Bill's Beneficial Blog

Does anyone really read the millions of blogs out there? Or are they really just a ploy to entice Google for a bit more ranking or space? Every other ad agency blog is going to be all about how great they are, why they are the smartest and other clearly self promoting stuff.

So we decided to just write about what interests us. Our only hope is that - every now and then - you find a nugget that is a slight value for you. We hope. If you want to get these rantings in your inbox every so often, Signup to get emails. Here goes.


Fighting Over Vacation Rental Scraps

By William May
Published: 05/01/12 Topics: Comments: 0

Washington State's open-membership, open-forum, not-for-profit trade association for managers, suppliers and supporters of the vacation rental industry. Read more

Oh No, Mount Rainier Has Disappeared

By William May
Published: 04/15/12 Topics: Mount Rainier WA, Vacation Comments: 0

Mount Rainier disappeared today. Poof. Gone. I looked up and it was missing from the horizon. Reminded me of the day, 20 years ago, when Mount Saint Helens disappeared. Read more

Sponsor: MountRainier.com – Every shop, restaurant, lodge and vacation rental around the entire mountain. Ashford, Packwood, Greenwater, Morton, Eatonville, Carbonado & Enumclaw. Book a stay instantly online.

Professor John Edwards: Insects & Music

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

When I first began to help out with the Gallery Concerts Organization, one of my favorite not-for-profit groups, I met 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. 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

The Love of Work Well Done

By Wm. May
Published: 05/24/11 Topics: Comments: 0

My fathers business became every trucker's favorite place to buy parts, get their rigs serviced or just stop in for coffee and see that smile, a smile that is still remembered 40 years later. Read more

Bill Gates' Favorite Burger Joint

By William May
Published: 12/01/10 Topics: Comments: 0

Over the decades there have been numerous stories here in the Northwest U.S. about how the favorite restaurant of Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft, was an old fashioned burger stand not far from Microsoft's campus. You might like it too. Read more

Nothing Beats Chateau Chocolate Cake

By William May
Published: 10/01/10 Topics: Advertising, Marketing, Packwood WA, Radio, Selling Comments: 0

Years ago when I operated an advertising agency we sure thought we worked long and hard. Not to reveal my age, but I remember when we had to "spec" type, courier the details to a type setter and then wait days while it was set and returned to us. We then had to paste the galleys onto art board along with photos or other art to arrange the desired final ad. Read more

Mother Giant Radio Station Trounced Websites

By William May
Published: 05/01/10 Topics: Comments: 0

Prior to the lodging industry, I had a perfectly normal life in the media and advertising industry. I worked at radio stations and publications and owned an advertising agency. Then I started, invested and managed some publications as well as a radio station. Read more

Become a Vacation Rental Angel

By William May
Published: 03/01/10 Topics: Comments: 0

Operating a vacation rental business can be fun and profitable but it also an opportunity to do some good in the world. Now property owners and managers can do that by participating in a public program that offer Read more

Doing What We Can To Help People

By William May
Published: 11/19/09 Topics: Comments: 0

For a number of years our company has been donating vacation rental use to a wonderful group called OutdoorsForAll.org (Formerly SkiForAll.org). Their mission is to enrich the quality of life for children and adults with di Read more

Everything Robert Fulgham Learned in Kindergarten

By William May
Published: 11/01/09 Topics: Comments: 0

I stumbled onto an Internet posting the other day that told me it has been twenty years since Robert Fulgham wrote "Everything I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten". Read more

Seeing your Name in Print

By William May
Published: 10/01/09 Topics: Comments: 0

Sometimes it is nice to see your name in the media and sometimes it is not. As the volunteer Director of the Vacation Rental Association (VRA) I receive calls from media all over the country. Speaking with most reporters reminds me of sitting in Journalism class while pursuing my college Read more

Remembering the "Thank You" Game

By William May
Published: 09/01/09 Topics: Comments: 0

Surprises are great. And thank you's are best. In an industry like property management that requires attention to detail, constant supervision and reconciliation of occasionally conflicting goals between guests and owners it is too easy to forget the little personal things that make life worth liv Read more

Ocean Shores and Westport are Beaches Like No Other

By William May
Published: 08/01/09 Topics: Comments: 0

A truth in advertising disclaimer is required first. Although I haven't lived in the area in almost 40 years, I must admit that I did grew up in several towns on the Washington Coast. Up until 4th grade the town of Raymond was where my parents lived and, you know how that goes, so did me. After the Read more

Owners Who Kill The Messenger. And Managers who help them.

By William May
Published: 07/01/09 Topics: Comments: 0

The stinging effect on vacation rentals and vacation rental managers through out the US due to today's economy is having a effects that none of us can do anything about. The loss of demand is bad enough but now some managers are receiving those proverbial calls from owners who want to kill the me Read more

Why You Can't Shoot Vacation Rentals with a Camera

By William May
Published: 01/15/09 Topics: Comments: 0

Well of course you can. Today everyone has a camera or two or three. They've moved up from the decades old Brownies to Polaroids to click and shoot and now into the world of digital and now to sophisticated digital cameras with large formats (pixels) and self correcting shooting. So h Read more

Sometimes the Best Ideas are Obvious

By William
Published: 01/10/09 Topics: Comments: 0

It was our very first vacation rental. A sumptuous 3,000 square foot vacation home located at Washington State's top destination - Wapato Point a private resort on 50 miles long Lake Chelan Washington. Because it sits on Native American land we dubbed it the Totem House and filled it with native Ame Read more

Hello Blog. Goodbye Newsletters.- Lodging Newsletter January 10, 2009

By William May
Published: 01/10/09 Topics: Comments: 0

After years of writing newsletters I've succumbed to writing a blog. Not sure what the difference is - we've been posting newsletters online years ago- as well as emailing them and, in fact, snail mailing them years ago. What better way to keep in touch with all those people I should keep in touch Read more

Barack Obama Endorses Vacation Rentals

By William May
Published: 11/24/08 Topics: Comments: 0

The next President of the United States has effectively endorsed the entire concept of Vacation Rentals by renting a private home in Kailua on the North Shore of Oahu, a Hawaiian Island. He is staying there for a week with his wife Michelle and two daughters. He is staying at a secluded beach re Read more

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