Tom Dwyer Automotive https://tomdwyer.com Portland's Best Auto Repair - Now Servicing 1998+ Vehicles Wed, 13 Dec 2017 07:19:37 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.4.13 Tom’s Tidbits- We’ve been in Sellwood 30 years. With your help, we’ll be here 30 more! https://tomdwyer.com/2017/newsletters/toms-tidbits-weve-sellwood-30-years-help-well-30/ Sat, 18 Nov 2017 01:21:34 +0000 https://tomdwyer.com/?p=24027 Greetings, Why would any sane person start their own business?  The romantic notion is of a driven entrepreneur working well over 80 hours a week against long odds, to avoid working 40 for others.   Their mission is sustained by a … Continue reading

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Why would any sane person start their own business?  The romantic notion is of a driven entrepreneur working well over 80 hours a week against long odds, to avoid working 40 for others.   Their mission is sustained by a shining dream no one else shares until they meet with success… or failure.  While there may be some touch of reality in that ideal, but the more accurate reality is of grueling hours for little instant return.   As my mother’s concerned “When are you going to get a real job?” rang in my ears I did have an ideal to sustain me… I would succeed (or fail) by working to bring higher levels of client and vehicle service to a rightfully mistrusted industry.  I believed that thorough physical inspection, records management, proper equipment, accurate recommendations and even a little bit of heart would put me miles ahead of the pack.  Naïve?  Maybe.  Quixotic?  Yes.  But this month we’re celebrating 36 years in business and 30 years in Sellwood, so the hard work and staying true to ideals seems to be working so far…

I didn’t start my own business to begin some auto repair empire; I started my own business because a former boss wanted me to do repairs his customers didn’t need.  When I told him I wouldn’t do unnecessary work and that my tool box had wheels for a reason, he told me that if I wouldn’t do it someone else would.  We parted ways.  That was my last paycheck job and it started me on my long road of self-unemployment (“unemployed” is how you feel and are treated by banks etc. when you are newly self-employed) It took several years, at first working from a friend’s property, then from a rental home garage with a zoning variance, to build clientele.  As my clientele grew my work space seemed to shrink and I was forced to grow or die. Luckily in 1987 my friend Marla (now my wife) found a Sellwood industrial building willing to divide some space.  Up went the painted wall sign.

30 years later, some things have stayed the same while others have changed.  Paying my bills each month is still important, but now a bigger motivator is the pride I feel in providing a professional work environment and living wages for the staff while delivering the best (anywhere!) service and value to our loyal clients.  Those bills are bigger but now they cover the entire building and 20 top-flight Technicians and Staff that provide a range and level of services magnitudes beyond my 1987 capabilities. It’s now their mission to keep the original principles alive: providing client-centered, precision service with no BS sold ever while delivering quality at a fair price every time.  I think they’re doing an amazing job and they make me damn proud.

Our company’s grown with Sellwood as it changed from an inexpensive working-class neighborhood to an upscale part of one of the hottest real estate markets in the country. You helped us survive the Sellwood Bridge reconstruction but now we’re all dealing with the increasing density, paralyzing traffic, vanishing parking, and omnipresent construction that growth brings.  More is on the way.  As we celebrate our 30th Anniversary in the neighborhood I know I’m not alone in worrying that everything I’ve loved about Sellwood is in peril.  I want to reach out and scream “STOP!” but no one can stop greed and the quest for the mighty dollar.  But even though I can’t stop it you can help shape our future in fundamental ways.

Sellwood’s shops and boutiques are as critical as parks and trees.  Without neighborhood support these businesses will close and we’ll all lose our local options for the products and services we need.  Every business obviously depends on customers, but the small, local, sole-proprietor businesses predominant in Sellwood are even more sensitive than the big guys to the support of their neighbors.  If Starbuck’s loses 50 customers they’ll never even notice, but 50 customers for the independent coffee shop is the difference between success and failure.  No one person can save our Sellwood businesses, but each person… individually… has a choice about where to spend their money.  Don’t do business on auto-pilot; consciously look for local options and intentionally choose to support local businesses when you can.  I think you’ll like the advantages of dealing with businesses where you matter in a real and tangible way.  And I know they (and we) will appreciate your extra efforts and will do our best to make sure you know it.

I’d like to offer my personal gratitude and appreciation for making our first 30 years in Sellwood such a spectacular mission.  With your support, and ONLY with your support, we’ll be here for another 30 years to come!

Make a great day,

aaazTomSignature

 

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Keith Tucker is back in the What NOW?!! Toons drivers’ seat! https://tomdwyer.com/2017/home/humor/what-now-toons/keith-tucker-back-now-toons-drivers-seat/ Sat, 18 Nov 2017 01:20:41 +0000 https://tomdwyer.com/?p=24028 The post Keith Tucker is back in the What NOW?!! Toons drivers’ seat! appeared first on Tom Dwyer Automotive.

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30 years in Sellwood! It’s been 30 years in Sellwood. Let’s do 30 more! https://tomdwyer.com/2017/newsletters/30-years-sellwood-30-years-sellwood-lets-30/ Sat, 18 Nov 2017 01:20:10 +0000 https://tomdwyer.com/?p=24029 On October 7, 1987, Tom Dwyer wrote the first rent check for a tiny part of a building at SE 6th and Tenino, “at the East End of the Sellwood Bridge”.  Things have changed a little since then… the Bridge … Continue reading

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RestOfNewsletterOn October 7, 1987, Tom Dwyer wrote the first rent check for a tiny part of a building at SE 6th and Tenino, “at the East End of the Sellwood Bridge”.  Things have changed a little since then… the Bridge is new, the rent has grown, we’ve taken over the whole building, and Tom Dwyer Automotive Services now serves thousands of clients and employs more than 20 people.  A huge THANK YOU for everyone who has made our success and growth possible over the past 30 years!  Here’s a little look behind the scenes at what all of you helped all of us to create…

The early, early years

Tom started turning wrenches himself when he was young, and still thinks “good technicians are born with the proper skill set, and no amount of nurture will overcome nature.” He attended Jesuit High School and then Lewis & Clark College, using his skill of “fixing things” to support his financial needs.  Tom spent his first several years working in small specialty shops and even briefly on the Oregon Coast doing mechanical repairs for boats.  “I was really impressed with the mechanical survey performed prior to selling larger pleasure craft. Knowledgeable marine technicians would go over the entire boat stem-to-stern (pun intended) to identify everything that wasn’t exactly perfect, even down to burnt-out light bulb in the galley oven.  They’d build a list of what would be needed to fix every issue, prioritize the most critical ones, and then let the prospective buyer and owner work out a deal around the facts.”  If that sounds familiar, there’s a reason.  Tom later adapted that concept to become our Comprehensive Inspection, one of the most fundamental tools we use in the shop today.  “I hate menu driven service sales. Mileage-based menu service works for the first 30K maybe, but then it breaks down. Menus alone are not the way to take care of a vehicle. Physical inspection, service bulletins, service intervals and records management all together work much better.”

AnniversaryBeautiful as the Coast was, it wasn’t Portland and Tom returned to work for his final employer.  This became a defining story in the philosophy of Tom Dwyer Automotive, because it was dismay with the industry and contempt for this employer in particular that eventually prompted Tom to go out on his own, “An older customer came into the shop complaining of a brake noise. The brake linings were fine but glazed from the gentle way this vehicle was driven.  All that was really necessary was cleaning and adjustment of the brake lining and maybe a bit of education for the driver to insure the noise wouldn’t return.   It should have been a simple and inexpensive fix, but the shop owner saw an opportunity to sell an unnecessary and expensive full brake job instead.  I refused to do the work and he said he’d find someone else if I wouldn’t.  I told this crook that my tool box has wheels for a reason! That, whether I knew it or not, was the start of my self-unemployment and I was out on my own.”

