A little clarification……

Filed under: @ 7:28 am

Okay, so I said I’d clarify.

The first clarification being that the “estimate” with which I was presented the other day wasn’t actually an estimate it was a coupon from one of those “Val-Pac” things that come in the mail.

Yes, sadly, more than one of my local colleagues feels it appropriate to issue coupons for his services. One of the reasons, actually, that I stopped working for VCA. VCA is a big coupon organization and it is my personal feeling, although maybe I’m a special kind of rarified snob, that if you are a professional and you are sending out coupons for your services you’re actually saying to the world that your skill and education are of less value to some people than they are to others. A position with which I disagree heartily. There’s been a fair deal of effort, blood, sweat, and tears to get me to my current skill level and what I charge for my time reflects that. If people want to disagree with what I charge for my experience and skill they’re welcome, but I’m not going to purposely market myself as less valuable to some people and more valuable to others.
I digress…

Needless to say the estimate for my dental cleaning was considerably more, even a year out of date, than the “estimate” for the dental cleaning my client had received in the mail.
In answer to her question — why my estimate was far higher than his — I gave my client the stock answer. “I know what it costs for us to provide the services that we provide as part of a dental cleaning for your dog. I don’t know what XYZ does differently than we do, but I know that what we do can’t be done for less than what we charge.”
A nice, professional way to say “Dude, I don’t know what he’s leaving out when he cleans your dog’s teeth, but DAMN…….”

And it brings me to another poll.

When you are provided with very disparate estimates for seemingly identical services, do you question what the difference is?

A few more answers please, and I’ll come up with further clarification.


A Poll……

Filed under: @ 9:57 am

As happens sometimes a client presented me an estimate (of sorts — I’ll explain later) from a competitor which, for the basic definition of the service described i.e. a dental cleaning for her dog, varied wildly from the estimate for the same basic definition of the service that I had given her the year previously.
She asked me why my estimate was so markedly different from the other that she had brought.

And it got me wondering…….

When you’re presented with two very different estimates for the same service whom do you assume is trying to rip you off? The person with the very low estimate or the person with the very high one?

I need a couple of answers before I can elaborate further, so stay tuned.


Recently Sighted

Filed under: @ 3:59 pm

So I was in the horrifying behemoth that is the general Southcenter area on Friday to purchase some new doctor drag.

Coming out of the uniform shop I got in my car, turned it on, and pulled out of my parking place.
This is why there isn’t a photo.

That having been said, however, in backing out of my parking place I noticed that the car that was in the parking space next to the one that I had just vacated had a license plate holder that read “I CAN TOO PARK HERE, I HAVE A GOLF HANDICAP!”

Which the owner obviously thinks is hysterically funny.

If that car had actually been parked in a handicapped space I would have waited until the driver came back and stove their head in with a brickbat (even though I’m not entirely sure what a brickbat is).


My hat is off….

Filed under: @ 6:36 am

Posted by one of my online veterinary buddies on the humor board of the Veterinary Information Network.
A synopsis of a newspaper article regarding the prank played at a high school near her.

Turns out that a group of high school seniors released 3 goats into the school to roam and cause havoc. But before they released the goats they spray painted them with #1, #2, and #4.

The school administration spent the entire rest of the day looking for goat #3.

I am in awe!


Recently Sighted

Uncle AndrewUncle Andrew
Filed under: @ 3:46 pm

Snapped this on my way home from the butcher shop (yes, we have a local butcher shop, a damn fine one, too) the other day:

Ought to get a couple of those life-sized cut-outs of R2D2 and C3P0 and paste ’em up pin the back windshield….


So what have you been doing?

Filed under: @ 8:54 am

We’ve had a peculiar couple of weeks.

Susan and I spent the vast majority of Friday the 25th at The Northwest Flower & Garden Show which, as I noted before, had opened on the 23rd. This is a yearly pilgrimage for us, an opportunity in the middle of February (usually the show is a week or so earlier, it was late this year) to wander around *smelling* for hours on end. To come away with the reassuring knowledge that spring might JUST be on its way .
The artistry and effort, no small endeavors to be sure, that go into the show gardens aside, the smell is enough to….. Well it’s hard to explain. An intoxicating combination of hyacinth, winter daphne, jasmine, moist earth, sawdust, grass, and damp, exuberant growth. Kinda concentrated spring. I can generally catch the smell of the show blocks away.

