Friday, June 30, 2017

In the anyone can take a reservation category....Shell Vacations Club and Wyndham Resorts

I generally don't use this as a forum for complaint. I think I did complain about a local used bookstore once for having dog crap on the floor. That was gross. This feels even more frustrating.

My in laws have a time share resort and offered to let us have a nice getaway for the weekend at The Legacy Golf Resort.  As owners, they are supposed to have the ability to do this. They booked us a nice room with the kitchen and dining area, so we planned a nice dinner with the cousins family.

However, upon arrival, they told us they had overbooked and they didn't want to keep someone else from getting the room they had been promised. As the resort is a Wyndham Resort, but the timeshare reservations are through Shell Vacations Club (which is owned by.....Wyndham Resorts), they told us they wouldn't be able to help us. They didnt want to have any complaints from anyone, I guess.

When we called Shell, they told us, that even though our names were on the reservation as guests, they would not speak to us. Only the owner. It seemed to me an odd way for the hospitality industry to treat guests, but that is their policy.

When Shelll Vacations was called by the owner, they said they couldn't do anything bout it. That would have to be dealt with by Wyndham Resorts and The Legacy Golf Resort.

We were, however, offered the opportunity to sit through a presentation on how we could become owners ourselves (And get a free stay somewhere, that may or may not be honored. Who knows.)

Somehow, our becoming "owners" doesn't really seem likely.

Even though they seem to have some serious systemic problems with keeping reservations and providing service, it is a nice place.
As we try to reframe, replay and enjoy our weekend anyways, watch this fun little video. Shell, Wyndham and The Legacy reminded us of this:

Sunday, June 25, 2017

The Swear Word from Snowy River.

Have you ever seen the family classic, "The Man From Snowy River"? It is a little silly at times, but it holds up pretty well. We are watching it tonight!

The first time I saw it was when I was in "Bible College", of all places.

Against the better judgement of some of our administration, they decided to hold a family movie night every Friday night. One of these nights, a few weeks in, they showed "The Man From Snowy River".

Since the projection staff new this movie had one bit of foul language in it, they were sensibly poised to mute the sound when that word came on. They even knew when it was coming, and diligently stood ready.

When the offending verbiage was scheduled to make it's unwelcome debut at our sanctified school, they muted the audio. They made sure they didn't turn it back on, until right before the word came blurting out of one of the Australian cowboy's mouths. Instead of muting the word, it had the effect of highlighting it, and making sure that everyone noticed it's entire impact.

Sadly, that was the last of family movie night.

Friday, May 19, 2017

All I need is a tall ship...

As I have shared before, their are some that think I have a propensity for winning random drawings. I have won, among other things, a trip to India, an American Girls Dollhouse that the girls really wanted and some random books, videos, lessons, food items and so forth.

I'm not sure if I really do win these any more than anyone else, but I do know that their seems to be a few rules.

They include:

1) I can't just win the prize at someone else's behest. the dollhouse didn't count as that, because it was something that I wanted to win for them. Not that I don't want to win prizes for others.  It's complicated. But the rule holds fast.

2) I have to know I am going to win ahead of time. If I don't know for sure, then I'm not going to win.

3) I have to announce said knowledge to someone else.

These are the rules and, if they are not kept, or the conditions aren't met, I won't win. If they are, I will.

The latest I won has yet to come to fruition. Pictured above is the sailing ship U.S.S. Bill of Rights. During a trip to San Diego, they were spinning a wheel for various prizes. they granddaddy of these prizes was a sailing lesson on the beautiful Bill of Rights.

I told Ethan, who was with me, that I was going to win that prize, because I knew I would. I spun the wheel and I won that prize.

The representatives of the vessel have contacted me once, and I'm still awaiting to hear when I can come sail away. ***I had hoped to give this prize to the oldest daughter, Is that a violation of the rules, thus voiding my prize? I think not, but we shall see.***

In the meantime, read this:

Sea Fever
I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.
Or watch this:

Saturday, April 29, 2017

The Oldies?

