Face it, You’re Addicted to Love. Wait, I Mean Email!

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night…..

Have you ever sat by your mailbox in front of your house or apartment for 8 hours? I’m not talking just one day waiting for that acceptance letter or for your Little Orphan Annie decoder ring. I’m talking, just setting up a chair by the mailbox, five days per week, 8 hours per day? You weren’t waiting for your scholarship letter or even your passport to be delivered. We are talking mainly junk mail. You know, advertisements, pizza coupons, catalogs you never ordered and an occasional electric bill. When you receive your electric bill, do you tell the mailman “Hold up, I want to write a check, get a stamp, then give it back to you.” I’m thinking no. Email is now our preferred method of communication.

Addicted to email. Lady sitting at by a mailbox.5 Clues You are Addicted to your email

  1. The first thing you do in the morning is to check your email.
    I’m talking before you have had your morning cup of joe or take the dog for his morning walk. You get out of bed, and the first place you head is for your phone, tablet, laptop or computer. God forbid that someone if they needed you would call you. Don’t you know that email is so much more personal and urgent?
  2. You sync your email so that it is always alerting you when you get a new email.
    I don’t know about you, but the majority of my emails updates on something I already know about. They are not life-changing. If they were life-changing, I would have told the person to call me the minute they had the news I wanted to hear.
  3. If you don’t check your email, you feel that nagging thought that you are missing something.
    Well yes, you are missing something, people who want to sell you something, ask for something or just let you know of an upcoming event. Sure, there are interoffice emails and answers from clients on proposals you have sent, but have you thought about calling these people or asking them to call you once they have their answer? If they want to go ahead with the proposal, they will probably want to call you if you have directed them to do so. If they don’t, well……you will probably get a rejection by email.
    dear John typewriter. are you addicted to email?
  4. You are behind on big projects you should have already completed.
    Instead of deciding what you wanted to get accomplished before the end of the day, those things that are going to mean the most at the end of the day, you just wait for an email to arrive so you can read it and reply. Instead of planning your day, you let your emails plan your day for you. Even if you are a CEO, if you are doing this, then you are a slave, not the master of your destiny.
  5. You leave work or your house feeling that you wasted another entirely good day and can’t figure out what you did that day.
    You know what, you are right. You did waste another perfectly good day. You let a bunch of 1’s and 0’s, digital media dictate your day for you. Your inbox may be empty, but so is your essential project list empty; you know, the one that you created a month ago that you haven’t looked at. You have become a slave to your emails. They now control you. You have given up all autonomy to others. Their agenda has now become your agenda. You don’t have a plan. This incessant phrase controls you.
    you've got mail picture. are you addicted to email?

It’s time to say No!

This has become like a drug. Why do you think when you log into your email, it asks for the ‘User’ ID? It’s not going to be easy to wean off of this drug. It’s going to be painful, and others, those ‘Pushers’ of email are not going to like it. They won’t like that you don’t instantly reply to their never-ending emails. You will have to set boundaries. You might even have an auto-reply that says something like this: “Thanks for your email. I check my emails twice per day. I will get back to you as soon as I am able. If you need assistance quicker, you have my number.” Can you do this? Do you want to do this? How has this been going for you so far? You know what I’m talking about.

Test for email drug usage

Set up an auto-reply for one day. “I will be out of the (office, desk, area) today. I will answer your email tomorrow when I return.”
If you are expecting some big email, then let your associate, spouse or significant other, check the subject or senders for you to make sure this base is covered. I didn’t say it was going to be easy, but if you can’t make it without emails for one day, then you are out of control and have given this control to anybody that decides to fill your inbox.

Are you a Joseph? Destiny and Your Life

Do you believe that you have a destiny?

