May Update

Happy Memorial Day to one and all and this holds especially true for our Veterans!

Work seems to be picking up a bit now that Summer is nearly here. The employer I've been with for the last 11 years was bought by another company in December and the transitional phase has been a bit chaotic. We've lost work but I am told we will be seeing more work in the months ahead. Right now I am still commuting to Indianapolis from the Cincinnati area but this may change in the near future especially if my income level does not remain steady at a acceptable level. A transfer to St. Louis where we do have more work is a possibility, provided that the volume of work is still there, or I will look for employment in the Cincinnati area. I will know how this is going to play out by some point in July. My decision for now is to wait to see what happens over the next few weeks before making any decision about any change in employment either with my current employer or potentially a new employer.

A side note. I've been working a lot of hours lately and it has resulted in my getting run down again. I've been dealing with a sinus infection that has been stubborn to eliminate. However since this is a chronic problem for me and has been for many years (comes and goes all the time) I know what I am dealing with and how to combat it. But as a result, I do spend a fair amount of what little spare time I have in bed or taking easy until I get over the problem. And then usually it returns after a few weeks or months and I have to deal with it again. Thus, updates to the Low Power AM Radio Network website are infrequent due to the fact that I need to spend a ton of hours trying to dig up news when it is not submitted. And work on the Part 15 AM Radio Station has been stalled for now until I can get some CC debt paid off (not a lot) and some more money freed up to buy the last pieces of equipment needed to get the station on the air.

Will try to provide another update in June.

Update

A general news update of sorts. A little of this and a little of that.

First, it has been a bad week for electronics here. My four month old electric razor stopped working. Back to using a razor blade. Can't go wrong with the old reliable Gillette Track Two! A new TV antenna that I purchased a week ago suddenly stopped working a day and a half after it was installed. It has a built in pre amp. It's a Televes DAT 790 MIX. Great antenna really. I unplugged the pre amp and took down the antenna for a week. On a whim I reinstalled it for a test today and found it was working again. A word of advice with electronics. More than once I've had a piece of electronic equipment fail and then a few days later it works again. Not sure why but in some cases, if you unplug the device and let it sit for a couple of days or longer and then plug it back in it will work. Before you throw out a piece of gear that does not work, at least give this a try first. Lastly, the replacement antenna I put up stopped working too. After spending most of Saturday troubleshooting the problem I was able to find out the coax cable was bad. Replaced it and now at least the older antenna works again.

Other news. The volume of work is picking up and my checks are improving. But I am several months behind where I had hoped to be at this point with getting repairs done to the plumbing at my house and also getting the Part 15 AM radio station on the air here. If I don't run into any more major money draining issues and the paychecks remain at the current level or improve, I think by the end of this year WIMP AM Radio will hit the air. And if I get lucky I hope to stream the station on the internet as well. But that will likely take some additional time and cost.

Lastly, how many of you are frustrated when using a automated check out machine in a retail outlet? Today for example, I spent ten minutes trying to get a dozen items scanned on a machine at a local store. During the checkout process each time I took a bag off the machine I was prompted to put it back. And then when I would put it back I was yet again prompted to remove the item from the bagging area. This cycle continued for five times at which point a clerk in the store came over and proceeded to have the very same problem. LOL After a few more minutes she was able to get the machine out of the loop it was stuck in and I was on my way. Countless times in recent months when using these machines in Indianapolis or Cincinnati a simple transaction that should take just a minute or two ends up taking several minutes longer to complete. I'm beginning to think the machines are not only far from perfect but need to be improved to alleviate most of the hassles associated with using them at checkout. Clearly a Cashier is the best option but it is not always practical to sit in line for a long time to wait to checkout. So much for progress…

Health Care Act

I thought i would give my two cents worth on this subject now that it has become obvious that we won't see any voting on the legislation that was being proposed to replace the Affordable Healthcare Act aka Obamacare in the near future.

