Saturday, November 27, 2021

Held Mechanically Hostage...

Hello, Pilgrims and Indians - can I even say that these days since the Pilgrims were imperialists simply trying to steal land?  Regardless, I hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving!   

I've been working on a post about why we get sick.  But, this event JUST happened and I wanted to share a post about it.  I won't mention any names at this point, because the business has offered a resolution after a very heated phone call. 

Five days ago my brother had his motorcycle towed into a shop.  He requested a QUOTED $170.00 diagnostic to see why the engine was trickling gas.  The shop called back three days later and quoted $2200.00 to CLEAN (for 8 hours labor at $109/hour) the carburetor and for some miscellaneous preventative maintenance.  My brother looked up the price of new carburetor and it was $350 + install (1.5 hours).  He requested the shop return the bike with the printed diagnostic HE PAID FOR to his home.  

The bike was just dropped off at 10 a.m. this morning IN PARTS!  I will show the pictures below of how the bike was disassembled and returned in literal zip lock baggies with no diagrams or any clue of what goes where.  We were eating brunch at the time and understandably the entire event disrupted an otherwise peaceful morning.

My brother made a call to the shop and spoke to the Manager and disclosed the call was being recorded.  Throughout the call, the manager confessed that bikes are never returned in parts unless specifically requested by the customer (this story later changed when we spoke to another manager later who stated that my brother declined a $100 reassembly charge - when you see the pics, you'll understand that $100 is a complete joke for the 3-4 hours of reassembly - they charge $100 to change wind shield wipers).

Can you imagine driving your car into the Subaru dealership for a diagnostic, and eating the granola bars and having coffee and then getting your name called for them to open the garage and you find your car in parts in zip lock baggies?  This is essentially what happened, except a tow brought and rolled it out in parts.

Basically the motorcycle was initially picked up with a worth of a certain amount and then delivered back worth absolutely nothing.  According to the State of Florida per the Florida Motor Vehicle Repair Act (and this take quick research on your iPhone):

  • If a repair will cost more than $100.00 a shop must give you a written estimate and notify the consumer before the repairs are done (or if the repairs exceed more than originally discussed.  You must sign and date said estimate before work begins.  
  • Now in this particular circumstance, the shop told my brother that the minute they picked up the bike, he agreed to the diagnostic of the bike.  Nothing more, nothing less.

Know more of your rights:

  • When a written estimate is required for all repairs, because let's face it...when's the last time you've seen a mechanic's bill for under $100?
  • You have the right to ask if the parts are new, reconditioned/rebuilt, or used parts.  Make certain your estimate states the condition of your parts.
  • The repair shop must get your approval on any increase.  In other words, a lot of times a mechanical may get inside in the car and find more damage.  The shop must get your approval if their original estimate exceeds $10 or 10%, whichever is greater.  So it's important to make sure the shop has an updated phone number on file.
  • You can completely cancel repairs if they exceed the estimate and the repair shop MUST reassemble the vehicle, unless it is unsafe to drive.  The shop may charge you for tear down and reassembly only if you were given notice of that charge on the estimate.
  • And, finally, you are entitled by state law to get back any replaced parts if you requested them initially.

What all should you look for in any repair estimate in the State of Florida - which my brother did not receive prior to the shop disassembling the bike?

  • The shop's name, address and phone number
  • Your name, address and phone number
  • The date and the time of the estimate
  • The year, make and model and odometer reading and license tag number of the vehicle.
  • Proposed work completion date
  • Description of the problem or request
  • Labor charges based on a flat rate, hourly rate or both
  • Estimated cost and charges for repair
  • Charges for shop supplies or for hazardous or other waste removals 
  • Charges for making an estimate and the basis for the charge
  • The customer's intended method of payment
  • Name and telephone number of any alternate person teh customer would allow to authorize the repairs
  • terms of the parts and service guarantee
  • notation if customer wants replaced parts returned
  • Charge for daily storage.  Shops notify customers after repair work is completed customer will then have three working days to pick up the vehicle before storage fees may be charged. 
  • Disclosure statement

At 11:30 a.m., the repair shop, again after two heated phone conversations, picked the bike BACK up and are reassembling it back in the condition in which they accepted it.  This time the manager was there and was taking pictures of everything.  In three days my brother will be getting back the exact bike he left in their fiduciary care.

