Sunday, September 13, 2015


I recently received a book in the mail called Get Up, Stay Up by Danny Crofts.  It's a how-to guide of methods for creating graffiti in the current urban environment, at least as it pertains to Europe, as I believe it was written by a European.  There are chapters on clothing, equipment, evading surveillance, even what to do if you're being prosecuted.  There is a disclaimer at the beginning, but the book is clearly a strong advocate of the go-out-and-break-some-laws way of making graffiti.  It makes the claim that graffiti has gotten away from its vandal roots, and every writer should have the skills put forth in the book to keep it real.  It dismisses the kind of elaborate productions that cannot be produced illegally as 'the glossy exterior of graffiti.'

It also has a chapter on 'beef,' an annoying but descriptive and long standing term describing the conflicts that inevitably arise between artists who are disputing spaces in what remains essentially anarchy in the streets; graffiti is still illegal, even here in Salvador.  As you can see from the photo above, taken this week, I've got some beef on my hands.  Here they generally call it treta.  Google Translate offers the amusing translation 'bullshit,' I agree with that, wholeheartedly.  The second suggestion is 'beef.'

I'll talk more about my treta in a minute, but first I want to continue with my discourse on graffiti literature.  I didn't really care for Danny's book, as I don't agree with that philosophy of making graffiti.  Putting all the breaking of laws part of it aside, that kind of art usually has to be made very quickly, which limits substantially what is possible to create.  I like possibilities.  The quasi-legality of graffiti here in Brazil and other parts of South America has given rise to a vast range of styles, much of which is dismissed in most of the world as 'not graffiti,' or, god forbid, 'street art.'

Another problem that I have with subscribing to that way of making graffiti, and I'm digressing only a tiny bit, (I'll get back on track in the next paragraph I promise!) is that it exemplifies the kind of conformity you ironically see within subcultures - the way that people profess to be out of the mainstream, but you can only be part of the group if you stick to its often strict rules.  I first noticed this when I was in college, where the counterculture was dominated by Deadheads and a few post-punk types - as a professor of mine pointed out, "Everyone (at UNH) looks the same, and even the people who look different look the same."  People who are truly different, truly unique, aren't going to fit into these groups any more than they would the mainstream.  You may have the best graffiti writer in a city getting mad respect because he exemplifies the current model of what graffiti 'is,' but it's the batshit crazy writer who is doing something completely different who is going to (maybe) come up with something truly interesting and potentially much more influential.  This is true for many things, not just graffiti.

I would not presume (okay, I promised only one paragraph, but I'm on a roll, and this is germane) to put myself in the category of the previously described batshit writer, but I've never really fit in comfortably to the subcultures I've subscribed to, and I have always veered far from the mainstream.  Here in Brazil my differences from the local population are too numerous to enumerate, and likewise for the other graffiteiros here in the city.  Not least of which being that I'm about twice as old as most of them.  But although I will never be a ground breaker, a revolutionary figure who changes the way graffiti is made for all time, I do make a conscious effort to do something different from what everyone else is doing, and nobody else here in Salvador paints like me.  Additionally, this long standing awareness of being different from those around me is what I think has made it possible for me to live as long as I have here in Brazil.

So - back to the literature - reading Danny's book made me wonder about those roots of graffiti he is paying tribute to.  My dad lived in New York City during the seventies, and he told me how much he loved all the artwork on the trains during that period, although he though his opinion was probably in the minority.  This was the much vaunted Golden Age of Graffiti, what gave rise to the global movement that is modern graffiti.  I couldn't help wondering: how many of the paramilitary tactics described in Get Up, Stay Up were actually being employed by these writers in NYC during the seventies?  I had a theory that the environment might have been a bit more like modern day Brazil.  Notice I say a bit more, I don't think NY was ever a place that writers had the freedom to do what we do here, as we can paint, generally, completely out in the open in the middle of the day.

