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Endangered Species?

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  • Endangered Species?

    Under appreciated?

    Many years ago I was traveling in a remote area and in bad need of facilities. I stopped at a small local store offering gas/groceries/souvenirs and "clean restrooms". I went in, the clerk was occupied with other customers and I did not see a restrooms sign. Looking around I noticed that the end of the store was "L" shaped. The facilities had to be there. Sure enough, there was a sign with an arrow and a note saying, "Here is the room you are looking for, we provide this as a service to travelers. It would be nice also if you bought a little something in appreciation." I did!

    Yesterday, I attended the North Arkansas Woodcarving Show in Mountain Home. Seeing the woodcarvings was great, meeting many old friends that I see only at shows, was better, but; taking advantage of the vendors was top of the day for me. I needed wood that I wanted to select myself as it would have to be laminated for the carving I want to do (8"x12" minimum size). Assisted by the vendor I found the ideal pieces, already planed. Another vendor had cedar slabs, with bark on, I wanted for a base. Then it was to the supplies vendor where I purchased gouges for my Automach and a package of the brass adaptors I needed. Recently I had found these gouges "on line" ~ but the shipping cost was within $2.00 of the purchase price. The items I bought today were over $80. What would this have been had shipping costs been added?

    This was the good news. The bad news was heaped on. I had recently learned that a major vendor appearing at shows had the business up for sale. Then I learned the visitor at this show was also seeking a buyer. I suspect that purchases made from these suppliers on line far exceed those made at shows.

    Are vendors offering a large variety of low cost items an endangered species? Certainly the profit levels are much lower to travel and bring these items along. The fact that the vendors were able to spend a great deal of time with me alone was great for me ~ far less so for them. It indicated a definite paucity of purchasing customers.

    This was when I remembered the "This is the room you are looking for." sign. All of us can use "a little something" to add to our supplies. Entrance to the shows I attend are either free or very cheap. Let's vow to show our appreciation of the vendors by purchasing a little something to keep them from becoming an endangered species.

  • #2
    That's a good a summary as I've read. Thanks. Don't need to scale it up too much to call it the Village of McBride.
    It's very important to shop local (and to be seen shopping locally.) I know that some of my money will be re-spent
    in the village as well.

    If anything, local things like farm fresh eggs and organic veg delivered to my door are more expensive than even in the grocery store down the street.
    Industrial farms have an economic scale (and food additives) that doesn't trickle down to the neighbor's farm.
    I feed the hand that feeds me. I know the growers and I know what's in the food I buy. Chickens, bison or carrots. Can't beat that.

    I attended a sponsored carving workshop here, about a year ago. The presenter had some tools and supplies that I'd never seen before.
    I felt no obligation to buy anything. But, here was an opportunity to see the goods and ask about the honing compound.
    I'm positive they do better on-line. Bought some useful things.
    Brian T


    • #3
      I really like the fact about you guy's that you are down to Earth and that you appreciate it as much as I do. I live in Eastern Ontario and every day I hurt when I see the ( I couldn't care attitude) about our precious Nature.the ignorance of people of our precious trees , but then do you know any young people who enjoy the touch of a piece of wood???
      I am feeding right now the Red Breasted Gross beak ,they come from South America ,just to breed here ???while I am carving outside they feed so close to me , an endangered specie.
      Keep talking about it maybe somebody will listen????
      Alice in Wonderland Ja.


      • #4
        There's a knock-down, drag-out "bar fight" at my humming bird feeders from first light until nearly dark They are Rufous hummingbirds, rusty backs and iridescent bib-fronts.
        They come here from SE Mexico, some 4,600+ km (approx 3,000 miles). They will feed, breed, raise the young and be gone, mid July.

        The food things from my #2? Turns out to my surprise, that the veg people have a bumper crop of asparagus right now. Crunchy fresh right to the bases.
        What a scramble to get in on it. Delivered to my front door.
        Brian T


        • #5
          Unfortunate our Weather has been to cold I guess? No Hummers here yet, they usual come the same time as the Gross Beaks not this year. I am ready and waiting :-)


          • #6
            I've seen our hummingbirds in the snow. End of the 3rd week in April, +/- a few days. Besides many Rufous, we get a few Anna's, Calliope (not much bigger than a big bumble bee)
            and the big Black-chinned hummers from up high. They come down into the village in early July for something then leave.
            Rain, wind, cold and gloomy. My big spruce trees are full of birds, from Chickadees up to the Ravens, sheltering from the rain.

            I will go to the local market later this morning. It is literally the butcher, the baker, the candle stick-maker and a bunch of others, including the cookie-lady.
            I'll guess that there's a few of them that really need the money. I need cookies like I need another hole in my head but I'll buy a dozen, anyway.
            Good selection of T-shirts ("Pop's Tops") for my whole family.

            I baked an asparagus/mustard/cheese pizza on puff pastry crust, will steam the rest tonight with a grilled bison T-bone.
            Brian T


            • #7
              I do not know about you.....but endanger species seems to be the theme of many businesses. The cost of running a business does not pay out much. We had eight major koa farmers running a business,.... there is one that has not closed the doors. Cost of materials and the works is not cost effective......people are not buying the wood carvings like before. And the cost of tools continues to rise.... Getting good tools that do not fall also a major issues......and some of them are costly. People in business also.....are paying a price of cheap materials are closing their doors....only the ones that offer more then tools seem to be hanging in there. Plus the outrageous cost of employees as they keep raising health care plus the part where it is impossible to make money with employees. I think it is the sign of the it seems be hitting all areas of business.

              AS far as hummingbirds we do not have them.....all I got in my flowers are the humming bird moths..... I did not not know they where not birds until I got a few feeders...LOL But I love good cookies.....


              • #8
                I used to buy everything in the local village grocery store except fresh meats. Just in the last few years,
                we have growers and farmers who do a little extra to have things available like honey, eggs, vegetables and meats of all kinds (eg sausages.)
                I don't feel obliged to buy their produce but most have nowhere else to go and I can afford to pay a little extra for it.
                For the most part, I don't think that bartering is the way to go. They know what they need to spend the money for.

                I'll trade some meats for bison ( few can afford the total to buy a whole side at a time.) I get some elk, venison, moose, bear & chickens that way.
                It has to be hard work. Maybe they survive, maybe they don't, I don't know about that part.
                The crazy thing is that it has forced my hand to eat it = to make better meal plans, I was getting pretty slack for a while.

                When BKB Cedar burned down last month, that was 35 full-time adult jobs. In a village of maybe 600, that's a huge economic hit.
                We do have a wage subsidy program that seniors can tap into, the yard work guy I hired (BKB employee)
                says that the word is out there and he's really busy, all over town. I have work for a second one, too.
                Got to go to the Social Services office Monday and see if I can pick up another helper.

                Endangered species? I agree and every last one of them has a different story to tell.

                Brian T


                • #9
                  A few weeks ago, a friend who works on an oil rig 200 miles offshore in the Gulf of Mexico reported hummingbirds stopping on the rig to rest for a while before continuing their annual migration north to U.S. mainland. Odd that I haven't seen any in the yard this year...guess slumming is passe' this year.


                  • #10
                    A great many shows (a lot of different types of shows) have lost vendors either to e retail or others busier shows. Those that gone to the e market sales, do not have the over head of a room, meals, gas plus the fact of being away from their homes. I airways liked going to carving shows so I could check out the books and tools. I bought so many books years ago only to find the first few chapters were basically the same. When I would see a new tool advertised, I would check it out at the next show if possible. Miss those older shows. Miss a great many of the older vendors too.
                    Last edited by brent; 05-14-2017, 11:29 AM.