Truck Updates

Posted: May 19, 2015 in Uncategorized

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I joined the Ford Truck Enthusiasts forum and posted about my stalling issues. It was suggested that I might have a problem with the Fuel Pressure Regulator or ignition coil. The fuel filter fix didn’t stop the problem but the engine definitely runs better. The garage I usually go to told me, “if you don’t have a fault code or a check engine light, I can’t help you.” That’s when I went to the new place and told them to put in a new fuel filter, hoping that would solve the problem. While they were under the car they told me I needed new upper and lower ball joints (true) and a new distributor cap and rotor (not true–these were just replaced.) This didn’t instill trust in me.

So, I went to yet another new place (name withheld) and talked in person to one of the guys there and they agreed to take in the truck for a couple of days and see if they can track down the problem. He didn’t feel that it was fuel related, but rather electrical in nature, which hopefully won’t cost much to fix and will be easy to diagnose.

In the meantime, I did some cosmetic work this weekend, replacing a burned out reverse light, polishing up some chrome and trying a new product called Wipe Clean that restores the look of the interior plastic dash and trim. It worked pretty good, eliminating some discoloration and scratches, as well as some sun fading.

I also melted off the old rearview mirror button and installed a new one to attach the new mirror to. This worked great and now I have a fully functioning rearview mirror. I still need to find out how I can fix the slider window, as it does not seal properly and no longer has the locking mechanism. Might be worth a call to an auto glass place.

This coming Tuesday I’m dropping Old Blue off at the new garage to have them diagnose (hopefully) the stalling issue. Oh yeah, and lastly, I took out the old bed liner that didn’t fit right. After getting it out, I found a tag that said it was for a Ford F250-350 model year 1995 or newer. No wonder it didn’t fit. I hacked it up into little pieces with my new reciprocating saw and will put it out with the trash. Luckily, underneath the liner the truck bed had been coated with bed liner and looks pretty good.

The Project Truck

Posted: May 12, 2015 in Uncategorized

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Bought a 1987 Ford F150 pickup truck with a 5.0 liter fuel injected V-8 302 engine and started to fix it up. So far I’ve:

  1. Replaced the broken manual window cranks.
  2. Washed the entire thing.
  3. Armor All’d the dash and some of the exterior vinyl.
  4. Replaced the hazy rearview mirror.
  5. Windexed the inside of the windshield.
  6. Pulled the old plastic bed liner.
  7. Removed the top clamps that were on it for the truck camper.
  8. Put in new floor mats and a cup holder/organizer on the floor.
  9. Had M&W Tire put a new fuel filter on it for me.

Everything runs great except it was stalling occasionally. I’ve put premium gas in it and also ran STP fuel line cleaner and fuel injector cleaner through it to see if that helps. The new fuel filter should alleviate the stalling issue also. If not, I’ll have to do some more troubleshooting.

While it was at M&W they let me know that it needed new upper and lower ball joints, a distributor cap and rotor, plugs and new plug wires, as well as a new valve cover gasket. I’ll try to tackle the tune-up items myself as I have time and update the progress here.

Is my child ready for Mite hockey?

Posted: February 11, 2014 in Uncategorized

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Knowing what age to start your child in Mite hockey can be a difficult decision. Here’s some questions you can ask yourself that will help you assess your child’s ability to play at the Mite level:

1) Has he or she participated in a learn to skate or learn to play hockey program? If not, that should be the first step. Most kids start skating at age four or five. The only way to find out if your child is ready to start learning how to skate is to enroll him or her in a local program. Some kids will take to skating right away. Others may need to wait until they are a little older and try again if they get easily frustrated or haven’t developed the proper coordination yet.

2) Can he stay on his feet? If your son or daughter spends more time flat on the ice than standing up, keep him or her in a learn to skate program a little bit longer until they can stay on their feet confidently.

3) Can she stop? If your child cannot stop, they should wait to move up to the Mite level until he or she has learned at least a basic one-foot or wedge stop; preferably a basic hockey stop on at least one side.

4) Can he or she stick handle? Your child doesn’t need to be Sydney Crosby, but they have to at least be able to move the puck around on their forehand or backhand, make turns, stop with the puck and shoot the puck in the general direction of the net. At the Mite level, a young skater should also be able to attempt a proper pass.

These steps do not need to be mastered and by no means should discourage anyone from starting their child playing the great sport of Mite hockey. A good coach will work to develop all of these skills in each of his Mite players over the course of the season. What you want to ultimately avoid as a parent is moving up your child to Mites before he or she is ready, setting him or her up for frustration if they cannot keep up with the other players.