A quick search led me to a book that I wholeheartedly recommend to anyone with a passing interest in graf - Training Days - The Subway Artists Then and Now by Henry Chalfant and Sacha Jenkins.  Henry is a legend in NY graf as he was out there documenting it as it was going on, co-authored another famous book and made a famous documentary but if I don't skip some of these details I'm never going to finish this post.  I was going to write about my treta and look where I am!  This book both dispelled and confirmed some of my theories about this period.  It consists entirely of interviews with the artists about their experiences and also their reflections on where the scene is today.  Clearly these guys were running from the cops, and getting arrested, and getting into fights with other writers.  One of them even described carrying a gun for protection. They were also stealing all of their paint, which as a store owner I find a bit uncomfortable, and even Danny doesn't come out in favor of this in his book.  But on the other hand, the penalties for getting caught painting trains were much more lenient, and several of the interviews describe spending long periods, even the whole weekend, in the train yards.  One guy said he only painted during the day in the yards.  There is no mention of electronic surveillance.  This kind of thing would be completely impossible today.  It sounds like NYC was too broke at the time to invest in the types of anti-graffiti measures that are common nowadays, although still out of reach for police forces here in Salvador at least - the though of a cop dusting a can of paint for fingerprints here is laughable.  But maybe someday - things are changing and there have been signs of a crackdown.

Okay, end chapter one.  I've wanted to write that bit for some time, and I suppose it should probably be its own post, but I never take the time to write anymore so I'm shoehorning that bit onto my treta.  As a bit of a transition, and this should really be its own post as well, and hopefully I can keep this short, let me get back to the element of time as it relates to graffiti.  This is something that interests me greatly.  Danny lives in a world where all 'real' graffiti is done extremely quickly - true, they can paint entire trains in ten minutes or whatever but that's because there's a whole technology of high pressure (ie fast) paint and they go out in carefully planned raids with twenty guys, each with their assigned role for the piece.  One of the beauties of spray paint is its capacity to paint large areas very quickly.  But as I worked on my first Big Wall (which just recently got covered over when the building was renovated), a piece that took me months to finally complete (mostly because I'm lazy) I became interested in this idea of making graffiti over time, and making that interesting to the viewer who can watch the piece evolve.  That's the kind of thing we can do here that wouldn't be possible in most of the world. I've wanted to do more of this but wouldn't you know it?  I haven't had the time.  In fact, most of the stuff I paint these days is more akin to what Danny talks about in his book, simple, quick, repetitive.  I paint my pollywog rexes and my stupid carnivorous plants because they are quick; not because I'm afraid of being arrested, but because I just don't have time to make anything more elaborate.

Which brings me to my most recent piece, the mangled, almost finished thing at the top of this post.  I take my son to school at seven in the morning, which is completely contrary to my natural circadian rhythms, but I realized a while ago that it gives me an opportunity: the hour or so between dropping him off and getting ready to open the store is a perfect time to do lots of things - including graffiti.  I decided to rework a wall that I had marked right after the election with the intention of doing something more elaborate.  I had a sketch I did a couple years before that I wanted to put up, so I decided to go for it.  I went down to see the condition of the wall (it's quite close to my house), and this is what it looked like:

My letters, the KZA, are in pretty good shape, but some pixadores have added a rolled piece (done with a foam roller) around it.  I should mention that this wall is about 4 meters tall, so there's plenty of vertical space, but this guy Lazi has opted to crowd in right over the top of my letters. This other guy Maconha (which means marijuana) opted to roll the crosspiece of his A right up to the edge of my own letter A - it's hard to see here, because it kind of trails off, not enough paint on the roller.

OK - so the rules of the street are like this: you don't cover someone else up, not at all.  This is quite strict here in Salvador, more so than in a lot of other places.  We don't cover pixadores, and they don't cover us.  This 'agreement' means that there is very little of the kind of writing over and crossing out that goes on in a lot of places.  Salvador has tons of walls!  For those of you new to my blog and new to Brazilian graffiti, 'Pixo' is an aggressive form of tagging that is done as illegally as possible - much more in line with what Danny writes about in his book than the kind of stuff I do.  What these guys did was technically 'allowed', although obnoxious.  The wall is four meters tall guys!  Give me some space fercryinoutloud.  Lazi is not a guy you want treta with, but I thought that what this guy Maconha did (not even realizing it was a person, I thought they were just singing the praises of the magical herb) was over the top.  I felt he was writing in space that I had marked for myself, and I didn't feel that I should have to shove my piece over to the left because of a single stroke of a 5 centimeter roller without enough paint on it.

This apparently was a mistake, but I decided to stake my claim to that section of the wall.  This is how I blocked it out:

I admit it - I covered up maybe a foot?  two feet?  of dude's roller.  Oh the lack of respect!  Note that I've tried to avoid painting over Lazi's stuff even though it looks like shit that way.

