Tuesday, September 30, 2014

September 2014...The Month That Was

The month of September, 2014 is almost over (actually, at the time of this writing, it's over in more than half the planet...).

It's been quite a month! So, I decided to look back and post a bunch of pictures of the month that was. It began with my son's cub scout boat race, and interestingly enough ended at my son's cub scout meeting. In between there was the 2nd Annual Salt Lake Comic Con, ending one show (Peter Pan...) and beginning another (Scrooge...). I had some tough allergies hit me, I found a sandpeople rock, our new neighbors finished landscaping and took a drive up Ogden Canyon.

I had a great month surrounded by fantastic people! I'm lucky like that. Thanks to everyone who helped make it such a wonderful time!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Ever Ask A Publisher...For Permission?

Back in grad school I took a class on William Faulkner. It was one of my most favorite classes, also one of my toughest. In fact, it was the only class in which I didn't get an A (I got an A-, but I still tell people I got straight A's in grad school...).

For one assignment in my Faulkner class I decided to write a little story, an additional scene from The Sound and the Fury that I imagined happening after the book ended. I had so much fun writing it and my professor was very impressed at how it turned out--not enough to give me an A for the class (I'm not bitter...).

Right now, I'm collecting stories that I wrote both in grad school and after for a book I'm going to publish and I'd really like to include my Faulkner story for the collection. The problem is, I'm using the characters he created and even a small excerpt from the book for a For Profit project. I can't use the story without permission.

I was resigned to just not including the story, but my editor said she loved it, too. So I began to figure out just how one goes about asking for permission from a publisher to see if they'll let me use parts of Faulkner's story. Finally, today, I found the site I was looking for.

Now, I need to find out which page the excerpt was on before I can make my official request. Too bad I "read" it on audiobook...

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Mad Dogs...A Short Story


Weekly Writing Challenge

I must say I'm intrigued by the two photos in this week's weekly writing challenge. I would not put these two pictures together, but someone did in an effort to foster creativity. Well, let's see if it works!

As always, if you want to join in the fun, here are the rules and how you can participate:

1) Use the two photos in your story.
2) Keep your word count 500 or less.
3) You have until next Tuesday night to link up your story.
4) Use the Blue Link to add your story at Leanne's, Debb's or Tena's websites. 
5) Have fun, don't stress, and let those creative juices flow!

And so, here's a little story about dogs in a window and clogs.

Mad Dogs

"Honey, I'm telling you! I know what I'm talking about!"

Charlie turned his head so his wife couldn't see him rolling his eyes--she hated when he did that. After a deep breath, he tired a different tactic.

"Listen, Sherry. Why don't you come and sit down."

"But, if I...."

"Nope, trust me. Just sit down and everything will be better." Charlie stood and escorted his wife to a chair beside his at the kitchen table. "Now, I want you to just sit and clear your mind." She began to rise from the chair, but he held her down by gently placing his hands on her shoulders. "Really, Sher--it's all going to be okay."

After a moment, Charlie sat. He shifted his chair so he could look into her eyes. He needed to know if what she was telling him was true.

"Sherry, darling," he said in as calming a tone as possible. "I need you to tell me what happened. Start from the beginning."

"Okay," Sherry said. "I thought the dogs were planning something for some time."

Oh, those dogs, Charlie thought. Some couples have children, some have hobbies, some travel the world. Us? We have dogs--eight,to be exact. And we probably spend more on those eight dogs than other people spend on their kids, their hobbies, or their world travels.

"...And so I set up a trap, to catch them in the act."

"Um...honey? What exactly were you trying to catch them doing?"

Sherry nervously scanned the room as if the dogs had somehow escaped from their enclosure. "They were trying to get my shoes!" Sherry whispered.

"Your shoes?!"

"I know it sounds crazy..." It took everything Charlie had to not respond with something like, "sounds crazy? It IS crazy!" Instead, he said nothing and let Sherry speak.

"Yes. Those dogs--all of them--they hate the clogs my cousin picked up for me in Denmark."

"You mean those ugly purple things you got at Christmas?"

"They're not ugly, Charlie! They're eclectic."

"Is that Danish for "ugly?"

Sherry gave her husband "the look" and he knew he was approaching a dangerous place. "I'm sorry, dear. They're not ugly. I was only kidding. But how do you know the dogs hate those shoes?"

