Tom Dwyer Automotive http://tomdwyer.com Portland's Best Auto Repair - Now Servicing 1998+ Vehicles Wed, 15 Jul 2015 17:44:16 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 Tom’s Tidbits- Green Job Creation http://tomdwyer.com/2015/newsletters/toms-tidbits-green-job-creation/ http://tomdwyer.com/2015/newsletters/toms-tidbits-green-job-creation/#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2015 21:22:53 +0000 http://tomdwyer.com/?p=18270 Greetings! Yesterday was a good day for Oregon because a completely useless and damaging law was changed.  While I won’t be rushing out to exercise this new found freedom, I’m happy for other reasons.  The idea that a plant that … Continue reading

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aaaTidbitsButtonGreetings!

Yesterday was a good day for Oregon because a completely useless and damaging law was changed.  While I won’t be rushing out to exercise this new found freedom, I’m happy for other reasons.  The idea that a plant that has grown easily and anywhere for millions of years could be made illegal is an affront to rational lawmaking.  In Oregon, this nonsensical 78-year-long Prohibition was overturned when citizens quit waiting on politicians and created a ballot initiative that eventually passed 56% to 43%.  This victory for citizen-driven government would be enough to celebrate on its own, but the upsides to legal pot go far beyond that…RestOfNewsletter

I really don’t think we’ll see much increase in the actual use of the drug.  Look around… anyone who wants to use pot can already find it.  Medical users have had access to marijuana since 1998 and recreational users have no shortage of ‘dudes’ they can buy from. The facts that The Weed Blog lists the “Best Marijuana Events in 2015” (not just the events, but the best events) or that Portland hosts an annual Hempstalk festival among other pot-related events show that society has been living quite easily with marijuana use for a long time now.  I don’t foresee a sudden surge in native Oregon stoners.

One of the things we will see is an improvement in law and policing.  The negative impact of marijuana use is negligible, but the negative impact of marijuana law has left a trail of broken lives for decades.  Believe it or not, there are still people serving life sentences for non-violent pot offenses!  Even a person lucky enough not to do prison time for a pot arrest still carries the stigma of an arrest record with them for life, strangling their potential in a way the drug itself could never do.  With marijuana legalized, police, prosecutors, and judges can quit wasting their time and our taxpayer dollars on pot and can return to protecting us from the violent and economic crimes that actually do destroy lives.

But the social and judicial benefits aren’t all… there are new job opportunities and money to be made as well!  The State of Oregon estimates they’ll receive up to $40 million per year from legal weed.  That’s money that could go to education, infrastructure repair, environmental cleanup, or a host of other priorities that politicians are too spineless to fund from other sources.  Money to fund needed programs is good but what is better is more dollars flowing thru our local economies. An entire new economy will spring up around farming, distribution, sales, testing, and more.  These new jobs and new business support product demands will put money into the pockets of local people to spend. It’s an economy Oregon is creating from nothing, and the people of Oregon will continue to reap the benefits for decades to come.

Today Oregon follows Washington and Colorado into a new paradigm; where adults can get a little euphoric without the paranoia, and where our State can profit without having to pinch pennies from the poorest among us.  It’s a reality that the citizens of Oregon decided, on their own, to create. I think it’s a reality a lot of other states will be following us into very soon.

Take Care and Make a Great Day!

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July Two-fer from Keith Tucker http://tomdwyer.com/2015/newsletters/july-two-fer-from-keith-tucker/ http://tomdwyer.com/2015/newsletters/july-two-fer-from-keith-tucker/#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2015 21:21:46 +0000 http://tomdwyer.com/?p=18271 The post July Two-fer from Keith Tucker appeared first on Tom Dwyer Automotive.

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The Devil in all of us?  The Stanford Prison Experiment http://tomdwyer.com/2015/newsletters/the-devil-in-all-of-us-the-stanford-prison-experiment/ http://tomdwyer.com/2015/newsletters/the-devil-in-all-of-us-the-stanford-prison-experiment/#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2015 21:20:25 +0000 http://tomdwyer.com/?p=18272 The deluge of videos showing cops gone wild continues unabated.  Many factors contribute to this horrific situation.  Racism is an undeniable part, but so are the militarization of our police forces, abusive court fines, and even outright systemic corruption.  Most … Continue reading