Now I've got literally about 40 minutes a day to work on this thing before I go to work, so the whole process is taking a long time, but I'm in Brazil so it doesn't really matter.  I spent two days just scraping the wall, another two days to get it to where it was in the photo above, and then I started laying in the colors.  Early in the process I ran into one of my neighbors and a customer of mine at the store, a pixador who writes Bongos - he's always been friendly towards me and he mentioned that he saw me going down the hill with some paint and asked if I was painting something, I made a joke that I was retired or something to that effect.

This is what I accomplished up until the day it got ruined:

I won't say it was almost done, but it was damn close.  I had some details to finish and then some corrections and then put the outlines on (the outlined part was just a test to see how it was working), and then more corrections.

As I was working on it on this morning, Wednesday I guess, some guy called out to me: "Hey, why did you paint over me?"  Turns out it was this guy Maconha, and he wasn't happy about what I'd done to his masterpiece.  He was rude to me right off, and I'm not the deer-in-the-headlights kid from New England I used to be, so I responded in kind.  I said he had entered into the area I had painted, he denied it, I told him I had photos, and he walked off.

I realized immediately that my painting was in jeopardy.  A lot of these guys look for excuses like this to create beef, some of them enjoy it.  Some people have speculated that these guys crowded my work deliberately as a form of disrespect and then jumped at the opportunity when I crossed the line, no pun intended.  I mentioned to a couple people that I thought my piece would get trashed, and sure enough it did.  Let's have another look at it:

Two weeks of work destroyed in thirty seconds.  "Fuck U.S.A" (sic) is quite legible, the scribble next to it reads... "Bongos."  As in my neighbor, who always has been friendly to me, who is (was) my 'friend' on Facebook.  Note the splatters of silver paint below the signature.

Now I may not be the deer-in-the-headlights kid anymore, but I'm not the quickest draw south of the equator either, so my immediate thought was that this guy Maconha had destroyed my work and written Bongos so I'd blame him instead.  I was so convinced of this that I posted in our WhatsApp graffiti groups that I wanted to talk to Bongos to make sure it wasn't him (he's always been cool with me!) before I started accusing this other guy.  And it's a good thing that I didn't accuse the other guy, because I looked at some of Bongos' stuff online and I realized it was exactly the same.  I had messaged him on The Facebook to get in touch with me (I doubt it was you, but if it was I need to know) and he hadn't replied, but when I asked if it really was him he admitted it.  I asked him what the hell and he said speaking in person would be better.  Agreed.  That's the last I've heard from him.

I was enraged.  I'm still really pissed, and I feel like an idiot for defending the guy, but I'm starting to calm down.  This is extremely important: I need to calm down.  Doing something stupid will only make the situation worse.  If I was twenty years younger and six inches taller and had more of an attitude I might start a war with the dude, but I absolutely cannot do that - I have way too much to lose.  As I mentioned I have very little time, I don't want to spend what time I have writing over his tags and having him write over mine.  Not to mention that I spend about fifty hours a week in a tiny store by myself which is well known to all the graffiteiros and pixadores.  I don't want to be looking over my shoulder.  I will not walk around with a weapon.  I am exquisitely unprepared, both in terms of my disposition and in my role as business owner and father, to take on a stupid fight with a pixador.

And he knows that, which is probably why he did it.

Which brings us to the next question: why the hell did he do it??

My best bet is that he is a friend of Maconha's, and 'bought the fight' from him.  Let me mention the fact that this guy Bongos is studying for his master's in philosophy, if I'm not mistaken.  Or at least he was.  Showed up at the store with a book by Sartre one time, which really surprised me, especially considering how little most Brazilians like to read in general.  So he's not just some bonehead moron.  But then I discovered something on his profile:

Before I go any further let me make a tiny disclaimer.  Although I was his Facebook friend and I am not anymore, this post of his is available for public consumption - anyone can look at it.  So I'm not exposing his private photos.  And Bongos is not his real name either, obviously.

What the picture says is 'White Imperialism, not here!' and it shows presumably his hand and presumably the same can of silver paint he used to trash my piece - it obviously leaked and there are splatters of silver paint all over the piece.  He probably bought the fucking can in my store.

Now I hate to jump to conclusions, hence the 'presumablys' in the previous paragraph, but 'Fuck USA' + silver paint + Bongos on my piece = am I the imperialist he is referring to?  I honestly don't know, but this makes me very uneasy.