I’ve felt that I was created for something extraordinary since I was a child. I don’t mean that I wanted to always be a doctor or an astronaut. I’ve just felt as though I was created to be something that was bigger than myself. I know what many of you are thinking. “He thinks he is Joseph with his fancy coat of many colors. Let’s throw him in a well.” Well wait, before you throw me in that proverbial well, maybe you have felt the same way at times in your life.

joseph and coat of many colorsIt started when I was young

It all started when I was young. My parents were musicians and artists. Maybe I got it honestly as they say. At a young age, I was put in front of people to play the piano, sing and act. I’m surprised I didn’t end up in vaudeville, but that was before my time. I do know that I had quite a vivid imagination. I always had projects going, either building underground forts, spaceships, digging a fish pond in our backyard, setting up all kinds of trails and rides. You see, I didn’t want to sit and watch TV or read a book. I wanted to do something that was worth writing about. I saw each day as an opportunity to explore, think of what the world needed, then go out and create it.

At age 14, things started to change

When I turned 14, my body started to change, my voice cracked, my outlook turned more introspective and I started to wonder what I should put my hand to in life. I had obtained my first job. We lived near farms so working on a farm was the easiest place to get a job. I worked 40 hours a week during the summer and this taught me the meaning of hard work, but this also took a lot of time from when I would spend thinking and being creative. It was then that I started to wonder what my destiny in life was. I know that I was quite young to begin thinking of this type of thing, but as I said, I was introspective. I tried a bunch of different things, but none of them really grabbed me like rocketry. I really wanted to push the envelope of what was available to kids in regards to model rockets.  I wanted to discover new methods of propulsion. Unfortunately, I got a bum steer from a well-meaning uncle that told me that going to work for NASA wasn’t a good idea in the 70’s due to the downsizing of the Apollo program. It was my fault for listening to him. I don’t blame him.

nasa logo

Now that I am a few years older

Well, I’m not exactly 14. I’m now 62. No, I didn’t go to work for NASA. I started my own business and it has worked out quite well. I’m not complaining, but there is still that nagging feeling that there is something out there that I am supposed to become. It is now stronger than it ever has been. I don’t see my age as a hindrance. I see it as years under my belt that gives me the wisdom to go to this next phase of my life. I still love to learn. I  started taking cello lessons, like to read about Physics and I’m open to new technologies and ideas.  I get up early each day, looking forward to what the day has to bring, spending time reading, in prayer and meditation and planning.

Am I the only one who feels this way?

I don’t know, maybe I have a Joseph complex. It could be, but I really don’t think so.
C.S. Lewis said, “You are never too old to set a new goal or to dream a new dream.” Do you believe this? Do you think you are too old to dream new dreams?

In the comments section, why not add your 2 cents or let me know if you have felt the same way about your destiny at any point in your life. Maybe they made more than one of these multi-colored coats!

The unemployment rate is at 0%! Who wants to work?

You heard me right, the unemployment rate is at 0%! Nobody needs work, everyone is employed. This means there is no need for anybody to file an unemployment claim and everyone is happy because nobody is looking to improve their situation by looking for jobs paying more or jobs that have more benefits.

leonardo decaprio with champagne

Proof that the employment rate is at 0%

I have 3 different ads running, two on Craigslist and one on Linkedin. I have the ads in different categories as well. I have a catchy subject, detailed information about the position, benefits given and a wage about 33% higher than I have ever advertised for. I have had these three ads running for 2 weeks and I have had 0 applications. Zero, nada, zip. This proves that the unemployment rate is at 0%; nobody needs a job. If anyone needed a job, then I would be getting at least some inquiries about the job I am offering. Oh, I also forgot to mention that I have 2 jobs offered for two different departments in our company.

Snap, now I know why I don’t have any applications

Silly me, I just realized something. I am not offering a free gym membership, paid lunches everyday, unlimited time off, yoga sessions in the morning, wine and mingling time after work in our play area complete with ping pong tables, video games and a masseuse. I have also posted the hours you need to work which is only from 9-5 Monday through Friday with no weekends, but I know this is a lot to ask. It’s this non flexible schedule that is causing no one to apply. I have to have our phones answered for some stupid reason, thus I need actual people to answer them. Do you know that the Airbnb headquarters has an indoor tree house and part of a real PanAm passenger plane to play inside of? Alas, I couldn’t afford this perk. Unfortunately we don’t offer employee water slides either. Maybe I should offer some of the perks that Spotify offers. Spotify gives their employees 6 months of paid paternal leave and has egg freezing for their employees which by the way costs in excess of $10,000. I don’t know about you, but I want my free range eggs frozen. You never know when you will need those chicken eggs.

frozen egg

When will the unemployment rate go up?

