Nothing like a Morning Ride

PB020226wEach of us has stories to share about their week. We all have good days and bad. Some weeks are just ok, some are indifferent and others are amazing. For most of us the week is so busy we never stop. Just like little ever ready bunnies we keep going and going. Sometimes you feel like your on a schedule that never has a break. Picture a train pulling out of the station that has to be at the next stop at a scheduled time and then another stop and another stop and so on. When do we get off the train? When do we have time to think? to regroup? or just to reflect?
For me, each Saturday morning (with some exceptions) I gear up and go for a long bike ride. Doesn’t matter if is hot, cold, raining or windy, this is something I do for me that in the long run actually benefits everyone. Many say I’m crazy or obsessed, but the reality is I’m just driven by the fact that the ride helps clear my head, exercises not only my body but my mind and it also helps me appreciate that the simple things in life are sometimes the best. Becoming “one with nature” has a profound affect on me. Makes me appreciate that we live in a country where we can just get on a bicycle and go for a scenic ride (or walk, or run) and for the most part, feel safe and secure.
Each week brings a ride with a new adventure. The course may change but the goal remains constant, which is to unwind, forget about my troubles and get ready for the week ahead. There are plenty of weeks that squeezing in that ride can be challenging, but if you want something bad enough you will find a way to get it done. If it means getting up extra early or getting chores done the night before, you can make it happen.
So my advice to everyone would be to stop the train and get off and enjoy the land. Take advantage of all there is to see and do. You don’t have to get on a plane or take a long car ride, sometimes the best things to find are right out your front door. Our lives are short and before you know it we are to old to enjoy the simple things.
So I challenge you this week to take a long walk, a bike ride or a jog in the park. How about a hike to scenic location. Use that time to rediscover yourself and recharge your mind and body. I guarantee you will enjoy the experience. So no matter how your week turns out you will always have that experience to look back on.

Respectfully,

Steve Kohn

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Published in: on November 2, 2013 at 7:46 pm  Comments (2)  
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Mud throwing is not a team sport

Before we begin let’s take a look at some basic definitions.  First, what is MUD?  According to dictionary.com, MUD can be described as a wet soft earth or earthy matter, as on the ground after rain, at the bottom of a pond, or along the banks of a river.  I think we can all agree on that one.  They also suggest a more informal definition; “Scandalous or malicious assentation’s or information”.  An example of this might be,  “The opposition threw a lot of mud at the candidate”.

Secondly, what is a team? The simple definition (for the purpose of this article) can be stated as “A number of persons asmud throwingsociated in some joint action to perform a task”.  Many of us think of teams as related to sporting events. But teams can also be a group of individuals that are part of a group or organization that have a common goal or task to complete.  At your place of work you might refer to your coworkers as a team.  Other teams can be your study groups when taking college courses, or even members of clubs you belong to.   As a matter of fact, as members of the ARA of NJ, we can be considered a team.  We are all associated with each other and we do have common tasks, such as the success of our industry, promoting standards, educating our potential customers and future rental entrepreneurs.

Speaking of sports, I read in the Wall Street Journal recently an article comparing the careers of David Wright and Derek Jeter.  For those of you who are baseball fans, I’m sure you are aware of these two NY stars.   For those of you that are not, just bear with me for a moment.

If you look on paper at the statistics of these players they are pretty similar, but the big difference over their careers is that Derek Jeter has been a member of the very successful NY Yankees while David Wright has been a team player for the not so successful NY Mets.  Now what if the situation was reversed?  Do you think we might see each player a little differently?  The obvious answer is yes.  Although both players have great individual stats, the success of the entire team makes the difference.  Although you can be thought of as a great superstar, the bottom line is you will be judged and remembered favorably on the success of your team.

One common trait both these players share is they are representatives of their respective teams.  If you notice at press appearances they each play down their individual accomplishments and speak highly of their team accomplishments.  This, to me, is a sign of a “class act”.  You can be sure if either of these players started throwing MUD, (see informal definition above) the press and the fans would be all over them.   We can list many sports figures in various sports that have learned this the hard way.   How many athletes have had their careers cut short when they take up MUD throwing?   Although they might think it hurts the person they are aiming it at, in the long run, it will come back and only hurt the one throwing it.