"Every time I wear them, I can tell. They act different. They're not happy like usual. It's like they're mad at me."

Charlie shook his head to somehow try and remove the mental images of dogs angry at his wife's choice of footwear. "So, what happened today?"

"Today I came home and I put the clogs on to go work in the garden, but when I approached the house, they were all staring at me through the door window. I swear Charlie, if you saw the faces of those dogs, you'd be freaked out, too."

After a moment said. "Well, honey...maybe we should get rid of those shoes. I think it's for the best."

"I think you're right," she said.

Word Count: 499

Saturday, September 27, 2014

I Guess I'm Not The Greatest Self-Promoter...

I've been writing a daily blog post for almost four years--never missed a day, and I learned a LONG time ago that if I gauged my success (or personal satisfaction...) with the number of "Likes" I got or views my blog received, or comments others posted, I would be disappointed. 

When I first started my blog I checked several times a day to see if a particular blog post resonated with people, i.e. how many people viewed it. And based on those early numbers, I think many of my friends were excited to read the blog. I even got a lot of comments those first couple of months. But then, as I kept writing day after day, I think people got a little tired of my little blog.

And I'm completely okay with that.

There's a lot of blogs that I follow, but I don't read all of them. I remember going to a writer's conference and I attended a panel on increasing one's social media footprint. I came out of that panel realizing I didn't have the time to do what they recommended, namely spend several hours a day--a day--reading and commenting on other people's blog so they'd follow mine. Getting blog followers can be profitable. If a publisher knows you have several thousand followers, that could swing a book deal. Not always, but it can't hurt.

So a couple of years after I started my blog, I got published. First one short story, then another, then several flash fiction stories were e-published. I decided to create my very own Facebook Author Page. The next thing Facebook wants you to do once you've created a Facebook Fan Page is to invite all your friends to "Like" it. I did at the time and I got...well, you can see how many "Likes" I got.

Really, this hasn't bugged me because the number of "Likes" on a fan page hardly determines if I'm a good or bad writer. I'd pretty much forgotten about it until a fellow writer posted that she had several hundred Facebook friends and only just over one hundred "Likes" on her Author Page. I checked my numbers--I had more Facebook friends and fewer "Likes." 

If you're on Facebook and a friend (or not...) and you're bored thinking you want to do something but not necessarily change the world, go: HERE and click, "Like." To quote Pedro, "If you vote for me, all of your wild dreams will come true. Thank you." *

* Guarantee of wild dreams coming true cannot and will not be honored, but hey...you never know!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Phone Shopping...Oh, The Choices!

"So, we were wondering, would you be interested in going in on a cell phone plan with us? We're thinking of getting new cell phones."

My in-laws asked my wife and I this the other day. It's a big change for them, considering they've been Tracfone customers for about a decade. I told them I'd be glad to go shopping with them--I wanted to make sure they understood all the stuff that was going to be thrown at them.

Thus begun a journey, a sort of like the Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey, if you will...

Okay, it's nothing like that, but in the three hours of time we spent driving to and from various businesses, I learned a lot!

Even though commercials for the major cell phone providers makes it appear so, not all carriers have the same plans. T-Mobile has a killer deal if you get three other people to join up with you. Then you must buy the phones separately, and the $100 phones are not all that great--not the kind of phone my mother-in-law wanted.

So, Mickeal (a very nice salesman...) gave us his card and we headed off to Verizon. Now, Verizon didn't have the "family plans," but they had better phones, with a higher cost, of course. Verizon offered pay-as-you-go plans as well as two-year contract plans--both have advantages and disadvantages. We thanked Brennan and told him we had other places to check.

We went to the Cell Phone Center at Wal*Mart and they had the cheapest plan of all, and unfortunately, the cheapest phones. Of course, all three places had the top-of-the-line phones, but they were pricey.

Will all these plans and phones and option swimming in our heads, we decided to go visit The Apple Store. And it was there where we found what my mother-in-law was looking for. You see, the Tracfone she has pretty much have everything she needs in a phone, but when she saw a shiny new Samsung Galaxy 5 phone someone using while on a vacation recently, she fell in love.

We explained the situation with Mike at The Apple Store (all the salesmen were nice...), and he told my mother-in-law all about the iPhone 5s. But then he thought of something none of us did. My mother-in-law didn't necessarily want (or need...) a new expensive smartphone. Something else would probably be better for her.