I’m hoping that the unemployment rate will go up past 0% because we would really like to have some people join our team, but I realize that having to do actual work for a living is a hard choice over playing in an indoor tree-house and having a crying room should your politician of choice not be elected. Maybe I should change my help wanted ad to something like this:

Help Wanted – Work when you feel like it, get paid what you want

  • Flex hours – you tell us when you feel like working
  • Flex pay – you tell us what you want to be paid and we will double it. We pay via Paypal so that you can purchase items on Amazon while you work.
  • Work environment – If you don’t mind, we ask that you work in our state of the art tech center complete with snake slide, espresso bar and kegs on tap. (not to be enjoyed until after 12 each day)
  • Qualifications – The ability to use your cell phone to access such work related apps as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. The skill to issue grievances about your work environment and ability to convey how unfair corporate America is.
  • How to apply – Please apply online and include us in the 50 other companies that you are also mass applying to from your cell phone while you drink your soy latte at Starbucks. Please do not change the position that you are applying for with these 50 other companies so when we see you applying for a web developer position with our company when our ad is clearly for a shipping clerk. That way, we will know that we have other companies to compete with.
    scrooge in bed (possibly crying about the unemployment rate)

Now that I have figured all of the reasons I have had no applicants, I can change my whole way of listing my ad. I will change my entire work environment, find an angel investor and come to that realization that I will keep the work environment dear in my heart and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the employees of my Past, the Present, and the Future. The touchy feelings of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that my employees teach!

My Amazing Tesla Model 3 Delivery Experience

My Tesla Model 3 delivery experience was fantastic, and I will tell you why. I haven’t purchased a new vehicle in almost 20 years. Most of the time, you haggle with a car salesman over price, then after much arm twisting to try and get you to go with the extended warranty, undercoating and expensive sealers, you finally get your car; not with Tesla.

Model 3 tesla

Step by step sequence of Tesla Model 3 delivery

When you get a phone call letting you know that your Tesla Model 3 is ready for pickup, you are given an appointment so that they can get your car ready for presentation as well as have all of the paperwork and one of the team members available to explain the working of the car to you.

They stagger delivery times so that they can:

  • Get you to sign the paperwork
  • Go over the registration details
  • Walk you through the basic operation of your car
  • Answer any questions
  • Let you drive away with your new car

When you go to the Glen Allen Service Center in Virginia, you will see that their lot is full of Model 3’s, ready to be prepped and delivered. I hear that there are even the dual motor versions ready for delivery because a young lady stopped me and told me that hers was ready for pickup next week with the dual motors.

Step by step delivery experience

First, I entered the Tesla Glen Allen VA service center and told the gentleman sitting in the service area that I was here to pick up my Tesla Model 3. He told me to have a seat and he would let the delivery team know that I was there. Another couple was there from Chesapeake VA who was getting ready to have their appointment. That was it, not a long line of people waiting to pick up their car.

I got up and walked around the showroom looking at the Model S and the Model X while I was waiting to be called back. I think I waited around 10-15 minutes before I was called back.

“Mr. Trotman, would you follow me please?” said the guy who was handling my delivery. I walked into a separate room and there sat two beautiful Model 3’s on their own carpet. It was plugged in with a full charge. On the counter behind the car was a small placard with my name on it as well as the delivery paperwork. I walked around the car admiring this vehicle that I had only seen in a picture. It was sort of like a blind date or dating online. She was beautiful, even if I had only seen a “head shot” of her!

Signing the paperwork was very simple as all of the choices for options had been completed online a month earlier as well as the loan application, my insurance and title papers. I think the paperwork took a total of 5 minutes.

