to get together with me and my wife Sandi for lunch, dinner, coffee, just anything. But her hours are terrible as she is in free lance promotions. It seems we never know when she will be in town or where or what time. Mine and Sandi's work and social life is pretty extensive too as we are booked weeks in advance for parties, barbques, benefits, karaoke, etc. Plus she works out two nights a week. We just couldn't seem to find time for my daughter's request.
  Finally, Cara insists that we meet because "I've got to talk to you two!" She couldn't say about what over the phone so me and Sandi were thinking all kinds of odd things. Maybe she was going to announce that she was pregnant, going to move overseas with her new husband, had an inoperable disease, etc,,,,,,,,,???!!!
We arrived at a restaurant that night tired and in our work clothes. Sandi was irritated and nervous and I was too. Why couldn't she just tell us? Doesn't she know we are freekin busy! We set across the table and Cara leaned forward and commenced to explain how rude she felt that we were not being accessible. She was near upset so I started apologizing and trying to explain that since she is family we figured she could wait till we got together for dinner sometime later. She said that would be fine but she had been trying to get us in one place for 6 weeks. She said we were the hardest people to be nice to. Sandi then explained that life has been tough as she is still recovering from her cancer surgery, her job is kicking her butt, etc. We managed to make an uncomfortable group apology and paused to order from the waitress.
Then Cara said, "On a lighter note...." and she explained that since my and Sandi's 20th wedding anniversary is coming up in October she wanted to tell us now that she had bought us a trip to London, Paris, and Rome. An 8 day whirlwind trip. She said she had been saving the money for 3 years and we only had to pick some dates and get our passports. She was trying to tell us before we made some other arrangements. Then, she went on to explain that she wanted to do this because we would not do it for ourselves.
Which is true.
To say that we were stunned is an understatement. Sandi burst into tears, as did Cara. I was struck by the love of family and children and sometimes undeserving parents. My daughter is 29. At this moment she is my perfect child and maybe she always will be. I know I couldn't have done something like this at her age. Sheesh, not sure I talked to my parents that much at that age. I wish I could claim responsibility for how she thinks, performs and IS... but truthfully I can't. She is her own person far outreaching any input I had in her formative years. Like all parents, Sandi and I are very proud of her.
This story is not to compare children at all but to appreciate what they bring to us.  

Good Work

Good Work
Aug 19, 2009
Got a chance to participate in a bbq benefit this last weekend. Its the third one I've done this year. I've been involved in the past but not nearly so much as now. Generally all benefits around here have silent and live auctions. I take care of the silent part by providing all kinds of small items for it. Most of the stuff I donate comes from last of a line, overstocks, stuff that doesnt sell well, and returns, though I do throw some cherry picked items in . I generally donate about 30 to 40 items.   I can fill up the bed of a small truck pretty easy.
 In all, with the barbeque and live auction we raised 15K in one day. The receiver of the benefit was a local electrician who came down with throat cancer. While in the large scheme of things 15k wont help for long, it still provides relief right now. When I first started doing this type of thing I was pretty judgemental about the folks getting the money. After a while I realized that it doesn't matter. Someone thought they would make a good candidate so I guess thats enough. I would rather err on the side of charity.
 After an all day workout, the heat was over 100 here, we finished up at about 6pm and gave the family the money. Thats when all the tears started. I learned they had been hiding their car from the creditors. They only had one car too. What a great way to move old merchandise and give to those who suffer.     The little money it would have brought me pales next to what I get out of it.
 It was a good days work and good work is hard to find. --

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Side Effects

     One pleasant by product of aging, at least for me, has been the ability to buy more or less what I want, and when I want it.   Of course there is a preface to this.      After all these years of struggling to accumulate stuff that I desperately needed, Ive found that I'm just about full of all that and can now concentrate on things I want.   Sounds cool, huh?
     It has it's own weird little side effects though.  
Flash back to a time when I had just enough money to buy an album.   Just one and I even had to budget for that.   I was then stuck listening to this album night and day until I knew every aural nuance in every cut and groove.   It became one of my favorites and 40 years later I can still  sing along in near perfect unison with it.   Grand Funk Railroad, "Closer to Home".
     Flash forward a few more years, I had a little more disposable income and decided that it was time I stopped budgeting so hard to buy  music.  I was sick of doing without when I was surrounded by people who seemed to have everything they wanted.  In my mind I DESERVED it.   I bought a lot of albums at one time.   Like 15.    I felt absolutely wealthy and truly I was.   I mean, when you get exactly what you want you should be happy.   Eh?  
     When I got the albums home I listened to them rapidfire,  one at a time.    Now, I know that was a terrible mistake.    I couldn't absorb any of the music as there was simply too much of it.   I felt like I had to hurry to the next one and maybe there I would find that elusive perfect melody.    I wound up storing this music for years.   I only listened to a little of it and really dont remember hardly any of it now.   If I had bought one album and listened to it over and over I would have found the art and the beauty of the lyric and notes.   Jumping to the conclusion that there was something momentus going on that vinyl disk.    I missed it.   But before I beat myself up to much I will admit I'm a slow learner.
     Flash forward even more years.   Disposable income is about the same but I learned to save it better and make myself able to buy larger WANTS.    Sometime during all this I had just about taken care of all my NEEDS and they are greatly reduced.     I finally discovered that buying crap and sticking it on a shelf really isn't all that fun.   That each piece, whatnot, or album must have some connection to me other than my ability to just buy it.    I've begun to spend with great discretion.     I hunt for that item that will make my life or the lives of those closer to me better.    When I accomplish that the side effect is my personal happiness increasing.
     Sometimes material items become weighty and require their own upkeep, space, and effort to stay current.   I'm drifting away from all that wasted energy now.    It seems like energy is not such an endless commodity as it once was.    The side of effects of buying things can be so fun and enjoyable but they can also become their own PIA.    Im finding that the things I keep are in the latter, but the stuff I give away are the former.    Who would have thought of such cool and evident side effects from seperating my wants from my needs.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

