Saturday, June 27, 2015

Robbed- In Broad Daylight

Two days ago we were robbed in broad daylight of three bikes with a kids trailer bike maimed in addition.  While I went to look for bikes disposed someone came and grabbed a third bike off the trailer between 8 and 8.08AM.  This aggression has occupied my mind since.  A few thoughts
1.  If you are bringing bikes invest in real security- cables are useless.
2.  Bike theft is quiet- insurance is tagged (homeowner and renter policy deductables are most likely too high) and cops have no way of recovering.  I'm not even convinced our robbery will be part of the official statistics.
3.  Beware of hotels that back to greenspace/bike trails. The cop noted that this bike trail was known as the transient highway.  By day nannies, kids, housewives and atheletes....during the dark- homeless, etc.  It provides a quick escape route and most cops can't follow.
4.  Thieves aren't looking for real value- they will take anything.  Our bikes wouldn't have sold for $500 combined but it will cost us a lot more than that in aggravation.  

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

CA Water Conservation Observations

California is in the midst of a 4 year record drought, so I've been trying to observe what changes I might see taking place.  It's important for Oregonians as well because almost half of our counties declared a drought this year.  Here's what I've observed so far....not much.
1. a few yards have stopped watering (and maintained their yards)...hard to tell if it's water conservation or neglect.
2.  reclaimed water being used for irrigation (along with don't touch signs...wash your veggies!)
3.  notes at our vacation rental about conserving water.
4. note at campground to play in the river, not the water fountain.

Here are some things I thought I would observe
1. increased costs for showers at campgrounds (still only $0.50 per 5 minutes, in Oregon its $1 for 5 minutes at parks, $3per 5 minutes at private facilities.
2.  water saving shower heads- not at parks nor at rental house
3.  alternative yard planting with more native water independent plants

We're still in the north so it will be interested to see what happens as we travel to drier lands.

Quick update:
1.  At hearst castles they had shut down the bathrooms opting instead for portapotties...
2.  Beach cities still have free showers
3.  One restaurant noted they were only serving water to those that requested it.
4.  Vegas, 108 degrees....water conservation? ha ha

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Fishing Vs. Fly Fishing

Diamond lake is apparently good fishing.  Monday morning there were at least a 100 boats on the water by 6.30AM.  To put it in perspective the path around the lake is 11 miles.  I haven't seen one guide though?  Why, to easy to just get out and figure it out?
Later this summer I'll visit one of my groomsmen Ron who is a professional guide in Yellowstone and Argentina.   I think he does pretty well for himself, especially doing something he loves.   I don't know a ton about fly fishing but I believe there is a lot more technique and local knowledge required to be successful- key ingredients for any business.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Great Local Business Secret

They say in real estate its all about location location location.  The same is true in business.  This business was started by a enterprising state park employee who recognized a pattern- she kept answering the same question over and over about where campers could do laundry and get a shower.  She then built her business right next to another source of customers- RV travelers.   This is like shooting fish in a barrel right?  Not quite, there is still competition.  This owner differentiated herself by providing a better environment, clean working machines.  The online reviews spoke volumes about the differentiation this owner provided on a coin operated laundry.  I saw it immediately when I came in- her name and cell# are prominently posted on the front window.  As I walked in and looked confused, I was pleasantly greeted by another launderer and she helped me decide which machine to use...I knew immediately this was the owner.  Great businesses share some common practices- they provide a great service at a great value.  They listen to their customers and then they act to provide a better experience.  Making money is an outcome of operating a great business.  Hats off to this entrepreneur!37th st coin operated laundry

Uneven Oregon Economic Recovery- Visual Sighting

As a kid I remember going on trips and seeing hundreds of logging trucks- on the main freeway, I5 but also on small roads trucks would be coming and going full of big timber (4+feet diameter).  This trip is young but I've only seen one logging truck and it looked like it was carrying pencils, they looked so small.  The rural towns seem equally affected with almost 1/2 of the storefronts closed up and the remainder needing serious work to maintain.  The oregon unemployment rate is inching towards 5%, but the rural counties are still close to 10%.   This is not an even recovery.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Phase 2> departure

Today is departure day for our trip.  The kids have said good bye to their besties.  It's funny how little you understand as a child.  Both girls are talking about how much they already miss their friends, even though they don't see them every summer.  I don't think they understand how special this is.  I asked Isabelle what she wanted to do when we finished getting our campsite put together and she said sleep.  For me it's been 22 years since I've been on a trip anything like this.  If that trend continues, the next time I'll go, I'll be 65 years old and may not have the health to hike, climb and bike...I need to take advantage of every minute of this trip.  As I think about it, it's important to make the most out of every day as we don't get any do overs.  We'll be posting stories at and I'll also be posting pictures on instagram at dslaun.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Goodbye and Thank you to Axium

I want to thank everyone who has put me in this place where I can take this time off.  I've had the privilege of working on behalf of so many wonderful architects, engineers and their business people over the years.  I've been truly was excited most mornings to get to work to help you run and grow your businesses.  I know there is a lot of anxiety about the future of Ajera under Deltek but I believe that through the combined efforts of customers and the legacy employees of Axium,  Ajera has landed in a good space that will continue to grow....because it is the best mix of product and service in the a/e space and will be for a long time to come.

I'm excited to get out and enjoy the time with my family.  I know that there is a future beyond my career at Axium and I trust that it will become more clear after this epic journey with my family.  Today is a good day to be thankful for all of you who helped me get here.  I hope you can enjoy this trip vicariously through this blog and the photo essays that will come once we launch.