Thursday, September 8, 2011

Do You Support Local Small Business?

Ace Hardware Copperas Cove Texas

As new homeowners, we're continually discovering things we need. As such, I've found myself at the Ace Hardware store down the road more than a few times lately. I even went ahead and signed up for the Ace Rewards card. As much as I'd like to think that I specifically went to this small, locally owned hardware store because Copperas Cove is now my home town; the honest truth is that Ace is 5 minutes from my house, while Lowe's and Home Depot are "all the way" over in Killen (at least 20 minutes away).

Even admitting that my intentions weren't entirely pure, I still find myself feeling somewhat proud and happy about supporting a small business here in town. Don't get me wrong, we still run down to Walmart for quite a few things, and we still get most of our food from HEB, or the Commissary on post. However, if we have the opportunity to support a small business, and all thing are nearly equal (I realize we'll probably pay a bit more), I certainly plan to make the effort.

Right now, about the easiest way to do this, besides going to Ace, on one of those few occasions when we go out to eat, there are a couple of good restaurants here in Cove ... my favorite being Giovani's. Maybe as I find some time, and start writing more about Cove, I'll actually write some review posts here on the blog.

So how about you?

What are some of the ways that you try to support small businesses in your town?

And what are some of the situations where you'd like to, but find that it's just too inconvenient and/or expensive?


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

My Car Got Rear Ended


Well that was a fun afternoon.

Earlier today, I had to pop home real quick to grab some paperwork that I needed to take over to the Soldier's Center on Fort Hood. There's a traffic light at the corner of FM-116 and Lutheran Church Road, where I make a left to get to my house. When I arrived at the intersection, the light was green, but there was traffic coming the other direction, so I couldn't turn right away. I'd been sitting there for about 5-10 seconds, when I glanced up at the rear-view mirror and noticed a car coming up behind me "a bit" quicker than it should have been going. I thought to myself (and may have even said outloud):

Crap, he's gonna hit me

... and hit me he did.

I was pushed forward into the intersection, and slightly to my left (towards the oncoming traffic). Fortunately, I was able to steer back to the right a little bit, and the 1st car coming the other way was able to slow and veer onto the shoulder ... so no other cars were involved.

Even though I got hit hard enough that my seat broke, the mirror came down, and my radio popped right out of the dash, I was able to climb right out, and really don't feel any worse than I did at this time yesterday.

The kid in the other car appeared to be about 17 or 18 years old. His front airbags both deployed, so he was having some pains in his chest area. An ambulance was called, but after examining the boy, they didn't feel it was necessary to transport him.

All-in-all, it could have been Much worse.

... and in that context, oddly, I'm almost glad that he hit me.

Had he seen my little red car soon enough to try to swerve around me, he almost certainly would have collided head-on with one of the oncoming cars ... in which case, I would have an entirely different, and probably much sadder story to tell here.

Did I mention that I really, really don't like this particular intersection?

Just since we decided to buy our house a couple of months ago, there have been at least 3 previous accidents (that I know about) at just about the same spot where I got hit. One, about 6 weeks ago cost a 16 year old girl her life. Talking to the police officer at the scene of my collision, apparently the traffic light that was installed in June appears to have made the intersection More Dangerous.

Then, one of the guys at the repair shop knew exactly which intersection I was talking about, before I even told him the exact street names ... and worse, he knew the girl who was killed. He told me that there's some controversy surrounding that light. The original TEXDOT plans called for a turn lane, and signal. But then when the project was taken over by Coryell County, the turn lane was eliminated.

... probably to save a few bucks.

In the end, I feel like I got away from this fairly lightly.

My poor car is most likely totaled. But at least nobody was seriously injured (or worse) this time.

And hey, the way this one ended, tomorrow is almost guaranteed to be a better day for me. ;-)