When I was young (younger) I liked to listen to the "oldies" from time to time. I got so I knew the words and could sing along with some of the early rock hits of the 50's and 60's. Those old timers used to be pretty cool.

I was recently a little surprised when i heard a middle school kid singing a song I new from my younger days. He was also surprised that I knew he words to one of the "oldies" that he enjoyed.

The same thing happens with my kids from time to time. They will find an old gem and I'll overhear and sing along with it. And, they too, will share some expression of shock that I know the song. I'm not sure if they think the song they found is just that obscure, or if they think I was never quite that cool. Either way, they are a bit surprised.

I suppose it's inevitable, but I think the era of "that's my music" could be in the past. But, I still try to find new tynes to enjoy too.

And here's the first tune that clued me in:

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Just walk away

This morning, Ethan and I went to hear a "missionary" at the local Church talk about some of his experiences here and there. One of his stories included telling about a trip to Togo, where his hosts thought nothing of inviting him to join them for a 30 kilometer walk to a neighboring village full of voodoo practitioners.

He managed to find a bus to take them all, but it struck me that we don't always get that much walking in around here.

With this in mind, the two of us struck out on the two mile walk back to our house.

On the journey, we discovered a City water worker, who was happy to tell us about what was going on with the water lines, how they worked and why he was doing what he was doing. We also saw a Jiffy Lube guy working hard to keep high spirits as he tried to attract some customers. Closer to our house, we came across some very unusually contorted cholla cactus plants, and then we spied a hawk, silently watching us from the neighbors towering Cottonwood tree.

I'm pretty sure we would have missed all of this if we hadn't walked.  I wonder what else we miss as we rush around in our cars and don't really walk anywhere anymore? Even on a Saturday.

The picture above is something else that I once found on a walkabout. I'm pretty sure it's from a buck toothed dinosaur. And here are a couple more things I've seen while out on a walk (I might have just convinced you to stay in your car):

Sunday, April 2, 2017

An Empty Space

There is an empty space in our room this morning.

Penny, our regal, loyal, brave and exuberant friend showed almost zero energy for the past couple of days. She was 12, which is considered old for a dog of her size, and has been slowing down some the last year or two, but she wouldn't even rouse herself to eat after she woke up yesterday.

We took her to the vet, and, due to the nature of her illness, the decision was made to help her slip away. I know this is considered a kindness to help your pet along from this life when they are suffering, but it doesn't feel like it at the time.

All those who knew Penny, with the exception of the mailman I mistakenly opened the door for once, really liked this dog. Especially our family, so we are sad today. She really was the best dog we've ever had. Sorry to share this with those of you that knew her too.

Sometime later I will write a more fitting tribute. But, for now, when we look at the spot where her bed sat, next to ours, there is an empty spot in our room this morning.

And in our hearts.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Higher Education

As college tuition increases continue to increase at leaps and bounds above the reasonable inflationary rates, some are questioning the wisdom in shelling out their life's fortunes and accruing multiple tens of thousands in debt in an attempt to obtain a degree.

Fewer students are graduating from a four year degree within four years (currently said to be only 19%), average student loan debt of graduating students at $37,000 and a glut of college grads helping make a degree no guarantor (and not necessarily even helpful) in obtaining many jobs.

While it is true that the passkey to some careers is an undergraduate or graduate degree in certain fields, others are experimenting with options.

In addition to a variety of tech and vocational schools that are leading to well paying jobs in a variety of fields, there are New programs to help aspiring corporate workers find rewarding business options.

Here's a couple of those programs to consider:

Adam Braun, founder of pencils of promise, has started a year long corporate training program that a trainee pays for only after they get a well paying career, and then only a small percentage of their annual income for a limited 3 year period.

Another program, called Praxis, sets young people up with an apprenticeship with a major corporation that results in a professional portfolio and actual job offers from major corporations, with no student debt.

If you are looking at college simply to ensure the ability to obtain a decent paying job, maybe you would consider what these organizations are saying and offering as an alternative to tying years of paying off huge debts around your neck.

Here's where you can find out a little more: 

And here's an article on raising tuition rates:

Finally, some MissionU publicity: