Posted July 2, 2014 By tjflynn

Today’s topic has nothing to do with SERVICE in the sense that we usually discuss in this forum.
Or does it?

On February 20, 1864, Brigadier Generals Seymour for the North and Finnegan for the South faced each other in Olustee, Florida. Finnegan and the South won the battle, but he was derided because he did not pursue and finish off the survivors before they got back to the safety of Jacksonville, which was occupied by the northern aggressors at that time.

Two things come to mind when I think about that battle. The first is that a sports announcer whose name I refuse to write, once called Jacksonville “a remote southern outpost” during a fight broadcast. That comment, like many others from that announcer, had no basis in fact, and really pissed me off.

A. Fort Jefferson in the Dry Tortugas is “a remote southern outpost”.
B. If I’ve done the math correctly, the remote northern outpost of Fort Amsterdam was built on Manhattan Island 60 years after the oldest continuously occupied European-established settlement in the continental United States (St Augustine, which is 40 miles further south than Jacksonville) was thriving .
C. At the time the baseless comment was made, Jacksonville had the largest land area of any city in the contiguous United States.
D. My dad, and his dad, were born in Jacksonville.
E. Brooklyn numbskull.

The second thing that comes to mind is the similarities with that battle and my past relationships with the fairer sex. I’ve won some bloody battles, but did not capitalize. Like Joe Finnegan, I let them return to the safety of an enemy-occupied area instead of pressing to really gain an advantage. Then, with a few of them, found myself with my hat in my hand at a courthouse, like Robert E. Lee, asking for favorable terms. With the others, I pulled away. Or as we preferred when I was an active-duty Marine, I advanced toward the rear.

Over time, I’ve had a manifestation of clear thought. I realize that heart-to-heart combat is not as easy as it used to be. Therefore, I’m now looking to be and to engage with a pacifist. Isn’t it funny that ‘fist’ is a part of this word which opposes using them? The new “ism” for my obsession is pacifism.

So, back on the dating scene, looking for a pacifist with which to never fight about anything, I’m still finding warriors. Hello ladies. I’m looking for serene not a screaming siren.

I’m still gathering information with which to crystalize my formal list of proposed qualities for said pacifist. I hope to be able, within a decade or so, to post those here.

I can, however, because I’ve already experienced them with other females, post the following list of things that SHE would never do:

1. Live with more than 2 cats or 2 dogs or 1 cat and 1 dog.
2. Neglect to have cat pee cleaned out of her clothing.
3. Lie about her age or the age of her photos before we meet.
4. Squat to urinate in a public park on our first date.
5. Bring a flask and a back-up flask on the first date.
6. Order more than 3 cocktails, glasses of wine, or beers on the first date.
7. Talk about current ‘friends with benefits’.
8. Lie about having 7 children.
9. Come to a first date wearing a bullet-proof vest.
10. Not allow me, after a reasonable period, to see where she lives.
11. Full court press for sex on the first date.
12. Brag about anything except kids and grandkids
13. Insist on an expensive restaurant for the first meeting
14. Be overly sensitive about her weight
15. Bring a pet, friend, child, or illness to the first meeting.
16. Call herself an artist without having, at least been in a gallery or a museum, if not shown works.
17. Call herself a writer without having been published somewhere.
18. Come on a first date with a single mustache hair.
19. Come on a first date with any hygiene deficiencies.
20. Dress inappropriately for the venue.
21. Spend more time texting someone else than talking to me.
22. Dance with anyone else if she’s with me
23. Be jealous of my kids or grandkids.
24. Ask me what I’ve learned from my failed marriages.
25. Preach to me about her religion.




Posted July 1, 2014 By tjflynn

I wrote the following 250-word rant this morning and thought that my system had been purged of Little Johnny. But it is not. There is more.

Are our courts so hard up for candidates that we must put up with the kind of behavior, from a sitting judge in his own courtroom, that one would expect from an adolescent in a locker room?