Getting started for real

Tom was on his own, but that’s not the same as being alone.  His story is about modest beginnings as well as the people who pitched in to help move it forward.  “I started out working from a friend’s house, then from a rental home garage with a zoning variance.  It took several years to build clientele, but the word slowly spread.  As the client list grew my work space seemed to shrink, so I was forced to grow or die.”  The search for a permanent space started on the West Side of the Willamette so Tom could be convenient for the Lewis & Clark folks Lee Weinstein had been referring, but no suitable location popped up.  “Luckily my friend Marla Resnick (now my wife) found a Sellwood industrial building willing to divide some space.  I wrote my first check to Dave Stoner (Stoner the owner) on October 7, 1987, and up went the painted wall sign.”

Today we occupy the whole building, but on Day One it was just a small part of the front end.  It wasn’t a business-ready part either, so the call went out to friends to help move in.  Greg Creitz, Tom’s friend for years, was there to help paint, wire and ready the space.  Robert Kempton (the first employee) and Greg Creitz were just two of the many people who helped set up the first 4000 sq. ft. shop area.

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Sometimes the InterTubes can bring us things we might have preferred stay buried… this pic of Tom is from the original Dwyer website in 1999

The shop’s first records were on paper but Tom recognized the value of information technology from early on.  In 1990 He made sure Tom Dwyer Automotive Services was one of the first networked shops in the area with 8 PCs on a peer-to-peer coaxial network.  Eric Dwyer (Tom’s nephew) has been our network guru for over 20 years and while other shops were still scribbling on carbon paper our clients were already benefitting from complete vehicle repair data, service records and recommendations at our fingertips.   And in 1999, only 8 years after the first-ever website and when there were still less than 10,000 websites on the planet, www.TomDwyer.com went live on the InterTubes.  (Click here for a look at the paleolithic TomDwyer.com; the internet site “Wayback Machine” keeps captures of almost every site on the Web back to about 1996.)  Today our website is a full resource on all things automotive as well as politics, humor, and other things that defy categorization.

Building on the fundamentals

It’s amazing what you can do working only half days… it doesn’t matter whether you work the first 12 hours or the second every day. “We had all the work we could handle, and it was all work that clients actually needed.  If a shop does an honest, professional job there is always lots of needed work to be found… you shouldn’t have to go making things up! And we were growing as people told their friends about us.”  It was only about 5 years before Tom Dwyer Automotive was ready to expand to 8 repair bays and bring Bob Hume into the Service Advisor position he would occupy for many years. 1993 saw another expansion, this time to the full building and 18 repair bays, and soon after came the addition of Ken Bartz and then Drew Pearson.

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Tom Dwyer Automotive is nothing without our clients, and many of them have stories to tell of their experiences with us through the years. Click here to hear a few from people you may even know!

Tom was learning as he went in business, but he was also finding it wasn’t necessary to compromise his ideals to keep things running.  For instance, ‘up-sell’ in the repair industry typically means getting people in on a cheap offer and then convincing them to buy additional services you offer that they may not need or are may not be their real priorities. “We do sell clients needed services that might be beyond what they think they need, but done right that is our job.” We keep Safety, Break-down, and then Maintenance as our priorities in all work we recommend. Often when we’re working to address a client’s initial concerns we’ll see other issues either documented in our records or newly found from physical inspection that may be as important, or even more important than the issue that brought the client in. Bringing that new issue to their attention is up-selling, but clients need and want to know about things like that.”  It’s one of the benefits of working with a full-service shop that’s caring for your entire vehicle as opposed to a specialty shop that’s just trying to sell more of what they sell.  “We up-sell… every business does; but we do it with integrity and professionalism above the industry standard.  Our clients seem to appreciate it.”

Tom’s whole business model is built around integrity, accountability and providing impeccable full service based on our clients’ actual needs. “I don’t want to feel like we just sell random stuff without concern to our clients’ bigger picture. We strive to run the business as an actual service to our clients. Many of our practices and policies have been tailored to make us exceptional in our industry and ensure we are part of a community.“

“I wish I could get all our clients to understand what makes us different than other shops”

A good example of what makes us different is the way our Service Advisors and Technicians are paid.  In the auto industry Service Advisors are usually paid on commission and Technicians are usually paid Flat-rate.  The drawback in both systems is that if the Advisor or Technician doesn’t sell you something they don’t get a paycheck.  “I hate flat-rate”, says Tom.  “It corrupts the process, creates perverse incentives, and damages the outcomes for the clients and shop”.  Tom’s never had commissioned Advisors to avoid the obvious conflicts.  Flat Rate for Technicians similarly pervert the goal of effective care.  Technicians on Flat-rate are paid by the individual repair operation (like replacing a failed alternator) so the faster they do it the more they’re getting per-hour.  There’s no bonus for quality and no incentive to even wonder if there are other, more important systems failing on other parts of the vehicle… it’s just a question of how fast the Tech can slap things together and ship them out.  Our Technicians are paid by the hour for the time they spend on vehicle, incentivizing care, craftsmanship, and attention to your vehicle as a whole.  You can see how Commission and Flat Rate work for a Shop’s bottom line and against auto repair in your interest, so you know why you’ll never see either at Tom Dwyer Automotive Services.

Our integrity matters.  Yours does too!

Tom’s fanatic dedication to integrity even extends to our clients, and the way they spread the word to their friends.  Like most businesses, we want to encourage those referrals and thank you when they happen.  Most auto shops will offer a discount on future work as a reward (which has the added benefit to the Shop of bringing you back in for more work) or, slightly better, a coupon for a free oil change.  We’ve done both over the years, but neither was good enough for Tom.  “I started to get uncomfortable about clients giving recommendations if they were getting something in return, and wondered if that might not be coloring their referrals, even subconsciously.”  But what to do?  “I wanted to come up with something that still said ‘thank you’ but wasn’t a direct benefit to the client.”  The answer was our Referral Reward Program, where we make a donation to the non-profit group of your choice for every new client you send us.  Now we can still say ‘thanks’ while leaving everyone’s conscience free to spread the word!  Our Referral Reward Program is about to pass $20,000 in donations since it started in 2014, and it may be a particularly good time to check in on it this month… we’re asking for YOUR vote for our next Quarterly winner in the program!

Neighbors help neighbors

improb toddTom’s idea of what a business should be extends far beyond the building walls.  He believes a business shouldn’t just be a resident, but a neighbor… an active part of the community it’s in.  That’s led us to support local schools like St. Agatha and Llewellyn, recreation groups like Sellwood Baseball, neighborhood events like the Sellwood Park Summer Concerts, cultural groups like Phame Academy, and much more.

Along with supporting individual groups like these, Tom’s belief in advocating for big-picture societal needs and issues led to his support of Progressive talk radio when it debuted in Portland in 2004.  For the 8 years KPOJ was on the air, Tom’s ads, typically, were unlike anything else on the airwaves.  If you remember the “good old days” of KPOJ then you might enjoy a walk down memory lane with some of those old ads, posted here.  You might also enjoy the video tracks on many of them, created by client and friend-of-the-shop Hans Michael.

The KPOJ years introduced us to hundreds of new clients and friends.  It also raised the profile of the shop with political, community, environmental, and educational groups, leading to the reputation of a “politically progressive shop” we still enjoy today.  Tom’s outspokenness on so many issues has caused some pushback, but he makes sure it never interferes with the impeccable care our clients expect.  “I think politics does play a role in business but not a primary one.  I don’t push or preach politics and many clients don’t even notice or care, and that’s as it should be. No company should offer products, services, or employment based on a political stance. Our shop isn’t a political indoctrination facility for our employees or our clients; we don’t hire people based on their t-shirts or decide which cars to service based on their bumper stickers.”

