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Time to get busy again August 3, 2010

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I have wasted about as much time as one could imagine so…. its time to get started putting thoughts into the old keyboard. I am going to start and type create once again some factual and some fiction, Who’ll know what is fact or fiction? Only those that were directly involved at the time. Then again some of it could just be thoughts in the old guy’s mind.
First of all a lot of my closest know I just changed jobs or should I say teams.
A few months ago I stood behind the counter waiting on a little old man. I would say maybe in his late 70’s possibly early 80’s. He came in and asked if I’d be kind enough to price him some parts for his old car. I said sure, what are we driving today? He said I may not of had heard of it but it was a Ford Falcon.
My face lit up as I sold me very own Falcon to help finance my move from Charlotte. I said well lets go out and look at this fine car. If I remember right this old fellow told me he had bought it when it was new. It was a 1967 Falcon in pretty worn but decent shape. I admired it and told him what respect I had for him driving such a prestigious automobile.
We went back inside and I looked up all of his tune up parts and discounted each as I did trying my best to fit it all in his budget. He told me he still worked at the local Food Lion bagging groceries. Soon after totaling up the order he asked that I take the plu wires off the order as it was just a little over what he had to spend.
In the next work space one of my fellow work buddies was waiting on an order for an older african american lady. I heard her ask the counter guy waiting on her to ask me how much the wires cost.
Instead of asking me he scanned the upc and told her the price. She told him to please add them to her order. I thought that sounded strange as she did not know if they would work on her car and in the split second I thought that I felt the warmest glow come over my face. She paid for her order and asked my partner to install her wiper blades. She then turned to my dear old customer and held out her newly purchased wire set asking the little old man to accept her gift.
A huge smile came across the old man’s face and he told the woman thank you.
I smiled at the woman and felt a tear starting to stream down my cheek with her generous gesture.
After she walked out I asked my customer if he had given her special treatment once as he bagged her groceries. He looked at me and told me he had never met her.
I in turn walked outside to where she stood waiting on her wiper blades to be installed. I took her hand and gave her a whole hearted shake. I told this kind being thank you for restoring in me there were still good hearted thoughtful people in this world still.
To date I still enjoy talking with my elders and spending as much time as I can getting to know them. I ask that each of us set out after reading this and live by this wonderful woman’s act of kindness.


Mother May 8, 2010

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       Tomorrow marks a wonderful day for mothers around the world. Their children will make the calls and visits to talk with them and give them gifts and cards. Some of them will even prepare a meal in honor of all of the ones provided through the years giving mom the day off.

    For myself and countless of others in this world it will bring a tear of sorrow reminding us that our mothers have joined the hearafter and are awaiting us to come see them someday.

   I for one can say there were times I took my mom for granted and sometimes would go days maybe weeks without talking with her because I might of had a difference of opinion or just plain old let life get in the way and had no time with her. I can even remember 1 Christmas I went to see her long enough to eat dinner and hurried away leaving out of town to go to a job assignment and didn’t spend much time with her. Had I of known I’d only have one more Christmas with her I doubt I’d of left her side forever.

    If I could trade all of those bad decisions of holidays spent elsewhere and misbehavings for just a piece of lumber I’d surely build a stairway to heaven to spend your day with you Mom.

   Till that Blessed day happens, please know I Love You and Can Not Wait to See You Again.

 I Love You, and Happy Mother’s Day XXOO

 Your Simple Son

8/19/69-8/19-2009 August 19, 2009

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    My God its been 6 months to the day since I last posted. I promise to once again step back up on my soapbox and ranting a little more. I have been working long hours and dealing with an agrivated shoulder from a fall a while back.

   Tonight’s post deals with my siblings. Today Laura turns 40. Had Bobby still had been here (in body) he too would of had been. Duh there twins as I look into the mirror on that statement. When you two were young I remember all the things you guys dealt with. Both of you had a bad bout with strep throat as toddlers. I still remember seeing both of you with purple lips from whatever medicine our parents adminstered to yall.

   We went through so much growing up so dirt poor back in Dover. All the kids in the neighborhood made fun of us for being so poor. But its safe to say we overcame it all for the most part. My twin says I still wear the emotional scars from the “rough” times. Who knows I feel.

   At any rate…. Laura I love you and may our dearly departed little brother know he was on my mind much of the day.

 HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Simple Man

20 Years Past February 19, 2009

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   On this day 20 years ago you became my first true angel. Bobby not a day passes without you in my thoughts. Tonight just a few minutes past 6pm you crossed the gates into heaven above and forever changed my life. May God rest your soul and be waiting for me at the moment I pass those same gates myself. If Milton makes it before me, please know he likes to be sang to using his namre in certain parts of the song and have him there waiting with you when I finally make it home.

    Bobby I love you and MISS YOU TERRIBLY. After all these years I want to say thank you for calling me that night to let me know you were indeed okay and had made it to heaven. I know many think I am crazy, but I KNOW it was you that made the call to comfort me as you could see I had never learned to cry as I did on that fateful night 20 years ago. At this very moment tears fill my eyes  as I type this as many times as they have before when I think of you and miss you.

   Rest in Peace little brother…..

   I love you..

 Your Big Brother “A Simple Man”

Who moved my F’ing Cheese January 10, 2009

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     I write this story this morning with many on the back burner already started and waiting to be finished. But this one is weighing heavy on my mind. So heavy I woke up to it and had planned on sleeping another 30 minutes but felt compelled to get up and write it down while I felt so strong about it.

   So as I always do while writing I put on some good “writing mood music” Todays pick is “Knights in white satin” truly good music.

   Today I will write this story about my most current event in hopes it may open some’s eyes to what makes this old Simple Man tick.

   A while back my twin sister Lynn called and was talking about events going on in her world in a different part of our fine state of North Carolina. She mentioned how she was so happy she had listened to me about getting out of our home town in Florida and finally making the move north.

    She mentioned a book “Who Moved My Cheese” I asked her about it finding the title to sound humorous to my ears. She went on to tell me parts about it. I found a deep burning inside me to want to own and read this very book.

     One of the gifts from my wife on our first anniversary was a copy of said book. I read this book from cover to cover in a matter of a little over an hour and to most it would seem a children’s book. But if you take its words in like sniffing fine cologne and hold it deeply and think, you’ll find in most cases you are living this story in some way or another.

    Case in point ………..

 I have now put on another favorite song to listen to Elton John’s “Funeral for a Friend”.

     Over the past couple of months I have worked for a small Kawasaki/Polaris dealership and felt like the proverbial square peg in the round hole there. This “Simple Man” is always looking to better his life in some way or another and is in some cases always open to hear of ways to do so. A while back while in conversation with one of my fellow workers in the bathroom at still yet another job before the present one we were talking as we washed our hands about our mustangs and what not. He mentioned in passing about a new parts store opening up in our town and all>

    This very company I have follwed off and on over the years while living in Florida. I said “really, there now here” he said yeah. With that I left the wash room and proceeded to look up their number in hopes of speaking with someone about a possible position there.

    Unfortunately I was too late as all left were nights and weekend positions. I kindly declined but asked for the district manager’s name and phone number.

  Over a period of time I have met with the “DM” and talked some here and there but kept right on being the square peg in the round hole at my current job.

    With the economy going away from us not many people are buying new toys from this dealership, but plenty are being worked on which in a way was good for my department. The owner none the less was still a little, strike that and make it a LOT edgy about things. Sometimes seeming to make moves of desperation to try and drum up business with no luck. I truly felt bad for him no matter how many times I felt belittled by his statements to us as a group.

   The other day I met with the “DM” in the evning and he offered me a great package to start at this parts company. So good I felt the need to pinch myself as it sounded so good. I glady accepted and then realized how once again I had to go and give yet another notice I was to leave and once again to those that don’t understand my cheese being moved that I was soon to follow it.

    Well yesterday was my day to sound off that I was off to follow my cheese in 2 short weeks. The owner came in to sign and pass out checks. I received mine as well as some others with the exception of 2 of the guys I work with. “Why on earth was he holding their checks” I thought. Then realized he was about to do something with these guys. The first guy had been called in, a young school boy that worked a couple of hours after school and on saturdays. I could do nothing to stop whatever was his fate as I had no way of getting in front of the line quickly enough. But by golly I was going to with the other. It was said he was going to dramatically cut his hours therefore making it hard for this fellow to meet his obligations in life. I told this one to go in the back and make himself scarce as I was going in next to handle my business first.

     Sure enough I walked in to the owner’s office to find the other fellow’s check sitting there awaiting him to come in and meet whatever was his fate.