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The deluge of videos showing cops gone wild continues unabated.  Many factors contribute to this horrific situation.  Racism is an undeniable part, but so are the militarization of our police forces, abusive court fines, and even outright systemic corruption.  Most of these problems could be addressed through law (with enough political will), and maybe even the toxic effects of racism could at least be blunted.   But what if none of those issues are the root of the problem?  What if the problem goes to a level of humanity we can’t even touch?  The Stanford Prison Experiment gives some evidence this may be the case.  If its findings are valid, then cops, politicians, and even victims may not be completely responsible for their situations, and there may be a large component of this dehumanization that we are condemned to live with…RestOfNewsletter

The Stanford Prison Experiment was flawed in many ways, but it would be unwise to ignore it completely.  There are certainly evil, racist, and sadistic people in the world, but the experiment shows that evil doesn’t require these qualities to flourish.  Good people can be prodded toward evil by their circumstances, and apathy can be enough to let the slide continue.  On the bright side, it also shows the value of leadership and oversight… a word from a person in control of a situation can change everything.  From Abu Ghraib to Ferguson, the Stanford Prison Experiment shows that it’s not enough to blame Lynndie England or Darren Wilson.  They’re certainly responsible, but if we stop with them then the problem won’t be solved.  It’s not enough to weed out ‘evil’ people because the evil is us all.  Solutions require the leadership and conscious involvement of all of us, or the situation that brings about this evil will never change.

The Setup

The Stanford Prison Experiment is one of the most famous experiments ever in psychology, but it’s not very well known outside psychological circles.  It was groundbreaking and controversial when it was conducted and the results remain disturbing yet ambiguous today.

In 1971, psychologist Philip Zimbardo simulated a prison environment using average students (filtered to exclude criminal background, psychological impairments, or medical problems) randomly assigned to roles of ‘prisoner’ or ‘guard’.  Prisoners were arrested at their homes by real police, searched, booked, deloused, and given a uniform of a gown, sandals, stocking cap, and leg chains.  Guards were given khaki uniforms, badges, sunglasses, and batons.  Prisoners were taken to the ‘Stanford County Prison’, a mockup created in the basement of the Stanford Psychology Department including cells, prison yard, guard shack, and a solitary confinement room.  Prisoners had to stay in their cells throughout the two-week study, while guards worked for eight-hour shifts and went home.  The few ground rules included a ban on physical violence, although guards were permitted to use non-violent punishments like isolation or push-ups.

The Events

So what happened?  Prisoners and guards quickly coalesced into hostile groups with guards using every method at their disposal to control prisoners.  This rapidly slid from control to abuse.  Guards humiliated and punished the prisoners to the point of mental and emotional distress, resulting in a revolt on day two.  As the experiment progressed, forced exercise, physical punishment, removal of mattresses and toilet facilities, and sexual humiliation entered the scenario.  The ban on physical violence was breached more than once.  Zimbardo, the ‘warden’ of the prison, watched all this without interference until he ended the experiment after just six days of the two weeks planned.

Criticism

While the Stanford Experiment may seem informative, has been widely criticized for many serious flaws.  It happened before medical ethics required fully informed consent and protection of the subjects from physical or psychological harm, and arguably lacked both.  Ironically, it was also one of the experiments that helped establish these standards for later research.

Other criticisms strike at the methodology of the experiment.  The results were certainly affected by the participants’ knowledge that were in an observed simulation.  Since they were assigned roles in a prison (as opposed to the military or a bakery), the subjects performed to expected prison roles… or more precisely, their stereotypes of those roles.  For instance, Zimbardo mentions his inclusion of sunglasses as part of the guards’ uniforms was inspired by “Cool Hand Luke”, which does not depict an enlightened prison system.  Zimbardo’s own preconceptions about prison undoubtedly colored the scenario as well, as did his manipulations during the experiment.

There have even been critiques of the “normal” students used in the experiment.  They were indeed drawn from the general student population, but were also a self-selected group who responded to an ad for a “study of prison life”.  Since this isn’t a truly unblemished pool of participants, the experimental results may not be generalizable to the rest of the population.

Lessons?

People-science is usually not as unequivocal as object-science, and psychological experiments rarely have the objectivity of their physics or chemistry analogues.  It’s harder to place controls or to isolate critical variables when dealing with real people, and harder to draw iron-clad conclusions from any one study.  As imperfect as the Prison Experiment was, there may still be lessons from it.