Picking a fight, with an attorney is something far more sordid than the State of Florida’s Code of Judicial Conduct advocates. A quick scan of this document and Judge Murphy’s actions calls into question Canon 1, Canon 2.A, Canon 3.B(4) and Canon 4.A(1 thru 6). Is he promoting an honorable judiciary, or should he be wearing a bulbous red nose and bright orange wig?

Somebody said: “No big deal, Johnny. Take a week off with pay. Write some answers in an anger management workbook. Tell the media that you are sorry. Come back to work in a different courtroom. Citizens won’t notice or care”

I’ve sat in jury boxes and in the seat of the accused and literally tremble at the thought of having this person in charge of anyone’s justice. Through any “reasoned and reasonable” application of the Code of Judicial Conduct, Murphy should not have the honor of being called a Judge nor should he have the responsibilities of a Judge.

It seems reasonable to me that Judge Murphy should hold himself in contempt of his own court and bear the maximum penalty for that crime, then resign and get in better shape for a career in the boxing ring.

I can’t believe it, but there are those with experience in courts, that would support the judge’s actions. Poppycock! Rubbish! Balderdash!

Because there is a natural antagonism between attorneys and judges, and some attorneys are asses, it’s okay if a judge has a bad day and punches an attorney just outside of his courtroom, while people inside are listening? Then he potentially goes back into the courtroom, brags about his bravado and sends someone to jail or causes someone to pay a fine for doing much less? No!
So, it’s okay if a police officer has a bad day and shoots someone with his gun?
And, it’s okay if a teacher has a bad day and inappropriately touches a student?
And, it’s okay if a surgeon has a bad day and cuts off the wrong limb?
And, it’s okay if a squad of soldiers has a bad day and wipes out a village?
No. No.

Some people are held to higher standards and do not get the chance to have bad days or make egregious mistakes in their jobs without severe consequences. Judges are included. They are not playing baseball where they get 3 strikes before they are out. This one could not be trusted to be civil with a bat in his hand.

Can Johnny expect and enjoy judicial immunity for his pugilism? I hope not.

There is nothing honorable about this judge or he would remove himself. There is nothing honorable about leaving him on the bench. He has made a mockery of the very system that he represents and works in. He cannot dispense justice in any manner that he sees fit. He is not above the law. If he is not removed from the bench concerned citizens should be ashamed of themselves for not speaking up and demanding it.

In the United States of America, justice is meted out by learned and honorable men who are above reproach. Unless you are in Brevard County, Florida where you are liable to be punched in the head by the judge if he doesn’t like what you have to say. No. No. No.

My custom, in this Blog, is to restate the main point at the end. Here ya go.

Nobody can successfully argue to me that this judge’s acts were not contemptible. He is not above the law.
Therefore, he must be held in contempt, and pay the piper, just like anyone else would.
I certainly hold him in contempt. And hope that you do too.

If I were 10 years younger, I’d offer to go in the hallway with him and teach him a lesson.
If he asked me, I’d go with him today, and bet all the money in my IRA that he’d be smarter when I left.
You see, friends, readers and fellow Central Florida Natives…I am not a judge and my personal standards can be lower.


Guerilla Hits

Posted October 14, 2013 By tjflynn

1. Publix employees must have read my former post about shopping at their competitors. My mom and I, on her 92nd birthday, were exiting a CVS drugstore and were almost run down by a line of approximately 6 carts being steered by rogue teenager in a Publix outfit. He should not have been going so fast. Nor should he have been right up against the wall. But most of all, he should not have told me that the carts don’t have brakes.

2. OnlineMetals.com and ZoroTools.com provided perfect service on orders of stuff for my sailboat in the $300 range. Prompt shipping and all the right parts…

3. Burger King employees became flustered with a 10-burger order in front of me and misplaced my ticket. After 3 or 4 people were served that came in after me, I inquired and got my order which was sitting there the whole time. The apologies from the server were genuine and provided a good recovery.

4. How about the hearing doctor that asked “how may I help you” while looking at the computer screen at his front desk and not at the customer who was there because she had lost her hearing aid? When he finally made eye contact, the customer and he were able to communicate.

