Do Business Owners Have To Cater To Everyone?

HDAs I often do, I posted on my Facebook page looking for interesting things to write about. Once again my friends did not disappoint. I had suggestions from “butt lice” (thanks Ian…) to debates on whether or not to have our kids share. Although the butt lice one could cater to my funny bone, and the sharing one intrigues me, my friend Joy mentioned an article she had read and the conversation that followed reading it. This is what I am going to write about.

The article found at this link:!brqw4F is about a restaurant that has made the decision to not allow loud children. Now to be honest, what they have done is made it difficult for any children, but they are allowed as long as they keep the volume down and the behaviour good.

Many people are upset about it. They feel that it is wrong for them to take a stand against children in the restaurant. I however disagree. I think that if the owner of an establishment wants to make a decision like this, that is within their rights. I feel the same way about many things like this, not just children. I think if they want to allow smoking it should be allowed. The government disagrees and decided to step in on this, but that still doesn’t make it right. I believe that if they want no hats that is okay, no gum? Fine. The point is that it is owned by them, not by the consumers. The customers have the same rights. Don’t like those rules? Don’t go there. It is pure and simple.

I am confused as to why anyone should believe that a privately owned business should have to cater to everyone. What about strip clubs?  Should kids be allowed there? My favorite bar, The Gallon House, DOES allow kids until a certain hour, and I hate it. I want to go to a bar and watch the game. I want to cuss at the officials and have fun with my friends. This is not possible because there are children there. That doesn’t change the fact that they have every right to allow them. It is MY job to follow THEIR rules. I am just happy to have a place to go with great people, good beer on tap, and several televisions to watch my games! Would I be even happier if there were no kids? Yes. I could let my proverbial hair down a bit more (I have no real hair left), but going or not is my choice. The rules are not.

I get tired of people claiming that they have a right to make a decision for a company they don’t even work for let alone own. If you do not like the policy, don’t go. If enough of you stop going, maybe they will change that policy. If not, leave it be. Obviously there were enough people who liked it to keep them running.

I have taken my kids to The Gallon House for lunch. If kids were not allowed, I would have taken them somewhere else. That’s it. That is as far as the problem solving needs to go. So to all of you who want to further limit the rights of business owners, I ask a favor. Step down from your high horse and go somewhere else. I am worn out from reading articles such as this where “Americans” try to further strip other Americans of their freedoms and rights.

Please feel free to comment on whether you agree or disagree, and why you all feel the way you do! Thanks Joy for this topic.

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Mr Rappe’ Returns To Washington

10527310_10152520142852649_1073498729259724079_nWhat an unbeilevable week!

Last friday I got on a plane and flew for the second time to Washington D.C. There was a hearing on cruise crime that I attended and it was an unreal experience that capped off a once in a lifetime opportunity to spend time with my brother Ross and my dad Dana.

We left Portland late friday night and arrived in Washington Saturday morning. The next several days were spent doing tours around the city and taking in the vast history that Washington D.C. has provided our country. We saw the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, Arlington National Cemetary, The Vietnam Memorial, Fords Theatre, and more than a dozen other historical sights. We also walked through many of the Smithsonian museums. I love my family, my country, and history. To spend 4 days enjoying all three was a dream come true!

On wednesday we arrived at the Russel Senate building for the cruise hearing. Once we entered and were seated there was a vote that took place on five seperate senate bills and to witness first hand how this is done was an unexpected treat. After the vote the hearing began. Members of ICV as well as a few other cruise victims testified about the outrageous treatment they underwent during thier “dream vacations.” Sen. Jay Rockefeller, chairman of the Commity on Commerce, Science, and Transportation stated that he is “fed up” with the misstreatment and uncaring attitude that is shown by the industry towards passengers and thier rights.

After the hearing the Senator was kind enough to stick around and I was able to speak directly with him. I told him about Jason and was impressed with the intensity that he showed as he listened, and shook his head in disgust at the fact that these stories happen again and again. When I told him that my brother, father and myself had flown from Oregon to attend he stopped and announced to the room, “Did you all hear that? Their own money for three of them to travel across the country to attend. That is a sign to show how important this is to people and how important it is that we get this done!”

