Tom Dwyer Automotive http://tomdwyer.com Portland's Best Auto Repair - Now Servicing 1998+ Vehicles Sat, 13 Dec 2014 01:48:21 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.3 Tom’s Tidbits- Pardon Bush and Cheney http://tomdwyer.com/2014/newsletters/toms-tidbits-pardon-bush-cheney/ http://tomdwyer.com/2014/newsletters/toms-tidbits-pardon-bush-cheney/#comments Wed, 10 Dec 2014 19:21:07 +0000 http://tomdwyer.com/?p=16750 Greetings! Every apologist for the Bush/Cheney Torture Report starts with “Let’s go back to the fearful days after 9-11…” The implication is “wouldn’t you do the same thing”?  OK, let’s play their game… let’s go back to when Americans were … Continue reading

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aaaTidbitsButtonGreetings!

Every apologist for the Bush/Cheney Torture Report starts with “Let’s go back to the fearful days after 9-11…” The implication is “wouldn’t you do the same thing”?  OK, let’s play their game… let’s go back to when Americans were dying and justly terrified.  George W sits behind his desk agonizing over treatment of enemy prisoners, reaches for his pen, and writes “Treat them with humanity, and let them have no reason to complain.”  George Washington responded with humanity and integrity, laying a foundation that served us over 200 years.  Our George W defiled that legacy and we’ll live with the fallout for 200 years to come.RestOfNewsletter

The Revolution wasn’t the last time America pondered torture.  Lincoln, deciding the fate of Rebel prisoners, concluded: “Military necessity does not admit of cruelty, that is, the infliction of suffering for the sake of revenge, nor of maiming or wounding except in fight, nor of torture to extort confessions.”  His General Order 100 confirmed this ideal and later influenced the Geneva conventions.  We didn’t stoop to torture in WWI, we executed and imprisoned Japanese soldiers who waterboarded in WWII, and we extended Geneva protections to prisoners in Vietnam.  As late as 2006, military field manuals forbade torture including waterboarding, hooding, forced nakedness, and beatings.

Personalities matter.  People of ethics and morals can stand against pressure from the sadistic, but people without that spine can’t.   Washington’s and Lincoln’s consciences prevailed over the easy path of torture, but the vacuous George W. Bush said “We had lawyers who said it was legal, so we did it.”

Those involved with the torture cabal need to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law; that would be the only way to regain our moral authority.  However, I can’t rationally expect the criminals behind these atrocities to ever be prosecuted anymore.  Obama wants to “move on”, there’s no appetite for a trial in Congress, and the International Criminal Court is impotent.  A meaningless ‘censure’ of the Bush regime would be an insult to justice, but America CANNOT LET THIS STAND.  Is there ANY way left to claw back our national character?  Maybe.  And, ironically, it’s Bush’s own idea.

The ACLU recently suggested the Bush/Cheney cabal should be pardoned.  The idea was first floated by Conservatives terrified the incoming Obama administration would actually enforce the law.  While that hope lived pardons made no sense, but now it may be America’s last option to repudiate the Bush administration’s crimes.  Like Ford’s pardon of Nixon, it would confirm crimes did indeed take place without the “long national nightmare” of a trial.  It would spare CIA agents who tortured and abused on the orders of their president, and reiterate the values that real Americans have held all along.   A pardon wouldn’t be justice, but we’ve learned not to expect justice anymore.  Maybe it’s the best we have left to hope for in today’s political climate.

Take Care and Make a Great Day!

aaazTomSignature

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What NOW?!! Toon for December http://tomdwyer.com/2014/newsletters/now-toon-december/ http://tomdwyer.com/2014/newsletters/now-toon-december/#comments Wed, 10 Dec 2014 19:20:09 +0000 http://tomdwyer.com/?p=16751 The post What NOW?!! Toon for December appeared first on Tom Dwyer Automotive.

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Bet you haven’t heard this http://tomdwyer.com/2014/newsletters/16752/ http://tomdwyer.com/2014/newsletters/16752/#comments Wed, 10 Dec 2014 19:19:14 +0000 http://tomdwyer.com/?p=16752 Stories we just didn’t have room to share with you In writing this newsletter, we scavenge every source we can find for things we hope you will be interested in.  We save these ideas through the month, and then sift … Continue reading

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Feature1- BraveFilmsStories we just didn’t have room to share with you

In writing this newsletter, we scavenge every source we can find for things we hope you will be interested in.  We save these ideas through the month, and then sift out the best when it comes time to start typing.  This means painful decisions about what to run… is it more important to write about police militarization or environmental abuse?  Is it more entertaining to tell you about the Sellwood Concerts or hidden camping destinations?  Is it more useful to know about synthetic oil or your car’s battery?  As you can guess, this process leaves us with a string of trails that seemed interesting but we just couldn’t follow to their ends.  Now that it’s the end of the year, we thought we’d share some of these stories we’ve collected… some are funny, some are profound, and some will make you think.  But we know you’ll find at least one thing to get you talking!RestOfNewsletter

Insane Homeless Policies

Homelessness is endemic in today’s America, but there are good ways and bad ways to address it.  Here are examples of both…

Political Polarization

Why is our society becoming increasingly polarized?  Partly because of the media we consume, and partly because research is increasingly showing there are biological differences in conservative and liberal brains.

