Sunday, November 25, 2012


I woke up this morning and watched Meet the Press as a part of my Sunday morning ritual.  The discussions surrounded the movie Lincoln and how his leadership skills could be applied to our current political landscape.  The folks on this mornings Round Table session were amazing.  Andrea Mitchell, Dave Brooks, Ken Burns, Rev. Al Sharpton and Carly Fiorina joined David with a discussion that looked at the Fiscal Cliff as well as what Obama must do to bring changes by leveraging Capitol Hill.  Each had an opportunity to give input and did so with no interruption.  They listened to each other and you could see they understood the other persons point of view.  They all agreed that if we can prove our form of government is governable we are in a great position to move forward with increased opportunities for the future.

  The movie Lincoln was used as an example of the kind of leadership that will be required to lead this country forward.  Something we haven't seen in a very long time.  Mr. Lincoln used every avenue available to him to get the necessary votes to pass the 13th Amendment to the Constitution abolishing slavery.  My wife and I attended the local theater early show this morning to watch the movie, Lincoln. It was a very good movie and if you have an opportunity to see it, by all means do so.  As a history buff standing on the side lines of today's political mess it was refreshing and I can only hope that the parties involved in solving our issues today take a moment and go watch the movie and learn something about concession, wrangling, compromise, and leadership.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Update And The New Digs

I am feeling much better and most of the reports from all the drama earlier in the week has been good.  I still have to wait for the cardiologists to look at the results of my 24 hour monitor but I suspect if there were a problem I would have gotten a call from someone, unless they didn't look at it on Friday when I returned it.

I really hate to admit it but the whole episode was a wake up call.  Not only did my wife, daughter, step-mom, and son give me grief over the ordeal, my grandson went to work with me Friday and made sure everyone knew about their anguish.  He was nice about it, but most of the employees who approached me were aware of my situation.  My boss joked me about taking so many days off.  Then on a serious note made it clear that he didn't want me to drive myself so hard.  So it looks like the "Energizer Bunny" needs to slow down some.

We moved into the new digs last weekend and the building has not been rekeyed so our overnight parts delivery driver doesn't have a key to enter the building thus requiring someone to be present when he delivers the parts.  I hope to have this situation resolve early next week.  In the meantime only two of us have keys to the building and of course I am not paying someone overtime to sit and wait for the delivery.  Especially when I can do a bunch of stuff while waiting for his arrival.

So I went to bed early last night and woke up well before I wanted to.  1:30 am isn't a good time to be up but when the brain begins to think about all the stuff that needs to be done, I found myself crawling out of bed and heading to work.  I arrived shortly after 2:00 am and worked until 7:00 am.  I expected the delivery but it never arrived.  I visited with the boss for a few minutes (yep, he gets up early too).  He said he took a nap from 7 - 11 the night before and hadn't been back to bed since he got up.  And you all thought I was bad.  Actually, I have done that to.  At seven my first employee arrives so I left it to them to handle it and came home.

This is the new customer parts counter with the customer service waiting area at the left.  There are two big display cases and two large monitor televisions.  The furniture is on order and will arrive sometime in December.  Then we will start to use the whole facility but for now just parts is operating from this building.
This is a picture of the employee side of the parts counter.  The trophy in the foreground a manufacturer  award for the best customer service in the district.  It goes to the dealer with the best customer service each month, so it does move around.
There is still a bunch of work to do.  The dark blue bins are new,  the rest were reused from the old facility.  Things will get organized and picked up as we move forward.
High density shelving that has been bolted together and to the floor.  We can hang stuff on the wire grids on the ends of the bins.  It takes a lot of parts to run a $600,000+ per month parts business.
As I have said we did loose around 500 square feet, but we are working to get it reorganized and condensing everything.

This is the shipping and receiving department.  The big bin to the right is the same ones you see at Costco or Home Depot.  It is built for heavy items.  Under it is space for large body items and pallets of oil, antifreeze and batteries.
Standing in shipping and receiving and looking back.  The back wall has bins that allow us to hang long items and store bulky items.  The cage to the right is for our internet department.  We do everything we can to secure our customers personal information.  Only two people have a key to this cage.

This move would not have happened had it not been for the part time folks we hired to do the heavy work.  These people worked their tails off getting parts moved from one floor to the other with no complaining or whining.  Just good solid work.  I would recommend any of them for full time employment.

