A Passion for Safety, a Knack for Writing

There are 120 million blogs out there in the naked city, give or take a few.  Assuming one read a blog a minute 24 hours a day, seven days a week, it would take a very long time to read them all–and being that most are poorly written and contain information of no value, it would seem even longer.

I do have one you might want to consider reading.  It’s called “Doak TC” and its message is safety, primarily traffic safety.  That safety message is understandable because Doak TC is Fred Doelker who, until he was put out to pasture in August 2009, was a traffic safety coordinator for AAA Michigan.

Fred’s job was to travel around the state preaching safety and making Michigan a better place to live as a result.  Fred spent many of his days teaching groups and individuals how to avoid becoming a statistic as a motorist or as a pedestrian.  He talked to seniors, children and everyone in between.  Fred was also a great spokesperson for AAA Michigan and put a human face on a big corporation.  However, because one couldn’t put a dollar benefit on what Fred did, Fred now lives in the northwestern community of Traverse City (TC), Michigan writing about safety while seeking an end to being out to pasture.

Fred knows safety and it shows in his writing.  Although the information is especially useful to those who live in the snowy regions of Michigan (all residents), his blog contains useful information for anyone who drives, walks or flies.  His blog would also be a good resource for the media since it contains a wealth of safety information.  So would Fred for that matter since he translates wells from print to radio or television.

They (the unnamed blogging experts, that is) say successful bloggers are usually those who write about topics they have a passion for and are knowledgeable about.  Fred’s blog fits that bill.  In addition, Fred is a gifted writer with a knack for turning a phrase, and that in itself makes his blog worth reading.  He also knows technology, but that’s a whole different topic.

Doak TC is a good blog out there among the millions and millions (and millions) of blogs.  Give it a try.  Oh, and be safe.

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Very Disappointed in a Red Devil Product

A couple of weeks ago, I purchased a Caulk Devil from my local hardware store to remove some old caulk around my windows and replace it with new. I had been looking for something that would do both in order to prepare my home for another Michigan winter. The item from Red Devil seemed to fit the bill; plus it was inexpensive and made by a company whose name I was familiar with and thought made quality products.

Anyway, a couple days later (long enough for the receipt to have been lost) I tried to remove some old caulk. Now one would think that a company making a caulk remover tool would make sure said device  would be harder than the caulk it was meant to remove; however, the Red Devil people apparently don’t agree. I ruined the tool in the first 12 seconds of use and 12 inches of caulk. The edges are worn away and it isn’t usable as a removal tool. The soft plastic the tool is made with doesn’t cut it–or in my experience, doesn’t remove it.

Now I accept the fact that the caulk around my windows is rock-hard. I accept the fact that one doesn’t get much in the way of tools these days for four bucks and change. But c’mon folks. If the tool isn’t made to remove hardened caulk it should say so right on the packaging. Maybe right below the line that reads, “Removes old caulk quickly and easily.”

Red Devil has a website that features a contact us page. And so I did. I sent them an email expressing my dissatisfaction with their product and explained why.

I didn’t even ask for a refund, but I did ask them for an acknowledgment. I haven’t heard back from them and it’s been 10 days.  Along with assuming a caulk removal tool would remove caulk, I d like to believe that a Contact Us form would result in someone contacting me to follow-up. Maybe something along the lines of “we will look into your problem” or “We value our customers and are sorry about what happened.”  I realize that Red Devil is a big company and it might be tough to respond to thousands of emails each day. Still, if you have a site and invite comments, you need to respond in a timely manner. Instead of get nothing.

Oh, as to the caulk, it’s still there. I ended up caulking around the old stuff.

And I used another company’s product.

Categories: General, Home life | Tags: | 1 Comment

Releasing a Press Release

Today I sent a press release to the Westland Observer.  It concerns a hike I am leading on Halloween morning in a nature preserve in Westland, Michigan.  It will be both a hike and a history lesson because I will also be talking about the death of Chief Tonquish, a local Indian shot dead 190 years ago because of a stolen loaf of bread.

I’m leading the hike on behalf of the Holliday Nature Preserve Association.  I’m their webmaster, newsletter editor and, since we have a page on Facebook and I write this blog, their social media semi-expert.

Now I will keep my fingers crossed that Sue Mason from the Observer likes it and uses it.  Then I will need to keep them crossed to hope the weather cooperates on the 31st so people come out and join me.  It’s no fun hiking alone or in the rain/snow.  By the way, here’s the press release:

It happened 190 years ago this month: A stolen loaf of freshly baked bread, an armed posse in pursuit, and the death of a great Potawatomi chief along a creek that now bears his name in a nature preserve that may hold his bones.

Join members of the Holliday Nature Preserve Association (HNPA) on Halloween, Oct. 31 at 10 a.m. for a leisurely hour-long hike along the Tonquish Creek in Westland to enjoy the fall colors and hear the story of the death of Chief Tonquish  and the mystery of his burial site.  The walk is free and everyone is welcome.  Light refreshments will be served afterwards

The event takes place at the Cowen entrance to the Preserve, which is located on Central City Parkway, west of Wayne Road.  There is a small parking lot at the entrance and a larger lot directly across the street.  The walk will be held rain or shine so participants are advised to dress accordingly.  Sturdy walking shoes are also suggested since trails in the Preserve can be slippery and uneven.

HNPA was organized in 1988 and consists of volunteers dedicated to the William P. Holliday Forest & Wildlife Preserve.  The group seeks to nurture a greater appreciation of this unique local natural resource by hosting walks and working to improve the experience of visitors through Preserve maintenance and improvements conducted in partnership with Wayne County Parks. This is one of three walks scheduled by the group through December.

More information about the walk and the HNPA can be found on the group’s website at or via email at

That’s it for now, folks.

Categories: General, History | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

A Grand Idea

My former employer, The Auto Club Group, is offering people a chance to win a grand a week.  The contest is only open to Michigan residents and ends at the end of the month (October 2009) so if you want to enter, time is of the essence.  There is no cost or obligation. just a couple of minor hoops you need to jump through.

It’s part of  AAA Michigan’s way to publicize their new savings blog and to engage members in conversation.  Not sure how successful they are being in reaching either of those goals.  It sure doesn’t  appear anyone is commenting, though.

However, since the company is giving their members’ money away, you should go for it if you  live in Michigan and could use $1,000.

You can enter every day if you want.  I am.  One of  the advantages of being a former employee is that I am eligible to enter.  I just hope they are not blacklisting me…

That’s it for now, folks.

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