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A Map, a Map, My Kingdom for a Map

By William May
Published: 07/20/14 Topics: Comments: 0

Folded like origami (Japanese paper art), maps have been an indispensable tool for travelers for centuries. But today with Global Positioning Satellites (GPS) and Smart Phones, travel can be much easier but it does require some common sense. Read more

Outdoors-For-All, the Heroes Among Us

By William May
Published: 06/09/14 Topics: Comments: 0

Donate your home to charities for their use and fundraising and post your generosity on VacationRentalAgents.com. See how the Ski-For-All Foundation gave property owners the great satisfaction of helping disabled kids and adults to ski. Read more

Crowing About Our New Mobile Website

By William May
Published: 05/01/14 Topics: Comments: 0

It may not sound earth-shaking but Redstone Systems, creator of the HelpBook.me software has just added their evolutionary new mobile websites to our system. Check it on your mobile phone now. Read more

What I do for a living

By William May
Published: 04/08/14 Topics: Comments: 0

After a tragedy that has taken dozens of life in the small town of Oso Washington State, first-responders open the door to untrained volunteers after realizing they are better equipped at working in such difficult conditions. Read more

Top Reasons to Do-It-Yourself Vacation Rental

By William May
Published: 03/15/14 Topics: Comments: 0

Renting the house seemed like a good idea. Cut out the middle man and rack in the big bucks. Guests will love the place, housekeepers are a dime a dozen, advertising is easy. Here are the top 10 reasons to handle everything personally. Read more

Varoom Vacation Rental Cooperative Springs to Life

By William May
Published: 02/23/14 Topics: Comments: 0

Even with the thousands of advertising websites catering to vacation rental owners, guests often search in vain to find the perfect accommodations. Now the website www.Varoom.biz, the world's first Vacation Rental Cooperative matches guests with property owners and managers to increase bookings. Read more

Like Happy Lemmings to the Seahawk

By William May
Published: 02/06/14 Topics: Seattle, Sports Comments: 0

On a frigid but stunningly bright blue sky day in the city of Seattle, the population of the region gathered together with one mind to share in the joy of something bigger than any of them could ever experience alone. To spread smiles and happiness for something seemingly simple but rare. Read more

Coming to Skippy's Class ill Prepared

By William May
Published: 12/11/13 Topics: Comments: 0

Looking back it is astonishing to realize that a world class scholar was teaching in a small community college off the beaten path in the Northwest corner of the country. She would have wowed any student in the finest college anywhere. Read more

Sad Story for Non Renting Vacation Home Owner

By William May
Published: 12/06/13 Topics: Comments: 0

Home Owner Association caretaker has bad news for vacation home owner who should have kept his home in rental, with which he could have retained the attentive eyes of a full time manager almost next door. Read more

How clean is clean enough?

By William May
Published: 03/15/13 Topics: Comments: 0

Take the Deep Cleaning test. Most owners fail in their primary homes and, let's face it, second homes often get short shrift. Top property managers clean to high hospitality standards because failing to do so makes for unhappy guests and refunds. Read more

Vacation Rental Housekeeper Spills the Beans

By William May
Published: 02/16/13 Topics: Comments: 0

As professional lodging managers it's not too often that we get a full glimpse of what life is really like for Rent by Owners who manage their personal vacation homes. Here is a Q&A with a top housekeeper who has horror stories to tell. Read more

Vacation Rental Huts on Wheels

By William May
Published: 10/15/12 Topics: Comments: 0

How about a vacation rental on wheels, and no its not a mobile home Not exactly. Tom Kundig is an architect who had an interesting problem and more interesting solution. They're called Rolling Huts. You'll want to know more. Read more

Vacation Rentals Enhance the Neighborhood

By William May
Published: 08/15/12 Topics: Comments: 0

Going to a grand hotel for grand service will never go away. Stopping for a quick night at a convenient motel makes long trips easier. And now Vacation Rentals allow property owners to share their homes with responsible guests. It lights up the neighborhood, keeps home in good condition and shows the communities hospitality. Read more

Netiquette - How to Write an Email

By William May
Published: 07/18/12 Topics: Comments: 0

RSVP: Not everyone remembers what this means, but if you need a response include it and/or remind the user to respond such as "Please let me know your thoughts one way or the other." Read more

Ocean Song Cottages Joins Goldener Resorts

By Taylor May
Published: 07/03/12 Topics: Comments: 0

Goldener Resorts announces that Ocean Song Cottages have joined its network so that the updated but traditional beach cottages can be offered to a wide group of visitors. Read more

Stealing Music for Your Video is Expensive

By William May
Published: 06/23/12 Topics: Comments: 0

Creating a swell video for your vacation rental home is easier and cheaper than ever. You'll be tempted to use your favorite song to set the mood and reel in more renters. But be careful with which tune you pick or it will cost you dearly. Read more

