Bill's Bountiful Blog

May I keep you posted on my thoughts, ideas, observations, and silliness?. Am I serious? Is it relevant?. Does anyone care? Probably not much.

But in today's age of everyone has something to say, why not me? And who can blame me for jumping into to the pool? For speaking up For laying it out?

"Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one." - Thomas Wiley, Journalist


Eloise Rocks Out at Hi-Tide Resort

By Wm. May
Published: 08/27/22 Topics: Art, Fishing, HI Tide Resort, Photography, Vacation Comments: 0

No one knows exactly how it all got started. Maybe it is a myth.

The dreamy story goes like this. Long ago a young guest brought along a painting set to the beach.

The plan was to create a Vincent Van Gogh worthy painting of the sundown just as the mythical magical but very real great green flash that winks when the sun disappears completely. And just for a second.

Her name was not recorded at the time, but for now we have come to call her "Eloise". There is no record of whether she successfully caught and depicted the momentous moment. But it is something that can be frequently be seen year round from the condos at Hi-Tide.

After wandering the beach, exploring the Moclips River and digging a full limit of Razor Clams , Eloise decided to use her leftover paint to leave a message and art on a small round river rock.

The portrait of her dog, who had accompanied her to HI-Tide, included the dog's name "Picasso" and these lovely words, "I love it here. I will be back."

She placed the rock gently into a flower bed just outside the entrance to the resort office. What happened next started slowly but has grown to become a must-do activity for visitors from all over the world.

Travelers journey to Moclips Beach, staying at our lovely Hi-Tide Resort , and enjoying the very same peace and quiet and stunning beauty of the North Beaches of Washington State.

Some stay for just a few days. Others stay for a week or two or longer. But before they leave, they can ask for paint and a brush with directions were to find a suitable rock on which to paint their message for posterity.

Today, the gardens of HI-Tide Resort are filled with painted rocks and messages of love and life. Better yet, most visitors return year after year. To paint a new rock or to touch-up those which have graced the gardens for decades.

You are invited to make your own memory here and rock out at Hi-Tide.

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Author: Wm. May – Rock Out at Hi-Tide Resort, Hi-Tide Resort
Blog #: 0940 – 08/27/22

Sponsor: Hi-Tide Resort – You can't get any closer to the beach than this. comfy, cozy, modern condos at Hi-Tide-Resort on Moclips Beach WA State. – Hi-Tide-Resort.com

Summer Songs at Hi-Tide Resort

By Wm. May
Published: 04/01/22 Topics: HI Tide Resort, Moclips Beach WA, Music, Ocean Shores WA, Radio Comments: 1

https://Redstone.net/images/Blogs/866/BeachSong.jpg

Thinking of the beach brings up memories of the surf, sand, wildlife and, of course, the summer sun that bathes Moonstone Beach at Hi-Tide Resort in Moclips, Washington State. State.

Guests have been visiting our "directly on the beach" condos for many years, most returning year after year. Of course, we could tell you all about our comfy furniture, fully outfitted kitchens, private decks and views North, South and West (far west).

But maybe if we conjure up a few songs, you'll get the idea. The songs we play over and over again during all the fun times we have here.(Click on any song to listen.)

Surfin' USA - The Beach Boys

This tune was all over the radio in 1963 and ranked as the top song in Billboard rankings. It is the most recognized recording ever written by Beach Boys' Brian Wilson, although band member Mike Love says he co-wrote it.

Fifteen surfing hot spots are mentioned, most in California, with a nod to Australia's Narrabeen and, of course, to the grand daddy of them all - Hawaii's Waimea Bay.

Our Moonstone Beach at Moclips is not known for surfing, but that's OK because we get to keep the place to ourselves.

Summertime and the Livin' is Easy - George Gershwin

In 1934, Gershwin wrote this steamy song for his American opera, Porgy and Bess, with lyrics help from Dubose Heyward, the author of the novel on which the opera was based.

First recorded by Billie Holiday, who was to become an icon in musical history, Summertime has been recorded over 68,591 times, then a world record for cover tunes.

We don't suffer from the stifling 100 degree heat and 100 percent humidity that this song evokes, but we do find the living easy all summer at Hi-Tide. Warm breezes, warm sun, warm sand make it a comfortable place to hang out in the summer.

Hot Time Summer in the City - The Loving Spoonful

Written by John Sebastian, Mark Sebastian and Steve Boone, this summer at Hi-Tide you may be glad you are enjoying the pleasant hot sunshine on Moclips Beach and not the sizzling city. The waves are friendly as you sit back and watch the sun sink into the ocean directly west from our condos

You might even seen the famous, green flash, just as the last bit of the sun disappears over the horizon.

Somewhere Over the Rainbow - Israel Kamakawiwo'ole

If you have never heard this "Iz" song, you are one of the few. Where have you been? With over one BILLION views/listens on YouTube, this medley of Over the Rainbow and What a Wonderful World make Bruddah Iz the top selling artist of all times on the world music charts.

Nothing could be better as you drift off to sleep in one of our Hi-Tide condos than to listen to the gentle ukulele strum and the stunning voice of Bruddah Iz, the hero of Hawaii.

And why Hawaii, when we are here on the coast of Washington State? Every ocean brings the same enchantment, the same relaxation and the same love of the world, including here on Moonstone Beach.

When you visit this summer, you just might hear other guests humming contently one of these songs as they settle into beach life. But don't wait long or we'll be full and then you would have to sing a sad song. And, of course, we wouldn't want that.

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Author: Wm. May – Summer Song Singer, Hi-Tide Resort
Blog #: 0866 – 04/01/22

Sponsor: Hi-Tide Resort – You can't get any closer to the beach than this. comfy, cozy, modern condos at Hi-Tide-Resort on Moclips Beach WA State. – Hi-Tide-Resort.com

It Took Him 30 Years to Become a Professor

By Wm. May
Published: 12/01/21 Topics: Comments: 0

Professor Ed Bannister

Just out of College I got a job at KJR Radio (Also known as the mother giant radio station), my dream job. But there was another story also. It was 49 years ago. Maybe I blocked it out.

I also got a few other job inquiries as I was getting ready to graduate but then one I remember was this

"Kraft Smith" was the biggest advertising agency in Seattle, very prestigious and our famous professor - Ed Bannister - loved advertising agencies because he had run a very large one in New York where he became rich.

He left that behind at age 48 because he had always wanted to be a professor. He quit, got an Masters degree from UCLA, but the only place that would hire him was this funky school in the wilderness - Washington State University.

In Pullman he lived in the "House that advertising built". In today's world it would be over 2 million and, if he decided a student was "Kicking ass" (his words), they got to have dinner at his house. I did.

Ed was irreverent and absolutely pragmatic. What counted for advertising was getting sales results. What counted for him as a professor was getting kids jobs. That was not normal for professors.

He was a linear thinker. Connect the dots push push push and maybe you'll get what you want. But going for the Gold is the fun part.

P.S. One of his passions was that he was an official at several Olympic games- line judge, time keeper, something like that. He told the stories repeatedly. He also wrote limericks about his cat.

Ed took great delight that he, a 52 year old "assistant" professor, soon dominated the entire School of Communications.

Within a few years. half of all students were majoring in Advertising (compared to the old guard of broadcasting, journalism and public relations). He smirked when he said, "the full professors are unhappy with my success, so screw em. ha ha ha."

He played it to the hilt, with tweed coasts, leather elbows and carried a pipe he seldom smoked. His shoes were always shined. and he had the coolest winter overcoats. (Well, he had lived in New York!).

One day in class, Ed announced that the sales manager at KJR radio, the top top 40 rock station, would be coming to Pullman to interview a few candidates. The KJR guy named 3 guys but did not pick me.

As a rock and roll player and life-long listener I was in a funk.

So I wrote him a letter saying, "If you are going to drive all the way over to WSU, you might as well interview the best student"

While waiting for a response, I got a few other job nibbles, one from a giant advertising Agency. So I drove to Seattle and interviewed with "Hugh Smith" a very old guy with none of Ed Bannister's glamour.