Remember Democracy?

Snowden’s revelations were bad, but they’re part of a larger depressing picture.  We found many post-mortems on our fondly remembered democracy…

 


BP Gulf Spill Response

The 2010 BP Gulf spill was one of the worst environmental disasters our country has ever experienced.  BP has worked tirelessly to clean up the mess from the spill, but unfortunately they’ve worked harder on the PR mess than the environmental one.

Indoctrination Replacing Education

Education came under scrutiny this year as school boards began inserting revisionist history and revisionist science into textbooks.  Texas and Colorado were this year’s battlefields, but don’t worry… the fight will be coming to a much nearer school soon.

Ideas That Work

We don’t like to just harp on what’s wrong with the world; it makes more sense to figure out what to do to change it.

Endless War

If you’re dreaming about a peaceful society that doesn’t spend all its blood and treasure on war, then keep dreaming.  It’s not even that our leaders are particularly evil, but the structure that supports war is now permanent.

 

Online Car Sharing

Car sharing sites are becoming increasingly popular, and drew our notice when one of our clients used the fact that we maintain her car as a selling point for people who want to rent it.  Here are links to (and about) Getaround, the service where Stacey S. posts her car.

Legalized Marijuana

Legalized marijuana will be coming to Oregon in 2015.  We strongly supported this ending of a senseless prohibition, and here are several links that scratch the surface of why…

 


Goodbye To The Right To Trial

Our Constitution’s 6th Amendment guarantees the “right to a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury” among other things.   “Guarantee” and “Right” might not mean what we all think they mean, especially when trials become inconvenient to our corporate overlords…

Can You Hide ANYTHING From Big Data?

We all know we’re tracked online by both business and government.  But how deep does the tracking go?  Here are several stories that will shock you.

Pathetic Media

To make rational choices about the world around us, we need accurate information.  Long gone is the time where the evidence of our senses told us all we needed to know; now we rely on media instead.  And it sucks.

The Edward Snowden Saga Continues

Edward Snowden started dropping his bombshells in 2013, but nothing much has changed over at the NSA since.  It’s been an issue we’ve been following, but it seems every time we’re ready to write about it another bomb hits.  Here are some of the links we’ve almost written about on Snowden and the Deep State.

 


Brave New Films

Brave New Films”, brainchild of Robert Greenwald, produces documentaries and investigative videos “to educate, influence, and empower viewers to take action around issues that matter”.  “Overcriminalized” is just one good example of the high quality they produce.  This series of three films cover the criminalization of homelessness, using prison to treat mental illness, and drug war alternatives that work.  And these are just the tip of the iceberg.

How Bad Is Corruption?

Corruption in America (and of course, beyond) is nothing new, but the extent and effect are pretty amazing…

Flying Death Robots

Who doesn’t love flying death robots?  The current epitome of American technology, these terminators-on-wings project our military power around the world without the messiness of actual war.  So much potential for good, yet so much potential for abuse.  The subject is bottomless, but here are some of the stories that caught our attention…

Whistleblowers

In order for business or government to correct any mistakes, we have to know they exist.  Here are several stories that show most people would rather live in a comfortable fiction than an uncomfortable reality, and that anyone rocking that illusory boat will pay a heavy price…

The Brave New World Of Science

Not everything is doom and gloom.  The world we’ll live in tomorrow is being created in the science labs of today.  Tomorrow looks pretty amazing!

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Getting to the heart of the matter http://tomdwyer.com/2014/newsletters/underlying-issues-ferguson-beyond/ http://tomdwyer.com/2014/newsletters/underlying-issues-ferguson-beyond/#comments Wed, 10 Dec 2014 19:17:18 +0000 http://tomdwyer.com/?p=16753 The underlying issues of Ferguson and beyond  As 2014 draws to a close, America is in agony watching the same scene play out again and again.  A white cop brutalizes a black man, it’s caught on video, but nothing happens.  … Continue reading

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Feature1- Catchup

The underlying issues of Ferguson and beyond 

As 2014 draws to a close, America is in agony watching the same scene play out again and again.  A white cop brutalizes a black man, it’s caught on video, but nothing happens.  No matter how blatant the abuse, no matter how apparently unjustified, nothing happens.  Why?  WHY?  Why is there no apparent accountability?  More importantly, why is this happening to begin with?  And most importantly, what can any of us do to stop it?