5. Believe it or not, the VA Clinic in Viera has great service. They recently changed their lab from appointment only to a numbered ticket system. I have not had to wait over 10 minutes for blood and urine donations since. Primary Care provider, Dr. Henriquez, gets good marks for service, as do his nurses.

6. Sherwin Williams offers a line of paints called ‘Seaguard’ that is only available from a few outlets…not all Sherwin Williams stores. According to my local Sherwin Williams store: (a) I can’t order Seaguard from them, (b) they think a couple of stores on the coast handle that line, and (c) they can’t tell me anything about the line or provide a number for a store that does.
With some perseverance, I found a store in Tampa that sells the line. Specialty Coating, Industrial Coating…whatever. If it is a Sherwin Williams product, the local store should be able to tell me how to buy some.

7. I won’t dignify the program by naming it. But, don’t you hate to download a program that you need and want and get 5 other programs that you don’t want with the download? Worse, this particular program has a screen that asks if you want the add-on programs and even if you say no-you get them on the download.

8. Amazon Hose & Rubber in Orlando has great counter service.


Heavy Metal & Yucky Fiberglass

Posted October 4, 2013 By tjflynn

My current passion / project / money vacuum is a sailboat. I’ve had a few power boats this big, but never a sailboat. I am new to sailing. I am new to sailboat nomenclature. Consequently, I’m learning an entirely new vocabulary and slowing my MoJo from throttle-down, fuel-buying, wave hopping, lets go. To full displacement hulled, cutting through the water at turtle-like speeds, smelling the roses and everything else along the way.

With a literal heap of heavy not working stuff, it was a small mental and physical jump to consider changing diesel to electric back-up power. Eight thousand to rebuild the old Yanmar…considerably less (I’m hoping) to change to electric. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA So, I just takes the old diesel drinker out. Viola! And now I has room to put in the Flux Capacitor. no motor

I’m meeting an entirely new group of service providers. Most of them providing services that I didn’t suspect existed before I became a sailor. Holy crap! I just realized something when I wrote that. I am a United States Marine, describing myself as a sailor just doesn’t fit somehow. I’m a lean-mean-fighting machine, not a rust scraping, deck swabbing, gray paint sloshing, sissy, wearing a white cape and a bowl on my head. I take that back. I am not a sailor. I am a Marine operating (working on) a sailboat. That is something completely different. If I want to scrape rust, swab decks and paint something gray, I’ll damn well do it.

I will tell you guys more about these service providers as we go along. For now, I can tell you that hauling then cleaning then painting the hull of a sailboat is normal on a recurring basis. Usually every year. I never knew this. That’s a lot of work every year. That’s a lot of money every year.

Between Jacksonville and Stuart there are lots of people who do this work. I’ve spoken to several of them. Thinking back over the conversations and venues was an interesting exercise.

I’ve met several of these people on the phone. All of those on the phone were not men. All of those people, who were not men, on the phone had to call me back with estimates. I suspect that those people, who were not men, who had to call me back with estimates, had to talk to a man before they called me back. Maybe not. I still suspect yes, though.

Of those who were not women, one took me into an office that could have been used in an old movie. It was complete with ships charts, brass portholes and all such accoutrement as one would envision to be in a retired admiral’s private study. This place was clean, tidy, shiny and made the hair on the back of my neck stand up the whole time I was sitting there looking at vinyl-covered price sheets in leather binders. The old salt was uppity, befitting his surroundings, but his prices were not that bad.

My favorite place and provider, and where I’ll have P-4’s nasty bottom wiped and powdered is near where the boat lives now. In case you missed it, P-4 is her name. She lives in the Trout River. She doesn’t like it there, but that’s for another post as well.

Bronson and Tommy, at the St. Johns Boat Company, were impressive in their knowledge, friendliness and apparent willingness to work with customers fairly. They understand the basics of service. I think that even I can learn something from them about service.

The other provider for today has nothing to do with bottoms or paint or fiberglass. He is Don at Precision Cycle in Orlando. I found him on the internet. He’s machining and welding a doo-hickie that is the marriage of an old splined transmission coupling and a new keyed shaft sprocket holder. This metal thing will primarily serve to allow the motor to turn the prop. AND allow the prop to turn the motor.