This year not so much though. Usually February in Washington is somewhat more laid back about being February, but this year February wanted to show off what February can actually be. There wasn’t really anything between us and the north pole besides (as Susan put it) a stray caribou or two. The wind was off the back side of a glacier and while it was bright and sunny it was only about 15 degrees and the ground was frozen hard under an inch or so of snow. This put somewhat of a damper on our usual enthusiasm at the plant markets because we realized that any living thing we purchased would freeze solid before we had a chance to get it into the ground.

Ooooo YAH, the SHOPPING! I’m not a big shopper. I enjoy going to garage sales with Joan when we’re in Hawaii. However my general misanthropic tendencies and my utter disdain for fashion make going to any shopping event or center, a big, fat, hairy pain. Something to be tolerated for the sake of necessity, but not something to be done as a pleasure.
Make that “any shopping event or center EXCEPT as it relates to gardens and growing things”. Oh, well, and Pike Place, but Pike Place hardly counts as “shopping”. And book stores. I could spend days in some book stores. But besides that……… 🙄
Behind the smell, and the utterly astonishing artistry and effort that go into the show gardens the best part of the show is the market. A bewildering array of vendors of anything from compost to quite astonishing art and everything in between. And one entire convention hall full of plants.
We have a pact. I keep Susan from going crazy go nuts over the lilies and peonies, she keeps me from going berserk with the dahlias. But orchids (I’ve got the kiss of death for orchids so I’m fortunately never tempted) and heathers, and fruits and vegetables, and bulbs, crazy crazy gorgeous bulbs and….. We’re usually not very good at restraining each other.
Generally the weekend after our annual pilgrimage is spent in a frenzied haze of dirt, mulch, and fertilizer while we plant whatever it is that we’ve purchased.
Except this year it was witches’ tits cold outside and, as I said, we realized that any living thing we purchased would freeze solid before we could get it into the ground. Hell, this year anything I purchased might just have frozen solid before I got it home. DAMN that was a cold wind.

So I came home in my annual post show trance only to find that Andrew had gotten The Funk. We both get colds at whatever (way too often for my tastes thank you very much) frequency that people our age are supposed to get colds. Once or twice a year maybe (see the parenthetical note above). But in terms of going down with The Funk, I tend to do so far more often than Andrew does. And this one was a doozy. Andrew almost never runs a fever. He was feverish and coughing, and muscle achy, and weak, and dizzy and……. We spent much of last weekend with him crashed out on the sofa asleep under blankets and cats, and me fussing. I do not take illness on the part of a family member placidly. And Andrew wasn’t half as better as I would have liked him to be before I had to go to work on Monday. Which just meant that I fussed long distance and insisted on calling two or three times per day before I was satisfied that he was actually able to care for himself as well as he does normally.
I really have to be annoying when other people are sick.

Boss lady and I switched Friday and Monday this week so I worked a 5 day week last week. That really is a world class pain in the ass. I’ve only been back on a four day week for about six weeks now and I still don’t understand how I managed to get everything I need to do every week done in the space of a two day weekend.
Despite that I did manage to make a gi-NORMOUS order to Territorial Seed, to put together a basic plan for what gardening stuff needs to be done this spring, and to search out a new wheelbarrow, and a source for the gravel and mulch that I’ll need.

Saturday we made things go kaboom.

We have friends who are gun owners and every so often a trip to a gun range with some sort of festive (often meat related) dinner afterwards is proposed. Saturday was one of those trips.
Andrew had some rifle training during his ROTC days in high school. The last firearm that I was even close to was an air rifle that my grandfather taught me to shoot when I was about twelve. Neither of us had ever handled, let alone fired, a handgun so we figured we’d give it a try.
And outside of being REALLY REALLY LOUD (despite ear plugs) and banging the living bejeezus out of my (somewhat fussy since my massage therapist moved to Reno) wrists and forearms……. It was kinda fun. My aim is somewhere between awful and horrendous, but I did manage to drill holes through the paper target more times than not. And I am a fan of a good solid kaboom. I think I’ll stick with gardening, but shooting a handgun is something that I’m glad I’ve done.

How’s by you?

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