RestOfNewsletterThe first step to solving a problem is defining it, but the wrong definition can lead to wrong solutions.  Is the problem racist cops?  While there certainly are racist cops, white people do get unjustly shot as well and while it obviously plays a role, racism is probably not the driving force of this problem.   Are police simply bullies and thugs?  Some are, yes, but the countless stories of police heroes say that’s probably not the issue.  Besides, that wouldn’t explain why these thugs aren’t being held accountable for abuses.  Is it really the victim’s fault because they shouldn’t have resisted?  That would let us all off the ethical hook, but it wouldn’t explain the people beaten or killed after they were taken into custody.  Is it the flood of military weapons in police hands?  That could play a part, but none of these weapons kill unless a human pulls the trigger.  The problem is a combination of all these factors and more.

One basic cause is a fundamental misunderstanding of what police are… A POLICE FORCE IS NOT A TINY ARMY!   The military functions by the use of deadly force, and collateral destruction is just the cost of doing business.  Police are charged with keeping the peace in our communities, “protecting and serving” life and property.  They’re our neighbors, friends, and families.  If they begin to see themselves (or if they are seen by others) as an occupying force then conflict is sure to follow.

Another even more basic cause may be the slow death of the American Dream.  Black and white people alike are watching income inequality grow, social mobility fall, jobs being outsourced, and education sliding out of reach.  It’s becoming harder and harder to just survive, and people are faced with either becoming corporate slaves or scavengers on the margins.  But everyone, black or white, wants the basic human dignity that they know is becoming almost impossible to find.  Our corporate masters know this too, but since they’re unable to provide the framework that makes opportunity possible (while still maintaining their profit margin) they’re perfectly willing to let thugs use any brutal means as long as the sheep don’t get out of line.

So where should accountability start?  The same place it ends in a free society… with all of us.  Good cops can come forward about the abuses of their blue brethren.  Police chiefs can avoid militarizing their forces through things like turning down government handouts or not using SWAT teams for routine contacts.  Citizens can know their rights, cooperate with the police where possible, and fight any abuses later in court.  Judges and prosecutors can make more reasonable evaluations of which police actions are appropriate.  Politicians can write laws that strike a better balance between individual liberty and the legitimate needs of policebody cameras are a good start, but also things like having police abuses investigated by agencies outside the investigatory targets.  We can all vote for leaders, police and civic, that will end abuses like civil asset forfeiture, eliminate for-profit prisons, and fight to restore the opportunity and dignity we’ve lost in our society.  And we can all have hope, however slim, that next Christmas we won’t be in this same place again.

As this issue continues to dominate the national discussion, there’s a flood of fact and opinion from every possible direction.  Here are just a few links to some of the more insightful pieces we’ve found…

“How Our Brains Perceive Race”

Chris Mooney at Moyers&Company

Popcorn--IAT

You may not know it, you may not agree, but you have biases concerning race. Click here to take an IAT, a psychological diagnostic test that will show you the ugly side you didn’t know you had.

One of the most uncomfortable aspects arising from the police-use-of-force debate is racism.  There are arguments about the role it plays in today’s problems, but people seem to fall into two camps… those who wallow in their bigotry, and those who insist they have none at all.  But are any of us really color blind?  Racial biases can lurk deep in the subconscious of anyone, even people who aren’t racist at all in their behavior or even their conscious thoughts.

This excellent article by Chris Mooney is a detailed look at these subconscious factors, how they form, and how they can play out in daily life.  You’ll never look at yourself, and maybe not anyone else, the same way again.

“Why It’s Almost Impossible to Indict a Cop”

Chase Madar at Moyers&Company

Americans were stunned when no indictments were issued to the killers of Eric Garner or Michael Brown, but of course, these two cases aren’t the only ones where unjustified force has not been held accountable.  Are these “no-bill” decisions the result of racism or is there something more going on?  It may not be necessary for police, judges, or jurors to be corrupt for things to go wrong.  Chase Madar argues, quite convincingly and depressingly, that it’s an inevitable result of the structure of the system itself.

What I’ve Learned From Two Years Collecting Data on Police Killings

D. Brian Burghart at Gawker

It’s hard to get a handle on the scope of police violence without data, but when Brian Burghart tried to research the subject, he found that there are no collected statistics on the subject.  He started a crowdsourced project to fill in this yawning gap, and learned a lot about exactly why the information doesn’t exist already.

“This Is What Happens When You Call The Cops”

Call the cops

Are you one of the FOX folks who think the issue of cops gone wild is just media hype? “This Is What Happens When You Call The Cops”, an incredibly powerful video by Rob Hustle, shows exactly why people feel so justified in their anger.