I truly believe that we will win and this legislation will pass! I was also impressed with the passion shown by Sen Richard Blumenthol of Connecticut. He is co sponsoring our bill, and I have a great deal of hope that once Sen. Rockefeller retires he will carry the torch and continue to help us move forward in making change!

I need to thank many people. All of you who helped with side jobs and donations so that I could attend. Thank you!

The Gallon House bar in Silverton Oregon. Your compassion and willingness to jump in and help is amazing. Thank you for doing the raffle to help get me to DC!

My dad and brother. I love you both, and was so glad to be able to spend this time with you guys. It is the love that I have for you guys and Jason that drives me in what I am trying to do, and it is also why I will NOT fail!

My wife and kids. Thank you for allowing me to jump on a plane on short notice and fight for what I believe in. Your understanding and support is very important. I know you don’t like me being gone, but none of you ever make me feel like I am not doing what needs to be done and love you all!

There are others, so many others, that have supported me in different ways. My cousins Sean, Tim, Wendy, and Quinn who always leave me encouraging comments and share the information that I put out there. My friends who do the same. Losing Jason is a horrible and tragic thing, but together we are making it right. We are going to change this industry 4J.10569040_10152520096517649_2340396300291559298_n


Always By My Side

As a young child it was play time and bike lessons

as a teenager it was it was 4 wheeling and parties

as a young adult it was carpentry lessons and watching football

he was always by my side

Me and the best big brother ever 1976ish

Me and the best big brother ever 1976ish

as a carpenter he was my mentor

as a friend he was my closest

as a man he was second to none

he was always by my side

Jason and I on my 28th birthday.

Jason and I on my 28th birthday.

with his death he became a mystery

with the mystery I gained a mission

in my mission I will prevail

because I have no doubt that he is still, and will always be, by my side

I finished. Can you?

I finished. Can you?


10 Year Miracle:How The Other Half Lives

10462740_913137818703191_7582204443527864102_nYesterday marked the 10 year anniversary of Esja and I getting married. We sent the boys off for a sleep over at their friend’s house, and set about our 3rd date in 8 years. That is when the world changed and the lights came on. Doors opened and angels began to sing. We were not prepared for what was about to happen!

Many years ago on Saturday Night Live there was a skit with Eddie Murphy called Mr. White. It was a spoof on “the white world and the black world”. Eddie went undercover as a white man to find out how they lived when there were no black folk around. I have a link posted at the end of this post to the clip and it is well worth a watch. What he found was that white people gave things to one another for free when there were no black people around. It was a world he never knew existed and the skit is really funny. Yesterday Esja and I discovered that the same is true of people with and without kids!

We go to Olive Garden on a semi regular basis as it is one of my wifes favorite places to eat. We usually spend a great deal of time waiting for bread sticks and the food takes forever to arrive. We now know that this is because of our children. Last night we entered and were told there was a 35 minute wait for a table. Just as we were resigning ourselves to the long wait, we noticed the bar! There was a large room with chairs and tables and booze set aside only for people without children! It did not take long for us to decide that we would enter this world, if only for one night! Grabbing two seats at the bar a man walked quickly in our direction. We assumed he was going to ask us to leave because we were parents, but it seems without the children in tow, he didn’t realize it! Instead he asked if we would like a drink. We ordered and received them within seconds. Already floating on cloud 9 we ordered our meals. Our soup, salad and bread sticks arrived within 3-4 minutes. I plowed my way through the soup and bread sticks and asked for more. 1 minute later there they were. Hot and delicious. Before they were gone our dinner arrived. I looked at my watch and made a note that the people in line for a table in front of us (they had children) were still waiting to be seated, and here we were, stuffing our faces with our main course!

After the meal they asked what I wanted for desert, since it came with the meal I ordered. I told them, and then they asked my wife. She politely said “mine didn’t come with desert” to which the man replied “it does today if you want it!” We both ordered and then the glorious human behind the bar said “If you would like we can upgrade those for you for free. The ones on this menu are so much better than the ones you ordered.” Why yes. Yes we would like that! We ordered our much larger and better treats and waited for about 3 minutes before a lady brought Esja hers. She told me that they were out of the one I ordered and asked if I would like something else. I made a second selection and she went back to get it. (now this part is like the bank in the skit. watch it and you will know what I mean… silly parent…) A moment later she walked past me and said the bartender was getting it for me. Right on her heals he came out with my desert, not the “we don’t have any more you loser parent” one, but he had found the original order, plus another one for my wife. “oh, you already have yours” he said. “I guess now you have an extra one to go!” He set them down with a smile and walked away. As we enjoyed our treats he came back with a frozen blended drink that tasted like heaven, sat it down in front of us and said enjoy! We did!

