A Fair Wage?

Suddenly I have free time. When I have free time I read. When I read I think. Funny the rabbit paths you can find yourself on at those times. Life has taken me along several twisty paths over the last few years. I don’t totally regret them though because part of the fun is in seeing the unexpected beauty. It can be seen on even the darkest paths if you just watch for it. Today’s path is a good example.

I started off with some reading. Thinking back on it, I went out into my day. There, my thoughts on the personal interplay of value met with thoughts on the professional interplay of value. Verbose as always, I thought I would connect those dots here then carry on with regularly scheduled programming.

Ever read the comparisons of Costco and Wal-Mart employees? No, well let me give a general overview.

WM sticks it to the workers. They have a sharp calculation of exactly what needs to be done to hit a given rate of retention. They know exactly which personalities can be best exploited and which phobias are most useful. They have expended a lot of time and energy to determine exactly how to twist the humans to hit a given profit point. They have low loyalty, high turnover, high injury and low “give-a-poo” ratings.

Costco pays well, surprisingly well. They shock other big companies with how they treat their employees. They are a prime example of an observation I made in my teens while running work crews. “Take care of your product and you get a poor product and high turnover, take care of your worker and they’ll take care of your product for you.” Costco employees love their job, love the company and pride themselves in customer service and product knowledge.

Interesting isn’t it? Costco pays much higher wages and has much better benefits but the employees have very high “give-a-poo” ratings. Costco doesn’t suffer from injuries, lawsuits, turnover, product damage or employee “illness” like WM does. Incredibly, their cost per man hour is about the same! Which one would you rather work for though? It’s an easy question isn’t it? That answer transcends just the working realm though.

Think of this from the point of a dominant. Who you are determines what you get from a submissive. Waiting until you are in the mood to be dominant will not yield the same results as little touches all day will it?

Stop grinning girls, you get to go under the bus as well. Wanting to play before lights out probably won’t work the same if you were in a mood all day will it. There are many little ways to remind the dominant of your respect between when you roll out of the bed and when you hope to be pinned to it.

We all interact with a multitude of people on a multitude of levels. It is up to us to determine who we are in these interactions. Do we want to be Costco? Do we want to exercise forethought and respect, do we show our appreciation daily? Do we show the other person their value to us? Or, do we take what we can and wonder how long they will take it? Your call is up to you but, in many ways, you get to be like one of these companies. Remember this thing as you ponder it though. Costco workers have over 20 years average service and love their job. WM average is 2 (if memory serves) and they are typically looking for something better.

Good luck shoppers of life.



Welcome to a random post about nothing in particular. Have a few odd thoughts that I thought might be worth sharing.

Remember the change in the leaves that I mentioned last week? Another unusual note goes onto that story. They have changed and fallen over about a six week period in recent years. Not this time. They seemingly changed overnight. Now, a week later, 75% of the trees have lost their leaves. But wait, there’s more…! Had the first clear, cold night last night with a low in the low twenties. (Things you’re sure of if you have to stay up almost all night!) Went out this morning as the Sun was first hitting the trees. Heard a funny noise, almost like papers hitting the floor) in the backyard all of a sudden. Went to look and there was one of my dogs looking at a tree with his head cocked. It is a beautiful Red Maple and the Sun had just hit it. It was dropping it’s leaves all at once! I called Girly-girl out to see it. We had looked at it’s colors in the setting Sun last night. It had 90+% of it’s leaves then. It dropped almost all of them in five minutes as we watched in amazement. What an incredible sight it was. Looking around, we could see other trees behaving similarly. Maybe it’s time to get up leaves?

After that show, we went to an apple place in NC. After helping there we roamed the orchard as always. The gentleman has about 600 varieties on site and so we are always looking for any stragglers that we haven’t tried before. Pocketed a favorite and a few of another type that I had always wanted to try. Got home and went to put them in the fridge when I suddenly stopped. Looking, I started to count. We now have 13 varieties stored for winter. Maybe we have a small problem? Wonder if there is a 12 step program for apple lovers?

Hope everyone had a good day today.


I do enjoy having a lot of flavors. One of my favorites is the side of me that enjoys making all manner of bad folks suffer. A nice, simple battle of wits will suffice if need be. This side of me enjoys a pushy salesperson peddling a lie or anything of that ilk. It is fun to pick apart their argument and watch as they back peddle onto ever smaller rays of hope. In the most enjoyable outcome they never back down. Slowly and methodically I chip away at the ray of hope they balance upon until they break. The wise confess immediately. The dull or arrogant don’t. When those break they still commit the error of trying to talk themselves out of it. This is inevitably a huge mistake. Instead of freedom they find that they just opened the door to a character discussion. Given that they made a conscience choice to lie and mislead for reward, this part is uglier and shorter than the initial discussion. We are all headed for a judgement, these folks get the courtesy of a rehearsal. Funny, they never seem happy afterwards. Let’s look at today’s example.

Remember my words of warning awhile back on experts?

My paper carries a weekly automotive section. I scan it mostly out of morbid curiosity. To say that it is only loosely tied to fact is a kindness. It is a syndicated thing to be fair. The “journalist” who writes it certainly didn’t go to school hoping for that job. It would surprise me if they could list five relevant facts about their own vehicle. That, given modern demographics, assumes that they own one. The “ideas” for the stories are obviously provided by dealerships or dealership associations along with the needed “facts”. There is no evidence of any counterpoint. That said, I do have pity for the somewhat hapless writer. The source is another story. To that end I will educate you to deny them!