The people in the experiment may not represent the general population, but they weren’t selected for evil either.   The Stanford experiment showed the overwhelming influence of context on an individual’s action.  A person may not be ‘evil’, but the situations they are in can mold or test their basic tendencies.   Also, people may change behavior to fit what they believe their ‘role’ requires them.  Dave Eshelman, one of the prison guards, recalled that he “consciously created” his guard persona. “I was kind of running my own experiment in there, by saying, ‘How far can I push these things and how much abuse will these people take before they say, ‘Knock it off?’ ”

The role of leadership also came under scrutiny in the experiment.  As Eshelman indicated, the guards in the experiment were under the control and observation of the researchers (particularly Zimbardo).  From the New Yorker article below, “Occasionally, disputes between prisoner and guards got out of hand, violating an explicit injunction against physical force that both prisoners and guards had read prior to enrolling in the study. When the “superintendent” and “warden” overlooked these incidents, the message to the guards was clear: all is well; keep going as you are. The participants knew that an audience was watching, and so a lack of feedback could be read as tacit approval.”  This influence of the ‘warden’ (or lack thereof) was pivotal in the development of the abuse and violence that ended the experiment.

The Stanford Prison Experiment in depth…

The Stanford Prison Experiment (part I) and The Stanford Prison Experiment (part II)- (video)

Documentary from the BBC built on extensive video from the original experiment and interviews with Zimbardo and other experiment participants.

Zimbardo – Stanford Prison Experiment– Saul McLeod on Simply Psychology, 2008

Detailed sketch of the Prison Experiment

The Real Lesson of the Stanford Prison Experiment– Maria Konnikova in The New Yorker, Jun 2015

In-depth examination of the experiment and its implications

The Lucifer Effect- Understanding How Good People Turn Evil– (book) by Philip Zimbardo, Random House, 2007

Zimbardo analyzes the Prison Experiment and other experiments designed to expose the effects of situation and role in why good people do evil.

The Lie of the Stanford Prison Experiment– Carlo Prescott in The Stanford Daily, Apr 2005

Critique of the experiment from Carlo Prescott, a man who served 17 years in San Quentin and was a chief consultant to Zimbardo on the original experiment.

The Rarely Told True Story of Zimbardo’s Prison Experiment– Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Ph.D., in Psychology Today, Jul 2013; and Why Zimbardo’s Prison Experiment Isn’t in My Textbook– Peter Gray in Psychology Today, Oct 2013

A glimpse of academic argumentation as two psychologists discuss the value of the Prison Experiment

The Stanford Prison Experiment: Still powerful after all these years– Stanford News Service, Jan 1997

Article from Stanford University delving into the ethics of the Experiment and describing in detail the role of Christina Maslach, one of the psychologists who urged Zimbardo to close down the project.

The Stanford Prison Experiment:  A simulation study on the psychology of imprisonment- (webpage for movie)

In July 2015 IFC will release a movie based on the Stanford Prison Experiment.  It’s a drama, not a documentary, but the trailer sums up the whole thing and sends shivers down your spine as well.

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FREE Sellwood Park Concerts- Relax and enjoy Oregon’s beauty http://tomdwyer.com/2015/newsletters/free-sellwood-park-concerts-relax-and-enjoy-oregons-beauty/ http://tomdwyer.com/2015/newsletters/free-sellwood-park-concerts-relax-and-enjoy-oregons-beauty/#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2015 21:19:26 +0000 http://tomdwyer.com/?p=18273 Is it the heat? No.  Is it the kids home from school? No.  Is it the big road trip back East?  No.  How do you know it’s REALLY summer?  For us, it’s the beginning of the free Sellwood Park Concert … Continue reading

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Is it the heat? No.  Is it the kids home from school? No.  Is it the big road trip back East?  No.  How do you know it’s REALLY summer?  For us, it’s the beginning of the free Sellwood Park Concert Series.  We’ve been sponsors of this wonderful neighborhood event for many years, and we look forward all year to inviting you to participate.  Did we mention it’s FREE?  Imagine spending an evening (well after the heat has died down) lounging in a grassy paradise.  RestOfNewsletterYour picnic basket is open, your kids are running around, and you’re listening to some of the best live music around.  Will you dance?  Up to you.  The whole evening is about your total enjoyment! Here are dates and bands for this year’s shows…

Chevrona

July 6- Chervona– Eastern Euro Carnival Insanity

UralThomas

July 13-  Windermere Stellar, Moreland Group Presents: Ural Thomas & the Pain – Portland’s Pillar of Soul

MaryFlower

July 20- OnPoint Community Credit Union Presents: Mary Flower & the BBQ Boys – Legendary guitar picker meets Jug Band

RoselandHunters

July 27- Roseland Hunters – New Orleans Funk

CatrinaNew

August 3- Sellwood Westmoreland Business Alliance Presents: Catarina New & Brazilian Touch – Saxafunky Latin Rhythms

2014 concert

2014 Sellwood Park Concert- For a quick sample of the fun at 2014’s concert just click this link for a more in-depth look

Concerts 2015

The Summer Park Concert Series is presented by Portland Parks in parks around the city. Click here for the full city-wide schedule!

