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
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.
Author: William May, William May
Blog #: 0798 – 12/31/20
Managing a business from within the CHOP
By Wm. May
Published: 06/29/20 Topics: Government Comments: 0
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.
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
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.
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
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?
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.
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.
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
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."
Author: Wm. May
Blog #: 0751 – 01/09/20
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