Saturday, August 13, 2005


I have to admit that my feelings for Bob and Rosemary moved to an all new level this past week. Although I really liked them before, it wasn’t until they began quoting from “Young Frankenstein” that I realized what truly wonderful and amazing people they are. We walked to the movie last Monday night trading lines back and forth and I realized how much I need to watch that movie again. The genius of Carl Reiner and Gene Wilder…Cloris Leachman, Terri Garr, Peter Boyle and of course, the best…..Madeline Kahn! God I love that movie!


More nice people………………our friends Anna and Ramon. Even though they’re in the middle of selling their house and packing up to move to Italy they still email us regularly, mostly to check up on Art’s health. Ramon is a doctor, and as happy as I am that they’re able to retire and move to Italy, I must say that the world has lost a truly caring doctor…something pretty rare these days.


And I have to mention how helpful our friends and family in Louisville have been in trying to help us find a place to stay and a car to drive while we’re there in November. My daughter has given us the run of her house for the week they’re going to Florida, which will also give us the use of not one but TWO cars! Our friend Sandy has offered to let us stay at her house, and our friends Ron and Becky said they might have a car we can use. Sherry and David might have a rental car connection if that doesn’t work out, and my friend Karen is trying to find a part-time job for me and has mentioned the idea of a house exchange for next year. I know that other people are thinking about us but just don’t have the connections that we need. Just knowing that everyone is doing their best is wonderful, and we’re thankful to have so many good friends.


Our friend Jill just finished a week as a camp counselor at the Painted Turtle Camp in California. This camp is run by Paul Newman’s Hole in the Wall Gang for kids with colitis and Crohn’s disease. Not only did Jill have a great time helping the kids, when she found out that another camp is being planned for the Seattle area she volunteered to help. She says she thinks she may have found her calling! It’s hard to believe that both Jill and I are Capricorns….she’s so caring and patient, and I’m so….selfish and impatient.


As for the not so nice people, there was recently a discussion on the Slow Talk message board about rental agencies. If you’ve ever searched for a vacation rental, there’s a good chance that you’ve see the same property listed on several different sites, usually at different prices. Usually it’s cheaper to rent directly from the owner, but often this isn’t possible.  Sometimes owners list their rentals with agencies in order to boost their visibility, and agree to give the listing site a commission. And then I read about another possibility…..

Apparently some “agencies” just scour other websites, then copy the pictures and information to their website without the permission of the owners. These “agencies” then say that they represent these properties, often going as far as to say that they have personally inspected each and every one.

In reality, it you use one of these “agencies” to book a rental, they will in turn go to the real website to make the booking, then of course charge you a large fee for this “service”. Now if the owner of a rental has agreed to let someone else represent their property, of course a commission is deserved. In the case of these other unauthorized agencies, they are using web content without permission, without authorization and have probably violated copyright laws at the very least. At the worst I would say that they are leaches, vultures, liars or cheats. 
I’m not sure how you can make sure that an agency is really authorized to represent a property. The “agency” in question apparently tried to lie their way out of a specific situation, not realizing that they would be caught. Their site looks very professional and credible. I guess the only way to be sure is to use agencies that are well known, or to book directly through the owners. Once again the best things about the internet are also the worst things. It’s just so easy to make a great looking site and spread false information. As always, let the buyer beware.


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