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December 2008 PDF Print E-mail

With all the stress of Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday behind us, assuming we all survived, any good news would be a welcome relief.  With stampedes at Wal-Mart, and retailers paying customers to take their products home, we proved we knew the real meaning of the holidays!  Gimme, gimme, I got mine...apply, rinse, repeat....repeat until you believe it!

     The good news  we received today as a nation is, and I know you won't believe it, is the Government admitted we're in the throes of a recession...who woulda thunk it!  And we've been there since December of 2007...I didn't know, and where have I been?  If the media didn't tell me, I could have ignored the $68.00 fill ups on my 8 year old car that I owe nothing on.  Probably could have laughed off the 198 gallons of heating oil that cost me $790.00 as well!  Kudos to the supermarket with their $4.69 gallon of milk, and the $9.00 chunks of New York State sharp cheddar cheese.  Why not, they gotta eat too, right?  I guess that's why the minimum wage checkout people save their smiles for after I leave...they only have so many.

     The paper tells me the MTA needs to raise their mass transit fares.  With 6 workers caught on film standing around the train platforms watching a guy turn a screw must be strenuous work...did someone mention throwing in unlimited sick time, vacations, and health wonder they're smiling all the time.  Nice to see employees happy at work...that is providing they have a job at all.

     Oh, and let's not forget the big three auto companies.  How could they stoop so low as to send their CEOs to a Congressional investigation on separate private jets.  I give them credit for expediting the trip so they could sit and explain their hardships to the general public, who by the way, have no time to watch since most are working two jobs trying to make ends meet.  Let's chip in our BILLIONS in tax dollars to buy them tissues with lanolin to dry their tears of remorse (NOT) and wet wipes with lanolin for us for where we've been taking it!  You go Toyota, and Nissan!!!

     The word "Bailout" has become the new pink!  Corporate giants are screaming out a monetary S.O.S.  Save us, and we'll start to work for a dollar a year.  That is right after we shuffle our millions of dollars of golden parachutes to a safe haven. 

     There's an old saying in the bike business..."Know how you make a million dollars...start with two million!"  Tough times make tough business people.  Small, honest, concerned neighborhood businesses once were, and should be again, the backbone of our social being.  As children, we respected, and admired the local grocer, candy shop owner, florist, gas station owner, etc.  We knew them and they knew us.  Their children were our buddies.  When we needed help, and were ashamed to ask, it was offered without hesitation, because we trusted and needed each other to survive.  We learned by respecting others, to also respect ourselves.

     I fear too many small businesses will not weather this financial crisis.  It makes me sad that good, honest people, through no fault of their own, may go under.  Whether too proud to ask or not, do you think our government gives a damn about them?  We have nothing to offer but our hard work, and taxes.  The CEOs that have sucked the system dry for far too long deserve no better treatment...the sad truth is that the employees now will suffer for the Corporate misgivings...that is criminal!  Any one who is willing to work, and play by the rules, deserves the chance, nay, the right to succeed.

     Only time will tell if our new President can and will make a difference.  He is inheriting an awful large mess, but in his defense, seems pretty confident he has a handle on the situation...hopefully he surrounds himself with folks that are like-minded!

     As of the third of December, I vow to put my resentment on hiatus, and will reserve judgment for the new year.  I am going to concentrate on doing my best to demonstrate the goodness that is the holiday season.  As in Thanksgiving, I will revel in my family, and enjoy my friends.  I will shop local, and eschew mail order, and the mega malls, and use my credit card only at the Hess station.  I will try to make the checkout lady at the market smile by offering a smile myself, and joking about the price of cheese.  If any children at the schools need a good winter hat, send them over here...I have a box full that I can't sell even at cost, so have one please...I will bail you out.  I don't have billions, only about six, but they're here. 

     I will do my best to turn the economy around this season....why I might even think about buying a new car with a big trunk that will fit all the free money I can cram in, and still leave enough space for a wreath, and a case of Pabst...on sale of course!!!

     Happy Holidays, stay healthy, love life, and be thankful for what you have...there's always someone looking up to you!

                                           "Yours still riding and writing"  George