What is a Langkah?

Langkah (Indonesian) - noun: literally step, move, pace, action, measure, stride, leap, foot, footstep, gesture, tread, footpace

In Indonesian martial arts, Pencak Silat, it commonly refers to geometric patterns on the floor used to train footwork and develop an understanding of the role of the lower body in maintaining balance and a base from which to generate power.

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Friday, February 23, 2018

My Uncle

Normally, when I write something about an uncle, I'm referring to my David Bemboom, whose suicide in 1987 had such a profound effect on my life.

This time, though, I'm talking about another uncle. His name was Carl Dunkle.

Since my dad was sixteen years younger than his sister, Helen, her husband, Carl, was already in his forties when I was born. I have no memories of the man without a bald pate and a ring of white hair around the back of his head, not to mention the massive amounts overflowing from the collar of his shirt.

When I was growing up, we visited Helen and Carl regularly, about once a year, but I was too busy playing with my cousins to really get to know my uncle.

Since moving out of my parents' house, I have rarely visited West Virginia and, as such, I have rarely visited my relatives there. When I do, I always wonder why, because I enjoy the visits a lot.

Carl died in 2012 at the age of 84. Helen is still alive and feisty as ever at 88.

My uncle suffered from Alzheimer's disease. For me, his decline happened in a handful of snapshots over the course of ... I don't know how many years. For my aunt and cousins, they watched him fade day by day during that time. I hope my memory of these stories is accurate. If not, I know they're in the right neighborhood, and I apologize for the errors.

Not long before his decline, he shared his experiences in the US Army during the Korean War. I had never heard these stories.

In 1948, the Army desegregated their units. Korea was the first conflict where black and white soldiers served in the same units.
One day, two members of Carl's unit got into a fight, one white and one black. The white guy was on top, raining down blows, and calling the man a variety of racial slurs.
Carl, who had worked in the coal mines for several years before enlisting, bodily separated them. He told the white guy, "You stupid moron! We're in a war and, whether you like it or not, whether you like him or not, that guy is on your side and watching your back when we're on patrol. Do you think your behavior just now will improve your chances of survival?" 
While on a patrol, their team got ambushed. Everyone dove for cover and concealment. Carl looked out from his position and saw that same black guy on the ground in the open.  
Without hesitation, my uncle rushed from his relative safety, grabbed his teammate by the collar, and dragged him out of the clearing. The man had been shot in the chest, and Carl believed one of their own team members shot him, but he couldn't prove it. 
The wounded man was sent home with a medical discharge. 
When my uncle returned home, he attended an awards ceremony. That man was there to receive his purple heart and, when Carl walked onto the stage to accept his own honors, the hugged my uncle then stepped to the microphone. He said, "I want you all to know this man, Carl Dunkle, is a man of honor and he saved my life. I don't care what color his skin is, he's my brother."
Another story involved twin brothers in their unit. As I understand it, two siblings serving in the same unit is very rare these days, and maybe it was then, but Carl's unit had a pair of twins.

A new lieutenant, fresh out of officer's school, was placed in charge of their unit. One day, he ordered them to scout a nearby valley.
Most everyone in the unit had grown up hunting in eastern Kentucky and West Virginia. As such, when they got to the valley, they realized it was a high-probability candidate for a flash flood. A glance at the sky told them rain was coming.
They returned to camp and informed the officer, "It's fixin' to rain and, when it does, that valley's gonna flood. We'll scout it after the weather clears up."
"You'll do no such thing. I gave you an order. If you're too lazy to follow it, I'll file charges of insubordination?" No one could convince him of the danger, and his threat seemed sincere.
They headed back to the valley and hoped for the best.
They didn't get it. The valley flooded, and they ran for high ground. One of the twins didn't make it. All they found was his helmet as it floated by.
The living brother said, "Son of a bitch," and set off with a determined stride in the direction of camp.
Realizing what he had in mind, Carl tackled the man and restrained him. He looked at their fastest runner and said, "Get back to camp. Tell the lieutenant he needs to get gone. I can only hold this guy for so long and, when he gets free, none of us are going to try to stop him again."
My uncle held onto his justifiably angry and grieving teammate as long as he could. As soon as the young man broke free, he took off at a run toward camp. Everyone else followed.
At camp, the runner they had sent reported, "I barely got the thick-headed idiot to leave about five minutes ago."