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Who are those folks behind the counter? http://tomdwyer.com/2014/newsletters/folks-behind-counter-heres-salaried-service-advisors-keep-us-running/ http://tomdwyer.com/2014/newsletters/folks-behind-counter-heres-salaried-service-advisors-keep-us-running/#comments Wed, 10 Dec 2014 19:15:14 +0000 http://tomdwyer.com/?p=16754 Originally posted on October 31, 2011 Here’s how our salaried Service Advisors keep us running Where would you find just ONE person with ALL these qualities… Multi-tasking abilities of an aircraft landing controller? Patience and understanding of a therapist? Problem-solving skills of … Continue reading

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Originally posted on October 31, 2011

Feature-ServAdvHere’s how our salaried Service Advisors keep us running

Where would you find just ONE person with ALL these qualities…

Multi-tasking abilities of an aircraft landing controller?

Patience and understanding of a therapist?

Problem-solving skills of a rocket scientist?

Decision-making skills of a business executive?

Communication skills of a diplomat?

Research skills of a librarian?

Sensitivity and compassion of Mother Theresa?

Database skills of a cyber geek?

Teamwork of a quarterback?

Mechanical knowledge of an auto-industry veteran?

You can find FOUR of them behind the computers here at Tom Dwyer Automotive Services!

RestOfNewsletterAs the sun is just peeking up over the horizon, and sometimes even earlier, our Service Advisors are starting their day.  Dark or not, they open the office and shop, turn on the lights, fire up the air compressors, heaters and parts washer, start the coffee, wake up the cars that have been sleeping safe and sound in the shop all night, move them into the parking lot, bring up the computers, process the night drops, retrieve messages… it’s busy, but just the start of another typical day.  It is not uncommon for clients to arrive as early as 6:15 am and find us here preparing.  At 7AM the doors open officially and the phone is usually already ringing.  Some clients have just walked down their driveway to find that their trusted automotive buddy won’t start and they can’t get to work, so they need an appointment NOW.  Other clients who need planned maintenance, oil changes, minor tweaks, or major repairs are checking to see if there’s an open space on the schedule.  Clients who already have appointments scheduled are starting to flow through the door, dropping off their vehicle with the expectation of having it back by the end of the day or even earlier.

StaffPic-BKenThe most important task of a Service Advisor is to understand exactly what each client expects for their vehicle, when they need their vehicle back, and how much they expect to pay for our services. Communication is everything and assumptions are deadly!  The unasked question or the information not offered can cause us to miss a vehicle’s problem or not fill a client’s expectations and ruin the best attempt at great service.  After getting the client’s specific needs and vehicle symptoms, the information is documented in the system and the Repair Order goes to the shop.  It’s not out of the Service Advisor’s hands yet; they must clearly communicate the client’s concerns to the Technician who will actually perform the work.  Our ASE-Certified Technicians check the vehicles’ service history records, research recalls and technical service bulletins, then scan, poke, prod, inspect, and road test the vehicle to confirm service needs or diagnose problems. They document their findings and talk with the Service Advisor about their recommendations.

StaffPic-SHeidlerAfter consulting with the Technician and reviewing the client vehicle history and the newly supplied data, the Service Advisor’s work continues; estimating the costs and time required for the service that is right for our clients and their individual goals, and contacting vendors for prices and availability for parts.  We deal with over 20 different parts vendors, so finding the best part at the right price can be a very time consuming part of the job!  Here at TDASI we use parts made by the manufacturer of the original part (OEM or original equipment manufacturer) for the vehicle, or a superior part when one is available. If an OEM part is required but not available to us through the regular parts channels then it’s time to start calling around to the dealers in the area (and sometimes outside the area) for the required part to fix the vehicle right the first time.  We stand behind our work with a 24-month, 24,000-mile warranty so it is very important to us that we supply the best parts possible.  After locating and pricing the parts, the labor costs are estimated by using industry-standard labor guides that provide approximate times required to perform needed services and repairs.  This can also prove to be difficult as there are many variables not accounted for by labor guides. Outside forces such as hidden damage, aged brittle plastic, broken bolts, rust or corrosion can also take the best estimates and ruin them in hurry.  We always do our best to offer accurate estimates for complete repairs, not the “as low as” estimates so common in the auto repair industry.

StaffPic-BSteveSo far, we know what is needed and approximately how much it would cost for the repairs.  Now comes the part the Service Advisors like the least…..giving good people bad news.  After explaining the needs and conditions of the vehicle and the costs and the time requirements of the repairs, the Service Advisor and Client work together to decide exactly what steps to take.  While Service Advisors in other shops are routinely paid straight commission with few or no benefits, frequently have little technical knowledge, and take no personal responsibility for the services they sell, ours are different.  The Service Advisors at TDASI take responsibility for the complete process; they understand the services they offer and they are never paid on commission so you can trust that their recommendations will be based on a real understanding of your needs and not their paychecks.  When the Client and Service Advisor have decided on the repairs to be made, the repair order is edited to reflect the final work description, cost estimate, delivery time, and any necessary caveats, and the Technician is given the Repair Order and the authorization to begin work.

StaffPic-PDrewWe always start by pulling any parts we can from our existing stock.  For parts we don’t stock, we are at the mercy of vendor inventories and their delivery schedules.  Increasingly over the years vendor inventories are skeletal and even basic parts can be two days away or more. Often we make special runs to pick up parts from vendors when their delivery schedules conflict with our client’s needs.

