Tuesday, April 22, 2014

How To Ruin a Good $20 Drunk


A rock slide has closed Highway 24 in Colorado between Minturn and Red Cliff, CO.

http://www.vaildaily.com/news/11134569-113/slide-minturn-roadway-tuesday

Not reported was the involvement of a 24 year old female whose vehicle was hit by the rock slide. She escaped unharmed, but was subsequently charged with DUI.

Authorities have not verified that she was a local, or from Dutch Harbor, AK.

This is one of the more challenging roads in Colorado. You can find the scene at Google Earth.

Lat     39°  33’ 22.70 N
Long  106° 23’ 49.23 W

Last year one lane of Highway 24 collapsed into an abandoned railroad tunnel.

Rail fans may recognize this as the Tennessee Pass route from Dotsero, CO via Leadville and the Royal Gorge to Pueblo, CO. The Union Pacific closed the route after acquiring the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Those Pesky Fundamental Civil Rights


There is a current effort in the Colorado Legislature to eliminate jury trials for involuntary commitment for mental issues. There would still be a trial; in front of a judge. Already, jury trials have been eliminated for involuntary commitments for “substance abuse”. Since these are deemed “civil” rather than “criminal” cases, supposedly different rules apply. If you are committed, what is the difference, in real terms, then being incarcerated?

The Representative carrying the legislation is one Elizabeth “ Beth” McCann (Dem) CO 8th District (Metro Denver).

From one of the voter education sites is the following biography
.
McCann's professional experience includes serving as Deputy Attorney General in the Colorado Attorney General's office, Director of the Denver Department of Excise and Licenses, Coordinator of the Denver Safe City Office and Manager of Safety for the Denver Department of Safety.

She had introduced this as HB.1253, shot down in committee. Undaunted, she reintroduced it as HB. 1386.

Now I’m sure prosecutors are much happier trying cases in front of judges, whom they can shop for favorable tendencies, then six to twelve average citizens that can see through their bullshit. When it comes to depriving citizens of their liberty, I want it to be harder, not easier, for the machinery of the state to function.

So why is this of any interest to anyone outside of Colorado? I will answer that shortly. Ms. Mcann is a koolaide drinking Progressive. Last election, she said her number one priority was integrating the Affordable Health Care Act “seamlessly” in Colorado. She has enthusiastically voted for every gun grabbing bill that has been introduced. She is part of the “Colorado Model” mob, which has (temporarily) turned Colorado blue.

Why does it matter to anyone outside of Colorado? Her ilk thinks anyone owning a firearm is, by definition, mentally ill. See where this is going?

I wouldn’t be surprised to see this type of legislation floating around in all the states; just one part of the overall progressive attack on the Second Amendment.

These progressives are relentless and ever so sneaky. As an example, after last session, 51 of the 54 Colorado Sheriffs said they wouldn’t enforce the new gun laws. Now, in Colorado, the only elected official that can remove a sheriff from office is the county coroner. It is part of the State Constitution. Very quietly last session a bill was introduced to “update and bring into modern practice” the function of county coroners. That piece of garbage died without a vote.

It is true; the price of freedom is eternal vigilance.


As an addendum, this is from a Facebook posting. The poster is a retired teacher with a Masters in Education and a blind spot in history. One wonders how many minds she warped in her career.


Muhammad taught "love"? My ass.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Customer Is Always Wrong


“The customer IS ALWAYS right” is firmly rooted in retail mythology. Another hoary axiom, “A happy customer will tell four or five people about their good experience. An unhappy customer will tell twenty or more people about their bad experience, and will do so for years”. As it applies to retailing automobiles, an endeavor that I spent some three decades making ends meet, it is horseshit.

Take the unhappy customer. Most everyone who knows them is already tired of their whiny ways and they have little or no creditability with the people in their circle.

Unhappy customers in the car business are referred to as “heat”. One of the best at fading heat was a young manager in Renton, WA. I learned his way and used it for years. As an aside, he was many years my junior. I don’t care what age someone is. If they have a better way of doing something, I want to learn. Let my ego get in the way of my washout check? I don’t think so. John would let the customer vent, and then would ask, “Your are really angry, aren’t you”?