He was in a giant corner office that reeked money. I remember him as sanctimonious, had stupid questions and finally said, "Well young man, I am not going to offer you a job because I think you will never make it in the advertising agency business."

With an ad agency job at the top of my wish list I was devastated, but I was also peeved. When I told Ed. He said, "Screw 'em .Keep going. Eventually you will get what you want."

When I asked "When" he said, 'Doesn't matter, took me 30 years but here I am. Screw the doubters."

Later KJR called and I was thrilled to go to work in Radio where I was exposed to fast moving, hard drinking, get it done, push push push people. Everyone of them were far more fascinating than Hugh Smith ever hoped to be.

18 months later I quit KJR and opened my own agency. I never did steal away any of the big Kraft Smith clients, but I did get a few who had interviewed them and picked me.

Revenge is best served cold.

P.S. After I started the agency he was very proud and said, "You were one of my best students." So I asked, "So why did you give me B''s sometimes when I thought my work was better than the others."

"Because you were lazy and my way of motivating was to kick your ass." It worked.

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Author: Wm. May
Blog #: 0897 – 12/01/21

Hi-Tide Resort One Million Visitors

By Wm. May
Published: 11/01/21 Topics: Fishing, Goldener Inns, HI Tide Resort, Moclips Beach WA, Ocean Shores WA Comments: 1

Photo credit: Dan Ayres/WDFW

For decades, tens of thousands of people have enjoyed staying at Hi-Tide Resort on Moclips Beach on the Coast of Washington State.

They come from everywhere around the Northwest, from across the United States, and even from foreign countries.

Visitors love the clean, crisp air, the natural dunes, the river that wraps around the property, and walking the beach for mile after mile.

Families return year after year, settling into their favorite condo where they can watch the sunset, cook on the resort grills, play horseshoes, jump in the surf, and even cast a line to catch perch and other delicacies.

Little do people know that millions of other visitors seem to find the destination just as intriguing. They are native to the area and seem to be flourishing because, well, they are frisky, shall we say.

If you have never eaten one, know this - Razor clams are an eating delicacy that grows only in certain places in the world, and they are especially prolific there.

Razors live in intertidal and subtidal zones and are filter feeders with short siphons, so they live just beneath the surface to feed, like right here, just below the surface of Moclips Beach.

When low tides expose the bottom, the clams dig and burrow deeper into the sand with their strong muscular feet.

The clams are plentiful because females have 6-10 million eggs, of which less than 5% will survive. When ocean temperature reaches 55+ degrees, the clams release their sperm and eggs into the water.

Larvae that develop from the eggs are free-floating and called "veligers," carried by the current.

Over the course of 5-16 weeks (depending on water temperature), they develop a shell and settle to the seafloor as juveniles, but of those, 95% die of natural causes.

Razor Clams that survive burrow deeper and become harvestable when they reach 3.5 inches in one year and 4.5 inches in two. They can then begin to reproduce.

Dan Ayres, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife coastal shellfish manager, says reports on Monday show more than 9,256 differs in the Moclips area took 160,896 clams, with 10,193 Copalis area diggers taking 193,327 clams.

On Long Beach alone, diggers went home with 428,861 clams. That means that together, over one million of our favorite bi-vales went home with visitors to be fried, canned, dumped into chowder, or made into sushi.

But don’t worry about diminishing the population. Razor clams propagate at an astonishing rate.

Shellfish harvest licenses are required in order to dig clams. These are available at any sporting goods store.

Law requires that clammers keep the first clams they dig (no putting back small clams). In most years, the limit is 15 clams, but through the end of 2021, it was increased to 20 when recent surveys who healthy populations.

Razor clams are very fragile and easily broken: each year thousands of clams are wasted when diggers return small or damaged clams to the sand.

The next time you are sitting on our condo deck at Hi-Tide Resort gazing out over the sand and sea, think of those millions of razor clams enjoying the ocean just as much as you are.

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Author: Wm. May – Clam Lover, Hi Tide Resort
Blog #: 0828 – 11/01/21

Sponsor: Hi-Tide Resort – You can't get any closer to the beach than this. comfy, cozy, modern condos at Hi-Tide-Resort on Moclips Beach WA State. – Hi-Tide-Resort.com

Hi-Tide Guests Say the Nicest Things

By Chris Butcher
Published: 08/31/21 Topics: Goldener Inns, HI Tide Resort, Moclips Beach WA, Ocean Shores WA Comments: 0

Whether they're a first-timer or a repeat guest, those who decide to book a stay at the Hi-Tide resort while visiting Moclips leave feeling like they've found a home-away-from-home.

Don't believe us? Here are a few of the verdicts from guests who had a wonderful stay.

New guests

"Thank you so much - We absolutely enjoyed our stay (This will be a yearly trip now!!!) Thank you, the room was very clean!" - Stayed in unit #9

"We had a Wonderful Stay. It FELT LIKE HOME." - Stayed in unit #12

"The room, BBQ grill, patio, parking, all home-like features! Thank You for making our Honeymoon enjoyable!" - Stayed in unit #21

Had a comfortable bed, a clean shower and a wonderful fireplace with complimentary logs, great!!! All the comforts of home!! - Stayed in unit #36

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Author: Chris Butcher – Web Content Admin, Hi Tide Resort
Blog #: 0827 – 08/31/21

Sponsor: Hi-Tide Resort – You can't get any closer to the beach than this. comfy, cozy, modern condos at Hi-Tide-Resort on Moclips Beach WA State. – Hi-Tide-Resort.com

Bill Gates Fault - Lodging Newsletter July 31, 2021

By Wm, May
Published: 07/31/21 Topics: AirBnB, Branding, Channel Management, Lodging Newsletter, Vacation Rental Management, Vacation Rentals Comments: 0

Its Bill Gates Fault

I am sure we can blame the current situation on Microsoft founder, Bill Gates. And, no, I don't mean his recent personal situation. Ahem.

The blame is for making the world far too complex, none of which could have happened without the invention of computers, in general, and personal computers, in particular. Before that people had to write things by hand or punch ideas on slow, archaic typewriters. People, being lazy, kept things short.

But we humans have always been happy to enslave our neighbors in one way or another. Now we do it by haranguing others with ideas for how things should work and how everyone else should live their lives. And we do it with veeeeeeeeeeery long documents, all the better to hide our true goals.

And get their humans to whine and snivel and beg for more meetings and hearings, so they can spout their bigoted ideas in hopes that throwing something (anything) on the wall will stick.

Officials then turn around and hold never-ending hearings and meetings, that allow the "Not In My Backyard" (NIMBY's) folks to spout off their selfish ideas.

"I don’t want anyone here who doesn’t live like me."
"I want rules for everyone else that don’t apply to me"

Weary officials succumb by writing ever more complex rules, regulations and requirements. That is what is happening to vacation rentals.

Bill Gates at Microsoft, Steve Jobs at Apple and even Vinton Cerf and Bob Kahn, credited with inventing the Internet and its communication protocols we use today, must take the blame.

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The Declaration of Independence has 1,320 words. Really good words, too, with ideas that have held up now for 240 years and counting. If they had been able to slice, dice, edit and expand with a handy word processor, surely it would have been hundreds of pages long. But it would not be any more accurate and would be far less understandable.

At 4,543 words, the U.S. Constitution is longer, but still shorter than your average vacation rental ordinance. But maybe 4,543 is too much for officials to remember, which may explain why so many have forgotten about all the rights of Americans codified by that 222 years ago.

In the past few years, cities and counties have been on a rampage to strip away rights from real estate owners. Last summer, commissioners in Pacific County, Washington State, home of ever popular Long Beach, decided to cut vacation rentals and take away jobs in one of the poorest counties in the state.

One owner was recently denied a vacation rental permit because his septic pipes are too low in the ground? It's okay to live there. It's okay to rent the home long-term. But it’s a convenient way for the county to stop vacation rentals, by treating the goose different than the gander. That, my friends, is called "bureaucracy".