But time and again, when we reach out to community groups doing good work they seem to be on the Left end of the spectrum.  We’ve worked with Heath Care for All Oregon on single payer health care, with 350.org on climate change, and even the Post Office as Congress tried to gut them.  We’ve advocated for Progressive candidates like Jefferson Smith, Steve Novick, and loudly and recently for Bernie Sanders.  We’ve promoted Progressive voices like Carl Wolfson, Ed Schultz, and of course, our favorite Thom Hartmann.  In the belief that unbiased, uncensored, in-depth information leads us all to make better decisions we’ve been strong supporters of educational groups like the Illahee Lecture Series and especially XRAY.FM and KBOO radio, two of Portland’s leading independent media outlets.

CNP Square Borderless LogoOur Carbon Neutral Program (CNP) may be the best example of a Dwyer program combining all these points.  The CNP reaches far, far beyond our building walls, it addresses a big-picture societal need, and it’s another example of a slightly Left-ish bent to our outreach.  Tom started the CNP to raise awareness of and to take a small step toward addressing Climate Change, a worldwide issue but unfortunately a liberal one in the US.  Members of our CNP buy a yearly membership that provides clean-energy carbon offsets for the carbon production of their vehicle.  They get the benefit of carbon-free driving, but Tom wanted to sweeten the pot to drive even more people to carbon freedom so he also added a 10% shop labor discount for the length of their membership.  It’s a win-win situation that’s been very popular and had a real effect… since Tom started the CNP in 2007 our members have offset 1,821,900 pounds of carbon from our environment!

Keeping up with changing times…

We’re constantly updating tools and scanners to keep up with current technology.  Computer tools are just as critical for today’s vehicles as a good set of socket wrenches; for example, we recently had to upgrade to an $8500 computer scan tool and $2500 software just to be able to talk to some of the 2018 model vehicles.  A little while back we purchased a thermal imaging tool; cutting-edge technology that precisely locates heat variations in engines and leads to quicker, more precise diagnosis of problems.  A mechanic was once able to get by applying general mechanical knowledge to new vehicles, but today’s pace of technological change means our Technicians face ongoing education to stay up-to-date.  The advent of electric and even driverless cars will mean even more focused training on the new systems they bring, but we’re already heading down that path…  ASE Master Technician Chris Waterbury was one of the first Techs in the country to earn his L3 Hybrid/Electric certification, and we have 3 more Techs in line to be certified soon.  “One of the many advantages of electric vehicles is they have fewer systems to fail than gasoline vehicles” said Tom, “but people shouldn’t think that means there’s nothing to fail at all.  There are suspension, brakes, electrical systems and more that can and will need to be fixed.  We’re big advocates of electric vehicles, and when they start taking over we’ll be ready to help.”

…and with a changing neighborhood

The equipment upgrades are critical, but so are upgrades to our personal client service.  After letting it fade for decades we just repainted the front shop sign so it’s looking good now that it can be seen from Tacoma Street.  We’ve replaced the lobby chairs based on many, many suggestions from our Comment Cards, but we’ve also added a dedicated waiting room featuring PDX Airport carpet, VERY comfortable chairs, a work area so your waiting time won’t be wasted time, and dedicated heating and air to replace the somewhat “iffy” climate control in the lobby.  And keep an eye out for a redesign of our website, coming soon!

bridge-finished-header-768x180As we change inside, Sellwood is changing around us.  Construction first became a significant issue for us when the Sellwood Bridge Replacement started in late 2011.  We hoped the problems might be over when the Bridge was finished but instead we’re facing 119 apartments going up next door, 25 more coming in up the street, condos planned for the empty lot across from our building, and a business/apartment mix rumored to replace the marina and strip club across Tacoma.     We’ve already lost much of our parking area and may lose more by the time it’s all complete.  Our longtime clients weren’t deterred during the Bridge project and we know their loyalty will see us through this construction as well.  If you encounter a construction problem on your way to the shop, please be sure to tell your Service Advisor when you pick up your vehicle… Tom’s made sure they have options to compensate you for your inconvenience.

Bee AdThe changes in Sellwood bring up a critically important issue, both for us and everyone that calls Sellwood home.  The Sellwood we love is a tree-shaded paradise of homes and parks, but neighborhoods need close-by, available businesses and services just as much as everything else.  Unrestrained building is forcing out many of the local businesses Sellwood depends on and once these businesses leave it may be impossible to bring them back.  It makes little sense to build high-occupancy housing assuming people won’t need cars, but then deprive the neighborhood of the products and services they need within walking distance!  This building boom could turn Sellwood into little more than a “bedroom community” for Portland, but it doesn’t have to… Sellwood neighbors can CHOOSE to SUPPORT THEIR LOCAL BUSINESSES!  Almost any product or service is available within a mile of Sellwood, so explore your LOCAL options, pick one, and CHOOSE to go give them a try!  Tom Dwyer Automotive and the other local businesses of our neighbors, families, and friends want to be here for Sellwood’s future, but ALL our local businesses depend on local patronage.  That patronage has never been more important than now, as change and growth squeeze us all.  We don’t have to lose what makes our neighborhood great, but keeping it demands our conscious choice and effort.

What’s on the horizon?

Conventional wisdom says when you’re starting a business you should pick a successful model and copy it, but Tom’s unique basic philosophy meant he never really had another example to copy.  Instead he looked around after about 10 years and realized his different thinking had resulted in a different kind of company.  “I’m very proud that we’ve grown large enough to provide the highest quality service but stayed small enough to remember what personal service means.”  In an industry that has pushed toward specialization and profit-at-all-costs pressure sales, Tom has prospered by treating each vehicle as a unified whole and providing coherent, prioritized advice in our clients’ interests.  The two ideas are critically linked… “If you’re not offering FULL vehicle maintenance, if you’re only looking for things your shop stocks and can sell, you CAN’T do truly comprehensive auto care and you CAN’T decide fairly between competing priorities.”  Our clients seem to understand and appreciate this approach, as shown in our reviews on Yelp, Google, AngiesList, NextDoor, FaceBook, or the almost 18,000 Post Service Comment Cards we’ve collected through the years.  No matter what else changes here at the shop, you can count on these basics remaining the same.

One of the most common comments we get on our Comment Cards is “Please build another shop in my neighborhood!”  While we deeply appreciate the compliment that implies, Tom’s answer has always been “no”.  Even recently, when construction and traffic woes forced him to take a very hard look at the possibility of moving, the answer was still no.  30 years ago Tom chose this small, quiet neighborhood to call home and to build a trusted resource for all Portland.   Both the shop and the neighborhood have grown more than he could ever have imagined, but the commitment has remained the same.  Trust, integrity, professionalism, respect, craftsmanship… everything you’ve come to expect from the little shop “at the east end of the Sellwood Bridge.”  Thank you so much for making the first 30 years possible, but what’s next for Tom Dwyer Automotive Services?  Another 30 years of “keeping your vehicles safe, breakdown-free, and operating at their best!”

Thanks for making a great 30 years!

aaazTomSignature

 

 

Digging Deeper

District Spotlight- Sellwood/Moreland, Venture Portland, Nov 2017

Sellwood’s Disappearing History, Greetings from Portland website

Historic Sellwood, photos on PDXHistory.com

Before the Bridge: The Town of Sellwood and the Spokane Street Ferry, Sellwood Bridge Project Website

A Brief History of Sellwood and Westmoreland, by Eileen Fitzsimons on the Sellwood/Moreland Business Association Website

Sellwood, Portland, Oregon Wikipedia page

Sellwood’s Yelp Page

Southeast History: Sellwood in the Roaring 1920’s by Dana Beck in The Sellwood Bee, March 2017

Sellwood and Westmoreland historical secrets revealed, by Dana Beck in The Sellwood Bee, Nov 2017

Historical Photos – Eastmoreland & Westmoreland area, (1906-1950’s) Portland Parks & Rec Website

Sellwood home reflects history of two families, by Eileen Fitzsimons in The Sellwood Bee, July 2016

Some of our favorite (and most valuable) articles from our newsletter and website

Read all of our BAD reviews

Should Business and Politics mix?