And that's how she came to own an iPad Mini.

All logos used without permission and taken from various websites.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

My Uncle, The Mountain Climber...And So Much More

Sports Illustrated July 25 1955//*

My brother found this photograph and posted it on Facebook. Inside this edition of Sports Illustrated is a story of the men who first climbed the Matterhorn 150 years go. There's a very cool YouTube video showing climbers lighting the route to the top of the mountain. You can see that video: HERE.

Why my brother brought attention to this particular edition is because our Uncle Arlin is in this edition of the magazine! He was one of the hikers featured in the article. He climbed the Matterhorn when he was there. Funny story--when I was eight-years old my family visited my aunt, uncle and cousins when they lived in California. We went to Disneyland and I believed for a long time that my uncle had climbed the Matterhorn that was at Disneyland and when we were there, I kept thinking to myself, "I guess they used to let people climb the ride," which I thought was kind of strange.

But he didn't climb the Disneyland mountain--he climbed the real one. Kind of like the difference between seeing the Eiffel Tower in Las Vegas and the one in Paris.

It's difficult for me to express just how important my uncle has been in the lives of me and my siblings. In so many ways he was like a father for us after our own father passed away. So the fact that he climbed one of the most beautiful mountains in the world, doesn't surprise me at all.

* Photo used without permission from: http://xyzcollectibles.com/guests/view_only_defined_collectible?defined_collectible_id=15815&defined_collection_id=186

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Frank Beddor's "The Looking Glass Wars"... A Book Review

The Looking Glass Wars (The Looking Glass Wars, #1)*

I met Frank Beddor at this year's Salt Lake Comic Con. He and I shared a panel about storytelling. I learned a little about him--he's accomplished quite a lot, like a Hollywood producer, past member of the US ski team, writer, screenwriter--like I said, pretty accomplished. We had our panel and it turned out great. 

So when I saw The Looking Class Wars, Book 1 of the series, available at the library, I had to get it.

And I'm glad I did!

Lewis Carroll's Alice In Wonderland always kind of freaked me out. I mean, it is a bit over the top--even for a children's fairy tale. What Mr. Beddor did was take the story we all know and kicked it up a notch. I don't want to give away too much because--for me--it's more fun to not know anything about  a story before I begin it. I can say that he expands the already fantastic world of Mr. Carroll to create a story that is completely unique--unique to the spirit of the original work.

What I liked most, I think, is the possibilities that this new world opens up. It's a place we already know, or think we know. With Mr. Beddor's imagination, the sky's the limit.

I'm hoping to read more of these books, plus, it's always cool to say, "Hey! I know that guy!" It makes the experience of reading a story that much more fun.

Oh, and another cool thing about the author, he was a ski stuntman in the film, Better Off Dead. Serious awesomeness! 

* Photo used without permission from: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44170.The_Looking_Glass_Wars?from_search=true

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Huntsville Cemetery...

We took a drive this weekend. After driving a while, we took a left and drove to the end of the road and at the end of that road we came to the Huntsville Cemetery.

The cemetery is surrounded by water, by a manmade reservoir in a beautiful valley. The main gate to the cemetery was padlocked closed--a kind, local gentleman (I'm assuming he was local; he could have just known a lot about the area...) saw me taking pictures through the gate and told me that a side gate was unlocked and that I could go in and take more pictures.

When I was a kid, cemeteries gave me the creeps. The one in our town used to freak me out when we'd walk by at night, but now, I love them. Each time I drive by one I want to stop and look at the names and wonder who they were.

My family waited in the car while my youngest son and I spent only a few minutes within the gated space. Had I more time I could have gotten some more impressive shots, but for me, it was enough. Maybe one day I'll go back.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Two Decades And Two Years...

It's been twenty-two years, two decades and two years since I entered a building as a single man and came out married. It's been quite a ride!

For fun, I Googled September 22, 1992 and to be honest, I thought I'd find more for such an important date in history. I learned a storm hit France and a couple of dozen people died. That's tragic. Also a baseball player--Aurelio Lopex, Mexican baseball player (born 1948) passed away.

But I choose not to dwell on these stories. I prefer to remember the day as the day I married an amazing woman, a woman who has stood by me, accepted my faults, even laughed at my corny jokes. I mean, if that's not love, I don't know what is!

