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Baby Black Bear by Chuck Wiser

Wiser’s Wramblings-Ability for Sealing has no Ceiling.


By Chuck Wiser, I write the words to share what my eyes see and my heart feels

I typically keep a list noting things that cross my mind, I observe, hear on the scanner, or people mention as suggested topics. I have even used a picture of a week’s item list as an “Index” or “Table of Contents” prefacing a column. If a “hot topic” or one with more priority comes up and I feature it, my future items list takes a back seat, pushed back for the next weeks column. Last week’s promoting of the Genesee Valley Chorus concert this past Sunday pushed that list back. I continued adding more items to it this week, but now again, a topic has oozed its way into my thoughts and has stuck around all week. I will seal that topic off this week with Flex Seal.

The product named Flex Seal was mentioned in a previous column and it apparently triggered their monitoring algorithm, ever vigilant watching for product mentions. One of their distribution representatives, Tyler Bennett, Customer Care, Swift Response LLC, reached out to me via contacting Wellsville Sun owner/editor Andrew Harris, following the normal writer contact protocols.

 Over the years I had watched the various Flex Seal commercials and recall them as being one of the first, if not the first, advertisers to make use of the “As seen on TV” line in their ads. I was already a pleased user and fan of the Flex Seal products, and I believe I had mentioned that in the column that Mr. Bennett saw. I had also mentioned my disappointment with its relatively short shelf life for a “paint/sealant” like product and had already sent an email to the manufacturer suggesting that they could improve customer satisfaction greatly if they could remedy this problem. However, they might not consider that in their best interests as they likely sell more of their sealant products, more frequently, if your reserve dried up and you needed more.

When Mr. Bennett contacted me, we began a dialog, and I made some suggestions about ways to accommodate and improve the usefulness and longevity of their products. If they sold the sealant in smaller capacity containers and/or enhanced the method of applying the sealant, such as in smaller tubes in the delivery method. He thanked me saying he would pass my comments along but also pointed out that some ideas were already in use and perhaps I had not yet had an opportunity to see their full range of products. Mr. Bennett offered to send me a “gift pack” to compensate me for my earlier purchases that had become unusable due to the seemingly short shelf life, and as a complementary gift.

I told him it wasn’t necessary but that anything would be much appreciated. A few days later a large box appeared on our porch. Upon opening the shipping box and then the box inside I discovered a large and diverse quantity of Flex Seal products. As I pulled item after item out of the box, as if taking candy out of my Easter basket, I was amazed at the diversity of their product line. Many of the application methods I had suggested were already there and their representative had been kind enough not to have mentioned that as I suggested them earlier.

A couple of suggestions that I had made appeared to have struck home and Mr. Bennett replied that he would pass those on. The only real problem that I had, was not being able to use the quantity of sealant purchased quickly enough to avoid what in my mind was drying up too soon. I suggested smaller quantities of some of their shorter shelf-life items.

Their target for shelf life of usefulness is two years. I have paint cans that have sat idle for 20 years that I expect to still be useable. They aren’t of course, but if you can get below the skimmed coating on top, you can get to useful levels of the paint. One thing I had noted and passed on to Mr. Bennett was that almost all their sealing products, despite the container type, were priced the same at just under $15. Smaller quantities would offset customers’ wasted expenses.

The gift box I received included a variety of different forms of the product, many of which I was unaware. I guess now I know more about their products. If the quality of the different varieties is consistent with the regular sealant, then they will all have the same excellence. I have never run across anyone who has used their sealant that didn’t love the results.

Now let me see If I can clean up some of my noted items. I did make up one new word today as I pondered my recent spate of spills, bumps, and collisions whilst maneuvering with the Cast, then boot and walking canes. I dubbed the clumsiness syndrome as being Accidentricity.

