Monday, December 17, 2018

Bean Counters

A car story with a dash of bashing bean counters.

2003 found me working for an aggressive car dealer, Steve, a rodeo bull rider, who was a cinch short of a roping saddle.
We had gone from a two lot operation focused on used pickups, stock and utility trailers and occasional livestock to adding a Kia dealership. At one point we had three Kia stores.

Steve got it in his mind to have offsite sales. Colorado regulations allowed up to five days. He had a motor home taken in trade he wanted to use for a mobile office. He hired a man with “experience” and the first sale was a near disaster. For my sins, he and the General Manager decided to put me in charge of the program, the “Roadshow” as it was called.

The challenge intrigued me. My one demand was no one could dispute my decisions. Only Steve, the owner, and the General Manager could counter my decisions. That took two days to resolve but I prevailed. Of course, I was expected to account for all expenditures. No problem.

Steve’s instructions were straightforward.

“Do it right, do it legal, don’t cut corners”.

Man of his word. In the next three years we held about 60 sales in 18 different Colorado towns. I spent north of two million of his dollars. In that time we probably talked less than two hours. All he wanted from me was, “It’s handled or, It’s not handled because….”

Now to the bean counter part. Our pace was two to three sales a month. I would hit a town, find a space to rent, arrange telephone service, arrange advertising, and reserve motel rooms. This placed a great deal of stress on the accounting side of the business as I needed to move fast. At our home store this was no problem. At our Grand Junction store we had a person who got outside her lane, questioning everything I did and slow walking the money.

Had a short meeting with Steve.

Me. “I’m supposed to be working for you. Right now I’ve got $8,000 of my own money invested in your business because your bitch running the books won’t cut the checks – thinks I have to get her approval first”.

Steve, with a grin. “I like that, your money in my business”.

Shortly he defined her lane. As the conversation was reported to me,

Steve. “Who’s fucking name is on this business?”

Her. “Yours.”

Steve. “Then who are your to question my instructions to the Tank? The Roadshow is another store and he is the General Manager.”

Should say at the home store as I entered accounting with a fist full of check requests Shirley would greet me with,

“No! Get the fuck out of here with your bullshit!”

She loved me! Always got my checks done within an hour.

After three years of the Roadshow we shut down. The Kia incentives dried up. Steve had me find used car locations. At one point we had five used car stores. I “supervised” the managers, i.e, herded the cats.

I ended up doing all kinds of weird stuff for Steve. He liked me because I always got the job done, and I never failed to account for every penny. He didn’t like that I could piss off half the state getting the job done but he always had my back.

He had a strong friendship with the President of Kia America who bought control of a remanufactured engine company when he left Kia. Got Steve involved in pumping up sales. Yah, guess who Steve put in charge of that!

Steve finally crashed and burned. Had to start all over. He is still out there plugging away and fishing. The man lives to go fishing.

Keeping a business on track from the financing side is a thankless task. I have the greatest respect for those who do it well. It is when they decide they also need to have control over other parts of the business that we part ways.

Sunday, December 16, 2018


From the local rag. Good job by the deputies. The driver is someone we had dealings with a few years ago in the car biz.

His companions seem to be well on the road to a life of crime at a rather tender age.

Reminds me of another individual from the car biz who violated a restraining order by damaging his former finance’s car parked by a security camera. Got to love that video evidence if you are a prosecutor.

And on an otherwise dull Sunday, there was a stabbing at the local Goodwill store. No details. What is so valuable at a Goodwill store worth a knife fight?

Saturday I was once again reminded how much I respect big rig drivers. 60+ mph wind gusts along I-25 and I-80 in Wyoming. The company Yaris was quite lively. Coffee got lukewarm in the cup holder – two hands on the wheel drive.

Received a notice from the management company they are raising my lease 27% in February. COLOEXIT is looking more attractive by the day.

Friday, December 14, 2018


How I envy those bloggers that come up with something to write and publish that is of interest most days. Not happening here.

Most recent excitement? Employer's Christmas party. Came away with a bottle of wine.

