Have you found yourself not knowing what day of the week it is? Our routines are so upside down because of this Corona Virus Stay Vaca, I phase out sometimes not sure what the heck I’m doing. I’m not completely lost, it’s just that I find myself sitting around at home feeling like Bill Murray in the movie, 'Ground Hog Day'. Kerri and I truly are running out of new things to talk about. When that happens we just start picking on our Governor. What we keep asking ourselves is....”Is it time?”
The "Experts" advice of phasing into life again is painful. It's like the doctor saying, “Don’t push yet, the baby still hasn’t crowned.” You feel the pain, you’re over the wait and you just want to get that little human out of you! Most of us are over the wait and ready to give birth to this new America. Hmm, I wonder what that will look like?
We had a very good month of work as we keep informing everyone
“We are open for business and God willing we will remain open for business!”
And special thanks to all of you who gave us work or referred us over the last month! Amy, Annalee, Brooks, Building Construction Specialties, Busch Group, Cindy, Colleen, Duane, Elaine, Epic, Ernie, Gina, Heather, Jane JMC Builders, John, Jordi, Judy, Karen, Kent, Leah, Lynette, Marla, Marlon, Mary, Mike MPG, Const., Chisttina, nancy, Rami, Related, Rick, Sandy, Stacey, Tecstone, Traditional Marble, Valerie, and others that referred them or hired us. WE TRULY APPRECIATE YOUR BUSINESS!
It is time!
By Mark Ortiz, NATURAL STONE PROFESSIONAL/NOVICE BLOGGER
This newsletter contains three subjects to hopefully help and unlikely entertain you.
1. "When is the best time to service my natural stone?"
2. "Is it a good time to let people work in my home?"
3. "I'm calling B.S. Part 3." Time to ask questions.
Thank you for taking the time to read our Newsletter!
Is it time to maintain my stone?
There are several areas in our homes and businesses to service the natural stone. Each location is different and how each person uses their stone determines when to service it. It’s true that some stone will never need servicing again, yet servicing can include minor grout touch ups, cleaning, polishing, stain removal, sanding or major restoration. I’ll break this down below.
This is our general rule for professional maintenance visits.
Showers: 1-2 years
Bath Counters: 1-3 years
Kitchen : 1-3 years
Floors 2-3 years
Exterior 3-5 years.
Because showers are exposed to high amounts of water, oil and soaps, this becomes the most important area to keep sealed. Once water, oils and soaps get into the pores it may permanently discolor so maintenance is critical. Squeegeeing, weekly cleaning and using proper cleaners will keep your shower looking great all the time.
The most common item that effects bathroom counters are acidic liquids such as soaps, face cleansers and bathroom cleaners. Once the acidic liquids are identified, it’s easy to keep from etching by covering the stone with trays or placing towels down when using them. If you see dull spots then it’s time for some maintenance.
There are only a few different type of kitchen counters. Granite is the most common, Quartzites are becoming more popular and marbles are for a select few. Limestones are rare but are a classic look so we still see this in homes. Darker granites are usually not as porous but sealing is an easy preventive measure just in case it is porous. Lighter colored granites and a few Quartzites are porous and need a quality sealer applied right from the start. Marbles are sensitive to juices, fruits, vinegar and other acidic liquids which cause dull etch marks. Limestones are porous and also sensitive to acidic foods. Sealers do not prevent etching from acids but are primarily intended to prevent unwanted staining. Honed marbles wear better in kitchens and we have the ability to custom hone your presently polished counters.
The most important thing to do other than seal your kitchen counters is to make sure the caulking at the sink remains in great condition. When water gets behind the caulk joint it can cause some pretty serious and costly damage. You can replace the caulking or have us do it for you.
Floors such as travertine, limestone and slate need to be cleaned periodically. PGS uses floor machines and hand brushes the grouts making the stone look clean and consistent. Sealing helps keep the stone cleaner longer but only proper cleaning methods will ensure a good looking floor for many years. Some kitchens take a beating so this may be a yearly maintenance visit. Polished marble or travertine gets scratched and etched needing to be refinished with abrasive compounds.
Exterior stones usually consist of travertine, limestone flagstone and slate. I think cleaning these once every couple years is sufficient. There are two good seasons to clean and seal. Before the winter rains or after. If your stone is light colored and porous then I recommend before the rains and if you entertain outside a lot I recommend after the winter rains.
