Thursday, December 25, 2014

Monday, December 8, 2014

Dinette Cushions

While enjoying a wonderful Saturday evening with my wife in downtown Seattle for dinner and a show, I had to wonder.
We have often  commented about how uncomfortable the dinette area in the trailer is.  The cushions don't have much support and they tend to slide all over the place.  While sitting in a booth at Etta's it occurred to me that there is something better.  The booth at Etta's has a nice curved back and base with alot more support than the cushions in my trailer.  I understand why the cushions are flat in the trailer considering the fact that the dinette doubles as a bed.  But I found the curved, supportive cushions at Etta's to be much easier to sit with.  Very comfortable, leather covered and the distance between the table and my belly wasn't much different.

I am thinking this might become a do it yourself project.  Since we don't use the dinette as a bed that often, more comfortable, supportive cushions would be an asset.

Thanks for dropping by.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

How Many Times Must You Contact Me

As you already know I worked in the automotive business my whole career.  I understand all the ins and outs of the business and I have often mention the CSI (Customer Service Index) reports that many manufacturers use to grade their dealers as well as the dealers personnel.  I personally believe there should be more concentration on loyalty and less on what was done or how it was done at the service or sale visit.  What should be important to the manufacturer is the loyalty the customer has for the brand and whether or not they intend to tell others as well as purchase another vehicle from the same manufacturer.

Of course the customers percepetion of service definately influences this decision but many times the manufacturer uses questions that unless the customers gives a perfect ten score the store and their contact gets thrown under the bus.  Many times the manufacturer ties incentives to the "10" score that can make or break a dealerships year.  Profits are not as high in dealerships as some would have you believe.  You must push a lot of steel out the door and have them come back for service and parts in order to remain profitable. 

Questions like, comfort of the waiting room?  What if you didn't wait?  Should you leave it blank?  Or as many do, fill it in with an eight, because you never give tens.  Time the process took?  It didn't take any time, I filled out a parkout envelope, dropped it in the key drop and left.  Should I give it a ten because it was quick?

You get the general idea.  On to the next item, how many times should a dealership contact you after you have had service work done at their service facility?  I took my Silverado into a local Chevrolet dealership on Friday the 28th.  I made an appointment on line and gave the specifics as to what I wanted done.  I arrived at the dealership in the early morning hours before I had to be at work down the block and left the truck parked out in the service drive.  I asked that the truck be done by 3:00 o'clock p.m. so I could pick it up.  I had no further contact until I arrived a the appointed time and found the cashier who found my invoice, explained it to me, took my money and sent someone to retrieve my truck.  It took all of five minutes of personal contact with the representative of the company and I was on the road heading home.

I expected a survey and I got one via email on Saturday.  I filled it out and sent it back.  Shortly after that I received another email thanking me for filling out the survey.  Sunday I recieved another email supposedly from the dealership service manager thanking me for my business followed by an email from the service advisor who wrote the repair order again thanking me for doing business with him.  Keep in mind, I never met either of these two individuals during the whole process.  Then yesterday my phone rings showing a number I don't recognize and it is a taped message again from the service advisor thanking me for my business.

I appreciate being noticed but one survey and one thank you is enough.  Don't send me additional emails or call me with taped messages.  If you want to call, you call personally.  That means more to me than a taped conversation.

I'll get down off my soap box now.  Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Busy, Busy

It has been a busy few weeks since I decided to go back to work.  There are lots of things that needed to be done in the new digs.  Turns out the prospects for a replacement seem to be very slime so I have suggested they consider training one of the individuals in the department instead of searching all over for someone who will fit.

The commute isn't fun.  I get to see some of the dregs of society during my travels.  Many have mental illness that makes them unemployable or some type of physical impairment.  Still others look like normal folks who for one reason or another have found themselves homeless and sleeping on the street.  Unable to clean up or make themselves presentable for interviews they can't get out of the streets and back into the workforce.  Sadly this country chooses to spend billions overseas but can't see the need here at home.  So many folks go to bed hungry or don't have a bed and are still hungry.  What does it say about a society that chooses to ignore folks who went into medical bankruptcy or lost a job through no fault of their own.  Nothing seems to change.