Casino Capabilities

Posted: February 18, 2013 in Gambling, Uncategorized

UPPER LAKE, Calif. – Looking for something to do Memorial Day Weekend? The long awaited Running Creek Casino will open to the public at 4 p.m. on Friday, May 25 at 635 E. Highway 20 in Upper Lake, California, located in the beautiful resort area of Clear Lake. The region has long been a mecca for campers, hikers, nature lovers and watersports enthusiasts—and now boasts a new casino property as one of the area attractions. The 33,000 square foot casino is an enterprise of the Habematolel Pomo of Upper Lake, and houses 349 of the hottest slot machines and six popular table games. In addition to gaming, Running Creek Casino features the Hot Springs Express restaurant, offering quick, made to order menu selections such as burgers, sandwiches and salads. A second dining option is Wildfire, a 65-seat full service restaurant with patio dining featuring quality American cuisine and a wood burning pizza oven. Running Creek’s On the Rocks is a full service bar that highlights a variety of cocktails, beers and wines by the glass, as well as an array of appetizers to compliment any drink selection. Other amenities include the Running Rewards player’s club and multiple meeting rooms.

“The road has been long and the obstacles too numerous to count, but we are finally here, excited and proud to open the doors to the public,” said Tribal Chairperson Sherry Treppa. “We want this establishment to be more than just a gambling hall. Our vision is for visitors and local residents to see this as a place to come for dining and entertainment, as well as a local meeting place for Lake County clubs and organizations. We know there are other casino properties in the area to choose from, but we want to differentiate ourselves by offering more in terms of customer service, cleanliness, and hospitality.”

Running Creek’s official grand opening is set for Friday, June 1, but the Tribe and project management team made the decision in response to popular demand to open the casino on May 25, just in time for the Memorial Day holiday weekend. Private ceremonies for the Tribe, local dignitaries, and VIP guests will take place in the morning, with the doors opening to the public for gaming and dining at 4 p.m. The casino will then continue to stay open 24 hours per day, seven days per week.

“I am proud to represent THIS Tribe whose eternal hope and unrelenting determination not only brought this project to fruition in Lake County, but did so in a cooperative, respectful and professional manner.  The Tribe could not be more pleased about the new jobs we have created in our community through this project and the positive economic impact Running Creek will provide for area businesses,” said Treppa. “This business venture will bring the Tribe one step closer to economic self-sufficiency. Moreover, it will enable us to engage in additional business enterprises in the future.”

Background

The Habematolel Pomo of Upper Lake are a federally recognized tribe historically located in Upper Lake California. In 2008, they were able to place 11.24 acres near their historic tribal lands into trust, which allowed them to create a gaming enterprise. The casino construction project began in 2004 and was approved by the Department of the Interior in August of 2011, as well as through a state compact signed in March of 2011 by Gov. Jerry Brown.

 

www.runningcreekcasino.com, www.upperlakepomo.com, www.facebook.com/runningcreekcasino, www.twitter.com/therunningcreek

Running Creek Casino, 635 E. Hwy 20, Upper Lake, CA 95485

(707) 275-9209

 Running Creek Casino to Host Job Fairs

UPPER LAKE, Calif. – Running Creek Casino in Upper Lake is set to host two job fairs in Lake County later this month in conjunction with Lake One-Stop Inc. Business & Employment Services. The casino will provide more than 145 local jobs to the area. These jobs include table games dealers, slot reps, cage personnel, food and beverage, security, surveillance, and administrative staff. Jobs will also be posted on www.Runningcreekcasino.com.

The first job fair is scheduled for 10 a.m. on March 24 in Lakeport at Lake One-Stop; 55 First Street. The second is scheduled for March 31 at 10 a.m. at the Odd Fellows Hall in Upper Lake; 9480 Main Street.

“We’re incredibly pleased with the progress of the construction project,” said Tribal Chairperson Sherry Treppa. “We’re right on track to open around Memorial Day. We’re also excited about starting the hiring process and bringing some new jobs to Lake County and the surrounding area.”

“As I see the casino structure go up I’m reminded of the significance of this site,” continued Treppa. “The surrounding foothills were the Tribe’s former reservation (564 acres in total) which was lost when our Tribe was congressionally terminated in the 50s with the passage of the California Rancheria Act.”

“The Tribe’s federal recognition was restored in 1983, but we were landless. Our efforts to restore our land base were fraught with obstacles. The Tribe persevered nonetheless, and in 2008 we managed to have 11.24 acres received into Trust. This casino project is allowing our Tribe to take a positive step towards self-reliance while becoming a positive contributor to the economic success of Lake County. That’s something to be proud of for all of our members.”