I get goosebumps contemplating how cool electric motorizing is. See, when the electric motor is turning the prop, it


battery power but when the boat is under sail, the motor is off, but the prop turns the motor now and it acts as a


of battery power. How cool is that?

Anyway, Don hasn’t done the thing yet. But, I can tell from talking to him, (1) it will be done when he promised, (2) it won’t break or fail (3) it will carry the pride of his craftsmanship and bear out his reputation

Don knows a thing or two about service.

These guys are the kind of guys that you guys want to do business with. Finding guys like these guys is what keeps this guy from writing negative comments about guys that should not even be mentioned in the same breath as guys that provide good service.


I’ll Take Goodwill over Salvation (Army)

Posted October 2, 2013 By tjflynn

It feels like I’ve been moving for years. Moving from one floor to another. One house to another. One state to another. I just moved again.

Through all of these moves, Goodwill has been my re-purpose facility of choice. If a particular item was a duplicate, or had the stigma (smell) of a former wife, or for some other reason did not make the cut of items packed-I found the nearest Goodwill to shelter it.

I believe the TV ads that say donating to Goodwill provides good things for people. I hope that a lot of my trash has been another man’s (or woman’s) treasure. To complete the cycle, when I’m not donating stuff to Goodwill, I’m scouring every one that I pass looking for antiques and bargains. It’s the ‘circle of junk’, similar to the circle of life except inanimate things don’t die, rot and provide nourishment for other inanimate things. It just seems as if they do when you go to Goodwill all the time.

Other than someone working for Goodwill, there may not be a person alive that has been in more of them than me. Let’s further qualify ‘being in’ them as dropping off or picking up stuff there. The 2nd Ex has probably been in as many as me, but in terms of sheer mass, has not moved the pounds that I have in and out of them. Dammit, there’s another useless distinction to add to my list.

Yea Goodwill. I know what to expect when I go there.

Okay, so I went to a Salvation Army store to drop off some stuff a few weeks ago and their business model is completely different. Instead of friendly people helping you to unload your crap and giving you a receipt, there is a gestapo-like sergeant (armed with Wyatt Earp’s 12″ barrel colt revolver I think) standing at the door. Once you proudly motion towards, scan and verbally list your valued possessions that need new homes, he yells out, “We’ll take the silver bars and the perfect furniture, get the rest of this useless crap off of my lot. You have 8 seconds. One…” KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

If you’re like me, you will still be in a mouth open, glazed eye state of shock when you think that you hear the unmistakeable snap of the leather strap holding the hog-leg in it’s holster being loosed and the reverberating staccato of the hammer being pulled back. I would not be far afield to say that my son-in-law soiled himself during this interaction, to which he was only peripherally involved.

Friends, frogs and knuckleheads, I won’t go back to a Salvation Army…ever…for any reason.

The person that your customers interact with is the face of your business.



Posted September 24, 2013 By tjflynn

I never give 5 stars. But I would if I were asked. At that place. At that time. Given the concept and operating parameters. The only thing missing was the odor of apple pies and the voices of angels.

I had a great experience in the Metrowest Five Guys restaurant and told my friends ‘Director’, ‘Managing’ and ‘Operating’ the good news. The place was clean. The people were super friendly. The food was good. The fries were fresh and done just right. The condiment and drink areas were tidy and organized. The restroom was clean. I was excited and proud to be a consultant for the franchise. Hell, I was happy to be a customer.

I suspect that it was a fluke. Some karmic reward for something good I did in a past life. It was a gift for my blog on SERVICE. I know that. That excitement lasted for days until I realized that, (1) nobody but me cared, or (2) somebody cared, but not enough to share it with me.

Euphoria to depression in 3 easy moves, anyone?

Yes, I manage construction for a local Five Guys Franchisee. Yes, I managed construction on today’s subject. Yes, I spend a lot of time in Five Guys’ restaurants. Yes, I have more than one vested interest in the success of Five Guys in Central Florida. Yes, I often eat for free in the restaurants that I build.