 

 

 

 

 

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Repair or rent for summer travel? How to pick the right wheels for road trips http://tomdwyer.com/2015/newsletters/repair-or-rent-for-summer-travel-how-to-pick-the-right-wheels-for-road-trips/ http://tomdwyer.com/2015/newsletters/repair-or-rent-for-summer-travel-how-to-pick-the-right-wheels-for-road-trips/#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2015 21:18:27 +0000 http://tomdwyer.com/?p=18274 Don’t learn from your mistakes… it’s less painful to learn from other people’s mistakes!  Summer road trips offer plenty of these teachable moments, and over the years we’ve seen many people learn the painful way.  When planning to take the … Continue reading

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Don’t learn from your mistakes… it’s less painful to learn from other people’s mistakes!  Summer road trips offer plenty of these teachable moments, and over the years we’ve seen many people learn the painful way.  When planning to take the family on a long “are we there yet?” road trip, your first concern must be whether you’re sure your carriage will make the trip. RestOfNewsletterEven if you’re sure your vehicle is able (and we can help determine that part) you also need to think about the toll the trip will take on it. Driving your own vehicle has advantages, but renting a vehicle makes the depreciation, wear and tear, and reliability someone else’s problem.  Also, rentals generally can be more accommodating, get better mileage, have nicer accoutrements and ensure a trouble free experience.

Rental-Cars

If you decide to rent, we have a tip for you… we deal with Enterprise Rentals for all our in-shop car rentals, and they always do us right. We work mostly with the Clackamas location on 82nd Avenue, so give ’em a call and tell ’em we sent you! (We’ll still handle things here if you want a rental while your vehicle is being serviced, but you can call Enterprise directly for your personal rental needs.)

So when should you rent rather than drive your own car on a long trip?   Here are some pointers on mechanical issues, and then an article from The Simple Dollar that grinds the numbers on a trip from Duluth to Dallas to show you the economic side of the equation as well…

If your current vehicle has super high miles or has known serious problems then the rent/drive question is easily solved.  If you’re driving a newer, well-maintained vehicle then that answer is easy as well.  If you don’t fall into either of these categories then here are a couple things to think about…

  • If you your vehicle has high mileage (say more than 125,000 miles) and you haven’t been keeping up on recommended maintenance and repairs, then you shouldn’t try to start right before a road trip. You could spend a lot of money ineffectually playing catchup or psychic Ouija Board fixit. No amount of pre-trip money is a guarantee against break-down. You can take care of the things you’re aware of while something that’s issued no previous warning is waiting to fail instead.  Don’t try to play catchup… rent in this case.
  • If you’re reasonably current on maintenance and repair, you should still have your vehicle inspected before leaving. If you’re pretty confident or going for a shorter trip, our 90-point inspection might be appropriate.  It’s designed to quickly identify problems that can be caught without digging deeply into your vehicle.  If you’re less confident of your vehicle or if you’re planning a longer trip then we’d likely recommend our Comprehensive Inspection instead; a much more in-depth evaluation. In either case, our Service Advisors will gladly tell you what impact any issues might have on your trip.
  • NO INSPECTION OR SERVICE IS A GUARANTEE. No matter how thorough the inspection or how much money is spent, there are always issues that can cause a high mileage (or any mileage for that matter) vehicle to fail. A pre-trip vehicle inspection can give you guidance and confidence, but your vehicle might still spring a surprise on you.  A cell phone and roadside assistance like Better World Club or AAA are wise protections.
  • Don’t wait till the last minute! Scheduling well in advance for vehicle service or inspection makes it easier to get an appointment, but there’s a strong mechanical reason as well.  It’s a good idea to have a test-drive period after any repair to make sure all went well.   If a defective part was installed you’ll have a chance for it to fail locally; if a repair didn’t fix a problem you’ll have a chance to return for inspection. You don’t want either of these things happening to you when you’re half way to vacationland.
  • Another decision point renting vs. repairing is balancing the mileage against the time you’ll be out. If you’re planning a multi-week trip then the rental bill might seem prohibitive… you’ll either have to save a lot of money or be very worried about your existing vehicle to make it worthwhile.  Renting makes the most sense for high trip mileage, short-duration trips.  We’ll close with an article from The Simple Dollar that goes into the economic balance in more detail…

