Water Spots

Over the years, working in the Marines and then in a few different civilian organizations, one thing I have learned is the importance to detail. Being a large picture person, I realize that I must constantly remind myself of the importance of dotting all the “i”s and crossing all “t”s with precision.

Maybe one of the best examples I’ve heard is the story of the couple that went to a classy restaurant where they were given nice flatware wrapped in high quality napkins. Once the couple took the flatware in hand, they noticed water spots on the flatware.

They each took a few seconds and the nice napkins to rub out the water spots and soon the spotless eating implements were set neatly in place. They then sat and enjoyed the dinnner. When done, they left without mentioning the water spots at all. Then, of course, they never returned.

As for me, the water spots would have not mattered. On the other hand, I have seen folks that would have asked for “clean” silver. Then others would have simply walked out before ordering.

Regardless of anything else, it is an example in 2 ways. First, as in a previous post, it speaks of competition. It seems, in this case, the lacking in one detail causes the loss of repeat customers. There are any of dozens of such details that can cause a restaurant owner, or any such businessman grief.

Worse, the managers might not be aware, which brings me to my second point, the un-voiced complaint. Every owner, every manager should seek complaints vigorously. Otherwise, how will he become aware thar something needs correction?

If the couple in the little story complained, the restaurant might have still lost the customers, but it might allow the correction before the loss of others.

Yet, I look this way and that way, and I find one business after the other where the owners seem to continue to try to remain oblivious to any problems in their business. In the long run such businesses will surely suffer. They may continue but not strong as they could. Mostly, they will fall behind the competition.

It would seem to some that encouraging complaints from a customer is contrary to success. However, how can a person hone his ability to compete if he doesn’t see where honing is truly necessary.

You might consider the following. There are customers that will notify the management of of a messy restroom and those who won’t. On the other hand, there are businesses that will clean the restroom when notified and there are others that basically say, “So what.” There are those who simply don’t care about customer complaints, even when they are meant to be helpful.

The question, “Do you really want to lose customers over water spots?”


You might find this strange but there was a day a person could go to the store and buy a can-opener that could actually open cans. Seems like these days, they don’t. Some bend out of shape and some simply won’t cut; the cans that is.

Electric can openers work for a while, and then they don’t. Besides, why should I buy an electric can-opener when I can buy a hand powered one that should work? Oddly, the best manual can-opener I ever used were the ones that came with the C-rations. I tried to hold onto the things. They are worth their weight in gold, well, maybe silver. Alas, the last of the ones I had disappeared. I think someone stole them.

I don’t know how true it might be, but I once heard the US sent canned food to some starving country and neglected to include can-openers. I simply don’t know how true it is, but I do find it very believable. After all, it is the kind of way our government does things.

The thing is; if they sent any of our modern can-openers, it would be about the same. The people would still starve trying to get into the cans. Either way, that would have to be awful frustrating. Plenty of food to eat but no way to get to it. In a way, I can identify with them every time I try to open a can of green beans.

I tried ordering the C-ration openers on a website. They worked about as well as the modern mechanical ones. So now, unless the can comes with a pull tab, I generally have to take my chance with a knife. Believe it or not, I’ve gotten pretty good at it. To get the green beans out, all I need is a hole big enough to drain them from the can.

Incidentally. I would not suggest trying my method. It’s not just difficult. It’s downright risky. Then again, I guess it is a little dependent on how desperate you are for green beans, or sourcrout for that matter.

The real question is, are the cans getting more difficult to open or are the can-openers lower quality? I have just a suspicion it might be both. I sure wished I could find a real C-ration opener so I can test it on the modern cans. I suppose it would work the other way around. I could try a modern opener on an old can if someone has a couple of them lying around.

Then again, it might not be so important. My wife is all the time telling me I’m all the time thinking on things that don’t really matter. Still, I sure would like to be able to get green beans without a knife.

Do you think those company CEOs ever check those can-openers before putting them on the market?

Apologies to Kobalt

I had been putting off cutting the rest of a large branch that fell in my back yard. I can think of a dozen reasons to put it off. Wait for it to cool off a little, wait for the wood to dry making lighter and easier to cut, etc. The truth was some laziness and some fear. I was afraid that big thing would fall on me and leave my wife on her own.

A guy came by and offered to do it for $150 so I let him and his partner have at it. Borrowing my Kobalt battery powered chainsaw an expert went to work. 15 minutes later the 800+ pounds of wood lie in 4 foot pieces at the curb.

However , if I needed to do much more work, it would have to wait for a battery recharge.

As an aside, later I mentioned to my wife that I was tired. She replied, I don’t see why. You haven’t done anything. I said I did too. I watched a man make firewood out of a big branch. That is exhausting you know.

Ironically, No Ch. 5

The 1st time I arrived in Memphis, actually NAS Memphis located in in the city of Millington just north of Memphis, the only TV station I could receive on my little 5 in. portable TV was ch. 5.

Now I can receive all the major channels but 5. I have no idea why. I’ve tried auto-scanning the channels dozens of times. Depending on the position of the amplified GE antenna, I get some channels some times and other channels other times. However, since removing cable, I have yet to see NBC or any of the other substations on ch 5.

My first thought was that it was some kind of conspiracy but how. Certainly, those who own the station want me to be able to watch their advertising. I mean, they don’t make money off the programs but rather the ads.

It brings to mind my CEO theory again. Has the CEO ever tried to receive ch 5 on an antenna? Does he, or she even care about us mass of poor people who don’t have cable. Maybe we have been written off, so to speak, because we have such little purchasing power.

It does somewhat make me wonder what they are trying to sell on ch 5. For that matter, what kind programming do they have.

The main point of this post however, is point out the problem with the TV. I can delete channels after a scan but I cannot add any. Try as I may, I have tried and tried. It would appear the designers of my TV have assumed two things that aren’t true. First, they believed that their work of wonder will find all channels. Second, they assumed that all transmitters are the same direction from my living room.

Nothing is further from the truth. I need to adjust the direction of the antenna for each channel for best reception. That means that no one scan will pick up all the stations.

In this case, no ch. 5 at all.

I wonder if the CEO of ch. 5 knows, or cares.

An afterthought: Channel 10, PBS came in crystal clear, no matter where I point the antenna. Most of the shopping networks come in good. I wonder about that. It means every time I do a scan, I need to manually delete all the garbage.

Sometimes, Bigger is Better

A tree fell in my back yard. I already had a 14 inch chainsaw, but it is old, dull and requires an extension cord. So, I went to Lowes and bought a battery powered Kobalt 40 V 14 in. model. I mean, if it’s Kobalt it has to be good.

From the start, I was disappointed. It took about 2 hours to put the chain on and adjust it. Moreover, as my wife said the chain looks more like something to hang around the neck than something designed for dealing with even small trees.

I guess I should have gotten an 18 inch model but I was only battling 6 inch limbs. At any rate, it took 5 minutes for the chain to get caught in one of the limbs.

When I put the old wore out saw to the task, it went right through it.

Then, once I freed the chain for the new saw. It took another hour to put it back on. For this I refer to the post I wrote on what I call the CEO principle. Clearly, the CEO has never used this saw. Leastways, I know he never installed the chain.

As an aside, the installation book can stand a couple of small corrections. First, it might help to explain that the kickback lever is a little difficult to actuate. I was afraid of breaking it.

Also, it might help to explain the chain installation better. Better yet, they could make it easier to install the thing.