Government Officials Driving Tourism Economy Away

By Ron Lee
Published: 06/01/12 Topics: Government Comments: 0

Tourism is a clean, responsible industry that brings in visitors anxious to shop, attend events, tour attractions, rent lodging, and pay the taxes that go with them. So why do local government officials want to drive away vacation rentals and turn away the easy spending guests who want them? Read more

Sponsor: VRAI – As a fast growing industry we need your help and support. Join today to learn, share and promote your properties. – VRIA.org

Glorious Sunny Days at Washington State Beaches

By William May
Published: 05/15/12 Topics: Comments: 0

It is time to plan your summer at the beach? Vacation Rental managers are not yet sold out but will be soon. To get your choice place get off the couch and make that call today. Read more

Professor John Edwards: Insects & Music

By William May
Published: 04/01/12 Topics: Comments: 0

Professor John Edwards
Professor John Edwards

Did you know that insects live in very cold places? John Edwards knew.

In fact, Professor John S. Edwards was known around the world as one of the pioneers of insect developmental neurobiology. And I was fortunate to be able to call him a friend. He died this week and I find his passing more unfortunate than any public leader or celebrity.

Some years ago, a friend invited me to help out with an organization called Gallery Concerts; a group dedicated to having period music instruments perform chamber music in the small spaces there were designed for. The concerts are sheer delight.

At one of the first meetings I sat next to a gentle white haired man with a goatee who glowed with his enthusiasm for the music. Later I was to learn he glowed about just about everything. If the term "twinkle in his eye" was created for anyone it was John.

He was a leading scholar in the ecology of high-altitude insects, cold tolerance of Antarctic insects, the role of insects in ecosystem regeneration following volcanic eruptions, and the evolution of insect flight. A New Zealander, John earned his Ph.D. at Cambridge. At the University of Washington John taught entomology, human ecology, served as the Director of the Undergraduate Biology Program, Director of the UW Honors Program, and was appointed Emeritus Professor of Zoology in 2000.

Although a humble man, others noticed his exploits. He earned a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Senior Humboldt Research Award, and a Jacob Javits Neuroscience Investigator Award. He was a University Liberal Arts Professor, named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and of the Royal Entomological Society of London. He served as Program Director for Developmental Neuroscience at the National Science Foundation.

Art Davidson says, in his account of the first winter ascent of Denali (Minus 148°), "My first meeting with John reaffirmed the legend. I had traced the sounds of a concert through several corridors at the Institute to a short figure hopping about from leg to leg while vocalizing the entire woodwind section of an orchestra. "

Other than the fact he was a professor in biology, I knew none of this even after years of attending meetings and concerts with him.

I made a particular mistake once - by mentioning to John that my son had applied to attend the University of Washington. He prodded relentlessly and learned that Taylor was interested in Biology, specifically astrobiology. I could see John's temperature rising. He wasn't "Hoping from leg to leg" but almost.

He asked in that pleasant way that borders on professorial curiosity, that Taylor simply must telephone him for a tour of the department.

After reading about the Professor on line, it took Taylor several weeks to summon enough courage to call. But when he did - John needed no prompting to remember his name or why he was calling. A whirlwind tour took place a few days later where Taylor was introduced to everyone with such lavish praise that my 6'6" son stood even taller than usual when retelling the tale.

American Pika Mount Denali National Park
American Pica

Some years before John had patiently suffered through my telling of how our family had driven to all the way to Mt. Denali (Mt. McKinley) that summer and Taylor, then age 12, had found and photographed a rare Pika; which sent the visitor center biologists into a tizzy.

Who could know an important professor would remember such a small thing from years earlier; but during the UW tour John quizzed Taylor relentlessly about the Pika, where it was found, what time of day, what type of terrain.

Taylor was impressed at John's curiosity. He was proud to be considered important but then somewhat astonished when John casually mentioned, "You may find it hard to believe but I was on the expedition that did the first winter ascent of Denali."

When Tay recited this story at home hours later I saw in his eyes the look of admiration that a young boy can have someone suddenly explodes his idea of what is possible in life. You can be a scientist, you can climb mountains, you can write eloquently, you can win awards, you can be a gracious considerate person, you can be an impressive senior citizen who still cares about what a 12 year old boy cares about. Astonishing.

Today when we learned that John has passed away, things stopped for a few hours for Taylor and I. We went about our work but cared about this man we spent little time with. We admired his work. We admired his attitude. We admired him.

Although I did not have the chance to see John much in the last few years, Taylor and I did think of him occasionally. When watching a science TV show, when the subject is insects, biology or science in general, when daring people climb tall mountains, when university life is depicted - the Pika story is retold and then someone inevitably says, "you might find it hard to believe. . . ". And we smile.

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Author: William May, MayPartners Advertising
Blog #: 0204 – 04/01/12

Twas the Night before Vacation Rental Christmas

By Jan Covey
Published: 12/31/11 Topics: Comments: 0

The Christmas and New Years Holidays are a big season in almost every vacation rental market. Read how one plucky manager gets through the hub bub. Read more

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