Fifteen years ago, Chelan County, Washington, did an extensive review of how vacation rentals operate there. Understanding that rentals had become a preferred lodging option for travelers, and being smart enough to not chop off good jobs with bad politics, commissioners voted unanimously to allow vacation rentals.

Philip K. Howard's book "The Death of Common Sense" explains that the citizenry's ability to adhere to laws is inversely proportional to their length. That means, when you make the law, rule, or regulation too long, nobody knows what the law really is.

And yet, well-meaning and poorly educated officials, after being beaten around the ears by the ever-present NIMBY bigots, still persist in drafting ever more complex regulations. (With the help of their fast and furious personal computers.)

Chelan County just passed a new vacation rental ordinance that has 42 pages and 16,000 ugly bigoted words. A mish-mash of non-linear, disjointed and utterly unworkable dictates. The NIMBYs biggest goal? To convert vacation rentals into "Affordable Housing", which only works by ignoring reality.

  • People buy second homes to use them personally.
  • They rent them out when not there, but
  • Owners won’t rent them to full-time tenants,
  • Because that would mean no personal use.

The City of Ocean Shores has prohibited vacation rentals in most zones for 25 years. But no second home owners rent their homes as affordable housing. No one. Nada. Zip. Because (duh) doing so would mean no use by the owner.

So to you NIMBY's and Officials, if you want to convert someone's home into affordable housing, to you we say, "You first".

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Author: Wm, May, Vortex Managers
Blog #: 0823 – 07/31/21

Sponsor: Vortex Organization – We train quality people to help run unique Inns, Resorts and We train quality people to help run unique Inns, Resorts and Vacation Rental Management companies in an industry that has been a webby net of technology combined with good old fashioned property, guest and owner services. – VortexManagers.com

Walking from Moclips Beach to Ocean Shores

By Jerry Tuerk
Published: 07/25/21 Topics: Goldener Inns, HI Tide Resort, Moclips Beach WA, Ocean Shores WA, Things To Do Comments: 0

Walking the beach is an age-old way to disconnect from the world. To walk and think and marvel at the power of the waves. But where to walk is the question.

Everyone who visits Moclips Beach on the coast of Washington State wants to know how far they can walk down the beach. The answer is all the way.

That means all the way to the Jetty in Ocean Shores and, believe it or not, that is a whopping 24 miles. But more realistically, a walk from Hi-Tide Resort South to Pacific Beach is a tidy 2.7 miles.

Along the way, you'll see the wide-open expanse sand, and surf and hopefully the sun too, especially in summer. Stay close to the water and the sand is firm and an easy stroll.

Gander at the marvelous beach houses and listen to the never-ending waves and seabirds. There won't be any crowds or hubbub. But there will be beauty, clean air, peace, and quiet.

Naturally, you can walk the whole round trip or just double back.

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Author: Jerry Tuerk – General Manager, Hi Tide Resort
Blog #: 0821 – 07/25/21

Sponsor: Hi-Tide Resort – You can't get any closer to the beach than this. comfy, cozy, modern condos at Hi-Tide-Resort on Moclips Beach WA State. – Hi-Tide-Resort.com

T'was he Night Before 4th of July

By Wm. May
Published: 07/03/21 Topics: Fishing, Goldener Inns, HI Tide Resort, Holidays, Moclips Beach WA, Ocean Shores WA Comments: 0

It is late night July 3rd and all through the area, not a creature is stirring. Every pillow at Hi-Tide Resort has a head on it.

Children do not have visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads. They are dreaming of the shells they collected, the waves they jumped and the games they played today.

At dinner, every picnic table was filled with families devouring hamburgers and hot dogs hot from the barbecue, dollops of potato salad, and later followed by ‘s'mores stuffed with chocolate and mashed melted marsh mellows.

For moms and dads, grandparents and friends, beer was preferred. For some, it was fine wine. Cocktails for others. Children gulped fresh-squeezed lemonade as their libation of choice.

Kids and adults alike stayed up late ‘round the campfire spinning yarns and trying jokes. Campfire songs were sung, although no one knew all the words laughter erupted for no good reason. Smiles were everywhere.

Now it is late and every person here is dreaming of another dreamy day on Moclips Beach, or wading through the Moclips River, or playing horseshoes or just strolling through the dunes.

We can’t claim that jolly old Saint Nicholas will soon be here, but maybe Robert Gray, the namesake for our area, will appear for just a moment to proclaim "And to all a good night."

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Author: Wm. May, Hi Tide Resort
Blog #: 0819 – 07/03/21

Sponsor: Hi-Tide Resort – You can't get any closer to the beach than this. comfy, cozy, modern condos at Hi-Tide-Resort on Moclips Beach WA State. – Hi-Tide-Resort.com

It Is Time for Double Tips

By William May
Published: 02/26/21 Topics: Covid-19 Virus, Gratitude, Health, Kindness Comments: 9

A new vacation rental landlord was appalled to find out that the management firm put "Housekeeper Tip Envelopes" into homes. She presumptuously concluded that the housekeepers were not paid sufficiently.

That reveals she hasn't the slightest idea of how to be in the hospitality industry. Certainly housekeepers appreciate tips, but tips are not really there for the money.

  • Tips show appreciation.
  • Tips show recognition of the hard work.
  • Tips show respect for undesirable work.
  • Tips are the price you pay to avoid the job.
  • Tips show you are a kind person.

Housekeeping is the kind of work that this privileged snotty rental owner can simply not imagine. Maybe if such owners went out, scrubbed floors, unclogged toilets, and pushed a vacuum until their hands grew callouses, maybe then they would see, or at least begin to feel what it's like to be disrespected.

During the Covid crisis, it has been reported that customers are tipping service personnel, like restaurant servers, delivery drivers, and dry cleaners, far lower than ever before. Of course, some consumers have less money available to leave tips, but for everyone else - shame on you.

People have lost jobs. Some have taken positions at lower wages. Some work part-time when full-time is what they need. That means now is the time to show more respect for service people, not less.

Double Tip

Without much forethought our family has been tipping higher than usual nowadays. But this ungrateful client gave us a brand new idea. Not only is it time to tip everyone well, maybe it's time to start a movement - it's time to tip everyone double.

Maybe it was always time to double tip everyone. Tip double! At minimum. Always!

The Best Reward

On the way home tonight we stopped for take-out at a drive-through fast food restaurant and tipped $20 on a $25 order. We also handed over giant smiles and a very big THANK YOUS.

The wonderful young clerk said, "Oh, that’s too much." To which we had to say, "Oh no, that’s just right."

But the best part of tipping double is that you will get more out of it than the recipient. Generosity always benefits the giver.

And now it can and should benefit us all double! Maybe next time we should make it triple. How about you?

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Author: William May
Blog #: 0809 – 02/26/21

Covid Changed Nothing

By William May
Published: 12/31/20 Topics: Covid-19 Virus, Family, Gratitude, Health Comments: 0

Let us not be irreverent.

Surely, Covid changed things, but it has seldom changed them wholly and unequivocally, no matter how abrupt that may sound. During wars, life continues. After a hurricane, the population digs out. And during the flu pandemic of 1919, folks wore masks for a time, many died, and the rest carried on - as rude as that sounds.

Some parts of life always have been, are now, and always will be. Now is a good time to make a list, so we do not forget when the next life-altering event takes place. Here are just a few.

No matter the weather, rain or shine, no matter the time of year, or the time of day, in the wonderful park that sits midway between our condo and our offices, in fact directly outside my window, if the field lights are on, those crazy soccer players are out there running in circles. Maybe there are even more of them now.

Growing up we did not have soccer. Football, basketball and baseball were king. If anyone played soccer, it was unknown to me. And, if they had called it "Football", we would have been very confused. Yes, their game revolved around kicking the ball with the foot, while ours had almost nothing to do with feet.

So, somehow in the hierarchy of United States, "sports football" as the rest of the world knows it, became soccer here. It was decades before soccer became visible in the states, eventually to become reluctantly popular.

Covid also forced many to stay home and watch television. Of course, the majority of Americans love their TV and spend an average of 21 hours a week glued to the telly.

