Thoughts by Richard Bleil
This afternoon (as of the writing of this post) I should be getting a call from a financial adviser. I’ve been thinking about the money I have, still a goodly amount of money but I’m not wealthy. I might be able to make it stretch through my life if I live frugally as my father did, not spending any of it, not traveling, no luxuries, not even good food. If you’ve been keeping up with my blogs, you know this isn’t me. Heck, I’ve been buying guitars and pianos, crystals and gadgets, handguns and rifles, and just yesterday a camera. I’ll be honest though. If one of these toys gave me the kind of joy (in a hobby) that I’m seeking, I would be happy. But my day lacks structure, and that’s not good.
So, I’m thinking, maybe I need to take what remains of my money and open a store or start a business. I’d love to have something successful enough that I can work there, but don’t have to. I do enjoy the freedom of going where I want, although usually I don’t, when I want. Today, if I could find somebody to mind Star, I could take off for a month or two and travel Europe. And, yes, I’m considering it.
But what would I do if I did start my own business? I could start another lab, I guess, but I’ve had no luck with them. I lack the killer instinct to use scare tactics to make people desperate enough to buy my analytical services. “Get your water tested because it has heavy metals!” Maybe a lab for forensic testing would work if I can get attorneys to utilize my services, but I question the ethics of many defense attorneys as they seem more interested in getting their clients free at any cost than getting to the truth and defending their rights in so doing. If a client was driving drunk, then he was driving drunk, and the attorney, in my opinion, should simply be sure he is treated fairly in the justice system. This is not an attitude that would be popular among my most likely clients.
I kind of want a little fun store or shop, something where I can sit and putter around a bit, interact with shoppers, and if somebody doesn’t like me then they can get out of my store. I’ve been the goop on the bottom of people’s shoes for too long. But what kind of shop? I’d love to have a science, or game, or hobby store, maybe with a big space for people to play games or try out some things. Under 18 supervised by an adult only. An electronic store would be fun. Or a gun shop where unsupervised children are welcome to handle the loaded inventory in a shooting range when I am elsewhere.
I’ve spoken with a friend who was interested in starting her own gun shop and suggested we could partner up with me providing seed money, but I think that fell through. I have to admit, though, that if it worked, I would have very much enjoyed calling myself a “small arms dealer”. Another title for me.
A bookstore would be fun, but books are waning in popularity. These days it’s all digital and online, and frankly, the oldest books are not of interest to many people as much as they are to me personally. I love old books, especially old science books. I’ve been fascinated that chemists of old figured out the octet rule before electrons were even discovered, but they did, and were spot on. Nobody else seems to care.
Occult or magic stores are seriously cool. You know, the kind of stores that just make people nervous and creeped out when they walk past them. These could also dovetail with some of my other ideas and become part of a combination store.
Frankly, I think we’re about to see a boom in the old-fashioned mom and pop corner store. With online shopping becoming so popular (and the boost it got from Covid), I believe that the large stores will fail. The cost of keeping so many employees working, the utilities for warehouse sized stores and the cost of land means they’ll struggle and likely fail. But there will always be a need for the “oh, crud, I need a gift” last minute shoppers. If the larger stores go under, and they can’t wait for delivery (or, frankly, the “I just need a” type shopper), then where will they go? Come to Bleil’s. If it’s not Bleil Style, it has no style at all!