Well I don't have a lot to discuss that I can discuss.  My family will be joining us for brunch later this morning that Mia is putting on for a family member who is visiting this weekend from Baltimore.  We haven't been together for some time.

I pulled the Traeger out of the garage and fired it up this morning.  A brined turkey is smoking as I type this.  My first attempt and I hope it works out.

Hope all is well and thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Called Back

After five and a half months of retirement a large metropolitan dealership offered me a consultant/interim position as parts manager.  They lost their manager earlier in the year and have been having some difficulty finding an individual to take the position.  I agreed and committed to a four month term while they continue to look for the right individual to fit into their organization.

When we retired I had hoped to maybe do some consulting on the side and travel around the country helping others with their parts issues.  Most consultants I have worked with don't spend a lot of time in the dealership.  Possibly visiting one or two times a week to kind of stir things up and then leaving to stir somewhere else.  This particular position is consuming every day of the week and eight hours of each of those days.  The good news, I am not working the ungodly hours I worked during my full time career but forty hours is a lot.

Add to that roughly 3 - 4 hours of commute time and it turns into a long day.  I don't drive to work and they don't provide a demo.  I am a little over 30 miles from the dealership and the only vehicle I have to drive is the Silverado.  It has been staying parked at home.  King County Metro Transit provides folks over 65 with reduced fare cards and it only cost me seventy five cents a day to travel one way.  I leave the condo at five in the morning and arrive in downtown Seattle around six a.m. where I transfer to a RapidRide bus that takes me to with in a block of work.  I usually arrive before seven in the morning.  In the afternoon I leave at around three-thirty, transfer in Seattle and make it home around five-thirty unless I miss my transfer then it takes until six.  Makes for some long days and interesting sessions on the buses.  The bus to and from Seattle is full of commuters and isn't bad at all but the RapidRide carries commuters and every lost soul in Seattle.  Some of them make you want to cry. while others make you want to drive, alone, in your car.

Anyway this explains why I haven't been blogging.  I haven't really had a lot of time.  Between work and enjoying my weekends watching, soccer, baseball, college football (Go Huskies) and the Seahawks I just don't have time for much else.

Hope everyone is well.  I am and I didn't have anything else to do this winter so why not make some extra cash?  Have fun and thanks for dropping by.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Hug Point

Welcome to the first day of Fall.  Last Friday we visited Hug Point just south of Cannon Beach on the Oregon Coast.  It was a beautiful day for the beach.  Being low tide we were able to explore some of the small caves as well as walk around some of the rocks to other beaches.
The rock

Walk around to another beach


View from the cave

Small steam runs thru the sands

Water fall creates a stream

Another cave view

Have no idea what this is for

The other beach

Trail to the other beach

Friends drop by, literally

Honey doesn't understand moving water

James finds a seat

Jeff gets exercise chasing his little man around

Honey thinks something is alive in the rock

A beach without a kite is not beach at all
After all the fun at the beach we said our goodbyes because we were both leaving the next day for the drive home.  Leaving without a sunset picture wasn't going to happen so I went down to Gearhart Beach just before sunset and took some shots.

Sunset at Gearhart Beach
Hope everyone is doing well and enjoying themselves.....Be safe out there.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Beach Day

Yesterday was beach day, first in Seaside and then we went to Hug Point a little south of Cannon Beach.  Surf, sand, rocks, caves, mussels, barnacles, craggily old trees and a wonderful time watching James (our grandson) and Honey (our dog) experience new features in the world around them.

Seaside is a small community that caters to tourism.  Lots of little shops with many items designed to remind you of your trip to their city many years after you where actually here.  Many have shirts, driftwood art, paintings, wooden boxes but no quilt shop.  You can purchase all kinds of things to eat from fresh seafood to steak.

On of my favorite shops now is Flashback Soda and Malt Shop.  I walked in and it was like I stepped back into the 50's.  I was telling my son about the root beer I had purchased the day before at Tillmook Cheese Factory and he said the place that makes it is right in Seaside.  Wow, what an amazing place and they have 26 different brands of root beer.  I purchased four bottles for future consumption.

We took James to a small toy store in the carousal mall and he played with toys on the floor for quite awhile, while little Nina (our latest grandchild) was total oblivious to the whole thing.
Our son and James rode the carousal before we headed to the beach.
Then it was off to the beach.