When my wife and I next visited, Aunt Helen met us in the driveway and told us, "You'll have to park across the street at David's house. Carl's got it in his head he needs to go somewhere and, if there's a car here, he'll try to get into it. If it's locked, he'll keep trying. He broke Amy's car door a couple of days ago." David is the oldest of their six children, and Amy is the youngest.

By our next visit, my uncle was in diapers and unable to speak or remember who anyone was.

I wrote the following tribute soon after that visit, and I just found it as I was looking for old stuff I could delete from my computer. The file is dated September 3, 2007.

An Ode To Uncle Carl

There he sits befuddled, confused, afraid.
His once strong hands cling to a teddy bear while he chews on its arm.
He lived a life that can mostly be called good, if sometimes difficult.

His heroics extended far past the battlefields in Korea.
He never hesitated to stand up for what he believed was right.

Now, once again, he is much like an infant but, where an infant is full of promise and potential, his has already been lived.

His legacy stands strong in the hearts of those he no longer recognizes, even as they tend to the needs he doesn't know he has.

Some, I'm sure, would look on him with pity.
I remember the man he was, the life he lived, and I am proud to call him my uncle.

The Wandering Guru

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Let's Arm The Teachers! Let's be *REAL*!

This post evolved from a conversation I had on Facebook about this topic. At first, I was discussing the amount of training required to function effectively under the stress of a life-or-death situation, then I reached my BIGGEST problem with arming the teachers.

As a martial arts instructor who has been in life-or-death situations while working as a bouncer, who knows the kind of things stress from such a situation can do, I know they wouldn't have enough training.

FFS, most police officers don't do enough training, and it's their job! Most police departments in the US only train twice / year ... a total of about 15 hours per year.

You can point to specific individuals who do more than that, sure, and I'm positive, if you look at SWAT, the numbers will be way higher but outside of SWAT, the overall average is going to be somewhere in the 15 - 30 hours per year.

Police firearms training: How often should you be shooting

And, unless their school gets attacked within a week or so of their training, they'll be all but useless. The skills trained, especially those under stress, are perishable.

You know what would be enough? Maybe?

In my educated opinion:

20 hours per month at the range with at least two of those hours devoted to shooting under stress. At least one, preferably two, visits per year to a Simunitions (or similar) training facility.

No teacher I know has that much time. No school I'm aware of would be willing to spend that kind of money, and the underpaid teachers couldn't afford it on their own.

And ... and here's the big one ... I have never been forced to take a life, but I have had to make the decision to do so. I had to say, "If this happens, I'm going to kill him."

I wouldn't wish that experience on anyone. You want a schoolteacher to accept that kind of responsibility, to carry that heavy a burden? I don't.

In this discussion, the teachers are treated as automatons or something. No consideration for their emotions, their personal preferences, or their psyche is considered. For teachers who are willing and able to meet the kind of requirements I suggested, I'm all for them doing it ... to a point. Watch the video below for some indication of my reservations even with those teachers.

--- An addendum from my friend, Bryan Wilson, retired Army SF with a lot of experience in areas relevant to this topic --
As we have seen, there were 4 cops who failed to make entry into a building with classrooms filled with students. To believe a teacher would act differently is ludicrous. 
The proper response was to immediately make entry and eliminate the threat. Teachers will close and maybe lock the door and hunker down whether they have a weapon or not.  
Meanwhile, as every single teacher will not be armed, the shooter has his pick of targets.
Street cops are not sufficiently trained for this type of situation and SWAT is not on standby. 
Now as to training, if ANYONE believes you can take a CCW class, a weekend class in tactical shooting and be prepared for this situation, then take your gun and eat it.
It takes at least 6 months of daily training on the range before they will be at a point to respond to the threat.
To state someone "trained" would react differently only shows a lack of understanding of tactical situations. It's not a fight on the street.

The Wandering Guru

This guy explains it better than I can. Make sure to read all 12 images.

Monday, February 19, 2018

T'Challa Is A Horrible Role Model

I have heard people say this. They say, "He could help people around the world but, instead, he chooses to remain insular and keep the Wakandan advances away from everyone. He chooses to let his fellow Africans and their descendants suffer."

This is a ridiculous argument. Here's why, but first:


If you haven't seen the movie, stop reading now, unless you don't mind spoilers.

Otherwise, scroll down.