There's been highs and lows, celebrations and tragedies, kids, mortgages, about a dozen cars (including several minivans...), and several pets and fewer indoor plants. So far, we wake up relatively happy and blessed to be taking this journey together. I can't imagine my life any other way.

So, thank you, Lynda! For everything!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

The News...A Short Story

The Weekly Writing Challenge!

I skipped last week's challenge, but I'm back and I like these two pictures--maybe it's because I like Coca Cola and I like cupcakes. I'm sure that has something to do with it.

And, as always, if you want to participate, here are the rules:

1) Use the two photos in your story.
2) Keep your word count 500 or less.
3) You have until next Tuesday night to link up your story.
4) Use the Blue Link to add your story at Leanne's or Debb's websites. 
5) Have fun, don't stress, and let those creative juices flow!

Here goes nothing!

The News

Jill stood alone in her small kitchen while eleven of the most important women in her life sat in the next room chatting after lunch. 

"Okay, Jill," the nervous woman said to herself. "You're going to feel a lot better after it's done." She took in a deep breath and breathed it out slowly trying to calm her racing heart. "And now, the cupcakes." The twenty-five year old  newly married attorney opened a cabinet drawer where the desserts were hidden from the view of curious eyes.

She lifted each pink cake and placed it on the cute holder she picked up at Bed Bath And Beyond the week before. She thought about the trip to the store and noticed her hands were shaking.

"But what will they think?" she whispered out loud. "They're going to think I'm the biggest idiot. I know my mother-in-law's going to say I'm throwing away my career--all that schooling, down the drain."

Jill reached for the last cupcake and placed it atop the display. Just seeing it there brought a pang in her heart, a war of wants battled inside her soul for control. She almost began another round of sobbing right there in the kitchen with everyone else in the next room.

That thought--that someone could walk in at any moment forced her composure to return. No, she was stronger than that. Just take in the cupcakes, tell them what you wanted to tell them and the worst would be over--even if the worst-case scenarios that had played over and over in her mind the last two months, just having the news out there would be worth it.

"Here goes," Jill said and she picked up the display. Before she forgot, she masterfully opened the fridge with one hand and withdrew two Cokes.

"Jill, honey, let me help you with that!" Jill's best friend Trisha said as the woman brought in the cupcakes with one hand and the drinks in the other.

"Thank, Trish." Jill said and the smile on her friend's face reassured her that everything was going to be okay. "Dig in!" Jill said. The woman each took a cupcake leaving two on the stand.

"Jill, you made one too many," Jill's mom said. "And what's with the Coca Colas--I thought you were a Pepsi family." A few of the guests laughed mildly.

"No, mom. I counted correctly."

Everyone in the room stopped and looked at Jill. "These two..." Jill put the drinks on the table, picked up the two remaining desserts and placed them on a plate in front of her. "These two are for me. You see, I'm eating for two now, and these..." Jill grabbed the Cokes and turned them so the names were showing, "...are the names Jim and I are considering."

The room exploded in screams and shouts of joy.

Word Count: 479

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Orson Scott Card's "Ender's Shadow"...A Book Review


A friend (and fellow pirate...) and I were talking a few weeks ago and we were discussing books. He's a huge Ender's Game fan as well as all the Enderverse books. "Have you read Ender's Shadow?" he asked.

"I started it, but I never finished it," I told him.

And then I began to wonder why I never finished it. I had read Ender's Game a year before I checked out the audio version of Ender's Shadow. I think I was about a quarter the way through when I stopped. But I think I'm glad I ended up reading it now. I've had a long time to digest Ender, at least more than I had before. I'm sure the film helped.

"Ender's Shadow and the whole Bean series is my favorite--of all of Card's books," my friend said. This made me want to read the book even more, so I checked it out and finished it in two days. I really enjoyed Ender's Shadow. And I liked it because it wasn't as complicated as Ender's Game. Plus, it's a compliment to a story I already knew. I kept finding myself going back to the original story and wondering if I remembered things that happened when it came to Ender and Bean.

I'll be reading Ender's Game again. If you enjoyed Ender's Game, you need to read this book. It's a straight-forward re-telling that sets up the series as one full of potential. I've put on hold the next two books in the Ender's Shadow series. I'm pretty sure I'm going to finish them all.

* Photo used without permission from: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9532.Ender_s_Shadow?from_search=true

Friday, September 19, 2014

Evan Bacon...Brix Master!