  • We learn repetition by various means, but the most typical is by using “sayings,” often sing song or rhymey such as: “Righty tighty, lefty loosey” to remember how to tighten fasteners turning “clockwise” and loosen them by turning them “counterclockwise,” which of course is all based on the movement of clock hands. The letters of the notes on a musical “score” (Staff and Notes) have word sayings to help remember them. FACE are the notes of the spaces on the Treble Scale (Upper-higher voices), and “Every Good Boy Does Fine” (EGBDF) are the lines on that scale. On the Bass Clef (lower notes) the spaces are ACEG (All Cows Eat Grass) and the lines are “Good Boys Do Fine Always (GBDFA). I’m not sure I remember which grade we learned those in but the only things musical that I remember from School days are those scale designations, The Erie Canal, my 6th grade music teacher (Mr. Millen) telling me I wasn’t “breathing” because I took in breaths in my chest and not my diaphragm and singing “I Believe” in a 4th or 5th grade concert. That remains one of my favorite choral pieces. (Other than the ones Dave Dunbar and I wrote)
  • I mentioned “Call Blocking” in an earlier article and noted that although a call was blocked, it still rang in once. I did find a phone setting that allows you to disable that. I don’t know if it works as we haven’t had any calls that we didn’t want. Maybe it worked.
  •  Memorial Day Weekend is upon us again already. This was one of my favorite holidays as it was an occasion to get together with family, often outside picnicking in nicer weather. During our racing days it was also the first “Big” racing weekend of the year often with a Championship race of some sort, somewhere.
  • Something made me think of the phrase “Beyond the pale.” The current most common interpretation is “to be beyond the bounds of acceptable behavior.”  Before I looked it up, I thought it meant something else. I thought it meant a little darker or brighter.

There were a couple of ancient interpretations having to do with Ireland but if I piqued your interest, you could look them up. In a more frivolous interpretation “Beyond the pail,” might describe an accidental overshoot when bedpans were used and stored under the beds in the unheated upstairs bedroom at my Grandparent’s house.

  • Calling the numbers listed for “Customer Service” for any corporate entity like Amazon or PayPal can be an extremely frustrating experience. To start with you must endure listening to the messages. You then must listen to your options and try and guess which one applies to you. After you just press the “0” key enough times, a non-english speaking person speaking their idea of English comes on. After not being able to understand them, you ask for an “English Speaking Supervisor.” Sometimes that works, sometimes not. My last encounter with PayPal resulted in the representative telling me that the closest they had was someone from Canada. Upon connecting with that person, whose grasp of the language and ability to be understood was worse than the last, and I could barely understand her. When I asked her where she was located, she replied “Mozambique.”
  • I don’t know if my feature of the Genesee Valley Chorus last week contributed to the turn out for the concert this past Sunday, but it was overwhelming. We sang to a very energetic, attentive, and involved audience in the packed Trinity Lutheran Church in Wellsville. We would like to reach out to all the patrons, sponsors and donors, and to those attending. We thank you for being there, for your support with your donations and contributions, and if family members were performing, for supporting them. The chorus was at one time supported by grants from the Arts Council, but now rely solely on the financial support as noted. Without your support we would not be able to perform for you. If there wasn’t an audience, there would be no reason for us to sing. You are the reason and motivation “Why We Sing” which was the title of our closing number.  
  • I have to confess to not being able to effectively complete my singing participation on that closing number, as my mind (and heart) traveled back to all of musicians who directed the chorus during my singing participation. Nearly all those former directors are no longer with us, and the memories overwhelmed me in a flood of emotion. I am going to start lobbying for us to perform a Memorial Concert at some point in the future that will honor the memory of those directors and their role in developing and sustaining the quality and effectiveness of the music we perform. Many thanks to Craig Braack, who, understanding my grief, took me aside and sat with me as my emotions calmed.

Why Do We Write, Why Do We Sing?

The words I write of my accord,

Sometimes will strike in some, a chord.

I write to share the things I see.

What in my heart it means to me.

I’m blessed to sing the words I write,

When a musician thinks they’re right.

Why do I write, Why do I sing?

To see the joy to some we bring.

We sing for those who cannot speak

We sing for those, a peace they seek.

We paint a picture they cannot see.

We take them where they cannot be.

Our just reward is just a smile

From those we spent a little while.

And tho’ from some it brought a tear

No better place we’d be but here.

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