Salary vs. Commission in the Auto-Repair world

Why Not Flat Rate

Don’t Eat Off This Menu!  (The drawbacks of menu-driven auto service)

Tips on finding a quality shop

“How To Make Our Shop Features Work For You”

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Here’s What Effective Journalism Looks Like A feel-good story about things working like they should. Sort of. https://tomdwyer.com/2017/newsletters/heres-effective-journalism-looks-like-feel-good-story-things-working-like-sort/ Sat, 18 Nov 2017 01:19:46 +0000 https://tomdwyer.com/?p=24030 People can only act to fix things in our world when they know about them, but it seems like solid, actionable information gets lost these days in a blizzard of drivel. That’s why a recent story from 60 Minutes and … Continue reading

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RestOfNewsletterPeople can only act to fix things in our world when they know about them, but it seems like solid, actionable information gets lost these days in a blizzard of drivel. That’s why a recent story from 60 Minutes and the Washington Post, and more particularly the response to it, is so encouraging. The story shined light on one tiny corner of an issue we’ve all heard about, the Opioid Crisis. It covered the purchase of the Department of Justice by opioid distributors and the resultant neutering of laws to deal with the opioid problem. Heads rolled as a direct result of the story (hooray!) and more corrective action is in the works (hooray!) but the underlying problem persists (boo!). Since it’s such an endangered species we thought we’d give you a rare look at effective journalism in action …60Minutes story

The story began with a segment on 60 Minutes, investigated in cooperation with the Washington Post, that centered on ex-DEA agent Joe Rannazzisi. He described corporate distributors pumping massive amounts of opioids into shady pharmacies and prescription mills. The standout example was Kermit, West Virginia, a town of 392 people, which received 9 MILLION hydrocodone pills in 2 years. Joe said the DEA had been getting results by suspending distributor shipments of “suspicious orders” under the Controlled Substances Act. They’d been doing pretty well until the distributors purchased Pennsylvania Congressman Tom Marino for just under $100,000. Marino pushed through the “Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act of 2016” which effectively pulled the DEA’s teeth. The number of suspension orders plunged from 65 in 2011 to just 6 in 2017.

The 60 Minutes story aired just as Marino was about to get a new job… Donald Trump had nominated him for Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). Things had been moving pretty smoothly for Marino until the 60 Minutes story hit on Sunday, Oct 15. Anger from across America hit on Monday the 16th, and at 439am on Tuesday the 17th we got this from the Tweeter in Chief… “Rep.Tom Marino has informed me that he is withdrawing his name from consideration as drug czar. Tom is a fine man and a great Congressman!” Marino is out but his law remains, though fortunately that may go as well. On Oct 16th Senator Claire McCaskill introduced legislation to repeal it, and Representative Ann Kuster introduced an identical bill in the House. Both bills are currently before committees.

Digging Deeper…

(Original 60 Minutes Report)

Ex-DEA Agent: Opioid Crisis Fueled By Drug Industry And Congress, by Bill Whitaker on CBSNews.com, Oct 2017

(Original Washington Post Report)

The Drug Industry’s Triumph Over The DEA, by Higham and Bernstein in the Washington Post, Oct 2017

Washington Post, 60 Minutes Investigation Finds Bill Helped Fuel Opioid Crisis, by Kelly McEvers on NPR, Oct 2017

Who Is Rep. Tom Marino, Trump’s Suddenly Former Drug Czar Nominee? By Luis Gomez for the San Diego Union Tribune, Oct 2017

Trump’s Pick For Drug Czar Hauled In Thousands Of Dollars From Drug Distributors He Wrote Bill To Protect, by Josh Keefe in International Business Times, Apr 2017

 

DEA Responds To Explosive “60 Minutes”/Washington Post Report About Opioid Crisis, by CBSNews, Oct 2017

Why 60 Minutes’ Story On The DEA Made Americans So Angry, by Jacqueline Kalil on CBSNews.com, Oct 2017

‘A Stunning Result:’ Investigative Reporting Led Drug Czar Nominee To Withdraw, by Brian Stelter on CNN Media, Oct 2017

The Fall Of Tom Marino, Trump’s Pick For Drug Czar, Explained, by German Lopez on Vox, Oct 2017

44 State Attorneys General Want Repeal Of Law That Curbed DEA Powers, by Bernstein and Higham in the Washington Post, Nov 2017

Senate Dem Introduces Bill To Repeal Controversial Opioid Law, by Nathaniel Weixel in The Hill, Oct 2017

Though this is a “good news” story in that rapid action is being taken on a glaring problem, the story raises other significant issues that aren’t being addressed as quickly. According to the interview, a big reason for the DEA prosecution slowdown was “DC’s notorious revolving door. A parade of DEA lawyers switched sides and jumped to high-paying jobs defending the drug industry.” If you want to dig deeper into this toxic subject, we’ve written about it several times in our “News To Make You Furious” column and have these articles to offer. Enjoy, if you can!

June-2015-Furious-Header1-225x300 Web AprNL-Furious-Header-v3

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Where The Rubber Meets The Road Tire Basics boot camp https://tomdwyer.com/2017/home/rubber-meets-road-tire-basics-boot-camp/ Sat, 18 Nov 2017 01:19:20 +0000 https://tomdwyer.com/?p=24031 Did you know we sell tires?  We do, and we have for many years. Among the many other features of our shop, we’re an “America’s Tire” dealer, so from Avon and Bridgestone to Uniroyal and Zenna, we have a full … Continue reading

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Feature- tiresRestOfNewsletterDid you know we sell tires?  We do, and we have for many years. Among the many other features of our shop, we’re an “America’s Tire” dealer, so from Avon and Bridgestone to Uniroyal and Zenna, we have a full range of brands and sizes and we can order any specialty tires you need as well.  Best of all, our tires come with the same Tom Dwyer quality and service you expect (service like rotating your tires from other shops at no charge on request).  In fact, let us give you a small taste of that service right now… when you go tire shopping, you’ll find each tire has a long string of letters and numbers describing its exact size and function.  Here’s how to understand those numbers, with advice on how to make them work for you…

Knowing the basics

There are many things to consider when choosing new tires for your vehicle.  Not only must tires fit rims and wheel wells that vary dramatically, but tires are designed with different features for different loads, conditions, and applications.  Most vehicles can be safely fitted with a number of tires of different sizes, and all cars have tire information stickers giving acceptable stock and optional sizes for the vehicle as well as proper air pressure settings.  You can find these stickers on the driver’s side door post (or in the glove box) or in your Owner’s Manual.  No matter their end use, all tires must conform to Federal Safety Requirements which have been standardized for all manufacturers.   The variables in tire sizes and functions are required to be cast into the sidewall of all tires, resulting in the long strings of letters and numbers that make up a tire’s “size”.  These variables include:

All-season rating          Speed rating          Temperature rating          Size           Treadwear rating Traction rating          Manufacturer mileage warranty           Name brand

All these variables should factor into your choice of a new tire, but some can be more important to you than others.  Here is a description of each of these variables and what they mean…

All-Season rating

Tires that are All Season rated are marked with the M/S (mud and snow) designation on the tire sidewall. M/S tires are specially designed for traction in wet or slippery conditions. Special tread patterns and rubber compounds are used that maintain pliability in cold weather and minimize the tradeoff between winter grip and dry wear.