I consider myself fortunate that I can work with many members of the ARA of NJ. I consider these people players on my team, not only on large events, but also for advice and suggestions on everything from products on the market to specifics on venues and events we all commonly do.  As team players, we respect each other and keep communication channels open.  Throwing MUD is not even an option.  Our respect for the rental industry and its success is the glue that binds us together.  Much like David Wright and Derek Jeter, we represent our Association and the Rental Industry.  For those of us that have been in the industry for many years, we have developed a bond that keeps us not only as friendly competition but as team members we can count on.

For those of us in this Industry and any other Industry or sport that think MUD throwing will make them a better person, I believe they should do some soul searching.  When the day is over, and you are alone each of us needs to look himself or herself in the mirror and say: “Am I proud of who I am and what I did today”.

There is no sport that I am aware of that tolerates MUD throwing or encourages it.  Even politicians have learned that it doesn’t get votes.  The most successful individuals and companies have learned that teamwork is the key to success.

Growing up, my grandfather told me often “If you have nothing nice to say about somebody, don’t say anything at all”.   Many family dinners and gatherings he was very quiet.   I assume he had his reasons.  The point though is well taken and understood.

We have all made choices in our lives and have chosen careers that suit us.  I would think that we should all respect each other not just for our own personal satisfaction but for the good of our industry.  The next time you feel like throwing some MUD, step back and think of the consequences.  Mud throwing is not a team sport. That is clear as day and NIGHT.

Biking, December, Really?

strong-windThis morning around 6:00AM I grabbed my coffee and took a peak out on the back deck. Plenty of items not belonging to us were scattered around the backyard. This was undoubtedly caused by the strong winds there were whipping around. According to the weather channel, the temperate was currently around 34 degrees with a wind chill factor it will feel like 20 degrees.

Now for those of you that know me, Saturday mornings are BIKING MORNINGS. I have been very regimented this season, very rarely missing a ride for the past eight months. Now the logical side of my brain was saying, “Look it’s cold out, its extremely windy, not good conditions for a ride. stay inside be safe”. But unfortunately the adventurous side of my brain had to put its two cents in as well, ” Wow, it’s Saturday, time for an awesome ride, whats a little wind and cold, what are you a WHIMP!, just get out there and do it.”

My usual rule of thumb is when its not freezing or snowing its definitely ride time. The wind thing has been more of a last second flip a coin type of decision. Technically when the wind is blowing North to South, I can plot a East to West and visa versa on the return trip. Today the “adventurous” side of the brain wins.

After gearing up with full winter wardrobe including hand and toe warmers, the wheels hit the pavement around 9:00AM. An immediate blast of winter hit quickly. Ten minutes into the ride I believe I heard the logical side of my brain smirking. Twenty minutes into the ride I seriously considered turning around. Even with a North South route heading to Monroe and Heightstown, the winds began to swirl in unpredictable patterns and just staying on the bike became a challenge.

For anyone who is not a seasoned rider this ride was absolutely not for you. It really took plenty of skill and perseverance just to stay the course. About 50 minutes into the ride I received a text from my wife, simply stating “Your an idiot”. From information I gathered later, apparently she went to walk the dog and got a taste of what the weather was like.

About 90 minutes into the ride, snow flurries where coming down. The weather channel only said a 20% chance of precipitation, so much for that prediction. Actually it was hard frozen hail that when it touched the small amount of skin unprotected on my face it stung. Obviously I was well past the point of no return so I just stayed the course.

I developed a pattern that seemed to work, when the wind calmed, I stood and pedaled fast, when the wind picked up steam and gusted, I crouched low and just pedaled enough to keep my balance and keep forward momentum. The biggest issues where cars that had no remorse for crazy riders. During cross winds the bike was blowing into the traffic from the left or right and many cars didn’t give amble space so nerves of steel where needed to keep going.

Two hours into the ride I knew it was enough. Home was in site and that was the smart move. The logical side of the brain eventually wins the debate. I did arrive home safely and managed to get in 33 miles in a pretty decent time.

For those of you that are asking, given the same conditions would I do it again.? In a word. ABSOLUTELY

One more weekend in 2012 coming up. Another ride? We will see.

I’ll see your charge and charge you this….

In the news this week is the airlines newest idea to collect additional fees by charging a premium to get off the plane quicker.   Do you believe this!  You will have to pay in order to get off the plane in a reasonable fashion.  So now we have additional charges for luggage, food, leg room, internet, movies and quicker boarding.   Where will it stop?  What will they think of next?   Well, I for one think it’s time that we as passengers start charging the airlines.

I have a list of my top five things we should charge the airlines for.  Let’s see what they have to say about these.

#1.  I want $5.00 for each kick I get in the back from the unruly children sitting behind me.   I feel after three warnings the meter should start running.  How much is it to ask parents to control their kids.   If they don’t behave in airplane seats there are other options.  They can drive, take a train, luggage compartment or how about airlines having separate areas of the plane reserved for families.  They can spend the whole flight kicking each other in the back.

#2. Personal hygiene should count.  If you’re going to spend the next 6 hours on a plane next to someone you don’t know wouldn’t you think a shower would be a good idea.   The next time I sit next to someone that’s “RIPE” I want a full refund for my ticket.   As passengers, we go through x-rays, pat downs and luggage searches, how hard would a little sniff test be.   You smell bad , take a bath. Please don’t get on a plane.

#3. Since the airlines started charging excessive prices for meals, passengers now have decided to bring their own meals with them.  So bring on all the smelly food you can find.   So what if we all have to smell it for the duration of the flight.   I love sitting next to the guy eating chili with onions.  Usually its the same guy that didn’t pass charge #2 above.   I would like a 50-% refund for my ticket if the person next to me is eating anything that smells like it’s been eaten already.

#4.  If the person sitting next to me is sufficiently large and takes up my his or her  seat and a portion of my seat as well I want credit for the percentage of my seat they are occupying.  It’s all about Real estate.  If the airline can charge additional fees for more leg room, why cant we charge for less.

#5.  I want airlines to use proper language.  How many times have I heard this.  “We are going to have to circle for a while due to FLOW CONTROL”.  What in the world is FLOW CONTROL.    Is the toilet backed up?  Does the pilot have a urinary track issue?  Why not just say we can’t land the f____king plane, there is no room on the ground.   I for one,  would feel a lot better.   I suggest that each time the airline either tries to confuse us or lie to us we get $50.00.   Let’s not beat around the bush.  Tell it like  it is.

I’m sure everyone of you have your list of situations that you feel the airlines should reimburse you for.   I would love to hear them.

Published in: on July 10, 2012 at 6:11 pm  Comments (1)  
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When Technology crosses the line

Those of you that know me understand my quest for the latest and greatest gadgets.  New technology always excites me.  I always have to be the first to have the coolest new product or gizmo. But, even I have seen technology go too far.  I would like to point out several devices that, in my opinion, have little or no use or have just gone too far

First on my list is the automatic car wash, commonly referred to as an E-wash.  Last weekend I pulled into a new E-wash and was greeted by a machine.

This is how the conversation went:

E-wash: “Good afternoon. How can I help you today?”

Me:   “I would like my car washed.”

E-wash:  “Yes we can provide a Hot Wax”.

Me:  “I want a simple car wash.”

E-wash:  “Yes we can add an underbody wash.

Me:   “I just want a f____n’ car wash.

E-wash:  Thank you and have a nice day that will be $37.00

I agree, technology has improved our life in many fields including  medicine, finance and science but I don’t think I want my car wash to be included on that list.  I enjoy being greeted by a person. I enjoy getting out of the car and watching it go through the tunnel and I have great respect for the half dozen folks who are there drying and wiping the car down after the car comes through the system.   To me, a car wash is an American Icon, right up there with baseball, hotdogs and apple pie.    Trying to reason with a machine to wash my car was not an enjoyable experience that I will go through again.  I would rather wash the car myself.

Next on my list are public restrooms.   I believe somewhere in the Constitution or in the Declaration of Independence there has to be a line that states, as Americans we have the right to flush a toilet wash  and dry our hands when we want.  I can’t imagine our forefathers envisioned that toilets would flush themselves and sinks would provide only seconds of water and paper towels were distributed in matchbox size pieces.  There is nothing more annoying than having a toilet flush when you’re not ready for it to flush, I’m perfectly capable of turning the lever when I’m done, I can only imagine what the guy in the next stall is thinking when my toilet flushes ten times consecutively.   When it comes to washing my hands, is it really necessary to have the water delivered in 5 second intervals?  It’s not that complicated to turn a faucet on and off.  As for paper towels, you can take those sensors and put those through the car E-wash, they are the biggest waste of time I have ever seen!