First Trike Ride Jan. 2012

First trip, 150 miles, went well.   Went to Old Town Spring, did a bit of walking, found a turkey leg, did some fried Twinkies, Cheesecake and Reeses.   Got to hang with my daughter and SIL and carry my grandson around a bit and visited my friends store, "Lauras Touch"  then took off looking for some campgrounds.     It was  cool and breezy on the bike.   We got to wear our new leather chaps and seriously they work well.   We had enough clothes on to get overheated if we weren't moving but pretty comfy at cruising speed.    Bike handles well up to 80 on the freeway.   Finally figured out how my cruise control works.   Plus our helmet intercom works perfectly.   I did threaten to turn Sandi off a couple times.
         Most of the campgrounds  seem to be closed this time of year.   We visited three places.  Cagle Campgrounds, the only one that seems to be open, and the only one actually located on Lake Conroe, was ok.   It had amenities like showers, toilets, water.    The area has had a terrible drought but the water still reached the dock, barely.   We've had a bit of rain in the last week so the open fire ban has been lifted.   We saw a several campfires.    The main thing I didn't care for was the closeness of the campsites to each other.   Another thing was that none of the sites were actually on the lake but set back quite a bit.
     We then visited Kelly Pond Camp but couldn't get down to it due to the horse traffic.   We will go back next visit and try to get there.    Stubblefield Campground was next but it was totally closed.   We think we will like that one the best as it is a bit more primitive and maybe a tad more private.

It was getting late so we headed west on 1375 till it ran into 149.    We made a quick right for 8 miles and found Drifters a biker bar in Richards, Texas.   Very hospitable and welcoming.    They have a large firepit outfront so Sandi and I warmed up for a minute before we bought a beer and a coke.   They told us about a large gathering they plan to have in May so hopefully we can go back and visit more.

We got out of there and headed south.   GPS said 50 miles to home.    Sun went down at 6:25 and so did the temperature.   Not sure what it was  but we were both glad for leather and small clothes.     The ride down 149 is really a great winding flight that I will do gladly do again.

We discovered how tired we were when we got home and laughed at our wind burned faces.   Our puppies were delighted and overjoyed to have us.

Friday, January 06, 2012

Confrontation in Business

Confrontation in Business.

     I hate confrontations.  I generally will avoid personal confrontations for as long as I can.  My friends will tell you that as they notice that I simply won't be around certain people.   I find it easier to just be over yonder when the aggressor or aggravator  is in my locale.
Business, however,  is a different matter.   Occasionally in business, I'm forced to confront someone or some entity who is strictly out for themselves.   Generally at my expense of course.
It took me awhile when I was young to slowly adapt.   I was a peacemaker from way back who believed in doing to others as I would have them do to me.   This attracted my many customers but left me open for some short sighted business people.     I found after many bruises that doesn't always work.  Some business people look at me like I'm an apple tree.   They only want the fruit and they don't care what they have to do to pluck it.   It's amazing to me that  DC Mach Inc.  has survived to this age.
I learned to recognize these particular scumbags and now avoid them if I can in my daily commerce.   If a deal surfaces, and it really has value,  then the confrontational battle can begin.   I have to deal with these less than honorable D-k Heads every so often now.
The trick is being ready for someone who has no interest in your well being whatsoever.  It takes a bit of practice for somebody like me.   Others get right to it with no problem.
So, here is the deal.   The vendors I hold close, know it.   I don't take advantage of them, I don't ask for too many concessions, I bend if they have a shipping problem or a cost issue.   Why? Cause we are of the same cut.  I will actively look out for that type of businessman or woman.   We should take care of each other as best we can.   Any deal we make is mutually beneficial.
What's better than that?
In business, nothing.
But those who try and take instead of trade are easily seen now.    I wish I knew this when I started many years ago.   It would have saved me a ton of money and grief.
The only advice I can give to newbies and youngsters is find an older business mentor.   It will save you much stress as you go.
There will always be that guy who will walk into your yard to steal your newspaper, or kick your dog if nothing else is handy.
He wants your stuff, plain and simple.  He thinks he has power.
Show him your teeth.