Speed rating

All tires are assigned a speed rating, designating the tires’ ability to shed heat built up during high-speed operation.  Speed ratings are ranked by the maximum safe operating speeds:

SR= 105 mph;    HR= 115 mph;    TR= 125 mph;    VR= 150 mph;    ZR= 180 mph

In most cases the lowest speed rating is acceptable… after all, how often do you drive over 100 mph for a full hour?  Even if you were to run an SR rated tire at speeds over 100 mph for a sustained period the tire would probably fail.

Manufacturer mileage warranty

Manufacturers’ mileage warranties can be tricky.  The rating is subjective and may not accurately reflect the service the tire will deliver.  The warranty is for material defect only, and does not cover wear from improper inflation or alignment problems.  We recommend using the treadwear rating rather than the manufacturer’s warranty to determine the life of a tire.

Temperature

The temperature grades are A (the highest), B, and C, representing the tire’s resistance to the generation of heat and its ability to dissipate heat under controlled test conditions. The Speed rating and the Temperature rating are related.

Treadwear

As a guideline, the larger the treadwear number is the longer the tire will last.  Treadwear grade is a comparative rating based on the wear rate of the tire when tested under controlled conditions on a specified government test course.  For example, a tire graded 150 should wear one and a half (1.5) times as long as a tire graded 100, but real-world results will vary.  A rough interpolation of the numbering system would be:

Under 200= less than 30,000 miles          260= about 30,000 miles

320= about 40,000 miles          360= about 50,000 miles

400= over 60,000 miles          Over 500= about 80,000 miles

Traction

The traction grades from highest to lowest are AA, A, B, and C. This rating represents the tire’s ability to stop on wet pavement as measured under controlled conditions.  Stay with the upper grades for traction, because a tire with C traction may have poor traction performance.

Size

While there is room for choice in many tire features, you should never deviate from the recommended tire size for your vehicle.   All cars have tire information stickers giving acceptable stock and optional sizes for the vehicle as well as proper air pressure settings. You can find these stickers on the driver’s side door post (or in the glove box) or in your Owner’s Manual.  Never mix tire sizes on a vehicle.

Learning by Example

Tire specsThe best way to explain tire size is by example, so let’s look at a common tire size of 195/75 R 14.

The “195” is the width of the tire at its widest point that is, at the “bulge”, not at the tread. This measurement is in millimeters.

The “75” is the aspect ratio, or the ratio of the width to the height of a tire expressed as a percentage.   It’s the distance of the bead of the tire (the part of the tire that matches against the rim) to the ground, divided by the width of the tire at the widest point (195 mm in this example).   Our example aspect ratio is 75, or 75%, so this tire would be 75% as tall as it is wide.  As tires get wider they get taller within the same aspect ratio.

The “R” means this would be a radial tire. Sometimes you’ll see “P” or “LT” before all these numbers, which indicates that the tire is designed either for a passenger car or a light truck, respectively.

The “14” is the mounting diameter.  It’s the size of the center hole of the tire, or alternatively, the rim size you’ll need for a given tire.  Since you know the tire width is in millimeters, can you guess what unit of measure is used for the mounting diameter? Wrong! Mounting diameter is expressed in inches!

Name Brand

tire logosBrand familiarity can matter when comes to tires.  The quality can be reasonably assured, and it is much easier to warranty a national brand tire like a Michelin, Dunlop, Cooper, Goodyear, Firestone etc. than a Solar, Vixen, Jupiter, Pneumant, or other local or off-brand tires.  It’s usually best to stick with a well-known, national brand.

Making the basics work for you

The “No-Brainers”

Knowing what those complicated letters and numbers mean is one thing, but making the knowledge useful is another.   When it gets right down to it, though, some of these variables really have no-brainer choices…

  • Always buy tires in sets of at least two, and sets of 4 if you can afford it. Buying one new tire can create driveability issues when mixed with other tires of varying wear, and some vehicles require tires to be replaced all at the same time.
  • Please don’t buy recap tires! We see no value in them when for a few dollars more you can have a real tire.  The savings don’t justify the risks involved.
  • If you live in the Northwest you should almost certainly use “All-Season” rated tires.
  • Unless you drive like a maniac, Speed Rating should not be an issue. For the vast majority of people SR rated tires are fine.  Some tire sizes require a particular Speed Rating; for example, most low profile tires will come with HR or higher Speed Rating.
  • Manufacturers can make whatever claim they want for a mileage warranty, so don’t overly rely on their rating. Use the Treadwear number for the best idea of tire longevity.

The “Choices”

Beyond the above “givens” there’s more leeway for choice.  As general advice, though, we recommend that you stay within these guidelines…

  • Never buy a tire with ratings less than a “200” Treadwear rating or lower than a “B” Temperature rating. Ratings lower than these indicate poor quality, and tires are not an area to economize.  It’s amazing how much more quality can be purchased for a few extra dollars per tire. Ideally we recommend tires with ratings like:

Touring Tire-  Treadwear- 360-540, Traction– A, Temperature- B-A

Performance Tire- Treadwear- 200-360, Traction- AA-A, Temperature- A

Cost per mile

A neat trick to compare relative value between tires is to approach it like unit pricing at the grocery store.  Divide the cost of any tire by the Treadwear number to get the cost per mile. The higher the number, the more expensive the tire.  You can compare tires’ value by this method even when the tires are of very different quality or cost.

As an example, let’s say you have a choice between a 320AA tire for $50 or a 540AA tire for $75.  Which one would you pick? All other things being equal, the best tire is the one that gives you the most miles per dollar.

$50.00 (cost) divided by 320 (treadwear) = .16 cents per mile

$75.00 (cost) divided by 540 (treadwear) = .14 cents per mile

The 540AA costs less per mile and would be the better buy provided you need longer lasting tires, care for the tires, and keep them rotated and aired up properly.

Get COMPLETE information

Tires and their costs are just part of the tire-buying decision.  When shopping for tires make sure to ask these basic questions about the tire AND the service that goes with them:

  • How much is the tire(s) itself?
  • Does that price include mounting and balancing?
  • Does that price include an alignment? If not, how much is an alignment?
  • Do you rotate and balance your tires for free?
  • Do you repair your tires for free?
  • Can I purchase road hazard insurance for your tires?
  • If I need additional services, how long will it take to have these services performed?

Taking care of your tires

Once your baby has its new pair of shoes, you’ll want to get the maximum life out of them.  These are good basic guidelines no matter what type of tire you buy…

  • Make sure to have the alignment checked and/or corrected whenever you buy new tires.
  • Keep tire air pressure set to manufacturers’ specification (usually 26-32 psi)
  • Rotate, balance and inspect tires every 6,000 miles.
  • Don’t drive on a low or flat tire.
  • If the steering wheel is off-center or the car pulls to one side, have it checked ASAP.
  • If you hit a curb, huge pothole, or other object have it checked ASAP.