A message for Congress. Please give us a health care system that is run by a free market via the insurance companies, and other health care providers and services such as HMO's. I remember when I was first getting out into the world after high school (1981)and a brief year stint in college. I could easily find affordable health care insurance. I worked in a warehouse and received health care insurance through my employer that was fully paid. It had a low deductible and I had coverage that was tailored to the needs of someone at my age and single status. I did not have a wife and kids and did not have to worry about paying for such coverage or coverage for other care that only women would need. Four years later I bought my own insurance through the Kaiser HMO while I was working as a courier. Again, I could pick the kind of coverage I wanted and did not have to pay for coverage of health matters that did not concern me especially at that age. I paid a mere $75.00 a month with a $500 Deductible.

We need to turn back the clock to when it was possible to buy health care insurance freely through any carrier and then tailor the policy to suit the needs of the individual. If the present system is not fixed we will end up with a completely government run Single Payer system that resembles the health care system in countries like Cuba or England. Neither country is known for providing superior, cutting edge health care or for developing new technologies that improves the care of those insured and needing health care. And equally as disturbing is the fact that millions of jobs will be eliminated in a Single Payer system. Already we are seeing jobs being eliminated and continued closures of hospitals and other health care offices due to the fact that they can no longer turn even a small profit. This will be enhanced under a Single Payer system and lead to rationing of health care, long waits in line and a economy that is going to be in serious trouble due to a large number of people being out of work over a few years.

And to the "All or Nothing" crowd that will not settle for anything but exactly what they want when it comes to replacing the current health care system. Try to meet the other side halfway this time around. Getting some of what we want such as the Penalties and Mandates eliminated and a more free market system circa 1985 would be a good start and a foundation to build upon. If you don't vote in favor to replace what we have right now, your Constituents will know that you voted to keep Obamacare intact and that it led to the Single Payer, government run system that will replace the Affordable Health Care Act if it is not at least partially dismantled. Think about that when you are prepared to run for office the next time around.

PLEASE DO WHAT THE MAJORITY OF AMERICANS WANT ON THIS ISSUE. REPLACE IT. IN PART TO START IS BETTER THAN NOTHING AND A FOUNDATION THAT CAN BE BUILT UPON AFTERWARD.

A Message for Service Industries

This note is aimed specifically at management at retail establishments and also the restaurant and hospitality industry.

No doubt many in these industries, especially retail, have noted the decline in sales in many stores in recent years. More and more people are shopping and ordering online vs. walking into a store to buy a product.

I think I have discovered one major reason why this trend is occurring and it is not entirely due to pricing in retail stores vs. online stores. Customer Service or should I say a lack of it. I've run into a large number of problems in the last few years with bad service in retail outlets and restaurants. This has happened primarily in the lower Midwest region and not to any extent when I travel to the upper Midwest or Northeast.

Rude staff that behave like they don't need your business is the culprit. Snarky comments and personal attacks while you are asking a question about a product or when you are checking out is a great way to lose a customer especially when that customer has behaved in a civil manner and done nothing to illicit such comments and shabby treatment. Recently I had such a bad experience at a fast food establishment in Indianapolis that I had to complain to Subway Corporate about it. Very rude staff and several problems with a single order. I usually just let this nonsense go and don't return to that particular establishment. But given the level of horrible service I received from more than one person I decided it had to be brought to the attention of someone higher up and would address the problem.

Currently I am living in the northern Kentucky area of Cincinnati. To date, the service and products I've purchased at local stores and restaurants has been fine. It is evident the managers in the stores and eateries in this region have a better grasp of what it takes to run a store and keep customers from shopping elsewhere. But in some other areas I've lived and worked that is not the case.

A word of advice to retailers and restauranteurs. Please give your staff training in customer service. I was a manager at Dominio's Pizza store in Connecticut for three years in the late 1980's and had a good staff. Behavior such as this NEVER happened. Not once I did i receive a complaint from a customer about one of our staff members. Prior to that I worked as a retail manager for a company called Strawberries Records, Tapes and CD's also in Connecticut. Again no problems whatsoever of this nature.

If box stores want to win back some customers then by all means you need to train your staff on how to deal with the public. Otherwise, no matter how low your prices are, people will shop online simply because they won't be subjected to very rude behavior at the hands of some store personnel.

Happy Ground Hog Day

Wishing everyone a wonderful and productive and most of all, happy Ground Hog Day this year.