If your stone is looking great and in good condition, and you are cleaning it regularly then you probably don’t need professional maintenance. If you are looking at your stone and say to yourself, “I’m going to look online and see how I can restore my stone.” then that's when you should definitely call us! (You’re welcome ladies.)
2. Is it time to let people work in my home?
Everyone needs to have a comfort level for people working in their homes, especially strangers. I want to not only address the concern for your health but also the protection of your property. For the last 30 years I have witnessed several times when I said to myself, 'wow those owners are very trusting.' There are simple steps to help prevent killer diseases and idiots from entering your house. When people are stretched for money, the sad reality is that they may be tempted to steal. It is rare and the contractors are most likely not going to, but like Ronald Reagan said, "Trust and Verify."
1. If your gut tells you something isn’t right TRUST YOUR GUT! (same goes for eating that second donut)
Human intuition is pretty amazing to me. It’s not always right but because we have so many thousands of interactions with people who behave in a very similar fashion, we unconsciously notice “odd” behavior. Then we question our gut and think, “That guy always has two hand in his pockets, is that weird? Am I being paranoid?” Or, “She keeps digging in her purse but getting nothing out. Is this normal?” Intuition tells me something is odd about the situation and I should not ignore it.
2. Remove the mask. (This is not for everyone... right Judy? :) )
This is a brilliant strategy (Only because I thought of it myself, and I know it’s not brilliant.). Unfortunately, partial wearing of masks is going to be the new norm. When they walk into your home you kindly say, “Please remove your masks while you are in my home.” They will think, 'What the heck?' You will have them already thinking you are a crazy person. Here’s my reasoning:
First of all, if you are really concerned about getting a deadly virus from them, THEN DON’T INVITE THEM IN. I’m not a epidemiologist but this seems like common sense to me. Second, a paper mask, a handkerchief or a piece of fabric will not guarantee to stop this 'something-borne' virus according to many experts in the medical field.
Facial and body expressions are a powerful means to know peoples intentions. If the face is covered up you miss out on a lot of signs, like them sticking their tongue out at you. I read people better when I can see their facial expressions and so do you, but it comes naturally to us and therefore we really don’t think about it.
3. Don't leave them alone in your home unless they have a great reputation, and I don’t mean on Yelp. Your contractor should be present as much as possible and ultimately they are responsible for the subs or the employees they bring in. Tell the owner or technician that you have security cameras on and to stay out of certain areas (even if you don't have them, yet.). I have always repeated to my crew comments and concerns of my customers and I tell them that these days cameras are everywhere and to stay professional. I also like it when my customers call me directly and tell me they saw my crew doing something from their mobile cameras. I immediately call my crew and let them know the customer has an eye on them remotely.
4. If you need to leave, tell them you will expecting someone to come by to check on them but you will be back in a few minutes. People tempted to ‘misbehave’ knowing you or someone will be back shortly are less likely to take chances. I also recommend you leave then go back in the house in about 5 minutes and make your presence before taking off. Keep them on guard.
5. Put your valuables away. Don't leave valuables in drawers near the work areas. Thieves look for easy access items.
6. Disinfect wipe door handles, faucets, toilets, sinks after they leave the job site. This is good practice also during flu and cold seasons.
7. After the job is completed do a quick walk through and check all rooms. Sometimes contractors will load up something like a hose sprayer, broom, a bucket or tool that they thought was theirs. The quicker you see whats missing the sooner the business owners will call the guys to return it. Honestly It happens about 1-2 times a year or I notice a towel with decorative flowers that definitely isn't ours. Or maybe something looks damaged so it's better to inform them right away.
I don't want you to be paranoid. I just want you to be aware that hard working, kind looking dishonest people are in every profession. Stay safe and protect your properties.
I‘M Calling BS - Part 3 .
Oh boy, where do I start? My mind has been all over the place what I can share with you. Things are moving so fast, it's possible this information may be yesterdays news. I mean, I started writing this blog before the riots around the country and Covid for the moment seems to be secondary news. You all have been very kind with your comments and support with my newsletters and I truly want to share something that makes you think.
I spoke on a previous newsletter about managing the amount of information you listen to. If you have friends like mine, you are getting feeds several times a day from from memes to conspiracy theories, videos of the financial market to the end of the world. I barely have time to clean up, eat dinner, take Advil much less read and listen to all this. I want to be informed so I try and weed out (definitely not talking about the legal green stuff) the mess and listen to reliable news. Honestly, I rarely listen to any cable news which appears to me to be repetitive bias opinions. I'm more attentive to You Tube, Instagram, talk radio and search online questions that I need answered or to get more information.