Digging Deeper

This article represents just some of the most basic information you need to know to make good tire buying decisions, but tires and tire technology go far beyond what we’ve shared with you here.  If you want to know more about tires, here are several other sources you may find useful…

The Insane Research And Technology Behind Tires That Keeps You Safe, Mate Petrany on Jalopnik, Mar 2014

Studded Tires, Tom Dwyer Automotive Services, Jul 2010

When Should I Replace My Tires? Tom Dwyer Automotive Services, Nov 2010

Why are tires black? Tom Dwyer Automotive Services, Jan 2011

Will Polyurethane Replace Rubber for Tires? Tom Dwyer Automotive Services, Jan 2011

How to keep track of tire wear, Tom Dwyer Automotive Services, Jan 2011


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Drew’s Kitchen- Burger Bomb Sliders https://tomdwyer.com/2017/newsletters/drews-kitchen-burger-bomb-sliders/ Sat, 18 Nov 2017 01:19:00 +0000 https://tomdwyer.com/?p=24032 Thanksgiving is horrifyingly close, so it’s time to start thinking about what you’ll bring to dinner. Let your relatives bring the mashed potatoes and green beans… you can show up with a unique dish that will be stiff competition for … Continue reading

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Thanksgiving is horrifyingly close, so it’s time to start thinking about what you’ll bring to dinner. Let your relatives bring the mashed potatoes and green beans… you can show up with a unique dish that will be stiff competition for the turkey…

Ingredients: 

  • 4 slices bacon
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 tube refrigerated biscuit dough
  • 2 dill pickles, chopped
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar
  • Yellow mustard
  • 4 tbsp. butter; melted
  • Sesame seeds
  • Ketchup

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 375° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  • In a large skillet over medium heat, cook bacon until crispy. Remove bacon strips but reserve 2 tablespoons of fat in the skillet. Chop bacon.
  • Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, then add ground beef, season with salt and pepper, and cook until no longer pink, 5-6 minutes. Drain fat.
  • Flatten each biscuit round to about ¼” thickness. Top each round of dough with cooked ground beef, pickles, mustard, cooked bacon, and cheese. Pinch the edges together to create a ball. (It will look like a dumpling).
  • Place the burger bombs seam side-down on the baking sheet. Brush the tops of the dough with melted butter, then sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  • Bake until the biscuits are golden and cooked through, about 20 minutes. Serve with ketchup.

Total time: 0:50, Prep time 0:30, Serves 8

Recipe by Lauren Miyashiro on Delish

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Shop Talk- Ken makes a client cry, and your chance to VOTE for Referral Reward https://tomdwyer.com/2017/newsletters/shop-talk-ken-makes-client-cry-chance-vote-referral-reward/ Sat, 18 Nov 2017 01:18:38 +0000 https://tomdwyer.com/?p=24033       Comment of the Month If you look at the results from our Post-Service Feedback Cards, 99.89% of our clients think “our staff is courteous and professional”.  We’re very pleased and proud to share a letter that beautifully … Continue reading

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Comment-of-the-Month-ButtonComment of the Month

If you look at the results from our Post-Service Feedback Cards, 99.89% of our clients think “our staff is courteous and professional”.  We’re very pleased and proud to share a letter that beautifully illustrates why they deserve that rating…

“I moved to Portland 2 years ago from California and found your shop last year when I purchased a “new” vehicle.  Your staff has always been courteous and professional every time I’ve needed help.  I needed to write to you about one time that they want above and beyond what I would expect from any business today.

This last summer, the temperatures were reaching the 100’s.  The first wave really affected my 4-year-old daughter and she got sick from it.  When there were reports of a second heat wave, I made an appointment to recharge my air conditioner on July 31st.  I dropped it off in the morning and picked it up late in the afternoon.  The temp recording from the air conditioner was registering in the 40s or 50s (I can’t remember, but definitely cold enough for me).  I was very excited.

After paying, I was sitting in your parking lot with the cold air blasting and it was wonderful.  I headed home but within 5 blocks (I had just passed the Sellwood pool), the air started to blast hot air.  Within a minute, it felt like a hairdryer so I pulled over to make sure I didn’t do anything to cause this to happen.  I didn’t touch anything from when I left your shop so I turned off the car and called to the office.  I explained what happened and brought it back right then.  The mechanics looked at it right away and found that the AC pump/motor had blown.  The estimate to fix it was $600+.

I was very upset; not for anything your staff had done but just for the situation.  I had just paid $263.48 for the AC refresh and there was no way for me to use this without fixing the pump/motor which I couldn’t afford to fix.  Ken was helping me with the estimate and he could see how distraught I was.  He did something I would never expect him to do… he refunded my money.

I didn’t ask him to do this and he did not know anything about me personally.  He could not have known that I’m a single mom with minimum finances, struggling through a messy divorce and feeling devastated that I couldn’t provide AC for my heat-sensitive daughter.  All I could say was thank you because I had no other words. 

His act of genuine human kindness has brought me to tears more than once (even as I write this).  My life situation is getting better every day but one thing I know is that you have a loyal customer in me.  I had to let you know because at the end of the day, every business is about its people.”

With deepest gratitude, Paula K.

There’s no way to predict when an AC pump will go bad, but that makes little difference to a client sitting in front of her vehicle’s hairdryer.  Our number one priority is to make our clients satisfied so Ken didn’t wait for Paula to ask, nor did he try to explain that the failure wasn’t our fault… he made it right, right away, and that’s what you can expect in the unlikely event the same thing ever happens to you.  We’re glad to do it, and especially glad when a client like Paula is so appreciative!

Referral-Reward-new-buttonOur Referal Reward Program

Our Referral Reward Program continues to be popular with our clients, and it’s certainly popular with the groups we’ve given to.  In October we made 15 donations for $642, bringing our total to 440 donations for $19,759 since the program began!  Here’s who we gave to in October…

Mercy Corps by Emily T.       Planned Parenthood by David C.

Salvation Army by Ken C.       Northwest Children’s Outreach by Ben N.

OPB by Jennifer G.       Leukemia and Lymphoma Society by Jerri R.

Basic Rights Oregon by Shannon H.       American Red Cross by Tony M.

Life Change Transitions by Emily B. and Lydia S.

American Refugee Committee by Mike M.

Green Acres Farm Sanctuary by Idith M.       XRAY.FM by Bill W. and Nick W.

Out To Pasture Animal Sanctuary by Ann W.

Don’t let other Dwyer Clients have all the fun; we’d love for you to join us in making a difference in our world.  Just refer a new client to Tom Dwyer, and if they tell us you referred them (don’t worry; we’ll ask) then we’ll call you to find out which deserving group you’d like to help.  It’s just that easy… start referring today!

Vote for our Quarterly Reward Winner!

Our Referral Reward Program gives monthly, but we also make each group eligible for Quarterly and Yearly awards as well.  Why mention this now?  Because it’s TIME TO VOTE FOR OUR NEXT QUARTERLY AWARD WINNER!  But before voting begins, we want to make a slight adjustment to the eligibility requirements…

We know you love organizations like Oregon Food Bank and Planned Parenthood because they’re all doing vital work and seem to get at least one Reward every month.  HOWEVER.  They’re very, very big.  We give each Quarterly Winner $200 and each Yearly Winner $500, and while we’re sure these bigger groups would appreciate it (and several of these large groups have won our Quarterly and Yearly awards in the past) that money could be a much bigger boost to a smaller organization.  Since we’d like to focus our giving where it would mean the most, we’ve decided to make the following groups

INELIGIBLE for the Quarterly and Yearly awards:

Oregon Food Bank               Planned Parenthood

Oregon Humane Society               American Red Cross

Mercy Corps               Salvation Army

OPB Radio               American Civil Liberties Union

Sierra Club

These are all fantastic groups doing fantastic work, and we encourage you to donate to any or all of them every chance you get.  We’ll still gladly give to any of them for your individual referrals during the month, but ONLY FOR THE PURPOSES OF OUR QUARTERLY AND YEARLY AWARDS, we’re taking them off the list.

We still need YOUR VOTE to decide which of these 39 worthy (if slightly smaller) groups gets a check for $200.  Email your choice to Charles@TomDwyer.com with “Quarterly Award” in the subject line.  And thanks for your support and participation!