But, never did we have to admit the addiction. Now none of us can avoid admitting - we were watching TV and, yes we further must admit, we kinda like it. OK, we really love our screen drug of choice. Unless, of course, we compare it to computer screens, at which we spend twice the time on average.

The idea that everyone in the country or the world get along or will agree on everything ignores history. It has never happened and it never will. Unfortunately, the same has been true during Covid. Politicians fight about who is the most right and the most wrong.

Protestors have and will bring forward grievances, justified, very justified or not. Their desire to be heard mirrors other times over the decades and centuries when groups of people felt compelled to bring forth their causes, regardless of other considerations, such as the needs of others, including the profound affect of global sickness.

Away from the light, away from the news on websites, radio, television or newspapers, more momentous events are taking place that also show how nothing has changed.

Men and women are so in love, that they find ways to get married. As now so can men and men, women and women. That had changed before the virus.

Students still yearn to learn, even though the place has changed to their homes, the teachers appear on screens instead of in front of blackboards, and recess means running around your own yard, instead of the school yard.

Parishioners still attend church to find the guidance that they have always required. Jews need the Sabbath. Muslim's need daily prayers. Hindu's pray in their homes. Atheists and agnostics feel none of those leanings and embrace their unchanged opinions.

Unfortunately, the people who lived rude, remain that way. Those who were addicted to working, rather than enjoying, never missed a beat. Those who worship money, attended that church religiously. Some figured how to prosper during times that were financially devastating for others.

But best of all, people who were kind, remain kind or their kindness became more visible. Humble people quietly stepped forward and served the universe - retail clerks, transit workers, care givers, medical staff and even those unfairly maligned who work at rest home facilities.

And, unfortunately, people have died and in larger numbers than ever, and far more frequently than is fair to be cut down before their time. Or they have suffered grievously at the hands of a devious, invisible devil, who causes death and destruction when its only goal is to live and grow.

And those kinds of germs have also not changed. They have been around forever and will be around again in the future. We were better prepared this time than last, and will be even better prepared next time.

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Author: William May, William May
Blog #: 0798 – 12/31/20

WilliamMay.com

Managing a business from within the CHOP

By Wm. May
Published: 06/29/20 Topics: Government Comments: 0

Anarchists in Capitol Hill Occupant Zone CHOP Seattle, WA
Self Appointed Anarchists at CHOP

It has been local, national and even international news. After numerous marches for Black Lives Matter, confrontations with police took place at barricades literally one floor below our offices in Seattle's vibrant Capitol Hill Neighborhood. (You can see our Orange building in the photo.)

The protests and participants have organized themselves first into CHAZ, the Capital Hill Autonomous Zone which morphed into CHOP, the Capital Hill Opposition Protest. Our family lives just 3 blocks away so working and living here has become a nightmare.

Ours is a administration office for a network of vacation rental management companies, inns and resorts located mostly around Washington State and Idaho. Staff do accounting, advertising, reservations and software engineering.

The building is what might be called an "art loft" building built first as an automobile dealership a century ago, with 20 foot ceilings and huge windows overlooking a lovely park. Unlike downtown skyscrapers, the space offers peace and calm for a staff here long hours 7 days a week.

The neighborhood has always been the focus of groups marching for multiple causes. Minorities of all types, those opposed to the military, and those supporting gay rights march outside our door multiple times each year. Twenty years ago during the World Trade Organization (WTO) meetings in Seattle, riots erupted.

Then, we lived about a dozen blocks away but even from that distance each night I was heart broken to see my 8 year old son frightened to hear the screaming, yelling and flash bang devices used to drive away self described anarchists.

My conclusion then was that no one, absolutely no one, has the right to make him feel that way, regardless of their reasons. I did not imagine it would happen here again.

Dr. Martin Luther King and his contemporaries made a point of never chanting when they marched, for fear that adrenalin rushes would cause participants or the police to become violent. Silence is golden, while vicious noise and anger do nothing for the cause.

This time however, in Seattle and elsewhere, with the outrage over the killing of George Floyd and others, the chanting, screaming and profanity outside our windows made it difficult to do our jobs. Most staff members were working from home due to Covid-19.

Vicious riots began in Seattle's downtown, just 2 miles from our location. Citizens were shocked at the destruction, theft and violence. Police responded to the relief of many people but were denounced by individual protestors.

Having been driven out of downtown, the marchers converged on our neighborhood to confront the police who then set up barricades. Seemingly 24 hours a day, for days on end, protestors displaying an unbridled anger and aggressiveness, pushing forward until someone - police or protestors - made the confrontation violent usually at night. In addition to well-meaning protestors surely anarchists and other trouble makers were attracted to the chaos.

Police employed tear gas, flash bang devices and large numbers of officers to cause the crowds to disperse. Eventually, over the objection of the police chief, the Mayor gave orders to abandon the precinct building and have the officers run away.

For we essential workers, being on the second floor gave us some safety, but we felt compelled to sneak into the building each morning and depart each night from the opposite side of the block. At night self-proclaimed armed men challenging workers coming and going. Some demanded money from businesses.

As soon as the police fled. a large group of people block streets, defaced every building the area, and took over the Cal Anderson park that lays directly below my window. People are camping in the park, tearing up lawns to build gardens. Hawkers are out selling or giving away food, T-shirts and who knows what.

In the past few days there have been 7 shootings, 2 people killed and 2 in critical condition. Parents of victims, are pleading with protestors to go home, as is the Mayor, the police chief and a coalition of African American clergy. Unfortunately some city council people are justifying the violence due to "systemic racism".

Before this began I enjoyed strolling through our lovely park on my way to work. Now I avoid the park because it saddens me to see bums building campfires in the emptied kiddie wadding pools.

At night I hear gun shots, fireworks and constant chanting from over 3 blocks away. As loud explosions wake me at 3 or 4am I can only wonder what else is next. Is there no law or order?

I have enjoyed living in this small neighborhood in this big city. I grew up in a small town and now for the first time ever, I am plotting how to get back to places where sensibility abounds.

Today CHOP's territory is slowly decreasing. Some barricades have been removed. The number of participants has eroded. Police hope to reoccupy their precinct but are going slow to not offend anyone.

It makes me wonder, why those who have been victimized feel its their right to victimize others. I want to support the needs of everyone, but by using violence and employing anarchy they are harming their own cause.

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Author: Wm. May
Blog #: 0766 – 06/29/20

If Jimi Hendricks, Prince, and Pavarotti Were Hawaiian

By Wm. May
Published: 05/18/20 Topics: Hawaii, Music, Self Improvement Comments: 0

Steven Tyler and Uncle Willie K
Aerosmith's Steven Tyler Sings With His Uncle

This blog is not about me. But a bit of background might help. I grew up playing all kinds of music from a young age, not necessarily playing well but playing none the less.

It started with a concert level pianist mother and a father with a soaring tenor voice. I picked up a trumpet in fourth grade, met the high school band instructor and play with him for 8 years through high school.

But first there were piano and trumpet lessons and concerts with the concert band, marching band, stage band, pep band, concert orchestra and even our own little school sponsored "Tijuana Brass" imitation band called - unbelievably in 1969- the Marijuana Brass.

A the age of 13 I happened to hear some new English group called the Beatles on the radio of our tiny neighborhood store Perini's. I was hooked and started a band, then another, playing with many great musicians while we all wanted to become famous and play on the Ed Sullivan TV show.

Or at least we wanted to be swooned over by girls in the way they swooned when watching the Beatles. In 1964, at the age of 13, somehow I talked some parent into driving my bandmates and I the 100 miles to attend a Beatles concerts at the Seattle Center Coliseum.

The Beatles played in the round and the stage slowly revolved so everyone could see them. The sound equipment quality was terrible. The girls screamed so loud we could not hear the music. But we could see the magic.

I played guitar and bass in numerous rock bands and made a living at it for some years, a small living. I partnered in a sound studio, a jingle company and an advertising agency. But eventually moved on to being a fan and not a performer. It was a good run.

In the Charles Cross's biography of Seattle's rock band "Heart", Ann and Nancy Wilson revealed they too attended one of the two times the Beatles played in Seattle.