Is Renting a Car Cheaper for a Long Road Trip?– By Trent Hamm on The Simple Dollar, May 08, 2015

Monica wrote in with a question that I thought deserved a detailed answer…

I’m going to be driving from northern Minnesota to Dallas, Texas for a week this summer, then returning home. I own a 2008 Toyota Corolla with 34,000 miles on it. I’m trying to figure out if it’s more cost effective to rent a car for this trip or to drive my own car.

It’s going to be really hard to find an exact answer for you given the variables, but I can give you a good estimate that should guide you.

First, let’s get some numbers. I’m going to assume that you live in Duluth, Minnesota, so the length of your trip is 1,100 miles. We’ll assume that you’re going to drive 300 miles while in Dallas, so your round trip will be pretty close to 2,500 miles.

A 2008 Toyota Corolla gets 29 miles per gallon, according to fueleconomy.gov, which is my source for such data. At your current mileage (and making some default assumptions about your Corolla), it’s worth $11,282 according to Kelley Blue Book. After the 2,500 miles of driving, your car would devalue to $11,182, which means that the road trip would devalue your car by $100.

You’re also going to be on the hook for half of an oil change if you drive your own car. It also pushes you along on the rest of your maintenance schedule, which is difficult to estimate but does have a significant cost. Commute Solutions identifies the maintenance cost per mile for driving a car as being 5.3 cents, which means that over the course of the trip, you’ll rack up about $132.50 in maintenance costs (including oil changes).

Now, if you’re renting an economy car, you’re going to be paying about $250 for the rental for the round trip. I looked at several different rental companies that function out of Duluth such as Hertz and Enterprise and found several different estimates for a weeklong trip. I did use coupon codes to get those quotes.

A 2011 Chevy Aveo (the “example” economy car that is mentioned on Enterprise’s website) gets 30 miles to the gallon, compared to the 29 mpg of your current car. That means, over the course of the trip, you’re going to eat up three more gallons with your own car, costing you about $12.

Now, if you were to get a 2011 Toyota Prius for that “economy” price, you’d get 50 miles to the gallon, compared to the 29 mpg of your current car. That means, over the course of the trip, you’re going to eat up 36 more gallons than with your own car, costing you $144 (assuming gas prices are at $4 this summer).

In this example, then, the cost of renting a car with a similar fuel efficiency to your own is roughly equal over the long run. The catch, of course, is that many of the costs associated with your own car are delayed. You don’t pay for the maintenance now and the depreciation doesn’t affect you now. Those things impact you later down the road.

However, if you rent a car that’s significantly more fuel efficient than your own, you’ll likely save a little money by renting. Again, the costs of renting are up front, where many of the costs of using your own car are delayed.

Of course, this all depends on the rental rate you’re able to get and the car availability. If you’re able to lock in a highly fuel efficient car in conjunction with a strong coupon or other offer, you may find it cheaper to rent. Otherwise, you’re probably better off driving your own car on this trip.

In the end, there are some factors that make renting a more appealing option: a long trip over a short time period, an increase in fuel efficiency, and the availability of coupons or other discounts makes renting compelling. Without at least some of those factors, though, I’d lean toward driving the car I already had, and if the costs were close, I’d use my own car because of the lower hassle.

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Drew’s Kitchen- Billy Joel’s Grilled Tuna & Marinated Cucumber Salad http://tomdwyer.com/2015/newsletters/drews-kitchen-for-july/ http://tomdwyer.com/2015/newsletters/drews-kitchen-for-july/#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2015 21:17:24 +0000 http://tomdwyer.com/?p=18275 This month’s recipe comes with a little story… you know Drew as our Service Advisor and in-house chef, but he had a life before that.  Back in the day, Drew was a drummer with several local bands as well as … Continue reading

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This month’s recipe comes with a little story… you know Drew as our Service Advisor and in-house chef, but he had a life before that.  Back in the day, Drew was a drummer with several local bands as well as bands in California.  RestOfNewsletterHe had a particular love for Billy Joel (if you are too young to know who this is, ask your parents) and found that Billy was also a closet cook.  This recipe, one of the first Drew tried, remains one of his favorites today.  So for July we present a stroll down Drew’s memory lane with…

