Good Customer Service

Good Customer Service

At Lowes?! Isn’t it the case that in virtually any store (Ace Hardware excluded) and when you ask an employee for assistance to find a particular item, it is more likely than not you get to observe that employees’ impromptu on the job training session as they drag you along on what amounts to an Easter egg hunt.

Colorado thunderstorms are renowned for the size of hail stones they can spit out, the volume of thunder they can produce and the velocity of wind they can generate. I’ve said many times how Colorado weather is an adventure in meteorology. It was one of those adventurous Colorado thunderstorms that blew down my fence; snapped off five four by four posts in howling concert.

A Lowes home improvement big box store is five minutes from the house – two minutes when you cut through the back of Target, Toys-R-Us and a string of leaser known stores. With the wife riding shotgun and Molly the dog in the spacious back of our ’94 Aerostar, we blasted off for Lowes.

Did you know you can bring you dog inside the store? If that dog is a Mexican Chihuahua he or she will be able to read the signage in their native tongue! Being a white guy, that always annoyed me – so politically correct. I digress. I had not passed three isles of quality Lowes products when a tall English speaking and equally white guy approached me and suggested he could help in finding whatever it was I might be looking for. “No way hoser!” I exclaimed. “I don’t want to follow your around this store and watch you do what I was going to do anyway; search for it”. This well kempt gentleman just smiled (a younger employee would have gotten his feeling hurt) and politely asked me to describe my needs.

Quickcrete Forming Tube“I’ve pulled out my old fence post cement footings, which left a huge hole that I don’t want to use double and triple amounts of cement when it comes time to putting in new fence posts. The preacher, my neighbor, tells me there is some kind of cardboard I can use to put in the hole and contain the cement.”

“Right this way sir, I have just what you need.”

OMG! I’m being escorted directly to a collection of cardboard tubes that are absolutely perfect for the job.

“The QUIKRETE 8-in Concrete Forming Tube is just what you need. If your putting your fence posts two feet deep, which I recommend, you can cut them in half and save money.”

Mission Accomplished

My wife Jan Baby and I spent about six hours spread over two days cutting the tubes into two foot lengths, digging about five holes that were too shallow, adding the tubes, backfilling the dirt, setting in and leveling the posts. Finally, we just added water to the Quickcrete which turned it into cement; VOIAL! New fence posts were up. That was the easy part. My decision to remove the old fence in panel instead of taking it completely apart was a poor one. Jan Baby and I estimate that we spent more time trying to get the panels in that it would have taken to just nail individual boards back into place.

Poudre River Area Winter Scenes

Poudre River Area Winter Scenes

After a “major’ storm passed, and a new “monster’ storm ‘slammed’ Fort Collins (maybe eight inches), I grabbed by Nikon D5000, a warm coat, my favorite hat and the green and purple gloves, that often times are the sole remaining pair, after other family members have made their glove selection. One short whistle for Molly the dog had her running for the door, eventually taking up her position in the back seat of my -94 Aerostar van (207k!). Together we drove slowly over snow covered roads to the Arapaho Bend natural area and the Poudre River.  I’ve been itching to grab an HDR shot of the historic remains of Strauss Cabin. My father and I had photographed Mr. Strauss’ cabin in the summer of 2011. I wanted to have a contrasting cabin shot with a winter snow comparison.


Free Freeway Signage

Free Freeway Signage

A couple years ago I developed a website for an intriguing woman; Marsha Hankins. I Am Standing in the Light was the site and on its contact page, as I often like to do, I inserted a photo to help illustrate the page. The photo was a Photoshopped representation of a freeway sign, and more importantly to a new and exciting location.

As luck would have it, I found myself in need of another freeway sign graphic and could not find anything that would suite my purpose in the stock photography houses I prefer to frequent. There was nothing left to do but create my own.

Download and enjoy the possibilities with this layered Photoshop file.

Download Freeway Signage


Just Say No To Spam

Just Say No To Spam

How many different reasons to hide email addresses are there for sending emails. Do you like to keep email addresses of recipients secret? Do you occasionally send a copy of an email to a different party on the sly? Or, for most of us, do you want to hide your email address from the automated spam bots the mercilessly scour the net looking for more address to send their spam to. Here is an extremely simply and functional method to thoughtfully obfuscate email addresses; your correspondents and website visitors will thank you for it.

Email Obfuscator

Enter Flash Buddy’s Email Obfuscator, a simple online tool that allows anyone to enter an email address and have it converted to gibberish, yet still function as a valid email address. Only this one stays hidden from email harvesting bots.

Check it Out
Multiple Personalities

Multiple Personalities

I stumbled into a blog that had adorable guys holding chalk boards with messages to website visitors. I was so taken by it I decided to make my own. Yes, I totally ripped off their idea. I even included Tim Allen as one of the holders. If you use it shoot me a message and show me where; just for fun don’t ‘cha know!

Chalk Board with Multi Holder People Sample

The download is a multi layered Photoshop CS5 (ver. 12.1). Have fun with it.

Summer Orzo Salad

Summer Orzo Salad

This salad was whipped up by my wife, Jan Baby. I’m not the worlds biggest fan of healthy eating, and pasta with veggies in it is far off my radar; this one however, knocked my socks off. For a summer salad and holiday BBQ action, think Memorial Day, July 4th; it is a fun and deliciously healthy alternative way to enjoy the taste and health benefits of a pasta salad.

Orzo was a new one on me. I had never heard of it before, never cooked, eaten or discussed it or ever seen it in the store. This is a petite pasta, little rice sized and shaped pasta kernels.   Jan Baby swears that it is fairly easy to find in most grocery stores, and she is right. Since discovering orzo, I now look on the pasta isle and have no trouble ferreting it out.  Jan adapted this recipe from one she found while surfing the web from the family iPad.


1lb Orzo Pasta
¼-½ Cup Olive Oil
1 Cup fresh spinach leaves, torn or leftr whole ~or~ 1 Cup broccoli flowers, blanched or raw
4oz crumbled feta cheese
½ Cup dried cranberries ~or~ dried cherries
8-10 Torn or sliced basil leaves
½ Cup toasted pine nuts (optional)
3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice, or to taste
1 Teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
1 Carton cherry tomatoes, lalved ~or~ cubed fresh tomatoes
Handful calamata olives (optional)


Cook orzo pasta according to package directions. Cool in bowl, adding a little EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) to prevent sticking. When cool, add rest of ingredients. Combine well and enjoy!

Download Recipe

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