As they walked out of the concert Nancy, the younger sister, asked , "Why are they all the girls screaming?"

To which Ann said, "They all want to marry the Beatles."

Said Nancy, "We don't want to marry the Beatles, we want to be the Beatles?

And the rest is Heart rock and roll history. They became famous. I did not.

As I said, this blog isn't about me, it is only to imply that I know a little about music and I know that I achieved journeyman status at best.. Years later I stumbled upon a musician who proved it.

Hearing Uncle Willie K music on the radio in Hawaii and then seeing him perform left me flabbergasted by his talent. His skill was astounding and his versatility beyond believing. You can love music and respect the musician at the same time.

Better than all of that, he had a kind of charisma I had never seen - sheer confidence and humor. He knew he could take an audience anywhere he wanted them to go. Including his rendition of "We are the world" completed with uncanny imitations of Michael Jackson, Bruce Springsteen and Tina Turner. No body else can do that

Eric Gilliom, a versatile TV actor and Hawaiian music master, formed a "Hawaiian Super group" with Willie called Barefoot Natives. Before one show willie asked him what was the most money he had ever made doing a concert. When Eric said something like $10,000 willie sat down and said, "Let me see your $10,000 show tonight."

willie and Eric' sister the superlative Amy Hanaialii Gilliom became a couple and willie produce four award winning albums of their own brand of Hawaiian and other music. I loved the music before I knew who they were. As did every Hawaiian.

William Awihilima Kahaiali'I - willie K - grew up playing young at the knee of his father the nationally known and admired Manu Kahaiali'i. Willie was just one of 13 children, so his Dad played music 7 days a week to pay the bills, everything from jazz, blues and Hawaiian of course.

Maybe that is why he branched in so many musical directions. He idolized Jimi Hendricks and prince. That lead him to just about every other kind of music. He was famous for Christmas Carols, but also Salsa, Jazz and Reggae.

He was sought out and accompanied Mick Fleetwood of Fleet Mac, his solo chagrined Billy Idol of ZZ top, Prince praised him, Willy Nelson sang duets with him, but so did Alice Cooper. BB king invited him on stage, he sang with the Commodores and he laughed with comedian Jim Cary. Barack Obama played willie K loud during workouts. willie and Steven Tyler became best buddies.

Maybe they loved they guy because they felt a little like me - unworthy.

He was known through out the world for guitar and ukulele skills but 10 years ago at a local Hawaiian concert he baffled the audience when he dismissed the other musicians from stage, stood silent a long while and finally said, very somberly,

"I am very sad. Last week Pavarotti died. I think he and I were brothers. Tonight I will sing Nessum Dorma"

Afterward, 800 people sat silent and then jumped to their feet screaming "Hanna Hou" (encore). It was the start of many appearances with symphony's singing opera music. On a trip to Israel he brought Jewish congregations to tears by mastering the Israeli national nation.

In 2018, willie K announced that he had contracted a very aggressive cancer, but promised to keep performing as he always had, at every opportunity. His Maui Bluest fest continued each year. He took aggressive treatment but in the end he died quietly at his home May 18, 2020 surround by Ohana.

I didn’t know William Awihilima Kahaiali'I personally, and yet everyone who saw him perform knew him personally. The way it is with all great musicians and performers, they leave themselves, their skills, their personalities and souls on stage with all to see.

Upon hearing of willie's passing, Alice Cooper said it best, "Heaven will be in for one hell of a surprise. I can almost hear the thunderous applause."

========================

There are so many links because of the variety. Couldn't stop myself.

KHON TV

BILLY GIBBON ZZ TOP

HAWAIIAN

BARE FOOT NATIVES

HALLELUJAH

HAVA NAGILA

NATIONAL ANTHEM

STARTING OPERA

NESSUN DORMA

O HOLY NIGHT

SOUND CHECK

WE ARE THE WORLD

KHON TV

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Author: Wm. May – Music Fan
Blog #: 0757 – 05/18/20

How Dare They Go To Work

By William May
Published: 04/20/20 Topics: Covid-19 Virus, Family, Gratitude, Health Comments: 0

How Dare They Work. Corona Virus.

Really, who the hell do they think they are?

Awakening early every morning, or even in the middle of the night. After too little sleep and too much stress, trudging to a job they love, although they admit it is difficult to love right now. How dare they go to work?

They will often spend 12-hours shifts or much longer and for days on end. Not one day off, not a moment to spend on personal things. No time with family or friends. How do they dare do that to themselves?

Some are paid very well, some paid adequately and others earn far too little. Most will receive nothing extra for the insurmountable obstacles they confront. How do they dare to work at all when others would not?

And yet, they persevere and get up and go to a job they know will be very frustrating. They know it is also rewarding, but that it will not feel that way every day. They do not dare to think about relief, at least not yet.

At the job, they will toil hour after hour, often with no time to eat or take a break. Squeezing in a bathroom break is necessary, but even that feels like wasting time. They will be confronted with thing after thing to do. Work upon work. No rest for the weary.

There will be a non-stop demand to do the difficult, the impossible and even the frightening. They won't feel up to the task all the time, but they will step up to the tasks every time. How dare they do that to themselves?

They see weeks of challenge ahead, maybe months, maybe years. They refuse to look for the finish line, because every champion runner puts one foot ahead of the other knowing it’s the only way to finish. They think about quitting, but only rarely, because quitting would make it more difficult for others. They dare not let anyone down.

As the world begins to show its gratitude for these wonderful human beings, they will still feel inadequate, because the mission is so huge and for now seemingly impossible. How dare they believe they can make it better?

These people are not necessarily glib with their words. They have no time for pontificating. They have no time to complain. They do not seek glory or even recognition. They would not dare direct any attention to themselves.

Every one of them knows the risk of physical illness, mental duress, financial hardships and family stress. They know these things, so how do they continue on? Would anyone else dare?

They dare because the task is at hand. The challenge is now. They dare not wait. They dare not fail. They will not let that happen, no matter how long it takes and no matter the personal cost. How dare they believe they are life givers?

Doctors, nurses, caregivers, counselors, therapists, pharmacists, ambulance drivers, EMTs, first-responders, administrators, janitors and every employee at every hospital, all dare to come to work - and we must all be so grateful that they do.

These people dare because they are different than most of us. Very different. Most dreamt of their career as a calling. They have always known it would be difficult, but they never dared to think it would be like this. But they did know that they could and would act in ways the rest of us cannot promise. They dare to go to work because they saves lives.

Whether you believe in God or you do not, whether you can donate to their cause or not, whether you have suffered from illness or not, it is now time to give thanks that somehow there are people like them in the world.

It is time thank them for dedication that is immense, commitment that is astounding, and for courage that is unending. How dare they?

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Author: William May, Plumbob Publishing
Blog #: 0743 – 04/20/20

Clean, Wipe, Soak, Scrub, Brush, Scour, Polish

By Ron Lee
Published: 04/18/20 Topics: Covid-19 Virus, Housekeeping, Property Management Comments: 1

How to Clean and Sanitize Vacation Rental Homes

Since our first office opened in 1964, we have been rigorously cleaning and sanitizing properties for decades. This is nothing new to us. In fact, our homes are cleaned to a degree higher than most people have at home. It has always been our commitment to have every home safe and ready for guest arrival.

Get a Real Getaway

If you need a vacation, holiday escape, spring break, fresh air and time alone, vacation rentals are the best option. Bring kids or not. Bring the family or just your spouse. Most homes are free-standing, so you can avoid crowds. Even in our condos, the homes are open corridor, so there is no need to pass through common areas, like lobbies and dark hallways.

When Guests Depart

After guests depart, housekeepers arrive at every home to clean, wipe, soak, scrub, brush, scour, mop and polish bathrooms, kitchens, bedrooms, common spaces and even decks and patios, linens, towels and surfaces. Hot tubs are disinfected. This entire process - called "out Clean" - takes many hours. Then homes are spot checked by managers to ensure good work. When departing, all staff members use bleach rags, so that even the door knob and key-safe are sanitized. Wow!

