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CLOSED SHOP 170

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 Most of the time, you just pass closed shops and the miscellaneous of street wandering. Sometimes though, you catch a reflection, a pattern, mark or color that makes you pause. A learned blessing it is to be wise enough to stop, reflect, imagine or just enjoy for a moment...

LEFTOVERS

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  We had been through so many mergers in 24 months that we lost count of them. Every morning when we came in, we looked at the name over the reception desk trying to find some foundation to things. There were just nine of us left from the original staff of 40 people. Those let go were replaced with rookies and a current crop of new management. Branded with the macro vision of our new owners, often separated laughingly from the market place we worked in. Where did they get their research anyway?  We began to call ourselves the leftovers. There were reasons why we were still there. Most of the time, it was the book of business we had, that somehow remained loyal through all the changes or some specialized knowledge not easily replaced. It was not because they loved us. In fact, we were kept far away from the inner circle of where the big next moves were made. The new rookies sent out like bots to capture that vision. Quickly replaced if they did not. It was almost like they did not

THE OTHER MARKET

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  There’s another market for opportunity out there. One often overlooked. It’s a market where consumer units are a mix between people trying to stay in the middle class or striving to reach it. Where a segment uses a culture of improvised self sufficiency and government support just to make it. The Bureau of Labor Statistics breaks our economy into five income brackets. Much of the target for products and services is the two top brackets, consumers making more than $96 thousand. Disposable income fuels a slew of luxury items in hot competition with each other. However, these two brackets only represent 30% of the 132 million consumer units in the United States. Surprisingly, the three lower brackets representing 92 million consumer units combined almost equal the spending of the top two. No wonder it has attracted business models like the dollar stores. This other market often falls outside the traditional profit thinking of many. Part of the reason is the breadth and diversity of the

WHIMSICAL THINGS

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  The next you may be no further than the pencil on your desk. It’s important to move the edges of our experience. To think and create whimsical things. More difficult with age, because of the burden our our legacy experiences. The marks and strides may not be of any importance or impact. Sometimes though, it turns into art, special things that inspire. Artists like Cy Twombly and Joan Miro were masters of turning random marks, swirls and squiggles into beautiful things to ponder. It’s all about getting beyond the self you have known, testing the bounds that hold you in place. Whether it be in art or business, it is where great performances can be found…

U - Haul Trailer

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  Some Small Towns don’t have much to say for themselves, except the U-Haul Trailer  you keep in a corner of your mind … 

BUILDING ON BAY STREET

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  I walked by it each work day, the building on Bay Street. It watched the city for many years, but had nothing to say. The spark of life gone from its eyes. Only the changing light and time of day made it look different.  You wondered what it had been all those years. Shops and people once there, I knew not who now. Each day I would walk by the building on Bay Street. It said nothing, but maybe ask why I did so. Why, when there was so much of the world to see...

SCATTERED PLACES

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  You find them all around, where things don’t fit together right. Like broken pieces of glass we can’t walk over. We pass them quickly, not wanting to spend the time understanding or finding our way through. We prefer the well ordered in life. The tree lined street or row of stores we know. Still scattered places somehow linger on our mind, like unfinished business. Often these scenes that don’t have much love in them. They stand out in the desert against the vastness, adding mystery and intrigue. Urban areas are different. The parts closer together, but still a disorder to them. The best ones have an area of calm. Space we can use to try to figure them out.  Their appeal may be the scenes themselves, their uniqueness or maybe the unfinished edges of our own lives..