Ed's Newsletters

Ed didn't write these newsletters but we hope he would like them. He was a person never without an opinion.. If you have stories, thoughts or writings you think Ed would like, please send it our way. Providing it meets Ed's tacit approval we'll publish it here.

A Map, a Map, My Kingdom for a Map

By William May
Published: 07/20/14 Topics: Comments: -

Long long ago we had these very nice travel aids called maps.

They were printed on paper, folded like origami but you could unfold them to see towns, roads, rivers and other landmarks. Because they showed lots of land -- often a full state - it was always possible to get a general idea of where things were.

From there you could find your way to where you were going, or to find your way to the next state. You could even drive all the way across the US if you wanted. Hey, you could even drive into Canada.

They had these darn Maps in other countries too. Other than a few very remote places, you could unfold the origami and practically drive around the world (if you wanted to swim much of it.)

ALONG CAME TECHNOLOGY

First it was GPS devices that allowed you to know the latitude-longitude coordinates of wherever you were in the world based on signals they received from Global Positioning Satellites. All very high tech stuff. Over time the devices improved and you could find where you were and where you are headed to see a detailed route.

Although GPS was great party conversation, only a small percentage of the popular had one. That increased as car dealers started to install them in vehicles and as the devices improved.

ARE PHONES SMART?

Today, many people have adopted to use of Smart Phones - such as the ubiquitous iPhones, Andoids - and are delighted to find that those phones have what they call GPS, but is actually based on the triangulation between multiple mobile phone towers and not on satellites.

They work well except in distant locations where only one tower exists and then they are dead meat.

ARE PEOPLE SMART?

With innovation comes complexity and then comes reliance on technology. Unfortunately some folks take this to mean they can quit thinking smart.

Many lodging operators send out detailed instructions on how to get to their properties, even including Lat-Long coordinates. So with a phone or a GPS devices you can type in the coordinates and your car will practically drive you directly to your destination.

Unfortunately, not everyone gets how this works and they find themselves out in the boondocks with a non-helpful smart phone and without a tightly folded up map for backup.

For help they call the property staff who must always be friendly and helpful, even at 3AM in the morning.

ACTUAL CONVERSATION

GUEST: Can you help me find the house?

STAFF: Yes. Do you have the written instructions we sent?

GUEST: No.

STAFF: Do you have a map, or GPS or Smart phone?

GUEST: A Smart Phone but the map is not working out here.

STAFF: May I ask where you are?

GUEST: I don't know.

STAFF: Do you see any recognizable landmarks, a house, a river, a store or anything?

GUEST: No.

STAFF: Have you passed any landmarks recently?

GUEST: Not that I can remember.

STAFF: Is the land flat or hill?

GUEST: Kind of both.

STAFF: Do you have anyone else with you?

GUEST: Just my 2 year old? And I have my dog.

STAFF: Does the dog have a map?

GUEST: I don't think so. Could you just come find us?

STAFF: Yes, I guess so . . . . may I ask where you are?

You get the idea. Good. Get a map please.

Read more

Author: William May – Volunteer, Vacation Rental Association
Blog #: 0373 – 07/20/14

Outdoors-For-All, the Heros Among Us

By William May
Published: 06/09/14 Topics: Comments: -

Donate your home to charities for their use and fundraising and post your generosity on VacationRentalAgents.com. See how the Ski-For-All Foundation gave property owners the great satisfaction of helping disabled kids and adults to ski. Read more

What I do for a living

By William May
Published: 04/08/14 Topics: Comments: -

After a tragedy that has taken dozens of life in the small town of Oso Washington State, first-responders open the door to untrained volunteers after realizing they are better equipped at working in such difficult conditions. Read more

Coming to Skippy's Class ill Prepared

By William May
Published: 12/11/13 Topics: Comments: -

Looking back it is astonishing to realize that a world class scholar was teaching in a small community college off the beaten path in the Northwest corner of the country. She would have wowed any student in the finest college anywhere. Read more

Netiquette - How to Write an Email

By William May
Published: 07/18/12 Topics: Comments: -

RSVP: Not everyone remembers what this means, but if you need a response include it and/or remind the user to respond such as "Please let me know your thoughts one way or the other." Read more