Sanitation Cleaning Products

We use a variety of products to clean, disinfect and sanitize. All are approved for high health standards. We still use bleach for some areas because it is still the gold standard for killing every kind of bug. In fact, if you enter a home immediately after housekeepers depart, for a few minutes you may detect a slight cleaning smell. That is your assurance of sanitization.

Bathroom Super Scrub

Cleaning bathrooms is not a fun task, but we carefully clean all sinks, mirrors, toilets, drawers, bathtubs and shower enclosures until they sparkle. But they have also been sprayed and later wiped with disinfectant. Soiled and unsoiled towels are removed before cleaning starts to avoid cross contamination. This is a hands-and-knees job, but housekeepers pride themselves on meticulous cleaning.

Proper Wipe Downs

You might think that spraying and wiping surfaces with disinfectant is sufficient, but it is not. Instead, disinfectant must be left on surfaces for a period of time before it is wiped away. This gives time for the liquid to kill all the germs.

- Door knobs inside and outside.

- Window switches.

- Light switches and sockets.

- Lamp switches.

- Cupboard doors and surfaces.

- Table tops including night stands.

- Appliances - top and sides.

- Counter tops.

- Reachable walls.

- Outdoor furniture.

- Stairs and deck handrails.

- Toasters and coffee makers.

- TV and other remote controls.

- Stereos and computers.

- Door bells and key safes.

- Toys and board games.

- Pet toys and blankets.

- And more.

Vacuuming, Mopping, Sweeping

Are you ever tempted to do floors fast? By slowing down the process and covering every floor surface carefully, dirt, grime and germs are removed. We keep equipment new and well maintained to get the best results. Housekeepers are never limited to cleaning hours. Instead, they are encouraged to take all the time they need to do the job right.

Kitchens and Dining Rooms

Kitchens get splattered on, baked in and used heavily. It is a big job, but to get kitchens spic-and-span is essential, from the stove to oven to refrigerator, but also microwaves, cupboards, fans and light fixtures. Cleaned inside and out. You will notice we remove condiments, such as ketchup and mustard left from prior guests, because leaving open containers violates health standards. You'll have to bring your own, but you'll know they are new and fresh.

Hot Tubs and Spas

Every hot tub is completely disinfected after each booking by trained staff members. Sand or debris is removed, filters are inspected, and chemicals are adjusted. In addition, the hot tub cove, top and side surfaces are disinfected. If you arrive to a tub that is not yet fully heated, please wait because we had to empty and refill it. Takes time to reheat.

Towels and Linens

Washing and drying linens and towels is an obvious step, be we wall all of them, even if a bed does not appear to have been slept in. They are transported to the washer-dryer using rubber gloves and laundry bags, and they are returned to beds in baskets to avoid cross contamination. Along with quality detergent, additional disinfectant is added to all washing to ensure germs are eradicated.

Deep Cleans

In addition to our rigorous out-clean, homes receive deep cleans regularly to cover hard to access areas, including heating ducts, cupboard sides and ceilings, high surfaces, fans, carpets and more. This takes many hours, and ensures the cleanest possible property.

When Guests Depart

You may notice that we do NOT as guests to do laundry or to remove linens and towels to the laundry area. We do it all to ensure that every textile has been washed and cleaned properly without dragging it through the house.

Call Us Quick: 206-504-2744

If at any time during your stay, if you find any issue, call our 24-7-365 day phone number for assistance. If necessary, our staff will happily come to the property to ensure all is right. And if you want daily cleaning, we can arrange that too, for a small additional fee.

Avoid Crowds, Stay in a Private, Vacation Home!

Year round, in every season, and no matter what is happening in the rest of the world, vacation rentals offer a respite from the rate race, a chance to get away and to enjoy a sparkling clean, sanitized home.

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Author: Ron Lee, Vortex Managers
Blog #: 0742 – 04/18/20

Be Nice to People on Your Way Up

By Wm. May
Published: 01/09/20 Topics: Advertising, Business, Communications, Reputation Comments: 0

Be Nice to People on Your Way Up

Early on, the first bigger business I ran was an advertising agency. Somehow, one of the world' largest tug and barge transportation companies hired our fledging little firm. They liked our non-stop energy and creative ideas. They wanted to hear a different vision and, boy, did they get it.

This was the time when massive oil corporations were developing the now fabled or infamous (take your pick) Alaska Pipeline, spending billions of dollars. Each spring, a flotilla of barges sailed from our city of Seattle up to the "North Slope" of Alaska, but only after the massive sea ice dissipated. Hundreds of barges, tugs and boats were involved.

Some barges were so large they required two 9,000 horse power tugs, lashed into giant slots in the barge itself, to push them from behind,. These goliaths went first in the fleet pushing the barge up and onto the ice flows (often 12 feet or more thick) and smashing them open, so other vessels could get through. Watching it was stupefying, even terrifying.

Our client secured contracts on huge swatches of the business, generating hundreds of millions of dollars. But to meet the demand, they had to stop serving their smaller clients who had been supporting the company for a century.

The North Slope project took some years, but eventually the pipeline was completed and the flotillas ceased. Some shipping to the slope was still continued, but my client's Alaska business shrank hugely.

When that happened, the tug and barge company returned to their prior small clients to again offer their services. But low and behold, those clients, who had to hustle and suffer from lack of tug services, were more than miffed.

They thumbed their noses at my client. We even attended the world's largest trade show for shipping and watched our clients be cussed out, up one side and down the other.

The company president called me one day and said, "What should I do? These people are really pissed."

So, at the grand old age of 26, my advice to him was what my truck shop managing father had told me, "Be nice to people on your way up; you'll meet the same people on your way down." But, it was too late.

In the end, in an effort to right the ship, we created advertisements, printed materials and sales training for all of their business development crews. They spent millions trying to apologize.

Business improved gradually for my client, but it took them a decade to recover. Sometimes there are business decisions which favor one client over another. It is not always possible to give everyone what they want. But remember this - People have long memories.

Unfortunately for my client, they became too selfish and self centered to realize how dropping customers to go after bigger fish would make the minnows feel. He forgot that some small fry grow into big fish and, when they do, they won't want to deal with sharks.

My client didn't have the benefit of a wise father or mentor, but instead put growth and profit ahead of people.

Maya Angelou said it best, "People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people never forget how you made them feel."

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Author: Wm. May
Blog #: 0751 – 01/09/20

Sneaky Band Instructor Steals the Show

By Wm. May
Published: 10/14/19 Topics: Aberdeen Washington, Education, Music, People, Self Improvement Comments: 0

Doc Severinsen
Doc Severinsen

I had some amazing music teachers in my life as a student.

A year ago, while searching for a high school teacher to attend our 9th reunion (which sound so much better thant our 50th year reunion,) I found that my high school band instructor, Mr. Hampton Wines, was still alive at age 94.

Online, I concluded he lived at the same address. After telephoning his number repeatedly with no answer, I finally knocked on his door and was delighted to find him there and robust as ever.

We spent two hours reliving the past. He had memories of me that I did not remember, which made me feel special and appreciated, but in further stories, he remembered every student I could name and many I no longer remembered. He knew who was a good musician, who played flat, and those who were late to rehearsals.

For 50 years, I had waited to ask a question. I thought I remembered that the junior high band instructor visited our grade school in an attempt to teach 4th graders to play instruments, such as the heavy brass trumpet I was assigned and was so proud of.

But did I remember correctly that there was another mysterious man who occasionally attended rehearsal (such as it was) and stood at the back listening intently? "Was that you by any chance?" I ventured.

"Of course, it was me, looking for talent to groom." he insisted. "If football coaches can recruit, so can I. I lost many kids to football, but I got most of the good ones."

It must have paid off. Under my relentless questioning, he admitted that in 42 years of annual high school band competitions, his bands always won, and in fact, he admitted to never receiving anything less than a perfect score.

"Is that true? How is that possible," I asked. He answered with a laugh and the old cliché, "How do you get to Carnegie Hall?

"Practice. Practice. Practice."