Billy Joel’s Grilled Tuna & Marinated Cucumber Salad

Ingredients: 

  • ¼ cup teriyaki sauce
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 2/3 cup (+ 1 tsp) olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 fresh tuna steaks (8 oz. each)
  • 2 med. Cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • ½ sm onion, thinly sliced (optional)

Preparation:

  • In glass pie plate or bowl, combine teriyaki sauce, lemon juice, parsley, 2/3 cup oil, and ¼ tsp black pepper. Add tuna steaks, making sure fish is completely covered by marinade.  Cover; refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.
  • In bowl, combine cucumbers, vinegar, cilantro, 1 tsp oil, ¼ tsp each salt and pepper, and onion if using. Cover; refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.
  • Remove tuna from marinade; discard marinade. Preheat ridged grill pan or prepare outdoor grill for covered direct grilling on medium-high.  Cook tuna 4 to 6 minutes or until browned on both sides but still pink in center, turning once.
  • Drain cucumber salad. Break tuna into chunks and add to salad
  • Serves 2
Express-Newspapers-Hulton-A

And because we just couldn’t pass up the opportunity, click this link for the Top 10 Billy Joel songs of all time!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Shop Talk for July- Thanks for voting! http://tomdwyer.com/2015/newsletters/shop-talk-for-july/ http://tomdwyer.com/2015/newsletters/shop-talk-for-july/#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2015 21:16:35 +0000 http://tomdwyer.com/?p=18276 Thank You For Your Support! Voting ended on Wednesday for the 2015 Willamette Week “Best of Portland” issue, and thank you to everyone who voted for us as Portland’s Best Auto Repair!  We know we moved from the top 5 … Continue reading

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aaaShopTalkButtonThank You For Your Support!

Voting ended on Wednesday for the 2015 Willamette Week “Best of Portland” issue, and thank you to everyone who voted for us as Portland’s Best Auto Repair!  We know we moved from the top 5 nominees to the top 3, but we won’t know the winners until the July 15 Willy Week comes out. That doesn’t matter right now, though, because tRestOfNewsletterhis is an opportunity to thank you all for the continued support, interest, and goodwill you’ve shown to our shop over the years.  We try our absolute best to provide quality service based on respect for you and your priorities, and it means the world when people appreciate our efforts.  We will do everything we can to maintain the standards you expect and that we are proud to provide. Thank you for your continued support and we look forward to serving you for years to come.

RefRewardsButtonReferral Reward Program

Our Referral Reward Program is our way of saying “thanks” to our loyal clients who recommend our services to people they know. Everytime a new client comes in from an individual referral, we call the person who made the referral and make a donation to the non-profit group of their choice.  It’s working well so far… this year, we’ve made 47 donations totalling $1955 including our first Quarterly Award of $200.  Here are the groups who benefitted in July… send us a new client today to get your group on the list too!

Oregon Food Bank

Bicycle Transportation Alliance

Community Music Center

It Gets Better Project

SOLV

Portland Animal Welfare Team

Catholic Charities

Growing Gardens

KMHD Radio

Raphael House

Oregon League of Conservation Voters

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

This month’s comment comes to us from one of our very few less-than-5-star Yelp reviews.  Anne M. wrote:

“They are always booked.”

Not true, Anne, but if you tried to schedule a short-notice appointment during summer, we can certainly understand how it could seem that way!  Often, people don’t realize that the auto repair industry has peak busy times… since people are getting their vehicles ready for summer we are operating at maximum capacity.  We’ve written a article explaining this in detail, but the take-away is that planning ahead during our peak season makes it easier to accommodate YOUR needs on YOUR schedule.  We always take emergency situations immediately and our clients rarely have to wait more than a day or so for an appointment at ANY time, but Anne’s comment reminded us to remind you… if you plan far enough ahead, we are almost NEVER booked!

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 left will take you to the full list at the NHTSA website.


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Health Notes-  Natural vs. Artificial Flavors http://tomdwyer.com/2015/newsletters/health-notes-natural-vs-artificial-flavors/ http://tomdwyer.com/2015/newsletters/health-notes-natural-vs-artificial-flavors/#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2015 21:14:57 +0000 http://tomdwyer.com/?p=18277 Of course you’ve seen the labels that tell you your snacks have “natural and artificial flavors”.  What’s the difference?  Is one better or worse for you than the other? As more Americans become conscious of their food choices, producers are … Continue reading

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aaaHealthNotesButtonOf course you’ve seen the labels that tell you your snacks have “natural and artificial flavors”.  What’s the difference?  Is one better or worse for you than the other?