Caveat: I'm going to pull some quotes from the movie. If I got their exact wording wrong, I apologize. My memory isn't perfect, but I definitely got the gist of the statements.

I have watched Black Panther twice now. I haven't pinned down its precise timeline yet, but we know it starts one week after the death of T'Chaka, right on the heels of Captain America: Civil War. T'Challa is technically king but hasn't been "coronated" yet. The coronation, or the Wakandan equivalent thereof, is the ritual combat. The rite of the other clans to challenge for the throne.

At this point, not only has he not held power long enough to effect any changes, he's also unconsciously mired in the traditions he inherited. It has never occurred to him to consider another path.

Soon after, and it seems very soon after his coronation, he talks to Nakia, and she gives him a glimpse of that alternative. She brings the world's troubles to his doorstep because the woman he loves would rather return to the outside world and help people. In the language of the Hero's Journey, this is his call to action.

Then we see him talking to W'Kabi. When the new king mentions this other path, W'Kabi says, among other things, "If we allow refugees in, they will bring their problems. Wakanda will be no different than anywhere else."

At this point, T'Challa's on the fence but, even if he made a decision right then to take that other trail, he wouldn't be able to do it quickly, because doing so would destabilize Wakanda, maybe even start a civil war. No good king wants that, so even if he wanted to, he couldn't do it quickly.

Next, we learn Klaw will be in Korea the next day.

So, now, T'Challa goes to Korea.

He returns and has been home one day when Killmonger shows up, challenges him, and earns the throne. The not-quite-usurper immediately throws a plan for world domination into effect, which causes that division in the people I mentioned earlier but, of course, he doesn't care.

As T'Challa learns of his father's mistakes, which set them on the road to this threat to Wakanda and the world, and deals with Killmonger, he comes to see that something must change. They cannot continue as they have done before. He decides to take that other route.

At the end, we see him, in the language of the Hero's Journey, return with the elixir. He has found a way beyond the problems he inherited or, at least, a trail in the right direction.

This is why T'Challa is a hero. Heroes aren't perfect. They don't come out of the gate with all the answers. They learn and grow throughout the story. If they didn't, then the story, their trek wouldn't be satisfying.

Also, a perfect being is unrelatable. You can't imagine yourself as that person or use them as a role model because you know you're not perfect. You've made mistakes.

This is why T'Challa is a great role model. The movie shows his humanity over and over again. It illustrates his fallibility, his willingness to take responsibility not only for his own actions but for those of his ancestors and work to correct the mistakes made.

This is, in my estimation, a model to which EVERY child and every person should aspire. As adults, we should encourage children to choose T'Challa as a role model.

And, here's the thing, T'Challa is one of the few such role models for black youth, especially those disenfranchised when their ancestors were ripped from their homes and sold into slavery. Especially for those who have no idea where their cultural roots really go.

Another thing, and I think this is huge. People making this argument act like, "Well, he's African, but he lets all these other Africans around the world suffer? They're his people."

Yet, I'd bet, those same people would balk at the idea of offering super-advanced tech to any country outside the U.S. Even Canada. They'd say, "They're not Americans."

Guess what, those other Africans and people around the world aren't Wakandans. Africa is not a country. It is a continent, just like North America, which includes the U.S. and Canada and 21 other countries including Mexico, Cuba, the Caribbean islands, etc.

So, if we apply this same logic, instead of building a wall between us and Mexico, we should reach out to those impoverished people, our brothers, our compadres, our fellow North Americans, and help them. I bet that idea would twist some knickers.

Now, I did love Killmonger's comment that, "Didn't all of humanity originate in Africa? Doesn't that make the whole world 'your people?'"

Damned good point.

And, T'Challa's response sums up the point I was just making, "I am not the king of the world. I am the king of Wakanda."

So, when someone says, "T'Challa's a horrible role model because he chose not to help all his people around the world." Their argument holds so little water, it's not even funny. Shake your head, direct them to this post, and walk away because they're not worth your time.

The Wandering Guru

Wakanda Forever!

The Insidious Nature of Racism

Growing up, my address was in Anderson, Indiana and, when someone asks where I grew up, that's what I tell them. However, it's not exactly accurate.

I attended school in Pendleton, a small town "down the road" from Anderson. While Anderson had a pretty diverse population and went through some major racial tensions in the 60s, Pendleton was about as whitebred as you can imagine.

