I took the Labs to a local PetSmart at 8am to have their coats coiffed and nails buffed (they walk enough each day to keep their nails warn down to a proper healthy length).
This particular PetSmart is located at the West Oaks Mall near Ocoee, Florida. I've written about West Oaks before, specifically the mall. I've photographed many empty stores to the point where I was chased out by a local rent-a-cop. That was, of course, when all I had was the E-3. Hauling that camera around with the 12-60 mounted made me stand out from the rest of the few shoppers that were moving about the mall. That mall hasn't had real crowds since 2008.
This time I was parking near store fronts that sit between the main mall and West Colonial. This section includes a Best Buy. It used to include a Toys"R"Us and a Borders Book Store, but the Toys"R"Us moved to a location next to the Mall at Millenia while Border's is finishing going out of business.
And what was open had a feeling of emptiness. Very few people buying much of anything these days.
People are concerned. Calling a recovery a "jobless recovery" is an obscene joke. There is no recovery if there are no jobs. No jobs, no money being earned and later spent. No money spent, no businesses. No businesses, no jobs. And so it goes on and on in an every growing downward spiral. And those that still have a job are hunkering down, pulling back, waiting for the axe to fall on them.
While I was there and walking about I came across this sign that reminded me of where we are as a nation and what we'd just gone through with the debt ceiling debacle followed by Standard & Poor's downgrade of our credit rating from AAA to AA+. All that screaming and yelling in Washington from Tea Party backed representatives, but no real solutions. Just like no jobs.