As more Americans become conscious of their food choices, producers are responding.  They aren’t necessarily trying to make things more natural or healthy, but they are trying to limit themselves to ingredients that people “see as natural”.RestOfNewsletter

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is an environmental organization that researches, among many other things, issues around toxic chemicals.  They studied natural and artificial flavors and concluded there isn’t really that much difference.  In fact, the biggest difference wasn’t their health effects but how they are sourced and regulated.  Natural flavors must come from plant or animal material (currently including GMO crops), while artificial flavors are synthesized entirely from other ingredients… petroleum, for example.

The artificial flavors end up being very close to the chemical composition of their natural targets, because taste is a chemical phenomenon.  Two flavors that are radically different chemically won’t taste the same at all.  Creating an artificial flavor may use the same basic chemicals, but would put them together from easier or cheaper sources rather than pulling the real flavor as-is from the natural source.

Natural flavors have other chemicals that don’t contribute to the main thrust of the flavor, but add slightly different overtones.  Artificial grape flavor might have the same base components as natural grape flavor, but the natural flavor will be more complex and more textured.

Because the differences are so small in this case, EWG rates natural and artificial flavors the same in its Food Scores database.  There is a slightly better score for “organic natural” flavors, which is basically the flavor of the food itself.  Duh.

If you want to avoid added flavorings, natural or artificial, the only solution is to eat unprocessed foods.  Food from your garden or organic food from the store both come with all the flavors they’re supposed to have, and with all the nutrition as well.

Digging Deeper…

Synthetic ingredients in Natural Flavors and Natural Flavors in Artificial flavors by David Andrews, Environmental Working Group.

The Flavor Industry by Samia McCully, N.D., on PCC Cooks, Aug 2010

What is the difference between artificial and natural flavors?  Gary Reineccius in Scientific American, Jul 2002

Do you know the difference between artificial and natural flavors in food?  Katherine Martinko on TreeHugger, Nov 2014

And here’s one more link that you may be particularly interested in…  Who decides what food additives are “Generally Recognized as Safe”?  Margaret Badore on TreeHugger.com, Apr 2014

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Sellwood Bridge Update- Which Portland bridges are earthquake-rated? http://tomdwyer.com/2015/newsletters/sellwood-bridge-update-which-portland-bridges-are-earthquake-rated/ http://tomdwyer.com/2015/newsletters/sellwood-bridge-update-which-portland-bridges-are-earthquake-rated/#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2015 21:14:03 +0000 http://tomdwyer.com/?p=18278 As the summer heats up, the Sellwood Bridge construction is continuing quietly and sweatily along.  The existing bridge is open and flowing freely, while traffic may be moving on the NEW bridge as early as this year with the project … Continue reading

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aaaBridgeUpdateButtonAs the summer heats up, the Sellwood Bridge construction is continuing quietly and sweatily along.  The existing bridge is open and flowing freely, while traffic may be moving on the NEW bridge as early as this year with the project complete in 2016.   Since there’s not too much to update you on, we’ll do something fun yet educational this month instead… a trivia contest! RestOfNewsletter

Over the last 10,000 years, Portland has averaged a major (7 or above on the Richter scale) earthquake in the area about every 243 years.  The last one occurred on January 26, 1700, 314 years ago.  We’re long overdue.

The Northwest is preparing for the inevitable, and one of the things we’re worried about most is the structural integrity of our bridges.  Aside from the devastation if one or more of our bridges collapsed during the quake itself, the loss of transportation routes across the river would cripple rescue and rebuilding efforts in the aftermath.  So here’s the trivia question…

Which of Portland’s bridges are CURRENTLY earthquake-rated?

Here are the bridges we’re counting as “Portland bridges” for the purposes of this question…

Marquam Bridge (I-5 over Willamette)          Interstate Bridge (I-5 over Columbia)

Sauvie’s Island Bridge          St. Johns Bridge          Fremont Bridge

Broadway Bridge          Steel Bridge          Burnside Bridge

Morrison Bridge          Hawthorne Bridge

Ross Island Bridge          Sellwood Bridge          Glen Jackson Bridge (I-205 over Columbia)

Abernethy Bridge (I-205 over Willamette)          Tilikum Crossing

AND HERE’S A SCARY HINT TO START YOU OFF… of the 15 bridges listed above,

>>>>> only 3 are earthquake rated! <<<<<

Please send your answers in an email to tomdwyer@tomdwyer.com, and put “Bridge Trivia” in the subject line.  The first TWO correct answers will receive fabulous prizes that are all-too-appropriate for this question… First Aid Kits!  red_soft_kitThese are the nice ones we carry in our Courtesy Shuttles, and are a part of any basic emergency preparedness whether you’re on a bridge or not.  Winners (and the right answers) will be included in the August Sellwood Bridge Update.