We are pulling out to head home today.  We should be home by late afternoon.  We visited Hug Point in the afternoon and I will post more about that locale tomorrow because I have lots of pictures.

Hope everyone is safe and having a good time.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

A Second Day In Tillamook

We left this morning and returned to Tillamook to meet up with our son Jeff and his family at the Tillamook Cheese Factory.  Fun place to learn more about cheese than you probably want to know.
The pictures appear to have a filter because the glass you look through has this amber tint to it and makes it look like the lens has a filter.

Mia and James had a lot of fun with the cutout.
Mia and I got into the Tillamook bus for pictures.
It takes along time (over and hour) to drive the short distance from Seaside to Tillamook.  48.9 miles of up and down speed through what seems like endless little townships.   You start out at 55 miles per hour and within a couple of miles end up slowing to 40 mph, then 30 and sometimes 20 mph when there are schools along the highway.  What should take about an hour can be extended to one and a half hours.  There were a couple of places where the highway was a one way road due to construction.  Then there are the speed zones where you're in a small town doing 30 mph and as you leave the town there is a sign...End of 30 mph.  But no sign telling you want to do next.  You go one for nearly half a mile before finally finding another sign increasing the miles per hour.  So I guess you can go as fast as you like from the end of the speed zone to the next sign, right?  A to have a really fast car.
I photographed more barns and we came back to the trailer for an afternoon of complete and total relaxation.
Hope everyone is well...

Wednesday, September 17, 2014


We left Seaside this morning and headed down Highway 101 to Tillamook.  We spent the day visiting a quilt store, a texture museum and learning facility and I took pictures of several barns with quilt blocks installed on them.  It was very interesting.
Fabric Store

VW Boneyard in the middle of no where

Bunker near the Air Museum

We are heading back to Tillamook tomorrow to hook up with Jeff and his family at the cheese factory.  I love cheese and I think they have ice cream in there somewhere.

Trip To The Coast

It is early on the second day of our trip to the Oregon Coast.  We left home yesterday around 8:00 o'clock a.m. for the trip down.
Lit up and ready to go
It is always a long drive down Highway 101 through Anacortes but even more so yesterday as we got stopped on the bridge on the Oregon side where painters were working on the upper structure.
But we made it to Bud's RV Park outside Seaside shortly after 1:00 o'clock pm after stopping for fuel and shopping in Warrenton.  We got the trailer set up and headed down to the visitors center to see what kind of trouble we can get into this coming week and we found all kinds.  Jeff and his family will be in Cannon Beach just south of us arriving today.  We will hook up with them and see if we can all get in trouble tomorrow.  We decided to park (finding a parking place was interesting) and cruise the beach.  The weather was just turning to overcast and windy.  We walked on to the sandy beach with Honey as she had her first ocean beach experience.  She wanted nothing to do with the water that was trying to chase her.  She yelped and jumped around and was attacking her left rear paw and we saw something on her.  It was so small I couldn't tell what it was but we got it off but she was having an awful time with it.  Wouldn't put it down and kept sitting down to lick it.  We suspect she was stung by whatever it was.  We picked her up and brought her back to the trailer and washed her foot but couldn't see anything.  She hobbled all night but this morning seems to be better.
Honey wants nothing to do with the water
We went to the Puyallup Fair on Monday with family friends and I got a new addition for the trailer.
New license plate frame
And a friend of mine sent me this flag for our trailer.  Apparently her husband purchased it but they have a motorhome and it didn't seem quite right to have this in the window since it depicts a trailer.  So it is in my window.  It  says "Home is where you park it".
Here is a couple of more pictures of the Seaside beach yesterday afternoon.  I didn't take my Canon with me so these are Samsung Galaxy 5 pics.
Highrise timeshare

Mia enjoys sand in her toes

Large land formation to our left

Honey still wondering, "What the heck?"
Mia loves to quilt and among the many things we found to do down here has to do with her favorite passion as well as mine.   They have a society down here that is trying to preserve the past by using quilting and dairy farming.  Apparently there is a whole scenic drive of barns with quilt blocks on them.  I love photographing old barns and Mia loves quilting.  What a great way to spend our first day.  Should be fun and I should have lots of pictures tomorrow.

We hope everyone is well and happy....