“Damn right,” the customer would reply.

“Well,” John would then say, “It isn’t going to cost my anything to keep you angry, is it?” This would usually cause the customer’s jaw to drop and a stunned look in the face.

“You are out telling everyone what bad people we are at Rip Your Guts Out Motors. So what incentive do I have to do anything for you?” John would ask.

Several moments of dead silence would happen, usually followed by some very subdued remark or question by the customer.

After the long pause, John would say, “What needs to be done so that you will start saying good things about Rip Your Guts Out Motors?” Many times, after the customer realized he wasn’t dealing from a position of strength, something could be worked out. Or not, life goes on.

Another manager used his size and demeanor to take control. Dan had been, among other occupations, a bouncer at a titty bar. The moment a customer started raising his voice; Dan would glare at them and say,

“Don’t give me an attitude. I want to solve your problem, but if you are going to give me an attitude, leave right now.”

A fond memory was the time I ran a two man store. The owner spent his time finding inventory and making it saleable. I did the selling and financing. One day while Russ was in the store doing paperwork, I was dealing with a belligerent bully who thought he could intimidate me into making concessions.

“Fuck you, I want to talk to the owner,” bellowed out the customer.

“I’m the owner” said Russ from across the room. As the customer turned to look at him, Russ continued, “One of the great things about owning a business is I can tell miserable assholes like you to get the fuck out of my store and never come back.”

By now, if you are still reading, you think I’m about two bubbles off plumb. Here is the point. Everyone who comes into your place of business can be a positive, neutral or negative influence on your business. All need to be treated with courtesy and respect. As an example, I watched a manager with an employment applicant toss the application in a wastebasket in front of the applicant saying, “Why are your wasting our time?” with a sneer.

 I walked over and fired the manager on the spot. He protested, so I encouraged him physically to leave the premises. Since he was the owner’s son, he didn’t think I was in a position to fire him. Once Daddy heard the details, Sonny found out that yes, I could fire him, and why didn’t I kick his ass at the same time?

They want to use the restroom? Right this way. Someone cold calling? We have a time one day each week that we will listen to anyone’s presentation. All these miscellaneous annoyances come with the territory. It is the belligerent bullies and miserable assholes that cross the line that need to, and will, be shown the mistletoe on your coattails.  Mr., or Ms. Manager, just like you expect the staff to ride for the brand, you better have the backs of those riding for you. If you don’t have the guts, get out! Yes, it takes guts to be a good manager.

A final thought. Retail is somewhat like combat, except, you rarely get shot at, and the wounds are emotional and financial. Just like combat, you have a whole shitload of REMFs wanting to question and/or direct your work. Again, Mr. or Ms. Manager, you must keep these REMFs out of your sale staff’s daily endeavors. They are there to sell. Unless they are on salary, that is all they should be doing. You must be a firewall between them and the salaried administrative types.

Now, I do admire those who can tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. Truly, I do admire that ability. I don’t have it, never had it, and wasn’t interested in developing it. One General Manager I worked for said, “Tank has all the subtlety of a D-9 bulldozer at full throttle.” Despite that, he paid me large sums for several years to do the job he wanted, and, stayed the hell out my way. Results, cupcake, results.

Sometimes the customer wins. I’ve told this story in a past blog, but will repeat it. We had branched out from retailing automobiles to representing an engine rebuilder, and I made a cold call on a shop in Colorado Springs. The owner told me about a past experience with the rebuilder involving a defective remanufactured cylinder head and how he was rudely instructed to return it, properly packaged, to receive credit. His choice of packing material was horse manure. As he was telling his story, his staff had gathered around. When he finished, he just looked at me with a, “What are you going to do now, Bubba” look. Me? I just started laughing. What else could I do? It was funny as hell and appropriate.


And when is the customer usually right? When their approach to the problem is calm and civil. Then you don't end up like this.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Bundy Ranch - I Was Wrong


A couple of days ago I made some intemperate remarks on other’s blogs. As an example,


Well, I was wrong. Jumped to conclusions, without all the facts.  while letting deep set attitudes cloud my thinking.  For too many years, I’ve watched  people gaming the system for their own benefit while screwing everyone else with water rights, grazing permits, timber sales, hunting and fishing access, school land leases,  etc., in rural areas, while claiming to be patriots.  Turns out Mr. Bundy has been meticulous in paying all of his county taxes for many years. His fight has been with the Federal government.