A final comment regarding my grandson Zach.  I know you have all had the opportunity to read about him from my blog but I don't have words to tell you how proud of him I am.  My daughter and son have made me very proud but I missed most of their childhood because of my drinking.  I haven't missed any of Zach's childhood and as far as I am concerned he has grown into caring, kind, willing to help, loving (except with his sister, I'm working on him), hard working, energized, loyal young man who turns 17 next month.  I can't believe he is 17.  It seems like I was changing his diapers yesterday.  He has plans and goals unlike so many kids today.

Thank you Zach for all your help during the move.  The mere fact that you were there lifted me to do better.  The fact that you worked your tail off was an extra benefit.  I love you and wish you the very best in all of your endeavors.
Going to a Seattle Thunderbirds game tonight with Zach and his other grand dad, Chuck.  Having too much fun.

Thursday, November 22, 2012


I am definitely thankful today.  While I am tired, I am upright.  I removed the monitor last night.  Ouch!  That  hurt.  All those wires feeding information are attached to adhesive sensors that are stuck all about your torso.  I have way too much body hair and it hurts like heck to remove them because it feels like they are held on with super glue.

I still feel hazy?  I don't know what else to call it.  Just slightly tired.

We have a crowd coming to the house today for Thanksgiving and I am looking forward to it.

Have a happy Thanksgiving no matter where you are.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Emergency Comes To My Bathroom

During the Vietnam war a soldier treated by a paramedic within the first hour of trauma had a 98% chance of survival.  Some studies found that this survival rate was better than the rate present for auto accidents on American highways.  In the 60's a public program was launched to try to improve the rates of survival from cardiac issues and has since expanded to just about every possible health emergency.

In a television show called, "Emergency", two young paramedic/firefighters, Gage and Desoto, gave us a look at some of the events that the LA County Fire Department was involved in.  Over the years Seattle has been especially proud of their Medic One team since it is widely considered the first of its kind in the country.  Thank your lucky stars that they expanded it to the rest of the country.

Yesterday I had my first need for some help and they where there.  I work in the city of Bellevue with a fire station less than a mile away.  Their response was quick and they took charge and evaluated me and advised that I be transported to the critical care facility of my health provider.

I went to work like normal and didn't feel bad in any way, shape or form.  As I have said before we are moving the parts department so I have been putting in some long hours (probably too many, looking back) and yesterday was no exception.  I arrived at 3:00 o'clock a.m. knowing it was going to be a long day.  I had stock orders arriving that were huge and we are working out of boxes.  Finding gaskets in a 45" X 48", three foot deep plastic gaylord isn't exactly easy.

Looking for this gasket,
In this container,

Is like searching for a needle in a haystack.  Add to that, nothing is where the computer system says it is and an extremely busy week before Thanksgiving and to say the frustration level is high would be an understatement.  Add to that an employee who calls in sick, one who comes to work but goes home sick and a manager (me) who takes it upon himself to try to take up all the slack by not taking a lunch break.  In fact, not eating anything.

We were concerned about the possibility of running out of oil filters and I thought I had seen some in one of the Pods we are storing parts in until we can find permanent homes for them.  it was pouring down rain so I went into the bathroom to get my coat.  As I grabbed my coat from the hanger I suddenly felt light headed and disoriented and apparently fainted.  A co-worker saw me fall as the door was closing and called for help.  Some of my co-workers got me up to a chair after a few minutes, but I didn't feel right.  Rather than take a chance I let them call 911.  So Emergency visited my bathroom.   I was inspected, tested and it was determined that a combination of stress, low blood sugar, long hours had finally caught up with me.  It was suggest that I be transported to critical care.  One of my co-workers took me in and my wife picked me up about 4 hours later.

In the critical care unit I was monitored and tested further.  They did a chest x-ray, EKG, blood and urine work.  I was put on and IV and monitored over the course of my stay.  Once the results were in the doctor concluded the earlier diagnosis by the paramedics was correct however she wanted me to spend the night in the observation room just in case.  I chose not to do that and signed out against medical advice and came home tired, beaten and embarrassed.  I am wearing a 24 hour monitor that is watching my heart for irregularities and I have to follow up with my physician.

This morning I am feeling weak and tired but for some reason I can't sleep.  I can't go to work because I can't drive and my car is still at work.  There is so much to do but the doctor pretty much summed it up during my consultation last night when she said, "You do realize that if you don't take care of yourself, you won't be around to do what needs to be done."  I have always thought I could just keep going and going.  I always have kept going.  Apparently when we get older the doctors feel the need to announce the fact by saying, "Your not as young as you once were".  She put that line in right after the one above.  It has me thinking.

I decided to sign a waiver that I was leaving their care against medical advice and come home.  I understand the doctors position with the waiver and I didn't take it personally that she had me sign it.  She is covering her backside in case something should happen.  And I don't think she took it personally that I chose to leave rather than follower her advice.