    I told the owner how I was sorry but felt the need to put in a 2 week notice as I was going back to my old line of work where I felt more comfortable. I thanked him for the opportunity of learning more about the 2 wheeled world than I had ever known but yet I felt as if I had failed him by not knowing enough. I could of had easily told him how I and everyone else there thought he was the biggest dick walking the face of this earth, but decided I may one day want to buy one his motorcycles and besides “The Simple Man” doesn’t roll like that.

    What happened next was great, we shook hands and he took the other fellow’s check out and handed it to him as if nothing was about to happen and went on his merry way.

  The moral of this story is plain and simple…

    We all should at times study our surroundings whether its our job or our relationship with another or ourself and learn to move with it to keep it from going stale. While doing so dance like you never have before and don’t worry who’s watching you and laughing. As well don’t take too seriously of whom is talking about your moving with your cheese as they don’t walk the miles in your shoes, YOU DO!

   And for Christ Sakes, if this whole story confused you, go down to Barnes and Nobles and put down your $20 and buy the book so you too can find inner happiness.

 “Words of a Simple Man”

Happy Birthday Mom December 22, 2008

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        Not a day goes by I don’t think about you Mom. I will not say you were the perfect mom nor will I say I was the perfect son. But we were perfect for each other.

      So many times you made me go out to break a switch for one of the many whippings that I so deserved. I feel that was the worse part of the whipping, choosing my own weapon to be used upon me. But you were just doing as you felt right. Mom I truly miss you and if I could, I’d break off a switch today at this very moment if it would bring you back or bring me back to a time so long ago so as to be a better young boy for which you to call her son.

    Am I bitter for my younger years? No maam not at all. I feel you molded me into being a good God fearing law abiding (most of the time) man.

    You would at times say “wait till your daddy gets home to deal with you” and for some reason that would never happen. You shielded me from those times that you knew I had loaned my car out and it was wrecked by someone else (knowing my punishment would be worse for merely loaning my own car) and told him I had an accident trying to miss hitting an animal.

    You loved every young lady I met and dated till something went wrong and then comforted me by saying “she was never good enough for you” You were the one I’d call when sick to ask your recipe for potato soup and you’d say “whats wrong Bubba are you sick” and then not give me the recipe, yet come make it for me.

    Mom I can not say enough about how bad I miss you. But I will go on record as saying this. You were the best mother a guy could ask for. And I tried my best to be the best son a mother could ask for.

Happy Birthday Mom….

I Love and Miss You…Till we meet again beyond Heaven’s Gates…

   Your Son

Young………. December 21, 2008

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    This is a story of two teenage boys that lived so close to one another yet meeting by chance one summer. What came from this meeting became a friendship that would last one a lifetime while leaving the other with an empty feeling many years later.

    Back in 1977 I started working the summer at the local school as custodian helpers. There I worked with a friend of mine Danny Jackson, I had known Danny since attending this very school in the first grade. He and his sister Rhonda would be my friends mostly up untill our later years in high school and by that time we had fallen out of touch for various reasons.

    That summer I also started working with and befriended a guy by the name of Dennis Hooker. Dennis and I lived so close but had never met until that time. He and I both had that same boyish playful attitude having fun doing most anything you could imagine. We definately had a sense of humor.

     We’d find ourselves having to do tasks that most would dread but laughing and smiling the whole time as we had become good friends, and let me tell you Good Friends are hard to find at certain times in one’s childhood.

   I remember one time we had to wash the walls of one of the school rooms and it called for using bleach water, by the time we were done we both had a nice set of high fashion bleached jeans as we had gotten into a wet towel fight goofing off.

     Sometimes Dennis would do some things that at the time seemed funny but in my later years may be deamed “overboard” . There was the younger boy that was a pest always riding through the outside walkways on a bike that was several sizes too large for him. He was much younger and surely trying us as he’d ride so close almost hitting us with his bike and at times tipping over trash cans as he rode by them laughing away at us as he rode off. Sort of a young Ernest T Bass off of the Andy Griffin  Show type of fellow.

    One day as he rode by us and had his little impish laugh sounding and dumping yet another trash can over Dennis and I were sweeping the walkway. Right when he was in range riding by Dennis took his broom and threw it like a spear at this boy. It went right where he intended it to, into the fron spokes of the over sized bike this kid was riding. Over the handle bars this boy went. He layed there a moment and I feared Dennis had killed the boy, but no,he sat up after a moment or so and just started laughing and got back on the bike and rode off.  Needless to say we had no more problems from him with this matter after that.