Businesses are realizing that social media is an effective, inexpensive, and innovative way to promote their business and build their brand. Most companies have little trouble setting up their presence on Facebook or LinkedIn, but encounter some difficulty when figuring out how to use Twitter for their business. They also struggle with determining why Twitter is important for business. There are several reasons that Twitter should be part of your online marketing media mix:

1)      To connect with your customers – More than likely, your customers or people who you would like to turn into your customers are using social media, specifically Twitter. An average of 460,000 new Twitter accounts are created every day, according to web metrics site Kissmetrics. Checking tweets is a daily routine for millions of people, just like reading the morning paper or watching the evening news. With different types of Twitter tools, you can monitor what all of these people are tweeting about your brand, and communicate with them.

2)      To build your brand – Just because you aren’t Starbucks or Nike, it doesn’t mean you can’t build a strong brand reputation. Twitter is one way to make people aware of your brand and to shape the public perception of your brand.

3)      To deal with customer feedback – Customers can ask questions, voice their concerns, and even give compliments to your company through Twitter. All of this feedback can be used to improve customer relations, your product, or your service. It is also a great way to deal with negative feedback in a public forum that shows others you care about and take their comments seriously.

4)      For marketing – Twitter can be used to advertise special offers, give discount codes, or publicize special sales events. You can also drive more traffic to your website with tweets, resulting in more conversions or sales.

5)      For public relations – Has your company given a big check to charity or made a large donation of goods or services? Is there a new product that has been covered in the media that you would like your followers to see? Twitter is a great way to send out short PR messages and draw attention to cause marketing that your company does.

6)      For viral marketing – Have you created a great piece of viral marketing such as a funny video? Do you want to accelerate the rate at which it spreads across the Internet universe? Twitter can help with tools such as re-tweeting and by cross promoting on other social media platforms such as Facebook.

7)      For competitive research – Want to find out what your competitors are doing? Follow them on Twitter. You can also see what other potential customers and customers are saying about your competition.

8)      To build loyalty – All of these methods outlined above will help to build brand loyalty by creating a closer personal relationship with your customers, increasing your brand’s authority, and improving the image of your brand.

Once you’ve created your blog and started uploading articles, you’re probably wondering what comes next. Your blog is intended to do two things. First, it should provide valuable content to your target audience. Second, it should be used to drive traffic to your website, resulting in conversions and sales leads. Blog comments are a way of gauging which content is drawing more readers, and can also be a way to link out to other websites, including your own.

Setting up Comments

For starters, you need to make sure that the settings on your chosen blog platform (i.e. WordPress, Blogger, etc.) are set so that people can leave comments about your blog entries.  You can also limit who can leave comments if you want. The best recommended settings will allow anyone to comment, but will keep spammers away.

One good rule of thumb is to require commenters to provide their name and email address. Also be sure to turn on comment moderation for first time commenters. This will allow you or the blog administrator to approve the first comment from anyone who leaves one. To keep spammers away, turn on word verification. This will ask commenters to type in letters from an on-screen box to prove that they are humans and not spam-bots. There are also settings that will ask simple questions before allowing someone to comment.

Create Rules

The great thing about creating your blog is that it is owned and operated by you and you alone. You get to set the rules. You decide what content makes it there, as well as the tone. Another thing you should decide is what types of comments you will allow and how you will respond to them. Will your responses have a sense of humor? Will you always try to drive the commenter to your website? What comments will you leave up and which ones will you take down if you feel they are in poor taste?

People will try to leave comments that market their own businesses, too. You will need to decide whether you will allow this or not. Negative comments are another consideration. Will you address them or delete them? Will you correct bad grammar? What type of language will you let people use? This “comment policy” can be typed up in short form and included next to your “submit a comment” button on your blog.

Ask for Comments and Respond

The easiest way to solicit comments for your blog is to ask! At the end of each blog post, include a simple sentence asking people to subscribe to your blog, emails, and newsletters. Then invite them to leave a comment about what they have just read. Don’t create a single boilerplate sentence that you always include. Try to customize it for each different blog post and make it blend naturally with the post if possible.

The last piece of advice (once you are getting comments) is to respond to them. Respond to them quickly and in a friendly tone. Your blog’s software will notify you when comments have been left, making it simple. Read other blogs and comment on them, too, leaving a link to your own blog. Emulate those who are successful with your own blog.

Social media depends on interactivity. It is what draws people to blogs and sites like Facebook in the first place. Your goal is to create a relationship and nurture it. Build trust, authority, and make a connection with your blog commenters and subscribers. Finally, have fun with the whole process and keep working at it and refining it until you are satisfied with the results.

Facebook for business isn’t about direct selling. It also isn’t about advertising (although it is possible to buy ads on Facebook). Social media, specifically Facebook, is about your brand; how people view your brand, how they connect with your brand, and how they feel about your brand. This is all done through proper positioning and relationship building.