How do I operate this contraption?

interior shot of Tesla Model 3

Next, a young lady introduced me to my car and let me walk around it for a little bit admiring it. After a few moments of checking out the curves of the car and seeing it up close for the first time, she had me sit in the drivers seat and started to explain the center display console. For a newbie Tesla owner, there was a lot to absorb, but she took her time and explained it all, answering my questions when needed. She stated that corporate had wanted these deliveries to take 5 minutes, but there was no way she expected new Tesla owners to live with that, feeling short changed on all of the information that they wanted to know.  I think this part alone took about 30 minutes as I needed to know how to operate the car, charge it, what it would and would not do, getting my phone synced to the car as well as explaining the app on my phone.

Next, she said “Congratulations!” and opened the overhead door to let me drive out into the gas guzzling world. We told her that we wanted to drive it around the residential neighborhood behind the service center first before venturing out on the interstate. She gave us directions on where was a good place to take it for it’s virgin drive.

We drove around the neighborhood getting out so that both my wife and I could drive it. After feeling comfortable with the basic operation of the car, I hit the pedal and floored it. The car jumped immediately into action with absolutely no sound at all, only the sound of the tires against the pavement. We were thrust back into our seats and both looked at each other with wide eyes and big grins. This was going to be a FUN car to drive! That was my Tesla Model 3 delivery experience. I hope that yours is just as fun as ours was.

 

Tesla model 3 delivery

https://www.tesla.com/model3

https://www.tesla.com/findus/location/service/richmondglenallen

https://www.facebook.com/gill.trotman.7

Check this out before you throw away that power tool

No parts are available.

Don’t you hate to hear those words when you are trying to repair your power tool? Many times, this means the end to your tool that you have trusted on for many years, but for certain types of repairs, it doesn’t have to be.

power tool parts

The type of repairs that you can possibly fix

The parts that you see above are parts that most of the time can be fixed.

  • Armatures- the top left part is an armature, the rotating part of a power tool. As long as the spindle is in good shape and not stripped (the end gear), then this can be rewound by a motor rewind shop. There Eurton Electric in California does these type of repairs. They can rewind your armature for you. Make sure that this tool is worth this repair though.
  • Power Cords- many times, there is a special connector that fits into the tool, a pre-molded boot that may be NLA, but usually you can find a suitable cord with a similar pre-molded boot that will fit. We have those here.
  • Switches- These are also available from Eurton Electric.   If you can’t find the exact switch, many of these can be modified to fit your tool as long as you check the amperage of the switch to be sure it is strong enough.
  • Brushes- These are the easiest to find. Many local real hardware stores will have these. Don’t bother going to Home Depot as I don’t remember seeing them there. If they do not fit exactly, you can always sand them down to fit.

Other fixes that do not require parts

Today I had a customer bring in an old Craftsman Multi-Tool. It was about 15 years old so I wanted to make sure that there were parts available. I went on-line to Sears website and there were no parts available, there wasn’t even a part breakdown. If this guy needed parts then all he had would be a door stop, not a multi-tool.

craftsman multi tool image

He said, “I was using it, and it just quit.” Well when a tool does that, usually it means that the circuit is not complete in the tool. I told him I would open it up to see what was wrong. First, it was full of dust. I blew it out with compressed air. Still didn’t work. Next I tested the power cord to see if there was an open circuit. Power cord was ok. Now it is time to break into the tool. I removed the cover over the switch, power cord and motor assembly. That is when I noticed that one brush was not making contact with the commutator of the armature. The spring had snapped. This was an easy fix. I simply took one of the coils of the spring and bent it so that it was putting tension on the brush assembly. I plugged it in. Still nothing! Next I pulled the field out. This is where I noticed that the field wire from the brush had lost it’s terminal. The terminal probably flew out and broke the brush spring. I was able to simply solder the wire onto the field connector and voila, his tool sprung back to life.