Once we finished everything and got the incredibly low bill (since most of our stuff was free) we paid, left an unusually large tip, and headed to Silverton for drinks at the Gallon House. Upon arrival the manager asked for our drink order. We told her and she came back moments later with them, placed them on the table and said “these are on me. Happy anniversary.”

What a great, inexpensive, lavish evening with my beautiful bride! Now that we know how the other half lives it will be tough to go back to being parents again. We love our boys, but there is no doubt, we need them to have more sleepovers with friends!

Here is the link to “Mr. White”

Bad News Beers

10390128_907232142626707_3220983100132201699_nA couple of months ago I had a crazy idea. I was bored, and thought about things that would be fun to do. One of the things that kept jumping out to me was sports. I am nearly 40 and not in peak shape (unless peak shape is beautifully round) so I needed one that took a little less energy than basketball or football. I decided that softball sounded like a good fit.

My next step was to see if there was anyone around that shared this desire. After posting on Facebook, asking if anybody would want to play if I started a league, I was overwhelmed with the response. Within a couple of hours I had 60 people wanting to know when we start. The local YMCA sent me a message saying they would be interested in running the league for me, and off we went!

Yesterday marked day one of games for this league. More than 100 players all showing up at their scheduled times because I got bored one day. I was beaming with pride. My team got beat 15-8 (I think was the final) but I had more fun than I even imagined. There are 14 people on my team. They all have great attitudes, and are crazy fun to be around. Do we want to win? Hell yeah we do. Do we care if we lose? Not really. Every member of my team (The Bad News Beers) is there for fun. We want to remove our butts from the couch and play a game for fun. That is exactly what happened.

I guess the moral here is never doubt your desires. I wanted to do something like this for a very long time, but didn’t think I could get enough people to be interested. All it took was saying something, and here we are! 8 teams. All with local sponsors, promoting our small town business. All playing for fun. I pray that this league sticks around for many years to come! I plan on playing until my body gives out!

I can’t wait for next weeks game, and the beers at The Gallon House afterwards where we can all laugh about our errors, brag about our good plays (Like Larry’s insane leaping grab of a line drive that had no business being caught….superhuman play Larry…) and bitch about calls we think should have gone one way or the other.

Thanks Bad News Beers for being my friends, and my teammates. This old man is loving it!1238913_888179191199054_8836001347593630122_n

Is There Still Good In The World?

6a00d83451c49a69e20153905f231d970b-800wiWatching the news these days brings up a question. With all the bombings around the world, and murders and theft, the human trafficking and everything else if forces you to wonder if there is still any good in the world. Well my friends I have the answer, and it is a great big YES!

My family does okay. We have a nice house, decent vehicles, we can feed our kids. We are better off than many, but still have to pinch pennies to pay all the bills. Sometimes something comes up that we want and just can not afford. Recently my 8-year-old son wanted to sign up for football. He was very excited, but I just didn’t have the money. I knew how important it was to him, and to be honest, I am as excited as he is, so I took a few of my old football collectibles and put them up for sale online with a brief explanation of what I was trying to raise the money for. Within a few hours I had several people tell me they would like to sponsor my son and that I should keep my collectibles. Some of these people knew that one particular item I was selling had a great deal of sentimental value, and others had no idea. More than one of the people who offered had never met me or my family. They just wanted my boy to be able to play ball. One of them said, “I would like to sponsor your son. Please keep your items and give them to him in the future instead.” I was overwhelmed by the response. The fact that so many people had such big hearts was a joy to see. I didn’t take any of the offers, as I believe in earning what we have, but I did negotiate a deal with one of them to build a fence for them as payment. This is just one example of the remaining good in the world.