I saw a lot of things at this year's Salt Lake Comic Con--a lot of impressive things. But one of the most impressive things was seeing the art of the son of a high school buddy, a son who is, literally, building a name for himself.

Evan Bacon builds things out of Lego bricks, big things. I got to meet him and I snapped a few pictures. I also met his mom. I checked his website and it looks both cool and ambitious. And more information will be coming next month.

I don't know a lot about what's coming--I'll have to wait until October like everyone else--but based on the website information (you can access it: HERE...), you'll be able to build your own life-sized sculptures. 

The picture I took of the superhero sculptures at Comic Con doesn't do the art justice. It's so impressive. And I wish him and his new venture the very best!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Just Cleaning The Company Fridge...

Many of you, like me, work in an office and one of the responsibilities of working in an office is a shared obligation to keep things tidy.

Which means, taking turns cleaning the kitchen area.

This month, it's my department's turn and last week my name was called. I've worked in several offices--some take the cleaning duties seriously, others not so much. Luckily, our floor does a pretty good job. 

We only have a few rules. We send out an e-mail notifying the floor and give everyone a chance to take care of their own stuff. We tell them that if the food's expired, it's gone. If something's not labeled, it's gone. We then take everything out of the two fridges on our floor, wipe down the shelves, then put back items where only the food's owners have followed the rules.

We didn't throw away much, but we did find one item that expired over a year ago. Apparently, those who cleaned before didn't follow the rules.

My turn is over, at least, for a little while.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Orson Scott Card's "Hidden Empire"...A Book Report


Today I finished Orson Scott Card's Hidden Empire, the sequel to Empire. Even though it's been a while since I read the first book--which I thoroughly enjoyed--I believe I liked this book better. 

The premise of the first book in the series, Empire, is to imagine a world where red states and blue states wage war for control of America. Instead of just throwing insults and facts that support their opinions, they use bullets and bombs. I'm forgetting many of the details due to the time that's passed since I read it, but I do recall that it was a story of political ideologies taken to the extreme and just how far things could go if people backed up their hatred of each other with weapons.

I thought it was a timely read.

Then I picked up Hidden Empire...

And realized what timely really means.

Hidden Empire begins with a village in Africa that falls victim to a deadly virus that kills almost all it infects. Have you checked any headlines coming from the African continent lately? Of course, the story expands to where governments battle, conspiracy theories rage and special forces are assembled to protect and serve.

It's a good read, quick, smart, and perhaps more so than the first book (because of some of the advanced technological weaponry...), more believable. But what I liked most is the book reminded me of all those Tom Clancy books I read decades ago. For me Card captured the heart of those books, the personal dilemmas the characters faced, and I'd recommend the book for that reason alone.

* Photo used without permission from: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6397351-hidden-empire?ac=1

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Names On Cokes--Some Say Annoying...Some Say Dumb...I Say Brilliant Advertising!

I wonder what you thought when you first saw/heard about Coca Cola's marketing campaign where different names appear on the side of Coke cans and bottles. Maybe some of you thought it was dumb, or annoying, but personally, I thought it was genius.

And, as it continues, I've not changed my opinion. In fact, I'm more convinced now than I was then. I bought a 20 oz. Coke the other day and brought it home because I failed to drink it all. I put it in the fridge then forgot about it. My wife got home and asked me, "Who's Harriet?"

I had nothing.

I had no idea what she was talking about. My mind raced to think of an e-mail we might have gotten from someone named "Harriet." So, I asked her, "Who's Harriet?" She then told me it was the name on the bottle and she was just having a little fun.

But the above picture shows the true power of Coke's idea. I bought another bottle and it had the name "Blake" on it. First thing that came to my mind was all the people I know, or have known, named Blake. Then, because I have a friend on social media named Blake I took a picture of the two Blakes together. If I had a million followers and I showed them my picture, that's 100% free advertising for Coke. They don't have to pay a dime for that coverage. Now, my social media reach is no where near that, but it's my picture is still a free ad for Coke.

And every time anyone does the same thing, the result's the same, too--free ads.