6 things that are easy to repair in your power tool

  • Brushes- go find something close at your local power tool repair company or a good old hardware store.
  • Broken wires- replace the broken wire or solder the wire permanently to the part that it fits on.
  • O-rings- If the original o-ring is not available, any o-ring supply house will have a suitable replacement o-ring.
  • Bearings- Any decent bearing house will have your bearing you need.
  • Pumps- If we are talking belt driven pumps for a stand alone pump, then you can simply replace the pump with one of comparable cfm.
  • Motors- Stand alone motors for air compressors, pressure washers, table saws and the like can be swapped out with a motor of the same or greater HP, voltage and rpm’s.

If we are talking about very specific parts like gears and shafts, unless you are a machinist and absolutely love this tool, it’s time to say goodbye to this old friend.

Don’t buy that power tool until you read this first.

What do you look for when you are buying a new power tool?

Do you buy it because of the brand name? How about the color or that all of your power tools are Acme tools? Do you buy it because it is the cheapest? Many people buy it based on the advertisements they have seen, but no one manufacturer hits it out of the park on every tool they make and if you believe that, well their advertising has paid off!Power Tools in a grid
You see, every manufacturer feels the need to capture the entire power tool market. Instead of focusing on what they make best, they just keep pumping out tools of all sorts. Don’t get me wrong, many of their tools are good, but do you want a “good” tool or the best tool for the job?

I have been repairing power tools and selling replacement parts for them for over 20 years. I see what works and I see what breaks on a regular basis. The worst thing is to have a power tool break in the middle of a job or that weekend project, only to find out that there are no replacement parts for the tool. You’ve got yourself a nice boat anchor.

Key points when looking for a new power tool

There are several factors to consider when buying a power tool and I list what I feel are the most important below.

  • What have other people said about the tool? Are 80% of the reviews good. As you know, you can’t please everyone, so look for a tool that gets good reviews from most people.
  • Will you be using this tool every now and then or is this tool going to help you earn a living? If so, then you need something that is built well enough to stand the rigors of the jobsite. Think about what would happen if it fell off of a sawhorse. Will it withstand some rough handling?
  • Does the tool feel good in your hands? If you are a lefty, then they do actually make left handed circular saws and a few others, so look into these.
  • Look online at tool repair part companies such as ours, www.mastertoolrepair.com and look at the older models of the brand and type of tool that you are looking to get. Are most of the parts still available or are most of them NLA (no longer available). If not, then when it breaks, you will have to buy a new one.
  • Normal wear an tear items like brushes, belts, nose guards for trim nailers and blade clamps for reciprocating saws have to be easy to get to and replace.
    Four Power Tool Parts

Air Compressors and Pressure Washers

For other tools like air compressors and pressure washers, you really need to know how often you intend to use these. There are basically two types. Homeowner grade and pro grade. No which one you are getting. Are your workers going to check the oil in an air compressor or should you buy an oil free air compressor because you know they will never check the oil? Don’t buy an air compressor based upon the highest pressure it produces, this is a marketing scam. Look for the cfm it produces at a certain psi. Something like 5.4 cfm @90psi is how you want to compare them. Oil bath units last longer. Again, look for replacement parts to make sure that the company has a history of providing parts.

Pressure washers start at around $225 for a homeowner unit to well over $1,000 for a day in, day out unit. There are basically 3 types of pressure washer pumps. Wobble, Axial Cam and Triplex. Wobble pumps are entry level and usually if they go bad, you just replace the entire pump. Axial Cam pumps are better and Triplex pumps are the best. Of course, you know that you get what you pay for. The psi rating is important as well. All of them require a gas engine or electric motor to power them so make sure that this part of the pressure washer is reliable.

Well, this should get you going. Don’t buy a tool just because of the color or the brand. Do a little research first and you will end up making a great purchase that will get the job done and last for years to come.

Have you lost the art of daydreaming?

A child is daydreaming in a classroom.I read somewhere that if you were in the midst of trying to discover where you wanted to go in life, then you should look retrospectively on your imagined life. Sounds kind of strange doesn’t it? So many times, when we try and think of what we want to become or do in life, we subconsciously place all kinds of limitations on it. We don’t realize many times that we are doing this. We somehow use the successes and the failures of our past to place mental leashes on our dreams. Since we live in the real world, that play world that we lived in as kids slowly disappears as life slaps us in the face. Bit by bit, we stop dreaming during the day; sure we dream at night, but daydreaming  just stops. My teachers used to write to my parents on my report card that I daydreamed too much in class.