During my time in the school system, we had one black student, Melba, who was a year younger than me, but she was the only black person in our community because she had been adopted by a white family. In my senior year or shortly thereafter, her little brother started school. He, too, was black, but I don't know if the two were related by blood or only by adoption.

Racism was present in the community. Ethnic jokes were common, and no one thought anything about them. However, I never saw any overt racism. Mostly because there weren't other ethnicities around to be racist toward.

Melba, the one exception, may have experienced some. I don't know. Looking back on it, I think the community sort of took pride in her. She was the token black they could point to and say, "See, we have diversity here." And, she was raised by whites. It wasn't like a whole family of "those people" had moved into the area.

I never once thought of myself as racist. I only considered one person I knew to be a racist. He was the father of a friend of mine, and he was very vocal about his dislike for anyone who wasn't white and CIS. He had a slightly higher opinion of women, but not much.

Once, when he saw Freddie Mercury on TV, he said, "That fella's queer as a three-dollar bill, but he sure can sing." It was as close as he could get to complimenting the man.

But, I have a confession, I was racist. I just didn't know it. It wasn't a strong, vibrant, bigotry, but it was there and, unfortunately, it still rears its ugly head from time to time, rising from the deepest, most entrenched reaches of my psyche to bite me on the ass. It's like an evil whac-a-mole game where I keep having to knock it back down. Each time it pops up, it's weaker, and I notice it earlier, but it's there.

The most recent situation involved a short story I wrote. In the first draft, I made the protagonist a black man. The only reason he was black was that I had been doing some research and had read about a black man from history who inspired a large portion of the character's persona, so when I wrote the character it felt right to make him African American.

However, by the end of the story, the character dies. He's the hero, albeit a tragic one, and his death is what allows the final defeat of the bad guys, but he dies.

I was walking through town one day, considering the story, and a thought hit me. It felt like it came from nowhere, like a lightning bolt from a pristine blue sky. I thought, "Why is he black? Does his skin color have any effect on the story?"

No, it did not.

Then, I thought, "So, I've got a story with a black man, who doesn't have to be black, who dies for no other reason than to further the plot. Yes, I suppose there's some honor in his death and what follows, but it's also pretty stereotypical. Damn."

So, I went home and rewrote the entire story to make him a white guy.

Could I have left it? Sure. It was a good story as it sat. But ... no, I wouldn't allow that story to get into the wild, so to speak.

I couldn't do it because I've had too many conversations with African American friends, both in person and online, who made me recognize the inherent racism, albeit mild, in using that stereotype. You know, the one that says, "Hey, look! A black character! I bet he's dead by the end." People with a shade of skin darker than what can be achieved by a moderately tanned white guy are so often the "red shirts" of the fictional world that it's endemic.

Big, bold, in your face racism is easy to spot. This subtle crap, though, takes some serious self-analysis and awareness.

No one taught me to be racist. In fact, my parents were very progressive for their time and location. I never once heard either of them make a disparaging remark (beyond some ethnic jokes) about black people or, for that matter, folks from any other "race". Dad worked with people from a lot of ethnic heritages at the GM plant, and he was universally admired because he treated everyone with respect.

For the most part, I am color blind. Even to the point that, when describing a situation, I rarely mention the skin tone of anyone involved unless it plays a specific role.

And yet ... and yet, I fell into a racist stereotype while writing that story. Damn.

Thank you to all my friends, regardless of your ethnic background, who have helped me reach this point and who, I have no doubt, will continue to enlighten me in this regard and so many others. I love you all.

The Wandering Guru

Leave it to Ms. Angelou, a genius and an inspiration, to phrase it so succinctly.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

I love you ... yes, you

I have a friend named Donna. While our memories of how and when we met differ, we have certainly known each other for 35+ years. Last night, we had a pretty intense discussion about a lot of things, but one of them was love.

She said Hebrew has seven different words for love. They use a different word to express love for a spouse vs. love for a family member vs. love for a friend vs. love for tacos.

I suspect that last was a joke, but it led her to an epiphany.

She said, “How messed up is it that I can more easily say ‘I love tacos’ than tell you, one of my oldest and closest friends, ‘I love you.’”

And she’s right. When we say “love” in English, at least in the US, people assume romantic love, including sexual relations. There are exceptions when you’re referring to blood relatives, but that’s generally it.