Why did the shop return the bike back in parts?

Were they pissed that my brother would not agree to a $2,200 repair?

Were they already balls deep in the repair when someone said, "Hey did you get the owner's approval from a $170 diagnostic to a $2200 repair?"

Did they think returning the bike in parts would push my brother into the repair?

Regardless, it's not YOUR job to make sense of why people act retardedly.  BOTTOM LINE: You do not return a bike in any LESS THAN condition than it was prior to leaving it in a mechanic's possession.  The bike was Kelly Blue Book value at $6,035 and returned worth absolutely nothing.  Essentially, this shop CHARGED $350 to make his property worthless and make him even more reliant.  The next closest repair shop is 480 miles away.  That's called being held mechanically hostage and it's illegal to treat a consumer that way.

Keep a big heart, but take no shit,


Saturday, November 20, 2021

Let's Kill All The Lawyers...

I have a background in law.  Both law and history have always appealed me...from reading legal non-fiction to legal fiction/dramas, to having been in the legal system as a client, it sparks lots of interest.  Law is ever changing, yet always staying virtually the same.  And, law can't seem to keep up with a continually changing environment and upgrading technology.  It's also remarkable to learn how landmark court cases have shaped our country and interpretations of our founding documents.  Stare Decisis - the principle interpreted from Latin to mean "let it stand on it's own," -- which means court cases, unless unprecedented or overruled by a higher court (like the Supreme Court throwing out legalized racial segregation - Plessy v. Ferguson), are decided by prior court cases.  Things don't always stand the test of time.  However, Stare Decisis works because you don't have to rehash everything every time or "reinvent the wheel."

The title of this post, "Let's Kill All the Lawyers," is from William Shakespeare's Henry VI, Part 2, Act IV, Scene 2 (the exact quote is bolded below).  The scene is a bunch of really bad dudes, traitors to be exact, discussing what they are going to do when they finally get the political power they so desire.  DISCLAIMER: Shakespeare is a bit hard to read (I took a whole semester on it...whew):

ALL. God save your majesty!

JACK CADE. I thank you, good people:– there shall be no money; all shall eat and drink on my score; and I will apparel them all in one livery, that they may agree like brothers, and worship me their lord.

DICK. The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers.

Jack CADE. Nay, that I mean to do. Is not this a lamentable thing, that of the skin of an innocent lamb should be made parchment, that parchment, being scribbl'd o'er, should undo a man? Some say the bee stings; but I say 't is the bee's wax, for I did but seal once to a thing, and I was never mine own man since.

This quote is one of Shakespeare's most famous, memorable and even "inspirational" (I'll explain later) quotes that is, more often than not, taken completely out of context at cocktail parties or by the dude at the bar.  You know, THAT dude at the bar.  Most people are like, "See, dude, EVEN Shakespeare hated lawyers."  But, MY TAKE ON IT is this:  Shakespeare, as a masterful writer way ahead of this time, knew that lawyers have the ability to speak truth to power, to uphold law and order, and to promote regulation in any well-functioning society.  If you read the quote in the context of the play and know the people talking, you'll find they're the "bad guys."  In fact the one seemingly shit-talking lawyers, is called "Dick the Butcher" because he's a murderous tyrant with no respect for law and order.  Dick murdered someone for just knowing how to read.  Being literate pissed ol' Dick off.  But, even Dick knew the rules and regulations preventing him from completely Mad Max'ing it.

So, circling back, lawyers CAN draw inspiration from a quote which seemingly is inciting their death.  The inspiration being -- that they are the heroes standing between society and people like Dick the Butcher.  Because, again, basically, these murderous "traitors" in Shakespeare's play are affirming that in order to circumvent the "red tape" of "law and order" on the road of complete tyranny, you have to first kill the very personification of "law and order."  

We often hear a lot about bad lawyers prompting some pretty good lawyer jokes (like, "what's the difference between a lawyer and a gigilo?  A gigilo only screws one person at a time.")  But, we usually only hear about the bad seeds of society (albeit any profession) because it's sensational and unusual.  But, there are many great lawyers.  I said it.  EVEN though Washington DC is chock full of lawyers turned snake politicians (currently over 40% of Congress are {drumroll please]...LAWYERS.)  