Please vote for ONE of the groups below…

Adelante Mujeres                   BARK Mt. Hood

Basic Rights Oregon                     Bernie Sanders

Big Brothers, Big Sisters NW                     DKMS (Delete Blood Cancer)

Dougy Center                         Greater Portland Bible Church

Habitat for Humanity                         American Refugee Committee

Green Acres Farm Sanctuary                       Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation

KBOO Radio                        KHNS Radio

Leukemia and Lymphoma Society                          Life Change Transistions

Meals on Wheels                       Northwest Children’s Outreach

Natural Resources Defense Council                          NW Chapter Workers Justice Project

OCHIN (Oregon Community Health Info Networks)                       XRAY.FM Radio

Pixie Project                     Portland Rescue Mission

Raphael House                    Shriners Hospital for Children

Sisters of the Road Café                      Southern Poverty Law Center

Sunstone Montessori School                     Transitions Project

Out To Pasture Animal Sanctuary

Current Special Offers

Get our Minor Interval Service (MIS) with pre-winter 90-point inspection for just $50, PLUS take 50% off labor on coolant system service

 

What building across streetWhat are they building across the street?

Sellwood Bridgehead, being built across the street from us at 8222 SE 6th, will be a 119 unit multi-family housing project with 49 underground parking spots.  Everyone seems to ask about it when they come by the shop, so we’ll bring you a couple shots each month as our newest Sellwood neighbor takes shape. This month, the basement is beginning to come together…

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The parking basement, while only for 49 cars, is already taking shape with continual concrete pours

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Progress is really happening fast. This picture, almost ready for the concrete, was taken just 8 days after the other picture.

AskForReviewButtonYour reviews and referrals matter

We 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!

RecallListButtonLatest Automotive Recalls

Automobiles 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- The Health effects of Anniversaries https://tomdwyer.com/2017/newsletters/health-notes-health-effects-anniversaries/ Sat, 18 Nov 2017 01:17:55 +0000 https://tomdwyer.com/?p=24034 Did you know that anniversaries can impact your health? The observance of events from days gone by can have real ramifications today. For good and bad, we found several studies documenting how our past reaches out to grab our present… … Continue reading

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aaaHealthNotesButtonRestOfNewsletterDid you know that anniversaries can impact your health? The observance of events from days gone by can have real ramifications today. For good and bad, we found several studies documenting how our past reaches out to grab our present…

Testing the anniversary reaction: Causal effects of bereavement in a nationwide follow-up study from Sweden, by Rostila, Saarela, Kawachi, and Hjern, Psychiatric Epidemiology, Jan 2015

Mastering the Anniversary Reaction: Putting Memory to Rest, by Erlich and Sederer on Huffington Post, Feb 2012

Trauma Time – The impact of a trauma anniversary in children, by Shelley on STEAM Powered Family

The Anniversary Effect- Being mindful of your calendar can help you avoid mood swings, by Deborah Serani in Psychology Today, May 2011

Anniversary Reactions: Research Findings, by Hamblen, Friedman, and Schnurr, National Center for PTSD, Feb 2016

Why Celebrate Wedding Anniversaries by Rose Fres Fausto in Philstar Global Lifestyle, Aug 2017

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Book Spotlight- “5 Books To Make You Less Stupid About The Civil War” by Ta-Nehisi Coates https://tomdwyer.com/2017/newsletters/book-spotlight-5-books-make-less-stupid-civil-war-ta-nehisi-coates/ Sat, 18 Nov 2017 01:17:25 +0000 https://tomdwyer.com/?p=24035 You learn something new every day. In recent weeks, we’ve ‘learned’ new things about the Civil War that weren’t taught in school… that it wasn’t about slavery, that it was about States’ Rights, and that if we would have just … Continue reading

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aaaBookSpotlightButtonRestOfNewsletterYou learn something new every day. In recent weeks, we’ve ‘learned’ new things about the Civil War that weren’t taught in school… that it wasn’t about slavery, that it was about States’ Rights, and that if we would have just tried we could have compromised our way out of it. Wow!

If your understanding of the Civil War is limited to your 8th-grade Civics class, you might be in a poor position to know why these ‘facts’ are wrong. Amid cries to “preserve history”, the actual history of our country’s bloodiest struggle can and is being whitewashed to suit modern political expediency. We’re not alone in believing knowledge is power, so to help us all become more powerful this month we offer suggestions from Atlantic contributor Ta-Nehisi Coates to make us all a little less stupid… ie: much more powerful.

“5 Books to Make You Less Stupid About The Civil War”

ta-nehisiArticle by Ta-Nehisi Coates

(from the article…) For the past 50 years, some of this country’s most celebrated historians have taken up the task of making Americans less stupid about the Civil War. These historians have been more effective than generally realized. It’s worth remembering that General Kelly’s remarks, which were greeted with mass howls of protests, reflected the way much of this country’s stupid-ass intellectual class once understood the Civil War. I do not contend that this improved history has solved everything. But it is a ray of light cutting through the gloom of stupid. You should run to that light. Embrace it. Bathe in it. Become it.

Okay, maybe that’s too far. Let’s start with just being less stupid.

grant douglass bondage lee Battle Cry

 

 

Battle Cry of Freedom by James McPherson

Grant by Ron Chernow

Reading the Man: A portrait of Robert E. Lee Through His Letters by Elizabeth Pryor

Out of the House of Bondage- Transformation of the Plantation Household by Thavolia Glymph

Life & Times of Frederick Douglass His Early Life as a Slave His Escape from Bondage & His Complete History by Frederick Douglass

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Humorousness- Anniversaries… the ultimate setup for jokes https://tomdwyer.com/2017/newsletters/humorousness-anniversaries-ultimate-setup-jokes/ Sat, 18 Nov 2017 01:17:02 +0000 https://tomdwyer.com/?p=24036 It’s a rare person who escapes our shop without hearing Service Advisor Dean’s joke about “The Three Rings of Marriage… the engagement ring, the wedding ring, and the suffer-ring.” Anniversaries are such a rich source of jokes because, no matter … Continue reading

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aaaHumorosnessRestOfNewsletterIt’s a rare person who escapes our shop without hearing Service Advisor Dean’s joke about “The Three Rings of Marriage… the engagement ring, the wedding ring, and the suffer-ring.” Anniversaries are such a rich source of jokes because, no matter how much we love our spouses, so many of us can relate to the tiny annoyances of living with the same person day after day for years. In honor of our 30th Anniversary in Sellwood we bring you a buffet of jokes about other people’s anniversaries. Don’t worry… we’ll pass the list along to Dean for some new material.   (And thanks (or blame) to Unforgettable-anniversary-ideas.com, JokeQuote.com, and UniJokes.com for all these. What, you think we write these things ourselves?)

The Old Man & The Wizard

An old man goes to the Wizard to ask him if he can remove a curse he has been living with for the last 40 years. The Wizard says, “Maybe, but you will have to tell me the exact words that were used to put the curse on you.

The old man says without hesitation, “I now pronounce you man and wife.”

Tom and Susan’s 25th Wedding Anniversary

At the banquet of Tom and Susan’s 25th wedding anniversary, Tom was asked to give his friends a brief account of the benefits of a marriage of such long duration.

“Tell us, Tom, just what is it you learned from all those wonderful years with your wife?”

Tom responded, “Well, I’ve learned that marriage is the best teacher of all. It teaches you loyalty, forbearance, meekness, self-restraint, forgiveness and a great many other qualities you wouldn’t have needed if you’d stayed single.”

Dangerous Food

A Physician was speaking about the dangers of certain foods to a large group in Florida.

He told them, “You have to be aware of hidden dangers. Hydrogenated fats are killers. Soda pop melts your tooth enamel and eats away your stomach lining. Most prepared foods are high in sugar, salt, and MSG. Even our drinking water can be harmful if not pure enough.

“But there’s one food that’s the most dangerous of all. Can anybody tell me what food causes the most grief and suffering even years after consuming it?”

The audience was silent until an older man in the second row spoke up and said, “Wedding Cake?”

The Genie

A husband and wife in their sixties were coming up on their 40th wedding anniversary. Knowing his wife loved antiques, he bought a beautiful old brass oil lamp for her.

When she unwrapped it, a genie appeared. He thanked them and gave each of them one wish. The wife wished for an all-expense paid, first class, around the world cruise with her husband.