The local rag is fixated on the monster who offed his family and has something every day on the case. Tiresome. The DOJ moved him out of state after his guilty plea. Didn't think he would survive in a Colorado prison.

People crashing their vehicles while not wearing seat belts continues. Damn fools.

Stay safe.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Antifa Sex

Looking at video of Antifa protesters I see many physically unattractive people. Then they open their mouths and the crazy shows. So what draws them to the protests? My guess is they are hoping to get laid.

Towards the end of the Vietnam War I was attending a “streetcar” college in Denver. After demonstrations were always wild times and wild parties. Seemed to really loosen inhibitions. Lots of sex happened.

So are these demonstrations more of social/sexual events for marginal to loser people? I do believe that is a component.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Religious Ire

An unchurched lapsed Methodist probably isn’t the best person to comment on things Christian. That said, this pissed me off.


Thursday, December 6, 2018

Car Story

Had lunch with some folks I was in the car biz with and the “Out Story” contest began. My contribution was the saga of my friend Gene K., and his turbo Corvair Monza.

Gene and I were like a lot of young men and women from small Colorado towns. Out of high school we went to Denver where there were jobs.  Clearing right of way brush in the summer and plowing snow in the winter didn’t have a high appeal.

Gene tried to join the service but failed the physical. He was an apprentice butcher, made decent money, and had a clean older Chevy sedan.

At the time, retailing automobiles was changing with advent of factory financing companies. Spot deliveries came into vogue. Gene discovered he could drive away in a new car, drive it for a few days, and “have to take it back” because the financing fell through. About once a month he would show up in a Valiant or such.

One day he showed up in a Turbo Chevy Corsair. He decided he didn’t like it. He called the dealership asking when he should return it. “Why”, was their response?  “Your financing is approved”.


So Gene manned up and paid it off in two years. About a week after the 90 warranty expired, the car developed a full blown case of Corvair disease. I would sit back and listen to him piss and moan and then laugh. Such a good friend am I, no?

The Corvair must have cost GM a lot of lost revenue. Gene grew up in a GM family at a time when brand loyalty was a big deal. You started with a Chevy, move up to an Oldsmobile or Pontiac, then a Buick and retired in a Cadillac. Gene never bought another GM product even to the point of not buying a Frigidaire because it was made by GM.

There are few things more dangerous to peace and tranquility than bored car salespeople, IMO. “Out Story” probable approaches that. Pity the people in the adjoining tables.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

The Winter Fool

Some comments on recent blogs centered on vehicles and winter driving prompt more development. The elephant in the room is why I do it? Short answer is usually I’m paid.

The picture is from one of my vehicles. My truck is far better equipped as I often venture to the back of beyond in it.

The small beat up backpack goes into any vehicle I’m driving. It carries supplies to keep me from hypothermia and frostbite for up to 72 hours. At my age and fitness I’m not walking far, especially in winter conditions, so I need to hunker down until the roads are opened.

 If I must travel or move around on foot, I have YAKTRAXs, slip on cleats. Mine are several years old and still serviceable.

A lot of what goes into winter driving preparation is from lessons learned. As an example, my father once spent four days on top of US 40 Berthoud Pass because avalanches closed both sides. He was ok but many of the others stranded weren’t. Being the man he was, he helped all who needed it. 

When he, and my older relatives, talked about what worked and what didn’t I listened closely.

As an example, if you need to move just a few feet, jack up your vehicle and slip your floor mats under the tires. You should be able to move a few feet. Repeat as needed. NOTE: If you can’t turn off your traction control you are screwed.

One thing not available to my father was the internet. I click on the National Weather Service and various state highway condition sites before I venture out. I will still go but with less stress about what I may find.

There are many sites and resources for what to include in a “GO” bag. YMMV. I’m not looking for the comfort of a Holiday Inn Express room, just survival.

A large part of my life centers around the phrase, “Winners do what losers won’t”. Yes, it bites me in the ass from time to time but I’m rarely bored.