Saturday, February 21, 2015

Tucker Talks: A Walk in the Lake

Me an Gypsy went for a walk in a lake.

I don't see a lake.

It's there, behind us. 

But you said we walked in the lake.

We did. But the water is almost gone
on account of a drought.
But we were walking in the place
where Medina Lake would be
if there was water.

Oh, so that's why we found sea shells
and deer tracks in the same place.

Yeah, and coelacanth bones.

What do you mean it's not from a dinosaur?

Thursday, February 19, 2015

A Call From Bob

Yesterday began with a phone call from Bob. I consider this call rather remarkable, hence the blog post. It is blog worthy, and I want to share it with you. The Bob who called me is Bob Tiffin, the founder and CEO of Tiffin Motorhomes, the manufacturer of our motorhome. 

When we began looking at motorhomes we heard too many firsthand stories about the personalized service folks had received from Tiffin Motorhomes not to believe them. Those stories were just one of the reasons why we chose to purchase our first Tiffin... and then another one! Unfortunately, we have had a number of too many problems with our motorhome. The majority of the problems are little things, things I referred to as “stupid stuff” in the letter I recently sent to Bob. Perhaps it is because our motorhome began life on a Monday… on the  Monday following Christmas, when the plant is normally closed. Perhaps those who put our motorhome together didn’t really want to be working that week. Perhaps the problems were a result of the plant trying to push out more motorhomes than usual to meet the demand. Whatever the reasons, we have been plagued with lots of little problems. But… Bob Tiffin has always said that he will make it right. He stands behind his warranties, often far longer than any warranty period printed on paper. 

In our conversation, Bob gave me the name and phone number of an authorized service center near where we are currently ‘camped’. He encouraged me to return to the factory service center for one of the more complex problems we have, and to call him 3-4 weeks in advance, so parts can be ordered and our visit can be expedited. He told me he would have a check cut for out-of-pocket expenses we have incurred as a result of problems with the motorhome. Service doesn't get more personalized than that! 

My experiences are not unusual. Bob is accessible. In fact, he claims that two of the basic truths that he operates by are to “Treat customers the way they would want to be treated. And always answer the phone.” In our experience, Bob lives up to these truths. He has always welcomed us into his office, our phone calls to him are usually returned within 15 minutes and he has always taken the time to listen to, and address, our concerns.

Thanks for listening, Bob. 
Thanks for being so accessible. 
Thanks for making things right. 

It’s not often that corporations connect with, and care for consumers these days. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to see the pendulum swing back to companies standing behind their products? Wouldn't it be wonderful to have more companies put the customer first?!

Thanks, Bob. Thank you, everyone, at Tiffin Motorhomes who works to provide service to the customers. I, for one, appreciate it!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Mud Bugs

Have you ever seen one of these?

No, it isn’t a tiny volcano!

It is a mud bug chimney. I had never heard the term until we stopped in east Texas. Nor had I seen chimney’s like this. A mud bug is another name for a crayfish, or a crawfish, or a crawdad, or a freshwater lobster. The chimney’s were in a grassy area of the campground. Evidently the water table is pretty close to the surface in this part of the country!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Sitting on the Dock of the Bay

At Medina Lake, Texas....

I think they'll be "wasting' time" if they are
waiting for the ships, or the tide!
But they look pretty!

Medina Lake has very little water due to long term drought.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Day Is Done

Gone the sun...

The view from the airplane on a recent trip was magnificent!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Gentlemen...Start Your Engines

1928 Rolls Royce

On display at the Florida Carriage Museum
Grand Oaks Resort

20 Steps to Starting the 1928 Rolls Royce

  1. Put Hand Brake on.
  2. Put gear lever in Neutral.
  3. Put Autovac on Petrol.
  4. Put electric on Battery Switch.
  5. Close shutters.
  6. Put starting carburetor on.
  7. Fully close the throttle.
  8. Fully retard spark.
  9. Put mixture control to "strong."
  10. Depress the clutch.
  11. Turn starter over to get oil on lay shaft. This applies only to to the first start of the day. 
  12. Let clutch out.
  13. Turn ignition switch to "MB&C."
  14. Start engine by stepping on the starter button. The starting carburetor will make a sucking sound.
  15. Open throttle some to keep engine running.
  16. Turn starting carburetor off. If engine starts to die, turn starting carburetor a little bit. Be sure starting carburetor is off before proceeding.
  17. Advance spark fully to prevent valves from burning when car is being driven.
  18. Slowly bring mixture control back to center as engine warms up.
  19. Open shutters some when water temperature gets to 70 degrees Celsius.
  20. Get auto in motion in First Gear only after taking hand brake off.

I hope you aren't in a hurry to get anywhere!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Leaving the Land of Spanish Moss

We left Fernandina Beach, FL, and turned the motorhome toward the west. But, not before admiring the Live Oak trees heavily draped in Spanish Moss. This is something we certainly don't see now that we live in Colorado!  It is an air plant that gets all of its water from the rain and humid air.

It seems to be a good year for the Spanish Moss,which isn't really a moss, despite it's name. Tendrils of moss could be found hanging almost to the ground. 

 Spanish Moss is an epiphyte. This means that even though it grows on other plants, it is not a parasite. It was even happy 'growing' on our motorhome!
(It really didn't grow there... 
we snagged a low-hanging pieces with the ladder.)

What is Four?

Have you ever thought of the meaning of "four"?  Four is the number of: seasons in a year. corners and sides to a square. virtues....