Overall, everyone involved it this whole event was caring and willing to do what it took to get my situation resolved.  Since all to the tests came back good, I suspect the monitor will show nothing abnormal.  At least I hope so.  I am taking the next two days off to enjoy Thanksgiving with the family and move on from a place I never expected to be.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Is It Depression

The last week and a half has been full of turmoil.  As we move from downstairs back up to the newly remodeled upstairs.  We have lost some of the storage footprint and it is going to be very tight fit going back.  We have moved the bins and the parts and we are mostly set up to begin business starting tomorrow (Monday) morning.  It has been a lot of work for a person as old as I.  I have been getting to work between 2 am and leaving anywhere from 5 to 6 pm.

As I have said before, I am not afraid of work.  I was given a strong work ethic by my parents and grandparents and when there is work to do I will work until it is done.  However, after six days of sun up to sun down I went into work early this morning (Sunday) in an attempt to make things a little more palatable for my employees.  Getting rid of some of the hazards created during the move, relocating some items, checking in the stock order and putting it away, getting some of the gaylords ready for shipment back to the warehouse, stocking the bathrooms and kitchen and doing some of my paperwork.  I got a lot done, but around 10 am after looking at the disaster that was facing me, I literally  threw up my hands and walked away.  I consider tears, but I came home, climbed in the tub for a bath followed by a nap.

I am not physically tired even though I couldn't sleep last night because I was thinking about all the stuff that needed to be done.  No, I was emotionally tired, drained.  Ready to cash in.

Only a third of the work surrounding the move done, but my clerk has given notice, our shipping and receiving clerk is recovering from surgery and a counterperson has given notice.

Is it depression?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Another Mistake.....Really

I was looking at my blog tonight and noticed that the link to my "published work" doesn't work....

So I will type it out for you're enjoyment or lack there of....

(Editor's note:  This letter is a condensation of a lengthy essay entailed "The United States in Viet-Nam."  It was written by Kenneth Pratt, a pupil at Nathan Hale High School.)

Editor, The Times:
     The United States has no designs whatever on the resources or territory of Viet-Nam.  Our concern is three-fold.
     First, South Viet-Nam, a member of the free-world family, is striving to preserve its independence from Communist attack.  They have asked for our help.  We shall continue to give it.
     We do so in their interest and in our own clear self-interest.  Basic to the principle of freedom and self-determination which have sustained our country for almost two centuries is the right of peoples everywhere to live and develop in peace.  Our own security is strengthened by the determination of others to remain free.
     Second, Southeast Asia is vital to our national security, for if the Communists should every control its resources and territory, it might mean the end of the free world.
     And, third, South Viet-Nam is a test case for the Communist strategy.
     Some critics of our present policy have suggested that we withdraw. This the United States totally rejects.
     Others have called for a similar option-"neutralization" of Viet-Nam.  This is the game of "what's mine is mine and what's yours is negotiable."  No one seriously believes the Communists would agree to "neutralization" of North Viet-Nam.
     The third option is military action-now being taken-outside South Viet-Nam, particularly against North Viet-Nam to supplement the counter-insurgency program in South Viet-Nam.
     This course-its implications and ways to carry it out-have been carefully studied.  Whatever the ultimate course is forced upon us by the other side, it is clear that it would be a supplement to - not a substitute for - progress within South Viet-Nam.
     The fourth course of action is to help the South Viet-Namese win the battle in their own country.  This is essential, no matter what else be done.
     Let us repeat that our goal is peace and stability, both in South Viet-Nam and Southeast Asia.  We have learned that "peace at any price" is not practical in the long run and that the cost of defending freedom must be borne if we are to have it at all.
     The road ahead in Viet-Nam is going to be long, difficult and frustrating.  It will take work, courage and imagination and -perhaps more than anything else- patience.  When the day comes that we can safely withdraw, we expect to leave an independent and stable South Viet-Nam, rich with resources and bright with prospects for the peace and prosperity of Southeast Asia and the world.
                                                                      KENNETH PRATT,
                                                              Nathan Hale High School.

See....I had no clue what I was talking about.

Another Fantastic Day

On November 14, 1969 I married the most wonderful woman in the world.  I don't know where I would be had I not had her to share my life with.  She is, without doubt, an angel considering what she has dealt with over the past 43 years.  I am looking forward to many more years.
Love you hun

Monday, November 12, 2012

It Would Appear I Was Mistaken

I have a hard time admitting an error.  I am something like The Fonz on Happy Days.  Just can't seem to say it without a bunch of stuttering.