"A Lawyer with a briefcase can steal more than a thousand men armed with guns." - Anonymous

I love Wikipedia for those who follow me on Instagram.  I'll screenshot random shit I've looked up out of sheer curiosity.  Yet, as much as I use it, I'm so shitty.  I've never donated a dime to their little gig they got going on.  However, my brother gave $20 one year.  So, yeah, I was a part of that, because I'm related to him.  Anyway, this quote, according to the Wikipedia author, has been interpreted in other ways: "[the quote] criticism of how lawyers maintain the privilege of the wealthy and powerful; implicit praise of how lawyers stand in the way of violent mobs; and criticism of bureaucracy and perversions of the rule of law."  Can it be both criticism and praise?  

Lawyers are like insurance: a necessary evil.  Because, criminals have rights in our society, and this is not a popular conception.  As such, lawyers are unpopular with BOTH tyrants and "normal" people.  Why?  Because rapists and pedophiles get represented and given "due process."  In our "JUST" society, criminals get representation even if they cannot afford it.  Also, if you tell the truth, and thus do your job greatly, it'll always be unpopular.  Why?  Because, it's always going to be unpopular to tell a mob they should put away their preconceived notions, intolerance, bigotries, prejudices, and hate and behave like civilized humans.  Also, one day you may find yourself a defendant in the court and law, and at that moment (innocent or guilty) you'll profoundly appreciate the system of "innocent until proven guilty," and that a mob cannot decide your fate.  I personally though the Kyle Rittenhouse case was legal theatre, but if real, he was being railroaded.  We were told a narrative that was completely false in order to propagate a social agenda to take our guns.

Aside from the Dick the Butcher characters of society...let's take a look at our current butchers of real science and the Constitution.  Speaking to the large quantity of lawyers in DC, it has been said: "Contrary to prevailing theories, voters do not reward candidates with backgrounds in law.  Rather, lawyers win because of sizable competitive advantage in early fundraising, owing in large part to their professional networks."  It's also been said: "There is an overrepresentation of lawyers in Congress (40%).  While lawyers enter politics at higher rates, self-selection provides a partial explanation.  Conditional on running, lawyers win at twice the rate of the candidate from other backgrounds."   Further, it's too bad that outsiders can't run a third party ticket viably.  People view it as a wasted vote.  That's how we got Mitt Romney and John McCain.  These were the weakest candidates to ever run.  In summation: Our society doesn't kill lawyers, we ELECT them!

Also, I would like to leave you with this after a conversation with my little brother earlier today.  It's actually a compliment if your boss or your customer doesn't know exactly what you do.  It first means that things are running so smoothly, they don't even hear about you or what you do (until shit goes south, you quit or have to take sick leave).  It also displays that they don't know what they're doing.  A successful captain will always know the role of each sailor on his or her ship.  This prevents tyranny.  

Have a wonderful holiday, friends.  I was going to do a video remake of something, but I needed a sunny sky and it's been cloudy skies all day (it's a song about the sun that I lost when my Facebook account got permanently deactivated).  So, I changed my mind and made soaps instead.  I'll be going off grid for a wee bit and working on other things.  

Until some time in December, be good in real life, not just on social media!


Thursday, November 18, 2021

Meet Me in the Mojave

I woke up this morning thinking about Codependency.  I always thought this was a psychological term for weak people who couldn't survive life without the sources or energies of another person (or even people - a clique).  I was not wrong.  But, I wasn't completely right either.  Are you the helper?  The people pleaser?  Chronically pouring out your light and energy for basically useless bullshit?

If you find yourself always being the therapist, the life jacket, the safety net, the bright and shining light (EVEN with greatest of intentions of the illusion of  helping "save" someone from a cesspool of hurt) -- CONGRATS you are CODEPENDENT!  In a codependent relationship there is the (for lack of better way to describe) - alpha and the beta.  The beta is the empty vessel who traded their light for the comforts of hell.  And, the alpha is the fire, the light, the medicine - with great intentions of saving the beta from hell fire.  But how does the saying go?  “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” 

I thought about this for quite a while...about how many energy vampires are in my life now compared to 5 years ago.  I have spent most of my life just giving out my energy so freely.  And, where has it landed me?  I'll never know...that is a long road map to trace back.  What if I would be in another place if I never met all those energy vampires?  Did I learn anything?  Or, did it only make me feel virtuous, superior, like the savior - and there were really zero life lessons to learn from this vicious cycle?