Oh No, Mount Rainier Has Disappeared

By William May
Published: 04/15/12 Topics: Comments: -

Mount Rainier disappeared today. Poof. Gone. I looked up and it was missing from the horizon. Reminded me of the day, 20 years ago, when Mount Saint Helens disappeared. Read more

Professor John Edwards: Insects & Music

By William May
Published: 04/01/12 Topics: Comments: -

When I first began to help out with the Gallery Concerts Organization, one of my favorite not-for-profir groups, I met a gentle white haired man with a goatee who glowed with his enthusiasm for the music. Later I was to learn he glowed about just about everything. If the term "twinkle in his eye" was created for anyone it was John. Read more

Bill Gates' Favorite Burger Joint

By William May
Published: 12/01/10 Topics: Comments: -

Over the decades there have been numerous stories here in the Northwest U.S. about how the favorite restaurant of Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft, was an old fashioned burger stand not far from Microsoft's campus. You might like it too. Read more

Nothing Beats Chateau Chocolate Cake

By William May
Published: 10/01/10 Topics: Comments: -

Years ago when I operated an advertising agency we sure thought we worked long and hard. Not to reveal my age, but I remember when we had to "spec" type, courier the details to a type setter and then wait days while it was set and returned to us. We then had to paste the galleys onto art board along with photos or other art to arrange the desired final ad. Read more

Mother Giant Radio Station Trounced Websites

By William May
Published: 05/01/10 Topics: Comments: -

Prior to the lodging industry, I had a perfectly normal life in the media and advertising industry. I worked at radio stations and publications and owned an advertising agency. Then I started, invested and managed some publications as well as a radio station. Read more

Become a Vacation Rental Angel

By William May
Published: 03/01/10 Topics: Comments: -

Operating a vacation rental business can be fun and profitable but it also an opportunity to do some good in the world. Now property owners and managers can do that by participating in a public program that offer Read more

Become a Vacation Rental Angel

By William May
Published: 03/01/10 Topics: Comments: -

Operating a vacation rental business can be fun and profitable but it also an opportunity to do some good in the world. Now property owners and managers can do that by participating in a public program that offe Read more

Complaints, Compliments and Compassion

By William May
Published: 11/19/09 Topics: Comments: -

For a number of years our company has been donating vacation rental use to a wonderful group called OutdoorsForAll.org (Formerly SkiForAll.org). Their mission is to enrich the quality of life for children and adults with di Read more

Complaints, Compliments and Compassion

By William May
Published: 11/18/09 Topics: Comments: -

She wanted to go to the beach. It was to be a special trip with her daughter who had special needs. Larger homes were her preference, but a plain ocean front condo was her budget. She asked for a first floor home and a vendor to provide oxygen. Read more

Everything Robert Fulgham Learned in Kindergarten

By William May
Published: 11/01/09 Topics: Comments: -

I stumbled onto an Internet posting the other day that told me it has been twenty years since Robert Fulgham wrote "Everything I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten". Read more

Hello Blog. Goodbye Newsletters.

By William May
Published: 01/10/09 Topics: Comments: -

After years of writing newsletters I've succumbed to writing a blog. Not sure what the difference is - we've been posting newsletters online years ago- as well as emailing them and, in fact, snail mailing them years ago. What better way to keep in touch with all those people I should keep in touch Read more

Lau Lau for Christmas Dinner

By William May
Published: 12/22/03 Topics: Comments: -

It was six years ago on Christmas day. My then eight year old son and I were snorkeling about 40 yards off shore at Poipu Beach Kauai. Having taken weekly swimming lessons since he was just 9 months old Taylor felt safe swimming with me out and around a point in hopes of seeing one of the endangered Read more

Christmas in Hawaii

By William May
Published: 12/15/03 Topics: Comments: -

Mele Kalikimaka Haouli Makahiki Hou (Merry Christmas Happy New Year from Hawaii). There are many wonderful reasons for owning a vacation home. But my favorite is the way ownership allows people to make another place home. And I don't mean just a nice place to eat and sleep. Instead, if you are Read more

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