I showed these photos to some other pixadores who know him.  I'm showing the photos to everyone, it's the closest thing I can get to justice, getting everyone to talk about it.  I may not paint as much as these guys but as the owner of the graffiti shop I know pretty much everyone in the scene.  The pixadores laughed long and hard.  I said if he wants to rail against imperialism, why isn't he painting up all the McDonald's and the Subways in the city?  As one of these guys pointed out: for that matter, why is he using Facebook?

So now I need to wait and see what he has to say for himself.  Not sure how long that's going to take, and I don't think pestering him is a good idea, although it is an option.  The best thing I could do is just 'swallow the frog' as they say here, and move on.

One last thing: another possible motivation for what he did?  Envy.  Dude paints way more than I do, but I could paint once a year and I'd still have way more skills than he ever will. 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015


Today I met one of the most famous graffiti artists in the world, although I’m not quite sure which one it was.  His name is either Otávio or Gustavo, and the reason I’m being vague is that he is one of two identical twin brothers known as OsGemeos, or ‘TheTwins’.

I heard a few weeks ago that OsGemeos were coming to town as part of a project they have been working on for a few years called “Wholetrain” where they arrive in a Brazilian city (they’ve painted all over the world, but this project appears to be limited to Brazil) with a bunch of other artists and paint the local trains.  I read about it and thought it sounded awesome, and made a Facebook post to that effect - despite Brazil being a tremendous source of world class graffiti artists, most of them live south of here and rarely make it to our fair(ish) city.

I actually found out about the whole thing because another graffiti artist, from here, posted about it in the context of complaining about the fact that none of these projects ever seem to go to local artists.  There were a lot of comments agreeing with him.  I re-posted the news, from a much more positive “hey isn’t this great that this is happening” point of view.  I got some positive responses, but the majority of the comments I received were by people that ran the gamut from unimpressed to indignant.  The nature of these comments were threefold:
  1. The aforementioned lack of local talent involved
  2. The shocking amount of money the government must have invested in the project, when there is no money available for any arts related projects right now
  3. The fact that the train is getting a cosmetic makeover when what it really needs is a complete rebuild as it’s a slow, unreliable, piece of shit and an embarrassment in a city that really needs better public transport. 
There are some groups on social media related to the local graffiti scene and apparently there was a royal shit storm going on on them - I only heard about this second hand as I just don’t have the patience to participate in groups like that.  When I brought up the project with my customers there was a lot of bitching and moaning that went on, and surprisingly little support for the whole thing.

Last week someone asked me if OsGemeos had arrived yet, and I was startled by the question - usually things happen at such a snail’s pace here, I didn’t expect them to show  up for months, or even a year.  He sent me a link telling me they were due this weekend.  And they were arriving with some major global talent in tow.

As I read the article I learned a few things about the project. The most important thing I learned was that this project is entirely funded by the artists, and does not involve the allocation of tax dollars, which dispenses with item two in my previous list.  I spoke to a friend of mine, one of the few graffiti artists in the city who makes a living at it, and he had been asked to participate along with a couple other local artists, so there was to be some local participation.  As for item three on my list, yes, the trains are horrible, and should be modernized.  But if a group of the most famous graffiti artists are coming to town, and want to paint your train, for FREE, wouldn’t it be kind of silly to turn them down?  "Sorry guys, could you come back in ten years and paint the trains once we've got them fixed up?  Thanks!"

I also had been thinking a lot about item number one on my list.  When I discovered that this was a project that OsGemeos put together a long time ago, and have been working on over the course of years, in lots of cities in Brazil, it just made sense to me that Salvador should get its turn.  Indeed, lots of big cities the world over have world-class graffiti pieces, many by OsGemeos, shouldn’t we get one too?  It’s not like the city government is shelling out 100 grand to bring these guys here when the cash could go to local artists, they did it on their own.  And they made it happen - they came up with a project and executed it.  Most of these local guys don’t have it together to do so.  So quit yer bitchin’.

Why should I even have to defend a project like this?

I messaged my friend yesterday to see if the crew had arrived as promised.  He had been so put off by the shit storm going on on social media that he was seriously considering not participating despite being invited.  Turns out they had arrived as scheduled, and he’d gone, and he’d painted.  I lamented the fact that I hadn’t tagged along, but he explained that they were trying to keep it quiet and had told him not to bring anyone with him.  I told him I really wanted to meet the guys, but I probably wouldn’t close the store on a Monday to make the trek down to the train station - it wasn’t close by.  Then he convinced me that I should make the effort.

I should mention that the article I read last week included a list of artists that were to accompany OsGemeos, and a couple of them stood out.  One is Nunca, who is another of the most famous Brazilian graffiti artists, and who also met my brother in Mexico a couple years back.  I mostly wanted to meet him to let him know this, which is a little silly, but I think if you’re going to meet famous people you should make the most of whatever personal connection you can.  The other name on the list was Aryz.  Now, I think OsGemeos are great.  I think Nunca is great too.  But Aryz, no joke, is one of my absolute favorite graffiti artists in the world.  I really wanted to meet him.

Now is probably a good time to post some links to these guys: OsGemeos, Nunca, Aryz

I’m really not much of a, what do you call it?  A Famous Person Chaser?  A VIP Schmoozer?  A Starry-Eyed Fan Boy?  You people have a word for this in English and I can’t think of it right now.  Basically I’m trying to tell you that I was kind of dreading putting myself out in this way, uninvited, showing up out of the blue to meet the famous graffiti artists.  There’s a great phrase in Portuguese for this kind of behavior, it’s called ‘Cara de Pau’ or ‘face of wood,’ someone who just doesn’t give a shit what anyone thinks.  I’m not what I’d generally call a cara de pau, although I’ve gotten a bit better at it over the years living here in Bahia.

So I went.  Closed the store in the middle of the morning and caught a cab to the train station.  When I arrived I promptly ran into another friend and local graffiti artist.  He had also been invited to participate in the project.  Now I had an in!  I had brought a bag of spray can caps with me as well, on the off-chance that they might need some, my plan B was to use them, in true Cara de Pau style, to talk my way past security if need be.  Didn't look like I'd need to.  My friend told me he’d try to introduce me to the famous people and disappeared.  He seemed kinda amped up, which is how people act around famous people I guess.

I stood there for a minute and then decided to pay the train fare and at least get onto the platform.  It was only 50 centavos.  Best investment I’ve made in some time.  The trains were already in use, so I checked them out - there were also people on the platforms who were obviously graffiti artists, most of them wielding cameras.  I started to talk to them, my inner Cara de Pau coming out.  One of the guys told me his name is Blue, and I later wondered if he might have been Blu, another of my absolute favorite artists.  Turns out it wasn’t, but Blue’s work is great too.  Then I saw my friend come out of the big shed where they keep the trains, along with a group of people including OsGemeos.  He waved me over.

I think my friend wasn’t sure which one of the twins he was introducing me to, which is why he didn’t introduce him by name.  I (belately) welcomed him to Salvador and thanked him for bringing his project here, and told him if they needed any paint I could help them out.  Turns out they didn't - they'd already sent 500 cans, unused, back to São Paulo.  It was a brief conversation and I only made a mild fool of myself, the whole Cara de Pau thing abandoning me in my time of need.  I didn’t ask for an autograph or a photo, which makes me feel noble and less groveling, but here I am writing about the whole thing in great detail on my blog, so maybe I am a Starry-Eyed Fan Boy after all.

After that I had an even more brief encounter with Aryz, but I did manage to shake his hand and tell him I love his work.  I got the impression he hears that a lot.

And Nunca?  I completely forgot about Nunca until I was on the bus back to the store.

I must say I had expected much more elaborate paintings on the trains, but it appears that the artists went more for an old school 70’s NYC style approach, which may be part of the whole idea, I’ll have to read up on that when I’m back online.  There was only one really elaborate car, painted by OsGemeos themselves, at least that I saw.  I got this great video of it as it was pulling out of the station:

I didn’t see anything painted by Aryz, so I’ll have to see if I can spot it online.  Unfortunately I don’t live anywhere near the train line (although it does go to Paripe) so I won’t have the pleasure of seeing them go by, but at least I got to participate in a tiny way.

I’m glad I decided to close the store and make the trip.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Mil Muros 2.0?

Hummm I never did write about our 24 hour painting, and it certainly looks like I'm not going to right now - who has time to write anything anyways?  But I will post a photo:

I will let you guess which part was my contribution.  Cool project, except for the dubious anatomy and the hideous faces on the principal characters, but I wasn't going to write about this was I?