Shazam! Instantly she was presented with tickets for the entire journey, plus expensive side trips, dinners, shopping, etc.

The husband, however, wished he had a female companion who was 30 years younger.

Shazam! Instantly he turned 93 years old.

It All Went By So Fast

A husband and wife were celebrating 50 years of marriage with a big anniversary party. At one point they were toasted, then asked what it’s like to be married for 50 years.

The wife, known to have a quick wit, replied, “It all seems like five minutes….under water.”

The Truth Comes Out

A loving couple was celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary, privately, at home with a couple of bottles of champagne.

A bit tipsy and feeling very intimate the husband turns to his wife and asks, “Tell me truthfully, have you ever been unfaithful to me?”

“Well,” she replied, “since you ask, I’ve been unfaithful on three occasions.”

“What? How could you?”

“Let me tell you about it,” she said. “The first time was back when we were first married. You needed open heart surgery and we didn’t have the money, so I went to bed with the surgeon and got him to operate for free.”

“Well, I guess I should be grateful. But, tell me, what about the second time?”

“Remember that promotion when they were going to pass you over for someone else? Well, I went to bed with the President and the Vice President and they gave you the job.”

“Hell, but I guess I should be grateful. So what about the third time?”

“Do you remember two years ago when you wanted to become President of the Baseball Team, and you were missing 53 votes…?”

The Bottom Line

John asks his wife, Mary, what she wants to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary.

“Would you like a new Mink Coat?” he asks.

“Not really,” says Mary.

“Well how about a new Mercedes?” says John.

“No,” she responds.

“What about a new vacation home?” he suggests.

She again rejects his offer with a, “No thanks.”

Frustrated he finally asks, “Well what would you like for your anniversary?”

“John, I’d like a divorce,” answers Mary.

John thinks for a moment and replies “Sorry dear, I wasn’t planning to spend that much.”

Father’s Day

A very elderly couple is having an elegant dinner to celebrate their 75th wedding anniversary.

The old man leans forward and says softly to his wife, “Dear, there is something that I must ask you. It has always bothered me that our tenth child never quite looked like the rest of our children. Now I want to assure you that these 75 years have been the most wonderful experience I could have ever hoped for, and your answer cannot take that all that away. But, I must know, did he have a different father?”

The wife drops her head, unable to look her husband in the eye, she paused for a moment and then confessed. “Yes. Yes he did.”

The old man is very shaken, the reality of what his wife was admitting hit him harder than he had expected. With a tear in his eye he asks “Who? Who was he? Who was the father?”

Again the old woman drops her head, saying nothing at first as she tried to muster the courage to tell the truth to her husband.

Then, finally, she says, “You.”

You Can Run But You Can’t Hide

Abe and Esther are flying to Australia for a two week vacation to celebrate their 40th anniversary. Suddenly the Captain announces, “Ladies and Gentlemen, our engines have ceased functioning and we will attempt an emergency landing. Luckily, I see an uncharted island below us and we should be able to land on the beach. However, the odds are that we may never be rescued and will have to live on the island for the rest of our lives!”

Thanks to the skill of the flight crew, the plane lands safely on the island. An hour later Abe turns to his wife and asks, “Esther, did we pay our $5,000 PBS pledge yet?”

“No, sweetheart,” she responds.

Abe, shaken from the crash landing, then asks, “Esther, did we pay American Express yet?”

“Oh, no! I’m sorry. I forgot to send the check.”

“One last thing, Esther. Did you send checks for the Visa and MasterCard this month?” he asks.

“Oh, forgive me, Abie,” begged Esther. “I didn’t send those, either.” Abe gives her the biggest kiss in 40 years.Esther asks him, “What was that for?”

Abe answers, “Looks like they’ll find us for sure!”

Think Before You Wish

A husband and wife in their sixties were coming up on their 40th wedding anniversary. Knowing his wife loved antiques, he bought a beautiful old brass oil lamp for her.

When she unwrapped it and a genie appeared and gave each of them one wish.

The wife wished for an all-expense paid, first class, around the world cruise with her husband.

Shazam! Instantly she was presented with tickets for the entire journey, plus expensive side trips, dinners, shopping, etc.

The husband, however, wished he had a female companion who was 30 years younger.

Shazam! Instantly he turned 93 years old.

Romantic Anniversary Breakfast

An old couple celebrates their 50th wedding anniversary in their home.

“Just think,” the old man says, “we were sitting here at this same breakfast table, naked as jaybirds, 50 years ago.”

“Well,” the old lady snickers, “what do you say, should we get naked?”

The two immediately strip to the buff and sit back down at the table.

“You know, honey,” the little old lady says slyly, “My breasts burn for you now as they did 50 years ago.”

“I’m not surprised,” replies the old man. “One’s in your coffee and the other is in your oatmeal!”

Never Trust a Genie

To celebrate their anniversary a man and his wife spend the weekend at an exclusive golf resort. He is a pretty good golfer, but she only just started. When they head down to the golf course after a lavish lunch and a bottle of champagne, they notice a beautiful mansion a couple of hundred yards behind the first hole.

“Let’s be careful, honey,” the husband says, “If we damage that house it’ll cost us a fortune.”

The wife nods, tees off and – bang! – sends the ball right through the window of the mansion. They walk up to the house and knock on the door.

“Come on in,” a voice in the house says. When the couple enter the room, a man gets up and says, “Are you the guys who just broke my window?”

“Sorry about that,” the husband replies.

“Not at all, it’s me who has to thank you. I’m a genie and was trapped in that bottle for a thousand years. You’ve just released me. To show my gratitude, I’m allowed to grant each of you a wish. But – I’ll require one favor in return.”

“Really? That’s great!” the husband says. “I want a million dollars a year for the rest of my life.”

“No problem – that’s the least I can do. And you, what do you want?” the genie asks, looking at the wife.

“I want a house in every country of the world,” the wife says.

The genie smiles. “Consider it done.”

“And what’s this favor we must grant in return, genie?” the husband asks.

“Well, since I’ve been trapped in that stupid bottle for the last thousand years, I haven’t had sex with a woman for a very long time. My wish is to sleep with your wife.”

The husband scratches his head, looks at the wife and says, “Well, we did get a lot of money and all these houses, honey. So I guess I’m fine if it’s alright with you.”

The genie and the wife disappear in a room upstairs and make love for an hour, while the husband stays in the living room.

When they are done, the genie rolls over, looks at the wife and asks, “How old exactly is your husband?”

“31,” she replies.

“And he still believes in genies? That’s amazing!”

Life Sentence

A couple goes out to dinner to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. On the way home, she notices a tear in his eye and asks if he’s getting sentimental because they’re celebrating 50 wonderful years together.

He replies, “No, I was thinking about the time before we got married. Your father threatened me with a shotgun and said he’d have me thrown in jail for 50 years if I didn’t marry you. Tomorrow I would’ve been a free man!”

One-Line Anniversary Jokes

A man inserted an ‘ad’ in the classifieds: “Wife wanted”.  Next day he received a hundred letters, all saying the same thing: “You can have mine.”

Son: Dad, is it true that in some parts of Africa a man doesn’t know his wife until he marries her? Dad: That happens in every country, son.

It doesn’t matter how often a married man changes his job, he still has the same boss.

Marriage is a man and woman choosing to become as one. Trouble starts when they try to decide which one.

A spouse is someone who’ll stand by you through all the trouble you wouldn’t have had if you’d stayed single.

Judo is the Japanese art of conquering by yielding. The Western equivalent of Judo is, “Yes dear””. -J.P. McEvoy

Adam and Eve had an ideal marriage. He didn’t have to hear about all the men she could have married… and she didn’t have to hear about how well his mother cooked.

 

 

 

 

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