The Technician now carries the responsibility for the critical service work but the Service Advisor stays involved, keeping an eye out for any changes or complications that could affect the repair, delivery time, or cost.  When the vehicle is completed and tested, the Service Advisor documents the services performed and updates the client’s vehicle records to reflect what has been done and why, and what still needs to be done and when. The Service Advisor then contacts the client to let them know their vehicle is ready and offers information about pickup options. Finally, when our client picks up their car, they are not directed to “go see the person at the pay window.”  The Service Advisors take the time to explain what was done and why, explain any precautions or break-in procedures, and offer information as to what might be expected for future services.

The Service process is complex and we are not in control of every variable, but we take responsibility for the problems that may occur.  If a problem happens that changes the repairs we planned or if it affects the estimates we provided, we always call the client to get approval before proceeding.  If a service is not completed in the time frame we promised we tell the client as soon as we know and offer rides or rental cars to help our clients keep up with their busy lives.

Maintaining our 97%-plus “on time” and “on estimate” record along with a 99+% customer satisfaction rate is no accident, but our goal is to deliver 100% client satisfaction! We hope that if our clients are satisfied with our service they tell their friends, co-workers and relatives. If we have missed our goal of 100% satisfaction we want them to tell us, so we can make it right and learn from our mistakes. We wanted you to know a little about what our Service Advisors do to plan and coordinate your repairs so you can help us provide you with the best client experience possible.

 

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Drew’s Kitchen- Drew’s Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes http://tomdwyer.com/2014/newsletters/drews-kitchen-drews-make-ahead-mashed-potatoes/ http://tomdwyer.com/2014/newsletters/drews-kitchen-drews-make-ahead-mashed-potatoes/#comments Wed, 10 Dec 2014 19:13:31 +0000 http://tomdwyer.com/?p=16755 Turkey’s overrated.  Everyone knows that the fun of Holiday meals revolves around the side dishes!  We all have our favorites, but one that makes everyone’s Top 5 is the classic mashed potatoes.  It’s easy to take this staple for granted, … Continue reading

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aaaDrewKitchButtonTurkey’s overrated.  Everyone knows that the fun of Holiday meals revolves around the side dishes!  We all have our favorites, but one that makes everyone’s Top 5 is the classic mashed potatoes.  It’s easy to take this staple for granted, but a good recipe for it will go far in making the whole meal special.  Please enjoy Drew’s recipe for Make-Ahead potatoes, and please accept his wishes for glorious holiday feasting!

 Drew’s Make-Ahead Potatoes

Ingredients: 

  • 5 pounds of baking potatoes; cooked, drained, and mashed.  (Approx. 8 potatoes)
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2-3 tsp garlic salt OR fresh garlicRestOfNewsletter
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 4 Tbsp butter (4 slices)
  • Paprika

Preparation:

  • Combine cream cheese, sour cream, garlic, and pepper in a bowl.
  • Add potatoes and mix thoroughly
  • Pour into large baking pan
  • Top with butter, sprinkle with paprika
  • Cover in refrigerator UP TO 3 DAYS BEFORE YOUR EVENT.  1-2 days is best.
  • Before serving, cover with foil and bake at 400° for 50-60 minutes

 

 

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Shop Talk- Christmas specials going on NOW! http://tomdwyer.com/2014/newsletters/shop-talk-christmas-specials-going-now/ http://tomdwyer.com/2014/newsletters/shop-talk-christmas-specials-going-now/#comments Wed, 10 Dec 2014 19:12:28 +0000 http://tomdwyer.com/?p=16756 The Bridge is open and flowing freely! Just a reminder that although the Sellwood Bridge was closed Nov 19-21, it’s open again and traffic is flowing freely.  They even polished up the turn onto Tenino, so that’s a little easier … Continue reading

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The Bridge is open and flowing freely!

Just a reminder that although the Sellwood Bridge was closed Nov 19-21, it’s open again and traffic is flowing freely.  They even polished up the turn onto Tenino, so RestOfNewsletterthat’s a little easier coming from the east than it has been.  If you’re thinking about coming to see us, don’t let the construction itself stop you.  Come on down!

Holiday savings opportunities

How’s the holiday shopping going?  Yeah, the same with us.  If you’re counting those pennies for Christmas gifts, need a last minute gift, or have a looming auto repair bill that’s crowding your Christmas budget, then our TWO current specials will be particularly interesting…

Gift Certificates are 20% Off!

Share the “peace of mind” service you’ve found at Tom Dwyer, and at a steep discount!  Of course, some restrictions do apply…

    • Certificates must be purchased before and used after December 25, 2014
    • Certificates cannot be combined with other discount offers
    • Gift certificates are good for LABOR CHARGES ONLY, not parts
    • Certificates can only be used for new clients’ 1998-and-newer vehicles, or for existing clients’s vehicles of any year.

