Texas

I away and in South Texas. In other words, I am running on the beach, playing in the waves, and eating way too much.

I hope things are well with you. We can compare tans when I return...

Bug TV

At around 11 pm, just about every night, I let the dogs out back for their final potty break.

Our two juvenile brother cats know this, and when they hear movement around the back door, they will come running--jumping around the dining room to get a high vantage point.

I turn on the outside light, pull open and then close the sliding glass door, two dogs prance into the backyard, and the show begins.

Welcome to Bug TV.

Attracted by the illumination and prevalent in the non-urban area that I live, warm weather bugs flock toward the light.

Moths swirl around the glass.

Smaller unidentified bugs hover around the bulb.

Usually a June bug will join the show--clumsily bouncing off the window, light, or anything else nearby.

The cats are mesmerized by the array of activity.

Occasionally, a cat overcome with emotion will lunge at June bug or moth.

Fur flying through the air.

The results are comedic and expected: "hunter" cat bounces off the door frame or glass and then makes a thud just inside the door.

Bug TV is certainly not a "paws" on experience for our indoor-only felines, but at least there is never a rerun.

I'll just say that the kids are not the only ones around here who enjoy summer.

Seldom Disappointed

In life, I have seldom been disappointed by a sunrise walk at the ocean.

Beach walkway, Corolla, NC 2015

Happy Monday all!

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Notes: The Mrs. snapped the above photo (older son is the visible one), and it took us a moment to realize that the green dot in the right corner of the picture was a reflector attached to the wood and not an image defect. 

I Thought this Was Dead

The police department's rickety door squeaked as it was opened.

I then heard panting; someone out of breath.

A mom entered.

Her face was flush.

Sunlight from two large windows caused the droplets of perspiration on mom's brows to glisten.

College-age daughter, head down, walked in second.

Mom glared at her daughter. "What an insane place! I can't believe this!"

Flustered and obviously on the verge of a meltdown, mom stood in line behind me at a service counter.

Since my business with the college police that day was not time-sensitive, I told mom to go ahead of me.

She did not hesitate.

Mom leaned into window of the bullet-proof glass, and immediately vocalized to a young clerk how horrible things had been for her thus far.

Specifically:
  • They could not immediately find a parking place.

  • The available spots were way too far away from the police department.

  • She asked: "Why are all of these hills on campus?"

  • She questioned the wisdom of scheduling "all of this construction on campus right now."

  • Finally, mom lamented that now they were going to be late in meeting with a professor, and that she had no idea how to get to the assigned building.

But what impressed me was the young clerk.

The employee calmly listened, and empathized with mom. "Yes, the construction has made things challenging, and it sounds like you have overcome plenty of obstacles this morning."

With useful conversation and a professional demeanor, the clerk helped normal blood flow to return to mom's face.

She relaxed.

The discussion continued, but when mom's words began to tangent to complaints, the clerk skillfully redirected her--soliciting the vehicle information and other specifics needed for the temporary parking pass.

The young employee then provided mom with explicit directions to the building where the meeting was scheduled, and where she should park for the shortest walk.

Spent but calmer, mom thanked the clerk, and she and daughter hurriedly exited through the same ramshackle door.

Their police visit took less than 7 minutes.

Good customer service is not exactly plentiful these days.

But I always marvel when I see it.

The clerk could have met mom's behavior with equivalent anger and rudeness. She could have snickered, blew mom off, or simply frowned about some of mom's less than rational complaints.

But she didn't.

She expertly diffused what could have been a volatile situation.

Unfortunately in life, the folks at the top--CEOs, managers, vice-presidents, etc.--get lots of recognition when an organization is successful.

But what about the entry-level employees? The clerks? The troops on the ground? The ones who make that organization what it is?

Do they get applauded for good work?

Not often enough.

Well, this time someone will.

I have a letter to write: to unidentified supervisor regarding the actions provided by an unidentified police clerk.

Good customer service is not dead.

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Story Note: Unfortunately for those that visit college campuses in the summer, they are typically one giant construction zone. Here in the Northeast, summer means fewer students in the way and no snow storms to delay new construction or street repairs. As such, every dorm, road, and building project is in full swing. Just another July at an institution of higher learning.

A New Approach to Extreme Couponing

To my Canadian friends: Happy belated Canada Day.

To my American friends: Happy 4th of July.

To all my readers and friends: if it seems to good to be true, well it probably is.

Even if we are talking about product coupons, as illustrated by this story from North Carolina:
(ABERDEEN) ...police arrested an Ellerbe man and woman after they allegedly used counterfeit coupons to obtain items from Walmart.

Sandra Webb Yaklin, 54, and James Vernon Rainwater, 52...were arrested on June 18. Police charged each with one count of felony fraud-obtaining money or property by false pretense.

"They were buying a little bit of something and then using coupons for a free item," said Aberdeen Deputy Chief Carl Colasacco. Colasacco said an alert clerk at the store suspected something was "strange" about the coupons and called a manager. And then the police were called.

Aberdeen police confiscated more than 870 coupons and recovered numerous grocery items, including laundry detergent, bacon, chips and gatorade. The items were valued at more than $150.

The accused told police they bought the coupons online, Colasacco said.

"I have seen a lot of counterfeit money," Colasacco said, "But I have never seen somebody counterfeit coupons"...

Does this mean that some of the appealing offers I see on the wonderful "InterWeb" are scams?

Hmm, I better be more careful.

If you need me, I'll be inspecting the coupon drawer here at the house. No telling what we have in there.