Another biggy on my list is Cable TV.   My cable bill is like having a second mortgage. The rent on my first apartment in 1980 was less than my cable bill.  I have over 400 channels and every possible option, including DVR, On Demand, and all the premium channels.  The other night I sat down to watch TV and there was nothing on. Go Figure!  I grew up with a zenith TV with six channels (2, 4, 5, 7, 9 and 11) and a dial. And there was always something amazing to watch.   Can someone tell me how we went from Gilligan’s Island to Survivor? Ginger and Maryann, where have you gone?   Reality TV was as simple as “Family Feud.”

Last but not least on my technical wonders list is airport security.  Each time I fly somewhere I’m amazed at all the new devices and gadgets that make us feel dehumanized and detest flying that much more. What makes it even more ridiculous is no matter what new gadget is added, such as x ray machines or scanners; items still get through that can potentially ruin your day.  Here’s a novel idea, how about no carry on at all.  Period. That’s it. No questions asked.  Don’t like it; don’t fly.  Consider all the money that would be saved on security, and  then maybe the airlines can give us back free movies and food to enjoy (I’d be happy with a bag of pretzels). Hey, maybe you can even have a conversation with the person next to you.

I’m all for technology when it makes our lives more enjoyable and productive, but there comes a point where it can become just over the top. Reading this article online with your electronic reader, now how cool is that?

Published in: on May 24, 2012 at 4:49 pm  Comments (1)  
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Where are the goats?

For the past eight years my wife Linda and I make our annual trek to our secret hideaway, St. James Club, on the island of Antigua.   We fell in love with this tropic paradise and each visit brings us back to a life that is stress free and simple.  All the trials and tribulations of our life in New Jersey seem to fade away if only for a brief time.

One of the first things that usually greets us on the short drive from the airport to our destination at Mamora Bay are the goats that seem to graze effortlessly on the banks of the winding roads.    For some reason on this drive we saw no goats.  That was really strange.   What happened to the goats?

One of the reasons we come back here every year is that it’s always as we remember it,  Beautiful beaches, wonderful friends, good food and a feeling of belonging.   The days are simple and relaxed and the evenings are even more calming.  What more can one ask for.  No hassles  or problems to deal with.

Over the years we have seen subtle  changes but none that completely changed the ambience we have always cherished.   At home life changes at a pace faster than we want.    Here at our island retreat change is not something we want or anticipate.  Although change is inevitable no matter where one resides its amazing as we age how we just want things to remain the same.

I developed a routine many years ago that fit our island life style.   I would get up about 30 minutes before sunrise to take a nice walk to the top of a mountain and watch the sun come up.  I would then head back to our villa and place two towels on lounge chairs at our favorite palapa where we would enjoy the rest if the day.   This year we brought our good friends with us so the routine was changed slightly to include four lounges and towels.

Our leisurely morning always includes fresh made coffee on our patio overlooking the beach then a leisurely stroll to a fine breakfast buffet. We then walk back to our villa to enjoy the day under our palapa on the beach without a care in the world.

Well change sometimes happens when you lease expect it.  When we arrived back at our  Palapa last week I felt as if all of the coconuts in the tree above hit me in the head.  Apparently someone wanted to stake claim to our spot so our towels and personal items where taken and dumped to the side and they moved in.   Mind you this is an exquisite island destination not the Jersey Shore.   When I asked the invaders that blatantly laid claim to our spot what they did, all I received was attitude . No remorse, no apology…..nothing.   Needless to say I was VERY UNHAPPY!

I felt the stress level climb and the blood pressure rise.   Here I am thousands of miles from home having to call security.  Remember this is supposed to be a vacation not a turf war!   Security handled the situation wisely by bringing us more chairs.   I still lost the palapa for the day. I would of preferred the squatters being banned from the island; but that was just my anger brewing.

Has change finally worked its way to this remote corner of the Caribbean?  Has the place that has served as our peace and serenity retreat for all these years gone to crap?   Has the change in towel policy contributed to this  chair stealing problem? And/or perhaps there are not enough chairs for the amount of guests visiting the resort? Maybe I’m just getting older and cranky.  Today my personal space is violated. What will be next?

Seems we weren’t the only ones this was happening to.   Many of our island friends shared similar stories.   We all come to this island resort year after year because we have been made to feel special and would never expect anything like this to happen.

After a few days we all cooled off and our island adventures calmed.  We became more alert and guarded our spaces with a bit more precision.  Now in the morning our spot was reserved with a giant blow up killer whale.  Hopefully this was a sign that said “Don’t ____ with my space” .  I think the message was received.  No more issues .

I guess nothing stays the same and change will hit us when we least expect it.  Will this change how we feel about our peaceful hideaway?  Maybe a little, but we will be back.   You never know,  sometimes things change for a reason.  Sometime change can bring about better things and every once in awhile a change can make things go back to the way they were.   These are the things that make life an adventure

On the next to the last day of our trip I was returning from my walk down the mountain and I heard a familiar sound.  I turn and looked down the road and there they were, a huge heard of goats.  I came in close for a look and for that moment I felt reassured that even with change something’s can stay the same. 

Baggy Pants leads to arrest but not flip flops.

Recently a story of a 20 year old college student who was arrested in San Francisco on June 16th for not pulling his pants up while boarding a plane caught the media attention. Apparently, Deshon Marman was told by a customer service agent to pull up his low-slung pants as he boarded a Phoenix-bound flight at San Francisco International Airport. He refused and was again asked by another flight attendant as he was boarding the plane. He again refused. It was at that point that the pilot placed Mr. Marman under citizen’s arrest.  I guess a pilot could do that.  I sort of like that idea.  Well to make a long story short he has arrested and held with bail set at $10,000.  He has since been released, but the story is far from over.

In the news now is the family’s plan to sue the airlines, the police department, and the city of San Francisco for racial discrimination. Give me a break!  Talk about a waste of tax payer dollars and court time. This case has nothing to do with racial discrimination.   This is simply a matter of RESPECT.  That’s right, spell it! R-E-S-P-E-C-T.! All of this could have been avoided, if Mr. Marman would have simply pulled his pants up out of respect for the other passengers who were also on that flight.

Not too long ago, I remember my parents placing my brother and me on an airplane to go visit our grandparents dressed in sport jackets and dress pants. There was a day when airline travel was considered an important social event. Over the years the dress codes have become more relaxed for both travelers and airline crews.  What hasn’t changed and should never change is respect in public places.  Airlines are entitled to have dress codes and they are also entitled to enforce them.  The airline was following correct procedure.   Mr. Marman was just being disrespectful. END of STORY.

It does not matter what nationality, religion or color Mr. Marman is, the airline was right in their actions.   I RESPECT the airline for its decision.  Rules and regulations are part of our daily life.  I agree, some are not good but they are put there for a reason.   When there is a regulation or a rule that you are not comfortable with, there are better ways to disagree than with pure defiance.   By refusing to pull his pants up, Mr. Marman was not showing any maturity.  Maybe Mr. Marman should have “tweeted” or “blogged” his discontent with the rule and regulation and then presented his case to the airline at another time. This is how change comes.

For years I have been traveling to a time share in the Caribbean with my wife for our vacation.  One of the rules is, men have to wear long pants, collared shirts and shoes at dinner.  At first I found this to be a hassle. It involved extra packing and it really cramped my style of dress.  I would have preferred shorts, t-shirt and flip flops.  After a few years of this routine, I actually got to the point of looking forward to dressing up.  I enjoyed the experience of shopping prior to the vacation and planning out what I was going to wear.  The rule was enforced, although I never witnessed a citizens arrest by the hotel staff.

This week I just received my Island newsletter and guess what! As of July 1st, the dress code is being relaxed and now men will be allowed to wear shorts at dinner, although no jean cutoffs (does anybody wear them anymore?).  Casual shirts and open shoes will now also be permitted.  Believe it or not, I’m sort of bummed out about this.  I wonder what happened. I guess several guests decided to write letters, tweet, blog and send emails to the resort voicing their opinion on the dress code.  I never once witnessed a guest refuse to take his shorts off at dinner.  I also believe as new generations of guest and hotel staff arrived they brought with them new styles and trends.   As they say change is inevitable.   I think when the day comes that baggy pants down to your knees are allowed during dinner at our time share, it might be time for me to search out a new island.

