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  • Writer's pictureCharlsie Pecoraro

Things Were Ablaze on I-65, Tips for "Tipping", Fun Fall Festivals on the Gulf Coast and More!

Last Saturday afternoon, I was breezing down I-65 heading back to Mobile from a trip to Atlanta. Around exit 89 I came to a standstill (along with thousands of other travelers) and for the next hour and thirty minutes I sat on the interstate. Thank goodness I had plenty of water and snacks from Trader Joes's.

Eventually I encountered the wreck that had closed the roadway. It was a tractor trailer billowing smoke for miles. It appeared that something combustible was being transported and it had ignited. The contents and the trailer were a total loss. Fortunately, the truck driver unhooked his cab and was safe. It appeared that no one was injured, however thousands of travelers were delayed.

This incident reminded me of a YouTube video that Houston Horne, owner of Handy Guys Moving, did recently. He goes over everything that you should not transport in a moving truck. I imagine most of you understand that you should not pack fuel cans, paint and butane tanks, however did you know that candles can be an issue? Click on the video thumbnail to watch and learn!

If you are planning a relocation, give Houston and his team a call at 251-366-4897 for a free quote. His company has been moving folks for 10 years along the Gulf Coast. He can handle commercial and residential projects.


In the Book Corner!

I haven't shared what I've been reading lately and could hardly wait to put this one in front of you. Conversations with God is the first in a series authored by Neale Donald Walsch. This book is full of answers to some of the deepest questions you may have about life.

It has been sitting on my bookshelf for over a month and I finally carved out the time to read it. WOW!!! I am sorry that I did not dive into it sooner.

Some books motivate you and make you feel so good about life. This is one of those. Run, don't walk to your local bookstore or library and get a copy for yourself. I plan to read the entire series, so stay tuned for more!

Several people have mentioned James Clear's best seller, Atomic Habits, to me. I enjoy reading how others have "hacked" this journey we call life. After you learn about the obstacles that James had to overcome and how he did it, you will also become a fan.

I appreciate the idea that first we need to standardize a habit before it can become optimized. He tells the story about how the British Cycling Team went from a mediocre existence to winners under the guidance of Dave Brailsford beginning in 2003. I'll share a tidbit of this remarkable story.

What made Dave Brailsford different from previous coaches was his relentless commitment to a strategy that he referred to as “the aggregation of marginal gains,” which was the philosophy of searching for a tiny margin of improvement in everything you do. He looked for small ways to change things for the team and in just 5 years, the Brits were a cycling force to be reckoned with. The British Cycling team dominated the road and track cycling events at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, where they won an astounding 60 percent of the gold medals available. Four years later, when the Olympic Games came to London, the Brits raised the bar as they set nine Olympic records and seven world records.

Making small, almost minute changes add up. This is a great read for anyone looking to make changes in habits that are holding you back. Click here to read more.


Tips for Tipping with Richard Lindsey

Having just returned from a working vacation, I was grateful for Richard's wise words on tipflation!

Richard Lindsey's "Real World" Personal Strategy Note Tipflation: Combating Tipping Pressure "Doing the little things can make a big difference." – Yogi Berra

At your favorite bakery or bistro, you come face-to-face with a digital payment terminal suggesting a minimum tip of 18%. You let out a small sigh, not because you don't want to tip, but because the same thing happened when getting a coffee the day before… and when you had food delivered last week… and when you got a ride to the airport for a work trip a few weeks back.

Starting to feel a bit overwhelmed by the rising expectations surrounding tips?

It’s understandable why you’d be less than enthused with giving a tip nowadays.

But while tipflation might have brought you to a place of begrudging tipping, it's worth remembering that some workers depend heavily on tips for their livelihood.

The federal minimum wage for tipped workers is still at $2.13 (though some states have higher standards for that). This means restaurant servers who juggle multiple tasks at once rely on tips to make ends meet. These days, the widely accepted amount sits at 20% of the bill.

There are also some jobs like food delivery drivers who are paid a bare minimum and depend on your tips to make the difference and help with operational costs with their vehicle.

Other workers considered to be tipped workers include housekeeping staff in hotels, taxi drivers, entertainers, valets, bartenders, and hairstylists (with some exceptions).

So what about quick counter services that ask for tips starting at 18%, sometimes even going up to a staggering 22%? Where you might have kindly left a $1 or your change in the tip jar before, this new trend might make you feel obligated to tip more than you're comfortable with. Where do you draw the line?

The truth is, you are not obligated to tip for counter service. It’s an act of goodwill, but not required. And you’re not required to stick with the easy-options on the screen. Most tip screens offer a custom tip option. It might take a little more time at the register, but it gives you freedom to only add the amount you want to add.

One note for counter service: It’s good to keep in mind that workers in quick-service restaurants and coffee shops are generally not paid high wages. They can benefit from a little extra. Again, that’s about generosity, not obligation.

If someone is a professional, or salaried, or in a trade, no tips are required — and could even be seen negatively. If there’s an open bar at an event, you generally don’t have to tip. It’s often the case that the event hosts have already covered this.

An area that you especially don’t have to tip for is bad service. Tipping is a way to say "thank you" for good service. This can be trickier in a restaurant as poorly cooked meals and slow service are not on the server. Withholding a tip in that situation could be unfair.

Besides knowing when you don’t have to tip, you could also think about limiting the situations in which a tip is required. Since tip and fees can take a food deliver order to almost double the cost, you might consider just driving to the location to get the meal yourself.

Also, consider supporting businesses that are moving to a living wage model. This means they pay their employees enough to live comfortably, regardless of whether or not they receive tips. Here are a few well-known ones.

The changing tipping culture is going to require a bit of understanding and kindness on your part. Knowing when and how much to tip can make a positive difference without the feeling of being forced to give more than you'd like. This way, you can still show your appreciation for service workers without feeling the pinch of tip fatigue.

Richard Lindsey



Things Happening on the Gulf Coast!

Fall means food, family, football, fun and festivals in our area. Everyone is anxiously awaiting that first cool snap so we can don our sweaters and put on some cute winter boots! Here are a couple of things happening now!

The Annual Pensacola Seafood Festival is always a fun event to attend. It is happening now and runs through the weekend. Click here for all the details.

Saturday is the day to de-clutter and Mobile citizens can take advantage of this service!

Look what is happening at the History Museum of Mobile! This is a great time to visit this local treasure in downtown Mobile. Click here to visit their website for more information.


Visiting Atlanta

I created a stir on social media when I posted this drum kit from Atlanta Drum Shop. This is a certified authentic Neil Peart set. Who would have ever imagined that I could sit behind these drums? This is just one of the unique things that you will see when you visit my friend, Mike Eckert's store. He has hundreds of drum kits for sale, both new and lovingly restored. Mike caught the drum fever when he brought a Ludwig snare drum back to life. He is a true artisan and the drum community is fortunate to have him. Visit his shop when you are in Atlanta at

2030 Powers Ferry Road, Suite 390, near Cumberland

I always enjoy my visits to Atlanta and discovering this wonderful haven for musicians was so exciting. I am looking forward to my next stay in this vibrant city.

Love is creating an atmosphere of unconditional acceptance. ~ Charlsie Pecoraro

Have a great week!



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