I always want to be reminded of the facts. It’s easy to get caught up in the opinions of others at a social distancing party but we always need to get back to facts and data. Most people ignore facts because it doesn’t go along with their agenda, or their positive pathways. It’s a dangerous time when people make emotional decisions without backing it up with some facts. Emotionally driven decisions say, “The ends justify the means.” But evidence based decisions say, “The ends do not justify the means.”
Numbers Don’t Lie.
Total World Wide Deaths “associated" with
Covid 19: 355,956
Total United States Deaths "associated" with
Covid 19: 90,000
Total unemployed in California. (May 2019 - 814,255) Now over 3 Million
Total unemployed in United States : Around 27% or 26 Million
Total printed money for Corona Virus : 2 Trillion (more coming!)
Total (surveyed) small businesses that may not make it : 75 Million
Total sales down in hospitals. : 50 Billion per month
Total agree to the stay home order : 90% Agree
Total criminals let out of jail because of Covid 19 : Over 16 Thousand
Total revenue shortfall in California : 7 Billion
Total Suicide calls in SoCal : 70 in February... 1800 in March
Total Domestic abuse calls : Up 8% LA...up 25% OC (from last year)
Total 5g towers installed (Does this really matter?)
Total protests in the US so far : It's here and more is coming.
The top US public health expert on the White House coronavirus task force, Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, warned in a CNN interview the previous evening that there will be a “rebound” of new coronavirus cases in the US if the country rushes towards a “premature” reopening of society and business.
"I am convinced of that because of the degree of — of transmissibility that it has, the global nature. What happens with that will depend on how we are able to contain it when it occurs," he continued. "And what we are saying is that in the fall we will be much, much better prepared to do the kind of containment compared to what happened to us this winter."
At a different White House briefing this month, Fauci said he's hopeful about the reopening of schools this fall, but reminded Americans the virus isn't going to disappear.
President Trump himself has acknowledged the pandemic will remain a public health problem for months. Earlier this month, he said that although he is convinced COVID-19 will disappear on its own, it “doesn’t mean it’s going to be gone, frankly, by fall or after the fall.”
Mr. Trump said on February 27 he though the virus would "disappear" like a miracle. There were only 60 confirmed cases in the U.S. at the time of that remarks. He also stood by the claim that the virus would go away on April 3, when there were 273,880 cases.
"My biggest fear is amnesia. My biggest fear is that we forget the reality of the last eight weeks, nine, ten weeks in the state and in this nation and imperil, put ourselves at real risk of not just a second wave but recognizing that we're not even out of the first wave of this pandemic," Newsom continued.
Pelosi (I swear I did not edit her text)
"But the fact is we’re all impatient. We all want out. But what they’re doing is really unfortunate because what is great, though is -- are the American people. The American people know that the good health of themselves and their families and their loved ones is what is important. And that’s why you have seen such an overwhelming commitment to shelter-in-place and distancing -- people distancing.
Because really the health issue is the key to how we will open up our economy. Unfortunately, this -- what you see there is, you know, and I’m respectful whatever people think they should say but the fact is this has to be science-based, evidence-based, data-based. And the evidence and the science and the data says shelter-in-place. Testing, contact tracing, treatment, quarantine is the answer to opening up our economy sooner."
“The faster we reopen the lower the economic costs, but the higher the human costs because the more lives lost. That, my friends, is the decision we are really making,” Cuomo said at his daily briefing.
“Are you at all concerned, as Trump said, that we cannot let the cure be worse than the problem itself?” Haines (from the View) asked. Biden noted in his reply that the COVID-19 cure “will make the problem worse, no matter what.”
Even though I personally wanted to see the inconsistencies of our "expert leaders" I'm actually seeing and finding a consistent theme with all of them...the virus is coming back and be prepared for another pain sandwich.
I wanted to give you some numbers and quotes to chew on, but these you have probably already heard, because these are the same repetitive repackaged bits of information announced weekly. Now I want to make you think. I want you to ask yourself these following questions and how would you answer them.
Have you thought about these questions?
I have been blown away by how many people of higher intellectual capacities (Which I don’t include myself in) are ill-informed of people and events beyond the cable news. Ask and find answers to your questions. Here are a few I had to seek out and find. How about you?
Why aren't there more dying people from Covid 19 around me?