One more thing… if this question has made you a little nervous about the state of our infrastructure, that’s not paranoia.  Here are three documents that give you the dismal details of the state of Oregon’s roads and bridges.  It’s not good, but then that’s the situation all around the country… 1 of 9 US bridges are structurally deficient, and the American Society of Civil Engineers tell us it would take roughly $3.6 trillion to bring the nation’s infrastructure up to simply “good” condition.

DANGER AHEAD: America’s bridges and roads crumbling, and the Highway Trust Fund is set to go broke in 2014– David Knowles in New York Daily News, Aug 2013

Seismic Vulnerability of Oregon State Highway Bridges- Mitigation Strategies to Reduce Major Mobility Risks (PDF), Oregon Dept. of Transportation, Nov 2009

The Fix We’re In For:  The State Of Oregon’s Bridges 2015 (PDF), Transportation for America, Jun 2015

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- “Big Weed” by Christian Hageseth http://tomdwyer.com/2015/newsletters/book-spotlight-big-weed-by-christian-hageseth/ http://tomdwyer.com/2015/newsletters/book-spotlight-big-weed-by-christian-hageseth/#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2015 21:12:51 +0000 http://tomdwyer.com/?p=18279 With marijuana now legal in Oregon, we’re seeing the beginnings of a whole new industry taking shape.  New players are entering the market and defining the rules of that market (with the loving oversight of the OLCC) as they go … Continue reading

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aaaBookSpotlightButtonWith marijuana now legal in Oregon, we’re seeing the beginnings of a whole new industry taking shape.  New players are entering the market and defining the rules of that market (with the loving oversight of the OLCC) as they go along.  It won’t be long before Oregon has put its own stamp on the industry.  We think the same energy that has built our wine, craft beer, and now craft RestOfNewsletterdistilling industries will shape this new product, and the qualities that set our current Oregon offerings apart will spread to the world of cannabis as well.

But there are piles of money to be made in this new world, and not all beer sales are Oregon microbrews.  There’s a large market that won’t care about craft or care, just commodity weed.  We’ve seen Big Corporate takeover farming of other products and it’s not even a matter of time before they start with cannabis… it’s already happening. Our book spotlight this month, a suggestion from client Edwin R., takes you inside the world of someone building a marijuana company in Denver and his encounters with the still-embryonic-but-already-scary Big Weed.  And as always, click the link to be taken to our Oregon-born Powells.com for the book site.

BigWeed ImageBig Weed: An Entrepreneur’s High-Stakes Adventures in the Budding Legal Marijuana Business

by Chris Hageseth

Legal marijuana is the hottest story in the US today. Twenty-two states have authorized sales in some form; Denver has more legal marijuana dispensaries than Starbucks franchises. We are witnessing the dawn of a new industry. And like the early days of gourmet coffee chains, the rules and players are being established on the fly.

Christian Hageseth is the face of the revolution — an entrepreneur and father of three who worked in the white-collar professional world for 20 years before opening his first dispensary. The Founder and Chairman of Green Man Cannabis, the fastest-growing marijuana company in the country, he’s the perfect tour guide through the wild frontier, where police hardly know what laws to enforce, or parents what to tell their kids. He paints a colorful picture not only of how he got into the business, but of the big interests that are eager to do the same — namely Philip Morris, Monsanto and a who’s who of Big Pharma. He predicts a future where the marijuana market splits in two: the high-end, artisanal market, supplied by individual growers and small farms, and the mass market, covered by the cigarette giants and anyone bold enough to compete with them. Much like beer and coffee, your brand of weed will be just one more reflection of your lifestyle. It’s an entrepreneur’s dream, and Hageseth invites us along as he pitches skeptical investors, negotiates a shaggy cast of colleagues, and builds the biggest business he can.  It’s an inside look at the legal marijuana industry and the huge economy its creating — from the founder of Green Man Cannabis, the fastest-growing marijuana producer in the country.

About the Author

Christian Hageseth is a seasoned entrepreneur in the food, finance, and real estate industries, and the founder of Green Man Cannabis, the fastest-growing and most innovative legal marijuana company in the country.

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