Save 20% on Labor Charges on outstanding Service Recommendations

We’ve extended our “20% Off Labor” offer to the end of 2014!  Here’s the fine print…

    • Discount applies to labor charges only, not parts
    • Discount is capped at $200 maximum
    • Recommendations must have been in your file before November 26, 2014
    • You must TELL US you want this offer WHEN YOU SCHEDULE YOUR SERVICE!  Offer is VOID AFTER SERVICE IS COMPLETE!
    • Service must be scheduled before December 31, 2014

Our Referral Reward program…

The “Season of Giving” may be here, but for our clients the Season started back in March.  Why?  Because since then, every time a new client gives an existing client’s name as a referral source we’ve made a donation to the non-profit group of their choice (up to $50).  Since March 114 of our clients have donated $4,493 to the charities and groups they care about!  Five more groups received checks this month (so far), including the fourth check to Artichole Music!  These groups also become eligible for quarterly and yearly awards like this month’s quarterly award winner.  We hope you’ll take this chance to share Tom Dwyer Automotive with someone you know, and share a little money with a group that can use it.  And, since it IS the Season of Giving, why not take a few minutes to look over this months’ groups and see if there is one that could use YOUR help?

Here are the groups who benefitted in December…

Madison High School

All Classical Public Radio

Boys and Girls Aid Society

Street Roots

Artichoke Community Music (4th award)

And our THIRD Quarterly winner is…

Madison High School

(from Wikipedia)  James Madison High School, named after the fourth US President and co-author of the Constitution, was founded in 1957. It serves neighborhood students and many transfer students grades 9-12.  James Madison High School offers a full range of college preparatory core content classes as well as unique elective options in the areas of Mathematics, Performing & Visual Arts, Science, Social Science, and World Languages. Students may challenge themselves by enrolling in Advanced Placement and Dual Credit courses. Dual Credit courses are taught by Madison faculty who work in partnership with Portland Community College.  Two movies have been filmed at the school: Paranoid Park (2007) and Twilight (2008).  Notable alumni include Paul De Muniz, the first Hispanic Chief Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court, and Major League Baseball players Rick Wise, Kent Bottenfield, and Rob Dressler.

Madison joins Janus Youth Programs and Artichoke Music, our first two quarterly awardees.  Just like Janus and Artichoke, Madison High School will receive a check for $250 and be in the running for our yearly award as well.  One reason we chose Madison High School, aside from the fact that they deserve it, is that we want you to be aware that ANY non-profit group is eligible for our Referral Reward Program.  If you want to participate, we will gladly make a contribution to support the school of your choice!

Your reviews and referrals matter

AskForReviewButtonWe are constantly grateful for the supportive and loyal clients we have developed over the years.  Your comments and appreciation keep us on the right road to providing the superior automotive service you deserve.  Your reviews and referrals are not only the highest compliments we can receive, but they’re the lifeblood of our new business.  If you like what you’ve found at Tom Dwyer Automotive Services, please tell a friend or take a minute to write a review on YelpAngieslistGoogle, or the review site of your choice. Thank you!

Latest Automotive Recalls

RecallListButtonAutomobiles are just like any other product; occasional flaws in manufacture or design can cause problems once they leave the factory.  When an issue is identified the manufacturers and government work hard to bring the vehicles back in for refit or repair, but not all recalls make the front pages.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration maintains a constantly updated list of recalls from every manufacturer.  The last month’s recalls are below, but clicking the button at right will take you to the full list at the NHTSA website.

 

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Health Notes- Tips to beat holiday stress and gluttony http://tomdwyer.com/2014/newsletters/health-notes-tips-beat-holiday-stress-gluttony/ http://tomdwyer.com/2014/newsletters/health-notes-tips-beat-holiday-stress-gluttony/#comments Wed, 10 Dec 2014 19:10:24 +0000 http://tomdwyer.com/?p=16757 Tips to beat holiday stress and gluttony The Holiday Season is known for many things, but your health isn’t one of them.  The stress alone can cause health problems long before the feasting gives you those extra five pounds you’ve … Continue reading

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aaaHealthNotesButtonTips to beat holiday stress and gluttony

The Holiday Season is known for many things, but your health isn’t one of them.  The stress alone can cause health problems long before the feasting gives you those extra five pounds you’ve been dreading, but stress and food combined?  That can spell a horrendous holiday.  Here are tips to beat them both, and leave you savoring the holidays for many years to come…RestOfNewsletter

Christmas tips to reduce the stress-

FromBetter Health Channel (Australia)

Christmas is typically one of the most stressful events of the year. The expense of buying gifts, the pressure of last minute shopping, and the heightened expectations of family togetherness can all combine to undermine our best intentions. Here are some practical suggestions can help you reduce your ‘Christmas stress’…