Very distinctly, I remember sitting in the rehearsal room, as he taught, picking apart every error and begrudgingly giving compliments for every well-done passage. I can hear it now as he picked me out of the 60-member band, stopped the tune, and said:

"Mr. May, that is a B and not a B flat. Ok, everyone, go again everyone, third page, top line."

It seems Mr. Wines followed the Henry Ford method of "No blame. No shame. Just fix it."

My memory of the band's quality has proof. As a sophomore, the band recorded an entire album when having tape recording technology was rare. Band, stage band, orchestra, and all with guest soloist Doc Severson, then the longstanding band leader for the NBC TV network's Tonight Show. A very big deal.

"How did you get him to come to our little out of the way town?" I asked.

"I made telephone calls until, eventually, I got him on the phone and invited him to come. He came. And he was very impressed with your musician classmates."

In addition to the Beatles and other rock and roll bands we loved in high school, a novelty group called the "Tijuana Brass" had hit after hit on the radio.

To show how naive the world was in my sophomore year of 1967, the name of our school-sanctioned, seven-piece band was "The Marijuana Brass." By my junior year, the principal had caught on and changed it to "The MJB's."

In my Senior year, I dropped out of band to spend full time playing guitar and bass in a rock and roll band that traveled every weekend.

"It hurt me when anyone quit band, such a waste," he said. In 42 years, he must have taught thousands of kids. How could he remember me?

Like so many teachers, his example, his influence have never left me. I haven't played music in a very long time, although I now own all the guitars I could not afford as a kid. Music is central to my soul, to how I think, to what I consider beautiful.

And, in other endeavors, I am never sure if I have ever achieved anything, but I am sure I always practice, practice, practice to know the music precisely, play on key, and perform as you mean it. Damn him.

"Practice. Practice. Practice."

And at age 94, he still gets up early to practice the trumpet for an hour before he plays the piano for an hour and then drives himself to church. He misses his wife, who died a few years ago. His son and daughter are successes in life, as are his grandchildren. But, of course, they are.

On the day of the reunion, Mr. Wines was not feeling well enough to attend, but he did arrange to have the current high school marching band attend in full uniform. Although he has not been the band instructor for many years, his legacy remains. They were fabulous.

The band knew the music precisely, played on key, and performed as they meant it, as expected.

You can support teachers like Mr. Wines and musician students jukst tarting out, by contributing to the "Hampton Wines Scholarhip Fund"

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Author: Wm. May – Lapsed Musician
Blog #: 0789 – 10/14/19

Be Nice Or They Will Spit In Your Food

By Wm. May
Published: 03/28/18 Topics: Behavior, Cooking, Music, People, Self Improvement Comments: 0

It is too easy to believe that the world has changed, that it has become less predictable and that human beings have become less considerate, more harsh, more uncaring. Although I surely hope that is not true, remembering a warning from long ago, tells me things don't really change.

He was a friend, we played in a band together. He was the guitar player, the singer, and he was brilliant. I don't mean run-of-the-mill smart, but intelligent in a happy, smiling way that just says, "I know what I know." And more importantly, that he believed it. So we did, too.

The drummer in the band had gone to school with him since kindergarten. Both were 4.0 students in college. When queried the drummer said, "Yes, we are both straight A students, but I am fully aware that he has never gotten anything other than a perfect score."

Math and science, of course. 4.0. English and Chemistry A+. But also band, gym, student newspaper, and everything else. And of course, he was an Eagle Scout.

We actually made good money in the band, but the guitar player went off most summers to unknown small towns, where he was given a bicycle to ride around town selling encyclopedias. The sales pitch he learned bled over into his personality as truly a compassionate, truly caring and casual approach. His language was always friendly and non-threatening.

As we ate dinner in a local café, another band member mentioned their hamburger tasted like leather and he had decided to send it back to the kitchen. The guitarist laughed and said, "That's OK to send it back, but never be an ass about it."

Karl had also made money by working as fry cook in a local diner. He said, "You do know that if a customer is rude, the cooks will spit in the food before they return it back."

I laughed and said, "No, don't tell me that. Tell me it's not true." The guitar player smiled that smile that we'd come to recognize when he is absolutely sure he knows the facts and we don't.

"Oh yes, they will."

"But why"?

"Because cooks, dishwashers and wait staff aren't paid much, and certainly not enough to put up with bad people."

"But they could lose their jobs."

"Doesn’t matter, you can only push people so hard, before they fight back"

This conversation happened many years ago, Over years of dealing with customers, clients and people certainly more powerful than cooks, some have caused me to think of the guitarist.

People who get paid highly, such as maybe your doctor, dentist, accountant or lawyer, might listen and not react to bad manners. Your family may ignore your behavior. Your neighbors can avoid you.

But when dealing with everyone else, especially those who serve us all in restaurants, hotels, and even governmental offices, remember this. Be nice, or they will (in some way) spit in your food. And they'll laugh, because you'll never know.

Although he has continued to play music for years, the guitarist became a big success in his chosen profession, built wealth, raised a family and - I can imagine - he was loved by his customers, staff and partners.

I regret that we have not kept in close contact over the years, but I don’t have to imagine this, because I am absolutely sure. He has remained a pleasant, considerate person. He was far too smart to act in any other way.

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Author: Wm. May
Blog #: 0596 – 03/28/18

WilliamMay.com

Indentured Servitude Comes to Vacation Rentals

By William May
Published: 12/01/17 Topics: Employment, Housekeeping, Vacation Rental Management Comments: 0

There is a hidden under belly about how Venture Capitalists are entering the Vacation Rental industry in hopes of dominating it to cash out for big bucks.

It appears some pursue growth at all costs, by over working staff, and even evading labor laws that call for overtime wages. Jobs are hard to come by, and they take advantage of well meaning employees who have no other option but to work far harder for far less.

Her real name is being withheld for fear of retaliation, so we'll call her Susie. She worked for some years for one of those VC backed firms hoping to amalgamate the industry by buying up local vacation rental managers and taking over their listings.

Nothing wrong with that, if you like the corporate approach to what has previously been a very personalized service business. In fact, at the rate that some of these venture capital backed companies are hemorrhaging money, it is no wonder they survive by taking advantage of workers.

Susie was hired to clean homes and provide property services but the job quickly turned into 80 hours weeks, for a set salary appropriate for 40 hours. She was not paid for the extra hours and did not receive payment for overtime, nor the time-and-a-half hourly rate required by law.

Those companies skirt the law, by trying to claim employees as contractors, or managers making them exempt from overtime compensation. It is a ruse that sometimes works, but is never considerate to people who work so hard.

Susie said she never received a day off in several years, nor the promised paid vacation time and when she begged to hire additional housekeepers was told, if you don't like it you can leave.

Susie fell for the "We are newer, and smarter, and bigger and better than all those local Podunk managers. We are going to take over the world with technology" and you are going to be part of something great. Working hard will have its rewards.

For Susie that meant constant fatigue, dawn to dusk duties seven days a week, a rude supervisor, corporate officers who could care less, and the constant threat of job loss - if she was to raise a complaint about off-the-clock hours.

Was Susie really just a disgruntled employee? Not really. For years she drank the "upward mobility" poison that corporate workers have been swallowing for years. That working long and hard will benefit them in the long run.

Pursuing career growth and personal achievement is a requirement in many industries. But in Susie's case it was all led by a few corporate officers who constantly praised themselves but fail to honor the most sacred of business ethics - to provide proper compensation from line staff who do all the heavy lifting.

Eventually Susie just could not take the grind any longer. She quit with no prospects for a job elsewhere, "I didn't plan it" she said, "But I just could not do 80 hours a week anymore."

As a service business, vacation rental staff are what guests and owners come to appreciate. There is no sense in doubling listings if complaints triple.

Smart owners realize that people like Susie are, and have always been, the backbone of vacation rental management. Without the Susies of the world, renting out a home is a risky investment.

Since she left, Susie's prior employer has hired and lost additional workers just like she. They struggle to find new employees and can’t keep good people. They advertise jobs constantly because the word is out about their employment practices.