     This was the beginning of two friends rarely seperated from after school hours till the late hours of the evenings. We’d hang out after school often riding to and from with each other and getting into mischief anytime the opportunity presented itself.  If you have ever watched the video of Kenny Chessney’s “Young” that could easily be a song about Dennis and myself and in fact we even looked a lot like the boys in the video as well. We were into fast cars music and being small town boys having a great time growing up. A bit shy of the opposite sex yet in our own turf talked of the things we’d do if one was to be present at any given time.

     Being raised in a small country setting allowed us opportunities a lot of  city boys only dreamed of. Being able to take our shotguns out into our fields for target practice or dove hunting, able to drive like total heathens down long dirt roads imitating a recently viewed “Dukes of Hazzard” episode working on our old cars till the wee hours of the mornings on weekend nights and the list could go on forever.

    I can remember one time my phone rang and it was Dennis asking if I wanted to go for a ride. As normal my answer was sure, he came pulling up in a cab over semi truck his Daddy had just finished working on before having to stop and take a load to Alabama, he figured he’d install the seats upon his return. Dennis came pulling up in it and I opened the door climbing into the cab to find a pair of kitchen chairs being our seats for the ride. We cruised the country side blowing the horns at our friends as we passed there places.

    Another time we were out shooting cans with our guns and on the clothesline was a pair of Dennis’ brothers Timmy’s overalls that had a hole in them. Dennis remarked how he was tired of Timmy wearing those in public and BLAM he shot a big hole right into the seat of them. We laughed wondering if Timmy would notice it when putting them back on.

   Sure we sound like we were bad boys, but no we were just “Young”

Happy Thanksgiving to all November 27, 2008

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       Its now a quarter to 5 and all that was to happen has indeed happened. My twin sister Lynn made the 90 minute drive down to our house on wednesday night.

     We hugged and said how nice it was to see each other. Milton was wagging his little nub of a tail upon seeing her pull up in her Miata instead of barking some lunatic of a jack russell that we know him to be.

    After she and he playing a bit, she, Maria and I all load up in my Ford Explorer to go out to dinner hoping to find someone open on the eve of thanksgiving. We end up at O’Charleys and enjoy a nice dinner.

    Afterwards we come back and sit and chit chat some and amuse one another talking over the latest happenings as well as old times past before turning in for the night after a long day of both work and travel as well.

     This morning I got up around 6:45 and put on the coffee and started making breakfast consisting of crescent rolls wrapped around some fried bacon and colby cheese strips then baked while I fried up some potato and onion home fries. We all sat around the table talking while enjoying both good food and company likewise.

   We talked about a lot and about missing those in our lives that are no longer here. I picked at Lynn about some of her past dates she had been on.

   Deep down I really missed my other siblings and their families that could not make it for one reason or another. Maybe next year will bring us all together once again.

    All morning we took our turns in the kitchen making the dishes we each planned on having for dinner. Maria made her famous Pecan pies and delicious no bake cookies on tuesday evening so she had the morning off, but helped us out just the same. Lynn was first up after breakfast with the turkey. Then I peeled the potatoes and got them off to boil. Lynn came in and started the greenbean casserole and I then went and added the butter, garlic, and sour creme to my potatoes and whipped them all up.

    We all went next door with our creations to Maria’s parents house and met with her brother Paul and had dinner. Ma had made a very nice ham, sweet potatoes, salad, brussel sprouts, and zimaropita (sort of greek cornbread quishe) and we all enjoyed a great dinner. Lynn also had prepared a red velvet cake that was on the dessert table as well.

   In between lunch and dessert, Paul and I sat in front of the tv with the detroit lions getting their lights knocked out by the tenessee titans. Paul and Lynn sat and looked at the sales ads while I napped like a full grizzly bear. I could hear them talking some but chose to stay semi comatose just picking up on the highlights of their conversation.

   We sat and ate dessert and afterwards it was time for Lynn to make her way back to Cary.

  Here I sit writing this post thinking over the previous 46 thanksgiving afternoons and what I have done on those occasions. Thank you to the good Lord above for all the beautiful occasions….

Some of this and a lot of that November 23, 2008

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      Lately a lot has been going on in this Ol’ Simple Man’s life.