I have no idea how long the campaign will last, but Coca Cola has successfully created something for the 21st century. Well done!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Bookbomb Time...Danyelle Leafty's "Saltwater Curiosities"


I was asked if I would help spread the word on Danyelle Leafty's latest work, Saltwater Curiosities. Sure! I said. I know nothing of the book, but I have met the author and her husband and--unlike my book promotion blog for John Brown last week, I've read one of Danyelle's books (I still need to get one of John's books and read it...).

Danyelle's like a lot of us who write. She's published a lot of titles, actually, and is trying to get people to pick up one of her books, or click on a link where a person can buy one of her books. Her husband should get an award for "Most Promotional Spouse."

Wait...that came out wrong.

Let's just say he's a huge supporter and her biggest (metaphorically speaking...) fan. I applaud that. He's supporting a person who I'm sure is overwhelmed with all the comes from being a mom, a wife, and a creative person.

So, go: HERE to order her book on Amazon, or check out her website: HERE for even more titles. And if you're on the fence, do it for the spouse!

* Photo used without permission from: http://www.danyelleleafty.com/?p=1458

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Monday Morning Blues...A Short Story

Monday Morning Blues

Peter cursed the snooze button as the bus carried him to his job. He knew the fault rested not on a snooze button, but on his own unwillingness to get up early which denied him the opportunity to catch an early bus. Now, because of he violated the deadly sin of sloth, he was forced to share a bench seat, and since he boarded at one of the last stops before the bus entered the city, prime seating locations were next to impossible to find.

The accountant silently cursed again as the large man with whom he shared his bench shifted his sizable weight resulting in a head resting on Peter's shoulders that wasn't Peter's. Had he not ignored the snooze button and got up in time to catch the early bus, he could have practically laid down on the bench and slept during the twenty-five minute commute. Could the Monday get any worse?

Without being too gentile (but with enough restraint so as not to draw attention...), Peter pushed this fellow capitalist away; the man's head rose until it teetered at its highest point and that's where it stopped moving. Peter held his breath as the man's muffled snoring continued, his open mouth showing the slightest hint of spittle about to descend upon his wrinkled suit coat.

Peter raised a finger to offer a small push when he noticed the man's head began to fall--thankfully away from Peter. The clank of the man's skull against the window caused more than a few riders to look in their direction. To escape their gaze (and honest judgement...), Peter pretended to be deeply involved in the Candy Crush game on his iPhone. Fortunately, Peter's gentle shove in one direction and the subsequent stop of motion in the other did not wake up the man who kept on snoring.

The accountant looked out the bus window beyond the stranger's head and saw the city skyline come into view. The weather matched Peter's mood, morose, cloudy, and raining. Dark clouds hovered over the buildings, giving the man-made skyscrapers the appearance of rectangular stalagmites, each floor deposited by the clouds above.

Peter checked his phone--he'd be an hour late. No big deal, really. It took people at least forty-five minutes of bull-shooting before any actual work got done, especially on Monday. He'd make it up, stay late, assume the persona of good employee, the golden son, the chosen. He wondered as the bus exited the freeway if he'd sleep in tomorrow as well.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Have You Been To Sears Lately...?

When was the last time you were in a Sears store? For us, it was about 3 1/2 years ago. Normally, I don't ask myself that kind of question when I enter a store, but I did yesterday when my wife and I visited the store to pick up a lawnmower part.

We drove along the road and in big letters the name "Sears Grand" welcomed us. Of course, we were seeing the back wall of the store, but the advertising was effective--and impressive. We had to drive to the end of the shopping development, get off the busy road, then drive to Sears.

On the way to Sears Grand was a Wal-Mart and a Sam's Club, but as we approached the behemoth that was the Sears Grand, the first thing we noticed is there were almost no cars in the Sears Grand parking lot.

We entered the store and saw first hand, there was hardly anyone in the store. There might have been as many or more employees in the store than patrons. As it turns out, we entered in the entrance furthest from where we needed to go so we decided to check out the store.

Now, I'm not one that keeps up on the financial stability of US Companies.* I believe I've heard of the troubles Sears has had and if this store was any indication, the rumors are true. It was sad walking the length of the store and seeing almost no one. What makes it especially sad is that the Sears organization has had such an important role in the building of our country. Then again, I think businesses should be allowed to fail. If they don't, they become corrupt (my opinion--see previous "*" for my lack of experience in the area...).

The last time we stepped foot inside a Sears was when we bought our mower. This time we needed a part for said mower. I wonder if the company will be there if something else breaks. I guess we'll see.