In my last post I talked about a new way of doing business. I’m happy to report that it’s working. Well…. Kind of. For the most part it works, in theory. When I’m caught up on assignments & supplements, and if i get a steady spaced out stream of assignments ( no more than 5 local a day & 2 long distance a day) the new strategy works & I couldn’t be happier. But, we all know how life is always just the way we want it and totally predictable. And because of this awesome predictability, my new model only works about 50% of the time.
I would be doing fine and everything would be the way I wanted it, and then of course I would get a huge run of locals, or a bunch of long distance and they would all be in different directions. Needless to say old habits die hard and I’d find myself slipping back into the old way of things and looking at as much as I could during the day & writing at night again, just to stay on top of the workload.
Needless to say, this was unacceptable. I had a talk with the princess and she said that maybe it was time to break down & hire another appraiser. We were just recently contacted by an interested party that was already part of our nationwide network & he was looking to relocate to our area. This sounded tempting, I’ll admit. But there is some downsides to hiring an appraiser.
First, they have a specialized skill set & to keep them around & doing a good job, you need to keep them busy and pay them well. Or, well enough. I’d really don’t have a problem with this, BUT we are currently on the home stretch of paying off our home in the next 3-4 years & I don’t want that to slow down or change. I want to own this place free and clear. The other thing is that most people are just in it for the money and will cut corners and not care that much. After all, it’s not there business. They didn’t invest the time or the money getting this train going & keeping it going. I don’t have the time or desire to be constantly checking over their shoulder to make sure they’re doing what I need them too.
I started thinking, it’s not really the volume of work. I can handle that just fine. It’s the trips to the East side of the state that are killing me. 8-12 hours of drive time, every time I go out that way. Don’t get me wrong, the money to go out there is worth it. But it kills so much time. All that time driving, I could be writing the cars that I couldn’t finish the day before. I could be writing supplements so they weren’t stacking up during the week and having to deal with them on the weekends. So I came up with a solution.
I hired a driver. I’m sure I’ll have many different reactions to those 4 words. So, let me clarify. No, I did not hire a limo driver, or a limo. I hired a friend of my nephews named Dillon. He will be starting a window cleaning business in the spring/summer. So he has extra time right now and could use the extra money. He’s a good kid and trust worthy. So his current position is perfect for this little experiment. He drives me when I have assignments on the east side of the state. So only once or twice a week.
So while he is driving, I have my laptop up and running and get caught up on pending assignments and supplements on the way there (usually at least 4 hrs). If I do well and stay focused & get everything done… I take a nap! (giddy clapping) Once we get to said inspection sites, I write what I’ve seen on the way home. If I finish that, you guessed it…BONUS NAP!!!
We’ve only done this for a week so far and 2 trips out. But this is definitely the extra tweak that I’ve needed to really make this new way work. With Dillon driving instead of me, I get and extra 8 hours of computer time that I would normally not get. The best part is, it’s not really cheating because I’m still in the car for every mile that’s driven. Or at least that’s what I’m telling myself.
Sorry for all this verbiage. I can’t express what a difference this has made in such a short time to my quality of life. I’m just really excited about having the prospects of a normal life again. So now we move on to a bit of the norm.
It seems like everywhere I go, there’s some kind of waterfall. They seem to spring up all over the place. Some hidden, some in plain site. I was told about this one from Sawyer at Lyle Pearson Acura. It’s in Twin falls on the way down to the canyon floor. I’ve talked about the Perrine Bridge Before. It’s the main bridge that comes South into Twin Falls from Interstate 86. You can see it here.Tucked away behind some Commercial and residential areas, is a road that winds down to the canyon floor.Did I mention there was a golf course on the canyon floor?So you’re heading down this windy road, you pull over like I did in the above pictures. You walk to the hairpin turn and cross over the cement dividers. You’ll look to your left where you’ll no doubt be hearing the very distinct sound of a waterfall…No where near as grand as the Shoshone falls. But any waterfall is worth the stop to appreciate, in my opinion. I’m not sure if this one has a name, but here are some other pics of this particular fall… A hiking path down to the bottom hidden away by bushes.And the area down around the bottom of the falls. I wonder what it would be like to sit at the bottom letting the water cascade over you? Would it hurt? Or fell good? I may have to try one of these summers…After Letting Dillon drive me for the first time last week, I had a Stephen King “Christine” moment. The night following Dillon’s drive, I started her up and pulled her into the garage for the night. No problems whatsoever. The next morning I get in and turn the key? Not a peep. Not even the dreaded clicking. It didn’t help that I was currently listening to “Christine” on audio book at the time. Maybe she was mad at me? Nah. (gulp)
I thought maybe the alternator finally went out. It’s still the original one after all, and 435k miles would be a good run. So I used the RDX and the new roadside emergency kit I bought a few months ago & jumped the TSX. No problem. So I drove down to Lyle Pearson Acura to have the alternator tested. First, they tested the battery. “As dead as every dead animal that has ever died.”(Dwight Schrute) No real surprise there. While they were testing the alternator I walked over to parts where Trevor “The Strap” is now pulling down a living and had him look up the cost of an alternator for my car. It was only about $250, so I wasn’t to devastated if it turned out I needed one. But alas, once the new battery was in, the alternator tested just fine! A wash & back on the road I went with my new battery.
At the auction the other week I saw this sad sight. Sad for 2 reasons really. First the color, Yuk! Second for the more devastating, the damage. Not too bad in the big scheme of things, but hate to see it on a car like this. Not sure what happened to her, but I’m sure someone will see past the color and take her home and make her right again.
And now, here to close the show, is the King of the Minions! I saw this little guy on the edge of a field on the way to Albion, ID to look at a trailer. There’s not a whole lot going on in Albion, so I can see how this guy came to be. I just wish I could have seen him freshly done! Did you notice that the rim of his goggles is a car tire that’s been painted silver? Little guy? Not so much. You could see him from miles away! Here’s another pic for scale. If you look close, you can see Dillon hiding behind the wheel.Hope everyone had a great week! See you all again soon!