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So, there are some things we do right away, and others we kind of procrastinate on. Well, after living here in Monterey for over 4 years we’ve finally driven the whopping 8 miles or so to Point Lobos State Park.

It’s a very scenic area and we had quite a bit of fun walking around. I think Megan described it pretty well when she said “It’s like Pacific Grove before people.”

From 2011 Adventures

From 2011 Adventures

Belive it or not we actually got Megan “The Teenager!” to go with us.

From 2011 Adventures

It’s really a pretty area. We’ll go back and spend some more time exploring.

From 2011 Adventures

Have you ever done something and then realized what you’re doing is a Pavlovian Response to some outside stimuli?

Roberta and I are cleaning house as it were. We’ve started a budget so that, hopefully, we can be pretty much debt free by May. The exception being the car and new medical bills. I’m in the process of cleaning out the mud porch and getting things straightened up out there. Roberta has started making preparations for a garage sale on Saturday. We’re dumping all things extraneous and getting things in order.

Then it dawned on both of us today. It’s a stress reaction. We’re getting ready for the fit to hit the shan.

Not only are we dealing with Roberta’s Cancer, but my contract at work expires on May 2nd and there is some serious doubts about what’s going to happen. It’s not easy to keep from worrying, when you have people telling you “all contractors will be gone by the end of the year” and “depend on if we have money to renew”, etc. We don’t have a lot of choices really. We rolled the dice and now we have to see how they turn out. Hopefully things will be just fine in May.  There’s a good chance my boss will make things come together.

But, unconsciously we have both started preparing for the worst. And the scary part is that we both started doing it without a word spoken between us. Hopefully that’s not an ill omen and the contracts will be renewed without a problem. Moving is the last thing we want to have to do right now. Roberta is just too ill to be forced into another cross-country move, even though we’ve both started preparing for it.

It’s just really funny, in a not ha ha kind of way, that we both started prepping for the worst and neither of us even realized we were doing it at first. Strange how the mind can work sometimes.

Roberta, Dorothy, and I went out to dinner at the Red House Cafe tonight. We were a bit surprised to see a big sign saying,  

“As of January 1’st we will no longer be accepting Credit Cards. Cash and Local Checks only.”

This got us to talking about why a business would not accept Credit Cards. Especially a restaurant. Then I started to do the math. The Red House Cafe is fairly small, with only about 12 tables and 2 waitresses.  So, 12 tables, breakfast lunch and dinner. Let’s say 2-3 seatings per meal, round that to 60 seatings a day on average. Say 80% of people, or so pay with a credit card. Round that to 50 a day to be simple.

Average credit card charge to the business is $1.50 to $4 per transaction. We’ll round low, again for simplicity, say $2 per transaction, times 50 transactions per day. or $100 per day in transaction fees, or about $3000 per month in just credit card transaction fees.

For a small business, that bloody adds up in a hurry. $3000 a month or about $35,000 a year for a small busy restaurant. In nothing but fees.  Even if they take a small drop in business by only accepting cash, heck, they’ll probably make money in the process.

So, I kind of expect a growing rebellion against credit card acceptance from small businesses. Who can blame them really? It’s outrageous.

FYI. The Redhouse Cafe gets 4 1/2 stars out of 5 on yelp from almost 250 reviews. It’s a darn good little place to have a meal. I don’t think they’ll take a drop in business because they no longer take Credit Cards.

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January 2011
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