Budgeting for Christmas

For many of us, the Christmas aftermath includes massive credit card bills that can take months to clear. Christmas doesn’t have to be a financial headache if you plan ahead. Stress reduction strategies include:

  • Work out a rough budget of expected Christmas costs as early as possible. This includes ‘hidden’ expenses such as food bills and overseas telephone charges.
  • Calculate how much disposable income you have between now and Christmas. A certain percentage of this can be dedicated each week (or fortnight or month) to covering your expected Christmas costs. Don’t be discouraged if the amount seems small. If you save $5, $10, or $20 per week over a year, it can provide you with a hefty nest egg.
  • If your nest egg isn’t enough to cover your estimated expenses, consider recalculating your Christmas budget to a more realistic amount.
  • If you have trouble keeping your hands off your Christmas nest egg, consider opening a ‘Christmas Club’ account.

Presents

If you have a large circle of extended family or friends to buy gifts for, it can be very costly. You might be able to reduce the stress and cost of Christmas for everyone if you suggest a change in the way your family and friends give presents. For example, you could suggest that your group:

  • Buy presents only for the children.
  • Have a Kris Kringle, where everyone draws a name out of a hat and buys a present only for that person.
  • Set a limit on the cost of presents for each person

Christmas shopping

According to a recent study by Roy Morgan Research, around 60 per cent of Australians dislike Christmas shopping, just 20 per cent plan their shopping expeditions, and the majority of us (nearly 75 per cent) often come home without a single purchase for our efforts.  Stress reduction strategies for successful Christmas shopping include:

  • Make a list of all the gifts you wish to buy before you go shopping. If you wait for inspiration to strike, you could be wandering aimlessly around the shopping centre for hours. Perhaps you could get to know the interests of family and friends to help you when choosing gifts (remember money is also a great gift as it allows people to choose what they want).
  • Cross people off the list as you buy to avoid duplication
  • Buy a few extras, such as chocolates, just in case you forget somebody or you have unexpected guests bearing gifts.
  • If possible, do your Christmas shopping early – in the first week of December or even in November. Some well-organised people do their Christmas shopping gradually over the course of the year, starting with the post-Christmas sales.
  • Buy your gifts by mail catalogue or over the Internet. Some companies will also gift-wrap and post your presents for a small additional fee.

The Christmas lunch (or dinner)

Preparing a meal for family and friends can be enjoyable but tiring and stressful at the same time.  Some tips to reduce the stress of Christmas cooking include:

  • If you are cooking lunch at home, delegate tasks. You don’t need to do everything yourself.
  • Consider keeping it simple – for instance, you could always arrange for a ‘buffet’ lunch, where everybody brings a platter.
  • Make a list of food and ingredients needed. Buy as many non-perishable food items as you can in advance – supermarkets on Christmas Eve are generally extremely busy.
  • Write a Christmas Day timetable. For example, 11.30am – put turkey in the oven.
  • You may need to order particular food items (such as turkeys) from your supermarket by a certain date. Check to avoid disappointment.
  • Consider doing your food shopping online. The store will deliver your groceries to your door. (Keep in mind this option is more expensive than visiting the supermarket yourself.)
  • Book well in advance if you plan to have lunch at a restaurant. Some restaurants may be fully booked for months before Christmas, so don’t wait till the last minute.

Relationships

Stress, anxiety, and depression are common during the festive season. If nothing else, reassure yourself that these feelings are normal. Stress reduction strategies include:

  • Don’t expect miracles. If you and certain family members bicker all year long, you can be sure there’ll be tension at Christmas gatherings.
  • Avoid known triggers. For example, if politics is a touchy subject in your family, don’t talk about it. If someone brings up the topic, use distraction and quickly move on to something else to talk about.
  • Use relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing or focusing on your breath to cope with anxiety or tension.
  • Family members involved in after-lunch activities (such as cricket on the back lawn) are less likely to get into arguments. Plan for something to do as a group after lunch if necessary.
  • People under stress tend to ‘self-medicate’ with alcohol, cigarettes and other drugs. Try to remember that drugs can’t solve problems or alleviate stress in the long term.

The little extras

Other ways you might be able to reduce the stress include:

  • Write up a Christmas card list and keep it in a safe place so that you can refer to it (and add or delete names) year after year.
  • Plan to write your Christmas cards in early December. Book a date in your diary so you don’t forget.
  • Christmas cards with ‘Card only’ marked on the envelope can be posted at a reduced rate during November and December.
  • Overseas mail at Christmas time takes longer to arrive. Arrange to send cards or presents in the first half of December to avoid disappointments (and long queues at the post office).
  • For great savings, buy Christmas necessities (such as cards, wrapping paper, ribbons and decorations) at post-Christmas sales.