Today’s article was in regards to VIN numbers. These are supposedly a special number that each vehicle has. Your dealership can etch this special number on the vehicle windows for you so that thieves won’t steal your marked car. If the dealer didn’t already do this, you should get it done.

What an incredible load of poo! This is a really blatant rip off. Vehicles DO have a Vehicle Identification Number. See that little metal strip at the base of the windshield on the drivers side? That strip atop the dash is the VIN. It’s attached to the firewall at that location because it is really hard to get to, almost impossible to destroy and highly visible. The VIN is also on the drivers side door jamb. In modern cars it is on almost all major components. Those without it can be traced back to it because of a modern production process known as In Line Vehicle Sequencing (ILVS) used for about 20 years now. Thieves are very well aware of this. Dealerships are very well aware of this. This is akin to your realtor offering to write your name on the house for a modest fee.

If car shopping and offered this, point to the VIN in the dash (base of the windshield) and ask if it isn’t already there. Don’t worry about the windows. They are stolen because they are a pain to remove and new ones are cheap by comparison. You needn’t act like me but you shouldn’t be fooled either.

Rant over, back to work.

Love language?

Recently I was enjoying the collected imagery of a lady whose mind I love. There I saw a simple image I had seen before. For no particular reason my leaky creaky mind connected it to a lesson on this maddeningly complex language we use and the arbitrary oddities imposed on it and us over the years. (If we can’t even figure it out then how can anyone else?) This thought then brought on the idea for this post and so now I will see if the mice love language.


As a noun it can mean to cause change as a result of. Think to “effect change”. It can also refer to lighting or props as in “special effects”.

As a verb it can mean to bring about or cause change as well. Again “effect change” could work.


As a verb it means to have an effect on something. Think of “affecting a desired effect”.

It can also mean to touch or move someone emotionally. To “affect their mood”.

Get that despite my weak language skills? Here, let’s practice.


His earlier call had a it’s desired effect on her actions. As she changed for their supper alone, she ran over the list of effects he gave for the evening and dressed accordingly. This alone had an effect on her. When he came in and moved her favorite pearls from her neck to her ankles it created the last affect he had in mind. Watching her slight pant during the meal showed him the affect was as he wanted and desert would far exceed the meal.

Don’t you love language?


Seasons are just as individual as we are and so far this Fall has been rather warm in its mannerisms. It was actually near 90 here recently at a time when the average high usually starts with a 5. Kind of like the trees I’m patient though. The weather has been right most of the year so I thought I had a pretty good idea what those silent trees had to show. The question was one of timing. That long, warm spell was setting the stage nicely. It’s sort of like a big blast in that, if set up just so, the outcome is both sudden and dramatic.

The wait came to an end this past week with temperatures dropping suddenly with a pressure change. That was all it took, the wait was over and the explosion of color happened. The leaves changed en masse over a period of a couple of days. The slow, protracted Fall with some bare trees before others even begin changing of the last few years has been changed into a sudden spectacular explosion of color this year. Looking out, it is easy to see that almost every tree is full of classic autumn color where it was reluctantly still green in photos from last week.

Every walk outside and every trip down the road is a cornucopia of beautiful sights all around. Yesterday’s trip to North Carolina should have had a toll booth every mile because the scenery along those back roads was well worth it. Walking around the house reveals a Dream-sicle (orange popsicle from childhood, unsure of spelling) glow in every room even on this overcast day. The colors are determined that everyone see them everywhere. Sadly I’m stuck sitting here looking out at those trees and the silver smoke curling around them from a nice wood fire.

Now I suppose that I must get up and walk on my toasty warm wood floors but I wanted to take a moment here and say “Hi”. Maybe some mice will eventually show interests in interesting stories but, if not, I hope they see beauty in their day like I have in mine!


Admittedly my writing has been a bit off lately. Life sees the head taking a beating and that certainly has an impact on both thought and the quality of it when it comes out here. That fragility was compounded (to a point) by the use of the new phone. (That wasn’t necessarily the phone’s fault in fairness.) The thoughts I’ve had here recently have been ones that I hoped would help others but they weren’t my usual fare. While I am limited here by things mentioned previously, I’m still here. To that end I’m hoping to get back to more traditional fare soon enough. The “Ten Day Life Forecast” shows a lot of storms for me in the near term but it also has some long awaited fun. As things change in my world, I still have thoughts though. Take today for instance.

It really was a gorgeous day, painful but gorgeous. I brought the daylight portion to an end by riding in circles and watching leaves and grass fly out the discharge chute. A good mower helps even out a bad day! The weather was perfect and the rainbow of leaves only made it all the more beautiful. As I rode I pondered writing tonight. Like everyone, the writing is a good release and the comments help me further consider my thoughts. The dearth of commentary as of late makes me wonder how bad my writing has become however. I was going to write about the surefire way to identify ladies interested in bondage while walking through a fair based on recent experience but I reckon y’all would be bored by that wouldn’t you. Oh well, I suppose I’ll just keep that one to myself. Sound good?