Thursday, July 23, 2015

We need your help

Quilter’s Rule is negotiating with a contractor to build a new website.   We know that our current site is hard for some people to use.  We would like to make the site easy to use for the majority of folks who come to the site.  We further understand that we will never satisfy everyone, so we are attempting to satisfy the majority of users.
Under normal circumstances we only hear negative comments about our website.  When folks are satisfied they enter the site, make a purchase and leave. You can help by telling us what would make you positive experience even better.

We would like to know how you use our site. 
Why do you use our site?

How do you find items on our site?
What would make the site easier for you to use?

What do you look for when you go to a site?
What can we add to make the site better?

What should we remove from the site?
Thank you so much for your help!                                             

Wednesday, July 15, 2015


Today is a very sad day in my life.  This afternoon I will lose a friend and companion.  For 15 years Scamp has been an important part of my life.  I purchased her for my wife, but she decided to choose me as her human; maybe because I get up early and would feed her while the rest of the family slept, or because I took her to the barn in the morning when I fed the rest of the critters, or because we just liked to sit quietly in the morning with that first cup of coffee.

When our previous collie had died we waited a long time before we decided to get another.  I still remember when she came to the house.  Scamp was born in Florida at a kennel Eloise tracked down that had collies related to a line of collies that carried the Belhaven name.  We waited for six months for a female tri colored collie to be born.  By then it was the middle of the winter and very cold in the upper Midwest.  We had to wait for the temperature to moderate enough for the airline to allow her to fly.  The night she was coming in we drove to Chicago and arrived at O’Hare before she left Orlando.  It was a very long wait, but Eloise had been without a collie for almost 2 years and it was time.  When she finally got to us we got her out of the crate and have never been successful in getting her back into one.  I carried her up the escalator and the stairs and she sat on my lap in the tram.  She sat in Eloise’s lap for the ride home.

At any rate, since I worked close to home, it was my job to go home at noon and walk Scamp and make sure she was okay.  Well that lasted for about a week and I decided that it would be easier to just take her to work.  After all I owned the company and I could do that if I wanted.  So in the car she went and off to work we went.  For the last 15 years she has be coming to work with me.  By now you can tell she is not Eloise’s dog.  She choose me.

When I was a town chairman, she went to meetings with me.  She would lay under the table until I was done and then she went home with me.  Until I gave up being the chairman she was welcome at the town hall.  When I quit they immediately passed a rule that only service dogs were allowed in the town hall.  Just one of many reason I dislike twofaced politicians.  But that is a totally different discussion.

For the last several months, Scamp has steadily gone downhill.  She now falls on floors without carpets, she cannot negotiate steps without falling.  Her body functions are starting to shut down.  When she looks at me she just looks and seems sad.  I think she knows her life is about over.  Why do we put ourselves through this sort of traumatic crisis?  Dog simply do not live as long as we do.

Last week I called Dr. Stewart and talked with her.  Then I made the decision it was time.  Last night I prepared a grave for Scamp next to the flagpole in our front yard.   This afternoon Scamp will go to sleep and never wake up.  This is the consideration I wish I could have when I get old and unable to care for myself.

Please don’t be too sad for me.  About 15 months ago, I purchased another collie from Florida.  Her name is Shawnee and she is nothing like Scamp but she is related.  I will miss my friend.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Another reason I hate the Washington crowd.

Now that I am home two weeks after The Vermont Quilt Show I have cooled off to the point I can at least talk about it.  I have wasted most of that time learning about and trying to comply with a regulation that was never intended for me.

Patricia and I were on our way home minding our own business and we had just crossed out of New Your into Pennsylvania and we stopped at the welcome center to go to the bathrooms.  We were flagged down by a guy with a PUC cap and had to go through a DOT inspection.  It seems that the GVW, that’s gross vehicle weight or more correctly the GCW the gross combined weight of our Suburban and trailer is greater than 10,001 pounds and we are engaged in interstate commerce.  Of course I know that but if you carry your products in your personal vehicle and not in someone s for hire vehicle there is a difference.

So I have spent the past two weeks getting square with the violations we committed. 

1) No Log Book.

2) No fire extinguisher

3) No warning triangles

4) No Medical Card

5) No DOT number on our vehicle

Today Quilter’s Rule is a Motor Freight Carrier in addition to being a manufacturer.  And we have lots of additional restrictions on our activity.  We are restricted to driving no more than 11 hours a day between the two of us.  We have 14 hours each day to complete the 11 hours behind the wheel.  We must be off duty and resting for at least 10 hours.  We have to keep a log book; we must carry a medical card stating we can drive.  That physical for the medical card was a joke.  My Medicare annual physical is better, but does not count.  Patricia has to renew biannually but because I have high blood pressure I have to renew annually.  The doctor spent less than 10 minutes with me.

So what does all this mean?  First and foremost some shows will not be as economically feasible, as they were before.  California is now a 4 day trip instead of 2 ½ days.  We will have additional expenses for lodging and food.  Some shows will be impossible because we cannot drive as many hours and cannot make the trip in time.  We cannot count nap time in the front seat to extend our driving time.  We can work no more than 70 hours in a week and drive.  I  am a business owner, if I want to work hard, it is my choice.  I do not need a government to tell me to back off.

I understand why these regulations are in place, but Quilter’s Rule is not really a Motor Carrier.  We have simply been caught in the cross hairs of a regulation to prevent an owner from abusing his employees, and a Government trying to keep the public safe.  I share the road with 18 wheelers, I understand how dangerous the roads can be. I slow down for icy conditions, rain, snow, high winds and at night.  I pull off and sleep when I am tired and get up and go when I am rested.  Resting does not take 10 hours.

I resent my government telling me how hard I can work.