Something remarkable has happened in that corner of Clark County, Nevada. A United States Senator’s sleaze has been exposed (sorry, that is redundant). Eminent domain abuses highlighted. Citizens, fed up, taking both arms and action to put a stop to it. Amazing!

A flash in the pan, or the start of a movement?

Colorado Springtime



Looking out the window this morning at the snow coming down. Yesterday, the temperature hit 70. Ah, Colorado, 'tis a privilege to live here.

Addendum, 4:30 pm. My sister, the insurance adjuster, was just called out to work four client wrecked trucks out of a 40-50 vehicle accident incident in the Westbound lanes of Interstate 80 between Laramie and Rawlins, WY.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Getting Old


Reader Warning. This is not a warm and fuzzy posting

A recently acquired additional part time job has prompted some serious evaluation of my life, and lifestyle. I do back up pharmacy deliveries to care centers on an on call basis. This takes me into the halls of the care centers and among the residents, many who are younger than me.

At one care center, I occasionally see my mother, who hasn’t recognized me for years. She is ninety, has profound dementia, and now needs to be lifted from her bed to her wheelchair. She has little response to anyone. 

Damn, tough Celts. The body lives on while the mind is gone.

The care centers I see are all clean, and the residents seem well cared for. The sense I gather is one of profound boredom. How does one transition from an active life to one of little stimulation? I don’t like television. Reading is a passion, and the internet keeps me stimulated. If these aren’t available, how do I occupy my mind? What purpose does my life have?

I know the day may come. I’m already on five prescription medications, my knees are shot, and recently I found myself struggling to handle an oversized 50 lb. box. In my youth, I could bench press twice my weight.

So, I now pay much closer attention to my health. Take a lot of supplements. Supplements don’t work? I was diagnosed with Macular Degeneration in my right eye in 2005. Started immediately taking supplements containing marigold extracts (lutein and zeaxanthin). The degeneration, which is usually progressive, has stopped. At my last examination I was told, “Whatever you are doing, keep doing”.

The eye that is the problem is the right, and I am right handed. Sometime during the last few years, I’ve become left eye dominant, which has made my very marginal revolver marksmanship more marginal. Using a scoped rifle, the horizontal cross hair on the right drops off in a series of zig zags as I look through the scope.

So far, my mental state has remained about the same. My mother had four siblings. She is number three in the birth order. One older sister survives. All of her siblings were/are mentally sharp to the end. My mother’s progression follows her mother’s almost exactly. The one difference in that family is lightning strikes. Her mother once, my mother twice. Can’t help thinking that might be a cause.

On my father's side, there has been lots of cancer. Some years back, I read about using 35% food grade H2O2 as a health tonic. Statement was made that cancer can't thrive in a well oxygenated body. Maybe so, maybe not. At ten drops a day, a quart costing around $40 delivered,  lasts me several months. I also try to keep my body in an alkaline, not aciditic, condition. 

My father died at age 64 from congestive heart failure brought on by undiagnosed, and untreated, sleep apnea. I’ve used a CPAP since 2003. Have been through most of the cardiac tests with no issues except the funny, funny techs saying things like, “I’m surprised to find a car salesman with a heart.”

This paying attention to my health is a work in progress. Getting enough exercise is a problem. Probably need to do light weight training. Weight loss is definitely needed. The warm, caring physician assistant I see monthly gave me a formula for solving my problems. After listening to all my moaning and bitching, her answer was, “Stop getting old”.

 I wonder if her response was prompted by me being both stubborn and a smart ass? Nah, couldn’t be that.

For now, have the living will in place along with the regular will and my written wishes. I’ve had “the talk” with my sons. And, each morning, as I’ve always done, I get up, start putting one foot in front of the other, and drive on.


Sunday, April 6, 2014

Learning The Hard Way


Guess the driver never read one of these.


Do you think the driver will remember next time?