Reputable companies don't build their business by over working staff, or promising more than can be delivered. "Its no wonder quality lacks and they have so many online complaints" Susie notes, "Everyone works so much, that we just don't have enough to give. I tried, I really did. But 80 hours a week is too much."

Worst of all, property owners are no longer getting the care and consideration they deserve. They see a revolving door of housekeepers and maintenance workers and that causes quality to suffer and commitment to wane.

Smart property owners are learning to evaluate management firms by their staff and not by misleading promises that bigger is better. In vacation rental management, local is what makes it work.

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Author: William May – Volunteer, Vacation Rental Association
Blog #: 0565 – 12/01/17

Vacation Rental Picante Sauce

By Wm. May
Published: 09/01/17 Topics: Property Management, Vacation Rentals Comments: 0

Vacation Rental Picante Sauce
Yet another corporate vacation rental management company has announced gobbling up tens of millions of dollars in investment, in hopes of dominating the vacation rental management industry in America, and perhaps even the world. But they are risky for property owners.

Beginning as far back at 1989, Pace Picante sauce began running television commercials. In one, grizzled cowboys threaten to lynch the camp cook when they learn he has been serving them picante sauce from "New York City?"

The cow pokes become offended because Picante sauce should be made by "places in San Antonio with fresh vegetables and spices by people who know what picante sauce is supposed to taste like."

Watch it here.

While the huge vacation rental management companies want to convince property owners that they can manage every home just right, even though they are located hundreds of thousands of miles away, the truth is - they can not.

One of these giant companies even has over 300 negative complaints and reviews online about shoddy housekeeping and lack of response. The average for vacation rental managers is zero, one or two over time. Something is seriously wrong with having 300 unhappy guests, because that means there are far more who don't take the time to post complaints.

For another competitor, their complaints reveal a wolf in sheep's clothing. Although they profess to be managers, they quickly throw owners and managers under the bus whenever there are any complications, as the following complaint answer proves:

COMPLAINT: "2 days before my trip receiving a voice and email telling me that my reservation had been cancelled because of a double booking."

ANSWER: "Booking was canceled within 48 hours prior to her arrival when it became apparent to the Host that there was a conflict with a previous client who'd booked."

And then they accidentally revealed the wrong problem, (our company) "The Host (homeowner) is the party responsible for resolving any conflicts. [Our company] is a marketing and booking service that Hosts use to assist with reservations. . . The rental agreement. You accepted . . . Clearly states that the booking is directly between the Guest and the Host."

And then they reveal the unreliability of their services by saying "Double bookings are an unfortunate side effects of the vacation rental and travel industry as a whole."

Well, duh, no that is not correct. That is excuse making

Although no one is perfect in the lodging industry, double bookings are NOT common and they are certainly not an unfortunate side effect. They are the result of a company pretending to be a lodging manager when they are, in fact, too far away and too powerless.

LOCAL IS BETTER:

Vacation Rental Firms have proven to be a locally branded business. Owners and guests prefer to deal with a local reliable professional firm that is on hand to attend to them. Members of the Vortex Organization have found the best way to do that.

They are independently operated to ensure great houses, hospitality cleaning, happy guests and happy owners. Our first office opened in 1964, but we are the most tech-enabled managers. We are in it for the long haul..

But the network ensures that managers have all the tools such as dynamic pricing, post listings on hundreds of advertising websites, and answer guest inquiries 24/7. In fact, local firms have access to local tourism promotion, websites and contacts the others can not match.

That means our managers produce more bookings as well as more peace of mind.

So if the vacation rental "manager" you are using to book your home is not actually located in the area where you rental home is situated, or even in "New York City", its time to go local.

Call a local professional vacation rental management company to learn about all the comprehensive and reliable services you have been missing.

- - - - - - - - -
And a few more just for fun:

1989 Pace Picante Sauce

1990 Pace Picante Sauce

1993 Pace Picante Sauce

1993 Pace Picante Sauce

1994 Pace Picante Sauce

1995 Pace Picante Sauce

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Author: Wm. May, Vortex Managers
Blog #: 0530 – 09/01/17

Hire a Crack Head to Clean your Home

By William May
Published: 03/01/17 Topics: Housekeeping, Vacation Rentals Comments: 0

"Hiring cheaper housekeepers is no problem", said the property owner. That way they can make more money.

"I mean how hard can it be to clean my little 3-bedroom 2,000 square foot house?"

Do you mean clean it any day of the week including weekends? Be on-call for special cleaning? Always show up on time and never complain? Be willing to do extra cleaning, and without notice, when some guests leave a terrible mess?

Do you mean a cleaner who has lots of family and friends to back her up when she gets busy with other things and decides she can't work on a day you have a back-to-back? Or when a child is ill or a car breaks down?

Some owners want to believe there are many people just begging to clean their homes. Unfortunately, there are not. Worse yet, most of them don’t pass a background check. They don't have references. They don’t want to take training. They detest checklists.

These cleaners don’t stick around when things get too busy and they never clean at high hospitality standards. They do not clean sufficiently and they are not there when you need them the most.

Let us all be honest, not all job applicants will be dedicated to our industry. There is no glamour unless they work for a desirable company that treats them well.

Many applicants just want a quick buck to pay for their drug habit. This is more common than you might imagine. The homeowner may never know until the druggie goes missing along with assets from their home.

If you are paying your cleaner in cash, do beware that it's illegal and your money may be just feeding a habit.

Professional management firms must protect their reputation with guests as well as owners. They want to pay their staff a good working wage. They want to be fair, kind, and responsible employers. They need workers who are reliable, loyal and competent. They do background checks and they have extra staff for backup.

Of course, these things are just good business, but they are also the only way to provide hospitality grade cleaning - the kind that discerning travelers expect at every lodging establishment from four-star hotels to cottages in the woods.

"Oh, but if you can’t clean the house cheaply, it will drive away guests," said that owner.

It's actually the opposite that's true. Guests are not stupid, they understand that no one can clean homes for a measly amount. One guest enunciates what some owners refuse to acknowledge;

"Your home was amazingly clean. But last year I rented a beautiful new home from another manager and the place was disgustingly dirty. I should have known better - no one can clean a whole house as cheap as they charged."

Yes, and every owner should understand the basic formula for requiring professional and thorough cleaning. With the advent of the internet, guests now have a global platform to report unclean homes. One bad review can lose thousands, even tens of thousands of dollars in lost bookings.

Why risk that? The math is simple. Hiring great housekeepers, paying them well, rewarding them with praise and thanks is good for business. It's even greater for maximizing income while minimizing problems.

Still not a believer? Here is the challenge - after the next few departures, do your own cleaning.

Arrive to clean exactly on time and then wait while the guests loiters and leaves late, knowing that the incoming guests while inevitability show up early, and expect the house to be sparkling clean even before their scheduled arrival time.

Of course, you must chit chat and make nice with every guest, or they'll make nasty comments to your boss, even though they were not supposed to be inside yet.

To clean well, get your hands down deep into and behind the toilet, scrub your knuckles off in the shower, get on your hands and knees to scrub the kitchen and bathroom floors. Wash stacks of dishes, pots, and pans with gobs of dried on food.

Wash loads of towels and linens. Be sure to treat any of those unmentionable stains. Make every bed perfectly and plump every pillow. You'll just love trying to put on comforters on bunk beds. It is not impossible, but you won't enjoy it.

While you are at it, clean up the dog poop in the yard, or shovel the walkway of snow in the winter. Scrub that meat-encrusted barbecue until the brush breaks. Sweep the leaves from the porch.

Don't forget to check every light bulb, vacuum every square inch of every floor, and catch every cobweb or your boss will scold you like a child.

Do all this in the shortest number of hours because some owners out there want you to work cheap while treating you like an indentured servant.

After you do your own cleaning, the light will come on. You will want to pay cleaners more, you'll treat them better and you'll make more money because happy housekeepers make happy hospitality grade clean homes!

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Author: William May – Volunteer, Vacation Rental Association
Blog #: 0583 – 03/01/17

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