Most people I know feel strange saying “I love you” to someone they aren’t related to or aren’t having sex with and, the older I get, the more ridiculous that seems to me. As such, I’m working on overcoming that in myself.

If I know you personally, and I tell you I love you, don't assume I want to have sex with you. Unless you're my wife, then I want to have sex. Otherwise, you're out of luck.

Yes, that was a joke, but I'm serious about telling people I care about that I love them because it is ridiculous that I can more easily say, "I love tacos."

The Wandering Guru

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Ketchum If You Can

Jack Ketchum is a pretty big name in horror fiction but, when I first met him, I didn't realize who he was.

I met him in '05 at the World Horror Convention in New York City. I attended the convention because my friend & mentor, Joe R. Lansdale, was there. That's also the event where I met Linda Addison, who has become one of my dearest friends.

I wound up hanging out quite a bit with a guy named Lee, an author and volunteer for the con. Lee was very cool, and I wish I could remember his last name. Nonetheless, at one point, I was chatting with Lee when a guy walked up.

Lee introduced the man as Dallas. They talked a little, then Dallas asked if Lee and I had dinner plans. We did not, so Dallas recommended we go get some food. He needed to get something from his room, so Lee and I tagged along to his room.

In the room, Dallas poured a shot of vodka for Lee and himself and asked if I wanted one. I explained I wasn't partial to vodka. Dallas said, "I have some absinthe. Wanna hit of it?"

I had never tried absinthe, so I said, "Sure." I quickly learned why the liquor has such a reputation. I had about a finger of absinthe cut with water, and it was still something of a gut punch and head rush. After our drinks, we left the room. I don't remember what came up, but something separated me from them.

Later, I saw Dallas, and we chatted a bit before he went on about his business. A young man walked up to me with a starstruck expression and said, "You know Jack Ketchum?"
That's how I met Jack Ketchum. I chatted with him a few other times at other events, but I can't claim to have known him well. A passing acquaintance. I have, however, read some of his work, and there's a reason he's well-known and respected.

In my limited experience, he seemed like a genuinely nice guy and, from what I've heard from others who knew him better, he was generous with his time and helpful to those around him without asking anything in return.

I didn't know him well, but the news of his death hit me pretty solidly. While I don't have any liquor, much less absinthe, on hand, I do have a cup of water, so I'll pretend it has some absinthe in it and raise a toast to a good man, good author, and someone I'm honored to have known to even such a small extent.

Salud and RIP.

The Wandering Guru

Jack Ketchum, RIP

Saturday, January 20, 2018

A Sensitive Topic

I don't know the age demographics for people reading my blog, but I want to discuss something I wish someone had explained to me when I was a kid or teen. The subject is "being gay."

I try to keep my posts PG but this one's going to get a tad risque. Probably spiking into NC-17 but definitely up into the territory of R.

Now, the reason I use that specific word will become apparent but, what I'm really referring to is understanding sexuality, whether it's hetero, homo, bi, or pan.

I grew up in a largely blue-collar community in central Indiana in the 70s and 80s. Calling a guy gay was always considered an insult. Friends might get away with it in jibes, but it was an insult. If we considered a product inferior, we labeled it gay.

From my current vantage, it was rather appalling, though I'm sure there are still places where this mindset prevails. In fact, in the region where I grew up, it's probably still the default attitude. I honestly don't know. I don't spend much time in that area and, when I do, I don't usually discuss such things with the people I talk to there.

I don't recall any openly homosexual students in my school. I know some were labeled as such simply because they matched the stereotypes and, at least one of them, did come out sometime after high school, but I don't remember knowing anyone in my school was homosexual.

Here's the thing: no one ever explained what "gay" was. I might have looked it up in the dictionary but, even then, I don't think I grokked it. Scratch that. I know I didn't because that didn't happen until a few years ago.

Thinking back on it, I would guess many of my friends would agree. We didn't know what homosexuality was but, to paraphrase Judge Potter Stewart, "we knew it when we saw it." The idea of homosexuality was, in my understanding, defined by actions coupled with a sort of communal consensus.

Assuming you're a guy:

  1. Did you look at a guy in the shower? You might be gay.
  2. Did you touch yourself while looking at him? You're probably gay.
  3. Did you fantasize about licking his balls? You're definitely gay.
Those were the kind of metrics we used in discussions about it, and they were both situational and black-and-white. So, if you licked or sucked a penis, you're gay. You were in prison at the time? Doesn't matter. You're gay. You were forced? Take your pick because either you're gay or a wimp who didn't fight back hard enough.