Instead I will write, briefly, about the fact that it appears I am moving the store.  This just after I got written up in the magazine Muito, which is included in the Sunday edition of the local paper A Tarde.  Kinda like getting written up in the New York Times Magazine, except that A Tarde is not the New York Times, just like Salvador is not like New York, just like Largo Dois de Julho is not the East Village, as much as I might wish it was.  Here's a picture of the article:

Somebody told me a full page ad in this magazine costs 10,000 reais although I have not been able to independently confirm this.  Goody goody for me!!!  They sought me out to write the article.

So what am I doing right after getting this great free publicity?  Well, it looks like I'm moving the store about a kilometer away from its current location.  Why, you may ask?  In short, because the people who run the building where the store is currently domiciled are idiots and assholes.  They are bloodsuckers, incompetents, and shysters.  They are morons, sycophants, and carpetbaggers.  They should go bankrupt and then they should go to hell, in that order.  I hold them in low regard.

Here's the deal: the only good thing about where the store currently is is that it's cheap.  Quite cheap.  It's hidden away in a basement and nobody can find the place, the building gets no maintenance and we don't even have anyone to clean the bathrooms.  The owner basically bleeds off the rent that comes in and ignores everything else related to the building.  The stores are bad, and apparently the apartments upstairs are worse.  Yesterday, the steel staircase that leads down to the dungeon where the store is located finally rusted through one of its primary rails; collapse was imminent, until I shored it up with a piece of wood.

But you want to know something interesting?  According to the 'super' of the building, these problems are our (the renters) fault and responsibility.  Apparently they did a big renovation about 10 years ago and we didn't do our part to maintain the building.  Their solution?  Charge us for the overdue maintenance.  To the tune of 1500 reais each.

There are some shared bathrooms in the building for our use.  The doors to these bathrooms are literally falling apart as they are completely infested with termites.  They have holes in them.  From a conversation with the 'super' on the topic:

Me: "You mean to tell me that we, the tenants of the building, are responsible for replacing the bathroom doors?"

'Super': "Yes!"

From a subsequent conversation last week:

Me: "Have you spoken to a lawyer about what you're trying to charge us for?"


Me: "You're going to lose me as a tenant over this."


'Super': "Well if that's your attitude, I suggest you start looking for another place."

Me: "I already am."

Did I mention there are three empty stores in the building that they have not bothered to try to rent?  I tried to move into one (more expensive than my current store) a year or so ago and I was informed that "The owner doesn't want to rent it at this time, she'll let you know if she changes her mind."

Whaaaat?  And you're complaining that you don't have money for building maintenance?

Dude, I'm a hothead at times, and this was one of them.  I wanted to move out this year but decided not to because the current political crisis was just beginning to unfold.  I started to change my mind a couple months ago when this bullshit started to manifest, but I still owe a bunch of money from our graffiti event and didn't have anything in reserve for a move.  But last week, when the 'super' showed up with a notice that they'd start charging for the 'maintenance and conservation' of the building I decided it was time to go.  I got all charged up and started taking the first steps: finding a new space and scraping the walls.

Scraping the walls?  Well, for the last three years I've been letting my clients write on them, and I have to return the store in the condition I received it to get my security deposit back.  I decided to make a game out of it:

As you can see it's not just my clients who contribute to the walls.  It's actually been a pretty cool collaboration between me and my clients, and I wish I'd documented it a bit more carefully.  Now my son has decided he's going to do the scraping, as I told him he could earn 50 cents for each tile he cleans off:

He's hoping to earn enough to replace his cell phone that just was stolen, but that's another story.  Special thanks to my second oldest brother (you know who you are) who provided the scraper which is being put to most vigorous use on this project.

I found a space, in a small shopping center not far from here.  It's smaller and more expensive than my current space.  But it's easy to find and it has a window.  And there's a full time employee to do cleaning and maintenance.  And the super is actually a super - she's responsive, pleasant, and actually shows up from time to time at the shopping center.  I expect most of my clients will follow me there, although I will certainly lose a few.

Now I have to wait for the !@#$ local bureaucracy to approve my change of address.  This, apparently, can take up to 45 days, during which I'd basically be a fool to move although I may do so anyways.

Last night I lay awake in bed listening to the rain and wondering if I hadn't made an impulsive, expensive miscalculation.  It's going to be a lot of work to move this damn store, and to a spot that is about half the size and almost twice the price?  I don't know.  But the wheels are in motion.

And here I was thinking I'd spend ten minutes on this post, over an hour later.