However, I suppose that I’m just the “construction turd” to the operators. My random comments (good or bad) on operations are taken more like a dose of salts than as constructive observations. Instead of hearing an old salt’s pearls of wisdom-they hear an old fart’s musings. Rather than taking them with a grain of salt-they act like salt is being rubbed into a festered wound.

I’m reminded of my years in retail real estate development companies where there was always a chasm between the “real estate turds” and the “construction turds”. The real estate guys thought that the construction guys just sat around and made up reasons not to do projects and blamed them on some state or local jurisdictional authority. The construction guys thought that the real estate guys were too busy getting manicures and buying $1,200 suits (that remark will indicate my age) to find the right site and the right tenants for it.

Company parties were like middle school dances. Those with spit-polished John Lobb’s on their feet and Mercedes under their seat sitting on one side, and those who had on Timberlands that would never even get close to polish thinking about the valet looking for low-low and trying to climb an 85 degree berm as a short-cut to the parking garage.

The only thing that I find different about restaurant development is that a 3rd group of people with their own idiosyncrasies, are thrown into the mix…”operations turds”. Company parties are exactly the same. Shiny shoes on one side of the room. Scuffed on the other. Wherever the food and drinks are…you got it…the non-slip sole crowd.

I’ve spent my entire career trying to erase the unmistakeable aura that says, “I started out as a carpenter”. I got my first real estate license in 1974 and my first building contractor’s license in 1980. My closet has both shiny and scuffed footwear. At parties, I seamlessly drift between real estate and construction turdoms with ease and deftness. I don’t like admitting it, but I just can’t seem to break into the operators’ group. I don’t speak their language. I don’t know what temperature is required to magically transform white lardy Crisco into a clear liquid.

I have been involved in over a hundred restaurant openings. I have my very own ServeSafe card. My knowledge of the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation / Division of Hotels and Restaurant pre-opening checklist is, well, nudging absolute.

But, I can’t:
1. Consume my own weight in any given food category.
2. Make a gourmet meal with nothing but a toothpick and a candle.
3. Drink beer, wine and hard alcohol until the wee hours and find an all-night restaurant around 4:30 am for ‘pre breakfast snacks’.
4. Go to the same building to work everyday (THE SAME PLACE EVERYDAY for goodness’ sake)

And, I am not skinny by any means, but I am not hefty enough to be in operations. Have you ever seen a skinny operator? Those odds are the same as finding an honest used car salesman or a good lawyer.

I’m too emotionally drained at this point to make a point about today’s blog. I experienced that one moment in time when all the tumblers dropped into place, when the stage was perfectly set, when there was no other possible outcome than a wonderful service experience.

I had it.

It was at a restaurant that I built.

I know the people who are responsible.

It was beautiful.

Perhaps you, my faithful readers, will share in my excitement. I can only wish that you, too, experience that pristine excitement of pure and unadulterated Superior Service that some of us aspire to and all of us seek.


Pizza Hut Would Not Take US Currency

Posted September 11, 2013 By tjflynn

Quick internet research reveals that Pizza Hut’s average ticket price is between 17 and 50 bucks. How come, then, the unit in Altamonte Springs will not take a hundred dollar bill for payment?

I am experiencing new-found energy and weight loss from a diet that excludes pizza-of any kind. However, I backslide once in a while. Yes, readers, I am human. I do have some of the normal frailties of the species. So, a few days ago when my mother suggested it, I found myself in the Altamonte Springs Pizza Hut ordering a large Pepperoni Pan Pizza to take out. Everything about the experience was the universe’s unique way of telling me…don’t do it, numbskull!