So Mr. Marman, I hope you reconsider your lawsuit and just grow up a little bit.  I suggest you invest some time in learning proper manners and learning to respect the feelings of others.  If you want to wear your pants down to your knee, for now you will not be welcomed at my time share.

Respectfully,

Steve Kohn

Published in: on July 14, 2011 at 3:35 pm  Comments (2)  
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100mph to zero in two weeks

Many of us live life in the fast lane. I’m sure you know the type. Why put off for tomorrow what can be done right now, even if it means working late or starting the next day early. Type A personality doesn’t go far enough. It’s more like triple type A personality. We’ll if you haven’t guessed by now, I’m one of those. In the office I’m sometimes referred to as TAZ. That’s the cartoon character that leaves a trail of dust in his wake when he enters a room.

Unfortunately I don’t consider this a character flaw, it’s just who I am. After doing this for so many years, it’s basically a part of what I’m about. Those that know me, expect it and those that don’t learn quick. Is it a bad thing? There are those that might think so, but there are others that seek me out. If you want something done right and have it expedited then give the task to the busiest person you know. That would be me.

So how does one slow down a person like this? Everyone needs a down period to recharge the mental batteries and clear the mind for new tasks that are just around the corner. Like it or not!

You could always stick that person on a plane and send him away to a tropical island for two weeks. The destination would have to have limited contact with the outside world and be tucked away from any reminders of the stress left behind. Well that is exactly what happens and it works.

Writing this blurb somewhere over the Atlantic heading home after two wonderful weeks away is an opportunity for me to prepare for what awaits me upon my return and also to reflect on how important it was to get away and to let the mind clear. I know the closer I get to landing the restful aura that I have will slowly start to fade. It would be nice if I could bottle this peaceful feeling and when the stress that will eventually rears it’s ugly head, I can open that bottle and let some calm out.

I’ve already composed the back to work “to do” list for tomorrow. Feels kind of strange putting work related items to text. The list for the last two weeks have basically been limited to. 1) take morning walk 2) check email and download daily issue of WSJ. 3) jump in pool 4) quiet breakfast with my lovely wife, Linda on private deck overlooking the Caribbean sea 5) claim a beach hut 6) soak up sun 7) read for enjoyment 8 ) head to gym 9) quiet time back at villa which does include a cocktail 10) peaceful romantic dinner sitting near the water 11) good peaceful night sleep. 12) repeat tomorrow. Not a bad list

The best way to get back to reality is to be prepared. Each year I do this, it seems a little bit harder to get back in the groove. How long will it be before I say ” you know, I think it’s time to make some changes”. I guess we all yearn for a simple life. But the bottom line is we all need to work hard and then rest. So as long as I’m physically able, I will continue to find and pursue an enduring work spirit and ethic.

So as my ” back to reality” list is growing as Newark airport gets closer, I still have to reflect on my list from yesterday, especially #12. God willing there will be a tomorrow and many more “to do” list in the future.

Now returning to 100mph from 0 is a job for TAZ. Prepare for dust. Landing shortly . Fasten your seat belts.

Published in: on March 26, 2011 at 8:25 pm  Comments (2)  

Need a show shovel?

For those of you that live in the Northeast, I’m sure you are quite aware we are having our fair share of snow already.   Only a couple of weeks into winter and we have had four snow falls.   I can recall entire winters when we haven’t had that many.    The global warming factor seems to have gone into hibernation.  The best we can do is deal with it.  Having said that,  let us move on to the point of this blog

For the past four  seasons I have survived at home with a seldom used snow blower and  one very inexpensive, but very effective snow shovel.  After the first snow storm the day after Christmas I decided it might be a good time to pick up an extra snow shovel.  You never know when the current one will just say,  “That’s it , I’ve had enough”  . Luckily I am fortunate to have six Home Depots within a ten mile radius of my home.   I’ll just pick one up. That’s a no brainer…

Better said then done.  Apparently all of Middlesex County, NJ must of had the same idea.   Trying to find a snow shovel after a December snow storm is like trying to find something healthy to eat at Burger King.  This was not going to happen.   You would think that Home Depot might stock some extra snow shovels this time of year, but that was not the case.  They did carry plenty of over priced rock salt and ice melting paraphernalia . These are all great, but not when you just want a cheap inexpensive snow shovel it’s no help at all.