Define your Audience

Before you can really leverage the full power of Facebook, you have to get to know your audience. You need to know how old they are, whether they are predominantly male or female, where they live, what they like to do with their free time, and how much money they make. Make a list with these details. This is a profile of your “ideal” customer.

Once you know who your ideal customer is, you can tailor all of your Facebook messages towards this ideal customer. This may sound easy, but it is critical that you know your audience and give them the messages that they will respond to and appreciate. Don’t give them what they don’t want.

Decide on your Strategy

What is your Facebook strategy? Do you want to build as many followers as possible? How many fans are you looking for; 1,000, 10,000, 100,000? Maybe you want to get feedback on a new product. How will you do this? By asking questions and posting surveys? Do you want to increase brand awareness through an online sweepstakes or contest?

Don’t make the mistake of blindly putting up everything but the kitchen sink on Facebook in hopes that something will get you noticed. Have a distinct and well-developed marketing plan in place ahead of time, or you’ll just be spinning your wheels.

Tips for maximizing your Facebook efforts and Strengthening your Brand

  • Fill out your profile completely. Include any piece of information that you think will be useful and interesting for your fans.
  • Put photos on your Facebook page of your business, your employees, and your product. Don’t just use retouched high-end advertising shots, include candid photos as well. People respond better to “real” images. Similarly, put some candid web video or flip video on your site. People enjoy this type of “behind the scenes” experience they can get through social media.
  • Grow your network by having all of your customers and employees add themselves as fans to your page. Import your email address lists and send them an “opt-in” message to get additional fans. Put the Facebook logo in your email blasts, print advertisements, posters, newsletters, TV ads, and anywhere else that you are already advertising. You may want to run a contest for new Facebook fans and give something away like an iPad to jumpstart your fan following as well.
  • Link to your other social media platforms. Facebook has tools that will allow you to connect with Twitter, LinkedIn, your company blogs, and other social media sites. Use these tools to expand your marketing reach.
  • Lastly, provide content. Update your wall posts daily. Add photos and videos. Create new notes or blog postings. Give links to articles that might interest your fans. Give them a reason to visit your website. Also be sure to answer their questions in a friendly, courteous, and fast manner. This will go a long way towards building the types of personal relationships that grow fans and grow brands.

On Facebook alone, 30 billion pieces of content are shared every single month. This includes blog posts, links, news stories, video, and photo albums. As a medium sized business or SME, how do you get involved in all of these conversations and viral activity?

How to Get Shared

There are a lot of ways to get your content shared across social networks. The first step is perhaps the most important one and the most obvious. You need to create good content. Then you need to expose people to it. Exposure is as simple as encouraging people to become a Facebook fan or Twitter follower.

Once the content is there and people are exposed to it, they have to be made aware of it. They have to see it, read it, or hear it. After that, they need to be motivated to share your content with others. The more people share it, the greater the exposure. That is why it is so important to build an audience and continue to build that audience.

There are a number of reasons that people will decide to share or not share your content.

  • Trust – If your followers trust you, they will share your content. If they don’t trust you, they won’t. It’s as simple as that. Building trust on social networks is done by being personable and sharing information. Trust is also fostered through honest interactions with people. Surveys show that people only trust a little more than half of businesses globally.
  • Care – Your customers have to care about your brand or they won’t share your posts. They will care about your company and your posts if you provide valuable content and help to solve their problems as well as answer their questions. They also look to you to help introduce them to other people like themselves. Keep them committed to your brand by accomplishing these tasks.
  • Interest – Keep your posts interesting, because once they get bored, they will go somewhere else. Boring content doesn’t get shared. Funny and intriguing posts do get shared. Humor gets shared more than any other kind of web content.
  • Passion – People care more about causes than they do about companies. Everyone has a charity, foundation, or cause that they have a deep connection with. Partner with a worthy cause and create content about your partnership. Showing that your business cares reveals its human side.
  • Validation – Your customers are looking for validation from their social networks just as you are looking for validation from them. Create a piece of content that entertains, educates people, or makes them think. They will want to increase their authority and credibility with their followers by sharing your content. Just as you want to be a source, expert, or authority, so do your fans. They can do so by using your posts, links, and media.

Conclusion

A study by the New York Times revealed that 68 percent of people share content as an advertisement for themselves. They share information to show others who they are and what they represent. In short, they want to look good to their friends. The study also showed that 73 percent of the participants said that they process information more deeply, thoroughly, and thoughtfully when they share it. Lastly, 85 percent of respondents said that reading the responses of other people helps them to understand and process information and events. The most important lesson to take away from all of this is to work to understand your audience and give them what they want via social media. The sharing will come naturally from there.