Yesterday I mentioned a letter to the editor of the Seattle Times back when I was a kid.   I mistakenly thought (age has something to do with memory loss) I wrote it before I joined the Navy, when in fact, I wrote it six months after I was officially discharged from military service.  It was an essay for my Asia studies course in my senior year of high school.  I sent the entire essay to the Seattle Times and the editor condensed it and published the following:

Of course at my age I can't be expected to remember every detail, much less what I wrote.  It costs me $3.95 to find out what I wrote.  Seems the Times archives aren't free.  There was a response to my thoughts by another citizen in Seattle but I didn't feel like spending another $3.95 to find out what they had to say about my essay.

Hope everyone is well.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Veterans Day And Catching Up.

In 1964 I was still in high school and struggling with the future of my life with the active draft and the very real possibility of a stint in Vietnam.  I had an issue with the war in general.  I wasn't convinced that it was something we really needed to do, but I had written a paper for my history class that defended John F. Kennedy and his position and reasons we were committed to the war.  It seems that my real belief came out in the words I put into the paper.

 Many of my friends were going with the flow.  Some were just waiting until graduation, off to college and hopefully the war would be over by the time they graduated.  I didn't have that option.  Some left the U.S. bound for Canada to elude the draft.  While I did consider it, it really wasn't a viable course of action for me.  I couldn't see myself as a foot soldier so I never really considered the Army or Marine corps.  I certainly wasn't going to fly anywhere with my corrected vision and less than stellar grades.  So that left the Navy.

My younger brother had joined the Navy so I looked at the options available.  To keep the draft off my back, I enlisted in the Naval Air Reserve 2 by 4 program while still in high school.   My junior year ended and I was ordered to attend Boot Camp at Sand Point Naval Air Station in Seattle, it was the summer of 1964.  It was a two week basic training for new recruits.  Long story shortened dramatically, I was sent home half way through the training program and later in my senior year, given an honorable discharge with medical reasons.  I did not qualify to be retained in the Naval Reserve.  My status with the draft board changed to 4F, unsuitable for military service.

I watched as many of my schoolmates ended up drafted and on their way to Vietnam and while not close to my brother, I saw him leave twice for the Gulf of Tonkin with the VA 196 aboard the USS Constellation.  I did not go.  Not because I didn't want or I dodged the opportunity as so many others had, but because it seems I had bad knees.  So bad the Navy didn't want them.

Over the years and even during the vets return from Vietnam I have supported our military fighting men and women for their valor in the face of war.  I support them today even though I don't necessarily agree with the reasons they have been put in harms way.

I stop each Veterans day and thank those who gave us the freedoms we enjoy today even though it sometimes appears we have no idea what to do with them.

Unfortunately I will be working on Veterans Day.  Here in the U.S. it is not a holiday from the retail sales world and so we work.  The remodel of the upstairs is completed enough for us to begin to move our parts department back upstairs and into the newly remodeled space.  It is exceptionally nice even though we lost roughly 500 square feet of storage space.  We are looking at some options to ensure we have protected storage.

In each of my reviews over the years our owner has asked the same question of me; "Why can't you keep the parts department clean?"  The building was old, the construction work wasn't first class, the place had taken a beating over the years and most of the employees didn't seem to care.  I am about to change their outlooks as we move back upstairs.  I may only have 519 days left but I'll be damned if the bosses request will go unnoticed.  The department will remain clean and each of them will help.  I'll post some pictures of the new digs once we have occupancy and are up and running.  It is truly amazing the amount of money that has been put into this remodel and I think everyone should be proud of the efforts the family has made and is making to upgrade the facilities.

Hope everyone is safe.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Election, Election, Election

I started my day watching Meet the Press and finding myself a little frustrated with the media.  The discussion on most of the Sunday morning news shows had to do with how the candidates can get enough states to win the electoral college.  I like the way the media assumes that all but eight states are already decided.  The candidates are now spending their last few days trying to sew up those eight states so one of them can win.

I wonder how many voters will just say the heck with it and stay home.  After all, here in Washington, the media says we are a blue state with no real say in the outcome.  Somehow it doesn't feel good.  I still voted, although I did consider not voting at all.

I will be so happy when the election is over and the campaign ads are gone....

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Lovely Day In The Neighborhood.

If you like rain, you'll like our neighborhood.  I am told we have nearly 8 inches more rainfall this year than we did this time last year.  I thought it was a lot last year and it just keeps coming.  Makes you wonder about the warming of the climate and how it effects the weather around us.

I need to take Honey on her nightly potty walk and then look for leg supports for my new work bench.

Hope everyone is well.  Sorry for the short post.