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: 0

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, Androids - 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 Heroes Among Us

By William May
Published: 06/09/14 Topics: Comments: 0

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: 0

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: 0

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: 0

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

Government Officials Driving Tourism Economy Away

By Ron Lee
Published: 06/01/12 Topics: Government Comments: 0

Tourism is a clean, responsible industry that brings in visitors anxious to shop, attend events, tour attractions, rent lodging, and pay the taxes that go with them. So why do local government officials want to drive away vacation rentals and turn away the easy spending guests who want them? Read more

Sponsor: VRAI – As a fast growing industry we need your help and support. Join today to learn, share and promote your properties. – VRIA.org

Professor John Edwards: Insects & Music

By William May
Published: 04/01/12 Topics: Comments: 0

Professor John Edwards
Professor John Edwards

Did you know that insects live in very cold places? John Edwards knew.

In fact, Professor John S. Edwards was known around the world as one of the pioneers of insect developmental neurobiology. And I was fortunate to be able to call him a friend. He died this week and I find his passing more unfortunate than any public leader or celebrity.

Some years ago, a friend invited me to help out with an organization called Gallery Concerts; a group dedicated to having period music instruments perform chamber music in the small spaces there were designed for. The concerts are sheer delight.

At one of the first meetings I sat next to 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.

He was a leading scholar in the ecology of high-altitude insects, cold tolerance of Antarctic insects, the role of insects in ecosystem regeneration following volcanic eruptions, and the evolution of insect flight. A New Zealander, John earned his Ph.D. at Cambridge. At the University of Washington John taught entomology, human ecology, served as the Director of the Undergraduate Biology Program, Director of the UW Honors Program, and was appointed Emeritus Professor of Zoology in 2000.

Although a humble man, others noticed his exploits. He earned a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Senior Humboldt Research Award, and a Jacob Javits Neuroscience Investigator Award. He was a University Liberal Arts Professor, named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and of the Royal Entomological Society of London. He served as Program Director for Developmental Neuroscience at the National Science Foundation.

Art Davidson says, in his account of the first winter ascent of Denali (Minus 148°), "My first meeting with John reaffirmed the legend. I had traced the sounds of a concert through several corridors at the Institute to a short figure hopping about from leg to leg while vocalizing the entire woodwind section of an orchestra. "

Other than the fact he was a professor in biology, I knew none of this even after years of attending meetings and concerts with him.

I made a particular mistake once - by mentioning to John that my son had applied to attend the University of Washington. He prodded relentlessly and learned that Taylor was interested in Biology, specifically astrobiology. I could see John's temperature rising. He wasn't "Hoping from leg to leg" but almost.

He asked in that pleasant way that borders on professorial curiosity, that Taylor simply must telephone him for a tour of the department.

After reading about the Professor on line, it took Taylor several weeks to summon enough courage to call. But when he did - John needed no prompting to remember his name or why he was calling. A whirlwind tour took place a few days later where Taylor was introduced to everyone with such lavish praise that my 6'6" son stood even taller than usual when retelling the tale.

American Pika Mount Denali National Park
American Pica

Some years before John had patiently suffered through my telling of how our family had driven to all the way to Mt. Denali (Mt. McKinley) that summer and Taylor, then age 12, had found and photographed a rare Pika; which sent the visitor center biologists into a tizzy.

Who could know an important professor would remember such a small thing from years earlier; but during the UW tour John quizzed Taylor relentlessly about the Pika, where it was found, what time of day, what type of terrain.

Taylor was impressed at John's curiosity. He was proud to be considered important but then somewhat astonished when John casually mentioned, "You may find it hard to believe but I was on the expedition that did the first winter ascent of Denali."

When Tay recited this story at home hours later I saw in his eyes the look of admiration that a young boy can have someone suddenly explodes his idea of what is possible in life. You can be a scientist, you can climb mountains, you can write eloquently, you can win awards, you can be a gracious considerate person, you can be an impressive senior citizen who still cares about what a 12 year old boy cares about. Astonishing.

Today when we learned that John has passed away, things stopped for a few hours for Taylor and I. We went about our work but cared about this man we spent little time with. We admired his work. We admired his attitude. We admired him.

Although I did not have the chance to see John much in the last few years, Taylor and I did think of him occasionally. When watching a science TV show, when the subject is insects, biology or science in general, when daring people climb tall mountains, when university life is depicted - the Pika story is retold and then someone inevitably says, "you might find it hard to believe. . . ". And we smile.

Read more

Author: William May, MayPartners Advertising
Blog #: 0204 – 04/01/12

Bill Gates' Favorite Burger Joint

By William May
Published: 12/01/10 Topics: Comments: 0

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: Advertising, Marketing, Packwood WA, Radio, Selling Comments: 0

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: 0

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: 0

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: 0

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

Doing What We Can To Help People

By William May
Published: 11/19/09 Topics: Comments: 0

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: 0

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: 0

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.- Lodging Newsletter January 10, 2009

By William May
Published: 01/10/09 Topics: Comments: 0

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: 0

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: 0

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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