I will admit that I did daydream in class. I had so many things that I wanted to become and had quite a vivid imagination. Imagination is very underrated. It is necessary for the advancement of almost any discipline or task we put our hands to. If it wasn’t for imagination, the wheel would never had been invented, much less self driving cars.

After thinking of the challenge put before me, I knew that it was going to take some effort since I hadn’t done this in quite awhile. Most of my daydreaming of late had taken on a very pragmatic nature. Dreaming like I did when I was a kid was going to be a task.

Ground rules for daydreaming

First off, there are some rules you have to keep in mind or rather non-rules. Keep these in mind as you start daydreaming.

  • If money were not an object
  • If there were no time constraints
  • Throw every pragmatic or logical assumption out the window
  • Let your dream have absolutely no boundaries
  • Nothing is silly or stupid
  • Don’t judge your dream even before you get started
  • To hell with thoughts like “it’ll never happen so why dream it”
  • Don’t be afraid to even include friends and associates that you have enjoyed working with in the past in your dream
  • Once you have come up with your dream, write it down amping it up even more

To get you started, I am going to share my wild, no holds barred dream. As I said, this is a retrospective dream, looking back on my imaginary life. Here we go, don’t judge me!

My daydream – an example

“I can’t believe where I am today. At one time, I felt as though God had forgotten why He created me, but now I see that it was to prepare me for where I am today.

It started long ago. All of my life’s experiences created skills that were necessary to prepare me for this. I thought that I was only created to do one thing, but God showed me He created me to do many things, not just one thing. I was always interested in Rocketry. Little did I know that I would discover anti-gravity. This allowed man to escape earth’s gravitational pull without the use of millions of pounds of thrust. We were able to lift more payloads to space using the space that once was used for propellant to hold mission critical payload. After we escaped earth’s gravity, my team, using photon power, propelled the spacecraft to light speed, enabling man to explore new worlds that were once impossible to reach.

photon rocket in outer space.

Anti-gravity also has commercial success as hover boards, passenger planes and other gravity bound products that suddenly “took off”. Tires on cars are a thing of the past. With my profits from anti-gravity, I was able to finally create Walt Disney’s Epcot. It is a place where the most creative minds live and work to create things that benefit mankind. It is not an amusement park, it is what the original plan for Epcot was supposed to be.

The friendships that I created came out of retirement to pull together to make the vision a reality. Steve Story is our corporate attorney who oversees our legal department. Phillip Shucet has found civil engineers like Gary Mackey to create the structure and thoroughfares in Epcot. Jim Tomlinson heads up the hospital. Mike Padden heads up our architectural department. Laurie, my wife makes sure that my creative thinking time is undisturbed. She heads up the ice rink as well as the culinary school.

We now have hologram vision, another invention of mine that beams the picture from your TV into your living room. Fortunately the FCC keeps bad content from jumping into people’s living rooms!

I have a weekly TV show called “Don’t Stop Dreaming”. I found out in my 60’s that acquiring stuff wasn’t important, acquiring dreams was more important. I had stopped asking “What if…” but one day I decided to rekindle my imagination and let it go wild. It had been so long that the rusty gears took awhile to get going, but once they did, they started spinning like a top. Something in my life had jammed the gears, but now they were making up for lost time. I couldn’t stop the ideas from flowing. It was as if God was birthing new ideas in me every day. I said that I wanted to be used and was I ever! There were a lot of obstacles along the way, but with God’s help and a faithful team of dreamers, doors kept opening. A half century ago, I felt as if God had whispered in my ear that He was going to use me for something extraordinary, and let’s just say, it has been far more extraordinary than I could have dreamed.”

Ok, that was my dream. What is yours? You may have no idea. First you have to learn to daydream again. Learning to daydream, using your imagination is not as easy as it once was when we were younger. It’s going to take a little bit of practice. I do this best when I am in a quiet place with paper and pen.

Now, go start daydreaming!

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