I live in a rather small town in Oregon, called Silverton. This city should be famous for the way they care for one another. There is a Facebook page called Silverton Connections. It was set up basically as a way for people to talk about upcoming events, promote garage sales, sell items online to each other, or to try to find others with things they might need. The other day a tragedy happened in our little town. Someones house burned down. A family with several children ranging from diapers to teens. They lost everything. One of their friends posted on this Facebook page about what happened, and the true colors of our town came shining like the sun on a summer day. Within minutes dozens of people were going through their belonging looking for clothes for the kids, diapers, toys, shoes and anything else that could help them. Shortly after that people were asking, “what about the mom and dad?” and everyone searched again to make sure the parents were also taken care of. Yesterday I went by the donation drop off and left a few things, and when I walked into the house it was piled with clothes.  I will be heading to Salem on monday to pick up a washer and dryer that someone donated. A GoFundMe account was set up for cash donations and people have donated what they can. Many of the people donating items and money have never even met this family, but love them all the same. Why? Because they are Silvertonians. Because they are human beings, because they need help and that is why people here do. They help! They support each other. I have seen it myself in many ways. Not just with the football sign-ups. When my mom died there were strangers stopping by to give condolences. When my brother vanished from that cruise ship there were people asking how they could help me fight for better laws at sea, when my book was released they shared links and told their friends to check it out.

I am a Silvertonian and could not be more proud. This city is incredible, but not nearly as incredible as the people who live here. We are a community of givers. Thank you goes out to my mom and dad for moving here when I was very young. Had they not done so, and we lived anywhere else, I might still be wondering if there is good in the world. Because they did, I KNOW that there is.

If you would like to be part of that good here is how you can help.The family has enough of the local donations (clothes,shoes and such) but here is the link is to the donation page. Every single $ helps get this family back on their feet!

Flashbacks and Dish TV

lamarcus-aldridge-2047798Many years ago my mom recorded a movie for my dad. It was a Clint Eastwood pic called The Eiger Sanction. (spoiler alert) I have not watched it in well over 25 years so the details are a bit sketchy but here is a very brief synopsis. Clint was a good guy. There was a bad guy, who as I recall murdered someone or something and Clint had to find out who it was. Towards the end he is with a group of people climbing a mountain and he falls. His best friend is there with him and is the only one in position to save his life as he hangs from the rope. At that moment Clint realises that his best friend is the bad guy he was looking for. Then the tape stopped. (that s right. the tape….it is what we had before dvd.) I still to this day have no idea what happened next, although I did just put this movie into my Netflix que. I have wondered if the friend chose to save him, or if he chose to kill him causing Clint to fight and ultimately throw his best friend from the mountain while saving his own life.

Okay, all that said, here is why I am thinking of this today. I have Dish Network. Dish has this awful little thing that it does. If you don’t change the channel or anything else for a certain amount of time it assumes you fell asleep or left and shuts off the cable automatically. What this means is that if you are watching a movie you like, it will shut it off right at the end since you like it enough to not have changed the channel. This happened to me yesterday. I am a big sports fan, and when it comes to basketball, the Portland Trailblazers are my favorite team. They are in the middle of a great series with Houston right n, ow and last night I was watching game 4. The Blazers were down for almost the entire game. In the fourth quarter they fought back and took the lead only to have it slip away and force overtime. Overtime was insane. The Blazers came out like crazy and got a good size lead. with just 12 seconds or so left they were up by 5. Houston got a bogus call and it moved the ball forward. they inbounded and put up a three-point shot, that missed. That should have pretty much done it, but there was another bogus call with 10 seconds left and the Rockets got 3 free throws. All three sank. 2 point game. L.A. gets the ball and fouled. He misses both free throws. Houston gets a quick basket, fouls Portland free throws sink. Up by a couple Houston has the ball and 7.9 seconds. They start to drive the ball down the court and Dish decided I was sleeping.

After a mad scramble for the remote I get it angrily turned back on and see that Portland won. How? What happened? It was the Eiger Sanction all over again. I was so disgusted that I had sat there for what seemed like an eternity waiting on those last second and Dish stole them from me forever…

Now that this rant is done, I think I will make a cup of coffee, sit on the couch and watch about 5 minutes of Eiger Sanction before I start my work for the day! Thanks for reading, and I hope Dish never decides to screw you out of hours of your life!