   Where do I start? The latest I suppose… I’m still getting over a bout of stomach problems. I woke up friday morning with a tightness in my mid section. I tried eating something for breakfast and gave up seeing I was taking a turn for the worse. Funny the coffee made me feel okay so I had a few cups of that. While getting dressed for the “job from hell” (more on that in a bit) I made sure to wear my loosest slacks and no belt. They were so loose I was afraid at any moment they might fall off me.

    I went on into work and didn’t eat anything nor drink anything. I went to deposit my paycheck around 1ish and sat in line at the drive up teller for atleast 15 minutes. Funny thing with Wachovia Banks They’ll have 2 lanes open with only 1 teller working them. That just does not make sense to me. I got a call a while back from Wachovia during their “Customer Pride Week” and they had the nerve to ask me what I thought about their service…I told them straight up how I felt it was bad business to make a fellow spend 15 or more minutes of his lunch hour for them to do their job. By golly they came up with an excuse that they had an employee out on maternity leave and it would not happen again. I suppose thats whats happened at all the other branches I have frequented over the years as well.

   Anhow I got back and felt as if I had to go purge in the bathroom. Upon producing nothing but a dry heave I was down for the count. I had to leave as the pain was very severe. I believe all this is part of my gastric bypass operation I had back in 02. What happens is this.. I start to feel sickly and bloated around my belt line. After a while on the right side of my scar I see a bulge appear and know what the problem is right away. Solving it is not an easy task. What is happening is I have a large gas bubble building up in my stomach I need to go break wind, only problem is it won’t do it. Laugh if you must but I promise you I hope you never have this issue. It hurts so badly you cannot lay down. You get very bad chills and must sit in a chair and lean back some. I have found my desk chair here at the computer does good as long as I can prop my feet up on the coffee table next to it. I have spent a many a night in my old chair this is a new one I got for my birthday and it seems to be as comfortable as well.

    After 7 hours of this excruciating pain you pass out from the pain and awaken later to feel better. Although it is better, your stomach isn’t right for several days afterwards.

   Next up is this job I have taken as of recently. I interviewed with the owner a couple of months ago and man did he make it all seem so good. His favorite phrase was “you’ll be the big fish in the little pond here” Well so much for that.

   He was a very nice guy doing the hiring, working for him is a totally different story. He comes in and attacks you on the spot on a daily basis. The other day his wife had a baby, he had hoped for a little girl being he had 2 boys previously. Well she had a third little boy, he seemed to be bent about thefact he didn’t get a girl. I was appalled by his actions. To show you how he is, I told him that was a cute youngin in the pcture he proudly? put up on the counter. What was his response you wonder “yeah” he sort of said it in just a passing manner.  Sort of like “yeah right”

   Also they’re are 4 smokers working in this place of business. All of them feel its their worldly duty to light up at once (within a closed building mind you) and puff away. I’ll be the first to say I don’t have a problem with a person who smokes, but coming home smelling of a bingo palace I do have a problem. The book keeper there told them she hated the thought of the second hand smoke killing her, one of their responses was they did too, thats why they were enjoying the firsthand smoke.  With that it brings out another problem. I have hacked and hacked over and over dealing with the “bar room quality air at my job” to the point that now when I cough it hurst around my rib area. Apparantly I must have bruised my rib muscle area from coughing so much.

    The book keeper at work refers to our boss as the devil and I have to agree with her as he seems it and so does his smokey building I must try and earn a living in. I have an ace in my back pocket of still yet another job in the not so distant future, so in essence I have a knot at the end of the rope to hang onto.

    on another subject, I had an RCA 52″ big screen tv that I had since 2002. Let me go on record to say these days I believe that RCA stands for “Real Crappy Appliances” After moving to South Carolina this POS (piece of $hit) went on the blink the morning of opening day of Nascar season. I immediately drove to Georgetown to buy one so as not to miss atleast the last 50 laps of the race. Well as fate had it I bought an RCA 27 incher and came home with it. Well truth be it, It in turn broke before the 52 incher even got out of the “tv jailhouse” being repaired. My next thing was to go and buy a used JVC. A piece of advice..Dont waste money on used TVs at pawn shops. My 27″er was past the point of returning it to Walmart and the TV jailhouse said it was too new for parts to be made for it. I did what any other man in his right mind would do. I took it out to the back 40 and unloaded my 20 gauge pump on her. Every squeeze of the trigger felt so danged good.