When I saw Shawshank Redemption, my personal understanding on that shifted because I'd been in some fights and knew if that many guys cornered me, I'd fight like hell, but they'd probably be able to overpower me.

Now, here's what I wish someone had explained to me way earlier in my life.

Sexuality isn't defined purely by actions. I know a woman who is bisexual but has never had sex with another woman. A much younger version of me would have considered that impossible. Now, though, I understand it's defined by "attraction."

If you are sexually attracted people of the same sex, you are homosexual. If you are sexually attracted to people of the opposite sex, you are heterosexual. Both, you're bi. Doesn't matter if you've ever had sex with anyone.

I remember hearing someone, I don't remember the context, say, "I sucked a guy's dick in prison, but I'm not gay." At the time, that made no sense. I was, I think, still in high school, and I remember looking at my friends, and someone said, "Nope. He's gay."

Now, I understand how this might happen. A guy might have sex in prison with another guy but not be gay. If he doesn't consider guys sexually attractive, he's not homosexual. Period.

It seems strange that it took me ~40 years to grasp this concept, but that's how deeply ingrained the cultural bias was.

The Wandering Guru

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Uber Stories

Uber Story #1: Poor Planning on Your Part Does Not Constitute an Emergency on My Part

I got a ride request at 5:48 AM. I arrived to pick the young woman up at 5:59 AM. She got into the car and said, "Man, I'm running late."

"Going to work?"

"No. It's a federal halfway house. I just got out of prison."

"Oh. Oops."

"Yeah. I'm supposed to be there by 6:00 AM, but I have a fifteen-minute window."

"So," I think, "you planned to get there at 6:15. You left yourself zero room for Murphy factors. Now, Murphy has tripped you up."

"GPS estimates 25 minutes."

"What? It should only take 15 minutes."

"There's something happening on the freeway. I don't know what it is, but I saw a bunch of emergency vehicles in the southbound lane when I came to pick you up." We had to head south to get her to her location.

"Damn. I'll throw in ten dollars, cash, if you get me there before 6:15."

I laughed. "That won't even put a dent in the speeding ticket if I get pulled over. Never mind that I could lose my job."

"A Lyft driver told me you guys, Lyft, Uber, taxi, and bus drivers, can't get pulled over. The cops ignore you."

More laughter from me. "I don't know if he was misinformed, joking, or lying, but ... no."

I dropped her off at 6:24 AM.

Uber Story #2: Good Guys Finish Fine

I got a ride request from a woman I'll call GG. GG has osteoporosis and, last night, while walking her dog, her dog took off after a squirrel, caught GG off guard, and caused her to fall. She shattered her elbow on the sidewalk.

With her husband in Denver for work, GG was stranded because she couldn't drive due to the broken elbow and the pain it caused. She needed to go to the doctor, get a prescription for pain meds, and get back home. She called Uber, and I got the request.

I picked her up and drove her to her doctor, which was a 30-minute drive to a town called Black Canyon City. I waited 1.5 hours while she was in the doctor's office and went to pick up her prescription. When she requested an Uber ride, I accepted.

She was surprised she got me again. I explained, "There are no Uber drivers in Black Canyon City, so I waited for you because I knew you needed a ride back home."

She asked if we could hit a drive-thru on the way so she could get some food to take her pain meds with. We did.

When I dropped her off, she called her daughter (who had actually requested the Uber drive for her) and asked the daughter to add a large tip. I didn't overhear the conversation, so I didn't know how much of a tip she requested. Then GG came to the car and said, "My daughter can't afford the tip I want to give you on her card. Can I write you a check?"

I said, "Sure."

I hoped for $50. I would have been satisfied with $20. Hell, I would have been satisfied with whatever she gave me. Her situation sucked, and I was glad I could help. When she gave me the check ... I won't say how much it was for, but it was more than $50. In fact, $50 had to go hide in a corner out of embarrassment.

Honestly, I wouldn't have been upset if she'd decided not to tip me, but I'm not complaining about the extra money. It's nice when "above and beyond" gets recognized and compensated.

In the end, it pays to be a decent human being. In this case, it paid financially but, even when there's no financial compensation, it's worth the time and effort.

The Wandering Guru