Friday, August 23, 2013

Time Certainly Flies By

There are 235 days left in my life long career in the automotive business.  It seems like yesterday I was free, single and driving truck for a Volkswagen dealership in downtown Seattle.  When I think back on my career I think driving a truck all over the Seattle area might have been the thing to do but then I doubt that I would be in the position I am in today had I continued along that trail.  Perhaps better off emotionally and closer to the family but I can't knock my existence too much at this point.  We have a really nice life together and in 235 days we'll be driving each other crazy.

Work has been very hectic lately and looking at the schedule I am preparing for September I suspect it to continue right through until October.  I still need another full time counterperson.  I advertised on the Washington State Employment site but even though I listed very specific qualifications I continue to get folks applying that likely couldn't tell the difference between a differential and a TPMS sensor.  I can train an individual with a good attitude, that smiles and can communicate if they have some technical or real parts counter experience.  Even if they come from another brand or independent parts house or right out of school as long as they have some auto science knowledge.   I will find the right individual even if it takes some time.  Chaplin's is a family owned business and they tell their employees that the customer is always right.  It takes a special individual to work in our environment.  Mr. Chaplin says it is okay to get screwed once in awhile as long as you know you're getting screwed.  Be nice and take care of the situation.  If you take care of the customer then the customer has no ammunition to go and tell others what a crappy place you run.

I usually leave very early in the morning and when I got up Tuesday I walked out into the morning and felt a cooling that hadn't been around for some time.  Looking up I saw a full moon hanging in the sky. The picture was taken with my phone which makes it difficult at best.  It looks like fall might actually be on the way.  The heat is around during the day and then it does cool down a lot overnight reminding one of harvest time and state fairs.  Oh wait, the Evergreen State Fair opens this weekend, followed by the Puyallup Fair in September.  Won't be too long and I'll be walking Honey around the block at night in the pouring rain.

We spent last weekend at Gold Bar and had a very quiet weekend since none of our friends where anywhere in sight.  Mia and I enjoyed the weekend with Honey taking long walks, reading and just enjoying the nice weather.  It was warm over the weekend with no rain.  We really enjoy the off weekends when very few folks are in the park.   There are a lot of spots for sale at the moment.  Some want an extraordinary amount of money for a small patch of land and a trailer and sheds.  Pictured below is the current most expensive place in the park.  They want $50,000 for the membership, trailer, furniture and buildings.  
Further down on the monetary scale is this one  at $2500 with no trailer, buildings or anything else.
You may remember our little water problem that developed into a lake behind our lot.  We complained to the park and did we ever open a can of worms.   In the middle of winter, last year, the park discovered that a neighbor had blocked a drainage ditch while cleaning up his property.  They contacted the county and state, moved our trailer to access the area and removed all of the greenbelt between our site and the sites at the end of the next street over.  They dug trenches, installed a drainage field and stopped working because of the wet weather.  The area became so muddy that the heavy equipment just sank down. 
We were a little upset to see no green belt between us and the other properties.  While you never have complete privacy in a campground the complete loss of it is something you would rather not experience.  It was ugly and several of our affected neighbors have put their places up for sale or just refused to come back.  We were promised that they would get to work on it and get it back in shape this summer.  Summer came and nothing happened so we spoke to the park manager who said they would be starting work again after the July 4th weekend.

A couple of weeks ago we learned that one of our members apparently called the EPA and while the project hasn't been red flagged the EPA is involved due to perceived wetlands running parallel to the property line.  Whoops...seems they may have stepped into it.  

This news prompted and email from me and my wife looking for options and being really upset with the parks handling of this situation.  We arrived at the park last weekend to find new vegetation planted behind the shed blocking our view of the terrible mess on the other side.  You can see the bushes in the picture below.  It isn't what was there but it is a start and I don't have to look at the mess behind me anymore.

Our son and his wife, Emily, came to visit us on Saturday.  The young man in the picture is our youngest grandson, James.  He is busy texting on Mom's phone while we all sit and enjoy the beautiful day.

That is pretty much all I have to say.  I have today off and Mia and I will be at an appointment this morning followed by another trip to Gold Bar.  Rain is in the forecast so we are taking our Kindles.  If the weather allows we have a firewood storage device to build and a vent cover to install on one of the exterior roof vents of the trailer.

Hope everyone is doing well.

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