    So..Okay you wonder where I’m headed with this story… well I got sick and danged tired of this tv (52′) making me manually get up and adjusting the volume or turning it on and off. Sometimes the vloume would just raise up and not go back down. I had enough..I did whatever any man in his right mind would do…I put her on Craigslist under the “free column” Only problem is I did it on a friday night (while still sick) at 8:58 pm. At 9:02pm the calls started coming in. I took the first call and it sounded like a nice woman that really wanted it. She offered to come right over in her Expedition. I explained tonight was not good for me as I was feeling under the weather and all and this tv was not going into her expedition unless I got my circular saw out to cut it up. I told her the next day I should be home around 4ish and if she had not found a truck yet I’d be glad to haul it free of charge being gas is all of $1.75 here in the ville. The whole time I was talking to her setting up the deal my cellphone was beeping away. I hung up with her and immediately turned my phone completely off so I could try and sleep. The next morning I woke up and signed online to find 18 emails from tv wanters and turned my phone on to have 14 voice mails. I’d of had more except my phone only holds 15 voice mails and one is being stored about a job I’m completeing in my side business.

   What I was about to hear on my phone would of made Adolph Hitler even come to tears. I heard all kinds of hardluck stories from Trailers that had half burned to the ground with you guess it the tv in that half. Others had stories of divorce with the spouse taking the tv but leaving the children. I also heard of people talking about how they were tired of watching their crappy 19 inch tvs and wanting to upgrade. One guy wanted me to take pictures of it so he could see if he was interested in it. Another wanted to come and see if he could fix it to decide then if he wanted to take it with him.

   The problem is once I cleared all those calls it filled back up again. All day my phone did nothing but ring. You’d a thought I was the local neighborhood crack dealer.

   So after laving the job from hell on saturday afternoon I came home to find my pickup with not only the stereo missing out of it but also someone had ramsacked my glove compartment Hope they liked all the Wendy’s napkins in it. They also left the door cracked enough to run down my battery. So with that I just had to jump start the battery. You know I’m not that upset with the stereo missing, its the going through my glove box that really chaps my booty. I mean that radio in my truck was right up there next to the 52″ tv in my book.

  I don’t know if anyone can tell, but I’m really trying to be a better boy living wise. Meaning trying not to cuss so much or drive over the speed limit and what not. Just keep in mind this, if you get a chance Look at Kenney Chessney’s video titled “Young” on Youtube.com and you’ll still see the playfull ol’ loveable Cowboy that is still “The Simple Man”

A quick thought November 11, 2008

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    Lately going into a grocery store is a lot like entering a foreign country, “enter at your own risk”. I mean they should seriously all have to fly the jolly roger flag outside as their all a bunch of pirates.

   I’m wondering when they’re going to offer a booth to pawn the title for your car as you enter so as to have enough to buy groceries.

   Tonight on my way home from work I went into my local Harris Teeter. First stop, the meat counter I asked the guy behind the counter for some pastromi, he reached for it and I saw what looked like the price tag of a brick of gold in front of it. Figuring it had to be misplaced I asked how much it was? He said $10.99, I asked “for the whole thing”? he laughed and said no, “The pound” I said That aint worth it.. His response was “it’s very good” I told him I could not bare to eat the stuff paying such an amount. I’d surely have to put it in the front window and display it to all passerbyers.

    My next stop was the frozen food section. A sarah lee cheese cake..8.99…Damn! A Mrs Paul’s Lemon Meringue Pie…$7.52 C’Mon….

   With the stock market tumbling because sales are down I can see why! I mean the reason prices skyrocketed in the first place was because fuel prices climbed so high. Now fuel is back down to a level we havent seen in a couple of years it’s high time we all did the same we did to the grocery stores as we did to the gas people. Stop buying so much at a time. Eat more left overs at home, if we have to buy anything, buy it from the local fruitstand or meat market. Sure they might be a slight bit higher, but yet once we do just that Mr Big Grocer will open their eyes to notice their sales are down and go out and hire some fance shmancy consulting firm to find out what happened. I heard on the news that we should not expect any relief from the grocery stores until someone (one of them) actually breaks their code and starts to lower prices. Then the rest of them will have to follow through and do the same. Thats a real crappy way to treat the american public I feel.