All I know is that my soul longs to break those ties of Codependency.  This world is so upside down and I'm not from this timeline.  The ugliest truth ever, and thanks to my friend Brandon for always pulling my idealist heart back into the real world -  but, the truth is this -- MOST people DO NOT want to be helped.  They don't want your attitude of change and betterment.   They are fine with the decisions they made and all they want is YOU!  They want a codependent relationship with you.  What that means for you is this - YOU are now a part of their world and their terrible decisions.  Think about what that does to you!

I don't expect people stuck in this crazy messed up matrix to have any understanding of how I conduct myself or the decisions I make in life - like making soap.  Trust me, when I learned I love being an artisan soap maker, it wasn't a conference call or zoom meeting to see who all approves.  I don't give a SHIT what you think, (insert everyone who has had an opinion about how I conduct myself and do my journey).  I care about what make my soul free...

Speaking of freedom...why does the arid desert give such a reprieve to the mundane monotony of life?  Writers and poets wrote about it.  Wanderings in the desert in the search of freedom are even Biblical. I don't pretend to have all the answers.  All I can tell you that my recent trip to the Mojave was an extremely necessary and fun car autumn camping adventure.  And, my co-pilot and I had such great energy exchange.  NOTE:  This road trip was slapped together last minute when my friend wanted to see an abandoned mineral spring and visit Joshua Tree (which is the second time for me this year).  I'm 42, so it took me a wee bit longer to recuperate and get past the neck and back pain of bunking up in the back of a Subaru (than it did when I was in my 30s).  But, we found the safest and coolest places to park my car and bunk for the night.

Here's a few pics for my 'Meet Me in the Mojave' web log picture book.  I hope you get a chance to drive out in the desert soon.  The never ending neutral beauty will make your soul flutter like a butterfly.  Also, the abandoned mineral springs is called ZZYZX Mineral Springs...something about the dude wanted to be listed last in the phone book, or something like that.  I'm about to hit the hot tub and don't really wanna research it much.  But, it used to be a live mineral springs and health spa in the Mojave Desert and now it's only partially used as a Desert Research Center while the rest lays basically in ruins.

This hat was gifted after the trip, but was SO FUN in the desert...

A candle from Joshua Tree, and yes we did burn it on my dash...

A cemetery we stopped in along the way.  Some people value privacy even unto death...

Some of the sunsets we saw...

Some random shit you see in the desert...

Yes, that is the remnants of war paint from earlier that da ya!

Daydreaming...I can't wait for a soak in the hot tub and then my bed.

The abandoned mineral springs

A singing montage while Abby slept and by "slept" I mean heard me singing...

I call this "My date with Chris Brown"...we were playing with some editorial makeup in the desert.  Note to self, don't use blues and purples around the eyes...

Wonder House...

Such fun rock climbing at Joshua Tree

Skull Rock...


Wild life...

Desert Leeezard....

No shit, it's so fun to climb around out here.

Mexican food stop...

Playing around at Joshua Tree

Rock geekin

Ohhh hellll yeah...

Driving around to different spots in the park...

Gotta grab a shot of the sign or you weren't there!  Wink...

Love this little neon sign...

This was in a cute little shop that wants to sell my soaps because they're made with sand.  On my list to send soaps.

Wall mural with red fox...

Coffeeeeee Coffeeee 

Breakfast we picked up at a Farmer's Market...

Abby showing me how to pose...

Fun abandoned jeep...

Talk about FUN roadside gems...look at this guy sitting out in the desert!

Practicing self expression...

Check out these desert skies...

A Joshua tree and my Subaru.  These trees look so Dr. Seuss-ish

I was Donald Duckin' it here.  No pants in the middle of the road.

More Joshua trees...

Heyyyy Arizonee...

Roadside gem - a huge ass abandoned water tank...

Abby grabbed a tshirt...


I assume this is a CSI site...

I could use a shower and shampoo...

Thanks for looking at my picture book...and war paint...I hope to do more blogs with war paint soon.

Also, I am dropping one more post before going off grid for a while - it'll be Shakespearean.  Also, I'm doing a remake of one of my videos from Facebook before taking a break - stay tuned.  So, a blog and a video ye shall receive.  Give thanks!  Be blessed.


Colorado Kimmie

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