Is it possible that this virus is not as deadly as they predicted or compared to deadly viruses in previous years?
How is it that most vaccinations take years to create and test yet this one apparently will be ready by the end of the year?
Is it true that a vaccine has never been found for this member/family of viruses (Covid)?
Who benefits financially from a new drug or vaccine coming into production and distribution?
Why are they talking about bringing in the US military to set up vaccine injection facilities?
What if we never knew about Covid 19, would there have been much of a difference in the world?
Why is it dangerous to send kids back to school and set up voting booths while its not dangerous to go to grocery stores, Costco, Home Depot and hospitals?
Why aren't the homeless population getting sick and dying when they don’t practice social distancing or cleanliness?
Are all those people who die with the Corona Virus really die from Corona Virus? How do I know for sure?
What happens to the economy if we buy and sell a whole lot less?
What are the REAL numbers of the unemployed in our country? How many are predicted to get their same paying jobs back?
Governments are printing money and dispersing it to people...how long can they do that? What are the ramifications?
What would it look like if the US enters into a depression? Can any leader prevent it from occurring?
Why is Tom Hanks still living after getting Corona Virus? What was his cure?
What power does FEMA really have? Why haven't I ever looked into that before?
Is there something to the rumors that Bill Gates has a cure and wants to implant chip technology in our bodies? Are they doing this in other countries or states? Should I get it too?
What is better for us in terms of living with viruses? Isolating ourselves from people and germs or being in closer proximity?
Does wearing a dust mask or fashion cloth often throughout the day benefit me or not?
Does the government really know better than me how to care for my health and the health of my children?
Does anyone or any politician really give a hill of beans about my personal life other than me and my family?
These are only a few questions I had to search answers to. Putting a collection of answers together that we personally research will give us a better understanding of whats going on out in the world and what we need to do about it and how to plan for our future. I learned so much more by doing my own investigations verses listening to one or two radio stations or news cable networks.
Don't stop searching for truth!
Even though protests are dominating the scene right now, I see in all areas the fear of the virus is still alive and well I came across this 21 minute video that makes a point about the B.S. many of us are feeling regarding the Covid 19. Agree with some of it or not, but don’t dismiss his educated perspective. I try very hard to not be bias but hear others while I consider the facts! I couldn't figure out how to edit it to make shorter but whats 21 minutes when you have so much free time collecting those big Care Checks?
A Positive Note?
On a more or less positive note. Even thought we still live in a world with masked men and an new wave of germaphobes it’s great to be among people again. We joined several others in HB for the peaceful protest which was one of the most patriotic events since 4th of July. A couple weeks ago we went to a bar restaurant called Nomads in San Clemente and how fun it was to be eating and drinking with fellow Americans again. Last week we actually sat down and had a great meal at Green Leaf.
Now with our Fearless Leader G. Newsom giving us the privilege of partially opening our businesses and maybe being able to cut our hair or get our nails done, we get to associate with one another in a whole “new” way.
Get out and spend time with others as God intended us too. Reach out for a hand shake and maybe you will get one back. Let’s not change a common greeting we have had for centuries! If someone wants to extend their elbow then give them a knee cap in return...just kidding. Everyone is dealing with this differently and let us continue to show loving respect to all.
For the record, I am very very cautious about all the information out there and if I am to be transparent with my 'feelings', Well, I'm not getting a good feeling about all of it. The deep search for truth is ugly and sometimes a little scary, but this is why we must fall on our knees and ask for wisdom, courage and strength.
Keep the fight and don't be afraid to "Call B.S." For a Free America
As you may have gathered by my previous newsletters is that I believe that Jesus is our Lord and this earth and everything in it belongs to him. I lead a bible study for men early Friday mornings where we encourage one another to stay razor focused on our faith in Gods promises and not reliant on mans less than perfect philosophies. If you are interested or feel a nudge to try it out. Send me an email or call me at 714-247-9590.
May God bless your families and provision while you get ready for the next ....... (?)
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Write a comment
MBurns (Tuesday, 16 June 2020 12:16)
I appreciate your newsletter and your courage. I look forward to the next one and thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and show you care about our country and much valued freedom.
Mark Ortiz (Sunday, 21 June 2020 20:24)
Thank you MBurns for the comment. I know there are millions of Americans who really do want to help this country be a vibrant and free! We are feeling something slipping away that we took for granted our whole lives. Stand up for Family, Freedom and Faith1