Day after day I would try different Home Depots all with the same results.  “Sorry no snow shovels”.   It began to get really frustrating.  Did I really have to go on to Amazon and order a darn snow shovel online.  Just didn’t seem right. Well the snow keep falling and  the probability of my four year old shovel that cost $9.99 breaking was rising.

Finally three weeks after my first visit to a Home Depot a big sign appears in the window at a Home Depot.  Guess what it said. “We have snow shovels”.  Could it be true.  Yes, Happy days are here.   I went into the store and yes. plenty of snow shovels displayed…..  PRICES STARTING at $37.95 and up….   Yes,  you read that correctly. You see these weren’t your normal everyday snow shovels, these were top of the line industrial grade, gold filled, super heavy duty, built to last, platinum level snow shovels.

I politely asked ask the sales associate (which is almost as difficult to find as a snow shovel) where are the economy snow shovels  located?.  His reply. “Oh we don’t have any of those” .  “Why not” was my reply.  Not sure he knew how to answer that one.    Apparently Home Depot was playing the supply and demand card.   Basically, I need a snow shovel (that’s the demand part) and here is what we have (that’s the supply part).

I bet you anything that if I was to go to the back warehouse at Home Depot I would find cases of those $9.99 snow shovels.  I’m not going to be suckered into this.  So much for those Home Depot commercials  with the tag line, “We’re here to help”   Help what! Empty my wallet!

So much for probability and statistics. I’m going to wait until spring to by my next snow shovel (or two) .  I guarantee you Home Depot will have plenty to sell then.

What will I do when Home Depot comes into my store and ask to rent a tent this summer? Will  there will be plenty of tents for them to rent?  hmmmm let me see.   Let it snow, Let it snow………

Respectfully,

Steve Kohn

Published in: on January 14, 2011 at 8:22 pm  Comments (3)  
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Stories that get you going

Ever read something in the paper that just makes you think, what is going on around us?  Well this morning was one of those days.

First headline that caught my eye was that concerning a car that got a ticket on the streets of NYC yesterday. Now for me this is nothing new, our vehicles get ticketed on a daily basis.  Ticketing is a major revenue flow for the “big apple”.   What is unique about this story was in the car there was a dead guy slumped behind the wheel.  Now let’s think about this.  If you were a cop don’t you think you might just notice this? I guess apparently not.   Obviously, this is not funny for the guy in the car and it is pretty morbid when you think about it.   So what happens now?  Does the estate have to pay the ticket? Will there be late fees?  I guess the lesson to be learned here is if you are visiting NYC and you are planning on checking out in your parked car, make sure you have plenty of money in the meter.   What I gather might happen is the family of the deceased will end up suing the city and collect a six figure settlement Then guess who pays the ticket!

Second headline of interest concerns a letter that will be waiting for residents of NYC sometime shortly. Apparently a heated political campaign is going on for governor.  Carl P. Paladino, a Republican candidate for governor is sending out over 200,000 pieces of mail that state “Something stinks in Albany”.  The kicker is that the letters will be scented to smell like foul garbage.  Is this what you want to find in your mailbox?   Would you vote for a guy that does this?   Is this going a little too far?  Have politics crossed the line on this one?  Beware of what is in your mailbox.  Something stinks alright and it’s not just the mail.

The third article that just makes you sit back and wonder what is going on concerns a situation that happen in a Hospital in Maryland yesterday.   A person apparently unhappy with the diagnosis a surgeon gave him about his mother pulled a gun and shot the surgeon then barricaded himself in a room and shot and killed his mother and himself.  The doctor will survive.   This one really has me thinking.  Aren’t hospitals supposed to be safe places to go?  Isn’t this were you go to get better?   Have we reached a point where we need metal detectors in Hospitals?   A hospital is where we go to have bullets removed not put in, correct?

So I guess September 16th will be one of those days that I look back upon and wonder what can cause such events to happen?  Was there a full moon?  Maybe there was shift in climate conditions or just a bad day for some.

One of my favorite authors says it best ““You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself, any direction you choose.” — Dr. Suess

Published in: on September 17, 2010 at 3:45 pm  Comments (2)  
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