1. It was early in the afternoon but I thought I’d rather warm up the pizza than go home and back out later.
2. As I turned off of 436 onto Boston, there was a line of cars in the turn lane which blocked my access into the parking lot as well as impatient people behind me who would have been safer without the rear of their cars hanging half out onto the busy highway.
3. Once I did get into the parking lot, all of the convenient parking spaces were taken or side-parked. This is when one car takes up more than one parking space by parking sidewards.
4. Without enough thought, I wheeled into a compact car space and side-parked my own vehicle which would more precisely be called a “land yacht” than a “compact”.
5. As I disembarked, the seat cover stuck to my britches and jumped out with me and the seatbelt wrapped around the little thingie that holds the door shut so when I slammed the door, it bounced back at me as if to say, “move the damn seatbelt, Herky-Jerky”.
6. As I made towards the door, a lady was walking in the same direction, so I had the usual mental battle (ie. hurry up to be first to the door then hold it for her and let her get in front of me, go in first and ignore her, hold the door and trip her or let her get to the door first and have the dilemma. Thankfully, she went in the shop next door.
7. Finally, I’m safe and cool inside the restaurant where the over-worked and under-paid Mensa reject was more interested in the technician working on a ladder near the counter than acknowledging a customer standing at the counter.
8. When he finally did make eye contact for a split second before looking at the cash register, I asked, “can I order a large pepperoni pan pizza” and he responded, “did you order online?” At this point, my brain raced for a response that was nothing like, “if I ordered it online, I would not ask to order it again here, would I?” But all that came out of my mouth was a weak “no”. So when he asked what crust, my mind raced again for a response that was not, “what part of large pepperoni pan pizza do you not understand?” And, all that came out of my mouth that time was a weak “pan”.
9. Up to this point, it was a pretty normal experience at any service-related business in Central Florida. Where the training manuals emphasize get-em-in and get-em-out over offering any semblance of service. There will be a new tourist there before you know it.
10. But when I reached out with cash, the fellow that later identified himself as “one of the managers” curtly and loudly retorted, “we don’t take hundreds.”

If you know me, you can guess what happened next. I asked to see a manager then walked out mumbling and in a snit. Or was it a huff?

Most of this incident is funny. It usually is when the universe talks to you and you just don’t listen. But the service, or lack thereof, ain’t funny at all. It’s pitiful.

Horse-whipping purveyors of poor service should never have been re-classified from a deterrent to an act of violence. I would be willing to take my punishment if I treated someone as I was treated at the Pizza Hut in Altamonte Springs. Is a little personal responsibility too much to ask?

What’s the service principle here? If you don’t plan on providing superior service to your customers, please don’t take a service job.


Ronald McDonald Would Have A Frowny Face

Posted July 27, 2013 By tjflynn

I’ve done it dozens, if not hundreds, of times-get off at a random interstate exit for a large unsweet tea under the golden arches. Readers, friends and aliens, don’t do it in Jacksonville, Florida off of I-95. If you do, you may have a real (interpret bad) experience like I did.

Honestly, McDonalds’ employee training program could stand improvement in a lot of areas. But, I’ve been in them, in many states, with passable service. Not in Jacksonville, Florida off of I-95. Holy schmoly, those 5 eggheads behind the counter could not have avoided eye contact with me any longer without exploding or passing out. Adding to my discomfort of suspecting that I had become totally invisible between the van and the service counter, the oriental gentleman speaking in broken English, trying to bitch about the service he was not getting made the entire experience surreal.

The old oriental guy was standing outside, on the sidewalk by the drive-thru, when I drove up. He was holding a normal sized ticket in his hand and looking like he’d lost his favorite shih tzu puppy. What I think he was trying to tell me while I was being ignored by the entirety of people working in that McDonalds in Jacksonville, Florida off of I-95, is that someone got his order wrong and he was waiting for them to remake his food. I wonder if the concept of “fast food” has escaped those employees. If the old oriental guy, or me for that matter, wanted to hang around 20 minutes for food, we’d go somewhere with fewer bad physical and medical consequences.

One can’t argue that the food is bad for you. So without the “fast” there’s no reason to visit. Period. End of sentence. End of paragraph.

Those of you who are curious about outcomes…when the counter person said to me, “I can take your order now”, in the same voice that I’d use to cut, berate, belittle or piss off someone, I replied with, “I don’t think so, your service sucks and I’ll go somewhere where my patronage and my money is appreciated”.

I make no apologies for my actions to him, his manager, McDonalds’ district manager, McDonalds’ training manager, anyone from McDonalds corporate and anyone who drives a yellow Jeep. In fact, I urge each of you, in your own way, to refuse terrible service where ever you find it. Take the time to drive down the road to a competitor and spend your money there.