General health and wellbeing

Some other ways to keep your stress levels down include:

  • Try to be moderate – it may be the season to be jolly, but too much food and alcohol is harmful. Drink driving is a real danger and is illegal. If you can’t (or don’t want to) step off the social merry-go-round, at least try to eat and drink in moderation.
  • Get enough sleep – plan for as many early nights as you can.
  • Keep moving – keeping up your regular exercise routine can give you the fitness and stamina to make it through the demands of the festive season.

Where to get help

  • Your doctor
  • Financial planner
  • Your local community health centre

Things to remember

  • Save a percentage of your disposable income throughout the year to provide a nest egg for Christmas expenses.
  • Make a list of all the gifts and food you wish to buy and shop early.
  • Don’t expect miracles – if you and certain family members bicker all year long, you can be sure there’ll be tension at Christmas gatherings.

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What happened while the Bridge was closed http://tomdwyer.com/2014/newsletters/bridge-open/ http://tomdwyer.com/2014/newsletters/bridge-open/#comments Wed, 10 Dec 2014 19:09:30 +0000 http://tomdwyer.com/?p=16758 In our last Update, we were a week away from an impending three-day closure of the Bridge.  Now, we’re about two weeks after the closure and the Bridge is open again and traffic is flowing smoothly.  They even polished up … Continue reading

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In our last Update, we were a week away from an impending three-day closure of the Bridge.  Now, we’re about two weeks after the closure and the Bridge is open again and traffic is flowing smoothly.  They even polished up the turn onto Tenino, so that’s a little easier coming from the east than it has been.  If you’re thinking about coming to see us, don’t let the construction itself stop you.  Come on down!

 

 -10e412b33ecef1efTo keep you Updated this month we’ll bring you up to speed on what happened during the closure itself, and the best documentation of that came in the form of a photo essay from the Oregonian.  Just click the link at right to see their excellent pictures!

 

Also, we thought you’d enjoy the picture below from the Bridge Project’s photo archive.  It’s slightly before the latest closure, but will help orient you to see the changes resulting from the closure.  Plus, it’s really cool.

2014-11-12

 

As always, Multnomah County maintains the definitive website on everything related to the Sellwood Bridge Replacement project, www.sellwoodbridge.org.  Construction and closure alerts, archived information, and other resources are all available 24/7 for your convenience.  If you’re looking for something that’s not on the website, you can contact Mike Pullen (mike.j.pullen@multco.us503-209-4111) or visit www.sellwoodbridge.org.



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Book Spotlight- Scroogenomics http://tomdwyer.com/2014/newsletters/book-spotlight-scroogenomics/ http://tomdwyer.com/2014/newsletters/book-spotlight-scroogenomics/#comments Wed, 10 Dec 2014 19:07:12 +0000 http://tomdwyer.com/?p=16759 If it’s true that “it’s the thought that counts”, then there is no better gift than a book.  You can spend hours searching for the exact title to show your giftee that you know them like no one else.  Books … Continue reading

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aaaBookSpotlightButtonIf it’s true that “it’s the thought that counts”, then there is no better gift than a book.  You can spend hours searching for the exact title to show your giftee that you know them like no one else.  Books fit any budget, they don’t spoil, they’re always the right size, they last for years, they don’t need feeding, and they’re even cheap to ship to relatives across the country.  We think that’s the kind of thinking that should go into a Christmas gift but as this month’s Book Spotlight points out, that’s not usually what we do.  Fortunately, author Joel Waldfogel, while criticizing our wasteful holiday spending, also has alternatives to thoughtless Christmas gifts that won’t break the bank…RestOfNewsletter

ScroogenomicsScroogenomics:  Why You Shouldn’t Buy Presents for the Holiday

By Joel Waldfogel

Christmas is a time of seasonal cheer, family get-togethers, holiday parties, and-gift giving. Lots and lots–and lots–of gift giving. It’s hard to imagine any Christmas without this time-honored custom. But let’s stop to consider the gifts we receive–the rooster sweater from Grandma or the singing fish from Uncle Mike. How many of us get gifts we like? How many of us give gifts not knowing what recipients want? Did your cousin really look excited about that jumping alarm clock? Lively and informed, Scroogenomics illustrates how our consumer spending generates vast amounts of economic waste–to the shocking tune of eighty-five billion dollars each winter. Economist Joel Waldfogel provides solid explanations to show us why it’s time to stop the madness and think twice before buying gifts for the holidays.

When we buy for ourselves, every dollar we spend produces at least a dollar in satisfaction, because we shop carefully and purchase items that are worth more than they cost. Gift giving is different. We make less-informed choices, max out on credit to buy gifts worth less than the money spent, and leave recipients less than satisfied, creating what Waldfogel calls “deadweight loss.” Waldfogel indicates that this waste isn’t confined to Americans–most major economies share in this orgy of wealth destruction. While recognizing the difficulties of altering current trends, Waldfogel offers viable gift-giving alternatives.

By reprioritizing our gift-giving habits, Scroogenomics proves that we can still maintain the economy without gouging our wallets, and reclaim the true spirit of the holiday season.

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