The moral of this story is twofold. (1) Bad service should not be tolerated, (2) I might possibly communicate better on paper than I do in person.

Take the time to figuratively spit on bad service-you might change the world.



Posted July 16, 2013 By tjflynn

It is not good blog protocol (I suspect) to write stories about the same thing so close together. However, I have another automobile experience to share.

Those few readers who know me really well know that I’m…uh, frugal when it comes to cars and trucks. Having wasted untold dollars trading cars every couple of years, I now tend to run the wheels off of everything that I purchase. Many years ago, my friend John Weeks, shared a story about the principal at his high school saying that a Caddy is really a poor man’s car because they were so well built that the cost of ownership-over time was extremely low. I’ve proved this concept to be true with several Ford trucks and vans as well.

Please don’t tell Carl Edwards or any other of my Fanatic Ford Friends, but my current work van is a Chevy. She’s 23 and has almost 230,000 miles on her. But, bless her heart,still gets up every day and goes where ever I go. She has a little rust and her paint is fading. But, she still goes with me. She needs touching in difficult places to reach sometimes. Most recently inside her gas tank. But, she still goes with me. She loves gas stations and craves oil and water sometimes. But she still goes with me. Her middle seats are in another state. She is burdened with tools of my trade and beach essentials. I often forget to unload things that she should not be carrying. I used to let her sit in my parking lot in Kentucky, covered in snow and ice, for weeks at a time. Then jump in to drive a thousand miles to work. She happily went.

Over time, her power windows stopped working and stayed that way until it became too inconvenient (translated HOT) for me to bear. As things happen, I was lamenting the heat and wishing that the windows worked when I passed one of those orange cars on US 1 that advertise window repairs. I called. Agreed to $175 each window for new motors and the labor to install. He came the same day and did the work.

Fast forward to less than a week later and the passenger window rolls down and not back up. I was busy that week. It rained much that week. My old girl was very embarassed honkin’ down the road with a plastic trash bag on one of her wings like she belonged to Jethro Bodeen or the Joad family. It rained the next week and the next.

The repairman had warned me of some rusty pieces that could cause the window to stop working. Thinking that this was the issue and he had done what he promised, I operated on my girl and, to my surprise found a well-worn and old window motor still in her wing. It was at this point that I knew that I had wasted some or all of the $360 I’d spent and that I’d been taken advantage of.

Angry and frustrated, I fixed her window in the up position and put her back together. During this process, I lost the clip that holds the door handle on. So, each time the door is shut, the handle falls off. I also broke the electric thingie that operates the window. So, the hole where it was is covered with tape. Dammit!

Not one to walk away from a fight, I called the repairman. His response was to call me “bone lip” and hang up. I must admit that I’ve been called many things worse than “bone lip”, and that “bone lip” was funny until I thought it must be a reference to being gay-which I ain’t.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Giving the devil his due, the repairman did call back, apologize and ask to make a repair. Unfortunately, at that point I was in a prudent business be damned, this guy has taken advantage of me and disparaged me (I think) with the bone lip thing, hung up the phone on me, and I don’t want him anywhere near my sweetie mode and told him to go you-know-what himself.

Over time, I’ll fix the handle and get a new switch cover. I can live with just one window rolling up and down. Meanwhile, my unnamed sweetie will still get up and go with me where ever I go.

Over time, the repairman will still take advantage of people, call them bad names, and live with the bad karma he’s putting out into the world.

I sorta wish that my make up was such that would have allowed me to let the guy fix his mistake. But, then again, that person would be someone else…not me!

The lesson in service? Don’t trust a guy that comes to your house to work on your vehicle and asks you to drive up on the sidewalk under the shade of a tree. I guess.


Not meaning to brag-but my frequent readers are in the top 10% of the smartest, best looking and most intuitive hominids in the U.S. Between the Title and the following two words, they will understand this post.

Postcard Mania.

600 x 800 postcard

Thank you, and as my friend Sam used to say on TV, “tires ain’t pretty”.